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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a male crown tail that i received as a gift about 2 months ago. Everything has been fine and he seems happy up until about a week ago. He suddenly started refusing to eat. I had changed his water about 4 days before he stopped eating. I don't see anything abnormal about him and have looked back on some pictures I took of him the day i got him. He looks the same. He doesn't appear to have any of the physical symptoms of any of the sicknesses I've read about. He still floats and swims around normally. I immediately panicked and began researching what the problem could be. I was thinking that maybe he was just constipated. I had been out of town the past 2 weekends and my roommate was left to feed him. I thought maybe my roommate accidentally over fed him. And just in case it was a sickness, i bought some medicine from Petco which is made by "Aquarium Solutions" and called "Betta Revive". I moved him to a different tank and treated the water with the medicine. It tinted the water blue. Then to try and help if it is constipation, i tried feeding him some peas. I've been medicating and changing his water daily for 3 or 4 days now with no signs of improvement. I did notice he pooped a little bit yesterday while i was at work and a bit today as well. It's light colored with a little darker on the end of it. So I'm not sure if it's constipation anymore. I bought a different kind of food (flakes) but he wants nothing to do with those either. I'm at a loss at this point. I don't know what to do next or what could be wrong.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 74-78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food (pellets)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Every week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Tetra Betta Safe
Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Stopped eating
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Almost a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Tried "Betta Revive" and changing food to "Tetra BettaMin" (flakes)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? First time being sick
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him since the first of the year, he's a few months probably.
 

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If he has a filter why are you changing the water 100%? Take a look in the general forum for how to cycle a tank.

He needs a heater. So this is a source of his stress.

Try different pellets.. Omega One Betta Buffet (feed 3-4 a day) or New Life Spectrum Betta try 6 to 8 a day. Split up feedings to twice a day and one fast day a week.

How is he handling the filter? Have you baffled it/done anything to reduce the current? It could be stressing him out.

I wouldn't use Betta Revive. It's got a bunch of totally different strong ingredients kinda thrown in there as a "treat all tonic". One of the ingredients is toxic. I guess since you've started it continue for however long the bottle says one round is and do 100% change and no more meds. He should be pooping daily. If he's not he could be constipated.. You can keep the bottom bare to monitor poop and see how often he goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm changing the water 100% every week because i found it hard to find information on changing the water when the tank has a filter. It's a 5 gallon tank. And no the filter isn't baffled. I have noticed that he doesn't like the current, and there is a bit of one in there. But he has been fine for 2 months and this all just started recently. The Betta Revive said to use it for at least 3 days, it's been 4 or 5 now, so i'll do a complete water change and discontinue use. I moved him into a bowl when I started medicating him so it would require less medicine in a smaller space, and because I didn't know if maybe there was some kind of bacteria in the tank. So I got him out of there asap. I just got home from work and he did not poop today.
 

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try baffling the filter this way:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139
Other users have used sponges to baffle their filters as plastic can be a tad sharp once cut.

I would also recommend getting a heater and upping the temp to 80-82F. Bettas are tropical fish and thus prefer to live in warmer temps.

I would feed him once daily. Either in the morning, lunch time or dinner. I feed my bettas 4-5 pellets daily. If you really want to keep it twice daily split that amount up. Example, feed 2-3 pellets in the morning and 2-3 pellets at night.

Like Callistra, I wouldn't recommend using the Betta Revive. Just too much chemicals for comfort.

Once you've gotten a heater, adjusted temp correctly, and baffled the filter and he is STILL not eating. Maybe start letting him fast. Don't feed him. Also, how does his belly look? Is is round, flat, bloated?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay I'm definitely going to baffle the filter. That's probably making him pretty uncomfy. I've tried to back down on feeding him as much. It's been once daily now and he doesn't touch the food. So far today I have fasted him. How long can he be fasted for? Doing this makes me uneasy lol. As far as bloating... I don't think so. I have a picture of him on the day I got him and I took another picture like 2 days ago and he looks the same to me.... I'm not sure how to add pictures here, but if you click on my pictures, I have them posted there. I have the oldest and most recent labeled. Should I try feeding him peas again? I know I've read that Betta's can't properly digest them though :/
 

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His belly appears to be quite round. I'd fast him for a coupla days. Until you see a quite large poop.
Not sure on what betta poops look like. I never really paid attention to mine xD
 

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Is there anything else I could feed him to help? Are peas even a good idea?
I've heard of a few users hear giving peas after fasting their bettas. I haven't personally given 1 tho. I've yet to get a betta who refuses to eat/or is having bowel movement issues.
 

