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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Damon (HM Betta) hasn't been eating much at all and I believe it is stress related. Can stress cause illness in bettas? I have him in a divided 10 gallon tank with another betta bought the same day at the same store. The other fish Stefan is doing amazing so I really hope there's no illness he can get. I use live plants to keep the water balanced better

How many gallons is your tank? Divided 10 gallon (5 gal for both fish)
Does it have a filter? yes, but its too strong so I only keep it running for about 10 minutes after feeding is done. The current stresses Damon out.
Does it have a heater? Damon's side has a small heater, it was all the store had, but I plan on getting a bigger one soon. Since Damon has the heat but still hasn't been eating, I dont think its the problem.
What temperature is your tank? The thermometer says within 76-80 but I havent seen the temp change once and the water felt cold when I first added it and still no change so it doesnt seem accurate.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Damon has another HM Betta on the other side of the divider which he can see since the divider is mesh, but I put a big java fern in front so vision is blocked more and I just ordered an all black divider with small holes drilled in so they still see eachother but only if they want to look.

What food brand do you use? OmegaOne Betta Buffet flakes and a variety of freeze dried treats.
Do you feed flakes or pellets? flakes
Freeze-dried? blood worms, mysis shrimp, and daphnia
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? couple days twice a day, then a day with only one feeding since I dont want to over feed and he isnt eating much anyways. I've been giving him a variety to choose from but havent noticed any favorites.

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? I've only had him for 5 days.
What percentage of water did you change? N/A
What is the source of your water? tap water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? rinsed thoroughly
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Betta Safe conditioner, aquarium salt, cleaning bacteria (to get the cycle going), Plant food once a week, and I added some water from my already cycled tank as well. All of the fish are healthy in that tank.

Water Parameters: UNKNOWN: test strips apparently don't work and I cant find a proper test kit at the store. Trying online
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.

Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? A day or two after I brought him home
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? it hasnt changed in appearance
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? he hides behind the filter. doesnt exercise. flares occasionally at Stefan. Not too much now since they've adjusted.
Is your Betta still eating? Barely. The food looks untouched. He swims right past it.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Haven't started treating.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not sure but seemed very healthy at store
How long have you owned your Betta? 5 days
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No. He was healthy and lively.


Premium Member
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Do you have a 2.5 gal tank with a heater that you can move him to?

What I'd do is get him out of the tank an into a 2.5 gal heated tank with some plants, live is best but silk or soft plastic artificial will do, to hide in and see if that helps lessen the stress, and if he'll eat within a couple days. Sometimes being in a divided tank stresses them, but by 5 days I'd hope that he would settle in and learn to ignore his neighbor. While you have him out see about putting a lot of plants on his side of the divider to help break his line of sight to the other betta.

You're best bet with the heater and filter is to set them up near the middle of the back glass so that the filtration and heat is more even on both sides. What type and brand of heater do you have? Have you tried baffling the filter so that the current isn't so strong, or can you turn down the outflow?

Don't panic yet if he isn't acting lethargic, some betta do take a week or two to recognize what we are feeding them as food.

41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the ideas! I will try getting more plants in on his side for now since I only have a 1 gallon I could transfer him to and its just a random container, not an actual tank. I tried putting a piece of fleece in the filter but still it didnt seem like it did much. I'm gonna try out putting a piece of water bottle over it and see how that helps. The filter is put on its lowest setting. I'm not sure what the brand of the filter is because it came in a starter kit box that was entirely unlabeled as far as branding goes. It was made to fit in the corner but I will try to put it more in the center. I'll let you know if I see any improvements!
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