My betta fish never eats in front of me

sleepycloud

Hello everyone,

I've had my betta fish (named Spencer) for about a month now, and not once have I seen him eat the food I give him. I've tried flakes and pellets (I use just pellets now), I've tried sprinkling the pellets above his head, I've pushed them so he sees them fall down in front of his face... He'll notice it, and even swim a little bit towards it, but then go back to ignoring it. I've tried giving him dried blood worms on multiple occasions, again, by dropping it directly above him when he's chilling near the surface of the water, but he doesn't eat those, either! I'll sit in front of the aquarium and watch him for 10-15 mins and he never goes after the food. I will leave and get ready, come back, and see that the food has floated down to the bottom of the aquarium.

He does not have any vision issues; he follows me around and watches what I'm doing and will follow his tank mates around, too, and he sees the food and will sometimes swim towards the pellet but still not touch it. I'm sure he can smell it, too.

I am also not overfeeding him. I put 4 pellets above him, and maybe I'll put a little more since I get worried that I can't see him eating and I want to make sure he finds food at some point. I've seen him on a few occasions, like 12 hours after initially feeding him, gulp at something he found sitting around the floor or on some plants and he'll eat that. I feed him at the same time every morning, before I go to work. I initially tried feeding him in the evening, but that didn't encourage him, either.

I've had two betta fish before him and never had this issue. They always came immediately when there was food and ate quickly, and they especially loved dried blood worms. Spencer is still doing well, he's very active and swims all over his 10 gallon tank on a daily basis and loves following me around and watching what I do when I do aquarium maintenance. I just have no idea what he's surviving off of, or why he doesn't eat in front of me.
 

Blueberrybetta

Are you pre soaking the pellets ? Also 4 at once is a lot considering their stomach's are the the size of their eye.
He could be constipated, especially if you don't soak the pellets
 

sleepycloud

Are you pre soaking the pellets ? Also 4 at once is a lot considering their stomach's are the the size of their eye.
He could be constipated, especially if you don't soak the pellets

No, I haven't been soaking the pellets. Is this something people normally do when feeding pellets to their fish? How long/how much should I soak them? The pellets start to get messy pretty quickly; even after a few minutes of sitting at the surface of the water. They get engorged and start dissolving and falling apart.

Also, he didn't eat fish flakes either when I initially tried feeding him that. That's actually why I switched over to pellets, I thought maybe he would prefer them over the flakes, but maybe he wasn't eating them at the time because I had a ton of water scuds in my aquarium and perhaps he was eating those instead. They disappeared pretty quickly after introducing him and the other fish into the tank.
 

Blueberrybetta

No, I haven't been soaking the pellets. Is this something people normally do when feeding pellets to their fish? How long/how much should I soak them? The pellets start to get messy pretty quickly; even after a few minutes of sitting at the surface of the water. They get engorged and start dissolving and falling apart.

Also, he didn't eat fish flakes either when I initially tried feeding him that. That's actually why I switched over to pellets, I thought maybe he would prefer them over the flakes, but maybe he wasn't eating them at the time because I had a ton of water scuds in my aquarium and perhaps he was eating those instead. They disappeared pretty quickly after introducing him and the other fish into the tank.

Yes for bettas...the pellets can be too hard for the bettas to "chew" and soaking the pellets prevents them from swelling inside his stomach , causing swim bladder disease and dropsy.
Soak them for about 2 mins before adding them . I soak mine in a small cup of tank water then use a dropper to suck them up , then drop them in. Depending on the size of the pellet , 4 can be a lot especially if you don't fast him for 2 days of the week to let him fully digest everything. Also , bloodworms are treats , high in fat , not used as for a main diet , too many will cause constipation but still give as treats. Stay away from flakes , not that healthy for bettas and they make mess.

I reccomend getting some frozen bug food as it's natural and high in minerals . They sell frozen daphnia which bettas love. Bettas need a variety beside just hard pellets , over time will lead to constipation and they get tired of it. It wouldnt hurt to buy some frozen bugs for him to maybe spark his interest in eating .

For now , put him on a diet of feeding 5 days a week , 2 days of fasting . Add more variety to his diet as well.

A betta hammocks also helps feeding bettas as it suction cups to the top of the glass , so he can rest while he eats
 

sleepycloud

Yes for bettas...the pellets can be too hard for the bettas to "chew" and soaking the pellets prevents them from swelling inside his stomach , causing swim bladder disease and dropsy.
Soak them for about 2 mins before adding them . I soak mine in a small cup of tank water then use a dropper to suck them up , then drop them in. Depending on the size of the pellet , 4 can be a lot especially if you don't fast him for 2 days of the week to let him fully digest everything. Also , bloodworms are treats , high in fat , not used as for a main diet , too many will cause constipation but still give as treats. Stay away from flakes , not that healthy for bettas and they make mess.

I reccomend getting some frozen bug food as it's natural and high in minerals . They sell frozen daphnia which bettas love. Bettas need a variety beside just hard pellets , over time will lead to constipation and they get tired of it. It wouldnt hurt to buy some frozen bugs for him to maybe spark his interest in eating .

For now , put him on a diet of feeding 5 days a week , 2 days of fasting . Add more variety to his diet as well.

A betta hammocks also helps feeding bettas as it suction cups to the top of the glass , so he can rest while he eats

Thank you so much for your informative reply; I will do just that!
 

flyinGourami

Are you pre soaking the pellets ? Also 4 at once is a lot considering their stomach's are the the size of their eye.
He could be constipated, especially if you don't soak the pellets
4 pellets is a lot depending on the betta itself and the size of the pellets. Also, a bettas stomach isn't the size of their eyeball. I do agree on soaking the pellets tho.
 

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