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Feeding once a day can easily cause bloating/constipation, etc.. as mentioned earlier feeding small multiple times a day, at least twice, is the most recommended way of feeding. Feeding once a day will either over feed, or not provide enough nutrition.

A betta can go around a month without eating, but the danger zone starts at around 2 weeks. A 2-3 fasting is normally recommended with bettas who may be bloated/constipated. It is safe, but your guy may not like it.

Go ahead and do the 100% to clean out the home tank if you have medication in there.. or if you have a carbon filter, you can place the carbon back in and it will remove the medication- just change out the carbon filter afterwards.

For cleaning a 5 gallon properly it depends on whether or not you have live plants, as that will determine just how much water to change each week. Along with your cycle (since we know it isn't cycled at this point).

Once you fill up the tank with new water (if you go that route over the carbon filter), you will want to test your water on a daily basis over the next 4-6 weeks- or if you do not have a liquid test kit and can not get one, Petco/Petsmart tend to test for free. In that case, I would take it over there as often as you are able to during the week. As tanks that are attempting to cycle can and do have spikes in the chemistry, such as ammonia, which can be harmful/deadly to fish.
Fish-in cycles tend to be hard on a fish, but it's doable.
If you test for ammonia during the 4-6 weeks, you will want to do a small water change to bring it down.
Here is an easy guide to cycling.. it's not really all that hard, just takes some time and commitment.

On a normal cleaning schedule (with no live plants.. if you have live plants let us know how many) for a 5 gallon you are looking at roughly 30-50% per week of a water change. When doing the weekly water change you are going to want to vacuum/siphon the gravel (I would but a small siphon you can get fairly cheap).. as filters don't remove the waste, but rather hides it.
So use the siphon each week to vacuum the gravel in the tank, only take out 30-50% of the water while doing so.
When replacing the water, use a glass aquarium thermometer to get the temp of the new water to be the same as the old water. A lot of people use buckets to carry the water in, so you can get the temp just right.
When done filling the tank back up, put in your water conditioner for the whole volume of the tank.

I recommend removing your betta during this process, to reduce risk of chemistry change shock (to put it in layman's terms).. use his cup you got him in if you have it.. after you fill up the tank, remove a bit of the water from the cup and replace it with water from the tank.. let him adjust over a 10-15 minute period, removing/replacing the water a total of at least 2 times.
Clean out your filter media each time, swish it in old tank water you had siphoned to get rid of trapped debris.
Carbon filters should be changed monthly, sponge filters should be changed once it starts to fall apart.

That is the recommended water change schedule for a tank your size, non-planted.

I would also recommend using a sponge as the baffle..

Your pellets aren't necessarily bad, but the protein is a bit low.. continue with pellets, but I recommend Omega One Betta Buffet or New Life Spectrum Betta pellets.. as mentioned prior by callistra.
I personally prefer the Omega brand.. I use those in between live foods and home made betta food.. and for my picky eaters who will only eat pellets.

Good luck and any more questions please feel free to ask!
 

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Feeding once a day can easily cause bloating/constipation, etc.. as mentioned earlier feeding small multiple times a day, at least twice, is the most recommended way of feeding. Feeding once a day will either over feed, or not provide enough nutrition.

A betta can go around a month without eating, but the danger zone starts at around 2 weeks. A 2-3 fasting is normally recommended with bettas who may be bloated/constipated. It is safe, but your guy may not like it.

Go ahead and do the 100% to clean out the home tank if you have medication in there.. or if you have a carbon filter, you can place the carbon back in and it will remove the medication- just change out the carbon filter afterwards.

For cleaning a 5 gallon properly it depends on whether or not you have live plants, as that will determine just how much water to change each week. Along with your cycle (since we know it isn't cycled at this point).

Once you fill up the tank with new water (if you go that route over the carbon filter), you will want to test your water on a daily basis over the next 4-6 weeks- or if you do not have a liquid test kit and can not get one, Petco/Petsmart tend to test for free. In that case, I would take it over there as often as you are able to during the week. As tanks that are attempting to cycle can and do have spikes in the chemistry, such as ammonia, which can be harmful/deadly to fish.
Fish-in cycles tend to be hard on a fish, but it's doable.
If you test for ammonia during the 4-6 weeks, you will want to do a small water change to bring it down.
Here is an easy guide to cycling.. it's not really all that hard, just takes some time and commitment.

