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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Thank you in advance for this forum and and suggestions. I have a betta named Gillbert and he hasn’t been himself over the past week. Most noteably not eating at all when he is usually a food monster. He also has decreased energy and is just hanging out in his plant almost all day when he would usually be swimming around.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 9gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78F/26C
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Two snails, one big and one small. Two ghost shrimp. A few plants—an anubias, a java fern and some java moss on the floating log

Food:
What food brand do you use? Fluval, nutrifin
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Usually pellets, offer flakes and worms sometimes but he prefers pellets
Freeze-dried? The worms are freeze dried but he doesnt like them
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? I had been feeding him 3 pellets 3x per day. When he stopped eating I was worried I had been feeding him too much and he was constipated so I fasted him for about 1 1/2 days. Over this past week of him not eating he has only taken very small amounts of flakes maybe once or twice despite multiple attempts to offer him a variety of things.

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? About once every 1 1/2 weeks
What percentage of water did you change? 50%
What is the source of your water? Tap water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum substrate
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Prime brand of conditioner, no other additives

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: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 2ppm
pH: 7.6
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Approx a week ago

How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Appearance seems about the same, maybe a bit paler in the front

How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Not swimming around much, just hanging out at the surface in his plant. Used to cone out to say hello, now he doesnt. Not eating.

Is your Betta still eating? No. Getting worse. He was eating normally then would eat a bit less then all of a sudden wouldn’t eat anything or might put it in his mouth the spit it out, then he would just stare at the food when I put it in, now he doesn’t even stare at it much.

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? I tried fasting him initially for a day because I thought it was constipation and tried to offer different foods that would help with constipation but he didnt take any.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
No

How long have you owned your Betta?
I got him in October 2021 from someone looking to get rid of him to free up a tank. They estimated he was 1.5 years old at the time I got him

Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
No


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Do you have a preset heater? If you don't you may want to up the temp a little bit, anything over 28 is better. Sometimes when they are cold they get sluggish. I know those tanks suggest putting the heater in the filter compartment but I like it right in the tank, I find it more effective and gives a more consistent temp.
Also, if he is over 3 years old he may just be aging. He does not look bloated and your care is spot on so I don't really have any other suggestions.
 

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You are giving him excellent care.
I‘m quite sure it‘s just the angle or lights, but can you verify that his eyes are clear without any white or gray?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you have a preset heater? If you don't you may want to up the temp a little bit, anything over 28 is better. Sometimes when they are cold they get sluggish. I know those tanks suggest putting the heater in the filter compartment but I like it right in the tank, I find it more effective and gives a more consistent temp.
Also, if he is over 3 years old he may just be aging. He does not look bloated and your care is spot on so I don't really have any other suggestions.
Unfortunately my heater is set at the one temperature, I’ll try bringing it forward into the main tank though! It has been at the same consistent temp the whole time I’ve had him though and he’s usually energetic.
Thank you so much!! Yeah it’s hard to know exactly how old he is coming from a previous owner. Thanks for your suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are giving him excellent care.
I‘m quite sure it‘s just the angle or lights, but can you verify that his eyes are clear without any white or gray?
Thank you!
I have sometimes noticed his eyes seem a little grey, wondered about cataracts. But in the picture it looks more grey than it actually is.
Thanks for your help!
 

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If he is not eating that means he is stress or sick - i did'nt see any symptoms to claim it si sick so i think he is stress.

This is why :

1. He is bored
Make him flare for 15 minute daily, use a small mirror and play with him. This exercise can prevent your fish from stress and make him more active everyday.

2. Growing old
You cannot do anything😅

3. Too much lights
For professional betta breeders, they often use Indian Almond Leaves to make the water dim because betta fish love dim water. If you don't want to use the "leaves" just lower the light.

4. Poor water

The fish is suffering from small bacteria.

What to do :

1. Make 100% water change
2. Lower the lights or use catappa leaves
3. Make him flare 15 minutes daily

4. Use live food

So that's all you need to do for your Gillbert. Hope i can save your betta fish😄
 

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Just to be clear, your Betta is not in poor water. His parameters are perfect so there's no need to make a 100% water change. If an aquarium's water parameters are bad, it is recommended to do several 25%-50% water changes over a period of hours to avoid parameter shock. We do not want our fish to go from high to no Ammonia, Nitrites or Nitrates in one fell swoop.

When fish live in good conditions and habitat they generally stop eating only if there is something wrong. If he is still not eating much I would suggest frozen Bloodworms to entice him. In the case of fish that are not eating you want to try to maintain weight weight; frozen (not freeze dried) Bloodworms make that possible. Keep in mind they are fatty and should not be used as the sole source of nutrition for a healthy Betta; same with African Dwarf Frogs.

In addition, Indian Almond/Catappa Leaves and plain Rooibos Tea have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Float a leaf or a teabag in his tank. If the water does not turn at least the color below, you can brew a strong tea of either, condition and add to tank until it is. The extra can be stored in the refrigerator.
Flower Plant Nature Leaf Sunlight

Was he receiving the same good care from the previous owner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If he is not eating that means he is stress or sick - i did'nt see any symptoms to claim it si sick so i think he is stress.

This is why :

1. He is bored
Make him flare for 15 minute daily, use a small mirror and play with him. This exercise can prevent your fish from stress and make him more active everyday.

2. Growing old
You cannot do anything😅

3. Too much lights
For professional betta breeders, they often use Indian Almond Leaves to make the water dim because betta fish love dim water. If you don't want to use the "leaves" just lower the light.

4. Poor water

The fish is suffering from small bacteria.

What to do :

1. Make 100% water change
2. Lower the lights or use catappa leaves
3. Make him flare 15 minutes daily

4. Use live food

So that's all you need to do for your Gillbert. Hope i can save your betta fish😄
Thank you so much for your reply and suggestions!! Still working on it :( if he is sick I really haven’t been able to figure it out. Ive used tea and dimmer lights and tried live food but he won’t eat :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just to be clear, your Betta is not in poor water. His parameters are perfect so there's no need to make a 100% water change. If an aquarium's water parameters are bad, it is recommended to do several 25%-50% water changes over a period of hours to avoid parameter shock. We do not want our fish to go from high to no Ammonia, Nitrites or Nitrates in one fell swoop.

When fish live in good conditions and habitat they generally stop eating only if there is something wrong. If he is still not eating much I would suggest frozen Bloodworms to entice him. In the case of fish that are not eating you want to try to maintain weight weight; frozen (not freeze dried) Bloodworms make that possible. Keep in mind they are fatty and should not be used as the sole source of nutrition for a healthy Betta; same with African Dwarf Frogs.

In addition, Indian Almond/Catappa Leaves and plain Rooibos Tea have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Float a leaf or a teabag in his tank. If the water does not turn at least the color below, you can brew a strong tea of either, condition and add to tank until it is. The extra can be stored in the refrigerator.
View attachment 1041981
Was he receiving the same good care from the previous owner?
Thank you very very much for your reply and suggestions. I have tried the tea and live food but he is even less interested in eating, worse each day :( If he is sick I really can figure out what it is…Ive tried treating with salt as well and am doing daily partial water changes but no effect.
 
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