Betta won't eat!

mlinden84
  • #1
I haven't been able to get my betta to eat. At first I had him in a 2 gallon tank w/ no filter (horrible I know...now I know better!) He ate like a pig, anything and everything, never a feeding problem.
I thought he needed more swimming room so I went out and bought him a 10 gallon tank (it came with a small whisper 5-15 hob filter) I thought he would be happier but he doesn't seem to be. And.... I can no longer get him to eat. It seems like the pellets don't sit on the water surface anymore, and he doesn't try to chase them as they are falling. He looks ok, but I'm worried about him. Usually every few days I can get him to eat 1 pellet, but he used to eat more than five pellets a day! I've tried different types of food as well as different brands...
If anyone has any ideas, i'm sure "Betta" would appreciate it! (as would I!)
 
capekate
  • #2
Hello.. sorry to hear your betta isn't too happy. How long since he has been in his new home? If he was just moved there within the day or two he may be still trying to get used to his new home and may be alittle nervous. Does your HOB have a tab that you can lower the outflow speed? During feeding you can turn it down so that the pellets don't get blown to the bottom. It just may be that he is not used to his new home yet and ten gals may seem overwhelming to him since he was used to being in a 2 gallon tank?
good luck with your guy.. and hopefully he will be eating again soon! ;D ~ kate
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
He's been in it for 3 weeks (and it was cycled when I put him in ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrates at 7, temp @ 80, ph 7.6 ). There is nothing to turn down on the filter, I've even tried shutting it off, but it didn't seem to matter. I've tried water changes, and check the levels every 2 days to make sure they are fine (which they are). I'm off to the lfs to pick out my cichlids for my 55 gallon, maybe I'll try yet another brand of food. who'd have ever thought "Betta" (my 2 year old daughter named him) would be more difficult than all my other fish combined! LoL even after all of this I'm thinking about getting out my other 20 gallon and dividing it so I can rescue 2 more = ) I'm running out of places to put tanks though!
 
capekate
  • #4
Well it sounds like your doing everything right for your betta and after three weeks he should be used to his new home. I went through a few different foods for my bettas from time to time. Seems that one they like one day, the next they get tired of it and want a variety. Ive gone thru a lot of different betta foods myself. They seem to like the HBH Betta bites right now and as they are much smaller pellets, more like tiny beads, they seem to like that better than the larger pellets.
Have fun at the LFS picking out cichlids!! ;D
 
0morrokh
  • #5
Have you tried HikarI Betta Bio Gold pellets? Those are one of the best types of betta food and most Bettas seem to like them. If he has decided not to like pellets, you could try freeze dried stuff. Most Bettas love bloodworms. You could also try daphnia if he won't eat bloodworms.

It could be that something that changed when he was moved caused him to become upset or depressed. Is his tank in a different room? Is he getting less attention than when he was in his old tank? Did you put the decorations from his 2gal into the 10gal?

Oh, I just thought of another theory. When you first moved him, he was not quite used to his new surroundings so he wouldn't eat. Then you switched foods to see if he would eat something else, but most Bettas don't like a change in food and may not eat anything besides what they are used to. Have you tried going back to the food you were initially feeding him?
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
You might be on to something w/ the room change thing... When he was in the 2 gallon he was at my computer desk, where I sit at least 7 hours a day working online or doing homework. The 10 gallon didn't fit on my desk so I moved it into my bedroom. I think I may try to get my 20 gallon moved into my room this week and try putting Betta and the 10 gallon back out in the living room where he can get a little more human interaction, maybe that's what all of this is about. Thanks for the insight, I definitely never thought of that!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #7
they are amazingly dependent on their interaction with us after getting used to it. when we were out most of a weekend at a betta show, one of our females (our smartest one) gave us a major pout for days and played sick fishie for almost a week and refused to eat anything except bloodworms. then when we started to give her extra attention, all was forgiven and she was her usual self.

moving him to where he gets more interaction would be great. also for foods: the hikarI freeze-dried daphnia, thawed & peeled frozen peas (torn into small pieces) and frozen thawed bloodworms (thawed in a container of room temp tank water and stored in the fridge for up to a week) are huge favorites of even our finicky betta fish.
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Last night I sat in my room with Betta and I actually got him to eat 3 bites! I'm still looking for something to put the 10 gallon on out in the living room. Or I could divide my 20 gallon and put him in there and swap fish...anyone have experience with dividing a tank? Won't one side have too much filtration/water movement than the other?
 
