Betta Fish Care

What Do You Do If Your Betta Is Not Eating?

It is typical for human nature to consider any refusal of food as a sign of a problem, most often a disease. Although not everything is so black and white in humans, animals, and fish, persistent rejection of food can be a symptom of a disease or a sign that something is wrong with the environment.

We consider animals and fish to be primitive creatures that don’t need much to be happy and content. But we often underestimate their needs and the signs they send us.

Betta fish are not typical in many ways and are quite different in character. It is similar to feeding. In principle, they are greedy and like to eat, so any ignorance of food causes panic among the owners.

However, do you have reason to panic? In most cases, you don’t. You just aren’t informed enough.

You Always Feed Betta With The Same Food

Fish foods are often pellets, and because they are cheap – are the first choice of Betta fish owners. However, that is not enough. Betta fish are voracious, but they can also be picky when it comes to food.

Sometimes they are picky for a reason. Pellet food doesn’t provide enough of the necessary proteins and minerals for the health of Betta fish.

And even if they do, fish, like humans, get used to certain foods and get bored. It is always good to feed yourself and your pets with high quality meals. You can also feed Betta fish with live food, insect larvae, or frozen food that you buy in a pet store.

Organize a weekly menu for Betta fish, so that it is fun and varied. Do not overdo it and adhere to the recommended amounts. Also, Betta fish love the quality taste. Even when the food is of the highest quality, if Bettas don’t like the taste – they will avoid it. You can try with another manufacturer or use a trick by mixing food from different manufacturers.

Eating always the same food – can harm the Beta’s digestive system, cause constipation and bloating. Although it can cost more, in the long run – quality feeding will strengthen the immune system of Betta fish and protect it from disease and premature death.

Do Your Best To Calm Your Betta Fish

Betta fish are extremely sensitive and literally everything, any change can upset them so much they lose their appetite or get sick from the shock. This condition can last for days and requires a lot of patience. When stressed, Bettas can behave in different ways. Some eat obsessively, while others refuse food. They become too aggressive, swim hysterically, attack other fish or hide

Betta fish

If you give them food and they don’t eat – remove that food from the aquarium so that it doesn’t pollute the water and create an even bigger problem. If Betta doesn’t eat, remove the food after 10 minutes. Try to do everything to calm the fish.

Check the quality and temperature of the water, do not disturb it. Provide enough darkness and do not keep the light on all day long. If you know your Betta’s behavior you will notice when it gets in a good mood again and then starts eating again.

Make Sure The Conditions In The Aquarium Are Optimal

When you decide to adopt a fish – always keep in mind that the aquarium must mimic its natural environment as much as possible. This is not easy, because despite all the accessories and modern technology – the aquarium is still artificial.

That is why Betta fish are especially sensitive because things that can be tolerated in nature, in the aquarium will not be so easy.

If the filters do not work, the water is too polluted and dirty, dangerous microorganisms and algae can develop that harm Betta fish. Their immune system will react by decreasing color intensity; they will float on the surface or lie on the bottom of the aquarium.

 If the water is dirty, fish will probably be constantly around the filter, because that is where the water is cleanest.

If this condition continues – Betta will get sick and eventually die. Also, the water temperature in the aquarium must be between 78-81 degrees Fahrenheit. A higher or lower deviation will harm the Betta fish.

All of this may be the reason why Betta fish refuse food. Prevention is always the best, so before you let Betta fish in the aquarium – provide all the prescribed conditions. A large enough aquarium, heater, thermostat, and filter that are correct are the basis of a healthy environment for a Betta fish.

There is very little chance that they will refuse food – if the aquarium is well maintained.

Betta Eats When You’re Not Watching

Betta may eat when you do not watch or you feed your pet more than necessary, so because of that excess, you think Betta doesn’t eat at all. You will solve this dilemma by feeding Betta once or twice a day with the amount of food the size of a Betta fish’s eye.

That’s about the size of a Betta fish’s stomach and anything that can’t fit in it will float around the aquarium.

Give Your Betta Time To Get Used To The New Environment

As we have already said, for Bettas everything can be stressful.  It could even be a drive from the pet store to the aquarium. The process of getting used to the new conditions, especially if there are more fish in the aquarium, can take some time.

All this causes terrible tension in Betta and great fear and can result in food refusal for even a few days. It is important not to panic and allow the Betta fish to gradually and at its own pace get used to the new environment.

They are territorial fish and when they “win” their new place, they will start eating and swimming normally. Be careful when moving the Betta into an aquarium that already has other species of fish. There could be a battle for territory.

It is ideal to have a large aquarium, with enough space for all the fish you have, as well as with the right choice of plants and gravel. If you do it all right, each fish will be able to have its own corner to rest and hide.

So, if Betta is a new tenant – don’t be aggressive towards him. It is up to you to offer her food, if refuses, remove the food from the aquarium so that it doesn’t contaminate the water.

If You Suspect Betta Is ill – Observe Behavior

Rejection, i.e. ignored food, is one of the basic signs Betta is sick. However, if that is the only symptom – it is unlikely that the disease is in question. To be sure, observe the fish and record its behavior. If he doesn’t eat for days, something is definitely wrong. 

Check all water parameters, acidity (nitrate and ammonia levels), temperature, and any algae. If everything is OK, check Betta fish’s body up close. If there are scabs, open wounds, and lesions, it is probably a disease or infection. If the fish is bloated or its body seems to be deformed – immediately put it in quarantine and take it to the vet.

So What To Do If Betta Fish Doesn’t Eat?

Don’t panic, but observe the behavior. It’s not always easy to figure out why a Betta fish won’t eat, but it’s not always dramatic either. It is often a matter of stress and getting used to a new environment, as well as poor food choices. All of this can be easily fixed and Betta will enjoy the food again.