Why won't my betta go to the surface to eat?

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BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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Oscar, my betta, won't go to the surface to eat the food... its like he doesn't trust that the food at the surface is ok. he just eats the food that falls from the surface - which is weird because aren't bettas surface feeders? could it be because i have a water pump ( it sucks up water from the bottom and puts it back into the water and it has a filter pad in it) Miley
 

chickadee

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Bettas need to go to the top to breathe as they use oxygen from the air just like we do...if you have the surface of the water bubbling or moving rapidly, bettas have large fins and cannot fight strong current. He will not go where the surface is choppy and the tank, as I have told you, is not big enough for him. He is not a happy fishie for some reason and will not do well as you have him.

He won't chase food on the surface either, if the food is moving rapidly or else he just does not like what you are giving him. What are you feeding him? Bettas are not meant to eat flake foods, their mouths are not made for them. There are a few bettas I know of who will eat flake foods but they cannot eat them easily.

I do not mean to sound like I am always telling you that you are doing something wrong, it is just that you really have put this little one in a horrible condition and you are going to have problems.

Rose
 

nmwierman1977

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If the water pump is too strong and causing to much roughage at the surface then Oscar will not go to the surface. The surface needs to be as stagnant as possible, so Oscar can get to the top often to breath through his labyrinth and also eat. That is probably the reason why he's not going to the top. If you can before anything happens to him and he gets too stressed out and sick you need to get a bigger and better tank. I would suggest you get this one. It is very easy to take of.

This is the best tank. It has all 3 filter media that you need. this is the tank I have for Mr. Red in  and Rose has I think most if not all of her fish in them too. They are good to have if you don't have a whole lot of room either. If you do get this for him be sure you cycle it first and once all of the chemical levels are good then it's safe to put him there. The ammonia needs to be 0. Nitrates need to be 0, Nitrites need to be at least 20 or lower. No higher then that. It's best if at 0, but if you can't then no higher then 20.
 I am very afraid to say, but if you don't get him in a better environment then he is going to die. He needs to be able to breathe through his labyrinth otherwise he will drown. Natalie
 
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BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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Rose and Natalie,
i know that i have him in a small tank - i get it and i am trying to get enough money to get him a bigger tank like the one that Natalie showed me( great tank by the way) . thnx Miley
 

0morrokh

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Hey I just wanted to say sorry if it seems like we're bugging you too much about it...we all just care a lot about fishies. I'm glad you're trying to get a bigger tank.
 

chickadee

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I just do not want you to keep losing fish. That is discouraging and upsetting even for those of us who have been at this a while. Fish are living things, not disposable objects to entertain us. When they are not in the right conditions, it hurts them and they get sick and die. We are not trying to beat you up and make you feel bad, but I thought I had explained to you before why you needed to get the equipment first and then get it set up and ready for the fish BEFORE you buy the fish and put it somewhere that it has a problem with. Then you will have a better chance at keeping it.

Rose
 

gammerus

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that was a pretty expensive 5gal. If you go to walmart you can find nice 5gals for half the price. I really reccomend checking out craigslist.com or your local thrift store if you are strapped for cash. I found a 10gal with filter, light, and gravel for only $16 (half price day)
 

poefox

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I had a similar problem with Rusty at first when I still had him. I have a few questions for you:

1. How long have you had him?

2. How long has he been refusing to surface?

3. Apart from when he does have to breathe, does he ever approach the surface?

4. How does he respond when you approach him?

5. What are you feeding him?
 

chickadee

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That is the tank that all my bettas but 2 are going to be in and they are going into the extra large Kritter Keepers with sponge filters and Kritter Lights and 25 watt Visi-Therm Stealth heaters. I keep Bio-spira on hand in my refrigerator at all times for just such occasions as these and now I feel totally prepared for the entry of all my new babies..

Rose
 
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BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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Poefox,
ok here we go -
1. i have had him since New Years Day. so not too very long.

2. since i got him .... he eats the food that falls to the ground. he will rest at the surface at times but other wise not at all unless he needs air.

3. only VERY accationally. (sorry i don't know how to spell it :-[ )

4. when i take a Wardley brand tubiflex cube and hold it in there or if i stick the tip of my finger in the water he will very trustingly swim up to my finger.

5. i feed him Wardley betta food ( pellets) , Aqua brand betta pellets, and Wardley tubiflex cube( only occasionally though.)

could the way he does that be just his natual unique behavior? Miley
 

chickadee

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The Wardley Brand betta pellets are too big for the bettas mouths to eat. Is he having trouble eating them or swallowing them? He cannot eat a cube of tubifex worms, he can have freeze dried blood worms though as you are able to control his eating with them. If he is at the bottom of the tank and will not come up, he could be constipated and need to eat some frozen pea that has been defrosted. The directions for doing this are in the Betta Care Guide that I asked you to read.

Rose
 
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BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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Rose,
i read it and its good thnx. also i have him on a diet where i give him a little piece of tubiflex cube every other day. so hopefully that helps him... also he is swimming around and he chases a laser light thingy!!! its awesome and fun he tries to bite the light in his tank lol. well thnx Miley
 
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