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Old 10-26-2011, 11:26 AM   #1 
kitkatbar
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Betta Can't hold food down!

Hi, I'm new here! I've had my new betta, Sidonie, for a little over a week now. Everything has been going great until now, and he seems to like his new home. He has routines (I feed him around the same times every day and he has a special spot he likes to sleep in). He recognizes me and my husband when we come in the room and he gets all excited. I talk to him and sing to him sometimes. So, happy fishy I think.

I just did the first routine water change on Monday, because that was a week since getting him. I changed out about 20% of the water and treated it with a pinch of aquarium salt (for freshwater fish, to prevent infection), some bacterial supplement (good bacteria), and betta water conditioner.

He's always spit up his food a little bit but lately it seems that he can't keep ANY food down. I was just watching him and not only did he throw up new food but it looked like he threw up some food from last night. I'm really worried about him! Maybe I could be feeding him too much?

I feed him twice a day: I alternate each day between pellets and flakes. On the day he gets pellets I give 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. On flakes days I give a teeny tiny pinch in the morning and a teeny tiny pinch in the evening. One day each week, I feed him bloodworms as a treat.

Some more information:

*tank is 3.5 gallons with a "whisper" filter
*temperature is 78 degrees (regulated with self-regulating heater)
*I think Sidonie is smaller than the average betta. In the store he seemed smaller than the other crowntails, so I think maybe he is younger.
*I've done a PH test and it came out light yellow which meant it was pretty low I think
*I have not tested for ammonia or anything else...we don't have the money for that this week but maybe in a few if you think it is necessary. (also how would you fix it if there was too much?)

Any suggestions would be great!! I'm going to start feeding him less and see if he is just eating to much. I am just really worried that he is sick; I've been trying so hard to take good care of him! :(
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:27 AM   #2 
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I'm heading to class now, I'll check this when I get back!
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:31 AM   #3 
PSUPride923
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My betta did this for a few days as well. I called Petco and they weren't much help. BUT, the pellets may be too big for him to swallow..? Just a suggestion. Try and break the pellets in half or presoak them.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:49 AM   #4 
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Yeah, I crumble his flakes more for him and break his pellets into small pieces with my (clean) fingernail. It doesn't matter how big they are, he still spits them up :(
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:01 PM   #5 
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wahhh i'm sorry, i'm sorta new to this as well but i do know that this site has helped me a lot with starting out. hopefully there is someone out there that can help, and quickly. hope everything turns out well for you and your fishie!

~~best wishes!
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:52 PM   #6 
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

That is odd! Is he otherwise acting healthy? It is not necessary nor reccomended to add aquarium salt to a betta tank unless treating for an illness or injury. The "betta water conditioner" (if youre using what I'm thinking of) is just an expensive and gimmicky small bottle of the same conditioner in the big bottles, fyi :) From my experience and the experiences of others here - tap water treated with conditioner is the best, (and cheapest) way to go, insuring your betta gets vitamins and minerals he needs, without breaking your wallet. It is also unnecessary to add bacteria to your tank. Helpful and harmful bacterias will flourish in your tank without any urging.

If your betta has a small mouth I recommend New Life Spectrum betta pellets, they're very small and the first two ingredients are protein. These are sold at petco. If the ammonia is too high, you can fix that by doing a partial water change. Petco, petsmart, and many local fish stores (lfs) will test your water for free which is great!

What is your water change schedule like?

Also! Bettas can live for two weeks with no food and is not uncommon for them to not eat for a few days when feeling icky. Some days my bettas just aren't interested in food, especially in my tank with females. There are a few who just won't eat for a few days for no apparent reason, or only take 1 pellet and ignore the rest. Hope this is helpful.

Last edited by GreenTea; 10-26-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:16 PM   #7 
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GreenTea

Thanks for the help guys!

I read on some sites that aquarium salt is good illness prevention:

"If you always add aquarium salt to your betta’s water (1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 2 1/2 Gal of water) and one drop of Aquarisol per gal, your betta will probably never get fungus. It is contagious, but bettas will more than likely recover if treated promptly."
From http://www.bettatalk.com/betta_diseases.htm

I don't have much info for beneficial bacterial, I just hope at least if it was not necessary that it didn't hurt!

I change 20% of his water once every week.

He isn't acting weird except for the spitting up. He's just as perky as ever!
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:18 PM   #8 
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping......

