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Why is My Betta Fish Not Eating?

Betta fish are a spectacular species of fish that aquarium hobbyists find to be quite fascinating. Also referred to as Siamese fighting fish, Betta fish are beautifully colored aquatic animals with fan-like fins that give them their unique appearance.

These fish are becoming increasingly popular among different groups of aquarists.

Just like other types of fish, Betta fish are extremely sensitive thus the need to be given their own special care. If these special requirements are not met, then they may have an impact on the eating behavior of your Betta fish.

A change in the eating habit may mean something else as far as the well-being of your fish is concerned. And one of the worst instances that you can find yourself faced with is your fish is not eating at all. So, what are the reasons that can make your Betta fish not to eat? Learn more about the underlying reasons that can make your fish stop eating and their possible remedies in the following sections of this article.

Reasons Why Your Betta Fish is Not Eating

Pets like Betta fish are not able to tell you when something is wrong with them. It is your responsibility to find out why they are not acting normally as they always do. From there you can easily figure out the root cause of their predicament especially when they stop eating.

Without eating, your Betta fish cannot do some basic things such as swimming, floating and playing around. Under certain circumstances, they may start losing their beautiful colors as well as their body size. Here are some of the common reasons your Betta fish is not eating:

1. Your Betta Fish does not Like the Food

It is possible that your fish will not eat what they don’t like. This is could be the reason your Betta fish is not eating the food you have given to them. It looks like an obvious reason although it is not all so clear. For instance, your Betta fish might refuse to eat pellets not because they don’t like them but they could be having the lowest nutritional value.

Also, their taste might be unpleasant and this is the reason they cannot eat them. Perhaps with time they will get used to this type of food and find them delicious. In most cases, a number of fish species don’t just accept eating new types of food introduced to them. As time goes by, they get used to their new diet and resume their eating habits as usual.

Apart from disliking the new type of food, Betta fish can refuse to eat food that has expired. This is due to the fact that such diets change their taste once their shelf life is over. Finally, you should know that some food taste better than others and this makes your Betta fish become choosey when eating. As you know, this species of fish is carnivorous by nature, meaning that you need to check out what you are giving them in terms of food.

2. Betta Fish is Stressed

Betta fish are very sensitive aquarium pets. They get stressed for a number of reasons and this can make them stop eating. In fact, their refusal to take their food is an indication that they are under a stressful period resulting from their immediate environment in the aquarium. How does this happen?

First of all, stress comes in when you introduce your Betta fish to a new environment they are not used to. A new environment comes with its own share of problems. For example, the parameters in the new aquarium could be affecting your Betta fish to the extent of stressing them.

When they are stressed, it is obvious that they are not comfortable with everything around them. As a result, they will have difficulties in taking their food comfortably as usual. You will also realize that your Betta fish get stressed from frequent movements in its surroundings. This movement is always experienced close to where their aquarium is located, especially in the living room.

3. Betta Fish is Overfed

Do you know that the stomach capacity of your Betta fish is the same in size as its eyeball? This should tell you that its stomach is very small hence cannot consume a lot of food. Maybe this fact might have gone unnoticed to you and that is the reason you are worried when you realize that your Betta fish cannot take any more food at certain times.

In addition to that, over-feeding your Betta fish can lead to some stomach problems. These types of fish have common digestive problems and before you know it, giving them too much food may translate into serious health problems. Every time you discover that your fish has stopped eating, check the amount of food you are giving it.

4. Aquarium Conditions are Not Favorable

Are you still wondering why your Betta fish is not eating even after providing it with the right food? Well, you need to be fully aware that this species of fish is cold blooded. This means that its metabolism is related to its surrounding, which is water.

The temperature of water in the tank can determine the well-being of your Betta fish including the eating habit. If the conditions in the tank are not good, you should expect your fish to experience some problems when it comes to eating.

Despite the fact that Betta fish are cold-blooded, low temperature is likely to slow down their metabolism, resulting in low intake of food. In the end, you will realize that they won’t eat as much food as they would when subjected to warm tank water conditions.

5. Your Betta Fish is Sick

Loss of appetite is one of the common symptoms showing that your fish is not feeling well. The presence of diseases in the fish’s body can make it not to eat at all and this should be a cause of alarm on your side.

Watch out for obvious signs such as lethargy and heaviness, fins tucked in (and not open), loss of color, swollen stomach, bloody fins, and parasites before you rule out the possibility of illness. If you notice these signs, you should just know that they are making your Betta fish sick thus the reason it is not eating.

On the other hand, your fish could be suffering from constipation and this is a serious issue in Betta fish species. Without immediate action, constipation can kill your fish.

What to do When Your Betta Fish Stops Eating?

If you realize that your Betta fish is no longer eating, you should try to find a possible solution to that problem. The best way of doing so is by looking for the right remedies to have your fish start eating again. Below are a few steps you can take when your Betta fish is not eating:

The first step to take is to wait for a short while to assess the situation at hand. Should you find out that your fish is used to some special type of food, you should give it some more time to get used to a new food you are trying to feed it on. With time, you will be surprised to find your fish eating the same type of food it had previously refused to eat.

You can as well try to give it other types of food such as live food, flakes, or even frozen food. Keep in mind that this alternative food is given after trying out pellets on your fish. Even though your Betta fish may refuse to eat pellets, it will definitely like one or several of other types of food. Once more, your fish will be compelled by hunger to eat other foods besides pellets.

Apart from disliking the type of food you are giving it to eat, your fish can also stop eating as a result of its relocation to the new environment. If it doesn’t like its immediate surroundings, it is likely that it will not feel comfortable to enjoy the food. To solve this problem, you must try to acclimatize your Betta fish to the new environment. You can do this by adding a few plants, substrate and decorations that they are familiar with. In addition, ensure that the water is kept clean throughout.

Supposing you realize that the reason your Betta fish is not eating is the temperature of water in the tank, try to find ways to correct this problem. You can either lower or raise the water temperature to get the ideal one for your Betta fish. Warm temperature plays a significant role in improving the metabolic rate of fish. Therefore, invest in a water heater to keep the water in the tank warm.

If you observe signs of sickness like erratic behavior, weird swimming, lethargy or any visible symptoms, you should know your fish is not fine. Probably, these signs are responsible for making your fish not to eat. If that is the case, reach out for your vet to have an accurate diagnosis and solution to that particular problem.

Final Thought

Basically, the above-mentioned problems could be making your Betta fish not to eat. But you can apply the right remedy for every problem to try to make it consume its food. If not, reach out to your vet to know where the real problem is coming from.

Written by Fabian

Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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