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My Siamese Fighting Fish won't eat - help!

Discussion in 'Fish Keeping Chat' started by ClaireBelfast, Mar 23, 2011.


  1. ClaireBelfast

    ClaireBelfast PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there, I have had my betta/siamese fighting fish 10 days now and he won't eat! He is in a 19L Fluval Chi tank with 5 little Mountain Minnows who love their food. They were in the same tank together in the pet shop. I got him a 25watt heater 2 days ago (even though the pet shop said I didn't need one) to see if that will make him happier and i have the heater at 23oC. Will my minnows be ok at this temperature? I have tried my betta on flake food and bloodworms but he still won't eat. Have done all the instructions which came with the tank such as 10% water changes, adding the good bacteria stuff (sorry I forget what its called). I got my tank about 5 days before the fish so the water was ready. I have artificial plants in it and gravel at the bottom. Does anyone have any suggestions to help me? I am a novice and I just want my little man to be happy. Thanks.
     
  2. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    The problem is, you have coldwater White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes) with a tropical Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens). Neither should really be kept in the same tank due to differences in temperature requirements. You most certainly do need some form of heating to maintain a temperature between 25-28°C. The Minnows prefer cool, highly-oxygenated water with some flow to replicate the mountain streams from where these fish originate.

    The tank you have right now is also overstocked, a 19 litre tank should really only be holding the Siamese Fighter by itself.

    It's perfectly normal for fish to refuse to eat for the first few days, however 10 days is pushing it slightly and suggests that something else might be wrong. I'd suggest testing the water for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and posting the results on here. Most cases of disease in fish are caused by poor water quality, which is why we need to know the water conditions in the tank.

    I'd also suggest not bothering with the bottled filter bacteria, these rarely work as they should do as they either contain dead bacteria or bacteria of the wrong type.
     
    #2 Chillinator, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2011
  3. ClaireBelfast

    ClaireBelfast PetForums Newbie

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    ok thanks for that I will do that. Well I would just like to say for other people who may be reading this that I bought the fish and tank etc from Pets At Home (large UK chain of pet shops) so they clearly don't have a clue when it comes to advising their customers. They had tanks not much bigger than mine with lots and lots of minnows in them. I will test the water and get back to you. If you don't recommend bottled bacteria then what else should be used?
     
  4. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    Stock tanks in aquatic and pet stores are usually quite small because the fish will only be in there for a few weeks at most before being sold. P@H are notorious for giving out bad advice and selling diseased/poor quality fish.

    If the filter's been cycled properly, it should be able to sustain itself without any need for supplementation by bacteria in whatever shape or form.
     
  5. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    They don't have a clue when it comes to anything else either...the fish keepers on here will have a wealth of knowledge to help you make sure all your fish will hopefully be happy and thriving.
     
  6. ClaireBelfast

    ClaireBelfast PetForums Newbie

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    thanks for the advice, I thought going to a big chain would be better as they couldn't just sell you anything but I was clearly wrong! I have my heater at 23oc, if I up it to 25oc will my minnows be happy enough or do you think I should try and find them a new home? They seem really happy in the tank... I am really worried about the tank being overstocked as commented above.
     
  7. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    I'd try to find a new tank for the Minnows, increasing the temperature to suit the Siamese Fighter is going to upset the former which prefer cooler and highly-oxygenated conditions. The same would apply to the Siamese Fighter if you decrease the temperature to suit the Minnows.

    Unfortunately it can really only go one way.
     
  8. siberiankiss

    siberiankiss PetForums Senior

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    If you left the filter running for five days, that doesn't mean your tank is cycled. Have a read of this article.
     
  9. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    Good point, I didn't see that part. The filter should really have been left for at least two weeks before adding fish, however there's no hard and fast rule to how long the cycling process will take. It could take a couple of weeks to maybe a couple of months.
     
  10. ClaireBelfast

    ClaireBelfast PetForums Newbie

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    thanks again for all the advice, I might go back to pets at home tonight and see if they will take my betta back and hope he goes to a good home. Its a shame to move the minnows when they seem so happy. If they take him back I will just remove the heater and keep the 5 minnows, is my 19L tank ok to house them on their own? They are really small. I followed the instructions that came with the tank and used Nutra...cycle something or other solution for the first 3 days as it depicted. Such a pity I had not found this site 10 days ago before getting my fish, I feel so annoyed at myself. :-(
     
  11. siberiankiss

    siberiankiss PetForums Senior

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    (In my opinion) all those 'bacteria in bottles' are gimmicks. I can't see how bacteria could survive on a shelf for months and months in a little plastic bottle.

    The only water aid you need is your water conditioner.

    Did you read the article I linked to? You need to cycle your tank or you are risking the lives of all your fish.

    I would either take them all back and perform a full fishless cycle, or your only other option is a fish-in-cycle.
     
  12. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    They can't... :rolleyes:

    That's just one of a few things manufacturers don't want fishkeepers to know.
     
  13. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    Just something I need to point out, unfortunately it's against the forum rules to post links to other pet-related sites. I got my knuckles rapped a little while back for the same thing... :rolleyes:
     
  14. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Personally, I'd probably say that your tank is more suited to the betta rather than the minnows actually :). White cloud mountain minnows are such active little fish, I can't really see them thriving in a 19L tank.

    Don't, because it's not your fault. It's perfectly reasonable to expect a shop that sells fish to know how to care for them, and to be capable (and willing!) to give out correct advice and information.
    I won't let anyone I know get fish from p@h anymore, not after some of the rubbish I've heard them come out with. Also, I know our local p@h washes their filter socks in the dog groomers washing machine, and I can't imagine that the combination of washing powder and dog hair is very good for the fish... :rolleyes:
     
  15. siberiankiss

    siberiankiss PetForums Senior

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    How unbelievably arrogant (not you!). The whole idea of this forum is to share knowledge and advice - if PFUK hasn't got the appropriate information I'm sure as hell not going to type it all out when I can efficiently link to a cohesive article elsewhere. What do they thinks going to happen?! The world will explode if someone dares to look at another website? Seems like a bit of a counter-productive rule to me, anyway.

    /soapbox.
     
  16. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    Hear hear...
     
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