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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there!

I bought home the Betta in question, Taiga, yesterday, and he was doing rather well. Like many people, I was (and still am somewhat, though I'm trying my best to learn) ignorant about the true needs of a Betta. I did research enough to know he needed a filter, heater and at least a 2 gallon tank, preferably bigger, but I unfortunately trusted the directions on the side of the food I bought him and I believe I have overfed him.

The directions say to feed him "as much as they can eat in 3 minutes", and I can tell you that that is a LOT of pellets (I think he probably ate at least 10, probably more). It said to do this two or three times a day. I fed him once, and tried to feed him again that night, but he refused to eat. I thought he might just be tired (like I said, ignorant).

This morning I noticed he wasn't moving much, and he refused to eat again. He's sitting at the top of his tank, with minimal movement (though he has moved from one side of the tank to the other once). I was concerned that he wasn't eating, and tried again in a few hours with the same results.

After researching, I realized that most sites recommended feeding them around 3 pellets. I'm feeling really bad about this and I'm worried about my new little friend.

Do I simply not feed him for a couple of days? I have seen this suggested and it makes sense. Should I do a 25% water change, just in case it's not the overeating but a toxin problem (it shouldn't be as I did use conditioner and starter but I don't claim any true wisdom on this matter)? This also might be a good idea as there is now uneaten food in there from my attempted feedings, but I don't want to stress him out more than necessary.

Please help Taiga and I out! I want him to be healthy and happy as soon as possible.
 

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Since your boy is newly home remember hes likely overwhelmed. betta males naturally stake a territory and guard it and hes just been given an entirely new world all at once, likely after a not-so-happy time at the petstore in his cup surrounded by other males.

If you suspect overfeeding then dont feed anymore for the next 24 to 48 hours. dont worry, bettas can go some time before they risk starving. This lets his system clear its backlog.

try adding some epsom salts to his water which is a natural laxative and internal cleanser- itll help him pass things easier. Hopefully in the next while youll see him pass it all and be back to normal.

As an heads up for betta feeding, they are predators and so will eat everything they can find if you let them- their stomach is about the size of their eyeball so do your best to feed that amount in pellets. if they dont eat or find it in 2 to 3 minutes take it out so it doesnt rot and speed up the lowered water quality process.

If its not fixed in the next day feel free to post some pics of him so we can give you other options for his care, but at this stage I am not worried too much. They spring back very quickly from food related issues if you are on top of them (which you are)
 

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Since your boy is newly home remember hes likely overwhelmed. betta males naturally stake a territory and guard it and hes just been given an entirely new world all at once, likely after a not-so-happy time at the petstore in his cup surrounded by other males.
Very true, poor little guy has a lot on his plate right now. He is looking better than he was this morning though thankfully, moving around a bit more. I really can't imagine what it would have been like living in those bowls in the pet store, and then having your world sudden grow so much wider and more colourful.

If you suspect overfeeding then dont feed anymore for the next 24 to 48 hours. dont worry, bettas can go some time before they risk starving. This lets his system clear its backlog.
Yeah, that was what I decided to do after some reading on the subject. It's been a little over 24 hours since the overfeeding now and there is some improvement so I'm hopeful that he'll pick up more tomorrow.

try adding some epsom salts to his water which is a natural laxative and internal cleanser- itll help him pass things easier. Hopefully in the next while youll see him pass it all and be back to normal.
I did see this mentioned so I'll definitely try an epsom salt bath it if he doesn't do so well.

As an heads up for betta feeding, they are predators and so will eat everything they can find if you let them- their stomach is about the size of their eyeball so do your best to feed that amount in pellets. if they dont eat or find it in 2 to 3 minutes take it out so it doesnt rot and speed up the lowered water quality process.
Thank you, that's pretty much what I learned today. I'm definitely much better informed for his future care. :)

If its not fixed in the next day feel free to post some pics of him so we can give you other options for his care, but at this stage I am not worried too much. They spring back very quickly from food related issues if you are on top of them (which you are)
Thank you, I will. And thank you for all your wonderful advice! I'm feeling pretty confident that he'll recover shortly but if he doesn't I'll definitely post some pictures for further advice. :)
 

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There's been a bad development today - after reading quite a lot about betta illness I was watching Taiga this morning only to realize he had signs of quite bad fin rot. I'm ashamed to say that when I first got him I though the black edging on his tail was just a part of his colouring, but after all the pictures I've seen of fin rot I'm certain he's suffering from it. The poor little thing can't catch a break at all. :(

So, I've moved him to a smaller, clean container with new water and added the recommended dose of aquarium salt. I'm really quite upset by all this, considering I've just got him and he's already so sick. I'm angry at the pet store for selling me a fish with fin root (it's clear he couldn't have developed it to the stage he's at in the 2 days he's been with me) but most of all I'm scared my little friend isn't going to make it.

