Your Betta is not eating lately. Should you worry? Like us humans, sometimes appetites wax and wane.
But If your Betta fish hasn’t been eating for a longer period there could be a much deeper-seated problem at play. It’s vital to discover what the problem is.
Here are some reasons why a Betta fish might stop eating, with some advice on what you can do to solve the issue.
How Long Has Your Betta Not Been Eating?
If your Betta fish hasn’t eaten for around two weeks, there could be a more serious issue. The longer your fish doesn’t eat, the worse that issue will often be. Skipping a meal once in a while isn’t something to rush to the vet about, but if there is a constant issue, you’ll need to seek help.
They should have a diet that consists of high levels of fiber and protein. They prefer to feed on the surface rather than the bottom of their tank so the food you get has to float and not sink. Once upon a time, it was believed that Bettas preferred to get their food from the roots of plants of their tanks but this has been proven to be untrue.
Betta fish can often be fussy. This makes it harder to know if there is an actual problem or if they’re just off their food for some reason. It’s crucial to watch and note what and when they eat – if they do at all. That way, you’ll know when it’s time to get help.
Does Your New Betta Recognize The Food?
Your Betta fish might not understand that what you’re dropping into the water is food. This is something to be aware of when you get a new Betta. You may be feeding your fish something different from what your Betta was eating at the breeder’s. Your fish might not recognize the new food as being something she can eat.
Young Bettas usually eat a mixture of live, frozen, and freeze-dried food. Its a good idea to continue with this food once you buy them and bring them home. It will save any confusion and ensure they eat properly.
If you do want to feed your Betta pellets and flakes, please introduce these new foods gradually. At the same time give them less and less of the food they’re used to. In this way, they’ll make the connection, and it won’t be so hard for them to switch.
Is The Food Good Quality?
How much did you pay for the food you’re feeding your Betta? Price is a good indicator of quality. If it was very cheap, then you’ve probably got poor quality fish food. Your Betta may simply not like the taste.
If you want to take the best care of your Betta, you’ll need to ensure you’re buying good quality food. This might mean spending a bit more, but it will be worth it to keep your Betta healthy and happy.
Is Their Diet Varied Enough?
If you give the same food all the time, your Betta might get bored of it. Your fish might stop eating until something more interesting comes her way. You can vary the food your fish gets, trying different things until she starts to eat again. Remember, even if your fish is eating now, she might get bored again, so keep giving different things.
Are You Overfeeding Your Betta Fish?
If there is food floating around, your Betta might be eating without you knowing about it. You might be putting more food in the tank than necessary. Your fish might be snacking on the remnants, and by the time their next meal is due, they’re not hungry. You think they’re not eating, but the truth is they’re eating too much.
This is a simple problem to solve. The Betta’s stomach is small, around the size of its eye, so that’s how much each meal should be. If you’re using pellets, that equates to around one or two a day. That should be plenty.
Could Your Betta Fish Be Stressed?
Fish can easily get stressed over things that you might not even think about. For example lights or shadows or sounds might stress your fish. The same if have introduced a new mate.
Or for example you’re putting them in a new tank. You are thinking you’re doing a good thing, giving your fish more room and a better environment, but your fish might get anxious. There are plenty more reasons for your Betta to be stressed.
My advice is to keep feeding your Betta regularly. Remember to remove any food left uneaten from the tank once you know it’s not going to be consumed. Keep trying, and your fish should start eating again once it’s used to its new surroundings.
Are They Too Cold?
Betta fish are cold-blooded creatures. They need to absorb heat from their surroundings. If their tank is not at the right temperature, they can become unwell. One symptom of this is that their metabolism will slow down. Your fish will digest food slowly and they’ll be less hungry.
To prevent this from being an issue, it’s ideal if you can keep your tank at around 78°F.
A water heater is a must. Remember, even if you live somewhere hot and the water is nice and warm during the day, it could get very cold at night.
They Might Be Unwell
Sadly your fish might not be eating because it is sick. If you think your fish is unwell, you’ll need to find a vet that specializes in fish and have them take a look. A trained professional will be able to determine the cause of the sickness. It’s a good idea to look at the aquarium too. It could be something obvious like plant contamination or old rotting food.
Keep An Eye On Your Fish
As you can see, a lot of it boils down to gathering as much information as possible and acting on it. It’s natural to get worried. However, usually there is no problem that can not be easily fixed.
If you want to learn more about Betta’s behavior, advice, and tips, please visit our collection of Betta Tips Articles.
About the author
Hi, I am Alex.
My passion is aquariums. I am especially drawn to betta fish. I love experimenting, learning, researching, and writing about them.
You can find the articles I wrote here