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Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Aren’t Eating

By Steven Caller

When all is going well, Betta fish eat a variety of foods and are generally willing to accept flake foods, frozen foods and especially live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworm. Their eating habits are generally quite predictable and they will eat almost all of the food you put in their tank, providing you aren’t over-feeding them. However, sometimes it seems that Betta fish don’t want to eat and this can be the sign that something is wrong. Here are the main reasons why Betta fish stop eating.

The first and most common reason is over-feeding by the owner. When feeding a Betta fish, you must only supply them with the amount of food that they are capable of consuming within two minutes, before removing any excess food after this time has elapsed. Not only will the uneaten food rot and cause a deterioration in your aquarium water quality, but fish are susceptible to bloating and swim bladder disease when they overeat. Feeding tropical fish with too much brine shrimp is often a cause of bloating. Aim to give your fish a starve day every week on which you do not feed it at all.

Try varying the foods you give your tropical fish so that it receives a range of nutrition. In this way you can also find out which foods are its favourites and which it generally isn’t so impressed by.

If your Betta fish isn’t eating, you may be able to notice other symptoms which could indicate that it is suffering from another disease or illness. When your Betta fish stops eating, you should inspect its body and fins for signs or fungal infection, white patches, scratch marks, uneven scales and a general lack of movement. All of these symptoms could suggest a more serious illness such as white spot or fin rot.

As a precautionary measure, you should test the water for ammonia and nitrates and perform a water change if these are present in your aquarium water. All tropical fish will be at a higher risk of illness and disease if your aquarium contains too much ammonia or nitrates/nitrites. If you manage to notice that you fish has a particular disease then be sure to isolate the affected fish and treat its water with the correct tropical fish disease treatment.

In conclusion, when your Betta fish stops eating, follow the above steps, making sure you aren’t overfeeding, using a variety of foods and keeping your aquarium tank clean. Failing all else you need to identify and treat its illness. Be prepared though, not all illnesses are treatable.

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