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Help! New betta not interested in food

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  • Help! New betta not interested in food

    I've had bettas for years and all of them were piggies when it comes to food. This new one, however, has no interest in eating at all. I got him 15 days ago, he's in a heated 3 gal. tank. He's very active, swims, makes nests and plays all the time. Seems like he's settled in already.

    I have both floating and sinking pellets, I tried soaking them and just dropping them in dry, tried freeze dried bloodworms---nope, doesn't even look at it. Even soaked it in garlic juice. When he's in his cup during a water change, I gave him some food thinking maybe he just can't find it in his tank, same thing.

    He looks great, not constipated looking (no poop either). I chose him because he practically jumped at me and said "Pick me!" I've read they can go without food for a month. What if he still won't eat anything--will he starve himself to death? He must have eaten something to live long enough to make it to Petco. I'd go there to ask what they feed but I'm thinking he had no interest in their food either.

    Any suggestions? I don't really want to buy frozen bloodworms. He might love those and refuse anything else, and they're really icky. His water levels are great, he's normal in every other way.

  • #2
    Have you tried flake? Ground fairly fine?

    Or frozen brine shrimp?

    Those we be my next go-tos, in that order.

    How does your water test? Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I don't have flake food because I thought it wasn't good food. I did crush his pellets and he never looked at them. I'll resort to frozen fresh stuff if I have to, but, EW!

      I check his water right before I do a complete change and it's always good (I have a Master Test kit). I also change out 1/3 twice a week.

      I had my last fish for over 2 years and he was great until my heater malfunctioned and overheated the tank a bit. He wasn't the same after that. But he still looked forward to meals and ate with enthusiasm until his last day.

      Trust me to buy a strange fish.

      He'll sometimes chase bubbles when I'm adding water so I even squirted food through a syringe hoping he'd chase it. Nope.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd skip the flakes and save your money. It is the rare betta that finds them tasty.

        I had a new female years ago that looked and acted healthy but absolutely refused to eat. I treated her with Aquari-Sol as a last resort after someone recommended it to me on a betta board.

        It worked. Aquari-Sol is pretty cheap and easy to find. As a bonus, you can use it to disinfect your fishing nets! Just follow the dosage instructions carefully (it's a copper treatment), don't go crazy with the drops.
        *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Ooh, I have Aquarisol. I'll add it to his next water change.

          Today he did eat some....chicken. I was making a roast chicken sandwich and though what the heck, I'll cut an itty bitty piece and hold it in the tank with tweezers. He swam right up to it, I dropped it and he dove after it. Spit it out at first, but then ate it. This is the only food he's actually noticed.

          I stopped at Petco (saw a gorgeous turquoise half moon betta--I'll be he eats!) and got a tiny sample of the stuff they feed in the store. It looked like crushed dried bloodworms. He followed a sinking piece and tried it but spit it out.

          I'll give the Aquarisol a shot. How does it work for food pickiness? Since he ate today, I'll give this a try for a few days, then offer him regular food. He's lasted at least 15 days w/o food so a few more won't kill him. And I'll see if he poops at all.

          Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            To be honest, I really don't know the reasoning behind it. Perhaps it just kills some unseen/unknown pathogen? I know on the bottle it says it treats "clamped fins," or something like that. So maybe somehow it just helps them feel good, I dunno? At any rate, it got my female betta eating within a couple of days.

            Good luck.
            *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

            Comment


            • #7
              Haha, roast chicken. Who knew. I've owned probably sixty bettas (I don't kill them at record speed btw, I have a few betta setups including two split 10-gallons) and have only had one that looked and acted healthy, but refused to eat. I will remember that in case I ever come across another one!

              Glad he ate something!!

              Something else you could try - and by all means, consider yourself enabled - if the Aquari-sol doesn't work is getting him a betta neighbor. Or even just a mirror so he can see himself. He may work up an appetite after all that flaring.
              *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

              Comment


              • #8
                He may have picked up a fungus and you don't now it yet. That might be why Aquirisol works?

