New Betta Blues

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DelleBelle

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So, I got my new betta a few days ago, he's in a temporary bowl until his tank finishes cycling. He still bolts every time I get near the bowl, which makes it impossible to feed him. He hasn't eaten at all since he's been with me, and I don't know how long it was since the pet store last fed him. I've even tried standing far enough from the bowl and to the side that he can't really see me, wait until he comes up to the surface, and toss in a pellet, but he sees my arm go up and runs for it. I know its normal for bettas to by shy for awhile, but is there anything I can do to get him more comfortable with his new surroundings?
 

Jaysee

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I would try feeding and leaving the room.

Also, fish don't eat when they're stressed, so if it's suffering from ammonia poisoning it may not be hungry.
 

jerilovesfrogs

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my bettas weren't really shy when I got them. they weren't as bonded to me as they are now...it took a little time. maybe a week. though they wouldn't run from me, more like not have a ton of interest/connection with me.

I just got a male crowntail two days ago....he isn't shy...but has been more interested at flaring at his tank mate. but we are building a connection. putting the black divider in has helped him direct his attention to me!

I agree with jaysee, just to get him to eat, put the pellet in and leave the room. well, in the beginning, to get my boys/girl to understand the "here is your food" language, I would open my mouth a few times and shake my head a bit from side to side.....eventually they were opening their mouths and wiggling from top to bottom. this is now how they beg.
 
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DelleBelle

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I'll try this, although I'll have no way of knowing if he ate since after a a minute or so the food sinks to the bottom.
 

Jaysee

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How big is the bowl and how often are you changing the water?

Also, I would definitely not have any substrate in the bowl. All that's going to do it trap waste and make it that much harder to keep the water clean. Then it wouldn't matter if the food fell to the bottom.
 
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DelleBelle

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The bowl is about 3/4ths of a gallon, and I haven't changed the water, I wanted to give him a few days to get used to his new bowl, and try not to freak him out too much. I originally planned to do a 100% change as soon as he was comfortable enough to come up and eat, but that hasn't happened yet, so I'll change the water today and try to feed him in his store cup. His tank has been cycling for a week, with a danio, established tank gravel, and an aquatic plant, so before I change the water in the bowl I'll check the tank parameters to see if it's safe yet. The bowl just some of those clear pebble/stone things, just barely enough to cover the bottom and anchor the silk plant he uses to hide. I'll take it out though, I'm sure the plant will stay at the bottom without the stones.
 
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I'm thinking that the problem is my temperature, I didn't put the heater in it thinking the big one I have was too much, and the temp was at a chilling 63. I put semI warm water in for the water change and its at an 84, I have the betta floating in the cup in the water, but I'll wait until it evens out to about a 78 before I put him in, and I'll stick the heater in there anyway to regulate the temperature. I tested the water of my still cycling tank, my brother gave me an empty ammonia box so I'll have to wait until he gets back to test that, but my nitrate and nitrite are both at 0, if I'm doing it right.
 

midthought

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A cycled tank reads 0 ammonia and nitrite, not nitrite and nitrate. You're bound to get some nitrate, which is fine. You just want to do water changes to avoid readings above 20 or 30 ppm nitrate.
 
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I was hoping for some nitrate, and no nitrite. I got zero for both. My color chart only goes from 0 to 5.0 PPM, though. That's Mg/L. Anyway, I tried feeding him tropical fish flakes, I let them float up there for a good 10, 15 minutes. He swam up, breathed, chilled at the surface, ignored the food and went back down. He did this several times before I just scooped the food back out. He absolutely won't eat, I thought it was because he was afraid of me, but unless he hates flakes, he's completely ignoring his food.
 

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Oh one thing about the nitrate testing, you have to shake the bottle and the solution really well and for enough time as stated in the directions. On my test (API), it's 30 seconds for the second bottle and one minute for the solution after you add the second bottle. If you don't do enough shaking, the test isn't accurate.
 

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What food they will take depends on the betta. I have one little piggy that will eat anything I put in the tank (frozen, freeze-dried, pellets and flakes). Another has branched out into pellets in addition to the frozen foods, and the third is a real pain. He'll only eat bloodworms or brine shrimp. Everything else he just lets float by him...

I tried only feeding him pellets for about 4-5 days in a row... no luck. He just got lethargic and looked quite willing to starve himself. I gave up and went back to what he wanted. Sap that I am
 
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I shook the tests the right amount of time, I have the same kits as you do, the API. My brother has brine shrimp for his saltwater tank, I'll go up now and thaw up a cube, see if the betta takes that.

Edit- I also just tested for PH (liquid test) and its a test for High PH ranges, the color was lighter then the 7.4 shown.
 
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Success! I mixed a bit of bowl water with a small bit of a cube of mysis shrimp, (Brother's all out of brine) and at first I squeezed them into the bowl, Lucy (my betta) looked around, almost looked interested, and then swam away, so I cleaned up the floating shrimp, and squeezed some more into the pipette, this time I very carefully placed the pipette right next to Lucy's head, and oh so carefully let one shrimp peek out of the tip of the pipette, I wiggled it for him, and when I caught his eye, I popped it out in front of him, he started towards it, and it floated away so he didn't bother to go after it. I sucked it back up, and made sure it stayed right in front of his face, and he took it! I got him to eat 2 or 3 shrimp this way, but now he's once again lost interest and ignores shrimp that I squeeze out near him. he's one lazy fish, I had to deliver the food directly to his mouth. In a few more hours I'll try again. I'm just glad he doesn't fear the pipette. Soon he'll love it. he'll think Pipette = Food, and eventually he'll tolerate my presence as well
 
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