capekate
  • #9
Last night I sat in my room with Betta and I actually got him to eat 3 bites! I'm still looking for something to put the 10 gallon on out in the living room. Or I could divide my 20 gallon and put him in there and swap fish...anyone have experience with dividing a tank? Won't one side have too much filtration/water movement than the other?
I have two male bettas in a divided 10 gallon tank. Your right, one side does have the HOB filter flow but I put in a air wand on the other side so that they both have areation going. I have a flow gage on the filter, so most times I keep it at low, other times I turn it on high to do a good filteration. My guy doesn't seem to mind and finds room to swim away from the outflow. If you divide your 20 gal tank, there will be plenty of room for one of your guys to get out of the way of the outflow.
Glad to see your lil guy is eating again! ;D
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Right now I've got a 12 inch air stone in the 20 gallon (which I already have a divider for but I've never used it) I think it might be easier to just transfer Betta into the 20 gallon and put the guppies in the 10 gallon rather than move tanks to different rooms. I've read cory cats do ok with bettas? anyone have experience with that? i've got a pair of panda corys and I might just leave them in the 20, maybe get a few more since the tank will be divided. Also, is it better to get a male betta or female? (I definitely don't plan on breeding! I went through that with the guppies and never again!) thanks for your help!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #11
glad to hear that he ate.. corys and bettas go fine together, just watch for your betta eating up the corys food. I like both male and female bettas, but find the females to be a little smarter and full of character and easier to keep healthy.
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
thanks for the advice! what about otos? Can they stay in with the betta or should I move them into the 10 gallon with the guppys?
Also, how do you tell if they are male or female bettas? I was looking at them yesterday at the fish store and honestly couldn't tell them apart (Betta is my first betta) what's the difference between crowntail and the regular ones (becides price) sorry for all the questions, but I wanna make sure I do everything/get everything right!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #13
otos do well with bettas too. in the typical pet store bettas, the males tend to be a little bigger and have much more fins. The females also have a little white dot on their underside (right behind the 2 small fins). crowntails have a sort of 'crown' edge to their tail fins.. if you look at our tanks page, angel, sweetie and kairI are crowntails and mickey is a combtail (which is similiar to a crowntail but as you see on mickey the tail fin is like a comb because the ribs are connected further down.
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
thanks! much more helpful than the pet store employees! I may have changed my mind (again) I might leave my guppies in the 20 gallon and just use the divider and put Betta in the other side, then leave my 10 gallon for a quarenteen/sick tank instead of my 2 gallon? But I really would like to rescue another betta. I wish I just had the room for a wall full of tanks so I could have all the fish I wanted... = )
 
COBettaCouple
  • #15
Welcome to the Betta Bug and MTS. we have several quarantine tanks that aren't q.tanks now but permanent betta homes.
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
So I tried feeding Betta some peas, I swear it's like feeding a kid veggies! He turned up his little nose and swam away. He wouldn't come near the front of the tank until I put in his regular food! But my real question is, can other fish eat peas, or just bettas? Will it be ok to feed my Cichlids, Guppies, Platy, Cory Cats and Otos the peas too? Thanks!
 
0morrokh
  • #17
Yup. Peas are great for fish. All of your fish except maybe the Cories should eat them. I'm surprised your Betta didn't like them.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #18
yea, it's unusual for a betta to not like peas.. some don't and you might have a non-pea eater, but even our wild bettas go nuts for them. this was a pellet-sized piece from a frozen pea, thawed & peeled? Our platies love peas too.
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Yup. I thawed them, peeled them, and broke them up, and he acted as if they were poison! He has been eating so much better since I started sitting by the tank more giving him attention. Tomorrow he gets moved out to the living room (he'll have the whole 20 gallon to himself until I get another betta) Hopefully it will be more human interaction for him. If not, guess I'll have to get a 5 gallon tank to put back on my desk. (amazing how much I am willing to spend on a $5 fish! oh but I love it!)
Did you say you had wild bettas? where/how did you get those?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #20
you might try a peeled canned pea on him.. our first betta would turn his nose up to frozen peas so we caved in and gave him canned ones for a while and one day tried frozen again and he loved it from then on. I guess the canned ones got him liking peas and ready for frozen ones. just get canned peas with no salt.

yea, we have a pair of betta sp. mahachaI that we got at a betta show and 5 fry from their 1st spawn. you can read about the spawning and our learning what NOT to do on our fishblog, along with lots of pics of them. There's not a lot of info on this betta's breeding so we've lost most of the spawn to mistakes :'(, but have a much better idea of how these guys need to be cared for when we let them do a 2nd spawning.

There are many species of wild betta, including the splendens (these led to the pet store splendens we buy at the stores now). check out this link to see pics of the other betta species. mahachaI are near the bottom and a pretty recent find. https://smp.ibcbettas.org/species/index.html
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
How often do you feed peas? I fed all my fish some last night, the guppies were fighting each other over the pieces, it was so funny. They were worse than my cichlids (which loved them too)

Your bettas are amazing...very beautiful!! I love the colors.
 