                I would make sure his water has the right chemical balance (well water is a no go).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mine will only eat frozen food - brine shrimp and blood worms. He's a picky dude.
                  Try wiggling a blood worm around and see if he'll bite.
                  You are what you dare.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    He plays all the time and will flair at a mirror so he is quite active. Every few days I put something new next to the tank to make life interesting. Today it's a snowglobe.

                    I soaked a dried blooworm so it was soft and bloated, dangled it in the tank, he swam up to it, pulled it off, chased it, ate it, then spit it out. I added Aquarisol during his partial water change yesterday and tomorrow his whole tank will be fully treated with it. We'll see what happens.

                    I'll resort to the frozen stuff if Finn still spits everything out after a few more days. Hopefully the Aquarisol will work for this. Fingers crossed he'll realize that this is his food, like it or not. He's so cute---right now he's draped over a silk flower. Funny how endearing these silly little fish are.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Finn finally ate today. I broke down and bought him some frozen brine shrimp and he took them right off of the tweezers, chased the pieces as they sunk, and ate all of it. Whew!

                      I'll continue to add the Aquarisol to the water for a few weeks. I'll also try sneaking some pellet pieces in with the slimy stuff from the shrimp and see if he'll eat them that way. If not, I'll get some frozen bloodworms too.

                      He'll have a fasting day or two just to be sure he doesn't get constipated and make sure he poops (haven't found any waste in his tank yet).

                      Thanks for your help!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The last bettas we got were like this. Simply refused to eat. It took a long, long time. They were active like yours but just refused. Thought surely they would starve to death, but they didn't, and eventually they started eating. Glad yours has as well and I be you can get him onto the pellets.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pony baloney View Post
                          Finn finally ate today. I broke down and bought him some frozen brine shrimp and he took them right off of the tweezers, chased the pieces as they sunk, and ate all of it. Whew!

                          I'll continue to add the Aquarisol to the water for a few weeks. I'll also try sneaking some pellet pieces in with the slimy stuff from the shrimp and see if he'll eat them that way. If not, I'll get some frozen bloodworms too.

                          He'll have a fasting day or two just to be sure he doesn't get constipated and make sure he poops (haven't found any waste in his tank yet).

                          Thanks for your help!
                          I'm glad he ate! But sorry you had to resort to frozen, those things are NASTY
                          Good luck transitioning him back to pellets.
                          *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            It's not as icky as I feared; they're sort of mushy and I can't make out individual pieces. Thank goodness they don't look like those Sea Monkeys they were sold as years ago---remember the little aquatic family on the box?

                            Today I moved the tweezers around and he swam after the food--that was fun! He can really move fast! I'd try holding it over the water but my tweezer is metal and I'm not sure if he can damage his mouth if he hits them hard enough.

                            There's a tiny pellet mixed in the slime for the next feeding so I'll try to sneak it to him. He's probably pretty clever and will spit it out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                              Have you tried flake? Ground fairly fine?

                              Or frozen brine shrimp?

                              Those we be my next go-tos, in that order.

                              How does your water test? Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate?
                              Frozen Brine shrimp! They love it. unless you have a very cold house Betta's do not need to be in a heated tank. All bettas I have kept and raised were in Large glass bowls or small like 2 gallon special breeding tanks.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Sannois View Post
                                Frozen Brine shrimp! They love it. unless you have a very cold house Betta's do not need to be in a heated tank. All bettas I have kept and raised were in Large glass bowls or small like 2 gallon special breeding tanks.
                                Years ago I kept mine in large 1 gal. unheated bowls. Now I use a 3 gal. heated tank and he's much more active and has lots of plants to hide and sleep in. Much easier to see him in a tank with flat sides, as opposed to a round bowl.

                                He ate the pellet I mixed with the slimey stuff, but I SWEAR he knew it was in there. The second it went into his mouth, he stopped chewing and I could see his eyes moving, like he was thinking about it. Full water change today, and still no poop. Where's the food going?

                                Comment

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