I bought my betta 3 days ago. He ate when I brought him home but now he will come to the surface when I feed him, take the food in his mouth and spits it out.  I find the food at the bottom of the tank untouched. I feed him once in the morning and before bed. What could be wrong with him?

Question submitted by Lucie, Barrie - Ontario, Canada

A: Well Lucie, there could be a few things wrong. The main two things to look into are A)- is he getting sick on you  B)- maybe he just doesn't like the food you are giving him.

When a betta does not eat it is either because it is under the weather or because it just does not like the food (bettas are very darn picky about their food). In your case, you did not mention what you are feeding him. Also you have had him for only 3 days. Suppose your water is not adequate: It will take 3 days or so for the effects to start showing. So you are smack in the danger zone right now, and I cannot rule this as a possibility. What to do?


look into your water by reading my page on betta water and see if your water complies with betta needs. Most importantly make sure any tap water you use is first treated with proper chemicals (I cover this in my water page). Untreated tap water will slowly but surely kill your fish (poisoning).


if water looks ok, then no need to change your set-up. Your betta may be under the weather for a couple of other reasons: A)- may have been under the weather before you bought him or B)- the move may have stressed him and lowered his immune system and he is now catching something resident to your water or even something he was exposed to prior to you buying it (but could then fight because his immune system was higher). Either way what we need to do is get him into some nice Bettamax. So go to your fish store and buy a pack of Bettamax. It is cheap ($5 to $6) and lasts forever. You should add Bettamax to your betta's water any time you get a new betta and anytime your bettas seem a bit under the weather. Think of Bettamax as 'Betta Advil" LOL. Keep bettamax in his water for about 2 to 3 weeks.


Get some food bettas really like. I recommend staying away from live foods and recommend feeding frozen brine shrimp and frozen blood worms. You can buy very small packs and they will last for about 2 years in your freezer :).

Goodluck with your new betta (did you give it a name yet?)

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I am a member of the IBC, founder and President of LABS  (Los Angeles Betta Society) and have been helping the betta community through this website since 1998. 
I have over 
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