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Old 01-25-2012, 03:48 PM   #1 
Rennae
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Brand new Betta, trouble feeding. Help?

So I got a new betta yesterday afternoon, this is my first one ever, and I'm having difficulty feeding him. I read that it's good to leave them to adjust to the tank for the afternoon/overnight, but to feed them the next day. I tried this morning but he wouldn't come up to the surface to feed. Headed to classes and now that I'm home again I've tried again. Every time I take the cover off to feed him, he swims down to the bottom of the tank. What is the best way to feed him and get him used to feeding times? Sorry if this should be simplistic, I'm new and concerned as I don't want him to starve. Don't know when he was fed last (though I would assume it would have been yesterday morning when the store recieved the fish).

Suggestions and help are more than welcome and indeed desired. Want to make my betta happy.

Oh a side note, he tends to stay in one corner of the tank mostly. I realize it's a whole new environment for him and will take time for him to get used to it. For those of you who have gotten new betta's, how long did it take for yours to become comfortable in their tanks?

Thanks for any help all ^_^
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #2 
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Don't worry about it - it's common for them not to eat for a few days while they're settling in. Just make sure he's nice & warm (76-80F) and keep offering pellets (but don't leave the uneaten food in there). I had one hold out for 8 days before eating (and he's still a diva - will only eat micropellets!)
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #3 
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Just give him time to get used to his new environment ( & you ) :)

Also, be persistent and attempt to feed him twice a day. If he's not eating the pellet after a few minutes, scoop it out.

Some people had trouble with their betta's not eating even after a week or so - but persistence is the key.

Personally, I never had a problem with my betta's not eating the pellets on first attempt... but I guess I'm just lucky. :)

( I feed them NLS thera-a pellets... so the strong garlic smell probably enticed them to eat. )

Last edited by Roxy; 01-25-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:13 PM   #4 
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Is there a reason to get the food out of the tank? A couple of the pellets sank to the bottom so I will have to go in with the vacuum to get them. Is it dire to get them? I'd rather not disturb him so early and have to take him out of the tank to get the pellets that sank.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #5 
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It's probably OK to leave the pellets there for a day or so, but too long and they'll start to rot, making the water quality poor. But I agree, for now just leave them so as not to stress out your new guy.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:47 PM   #6 
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Okay, I'll leave them for now. And thank you all for your help. I'll keep trying to feed him a couple times a day. He's adorable though. As soon as I can get a good picture of him I'll post it on my profile pic :3
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:01 PM   #7 
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I'm growing a bit more concerned. I'm really not sure of the activities of Betta Fish so I'm at a loss as to what to look for in activity. There are times when I see him swimming about, but a lot of the time he's either hidding/resting under a log that I have for him in the tank, or in one of the corners. Sometimes though he rests right at the waters surface. I just spotted him resting up near the waters surface so I tried to feed him. Dropped a couple pellets infront of him. He didn't move. I tried bobbing them with my finger a little, he usually just swims off and back down, however he just stayed there. It wasn't till I tried again that he swam away again. I'm a bit concerned, but that's why I'm messaging. I'm wondering if his behavior is normal. He's not overly active and generally rests on the bottom of the tank. Heat is fine, sitting between 78-80 at all times. Can anyone help shed some light?
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #8 
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Maybe try another type of food? I had one fish who would only eat flakes. They are not ideal but at least he was eating.
Have you tested the water quality? Something could be a little high resulting in this behavior.
Another suggestion is moving him to smaller tank for a little while see if her perks up. He might still be a little freaked out if the tank is huge. Some fish like smaller areas were others like larger.
Hopefully someone else will be able to help more.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:31 PM   #9 
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Well, to answer your question about normal Betta behavior, a happy healthy betta is pretty much in continuous swimming motion as long as there's light. So I would say that what you describe in yours does not sound ideal. Maybe he's still freaked and settling in, but even the one I had that didn't eat for his first 8 days was extremely active the whole time - you'd never know anything was wrong.
Have you tried different foods? Different size pellets (some only like the very tiny ones like New Life Spectrum, some won't eat pellets at all and prefer flakes). You can also try freeze dried brine shrimp or bloodworms to get him eating and then transition to pellets.
Are his fins clamped (held close to the body)? That can be a sign of illness. Normally Bettas swim with their fins about half way extended and they flare, or open them maximally, when they see another male betta.
I would hesitate to treat him for anything unless you had a better idea of what you were treating, but if you think he's sick, the "salt cure" is pretty safe. 1 tsp aquarium (non-iodized) salt per gallon of water, used for no more than 10 days.
Other than that, I'm out of ideas. Maybe the experts on this forum can help!
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:04 PM   #10 
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Well now that answer has me all sorts of concerned. When he swims his fins are usually pinned down, and he really isn't being active. All evening tonight he's really just been sitting underneath his log. In fact ever since I got him he hasn't really been that active. I will try to pick up a smaller tank tomorrow, perhaps it's the size of the aquarium. At this point I'm really concerned.
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