Why Is My Betta Fish Not Eating?

There are always plenty of fishkeepers trying to find out the cause of their betta fish not eating. This isnt because these fish are prone to hunger strikes, its simply because theyre a popular species.

This guide will help you diagnose the problem and make adjustments to ensure that your betta fish starts eating again and stays healthy. This isnt something you can wait forever to figure out (since fish need to eat obviously) so start keeping tabs as soon as you notice.

While these are completely fine types of foods to feed your betta fish (we talk about that in this care guide ), they might not get eaten if theyre not properly thawed. This step will require you to take an honest look at the quality of the food and diet youre providing your betta fish. If your betta fish wont eat, its possible that their diet isnt hitting their baseline nutritional requirements.

If your betta fish isnt eating due to a poor diet, the fix is relatively simple (in principle). Simply providing them with better food and a variety of things to eat that cover all their nutritional requirements is the way to go. Since breeders want to encourage growth at a young age, they often feed their fish a mix of live, freeze-dried, and frozen foods.

The trick is when you take your betta fish home and start trying to feed them other foods (like flakes or pellets) they might not be used to it. Theyve been eating the fancy stuff their entire life, and they dont realize that these new little objects that float around in their water are edible. Your fish should eventually pick up on the fact that the flakes and pellets youre giving them are indeed food and begin to eat.

If your betta fish wont eat, its important to remove uneaten food from their tank after its clear theyre not interested (give them a chance first). Uneaten food can quickly sabotage the water quality in your tank, leading to a whole host of other problems. If your water temperature is beginning to dip too low, that could be whats causing your betta fish to avoid eating (they may also start laying at the bottom of the tank ).

If your current thermometer says the water temperature is within the ideal limits, its a good idea to make sure your equipment is calibrated properly. These are both common causes of sickness in betta fish and will regularly result in them refusing to eat (among other things). If you want to play it safe then taking your pet to a veterinarian that deals with fish is a great idea.

There are ideal pH levels, water hardness, and ammonia are all things that can have a serious impact on your fish. Author Note: Its common for bettas who have been moved to a new tank to need a little adjusting before they resume their normal eating pattern. If youre stumped or dont want to risk wasting time troubleshooting its never a bad move to take your fish into the vet.

How do I get my betta fish to eat?

The solution here is simple. Just defrost your food before giving it to your betta. The best way to do this is by taking a small amount of your tanks water and placing the food in it. Once the food is fully defrosted just drop it into your tank and your betta should eat it up.

How do you know if your betta fish is dying?

Other signs that offer a clue to knowing when a betta fish is about to die include discoloration along the fish’s body, such as white or brown spots. Strange swimming movements or a shortening / eating away of the fins can also point to severe illnesses.

How long can a betta go without eating?

As we’ve just mentioned, betta fish can survive between 10-14 days without food. However, there are some major factors you should consider before leaving your betta fish unattended for such a long period of time.

Is it bad if my betta fish isn't eating?

If your betta fish won’t eat, it’s possible that their diet isn’t hitting their baseline nutritional requirements. If this ends up being the case, it doesn’t make you a bad owner. … Simply providing them with better food and a variety of things to eat that cover all their nutritional requirements is the way to go.

Betta fish need to eat to stay happy and healthy. Many people feed Betta fish pellets as a primary source of food. However, there seem to be a select number of Betta fish that dont like eating pellets.

Image Credit: Rifkong, ShutterstockNow, it may sound kind of odd, but you can definitely spoil a Betta fish. So, when you bring a Betta fish home and it wont eat pellets, it may actually be because it has developed a taste for the good stuff.

If the water in the Betta tank is too cold, it will slow down its metabolism, thus causing it to eat much less of everything. On the flipside of things, water that is too warm will increase the metabolic rate of your Betta fish and cause it to eat way more than it should. There are a few different things that you can try doing to attempt to get your Betta fish to eat pellets, most of which are directly related to the causes listed above.

If the cause is that your Betta fish is spoiled and used to better food, it may just need some time to get used to the no name stuff, so to speak. The longer your Betta fish is in its tank and the harder you try to make it feel at home, the more likely it is to eat the pellets.

Topic: Im super new to this and please excuse my lack of knowledge. I want to properly care for my fish. Im gonna ask anyways just because Im worried about my new fish. He wont eat and its been a couple of days now. What should I do about this? Will my fish starve to death because he is scarred?

She got a female betta, small, tank, rocks, decorative tree and pellet food (per Pet Smarts recommendation) and water conditioner. I added more silk plants to give him coverage and as he felt more safe he finally started eating.

