Betta REFUSES to eat just about everything

FishFor2018
Member
Hello fellow fish lovers!!
My betta bandit has been giving me some issues lately with his eating and he has gotten quite skinny because of it. He started by not eating his normal pellet food, he would stare at it and sometimes grab it but then spit it back out (no matter how small it was) so then I got betta flakes which he ate for a few days and then did the same thing, either stared at it or grab it and spit it back out. I’ve tried many different types of food of different sizes and flakes and pellets but he shows little to no interest or just spits it back out. The only thing I’ve gotten him to kind of eat is frozen brine shrimp but when he does eat it he looks like he’s gasping for air or I guess choking for a while after eating. Could he have some sort of blockage in his throat like a growth that’s making eating difficult for him? Or what could be the issue? Should I try different frozen foods?
 
alven
Member
Hmm. It may be a problem with how frequently you feed him. How frequently do you feed him?
 
  • Thread Starter
FishFor2018
Member
aIvinn said:
Hmm. It may be a problem with how frequently you feed him. How frequently do you feed him?
I try to feed him twice a day, with my other bettas I feed morning and night everyday but I will usually skip a day sometimes two in a row for a quick fasting to prevent any bloating but I haven’t with him since I haven’t been able to get him to eat
 
alven
Member
FishFor2018 said:
I try to feed him twice a day, with my other bettas I feed morning and night everyday but I will usually skip a day sometimes two in a row for a quick fasting to prevent any bloating but I haven’t with him since I haven’t been able to get him to eat
Hmm. This would probably be a personal preference but in my humble opinion, I believe that it's wiser to feed your betta every other day rather than twice daily. I say this because it takes fish 12 hours, less or longer to digest their food. Feeding every other day is healthier and prevents bloating.

Also, have you noticed any abnormal behavior in your betta? Any weird body protrusions? Have you noticed a stringy white thing hanging from his anal area?
 
Sophie292
Member
Actually that happened with my betta too! For a week and a half he would stare at food but then refuse it or completely spit it out after trying it, and for a day or too I thought he had some problem with his throat as well. However, my betta personally started eating when I got him Hikari betta biogold floating pellets. Where did you get your betta from? He could be used to eating one type of food and not recongnize your food as well, food. Last thing, if you can manage to get the food to mimic a struggling insect (by dipping it in and out of the water) his instincts might kick in and he may try it. Got my betta to eat freeze-dried bloodworms this way
 
alven
Member
I guess Laura could try want you mentioned while closely monitoring her betta for some time.
 
Rose of Sharon
Member
Hi,

How old is Bandit? And how long has this been going on? And, this may sound like a weird question, but do you have gravel in your tank?
 
  • Thread Starter
FishFor2018
Member
aIvinn said:
Hmm. This would probably be a personal preference but in my humble opinion, I believe that it's wiser to feed your betta every other day rather than twice daily. I say this because it takes fish 12 hours, less or longer to digest their food. Feeding every other day is healthier and prevents bloating.

Also, have you noticed any abnormal behavior in your betta? Any weird body protrusions? Have you noticed a stringy white thing hanging from his anal area?
Okay thank you! Maybe I will try that then, they might be mad at me tomorrow lol. Nothing else seems abnormal with him. He dose sit upwards when he stops swimming sometimes but he has huge fins so that’s probably why.
Sophie292 said:
Actually that happened with my betta too! For a week and a half he would stare at food but then refuse it or completely spit it out after trying it, and for a day or too I thought he had some problem with his throat as well. However, my betta personally started eating when I got him Hikari betta biogold floating pellets. Where did you get your betta from? He could be used to eating one type of food and not recongnize your food as well, food. Last thing, if you can manage to get the food to mimic a struggling insect (by dipping it in and out of the water) his instincts might kick in and he may try it. Got my betta to eat freeze-dried bloodworms this way
Okay thanks for the tip!! I got him from some random person who was breeding bettas and ended up with to many!! I have had him since he was really young though but I’ve had him for enough 4 months
 
alven
Member
FishFor2018 said:
Okay thank you! Maybe I will try that then, they might be mad at me tomorrow lol. Nothing else seems abnormal with him. He dose sit upwards when he stops swimming sometimes but he has huge fins so that’s probably why.

