Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Ruby, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. RubyNew MemberMember

    I have had my Beta for a week and some days now. He's still in the little bowl i got from the pet shop and he won't eat any of his Beta bites. He moseys around the tank looking depressed and goes to the top occasionally for air. I think he's depressed. Today I bought a 5gal tank and set it up so that he can move in. I also bought him some freeze dried blood worms and he ate them all up. Does anyone know if it's the Beta bites? Is that why he wasn't eating?
    Also, do i need to put a heater in his tank?
    Please advice.
  2. fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

    your betta definatly needs a heater and yes bettas are picky eaters

    ps welcome tot fishlore :)

  3. atmmachine816Fishlore VIPMember

    yup bettas need a heater and would like a filter but doesnt need one though i would strongly encourge you to get one. I know my betta Scardy only eats guppys and flake food. I have tried to give him freeze dried tublifex worms and blood worms along with betta pelles with no luck. He is one picky eater

  4. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    When he gets into a bigger tank you will see a world of difference in his feeding habits and actions ;)
    Chickadee is our betta lady maybe she will chime in and help you out also.

  5. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, Bettas do indeed need to have both heat and filters. They are Tropical Fish and when you see them in the fish store in the little cups without filtered water or heat, they are technically being abused. They will not live as long or as healthy in those conditions. The recommended minimum size for a healthy Betta tank is at least 5 gallons. I have one now in 3 gallons but it takes much more care and it is also a set-up with the same filtration system as the big tanks. I also have to watch the temperature control like a hawk. The smallest dependable heaters are 25 watt heaters and in a small tank they have to be watched or they will overheat your tank. The mini tank heaters are worthless. It is a real chore to keep a tank of less than 5 gallons with any fish in it other than a cold water fish, of which the betta is not.

    They need:

    Temperature: 76 - 80 degrees unless they are ill then 82 degrees if medicated or 85 degrees of they have ich (for at least 14 days)

    Filtration: a good system with chemical, biological and mechanical filtration all three. NO undergravel filters. They are not dirty fish but contrary do not do well in dirty or murky water. They were originally from rice paddies and streams in Siam, but the modern day Betta or "Siamese Fighting Fish" has never been anywhere near the rice paddies and has been born in clean water. The only place things started to go downhill was in the LFS. where they went into the small cups and got cold and dirty.

    Lighting: according to a friend of mine who happens to be a fish vet, fish need to have at least 6 hours of light a day to produce Vitamin D. Now I have never read this anywhere else, but I take his word for it because he has spent several years and thousands of dollars to get where he is.

    Room to live in: I am going to say I go along with the 5 gallon rule, as I have said before. I want the best for every fish and so I would have to say that would be the minimum for the most part. I know there are bettas in 2.5, 3, and 4 gallon tanks that are happy and I do have one, but 1 gallone will never do because it is just NOT possible to heat it and not many filters that would fit. Besides, they just are not BIG enough. It does not give them enough room to swim and be happy.

    There are so many things that can and do go wrong with the small tanks, and the smaller the tank you are dealing with the more chance you have to have a problem. I know my 3 gallon is twice the work of my 5 gallon and even then, I can never let down my gaurd and take it for granted that all is well with it. The cost of setting up a 5 gallon is not much more than a 3 gallon and the safety is twice as much or more.

    I hope this has helped. I have written volumes on the care and conditions needed for Bettas on this forum and I hope I haven't bored you all silly. ;)

  6. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    Way to go Rose :) Good Advice as always

    Yes, I have also saved my betta from those horrid little cups, and I put mine in a 10 gallon. I do't think he could be any happier. The bigger the tank, and the more care, the happier they are ;)

    Good Luck with your betta, he will really enjoy the 5 gallon you bought for him :)
  7. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to FishLore! I agree that your betta needs a heater, and a bigger tank would be great. I guess yours just does not like the food you are feeding him. You don't have to feed your betta "betta food" and might want to try some of the flake foods or small pellet tropical foods out there. My betta loved both the flakes and pellets, but then each betta is unique. If you only feed him bloodworms, he could get constipated and won't have a varied diet to keep him healthy. A flake food with veggies and meat in it would be ideal to keep his system regular.   veggie flakes would be my suggestion at least once a week for this situation. For the rest of the week, the Omega One color flakes would be good. Here's a link to help you with some ideas on different foods and variety you can offer your betta:

    If you are able to get your betta in a larger tank, you will see just how active little fish they are. If you can get at least a 10 gallon, get it. You can add other fish (non bettas) to this tank and have a beautiful community tank. Just stick around here and check out previous threads and you will learn a lot. We're glad you're here! ;)
  8. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    A lot of Bettas won't eat when they are unhappy with the surroundings they are in or if they are cold, or sometimes if they are depressed. There are documented cases of depression in Bettas who have been in the little cups for a long periods of time. When they get into a larger environment and get some TLC and good water conditions that should improve.