As my father told me when I got my first Betta almost 40 years ago, the fish wont starve itself to death.Now that I breed, I offer one meal of golden pearls (out of three) daily from three days old. I use the measuring cap from nyquil and pesto bismol to soak the food, then gently pour it back in the tank. Since other people have covered the lack of a heater, Id also like to add that youll need to do frequent water changes and itd be a good idea to buy the API Freshwater Master Kit to test the waters ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.

Tank cycling will build the a habitat of beneficial bacteria that will consume the ammonia and nitrites produced by your fishs waste, decaying food, etc. That leads to water pollution and all the gunk build up from uneaten food (say if they eat it then spit it back out). My fish isnt eating anymore and Ive had him for two years and dont want to loose my little blooper (his name).

Im guessing you have single fish consumed tank like 70% of Betta owners but I just wanna cover all grounds. I think another issue is the fact that lots of parents are getting their children that are 9 years old and they feed the fish 12 times a day. Then the food doesnt get eaten and sinks to the bottom creating terrible water parameters Arrghhhh when will the problems end.

Theres nothing more worrying than when you notice your betta fish not eating. Although, in a lot of cases its nothing to worry about, in some cases it can be something more serious. If you want to know all the different reasons why your betta isnt eating then keep reading to find out!

The far better solution is to start diversifying your bettas diet until hell eat a whole range of food. You can either start by giving him lots of new food until he isnt fussy, or if you dont want to spend more money, fast him for a couple of days.

Another common cause when your betta fish isnt eating (especially if hes new to the tank) is that he doesnt know what youre feeding him is food. When bettas are with their breeders, normally, they will only be fed a mixture of live, frozen and freeze-dried food. Also if your betta hasnt eaten the food within 10 minutes, remove it from the tank.

While frozen and freeze-dried food is good for bettas, some wont eat it until its thawed properly. If youre just dropping it into your tank without giving it a chance to thaw or soften then your betta may just ignore it completely. If your betta eats it too fast, then it may continue expanding resulting in constipation and swim bladder disease in a lot of cases.

Once the food is fully defrosted just drop it into your tank and your betta should eat it up. A bettas stomach is about the size of his eye, so if youre giving him too much food then hes not going to be able to eat it all. You may notice that food is floating at the top of the tank and assume hes not eating it.

If your feeding your betta high-quality pellets thats fine, but you also need to mix it with live, frozen and freeze-dried food to make sure his diet is varied. Solution The best thing you should do for your betta and any other fish you care for is to make sure theyre getting a balanced diet. If youre keeping your betta in a tank which isnt warm enough then its going to result in lethargy and a slower metabolism.

When your bettas metabolism slows down then its going to take him longer to digest food and he wont eat as much. While you may think this isnt a problem, cold water can result in temperature shock which is often fatal for bettas, so it definitely shouldnt be overlooked. Even if you live in a hot country it only takes one cold night to drastically change the temperature in smaller tanks.

When you add new water to your tank its going to have a different pH, ammonia level, etc to what your betta is used to. Solution If you think your betta is suffering from a disease then you need to make sure that youre addressing the situation quickly. if you dont treat your betta in time then many diseases can quickly become fatal.

If this is the case then you should feed him lots of different food until hell eat anything you put in the tank for him. Keep an eye on him the next time you feed him and dont put so much food in the tank for him! Sometimes a small change in water can cause bettas to stop eating.

Consider How Long It’s Been Going On

The length of time your betta fish won’t eat will indicate how serious the problem might be. If they’ve just taken a meal off every once in a while then it’s probably not a big deal. However, if it’s consistent and regular you have a problem.Betta fish can be temperamental little creatures at times. This can show up in a variety of ways, with skipped meals being one of them. If you’ve recently changed something in their habitat or diet, that could be the cause for the refusal to eat.This isn’t something you can wait forever to figure out (since fish need to eat obviously) so start keeping tabs as soon as you notice.

Making Sure The Food Is Ready

It can be possible to feed your betta fish the right food and still have them refuse to eat it. This can often happen if you’re trying to feed them freeze-dried or frozen foods.While these are completely fine types of foods to feed your betta fish (we talk about that in this care guide), they might not get eaten if they’re not properly thawed.Bettas don’t like to eat food that’s still frozen or crunchy. If you’ve been throwing in this food before everything has thawed out and softened enough, then that could what’s causing them not to eat.The way you fix this is by giving the food a little extra time before dropping it in their cage. If you want to go all-out, take some tank water in a small container and put the frozen food in it. This will speed up the process and quickly get the food ready to be eaten.

