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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a female betta for about a month. When I first got her I had her in with a guppy who starved herself to death too :-( but that was back when the tank wasn't fully cycled so I pushed it off as my mistake. She was in a 10 gal filtered and heated. The ONLY thing she takes interest in is cooked pea I have to wiggle it and make her chase it just to get her to snap at it, then she spits it back out. Anything else like blood worms, or mosquito larvae, ANY type of pellet... she won't even take a second glance at no mater how much I wiggle it about. She seems perfectly fine aside from her emaciated look (no clamped fins, no curving of spine, no scale loss... or anything like that) and is very active.
Recently I removed her and put her in a gallon bowel since it's much easier to keep track of her and clean in that. I do 100% water daily now. I hope it isn't TB because I have a lot of scratches and cuts on my hands and came in contact with her water everyday... but I really don't think it is... she is showing no other sings of illness besides refusing all food. Like I said this has been going on for a month and I spend an hour each day on her and it is very frustrating. I am very close just to give up on her entirely.
 

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Are you watching and hovering over the tank while you're trying to feed her?

Have you tried leaving a pellet or two in the tank and leaving her alone for 20 or so minutes? She might be shy when it comes to eating.

You could also try soaking her food in a little bit of garlic juice for a minute or two to see if she'll take more interest in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you watching and hovering over the tank while you're trying to feed her?

Have you tried leaving a pellet or two in the tank and leaving her alone for 20 or so minutes? She might be shy when it comes to eating.

You could also try soaking her food in a little bit of garlic juice for a minute or two to see if she'll take more interest in it.
Yup I started out like that thinking she was a shy fish. But I would always come back to the food at the bottom. And it really started to foul up her water. And actually today I started soaking food in garlic juice. Still nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does she poop at all, and does it look regular or is it white.

If it's white and stringy, treat immediately for parasites. You might want to try a parasite treatment either way since some bettas don't want to eat at all when they are infested with parasites.
That's the thing I never seen her poop not even once... I recently started to think she is in severely advanced stages of internal parasites... but didn't want treat her if she wasn't... but it seems I have no other options. Guess I'll be off to the store now. Thank you for your replies. :)
 

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supposedly putting the food in garlic juice helps
 

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As far as pellets go, fish really like New Life Spectrum. I've used the small fish formula in the past and my bettas loved it. I have the Betta formula now. If you are really desperate then you can try to soak the pellets in garlic juice and then feed them to her.

You should also stop feeding her peas. Peas are a home remedy for constipation because it helps move food through the digestive system. Feeding an emaciated betta peas is like feeding a emaciated human laxatives. You could be making her weightloss worse when you are trying to help her gain weight.

If your fish is only emaciated then I doubt she has TB if she's been starving for a month. If you are worried about catching something then put bandages over your cuts and pick up dispossible gloves from a pharmacy. The ones in the first aid section are designed to protect someone from catching a disease from an injured person that needs treatment. Even if your cuts are scabbed over the bandages will be a backup barrier incase water does get inside the gloves.
 

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What is the temperature of the bowl?

I would try New Life Spectrum Betta. If she won't eat that then I would treat for internal parasites. Since she won't eat you'll have to use a bath. I'd get Metronidazole and Prazipro and treat together for 2 weeks. If you can't find them you can get General Cure which combines both but suggest trying to find them separate because each med really needs its own treatment time.. You dose metro every other day and prazi you dose every 5-7 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm back from my lfs... while I was there I took a look at the other bettas... and realized "Holy crap... my betta is so tiny compared to these.. maybe I've been feeding her too big of food" ... I decided to get parasite meds anyways (can't hurt to have them on hand) When I got home I soaked some blood worms in garlic juice and tore them up is TINY TINY pieces that I had a hard time seeing them... and sure enough SHE GOBBLED THEM UP!!! I am so happy and at the same time upset with myself for not seeing she was just too small to eat normal sized food... and that I let her loose so much weight :( Now I'm concerned about her size... Could it be a deformity or something? I highly doubt she is all that young... but then again she never shows signs of aggression so she could be...
 

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One of my girls is super tiny too, some girls are just like that. I cant feed her pellets either, so I have to feed flakes to my sorority girls. I'm glad you finally figured it out! She should fatten up real soon.
 

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Well she hasn't eaten for a month so she'll be emaciated.. just keep feeding her and she'll gain. If she won't gain then treat with meds.

NLS are really good for this as they are like 1/2 size of normal pellets.
 

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Just make sure to feed small meals throughout the day. You don't wnt to feed her too much in case she gets bloated. Just take it slow, I'm sure she's happy you found something she can finally eat.

I have never seen a fish that wasn't extremely sick turn down a frozen blood worm. I've been bitten for not feeding those fast enough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well turned out she is infested with internal parasites. Now that I am feeding her I finally saw the clear stringy poo. I am treating her for that now. ALSO something that sort of alarms me... she developed a curved spine what seems like over night... You can't see it from the side only from the top... but she can straighten up when she swims but curves back up when she stops.
 

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It's not abnormal. They do sell some young fish, and some are just naturally smaller as well. I'm glad you figured out what was wrong, though. As sad as it might seem, at least she wasn't sick, or she may not recover at all. At least this is an easy fix.
 

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The curve is another sign of internal parasites.

What are you using to treat? In my experience, this type of thing needs a feed. I usually mix my own because my betta doesn't like the premade type. I use Omega One Betta Buffet, garlic guard (100% garlic juice extract), metrodazinole, focus and prazipo. If I could find some levamisole that might be even better.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, malnutrition can cause a curved spine. That's why it's a symptom of parasite infections. If the parasites are feeding off of a betta that can't eat, then she'll be lacking in a lot of vitamins. Now that you know she needs tiny pieces of food in order to eat and you are treating for the parasites her spine should straighten back out over time.
 

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Just this weekend, I rescued a dying female betta from Petco who was severely malnourished and had inflamed gills. At first, I thought she had a bent spine as well, but as I treated her and fed her, it straightened out. I haven't even had her for a week yet, and she's straight as an arrow! Since your fish is malnourished as well, and its spine didn't start out that way, I would say that it will self-correct.

Good luck with her!
 
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