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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Betta fish won't eat, think he's dying, please help ;(

I don't know what I'm doing wrong but this is the second betta fish I am losing in the past month. I've had betta fish and have kept an aquarium for years in the past and never had the problems that I'm having now. When I got my betta fish home I used the water he was already in and pH tested it and added more water to the bigger bowl. I made sure the temperature was the same, used Start Right water conditioner, and made sure the pH matched. Everything was clean, used no soaps or anything like that. Just have glass marbles at the bottom and an aquarium castle in the center. He has not eaten. I've tried giving him a flake, a betta pellet, and a freeze dried worm treat for bettas and he just won't touch it. Now my city has chloramine and has detectable amounts of ammonia in the water (I tested it once, it was surprisingly high). I know about ammonia being converted to ammonium in acidic water, however I did not want to shock him as his pH was really high like 7.6. I'm woisondering if this is ammonia poisoning. I have a filter in my fridge that is really good. Will it filter out the chloromine and ammonia? Maybe I should purchase gallons of spring water from the grocery store. Will I still have to add Start Right to it? I've had him about a week now. And another thing is he tried to eat the first few days. He'd grab the pellet and spit it back out, grab it again, spit it back out. did the same with the freeze tried treats. Now he just doesn't even bother. Please help! Thanks.
 

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HI

How long have you had him? And how big is your tank? Do you have a heater?

If you just got him, it may take a day him or even a week for him to settle in.

try doing a 100% water change and add in conditioner. Its not recommended to use spring or distilled water because they lack minerals the fish needs.

Is the fish lethargic, gasping for air, ect?

Its normal for them to eat and spit out pellets

It IS possible that the fish was suffering from a high ammonia level in his cup. Almost all the bettas I have gotten had horrible ammonia readings. Usually a few days in clean, conditioned water and the fish will perk right up.
PH isnt all that important as long as its stable the betta will adapt to it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HI

How long have you had him? And how big is your tank? Do you have a heater?

If you just got him, it may take a day him or even a week for him to settle in.

try doing a 100% water change and add in conditioner. Its not recommended to use spring or distilled water because they lack minerals the fish needs.

Is the fish lethargic, gasping for air, ect?

Its normal for them to eat and spit out pellets

It IS possible that the fish was suffering from a high ammonia level in his cup. Almost all the bettas I have gotten had horrible ammonia readings. Usually a few days in clean, conditioned water and the fish will perk right up.
PH isnt all that important as long as its stable the betta will adapt to it.
I've had him about a week now and he's in a 1 gallon bowl. He is always hiding inside the castle and rarely comes out. My other betta fish just started eating today (I got him a few days after this one) so I'm getting worried now, especially because this is how my last betta fish died. He hid in the castle all day and never came out to eat either. Our tap water is not good, as I said it has high amounts of ammonia in it because of the chloromine so I guess I should just try to get the water more acidic then? I'm going to use room temp. filtered water from our fridge, add the conditioner and do the water change today.
 

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Double check the dechlorinator and make sure you are using enough since you have both chlorine and chloramine in your source water-some products require double dose when you have both....its hard to overdose it and its better to have too much than too little....

I wouldn't mess with the pH or hardness at this point either-getting the pH under 6 and keeping it there-not only can be difficult but stressful on the Betta-I would instead look at getting a dechlorinater that also covers ammonia like Prime by Seachem but several others on the market that do this too......remembering that the products that neutralize ammonia can still test positive for ammonia but it is ammonium as I am sure you already know-and the test products can't tell the difference....

Its not uncommon for a new Betta to go off food or not eat at all when you first get them until they adjust to the new environment-If you are using a filter-I would turn it off for now and the light if its on...

What is the water temp and any other signs/symptoms other than not eating and lethargic.....what kind of testing products are you using and what is the ammonia reading on both the source water without additives and the tank water...also pH 7.6 is fine for Bettas...

Can you post a pic....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Double check the dechlorinator and make sure you are using enough since you have both chlorine and chloramine in your source water-some products require double dose when you have both....its hard to overdose it and its better to have too much than too little....

I wouldn't mess with the pH or hardness at this point either-getting the pH under 6 and keeping it there-not only can be difficult but stressful on the Betta-I would instead look at getting a dechlorinater that also covers ammonia like Prime by Seachem but several others on the market that do this too......remembering that the products that neutralize ammonia can still test positive for ammonia but it is ammonium as I am sure you already know-and the test products can't tell the difference....

Its not uncommon for a new Betta to go off food or not eat at all when you first get them until they adjust to the new environment-If you are using a filter-I would turn it off for now and the light if its on...

What is the water temp and any other signs/symptoms other than not eating and lethargic.....what kind of testing products are you using and what is the ammonia reading on both the source water without additives and the tank water...also pH 7.6 is fine for Bettas...

