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Old 09-26-2011, 10:32 AM   #1 
Rjb5584
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A REALLY fussy eater?

Hello!

I got 2 betta males this past week: whitey bulger (turquoise dragon SDeT), and Spreckers (royal blue, black, cellophane Det). I got whitey 2 or 3 days prior to Spreckers. Both have identical tanks, live plant set ups, water temps, food types, etc.

Whitey bulger took no time getting comfortable in his habitat. He eats his 5 pellets immediately, loves his every-other-day 100% water changes, and is active and happy, flaring and hauling *** around his tank all day.

Spreckers, on the other hand, is lethargic and/or shy, will only eat a pellet or two of the 5 I give him and only if placed in a certain area of the unfiltered tank, served one-at-a-time. Again, aside from his finickiness, he is treated exactly the same as whitey with the exact same set-up.

Can anyone give me some tips or pointers on improving Spreckers eating habits, or offer some ideas why there is such a huge contrast in activity levels? I hope Spreckers isn't sick--he worries me. =(

also, if anyone knows how to take pictures directly from an iPhone and posting them online without use of a computer, I'd love to show my two handsome guys!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:58 PM   #2 
Echo
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i hear soaking pellets in garlic juice adds to the nomminess of the noms.. two of my kids refuse pellets, period, so i can't say if that actually works for everyone. it won't hurt to try it, i guess
as for the iPhone.. sacrifice it to the porcelain gods *closet iEverything hater*
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #3 
Myates
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Welcome to the forum :) Sorry to hear about your little guy.
How big are the tanks? And if filtered, doing every other day water changes is too much. It could be stressful on them, and one of the reasons why Spreckers isn't eating as should. A half gallon is every other day 100% water change, 1-3 gallons unfiltered is 1 50% and 1 100% per week. Filtered would do 1 50% water only, and 1 50% substrate only water change, with 100% every other week or so, and on up. With live plants you do even less. Too many water changes won't give the beneficial bacteria time to grow, and it can cause the fish's immune system to not develop properly.
Is there a heater? If not, the cold water could cause lethargy.
Also, how are you acclimating them to the tank when you do the water changes? He could go into shock it the temp/chemistry is different and he wasn't slowly acclimated.
What water source are you using? Tap, bottled, well, etc?
Bettas can take up to 2 weeks to get used to their new home and eat properly. They are individuals so it varies from fish to fish when it happens.

One more recommendation - don't read the instructions on the food containers. A betta's stomach is only the size of it's eye. It's best to feed small meals throughout the day rather then one big meal. Too much food at once or in a day total can cause bloating and swim bladder disease. 4-6 pellets a day (with one day of fasting per week) is highly recommended. 2-3 in the morning, 2-3 in the evening, and possibly if you can, break it to even 3 meals a day, 2 morning, 1 lunch, 2 dinner. A variety of foods is the best way to go as well. They will eat what you give them, but then again we are talking about fish who will eat themselves to death if we over feed them.

Sounds like he is a little stressed, but he did eat so that is good. If he is smaller, then you definitely want to give the food throughout the day in very small meals rather then a big one. Keep an eye on his behavior, but also just remember it can take days and more for some to adjust and be comfortable. One of mine just got upgraded into a bigger tank, and he's acting like I just got him. It just takes time. I wish you luck and all the best =)

Last edited by Myates; 09-26-2011 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:29 PM   #4 
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this should help

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=81220
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:31 PM   #5 
Rjb5584
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Thanks guys--great advice! I'm going to hold off on the garlic idea until they are more stable.

To answer the questions, they are both in 1-gallon (upgrading to 2.5g asap) unfiltered tanks. No heaters, but I use a digital thermometer in each and maintain a water temp of 79 (give or take a degree). I feed them twice a day, around 4 smaller pellets per feeding. I will slow down on the water changes--I thought I was supposed to do a 100% change every other day to keep the water sano (and yes, I test the water and use conditioner in proper dosages). Spreckers does have a tear in his fin, so I'm using tetra bettafin in appropriate dosages to treat that. Perhaps that might be affecting his appetite...

Thanks again for the help folks! Any further questions, comments, or concerns are welcome--wanna do my little buddies right!

Edit: as for acclimation, I bob them in their new tanks for 20-25 minutes, adding 2-3 tbs of new tank water to their cups every 5 minutes.

I used to have a large freshwater tank with a pacu that lived over 15 years, and a placo that lived for around 10 years. Had a few bettas, but (as much as I hate to admit it) never gave them proper set ups--always fish bowls (large bowls, but still bowls).

Last edited by Rjb5584; 09-26-2011 at 03:43 PM. Reason: Forgot to add
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