    Every betta is different in what they will eat. How well I know, having 2 of them. What one will eat the other won't touch. It is a definite experiment that every betta owner has to go through. It doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with you or the food. Just your picky little darling hasn't chosen to eat what you offer. Don't worry. He won't starve himself to death. He will eat eventually, but he will have you running all over spending a fortune on food if you let him. Just get a good food like Gunnie recommended and keep offering it and try to stay with it. If he absolutely won't eat in about 3 days go back to the original. I use Hikari Betta Bio-gold pellets for my pickiest eater but you have to be careful and only give 2 pellets in the morning and 2 at night or it will constipate him. Also give a small piece of frozen pea that has been thawed in the microwave or just boiled quickly in a small amount of water and skinned a couple times a week as a type of laxative. The piece should be about half the size of his eye.

    This is just my opinion, now you have several to chose from, but this works for me.

  9. RubyNew MemberMember

    Thanks everyone for your help. I am happy to say that my Beta is much happier in his new home. He is constantly swimming around exploring his new environment. My new problem is to get him to eat. I have tank backround attached to the back of the tank and when the light is on it shows his refection. And guess what??? LOL.....He thinks it's another Beta nd stays in the corner flaring his gills and fins. The only way i can get him to eat is to turn the light off so that he can't see himself any more. It's really kind of cute.
    As far as the type of food...what you are saying is that i can use regular fish food??? Do i have to crush it up so that he can eat it??? A friend of mine said that flakes are too big for Betas.
  10. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    Flakes aren't too big for bettas, if they won't fit in their mouth they just nibble on it. There are a lot of foods specially for bettas, or you can use tropical flake and supplement with a bit of bloodworms.
  11. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Pellets are really easier for them to eat but they have to be really small pellets.  Some of the pellets sold as Betta food are even too big for their mouths.  About the only pellet I have any luck with being small enough is the Hikari Betta Bio-Gold and it is sold most everywhere.  If it is bigger than a poppy seed, it is probably too big for your bettas mouth.  He wouldn't eat freeze-dried bloodworms?  I have one finicky betta who will ONLY eat them.  You have to go with what they accept even if it isn't what you want to feed them.  I just re-read the first post you made and you said he ate the bloodworms.  He can continue to eat them but just 6 or 7 at a time.  Don't overfeed him or he will get constipated.  He should have 6 or 7 twice a day and that should be a perfectly fine amount for a betta diet.  he won't need to eat more.  They are beggars.  They will try to make you feel guilty and give them more.  Don't give in, you will make him sick eventually.  They can get swimbladder disease from overeating and then they cannot swim properly.  

    You can try him on this and see, but if he has shown that he likes the bloodworms I doubt you will get him to change.  If you find a way to do it let me know, I sure would like to try it on my finicky little darlings.   ;)

  12. RubyNew MemberMember

    I was looking at my Beta today and he seems to have something attched to him. It looks like he's using the bathroom, but it's stuck. I went back later this afternoon and it is off of him finally, but i'm not sure what it is. Has anyone else incountered anything like this?
  13. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    It was a normal bowel movement. You just caught him in mid bathroom action. All fish do this and as they swim it drops off. He is just showing you that he is NOT constipated. Good for him. ;)

  14. RubyNew MemberMember

    LOL...thanks for that clarification. I was getting worried. :'(
  15. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    lol that shows you really care about your fish ;)
  16. RubyNew MemberMember

    Is it normal for Beta's to swim to the top and gulp some air every once and a while? Also, i am thinking about adding two goldfish to my tank. Not your normal goldfish, but the kind with the big deformed heads (sorry don't know the name of it). Any suggestions?
  17. RubyNew MemberMember last night my Beta was acting really funny and he was kinda laying on the gravel in his tank. I thought he was dying, but hen this morning he's swimming all over the place. Do Beta's sleep and if so do they sleep on the ground?
  18. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    It is quite normal for bettas to do this.  They have a special organ which allows them to breath air from the water's surface.  They should just gulp and go back down from the top though.  It they stay at the surface gasping, there's a problem.  They are called labyrinth fish:


    I don't think it's normal for a betta to sleep on the bottom of the tank.  They will usually find a plant with long leaves like a sword plant or crypt to settle on for the night.  They do sleep.  It sounds like something is going on with your fish.  Is he eating okay?  You might want to go out and get some medicated food while he is still eating and see if that helps.  I lost a betta in a couple of days that did the same thing.  Once they stop eating, you have less options to treat a sick fish, and the medicated food won't hurt him if he isn't sick. 
  19. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    no bettas should not stay at the bottom of the tank. that is definitely a sign that they are not feeling well. it sounds like time for the hospital tank and some TLC. i use Melafix if there are not any other symptoms, but usually when this is occuring there are other things going on. Gunnie's suggestion about the medicated food is really a good one as long as he will eat. otherwise, he may have to have a stronger med like Betta Fix. if he is having other symptoms, let us know and perhaps we can be more precise about the treatment. has he been cold?

  20. RubyNew MemberMember

    When i said he was at the bottom, that was only once. He seem to be better now. I got a couple of new friends for him and he seems better. Swimming around, almost playing with them. I think he was confused about the food, but now whenever i put the food in the tank e swims to the top with the other two and eats. I'm glad, i think he was just depressed and lonely.

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