Can you post a pic....
I actually used Prime with my last fish tank but I've heard people saying Prime is only a temporary fix and the cycle should be able to handle converting ammonia into ammonium on its own and that you can't rely on the Prime because it wears off after 24 hours? I've heard people on here say that but it doesn't say that on the bottle so I don't know what to do. My betta is in a 1 gallon bowl so I'm assuming there's no way to get a cycle going without a filter so I'm not sure what to do about the ammonia problem as it's in our tap so I can't avoid it.

But anyways he's in room temp. Right now he is at the bottom with his fins flat back, not moving. I currently don't have an ammonia test kit as I gave it away last year with my fish tank but I believe it was 1.0 when I tested the tap water back then.
 

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Hm, Start Right says it neutralizes chlorine and chloramine, but it doesn't say about ammonia.

If you still have your Prime, you should add it right away. Prime works really well for me and it neutralizes ammonia (and nitrite). I have Seachem's ammonia test kit that tests ammonia and ammonium separately:
http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/MT_Ammonia.html

Even if I have slight ammonium levels, I never have any ammonia.

What temperature is your room/water?

According to Seachem's site (http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime.html), Prime neutralizes the ammonia but doesn't remove it. Thus it's still available for consumption by your biological filter (cycle), if you have it. If you don't - like in your 1 gal - you just do water changes. The important thing is that it's bound in a non-toxic form. The site says the bond is not reversible (it doesn't "wear off" in 24 hours). However, I have heard that it stops working after 24 hours, i.e. if you add ammonia/heavy metals AFTER that time, they will no longer be detoxified by Prime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
According to Seachem's site (Seachem. Prime FAQ), Prime neutralizes the ammonia but doesn't remove it. Thus it's still available for consumption by your biological filter (cycle), if you have it. If you don't - like in your 1 gal - you just do water changes. The important thing is that it's bound in a non-toxic form. The site says the bond is not reversible (it doesn't "wear off" in 24 hours). However, I have heard that it stops working after 24 hours, i.e. if you add ammonia/heavy metals AFTER that time, they will no longer be detoxified by Prime.
Ah, ok that clears it up. Thank you. :) I'm going to have to purchase it again.
 

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I have heard that too, however, I can't find anything to support that information and from my understanding...once it is bound-its bound.....

I wouldn't base your ammonia reading on last years numbers.....also, chloramine is a form of ammonia.....

It may be temp related-do you have a thermometer so you can check the water temp, does the tank have a heater.......some Bettas can be more sensitive to temp than others especially when stressed already.....
 

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Have to agree with OFL- make sure the temp is appropriate for him, as an open 1 gallon bowl will fluctuate a lot easier and more often which could stress him out easily. Keep in mind the water will be a few degrees lower then the temp of the room.

Another thing may be that he may not like such an open space without a place to hide and rest on.. being from a breeder's jar, to the cup, to even a 1 gallon is a big jump in size. Bettas, like other fish, prefer and enjoy having plants to swim through, sleep on and hide in.. a lot of males really love a cave as well.
It's a thought- add in a couple silk plants and see if it helps him feel secure.

In a 1 gallon, ideally you would want to do 1 50% water only and 1 100% water change per week.. add in your water conditioner and that should be just fine and safe to keep the tank clean and the fish healthy. 7.6 pH is a lot lower then many people here, so I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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your ammonia is way to high. id say give him a complete water change and add wtaer conditioner. if he spits out his food and then re-sucks...it may be too big.
p.s. i'd say get a new tank. they say bowls are ok but i dont reccomendthem. they dont have a fiter aor heater. i say you should get the AQUEON BETTABOW 2.5 GALLON AQUARIUM.(30.00 max. maybe less!! ) its one of the best. with the food, maybe find the smaller pellets...how big is he?? if he is small the pellets, flackes and bloodworms may be too big. i know bloodworms are quite large. find small betta food. try that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have heard that too, however, I can't find anything to support that information and from my understanding...once it is bound-its bound.....

I wouldn't base your ammonia reading on last years numbers.....also, chloramine is a form of ammonia.....

It may be temp related-do you have a thermometer so you can check the water temp, does the tank have a heater.......some Bettas can be more sensitive to temp than others especially when stressed already.....
I emailed the company and asked them about Prime and this was their reply:
Thank you for the email. Prime will hold keep ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate detoxified for 24-48 hours. This amount of time should be plenty enough for the biological filter to remove the toxins from your water, however, since you do not have a filter, it will more than likely be re-released after 48 hours. I would recommend adding 2 drops of Prime every 24-48 hours in order to keep the ammonia detoxified and your betta safe from toxicity.

so I've been adding Prime as needed. My fish is still hiding a lot, doesn't seem to want to eat, but he perked up a litttle after I added the Prime so we'll see!
 

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Good to hear!! I found with 1-2 gallons at least every 2 days needs to be cleaned anyways, to keep ammonia down. Trust me, all my bettas came from anywhere between .25 to 1.0 ammonia levels, from the bowls (cups for others, but here they use bowls). Don't expect him to be too excited yet, he is fairly new :) it'll take time for him to get used to everything.

Wish you luck!
 
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