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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a half moon Betta a week ago from Petco and he still hasn't eaten! He sits in one corner of the tank and hardly moves. The tank is brand new: 3 gallons, with heater at 80 degrees, a filter, bubbling system. I first gave him pellets, then switched to flakes and some bloodworms. But I eventually fish them out at the end of the day. Petco has a 30 day guaranatee on fish and I needed a fish for my animal behavior class (I need to teach him a basic trick within a month). Any suggestions, or should I exchange him for a healthier one? He was 14.99...
 

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It's normal for new fish to sulk and not eat.

It's hard to tell whether he's just stressed or possibly sick without more info on his behaviour, appearance and a picture. Don't feed him flakes by the way, they can cause bloating and constipation.

Don't take him back to the pet store.
 

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For your behavioral studies you need a more attentive and alert fish. He seems more subdued and laid back. Look for a feisty veiltail or short-fin plakat or maybe an energetic female.

If you take him back, he may languish in his cup, or he may be bought by someone who doesn't care or know how to care for him, or by someone who will love him and give him a great home.

It's up to you.
 

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Sometimes, they don't eat for a while. He may have an illness he was harboring at the petstore, and the stress of moving brought it out. Pictures and filling out the form may help get to the bottom of it if he's sick.

They're pretty easy to train once you get him more active. They'll do anything in their power for food!
Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none currently, (may get a frog eventually, none of the pet stores have them here)

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? He spat out pellets, then have been giving him flakes, but he hasn't ate any, I fish them out at the end of the day. Tried bloodworms too
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? partial, so maybe 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? dechlorinator drops

Water Parameters: havent tested it, but I've been using betta water for now, (or at least first few weeks)


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Doesn't appear bloated, (so I don't think it's constipation)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He sits in corner at bottom of tank not moving, swims a little crooked when he does, doesn't eat, but does come up for air once in awhile.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I got him on Tuesday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I put a heater in the tank, gave various foods
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea
 

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It would be important to know your water parameters, especially since it looks like your filter is not cycled yet (build-up of beneficial bacteria). More water changes might be necessary to remove Ammonia from the fish waste.

The little frog sitting in his tank, is that a toy? If so, you may want to remove it, decorations not made for an aquarium often leach chemicals into the water, which could be toxic to your fish.
Also, the plant looks to be plastic, a silk plant would reduce the risk of him tearing his fins on it.

You said you have an airstone in his tank? Maybe this spooks him. His world used to be this tiny cup, and now he is in a larger container with all these strange things, this sometimes takes some adjusting.

Try soaking his pellets in some garlic juice. Garlic can entice finicky eaters, being attracted by the garlic, and soaking the pellet might make it soft for him to be able to eat it.
My son taught his Betta to eat from a little measuring cup (came with a water conditioner). The Betta swam inside the cup which my son held inside the tank. This Betta is also very docile, he is so tame now that he even drapes himself over my son's fingers.

Oh, and I would not recommend adding a frog to his 3 gallon tank, it really is too small in my opinion.
 

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I would like to know the brand of pellets and the brand of dechlorinator/conditioner.

But you mentioned that, besides being shy and reclusive, that he swims funny. This is a deal-breaker in my book. You really don't have the time or the experience to rehabilitate a deficient fish -- not if your goal is to do behavioral studies or to train him.

Just my opinion. Everyone looks at this differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pellets are aqueon. Flakes and bloodworms are Tetra.
Heres the dechlorinator: http://www.petco.com/product/10844/...lendid Betta Complete Water Conditioner-10844


I'm just gonna keep this betta and get another cheaper one thats way more energetic and keep it in a 1 gallon bowl that I had from my last betta (he lives for two years) and just put a heater in it. Petco apparently has a 30 day policy on their fish. I'm still going to try to treat this one though and figure out what is wrong! He doesn't appear to have Bloat or Swim Bladder Disease right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: caught the fish laying on it's side for awhile at the bottom of the tank and I checked and he was still alive. I saw something red floating in the water and I believe it to be part of his fin. He did have a long clear string hanging from his body so I think it is poop, but he still looks pretty bad. Any suggestions? I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna return him for another one at this point. I'm fairly certain he came with a disease.
 

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That long thin string looks suspicious of an internal parasite. I would medicate with a focus on trying to deal with that.

I'd recommend picking up some API General Cure. This is probably going to work best internally, so soak some of his food in this and see if you can get him to eat the medicine-soaked food. Freeze-dried foods are good for this, so take some of the freeze-dried food and soak it in the medicine before offering.

Good luck with your boy. He's a lovely guy, I'm sorry he's not doing well.
 

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Also - for the other fish you're picking up for the behavioral studies class - just be aware that he will need frequent water changes in a 1gal bowl. Frequent as in daily or almost daily. That should be fine for now so long as you add a heater and keep up on the water changes, but switching to a larger tank would be easier for both of you if you can swing it in the future.

In looking at that water conditioner - it claims to detoxify ammonia. Be aware that it probably only does this for 24 hours. I'm also not sure of the dosage on that product in particular. In the future, look for Seachem Prime. It also locks ammonia, but is quite concentrated (2 drops per gallon). You can use it both to condition the water and to dose the tank daily while cycling, to help keep ammonia\nitrites\nitrates safe for your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks! I'm a college student so I can't afford to keep trying different things, and my class requires us to teach an animal a trick within the next four weeks. He hasn't ate anything at all since I got him, and I've tried doing the garlic method with the pellets when his colors were fading. My roommates and I thought he was dead tonight when we checked in on him. He looks pretty terrible. I'm gonna get a little house or something to add to the tank when I go by walmart tomorrow, but I'll probably be taking him back Wednesday and exchange for a more energetic fish. I don't want to, but I'm fairly certain he is dying...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your help. I'll see if I can find any of this stuff. We only have two petstores and a Walmart where I live with limited supply, so I'll see what I can find. I don't want to return the betta, but I need one that is healthy. In the past when I had a betta in a bowl for two years even with limited changes he was very active and healthy. Maybe this was a bad batch or something from Petco. My roommate got one too for the same project that lives in her room, but at least hers eats (it looks sick though) and she was able to teach it to follow her finger within two days
:(
 

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Walmart may not carry API products, but they probably have Jungle products. Jungle Parasite Clear should work as well. You're looking for a medicine with metronidazole.
 

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Another thought - try talking to your professor and explaining the situation. Bring the photos, and bring this thread in. Given your guy is sick clearly sick, see if there could be any negotiation on the deadline. This might work, it might not. But if this guy has pulled your heartstrings at all, it might be worth a go.

Otherwise, if you don't want to return this guy and you want to give a shot at rehabbing him, your plan for another betta in the other bowl might be a good one. Even with medication, I don't know how long it would take before he's feeling better, and you're on a timeline.

Too bad I don't think you live near me...I'd try to rehab this guy for you. He's a cutie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the advice guys, sadly Benedict Cumberfish passed away during the night because I found him floating upside down in his tank today :( I'm glad be he at least died in a fancy tank well as apposed to dying in a small bowl
 

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Sorry to hear that!
As soon as I read 'long stringy poop' I knew it was a parasite. Good luck with your next fish!
API General Cure is a bit on the spendy side (around $15 for a pack) but it lasts and the doses are super concentrated if you have a small tank (one packet for me treats about two tanks fully if I ever need it to). If you ever get a parasite again, you could try that.
 
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