I just got a betta fish for the first time about 3 days ago. I know it takes some time for a betta to adjust but I cant

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Customer: I just got a betta fish for the first time about 3 days ago. I know it takes some time for a betta to adjust but I cant help to think there is something else wrong. Every time I feed him it seems like he doesn't eat any of it. Im probably feeding him too much. He stays near the top of the tank and today I noticed when he tries to swim down its like his back end floats back to the top. and just a minute ago I noticed he was laying on his side. I don't know what I need to do
JA: The Expert will know what to do. Is there anything else the Expert should be aware of?
Customer: Yesterday I noticed the water seemed to look cloudy. probably from the leftover food that is in there. and it looks like has pooped (for lack of a better term). I noticed a small brownish glob hanging from his belly
Answered by Terri in 1 min 1 year ago
20+ years of experience

48,412 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

have you tested the water?

is he in a bowl or filtered tank?

can you post a pic?

He is in a filtered tank
Customer attachment 1/26/2021 7:19:04 PM
File attached (2M5LL66)
Thank you please give me a few minutes to type detailed answer

He's beautiful!

Cloudy water can indicate ammonia.

Lethargy can be a sign of a few things and they are:

1) unfavorable water conditions

2) old age which for a betta would be anything 2+ years

3) disease

What I recommend be done is change 30% of the water in the tank using dechlorinated water that is the same temperature as the water already in the tank.

Verify that the water temperature is at the proper level for bettas which is 80f/26c degrees if not then slowly adjust it until it reaches the proper temperature.

Ammonia and nitrites must be ZERO

Nitrates 20ppm or less

PH 7

Begin to treat the fish with a medicine called Betta Fix which can be found at most major pet stores. Follow the directions on the product label for usage/dosage instruction

When a Betta first comes home he can be very stressed.

A new fish tank setup is always going to bring stress to the fish because its new. What is important to know is that stress puts a fish’s body at harm. Fish rarely get sick unless under stress levels. So if you can cut back on as much stress as possible, the better.

If you think your betta might not be eating due to stress then maybe try bringing some darkness to the tank to reduce stress. Cover the tank with a small blanket so the fish doesn’t have to witness all the movement outside of the tank. Even though he is inside the tank, he still gets stress from movement in his surrounding view. Darkness helps this stress tell he is more used to the new environment.

Your Betta needs to get used to different food than he's used to. Try different brands till you find something he likes. Try soaking the pellets and blood worms first. Dry food/blood worms will swell in his belly and could cause swim bladder disfunction.

Try a different brand of pellets like New Life Spectrum for Betta's. Frozen blood worms and brine shrimp are better than dried, but don't use everyday.

However, if after a week or so your fish still isn’t eating, consider trying a different food just in case (but don’t freak out too much, as it takes several weeks for a Betta fish to starve, they have very efficient metabolisms).

Also, if you are using pellets, a fish who is used to flakes might find the hard, thick pellets tough to handle. If you soak these in a cup of water for a minute to soften them up they may go down easier and you can ween your fish onto them this way.

I hope this information has been helpful. I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me (bottom of the page if using the app). A 5-star rating is appreciated as top notch answers are my focus. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply so that I may help until you’ve received the assistance you need. Until you issue a rating, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating at no further charge on this thread.

Kind regards,

How do I test for ammonia and nitrates? Also, what do you mean by dechlorinated water?
You can get an API test kit
If you bring a sample to the fish store they will test it for free.
Don't use tap water use spring water
okay. thank you
You are more than welcome
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