Okay thanks for the tip!! I got him from some random person who was breeding bettas and ended up with to many!! I have had him since he was really young though but I’ve had him for enough 4 months
Please keep us updated. :)
 
  • Thread Starter
FishFor2018
Member
Rose of Sharon said:
Hi,

How old is Bandit? And how long has this been going on? And, this may sound like a weird question, but do you have gravel in your tank?
He’s around 6 months old, stopped eating about a month ago roughly, he’d eat occasionally but the last week or two has stopped eating fully pretty much I’d say and yes I do have gravel in the tank, it’s small gravel since it’s capping off soil
This is him, I got a picture from above and you can see he is a bit skinny at least compared to my other bettas he is and then you can see how he will sit sometimes in an upward position but I think it’s from his fins, I feel bad for him having to drag those things along. Could he maybe not have the energy to catch his food at the surface?
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Rose of Sharon
Member
Ok, so he is young, so not an age thing.

They can go a while without eating before issues set in due to lack of nutrition.

If you haven't tried this, you can try soaking his food in garlic juice. If you have some minced garlic around the house, or can pick some up from a store, then you can use the liquid that the garlic is soaking in to soak his food. It will make the food soft, and it will appeal to his sense of smell.

I did have a betta who was acting like a vacuum cleaner looking for food, and he did get a piece of gravel which lodged in his throat. They tend to get into everything! I am not saying that this is what happend to your aqua baby, but just something to keep in mind as you try to get him to eat.

The only other thing that I can think of is to look very carefully at his mouth to see anything develops there (white spots, fungus, etc.). Keep track of his body shape, too. If you see anything changing, post a pic. I should get the alert, and I will take a look at it.

I do hope that he bounces back, and that he is just being a fincky eater!!!
 
  • Thread Starter
FishFor2018
Member
Rose of Sharon said:
Ok, so he is young, so not an age thing.

They can go a while without eating before issues set in due to lack of nutrition.

If you haven't tried this, you can try soaking his food in garlic juice. If you have some minced garlic around the house, or can pick some up from a store, then you can use the liquid that the garlic is soaking in to soak his food. It will make the food soft, and it will appeal to his sense of smell.

I did have a betta who was acting like a vacuum cleaner looking for food, and he did get a piece of gravel which lodged in his throat. They tend to get into everything! I am not saying that this is what happend to your aqua baby, but just something to keep in mind as you try to get him to eat.

The only other thing that I can think of is to look very carefully at his mouth to see anything develops there (white spots, fungus, etc.). Keep track of his body shape, too. If you see anything changing, post a pic. I should get the alert, and I will take a look at it.

I do hope that he bounces back, and that he is just being a fincky eater!!!
Okay thank you! I will try the garlic tonight for him and tomorrow I might pick up some frozen blood worms. I see him “pecking” around the driftwood and plants but I haven’t seen him do it around the gravel but I will definitely keep that in mind.
 
Rose of Sharon
Member
FishFor2018 said:
He’s around 6 months old, stopped eating about a month ago roughly, he’d eat occasionally but the last week or two has stopped eating fully pretty much I’d say and yes I do have gravel in the tank, it’s small gravel since it’s capping off soil
This is him, I got a picture from above and you can see he is a bit skinny at least compared to my other bettas he is and then you can see how he will sit sometimes in an upward position but I think it’s from his fins, I feel bad for him having to drag those things along. Could he maybe not have the energy to catch his food at the surface?
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He's a cute little guy, by the way. My bettas have all done the sitting position, even those with shorter fins. And I see what you mean by his being thin.

Has that area on his head always looked like that ...that spot?

I do hope the garlic works!!!
 
  • Thread Starter
FishFor2018
Member
Rose of Sharon said:
He's a cute little guy, by the way. My bettas have all done the sitting position, even those with shorter fins. And I see what you mean by his being thin.

Has that area on his head always looked like that ...that spot?

I do hope the garlic works!!!
The orange ish color on his head? It’s new but he has gotten a lot of coloration so I figured it was just more color coming in, this is what he was like when I first got him so you can see he has changed colors a lot. Do you think it’s something else maybe?
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Rose of Sharon
Member
FishFor2018 said:
The orange ish color on his head? It’s new but he has gotten a lot of coloration so I figured it was just more color coming in, this is what he was like when I first got him so you can see he has changed colors a lot. Do you think it’s something else maybe?
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I'm not exactly sure, but it could be his colors changing since he has the marble gene. He's changed a lot since you first got him!!!

Just in case, keep an eye on that spot to see if it spreads. I am not trying to alarm you, but his not eating plus having lesions would not be good.
 
  • Thread Starter
FishFor2018
Member
Rose of Sharon said:
I'm not exactly sure, but it could be his colors changing since he has the marble gene. He's changed a lot since you first got him!!!

Just in case, keep an eye on that spot to see if it spreads. I am not trying to alarm you, but his not eating plus having lesions would not be good.
Okay thank you! Yes he has changed sooo much. I will make sure to monitor everything about him closely, thank you
 
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