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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. Recently my betta fish has stopped eating. I only feed him freeze dried blood worms and normally he loves them but recently he's stopped eating them. He will swim over like he's interested and he'll go up close but won't actually eat them. There is also what appears to be a layer of white powder on the top of the tank. That was there before he stopped eating so I'm not sure if that could be related or not. Any suggestions?
 

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Hi, please fill out the form below. It will help us offer you the best advice possible, and hopefully determine what might be wrong with your betta.

Many illnesses can be traced to water conditions. Your water-changing schedule is the most important element in diagnosing. Please be honest.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?
Does it have a filter?
Does it have a heater?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?

Food:
What food brand do you use?
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
What percentage of water did you change?
What is the source of your water?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner?

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. Important: Test your water *before* the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Is your Betta still eating?
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
How long have you owned your Betta?
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?

PLEASE PROVIDE CLEAR PHOTOS

NOTE: EMBED YOUR PHOTOS. PLEASE DO NOT LINK. Click on "Go Advanced" and then on the paper clip in the toolbar.

Your fish is your responsibility.
When seeking help be thorough as members give advice based on the information *you* provide. While we have many knowledgeable fish keepers here, please remember that members' opinions are their own and that it is up to you to determine the best course of action for your fish. We are not responsible for any consequences resulting from following the advice you receive here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?
2 gallons
Does it have a filter?
no
Does it have a heater?
yes
What temperature is your tank?

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?
omega one
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Freeze-dried?
i feed freeze-dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
once a day. a couple pieces

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? What percentage of water did you change?
not often enough. i would change it 50% about every month but i would replace the evaporating water sometime between every other day to every week.
What is the source of your water?
my sink. i either let it sit out for 24 hours or i use water conditioner.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner?
zoo med betta h20 conditioner

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. Important: Test your water *before* the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia:
im not sure any of these
Nitrite:
not sure
Nitrate:
not sure
pH:
not sure
Hardness (GH):
not sure
Alkalinity (KH):
not sure

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
about a week ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
appearance hasn't changed much. a bit after i first got him i noticed his fins didn't look as big or colorful anymore but they haven't changed recently.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
it hasn't changed much besides not eating.
Is your Betta still eating?
no
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
not yet. i tried some other types of food and he wasn't interested in any of those.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
no. his fins became smaller and less colorful a while ago but thats it
How long have you owned your Betta?
almost a year
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
nope
 

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I'm not positive what might be happening, but I do notice a few things that might be affecting his overall health.

First your water is a bit too cold for him, betta's are tropical fish and do best in water temperatures between 78 to 81 degrees. Cooler water will slow down their metabolism, cause stress, and that will lower their immune system.

Second, not having any type or aeration, either using an air stone, or better yet, a filter, is not ideal. Having some surface agitation will help with the floating stuff on the water, an air stone or filter will also help the heater heat the water evenly. Your betta will appreciate the extra oxygen in the water, and you'll be able to cycle his tank which will help with his overall health. Without a filter it's incredibly hard to cycle the tank.

When using tap water ALWAYS use a water conditioner. Most water companies no longer use chlorine to purify their water, chlorine was what would leave the water in around 24 hours. Instead they use Chloramine, that stays in the water for weeks, leaving it set 24 hours will do nothing to remove it from the water, you need a water conditioner to remove it. Unfortunately it's toxic to fish and that may be why your boy is starting to feel bad.

Also you should be doing at minimum 2 water changes per week since it's highly unlikely your tank is not cycled. Once you get it cycled you can switch to once a week. When you do a water change make sure to vacuum the substrate to get out all the nasty stuff that will raise the ammonia and nitrite levels in the tank.

You should really find out what the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in your tank are. They are another thing that could be making your fish sick. The ammonia and nitrite should be 0, and the nitrate should be no higher then 20, ideally around 5 to 10ppm.

I hope your boy gets better, and I wish I could say exactly what might be going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I changed the water using water conditioner this time and I also got an airstone and better heater. Hoping this will all help. I feel so bad that I could have been causing him harm I had no idea about the chloramine in water.

Is API's Bettafix something that could be used to help his fins grow back to how they used to be? They're so short and uncolorful compared to when I got them
 

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I changed the water using water conditioner this time and I also got an airstone and better heater. Hoping this will all help. I feel so bad that I could have been causing him harm I had no idea about the chloramine in water.

Is API's Bettafix something that could be used to help his fins grow back to how they used to be? They're so short and uncolorful compared to when I got them
I'd test the water before adding a bunch of stuff. Most local fish stores, Petco & Petsmart will even do it for you usually. And the test strips aren't great but better than nothing if you can get those.