Scrutinize Their Diet

This step will require you to take an honest look at the quality of the food and diet you’re providing your betta fish. If your betta fish won’t eat, it’s possible that their diet isn’t hitting their baseline nutritional requirements.If this ends up being the case, it doesn’t make you a bad owner. We all make mistakes with our care or get misled into thinking a certain product or food is better than it is. It’s part of the fishkeeping process, and navigating these challenges is what makes it so rewarding.If your betta fish isn’t eating due to a poor diet, the fix is relatively simple (in principle). Simply providing them with better food and a variety of things to eat that cover all their nutritional requirements is the way to go. This might end up costing a few extra bucks, but it’s worth it.Simply reference our recommended diet in the care guide we linked to in the section above to see if you’re missing out on anything. Are they getting enough protein? Is their primary food source low-quality? All of those questions will be answered.

It Could Be Confusion

If you purchased your betta from a breeder, this is a possibility you’ll want to consider. Since breeders want to encourage growth at a young age, they often feed their fish a mix of live, freeze-dried, and frozen foods.These foods pack the most punch when it comes to nutrition, and will result in a better “product” for the breeder to sell.The trick is when you take your betta fish home and start trying to feed them other foods (like flakes or pellets) they might not be used to it. They’ve been eating the fancy stuff their entire life, and they don’t realize that these new little objects that float around in their water are edible.Fortunately, if this is the reason your betta fish isn’t eating it will typically resolve itself. Your fish should eventually pick up on the fact that the flakes and pellets you’re giving them are indeed food and begin to eat.

The Stress Might Be Getting To Them

It’s not uncommon for new betta fish to go on a little hunger strike after being placed in a new home. Acclimating to a different tank is stressful for any fish, and this can show itself in different ways.Some fish get shy, some get aggressive, and some lose their appetite.This is another one of the causes that should resolve itself. Be patient and continue to try and feed them on a regular schedule so they begin to understand the pattern. As they get more comfortable with their new home they should start eating again.If your betta fish won’t eat, it’s important to remove uneaten food from their tank after it’s clear they’re not interested (give them a chance first). Uneaten food can quickly sabotage the water quality in your tank, leading to a whole host of other problems.

The Water Isn’t Warm Enough

Even though betta fish have a reasonable range of water temperatures they can function in, they can’t deal with everything. If your water temperature is beginning to dip too low, that could be what’s causing your betta fish to avoid eating (they may also start laying at the bottom of the tank).To rule this out you’ll likely need to bring in some additional gear to fact-check what you’re currently using. We’re operating under the assumption that you’re monitoring the water temperature on a regular basis (something all fish owners need to be doing).If your current thermometer says the water temperature is within the ideal limits, it’s a good idea to make sure your equipment is calibrated properly. Thermometers are cheap so running out to grab one to use as a sanity check shouldn’t be a big deal.If your second thermometer shows that the water temp is lower than it should be, warm it up (duh). If it confirms that your original thermometer is accurate then you have two options.The first option is to raise it to the higher end of the recommended range (assuming it’s not already up there in the first place) and see if that helps. If that isn’t an option or doesn’t work then water temperature isn’t the reason for your betta fish not eating.

Check For Sickness

While this is obviously not something you want to have happen, a sick betta fish will often lose its appetite. A general lack of energy will usually accompany this as well. This makes it a bit easier to diagnose the problem (or at least get a good guess).If your betta fish is not eating and you suspect that they might be sick you need to get to work. It’s possible that you’ve accidentally introduced a disease into the tank via a new fish or object. They could also not be sleeping enough, which will only make the problem worse.Another possibility is poor water quality or contaminated food. These are both common causes of sickness in betta fish and will regularly result in them refusing to eat (among other things).If you want to play it safe then taking your pet to a veterinarian that deals with fish is a great idea. They know more than you on the topic and should be able to diagnose and help you solve the problem.

The Water Parameters Have Shifted

This is another common reason why your betta fish won’t eat. Fish are extremely sensitive to water parameters and this can play out in various ways.Similar to the temperature possibility, you’ll want to make sure you have an accurate reading of the levels in their tank. There are ideal pH levels, water hardness, and ammonia are all things that can have a serious impact on your fish.The severity can fluctuate depending on what’s changed. We won’t go into how to address each specific piece of the water parameter puzzle, but it’s something you need to take seriously.

Take Them To The Vet

If you’re stumped or don’t want to risk wasting time troubleshooting it’s never a bad move to take your fish into the vet.A betta fish not eating is on the clock. There’s only so long they can sustain a hunger strike before it ends in disaster.If you don’t have much experience with these fish or simply want to play it safe there’s no shame in getting an expert opinion. Too often aquarists want to try and do everything themselves, and think that consulting others makes them “bad owners.”In our opinion, the only bad owner is the one who doesn’t do whatever it takes to help their pet. If you need help, get it! That’s what a veterinarian is there for.It won’t take them very long to eliminate theories and narrow down on a likely cause. From there you’ll get a course of action on how to turn things around and get your betta back to its normal hungry self!