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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
This is my first post! I am sorry that I have to ask for your help before I have ever contributed, but I am worried about my betta, Red.

I got him about two months ago. He was in a one gallon tank until about a week ago when I got him into his permanent home, a 2.5 gallon tank.

Ever since I got him, he has had trouble swallowing pellets. I tried soaking them, and that seemed to help, but some days he would either get a pellet "stuck" in the front of his mouth, or gulp repeatedly then let the pellet slip back out. He doesn't seem to dislike the food, he always goes back to it, and often will eat another pellet if I drop it in. I have found that he has trouble if I over-soak the pellet, but just a bit of softening seems to work.

Today he couldn't get a single pellet down! I know a healthy betta can go a few days without food, so I am not immediately worried, but I don't want this problem to get worse.

Thanks for any advice you can give me! I know I can try worms, but I don't know if I want to feed him those everyday, and he really should be able to eat pellets!

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2.5
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? About 75
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Elive Betta bites
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? no
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Three pellets every morning

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? In his previous small tank, 2x a week 50%. In the new tank, I plan on once a week 50%
What percentage of water did you change? See above
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? a plunger-style vacuum
What additives do you use? elive betta water conditioner, with bottled spring water (I use the same water, different conditioner for my last betta, for years, so I don't think that should be a problem)

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you.

Ammonia: I don't have the numbers right now. Everything was safe when I set up the tank last week. I will test when I get home tonight after work and report back if I haven't gotten any suggestions that work.
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Since I got him
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? No
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? No
Is your Betta still eating? Not as of this morning
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she a rescue? about 2 months.

PLEASE PROVIDE CLEAR PHOTOS--I will take a photo tonight if none of your suggestions work. He looks OK to me, and he is my second betta, so I would know if something was majorly wrong.

NOTE: EMBED YOUR PHOTOS INSTEAD OF LINKING. Click on "Go Advanced" and then on the paper clip in the toolbar.

-Thanks!
 

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I found a picture of the pellets online next to the bottle they come in, and in the picture they seem a little too big. Are they squishy or hard? I suggest cutting/breaking them into smaller pieces and seeing if that helps any. He could just have trouble eating them because they're too large.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I found a picture of the pellets online next to the bottle they come in, and in the picture they seem a little too big. Are they squishy or hard? I suggest cutting/breaking them into smaller pieces and seeing if that helps any. He could just have trouble eating them because they're too large.
Hi Engel,
Thanks for the suggestion. The pellets are hard, but I am going to try cutting them. I think I should be able to if I soak them a bit first. I didn't think of it since the pellets are smaller than the ones I fed to my last betta, but he was quite the glutton and would immediately attack all pellets, soaked or not!

Hopefully Red just doesn't like to take big bites!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No improvement

Hi Everyone,

I am afraid my little Red is still not eating. I have tried:

-splitting his pellets in half--they sank immediately

-looked for smaller pellets--pet store didn't have anything that seemed smaller

-feeding NatGeo "Betta flakes"--he either didn't try to eat some flakes or tried and spit them out

-I bought a better heater and the water is now 77 by the heater, although a little cooler on the far side of the tank (maybe 74-75 at worst, and that was measured this morning after a cold night).

-I retested the water. I have a 2.5 gallon non-cycled tank with no live plants:
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: ~7-7.2
Hardness (GH): 30-40 (I know this is a bit low, when I change water this weekend, I will add some treated tap water and see if that helps)
Alkalinity (KH): 120

He seems happy, and likes the new heater, but he just won't eat!

I am getting really worried. Can anyone suggest a brand of super-small fish pellets?

thanks for reading, everyone
 

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Have you tried frozen baby brine shrimp for him? That might jump start his appetite.
Thaw it in a bit of tank water before you offer it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Witchipoo!
I was worried since I believe (?) that frozen/freeze-dried shrimp or worms were best as treats, not a diet. But I will definitely try it now, he needs some food!
Thanks
 
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