0morrokh
  • #22
Once a week is good. It helps clear out their system. But, you don't want to feed them every day or something to carnivores...they still need their protein.
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Ok thanks! I got Betta some HikarI Betta Gold something and boy did he love it! He stayed at the top like come on give me more! I also liked that they were a lot smaller than the other stuff I had.
On a side note, I lost one of my smaller cichlids overnight (within 48 hours of getting him ) but while I was at Petland trading him for a new one, there was someone else doing the same. They require you to bring in a water sample to make sure it's not the tank that killed the fish. After the fish guy tested her water, he said he would give her a credit for the fish but he wouldn't let her take any more fish until she got her tank numbers under control. After the lady yelled for about 5 minutes, he just calmly told her sorry and walked away. It made me smile, that they actually cared enough about the fish to do something like that. The replacement fish weren't coming out of his paycheck, so it didn't matter to him, but he did the right thing and refused to let this lady kill more fish. I just though that with all the bad stuff i've heard about chain fish stores on here, I needed to tell my story about how they actually did something good! So me being the dork I am, thanked the man for doing the right thing and set home with my new yellow lab cichlid (and betta food and a new filter). Gosh this fish hobby is addicting!
 
0morrokh
  • #24
First of all I'm sorry to hear you lost a cichlid. :'(

Yeah, the HikarI Betta bio gold is the best kind of betta food imo, and most Bettas love it.

Glad to hear of a store that really cares about their fish. There are plenty of decent lfs's out there that take good care of their fish, but don't bother checking on their customers. I wish more of them were like the store you went to.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #25
How often do you feed peas? I fed all my fish some last night, the guppies were fighting each other over the pieces, it was so funny. They were worse than my cichlids (which loved them too)
Your bettas are amazing...very beautiful!! I love the colors.

Thanks, we love our little gang of characters. we feed them a pea dinner once or twice a week.

Ok thanks! I got Betta some HikarI Betta Gold something and boy did he love it! He stayed at the top like come on give me more! I also liked that they were a lot smaller than the other stuff I had.

I love HikarI foods.. they cost more, but our Bettas really enjoy them. We're sorry to hear about you losing your cichlid, it stinks when you bring one home that's already on his way out.
 
Phloxface
  • #26
I'm really glad to hear someone cares enough for fish NOT to let someone take one home if their tank parameters are bad. It should be a LAW for all fish stores to do that! What I can't understand is why the woman would yell at him. Does she want to take home another fish which will die and then she has to come in AGAIN to get a refund? Her tank was probably overstocked and not maintained well enough or too new. Some people refuse to believe anyone who tells them about the cycle process and that you should only have 1 inch of adult size fish per gallon (preferably 2 gallons). They see the heavily overstocked tanks at the store and think they can cram that many fish into their brand new tank too.
I hate when people sell a fish without asking the person what other types of fish they have, tank size and how many fish. A lot of newbies don't know that certain fish are incompatible, but then again, most of the teenagers working at the pet stores don't know anything either. :
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Very true! They only have a 1 time replacement, so if the others died she woulda been outta luck. The only thing that kinda bothers me is they only have a 48 hour replacement window...is this what everyone else is? (ive only bought fish here and in the past, walmart) The guy working was in his early 20s (like myself) so you can't say that all young people don't know anything about fish! ;D
 
Phloxface
  • #28
I don't know about other stores but Petsmart guarantees all pets for two weeks and often will give refunds even a little beyond that if the customer is very upset. For all pets other than fish for some reason you are required to read and sign a contract stating that you will take proper care of the pet, that you will feed it nutritious well-balanced food, that you will provide appropriate sized housing for it and that you will provide affection and kindness. My brother had to sign that sort of contract when he got the Quail. It still doesn't guarantee the pet parent will take proper care of the pet, but it's a nice idea. Too bad they didn't have the same thing with fish.
No, not all young people are clueless about fish care but the kids they usually hire are not even in their 20's. They are like 16 or 17, first job, never owned a fish other than maybe a small goldfish in a bowl when they were even younger etc. They don't receive enough training IMO. There are a couple of employees there that I like that are a little older, in their 20's and are very knowlegable about fish and really seem to care. I talked to one girl there one time who was very upset about a customer she had tried to help just before me and he was refusing to listen to her advice and was overstocking his tank and wondering why his fish were dying. Unfortunately it is against the store's policy to refuse to sell a fish to a customer so even though she probably wanted to say "no more fish", she had no choice.
 
0morrokh
  • #29
Yeah, a lot of other teenagers bug me simply because they have an attitude of not really caring about anything. Too bad most of them working at pet/fish stores don't actually keep fish like I do. IMO unless you actually keep pets and know about them, you shouldn't be working at a pet store...

