My betta fish is not eating. I placed a holiday disk in his tank for food while we were away this weekend.. Just got home and the water was extremely cloudy
I hope you did a big water change right away. The very first thing to do, any time there is a problem with water for fish, is to change at least half of it right away. If you have dip strip tests, test some of the water you change to find out if any readings are too high, but do the change first. If you don't have tests, you should consider getting some, they are the only way to tell if the water has too much ammonia, nitrite or nitrate for fish safety.
Cloudy water often means a bacterial bloom has happened, which isn't always dangerous to the fish. But sometimes they can be the result of a rise in ammonia. All fish produce ammonia as part of their respiration and all organic waste, which is broken down by bacterial action, also produces some ammonia.
For the future, It is MUCH safer to simply not feed your fish if you are going away unless perhaps you are trying to raise valuable fry. But most tanks of fry would also probably survive if their tank is provided with large masses of live mosses and floating plants. These provide minute food resources, infusoria, bacteria, algaes, which fish can pick from the plants. Plants, of course, need enough light so they don't die off.
For sure, unfed fish will get hungry, but healthy fish will not starve to ***** in a short time. Most fish can do fine for a week and I leave mine for two and three weeks if I must and so far, nobody has died. During an emergency, my fish survived for over a month without any attention at all, far from ideal but it could not be avoided. Those fish were living in a heavily planted tank and the plants provided food resources. It also contained shrimp and live scuds the fish could eat, though they didn't eat them all.
Even an unplanted tank, if not over-stocked, should be ok, unfed, for 5-7 days, so long as the fish are all healthy and similarly sized. Tiny fish are likely to be eaten if their tank mates are big enough and hungry. If possible, put the tank lights on a timer so the day/night cycle continues while you are away. Full-time darkness won't kill them but is probably not much fun for them, either.
Fasting fish also helps avoid potentially serious water quality problems that uneaten food and fish wastes may cause in a surprisingly short time. Many keepers fast their fish routinely, one or two days a week, which is thought to mimic the erratic availability of food in the wild.
Having living plants in the tank is very useful; they use up ammonia and nitrates and provide interest, shelter and resting places for the fish. Water changes serve to keep all toxin levels at safe levels. Nitrate should not test over 50 ppm at most, 10-20 is best. Ammonia & nitrite should always be ZERO. If any levels are over these, big water changes are the only remedy.
Any fish's tank, including that of a Betta fish, should have a filter of some kind. If it does, changing 50% of the water weekly is what I have found works out for the best. Filters convert ammonia and nitrite to nitrate, the least toxic
Sadly, it's still popular to keep Betta fish in bowls without filters. It's a long way from ideal, but if water changes are done diligently, the fish may be ok, though it often ends up chopping a year or more from their life span. Without a filter, 50% of the water should be changed THREE times each week. That's a lot more changes than most advisory sites will say, but fresh, clean water is the single best friend any fish will ever have living in captivity. Make sure the fresh water's temp' is within a degree or two of the tank's temp' when you change it. Use a siphon or turkey baster to suck up fish waste from the bottom at least every other week, if not more often. Don't remove the fish when you do these maintenance tasks because that can be a lot more stressful than leaving it in.
Never feed Betta fish any more food than they can consume within a maximum of about ten minutes. Many of them tend to be very slow or picky eaters, so they need more time than most other fish species. Remove any uneaten food after a half an hour.
Mar 20, 2017 |