I don't have pictures at the moment and I'm about to head to bed, but I might take some tomorrow.

I just hope he gets better. The plan is that for ten days it'll be fresh water and aquarium salt daily, and as he will have been food-free for 48 hours tomorrow I'm going to try giving him some pea.
 

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Your Betta will actually most likely be fine. The one instance of overfeeding won't harm your fish unless he becomes constipated. Epsom salt and/or very small pieces of a boiled pea will help to prevent or alleviate constipation in this case. Betta fish can live up to three weeks without eating, so fasting him for 2-3 days won't harm him at all and will give him a chance to pass all the food.

For the fin rot, post pictures as soon as you can. Mild fin rot can go away on its own if you keep your tank water warm and clean with 1/4 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon. For severe fin rot, you might have to use an antibiotic medication, however you should wait until your fish's eating habits are back to normal before you medicate.

If you cannot get medication right away, make sure to keep him in a tank with warm, clean water. 3 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon, added gradually, can help to significantly slow or even stop the infection. If his fins are not rapidly and aggressively disintegrating, make sure you worry about the constipation first. Fin rot is never fatal unless it spreads to the body.

A note about aquarium salt which you probably already know-make sure to dissolve the salt in a container of already conditioned water (it's easy to just use tank water), then add it to the tank. If you are going to use the full dose, add a half teaspoon every 2 hours until you reach 3 tsp per gallon.
 

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Your Betta will actually most likely be fine. The one instance of overfeeding won't harm your fish unless he becomes constipated. Epsom salt and/or very small pieces of a boiled pea will help to prevent or alleviate constipation in this case. Betta fish can live up to three weeks without eating, so fasting him for 2-3 days won't harm him at all and will give him a chance to pass all the food.
I think he is constipated, but maybe it's too soon to say for sure. I tried to feed him a little bit of boiled pea today but he wasn't interested.

For the fin rot, post pictures as soon as you can. Mild fin rot can go away on its own if you keep your tank water warm and clean with 1/4 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon. For severe fin rot, you might have to use an antibiotic medication, however you should wait until your fish's eating habits are back to normal before you medicate.
I'll include a couple of photos at the end of this post. It was hard to get clear shots as the smaller hospital container he's in now makes it hard but I think I managed to get some decent ones.

Thank you for all your help, you certainly know your stuff and I'm very grateful.

Taiga is looking a bit more lively today after being in the hospital container overnight so I think the aquarium salt is doing him some good. As I said, he didn't eat the little bits of pea I offered him so I'm worried about the constipation but he is looking better.

Do you know whether you can have epsom salt and aquarium salt in the same water? I'm going to guess it would be a bad idea but maybe I'm wrong. I could always do an epsom salt bath instead I suppose.



 

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Do not mix the salts. Here is a great guide on salt baths: http://bettasplendid.weebly.com/salt-baths.html

Constipation may take a few days to go away. Making your fish flare can also help with constipation. If the fin rot is not progressing at an alarming rate, and it seems like it's not, worry about the constipation before trying to fix the rot.
 

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Feeding advice ( Its how I do It )

When I first got my Betta. At Feeding time I would try and get the fishes attention and would drop 1 pellet in front of it, She quickly got the idea it was food, Then I would give her a second pellet, If she ate it fine if not I took it out of the tank. But from the start, just before I gave her food I would click my fingers to get her attention, She quickly learned, clicking sound meant food.

Over the space of the next few weeks I managed quite easily I might add to train her to come to the top left hand side of the tank when she hears the sound of fingers clicking, You could even use one of those tiny bells. Even my Kuhli Loaches know its feeding time when they hear the sound.

My point is, Train your fish by feeding at the same time everyday, to respond to a particular sound at feeding time, To come to the same spot every feeding time, and you can target feed, My Betta gets 2 pellets in the morning 2 at night, How do I know this? Because I feed her one at a time and watch her eat them, My Loaches and Mystery Snails get 2 omnivore pellets a day that I break in half and drop in the water at the front of the tank only, Feeding at the front of the tank only also allows you to examine your fish everyday you can see if they are eating and know how much they eat, and it makes vacuuming up and left over food easier.
 
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