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Old 07-01-2011, 08:43 PM   #1 
namelessfish
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Betta fish won't eat

I got my new betta fish three days ago, and he doesn't eat. I've tried feeding him with regular betta food (the balls) and with bloodworms. Sometimes he swims up and sniffs the food, then swims away. If it sinks, he'll occasionally follow it down, stare at it sitting at the bottom, and then swim away. But most of the time, he just disregards the food entirely. What should i do??

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gal
What temperature is your tank? anywhere between 76 and 82
Does your tank have a filter? nope
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? nope
Is your tank heated? nope but i keep the room at 76-82 (i live in the tropics)
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? regular betta fish food (balls, not flakes) and bloodworms *though he does not eat anything, as mentioned above*
How often do you feed your betta fish? i've tried about a gazillion times in the last 3 days...he doesn't eat

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? stress coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: n/a
Nitrite:n/a
Nitrate:n/a
pH:n/a
Hardness: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? it has not, except he's kinda skinny
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he was lethargic when i first got him, but now he's swimming around and flaring at his table mates
When did you start noticing the symptoms? when i first tried to feed him
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? nope
Does your fish have any history of being ill? i dont think so
How old is your fish (approximately)? lady at petstore said he was a 'baby'

here's a pic of the little guy :)
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:57 PM   #2 
Silverfang
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Give him a few more days, it can some times take a week or more to get him to eat. Just offer a pellet, and if he hasn't eaten it remove it after 5-10 minutes so it doesn't dirty the water.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #3 
namelessfish
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hey. so he still hasn't eaten since june 29th..but yesterday there was an ant crawling on the other side of the glass of his tank and he freaked out chasing it and jumping to try to eat it..when it eventually fell into the water, he ate it, chewed it up, spit it out, ate it again, chewed, and spit out, then left as if nothing had happened. im guessing maybe he's a fan of live food? lol
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:02 AM   #4 
flowerslegacy
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Hi namelessfish, I just went through the same process with my new female. The folks on this forum were awesome. My new girl didn't eat anything for 14 days. I was freaking out. Mine may have had a parasite so I treated her water, but it sounds like your new guy is just getting adjusted. I've learned on this forum that new bettas can some time take a while to eat. They are HUGE fans of live food. You can buy frozen blood worms, brine shrimp, etc. at your local petstore - they're carnivores so a good worm will usually turn them around right away! Also, be aware that they can be picky eaters. A good variety is always good for your betta. A lot of folks will feed a couple pellets in the morning then a worm at night. Sounds like you have a healthy guy and that he's coming around. He's gorgeous!
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:27 AM   #5 
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Woops! I guess I should've read your ENTIRE post - obviously you had tried frozen worms and you were only referring to live foods! Sorry. Anyway, I went down the "live" route too - I bought some live worms from my local aquarium. I totally trust my local aquarium owner because he's been in the business for years and I just learned that he breeds bettas as well. For me, my girl was still adjusting/sick/hiding so even the wiggly live worms didn't do anything. But I bet your guy would LOVE them!! However, I reccomend scanning the web and learning about worms. They are an awesome food source, but I guess they can carry bacterias that can transfer to our fish. The same is true of the frozen worms too. So much to learn!
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:07 PM   #6 
MaggieLynn
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I had the same issue with hercules one of my new ones. he would not eat pellets or fish or the frozen blood worms. if everything else seems normal with him i wouldnt be so worried keep an eye on him though
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:27 PM   #7 
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thanks guys!! i'll definitely look into the live food thing. im gonna go back to the pet store where i bought him and ask what they had been feeding him, if anything (all the fish at the store looked sickly and starving). @flowerslegacy, what type of live worms did you buy?
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:44 PM   #8 
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Tubliflex worms. My local aquarium has them in a huge filtered tub and the owner just grabbed me a handful. If your aquarium sells them, you'll want to find out where they get them. I've read that some places feed them on various manures which can cause the disease-transfer issues. Make sure you can get them from a trustworthy source. You also have to keep them in the fridge and change their water every day. The water you change out will also need to be refrigerated, so you're changing the water with the same temp water their being housed in. Also, if their water gets brown and cloudy over night, you will need to rise them a few times in the new water until the water is completely clear. They have to be fully cleaned before you feed them to your fish. I have to admit that I got nervous after about 3 feedings. (I used them for the fish in my community tank too). Since I bought them specifically for my betta girl, and since she wasn't eating them, I just got rid of them. The chance of disease freaked me out so I quit. Hope this all helps!
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #9 
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I know this sounds gross but you can also try wiggling a frozen blood worm so it appears to be alive... mine will fall for that. You can also offer him wingless fruit flies or california black worms if your local petstore does not sell Tubliflex.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:29 PM   #10 
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@flowerslegacy, thanks! i'll go tonight or tomorrow and ask if they have those. my local pet store isnt that great though, and there are no lfs in my city, so i'll hope for the best. @darkmoon17, that sounds really funny haha, im gonna do that now :P
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