The other thing that bugs me about stores is when they'll sell someone 2 or 3 tetras. If I ever owned a fish store, I would make a policy that you are not allowed to sell anyone less than 6 fish of shoaling species. Most stores just care about the 2 or 3 fish that get paid for rather than the happiness and wellbeing of those fish.
 
mlinden84
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
The other thing that bugs me about stores is when they'll sell someone 2 or 3 tetras. If I ever owned a fish store, I would make a policy that you are not allowed to sell anyone less than 6 fish of shoaling species. Most stores just care about the 2 or 3 fish that get paid for rather than the happiness and wellbeing of those fish.

That's a very good point, but sometimes people don't want to add six or more fish to their tank at a time. But then again, those who probably know that you need that many are prepared to take on the six at a time (with water testing and changing and such)
I feel like the fish store should at least include some info with the fish you buy. Not everyone would read/abide by it, but some would.
Kinda like my first tank, I was given a 20 gallon tank w/ 3 guppys, 3 platies, 1 fully grown molly (quite big I might add) 2 panda cory cats, 2 otos, 8 neon tetras, 7 tetras (cant remember the exact name but they were bigger than the neons) and a 5 inch clown loach (a very lonely one at that). Looking back I can't seem to understand what this person was thinking. Unfortunately, all but 1 oto and the 2 panda corys have died (most within a 1 week span before I fully understood water changes and all the important things. I feel horrible now I wish I would have done more reading, but hindsight is 20/20) Someone should have asked her what she had in the tank before allowing her to get more, as well as stopping her. Especially the poor clown loach, being coped up ALONE and in a small 20 gallon high tank.
 
0morrokh
  • #31
Well, 6 small tetras are probably the same bio load as 2 or maybe 3 Guppies or Platys...I wouldn't have a problem adding that many to a tank at a time, especially since most of the tetras sold in stores are very young and small.

That's too bad about the 20gal you were given. That's gotta be one of the most overstocked tanks I've ever heard of...too bad a store employee didn't think to ask about it somewhere down the line and prevent her from adding more fish.
 
Tropical Passion
  • #32
HI all, I had a Betta that died on News Years Day. He seemed to be healthy enough - he spawned, but since I got him from the pet store, he didn't eat a bite.
I tried Betta pellets and freeze dried bloodworms but he wouldn't eat either of them. He didn't move that much. I don't think there was anything wrong with the tank, good size with live plants, gravel, a light.
I thought he was just sick so I got another Betta. This one seems very happy and healthy, he moves around a lot but I don't think he's eaten anthing either! he is in the same tank as the other Betta that died, but I cleaned it and everything inside it completley.
Am I doing something wrong? What do you guys feed your Bettas??
Any help would be appreciated.
 
Alia1074
  • #34
When I first got my betta, she didn't eat very much either. But I figured it was because she was such an itty bitty baby and the pellets were too big for her little mouth. If this is the case with you, then I would just let the pellets soak in the water a little and then once they are moist, just squish them a little to break them down. So far that has worked well for us.
Good luck!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #35
Welcome to fishlore.

I would recommend an API master freshwater testing kit and using a tap water conditioner called Prime. What temp. is the water at? Do you have a picture of him? You might try thawed frozen bloodworms or thawed & peeled frozen peas torn into pellet sized pieces (up to 3 of each) for him, or some freeze-dried daphnia. You could also try soaking a few freeze-dried bloodworms in a little dish of garlic juice until they're plump.
 
LuvaBetta
  • #36
But I figured it was because she was such an itty bitty baby and the pellets were too big for her little mouth.

My girls weren't sure about the pellets at first, and they swam around with the pellets in their mouths for several minutes. They must have soaked them pretty well, then went on to eat them.

(But you can imagine how they looked; since a betta's mouth is closer to the top of their heads they looked like seals balancing beach balls on their noses!)
 
Alia1074
  • #37
My girls weren't sure about the pellets at first, and they swam around with the pellets in their mouths for several minutes. They must have soaked them pretty well, then went on to eat them.

(But you can imagine how they looked; since a betta's mouth is closer to the top of their heads they looked like seals balancing beach balls on their noses!)

OMG, my betta does the same thing! too funny.
 
voiceless_kat
  • #38
Don't ya love them????
 
Tropical Passion
  • #39
Oh no, I didn't know anything about the water cycle!
The pet store told me to get the tank, set it up, leave it for a day without the fish and get the fish. Then float the bag in the water for about 20 mins, open the bag and put some of the water form the tank in and eventually let it out!
What should I do?
Should I get a heater?
Thankyou.
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #40
I would recommend getting a heater and keeping the waterchanged atleast 20% every 3 or 4 days until the tank has several weeks to setup good bacteria that help break down waste. The API Master Test Kit can help you keep a reading on the chemical levels (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.)
 

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