On a normal cleaning schedule (with no live plants.. if you have live plants let us know how many) for a 5 gallon you are looking at roughly 30-50% per week of a water change. When doing the weekly water change you are going to want to vacuum/siphon the gravel (I would but a small siphon you can get fairly cheap).. as filters don't remove the waste, but rather hides it.
So use the siphon each week to vacuum the gravel in the tank, only take out 30-50% of the water while doing so.
When replacing the water, use a glass aquarium thermometer to get the temp of the new water to be the same as the old water. A lot of people use buckets to carry the water in, so you can get the temp just right.
When done filling the tank back up, put in your water conditioner for the whole volume of the tank.

I recommend removing your betta during this process, to reduce risk of chemistry change shock (to put it in layman's terms).. use his cup you got him in if you have it.. after you fill up the tank, remove a bit of the water from the cup and replace it with water from the tank.. let him adjust over a 10-15 minute period, removing/replacing the water a total of at least 2 times.
Clean out your filter media each time, swish it in old tank water you had siphoned to get rid of trapped debris.
Carbon filters should be changed monthly, sponge filters should be changed once it starts to fall apart.

That is the recommended water change schedule for a tank your size, non-planted.

I would also recommend using a sponge as the baffle..

Your pellets aren't necessarily bad, but the protein is a bit low.. continue with pellets, but I recommend Omega One Betta Buffet or New Life Spectrum Betta pellets.. as mentioned prior by callistra.
I personally prefer the Omega brand.. I use those in between live foods and home made betta food.. and for my picky eaters who will only eat pellets.

Good luck and any more questions please feel free to ask!

Well you learn something new everyday :)
I trust Myates advice alot. Looks like I'll be feeding twice daily ;)
 

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Is there anything else I could feed him to help? Are peas even a good idea?
Didn't see this while typing..

Peas aren't meant for bettas, no nutritional value, and not ideal for their short GI tract. For a short term remedy, some say it works.. it's safe to use as a one time deal. But not for regular consumption for bettas. A lot of bettas don't eat it as they are insectivores/carnivores and other then processed foods, they only get vegetable type matter from the stomachs of their live foods... so only a betta who will eat anything and everything may eat it, but normally, not many will.

Epsom salt is a natural laxative for them, and it's safe to use.
Plain Epsom Salt from a pharmacy, or places such as Walmart with a pharmacy.. relatively cheap. Make sure there are no dyes or perfumes in it.

QT him in a small tank or container that is clean yet soap residue free..
if it's under a gallon, you can use a gallon jug to premix the solution together in along with water conditioner.

1 tsp per gallon of the Epsom, make sure to dissolve it before adding your guy in it.. what I personally do when I had to do this with a new CT once is I mix it in a glass, a little bit of tap water, a drop of water conditioner... and then slowly add that in the 1 gallon qt tank he was in little by little over a period of 30 minutes- I don't have a water gallon jug handy, so improvised since had a gallon tank.
You will want to daily 100% water changes, re-adding in the mix each time.
Once you see him go to the bathroom, give him one more day and then release him back into the tank.
Hold off food for 3-4 days while in the solution.

If for some reason he has not gone to the bathroom for a few days while in the Epsom Salt, and with no food intake, yet still has a rounded belly.. may have to look at other underlying issues.

Thanks Fishy- it's just easier on their digestive system to process smaller meals, and with multiple meals of at least twice, they get their daily nutrition met. If you wish to fast them, I actually fast them periodically.. I don't feed them their dinner at night, and I don't feed them their breakfast- that way they go from breakfast one day, to dinner the next (24+ hrs) and still have eaten that day.
I like to spoil mine with food lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok so I don't see any poop after getting home from work today. I picked up epsom salt, aquarium sponges for the filter baffle, water test kit, gravel vacuum, Omega One Betta Buffet, and New Life Spectrum Betta Formula.
Water Test Results:
Nitrate-0
Nitrite-0
Total Hardness-0
Chlorine-0
Alkalinity-120
pH-7

I was looking at tank heaters but they all say they keep the tank at 78, which is right where mine is. Idk if there is an adjustable one available somewhere. I'm going to add the epsom salt tonight *crosses fingers*
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, the filter is now baffled nicely. The current is basically gone now. He is quarantined in his bowl with the epsom salt and water conditioner. I tried to feed him one pellet of the New Life Spectrum, but he wanted nothing to do with it. He's been staying in basically the exact same spot the last couple days. Just treading water at the top and in the front of the tank. And to the question I missed earlier, there are 4 plants in the tank which are all fake. Now I guess I just wait........
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can't tell either. I think they are. I've also started to cycle the tank while he's in the bowl. I'd prefer to not do the "fish in" method.
 
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