Its not uncommon for fish to spit out food either through their mouth or the gills...sometimes it is due to them either not hungry to start or they don't like the food......does he spit out both the pellets and flakes or it is one or the other...what about the bloodworms...

Is he overall acting okay......

In a 3.5gal filtered tank without live plants-I would increase your water changes to twice weekly.....1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method to maintain water quality.

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to get the big pieces of gunk off...it should look dirty......

I would stop adding the aquarium salt (sodium chloride) its not needed and when used long term it can cause kidney damage and used in non-therapeutic doses it can cause resistant issues....
It is a great product to use for the right reason, dosage and duration-great to have on hand as well as Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and a tannin source-either IAL (Indian almond leaf) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf, a clean 1gal jug with a lid (old milk jug) to premix treatment water and a small container with a lid to use for a QT (the container most Bettas are sold in work great for this)-these items are good to have on hand if needed for treatment-its best to Qt for any treatment IMO/E.

The only chemical additive needed is a good dechlorinator that covers-chlorine and chloramines-check the label for dosage-some direct to use double dose if you also have chloramines in the source water.

Dose this for the full volume of the tank even with partial water changes as a general rule...

Test kit-I strongly encourage hobbyist to have a liquid reagent type freshwater test kit to test-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and learn how to use them and most important understand what the results mean and what to do about them, interaction of other products used, pH, KH/GH, temp etc......all too often a new hobbyist will test the water and not understand what they are seeing or what to do and freak out, over think it, over treat...etc.......liq test kit also have a high user error than the strips-strips are okay for a quick look-but I don't depend on them...however, you can still successfully keep Bettas without one or testing the water-provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes.....usually water change is what you are going to do with skewed test results and as long as you make those regular water changes from the start...all should be fine......

The deeper you get into fish keeping and as you grow in this awesome hobby....a Freshwater master test kit can be a good investment-along with research and understanding of what the result mean and what to do...grow and gain more knowledge in the hobby.....

Look forward to some pics......
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:30 PM   #9 
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"Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to get the big pieces of gunk off...it should look dirty......" I'm not sure what this means, you actually take the filter screen out and swish it in the water?

Okay, I see...aquarium salt good to have on hand, but not necessary with water changes..


"1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method to maintain water quality." I'm not sure what you mean here...When I do the changes I rinse of everything inside the tank including stones and everything. Are you suggesting a separate day for that?

Sorry, I'm new! Don't know the lingo...
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:24 PM   #10 
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No problem...we are all new at one point.....

Depending on the type of filter you have-if it is the HOB (hang on back) and you have filter cartridge that are removable-you need to remove them and give the filter media a swish in old tank water-this is so the good bacteria are not suffocated by mulm/debris.

Be sure and wash hands before and after working on the tank

Unplug both the heater and filter when you make water changes-once the tank has been cleaned then refilled with like temp dechlorinated water and the filter turned back on-the water should clear within an hour...if not-you either missed a water change at some point or overfeeding....

Vacuum-I have found it difficult to vacuum tank smaller than 10gal, however, they do have really small vacuum that will work-when you vacuum or clean the tank-you don't want to remove anything-vacuum around these items-if you are having diatom (brown algae) and this is normal and expected with new tanks or tanks with old light bulbs or too short a photoperiod (less than 8h/day) wipe them off with your clean hand and suck them out with the vacuum weekly.
If you don't have a vacuum-you can do the stir and dip method-once a week give the substrate (gravel) a little stir with either your hand, chopstick, wooden spoon to bring the mulm/dibris up into the water column and use a small plastic cup to dip half the water out....

When you have a filter-you don't need to make 100% water changes and wash everything inside the tank.
With a filter running 24/7 except when it is turned off for water changes....you are able to establish a colony of beneficial bacteria to create the biological filter-these good bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything inside the tank-like the walls, decorations, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column itself....these bacteria that establish the biological filter or the nitrogen cycle need oxygen, surface area and a food source to colonize and this process can help make your little closed system ecosystem healthier by converting the byproduct produced by the Betta and any organics in the tank (ammonia) to nitrite-then the nitrite to nitrate-then to a gas that leaves the system, however, due to the limited surface area of tanks under 5gal the nitrogen cycle isn't very stable and the system needs twice weekly water changes.....1-50% just water dipped out and replaced with like temp dechlorinated water and 1-50% to manually remove mulm/debris from the substrate.....

Sorry if I confused you even more...it sounds a lot more complicated than it really is.....
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