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 don’t like eating pellets.
Let’s talk about why your Betta fish might not be eating the pellets and what you can do to remedy the situation.
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Common Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Is Not Eating Pellets
There are a few different reasons why your Betta fish is not eating the pellets which you are trying to feed it. Let’s go over the most common causes.
Why Is My Betta Fish Not Eating?
So, why won’t my betta fish eat? Well, it’s likely due to one of these four common reasons:
1. You Spoiled It
Now, it may sound kind of odd, but you can definitely spoil a Betta fish. It may not have been you to spoil the fish, but the breeder or pet store. Many breeders and pet stores will feed young Betta fish some pretty high quality foods such as frozen, freeze dried, or even live foods like daphnia and brine worms.
The Betta fish quickly get accustomed to this luxurious diet and they are not quick to give up on that. So, when you bring a Betta fish home and it won’t eat pellets, it may actually be because it has developed a taste for the good stuff. Bettas can indeed be picky eaters. It may have nothing to do with their health, but simply with the fact that they like to eat like royalty.
2. The Environment
Another thing that may be causing your Betta fish to refuse to eat Betta pellets is the environment in which they live. If you have not set up the Betta fish’s tank properly (more on tanks here), which means mimicking their natural environment, they could simply be unhappy with their surroundings.
Just like people, when a fish is depressed or unhappy, it may not eat. Moreover, some Betta fish are quite sensitive to changes in their environment. If you bring them home and they are not used to the tank, or if the water parameters are not right, they may refuse to eat anything at all.
3. The Water
Yet another reason why your Betta fish is not eating pellets could have to do with the water, specifically the temperature of the water. Betta fish are tropical fish that prefer fairly warm waters. Their metabolisms are actually affected quite drastically by the water temperature.
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.
4. A Sick Betta
The other reason why your Betta fish may not be eating pellets is because it is sick or bloated. If the water is too cold, if you have been feeding the Betta foods that it can’t handle, or if you have been over – feeding it, it may be bloated and will therefore probably not eat pellets.
Your Betta may also be suffering from a viral, bacterial (we have reviewed Bettafix on this article), or genetic condition that causes a lack of appetite (we have covered sickness in depth on this article).
The Best Solutions To Try
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.
1. Wait It Out
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. If the reason why your fish is not eating is due to pickiness, it will probably start eating once it gets hungry enough.
2. Try Feeding Other Foods
There are other foods you could try (we have covered our top 5 pellets here) such as flakes, live foods, or some kind of frozen food. Simply put, your Betta fish might just not like the pellets at all. Once again, if it does get hungry enough and it is because it doesn’t like pellets, it will probably eat them anyway.
3. Unfamiliar or Unsatisfied with Environment
If the cause of your Betta fish not eating pellets is that it is not used to its environemnt, or does not like the environment, you need to acclimatize the fish to its new surroundings. You can try adding some substrate, plants, and decorations that they are known to like. Also try to keep the water as clean as possible, plus you should engage in regular water cycling. 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.
4. Check the Water
If the cause of your Betta fish not eating pellets has to do with the water temperature, simply try making the water warmer to increase its metabolic rate. You should probably invest in a water heater either way.
If you notice any signs of illness such as weird swimming, erratic behavior, lethargy, and any kind of visible symptoms, that could be the reason why your Betta fish is not eating. In this case you should bring it to a vet or expert to get an accurate diagnosis. Once your Betta is back to full health, it will most likely begin eating the pellets.
If you are Betta has a big belly then this article will help with some diagnosis.
Whatever the case may be, your Betta fish is so much more than a pet, and they deserve to be treated as such. So, it is your responsibility to make sure that they are happy and healthy, a big part of which is eating right.
- Have you seen our Betta Fish E-Book? we have put together what we consider to be the Ultimate Betta Care Guide that covers all the essentials and more! you can check what it covers and a sneak peek here.
Feature Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock