It can be scary when your betta fish stops eating especially if they are also acting lethargic. Betta fish are usually fairly active fish, although bettas do take short periods of time when they sleep, nap and rest, it is not normal for betta fish to lay at the bottom of the tank, especially not in the open where they feel exposed.
While betta fish do love hiding in display objects, betta fish should be responsive and active when they are healthy and happy. Betta fish will commonly come swim to the front of the tank when they hear or see you walk into a room. Bettas are fairly social fish and while you should probably keep them on their own, they can do well with algae eaters and sometimes even with other betta fish, though I wouldn’t advise the latter because betta fish tend to get a bit aggressive with other bettas.
Most commonly bettas become lethargic due to water conditions not being up to their standard. Make sure that you followed a guide to properly set up your aquarium to make sure that the water is warm enough and free of any harsh chemicals that can make your betta feel sick. Also, note that sometimes doing a 100% water change without properly cycling a tank or reintroducing healthy bacteria can cause a betta fish to become lethargic until the water becomes suitable again.
This easily is avoided by making smaller water changes as needed to ensure that ammonia levels aren’t too high. Also, make sure that your tank is big enough for your betta fish as fish bowls and betta cubes will not suffice as your betta’s new home.
If your betta usually blows bubbles on the top of his tank and has recently stopped, there are chances he is ill.
Now, some sick bettas will still blow bubbles and bubbles aren’t always tied to a bettas health. Basically, some bettas will never blow bubbles in their tanks and some will continue to blow bubbles when they are sick, though many show that they are happy and healthy by blowing these bubbles (for breeding.) Bubbles are one of the clearest habits you can keep track of when it comes to betta fish, although you can also keep a camera by your tank to keep track of his activity level as that will be a lot more conclusive.
If you do think your betta is sick, I highly recommend checking out my list of the most common symptoms you will see in sick bettas. The list also includes the most common medications you can use to help make your betta feel better.
Bettas who do not eat may be constipated because they have been fed too much. While constipation is a serious ailment that can actually lead to an early death for a betta fish, it is fairly easy to get your betta fish feelin’ better with a small piece of a pea. Peas are very high in fibre and should get your little one to want to use the bathroom shortly after. Please make sure you use a frozen pea that’s been cooked by boiling or warmed in the microwave. You will not need a whole pea, but a sliver (about 1/4 of the pea.) You can check out this longer article for all the reasons a betta fish would stop eating.
Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your betta fish to make sure there are no physical changes. I know one of our fish, Blub, had Popeye and if we hadn’t taken a close look at him he may have lost both of his eyes. Most sicknesses that betta fish get can be cured from home, although taking your betta fish to the vet is always advised.
If you are uncertain with how to take care of your betta fish, or you are nervous about the water you use to house them make sure that you talk to a fish store expert. They will be able to answer specific questions about what conditioners you should use for your betta fish as they may differ from store to store or even city to city.
Honestly, different stores will sell different medications, which I think is absolutely crazy. I can tell you that going to a specialty fish store is going to guarantee you whatever you are looking for, rather than going to a general pet store which probably doesn’t have it… Whichever you go to, chances are they have a phone number you can reach them at to guarantee they have the medications you need.
Betta fish are fairly hardy, so if you catch things early you have a good chance of them surviving. Make sure you study up on some of the most common symptoms and know that most medications can be bought over the counter at specialty fish stores (or sometimes even general pet stores.)