The gentlest remedy I know for fin rot is aquarium salt, and either indian almond leaves or rooibos tea. And clean water. :)
 

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Awesome thank you!
I hope they feel better quickly.

And I realized I didn't really answer the question you asked.. it can be used for many things but bettafix and melafix (same product, different concentration) has been blamed for many betta health issues. If you're going to use, go with Bettafix as its a lighter dose and harder to OD the fish on it. (I used it a bit on one of my bettas a month ago, I didn't like his reaction to it, so that's.. probably the last time I'll use it unless desperate).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My fish seemed very happy after I changed the water and added the air stone. It was nice to see him swimming around. I figured I'd try feeding him again since he seemed pretty happy. I dropped in some bloodworms and he swam over very quickly but still won't actually eat them. He goes up close like he's going to but then doesn't. Is it normal for him to take a couple days before he starts to want to eat again? I'm worried he'll starve.
I'm going to take my water to get tested tomorrow so hopefully I'll find some answers there.
 

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My fish seemed very happy after I changed the water and added the air stone. It was nice to see him swimming around. I figured I'd try feeding him again since he seemed pretty happy. I dropped in some bloodworms and he swam over very quickly but still won't actually eat them. He goes up close like he's going to but then doesn't. Is it normal for him to take a couple days before he starts to want to eat again? I'm worried he'll starve.
I'm going to take my water to get tested tomorrow so hopefully I'll find some answers there.
I'm glad he's looking more alert and happy. Hopefully he's on the road to recovery.

How long has it been since he last ate? They can easily go a week without eating and have no ill effects from it. In fact that's why it's generally recommended to just not feed them if you are only going to be away for a week. No chance of the pet sitter over feeding, and your water quality stays good since no food in, no waste out.

If you've never fed him frozen bloodworms before he may not recognize it as food. So he's checking them out but not sure what it is in the water. If you think that may be happening he may try them tomorrow. If he doesn't you can try feeding him a little of his regular food and sneak in a bit of the bloodworms and see if he gets the message that it's also food.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It hasn't been too long. Normally he loves the bloodworms. That's all he eats. Maybe I'll try getting a different type of food for him to try.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I still haven't had any luck with him eating. I'm starting to get pretty worried now. I ordered a water test kit because my local pet store wouldn't test the water and that's getting here later today. I wish it would arrive faster I'm desperate for answers. I also put in a better heater just a bit ago and the water is heating up. My poor guy keeps just laying by the heater. I feel so bad that he was so cold. He still won't eat at all. I'm not sure if he's constipated, too cold, or something else. He swims up to the food and follows it around when I move it. He smells it and seems so interested and every time I think he's finally gonna eat but he'll just swim away. I've tried bloodworms which are normally his favorite, pellets, daphnia, and even a bit of blanched pea but he won't actually eat any of it. I also noticed he swims a bit crooked like he's slightly bent in half. I mostly notice it when he's around the food so I'm not sure if that's him just trying to stay in place or if that could be another sign of something else wrong. Thank you so much for all your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ended up going to PetSmart to get the water tested cause the one I was ordering was taking too long to get here. Here's what they said. They recommended a neutralizer for the pH so I got that but of course won't use it if it isn't good for the fish. Any thoughts? Could any of this be the reason he isn't eating?
 

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Those nitrates are what I would look at, especially if that’s after a water change. (I believe you mentioned doing that in the past couple of days)

It’s possible there’s an issue with your tap water, as Rainbo is having with nitrites.

Since he’s in a smaller tank already..

I’d suggest getting spring water or reverse osmosis water in the gallon jugs and doing a 25-50% wc every other day or even every day.

Also live plants can help break down nitrates.

The hard water and ph maybe, but those nitrates are a definite red flag.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you so much! I'll do that right away. How long do you think it could take for him to start eating again. I don't want him to starve.

At the store I got API's proper pH 7.0. Is that something I should try? Or should I avoid adding anything to the water?
 

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The high ph is a bit strange too and maybe add a small dose of the reducer. Super small. Usually it’s higher nitrates with lower ph problems.

Then again I have no nitrates and a ph I’m trying to raise all the time. And I’ve added and added and added.

The water coming in through the tap could be affecting that too. When you get master kit test the water straight from the faucet.

Adjusting ph typically is best done slowly. Like .2 max every couple of days. Yes it changes greater than that with water changes for some but it’s not something most people go for because the sudden switch can be hard on an already weak fish.

Do you have coral or anything in the tank that might be raising it??

Personally I’d stick to the non tap water water change because that alone might drop your ph.
 
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