Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
First time Betta owner here. We got a 5 gal tank and a betta (named Ringo) from Petco a week ago. He will not eat and we are worried.

His tank is 78 degrees and he has a filter (and we have reduced the current a bit with rocks). He has a few live plants and some plastic/silk ones. And he has lots of hiding spots.

We know that we did not cycle the tank, we learned about that after we bought him. We changed out 20% of his water yesterday and conditioned it (and of course his initial water). We know we need to test his water and have a test kit on order, but unfortunately due to Covid the delivery is delayed to this Thurs.

He is very active and swims around a lot and seems interested in us. He rests in his submarine at night. He does go pace the glass on the side so today I added a towel in case there was a reflection; this maybe helped a bit.

We have tried betta bio gold pellets, freeze dried brine shrimp, and soaking pellets in garlic. He will not touch the food at all. On his first day he did bite into a pellet and then spat it out. We always remove the food when he doesn’t eat it after a little bit so it doesn’t rot in his tank.

Our question for the forum is: What else can we do as we await his water test kit to try to get him to eat? We have read that bettas can go 2 weeks without food and that new bettas are stressed, but we feel worried he won’t even look at the food.

Thanks!
Kalicobetta
1016619
1016620
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,321 Posts
Welcome to the Forum!

Many new Betta do not eat at first. There are several things it could be: Adjustment from living in a small container to a "mansion;" previously fed something different (live, frozen) so don't recognize pellets/flakes as food.

Decide what you're going to feed and stick to it. Do as you are and offer him food several times a day. He will eventually figure it out. And, yes, I've had them go 2+ weeks without eating. As long as they are active, curious I don't worry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much, that is really comforting to hear. He still isn’t eating but I hope he will if we just keep trying!

We finally got our test kit and it came as:
PH 7.6+/Ammonia 0.25/Nitrite 0/Nitrate 0.

Any tips on getting the PH down? Should we be worried about this? And Should we be worried about the ammonia or consider it part of cycling?
Kalicobetta
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,321 Posts
The pH is fine. Here is the Forum's tutorial on fish-in cycling. Hope it helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you thank you!!

So we have great news: he finally ate! We got freeze dried blood worms and those he devoured at last. He still ignores the pellets and brine shrimp...

Any tips on how many bloodworms to give him? We gave him 3 because we didn’t want to over feed him.

We also would love advice on how to get him to eat something other than blood worms. Our assumption is that we shouldn’t only feed him bloodworms...aren’t they supposed to be more of a treat? Do they have enough nutrition?

kalicobetta
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,321 Posts
You are correct: Freeze dried are meant to be treats, only. This is from various fish food web sites. They recommend feeding no more than 2 x per week. If you Google "Tetra Freeze Dried Bloodworms," you will see for yourself.

Do as I instructed in post #2 and you will be fine. I promise you, he will not starve himself to death.

FWIW, I don't have a "fish-sitter." Sometimes we are gone 3-4 weeks so that's how long my fish must go without. Never have I lost a Betta. The only time I did was when my neighbor, who feeds our horses and cat (dogs go with us) thought she'd do me a "favor" and feed the fish. Long story short, she overfed and polluted the water. She killed not only most of my Betta but also my African Dwarf Frogs. :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hah this is useful info thank you all! I will avoid a fish sitter unless they are also a betta owner :)
So for a strategy to get him to eat pellets...do you recommend which of the following...
1. Entice him to the surface with a worm and put the pellets in at the same time so he starts to associate the worm and the pellets as both being food? And try to give very little in actual worms (like maybe half a worm) so he doesnt eat too many of them.
Or 2. Stop using the worms and go back to trying to entice with pellets only?

Also are freeze-dried brine shrimp as bad as freeze-dried bloodworms in terms of nutrition?

Kalicobetta
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,321 Posts
Offer a pellet. If he doesn't eat remove with a turkey baster. Do this several times per day until he realizes it is food. But remember, by feeding the freeze dried you have set yourself back and are, essentially, starting over.

All freeze dried food is meant as treat-only. No real nutritional value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ok thank you, we’ll keep trying with the pellets...no luck so far.
What about flake food? Some came with our tank. “Aqueon tropical flakes”. Are these any good for bettas? Just wondering if a non pellet texture may help...

Kalicobetta
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well, the tropical flakes worked well, he ate them right up this morning! We first put in a pellet which he ignored. After the flakes, we put in a half pellet and he tried it (spirit of the moment perhaps) and unfortunately spit it back out.
Overall since we gave him the freeze-dried bloodworm, his attitude has completely changed--he comes right up the surface now when we approach and seems trusting and curious about whatever we put into the tank. He also doesn't hide much anymore. So that is good progress :).

So we are thinking maybe the pellets are still too big or he just is being picky about the taste or texture...we're gonna try out ordering some smaller ones that come in a pack with some betta flakes, and maybe we'll try soaking in garlic again. But the tropical flakes seem to be working for the moment!

The new flakes say that they are specifically for bettas rather than just tropical fish, which seems better...so there really isn't a problem with using betta flakes over the pellets? We'll keep trying to get him to eat the pellets but for whatever reason he seems to like the texture of flakes more.

Kalicobetta
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
To close out this thread—we tried breaking up his pellet into smaller pieces this morning after soaking it in tank water and at last he ate them! We got him to eat 2 this morning :). So the issue may have been partially taste but also size. So we are very happy. He seems to be a happy betta now!
Thanks for your help and advice!
Kalicobetta
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top