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Betta will not eat. Very worried

lolipopllux

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Hello!

So I recently bought a beautiful halfmoon Dumbo. I took him home on the twelfth and he seemed very content in my filtered and heated ten gallon tank. I have a moss ball but no live plants as of now. He has a little log and some hiding places. He's spent the last few days exploring and looking around, in short he has been very active.

There is only one issue; he has not eaten since I got him. I understand that he is stressed out and this may be the cause but I cannot help but worry, I am new to fishkeeping and I just would feel so much better if he would eat. I have tried pellets, bloodworms and brine shrimp and he has shown no interest in any of them.


Any suggestions?

Thank you so much.
 

Deanasue

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A fish can go a week without eating but he should be eating something by now. Pellets are best as they float on the water for a bit. Is your tank cycled? Are you aware of the nitrogen cycle?
 

Jan Cavalieri

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I actually have a sick fish I'm caring for that hasn't eaten in 4 weeks - she's thin but still fairly active - she has fish bladder disease - so 2 days is nothing.

I would look into adding some real plants to give him a place to retreat to when he's stressed. But he needs an open area in the aquarium so he can easily get to the top for air. He might also like Tubiflex worms (most fish think they are a delicacy) buy the freeze dried kind and use 1/2 of a cube - get it very wet so the worms rehydrate and don't bloat him up and offer it to him. Most fish love flakes too - probably the junk food of the fish world but there are some very good brands. Just offer a little at a time or you're going to have a VERY dirty tank. In fact you may want to suction out any old food right now before feeding him fresh food.
 
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lolipopllux

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A fish can go a week without eating but he should be eating something by now. Pellets are best as they float on the water for a bit. Is your tank cycled? Are you aware of the nitrogen cycle?
My tank is in the beginning stages of cycling, I had everything set up before my fish arrived. Do you think he is just being stubborn or is there a chance that there is something wrong?
 

Deanasue

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A fish in cycle can be hard on the fish. Be sure to use Seachem Prime every 24 hours to detoxify the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates as tank gets cycled. The Prime will only detoxify for 24 hours so you will need to use it daily.
 

essjay

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If you didn't do a fishless cycle before you got the betta, are you keeping a daily check on ammonia and nitrite, and doing a water change if either show above zero? Ammonia and nitrite in the water are stressful, as Deanasue said. A dechlorinator like Prime will protect the fish from rising levels till the next water change.


I recently bought a new betta - he is very small compared to the betta who had passed away. He too would not eat anything so I crushed the betta pellets and put the bits in the tank and he ate those. A week later, he started eating whole pellets. Maybe try seeing if yours will eat crushed pellets?
 

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@Deanasue, why are you recommending Prime instead of water changes during cycling?
I thought chemicals and additives should only be used where there is no alternative?
 

Deanasue

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We want the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates to be able to grow. With a fish in cycle this would need to be done daily and would slow down the process. We want to do the w/c only when they get too high. Make sense?
 

Naughts

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Not really, because this is a fish in cycle so if the ammonia and nitrite grows it endangers the fish. Your post didn't mention water changes at all, just Prime.
My anecdote is I did a 'soft cycle' with bottled bacteria, a few plants and water changes. Ammonia never rose above 0.25 and nitrite went as high as 1. If I'd tested and water changed daily instead of sometimes every 2 or 3 days maybe those parameters could have been less and even safer. It took 4 weeks.
 

Deanasue

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Not if your using the Prime as instructed.
 

Deanasue

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There are several ways to accomplish it. Main goal is to keep fish safe. Water changes are fine but slow down the process. T’s really based on preference and patience.
 

seangee

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Not really, because this is a fish in cycle so if the ammonia and nitrite grows it endangers the fish.
I agree. The fish health comes first IMO and if the cycle takes longer so be it. fish produce ammonia constantly so the bacteria won't starve. Adding fast growing floating plants also help dramatically as they "feed" on ammonia without producing nitrate or nitrite. Water sprite, frogbit or salvinia would all be good choices.
 

Deanasue

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If the OP chooses to do the more frequent water changes then I have no problem with that. I did say when the numbers went up the changes would have to be done. It’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. The Prime would not hurt the fish. Go for it though with the daily water changes. I am against fish in cycle anyway. :)
 
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Deanasue

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@Deanasue, why are you recommending Prime instead of water changes during cycling?
I thought chemicals and additives should only be used where there is no alternative?
@Naughts, what are you using to dechlorinate when doing your water changes? You have to be using a chemical yourself. Right?
 
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Deanasue

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I agree. The fish health comes first IMO and if the cycle takes longer so be it. fish produce ammonia constantly so the bacteria won't starve. Adding fast growing floating plants also help dramatically as they "feed" on ammonia without producing nitrate or nitrite. Water sprite, frogbit or salvinia would all be good choices.
Yes, I believe I too said the safety of the fish is most important. Absolutely!
 
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