So I have this old betta who always seems to bounce back from any problem, but at this point in time he's probably about 4 years old (he was bought from PetCo in Sept. 2008, so I'm assuming he was 6 months to a year old at that point). About half a year ago, he started to be unable to eat his larger Hikari pellets, so I switched him over to Aqueon ones that are smaller. That worked out fine. BUT, for the past two-three months he has been eating a lot less than he used to. I am lucky if I can get him to eat two in the am and two at night. So now for the past week, I can't get him to eat at all. He's still swimming and has no external issues that I can see. I've seen him go for two food pellets, but he misses then doesn't try again. Otherwise he just is disinterested in them. I've been using bettafix for the past few days just in case it might help. I do have the Marcyns, BUT since I don't see any external issues, I don't know if that is the best idea as those are pretty strong, right? I know he doesn't have issues with bettafix as I've used it before with him. I also downsized him to his old 1 gal bowl this week after a few days of this not eating ( that he lived in initially), as his 2 gallon was starting to overwhelm him. I've got his heater going too, but with the 1 gal I have to closely monitor it, so I've been unplugging it and trying to keep it around 75 degrees. At the same time as his appetite started declining (two-three months ago), his activity level went down. He would just hang out in the top corner of his 2 gallon, and then not swim around until he saw people.
So what do you think? Is this the end? Anything else I can try? I don't really want to give up on the guy Maybe I will go out and buy fish flakes and see if he has interest in those...
awww I am so sorry to hear about your little guy! maybe he is just becoming a fussy eater? try to find some freeze dried (or better yet live) brine shrimp or bloodworms, or petco sells wingless fruit flies that you can also use for bettas. few can resist those things LOL! good luck, I hope he feels better!!
So it's now actually been three weeks of not eating. I did treat him with the Maracyns and am now back to bettafix. Can anyone share their experiences with old bettas? He's still pooping but I haven't seen him eat. I am leaving food in his bowl every day just in case though.
I'm not sure myself since I've only had my first two right now for less than a year, but I know for a fact that bettafix/malafix, etc are NOT GOOD for bettas at all.They main ingredient is tree oil, which is harmful to their primitive labryinth organs. Maybe that will help with something.
As for the Macaryns- I think the instructions say Macaryn 2 is best for fish that aren't eating. I don't know if just Macaryn is best, but I would hope somebody would correct me here if I were wrong.
Good luck! I'll be thinking of you and Touchstone.
Last edited by Pucky21811; 01-21-2012 at 04:03 PM.
Thanks for the reply! I will keep an eye on that thread. I actually forgot to say that for the first two weeks of not eating, he appeared to have dropsy. He was swollen, pineconing, and loosing color. I used Maracyn 1 and 2 at the same time, and gave him an Epsom salt bath every day, and he started to look a ton better. So he has looked normal for this past week, and I've been giving him Epsom salt baths still, but he still won't eat! He also doesn't flare at people anymore.
Pucky just posted my thread... my boy is about three (best guess by myself and the Walmart employees.... he was a return after being bought then was sentenced to live life in as a display boy... till I came along that is )
Have you tried what Peaches reccomended yet? Sometimes Flagg, or my other older boy, Hercules, will go on hunger strikes... they can almost NEVER resist something live though... another way to get a finicky eater to eat is to soak his pellets in garlic water (chop up a bit of garlic and mix in with a small amount of water, then soak the pellet in that)... it helps protect against parasites AND stimulates senses to eat
also, you have to remember... as we get older... our metabolism slows down... and my best guess is that it does the same thing for bettas... Flagg used to get 2 pellets in the morning, 2 at night (all of my bettas do)... then when he started being less active, I switched him to one in the morning, two at night... now he has one in the morning one at night... and I have to crush these so he can eat them easier
Also, for my older fish, I'd end up feeding less, they'd nap a lot, they were not as active, and generally they pass quietly There will be some cases that need to be euthanised (think of it as the older a human gets, they can get really sick and not recover!!) because they are not doing so well during their old age.