Cockerel Fish

The cockerel fish does not eat dry food: why this happens and what to do?

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Although the cockerel fish (aka fighting fish or Betta Splendors) is almost omnivorous, it may not eat dry food or spit everything back out. Let’s figure out why this is happening and what can be done about it.

Reasons for refusing dry food

Males, like many aquarium fish, are not very whimsical in their diet. Often they eat with pleasure, both live food and dry food. However, there are many factors in which males begin to ignore food or spit out chewed food. This can be a natural reaction, for example, to a change in environmental conditions, or a signal that the “rooster” requires special attention. Consider the main situations in which the cockerel fish does not eat food.

Adaptation period

After the cock moves from his familiar aquarium to the pet store, where the lighting level, water temperature, and feeding time were the same, to a place where the external conditions have changed, he begins to adapt.

7 days after moving from the pet store, the cock may not eat, and this is normal

The mechanism of adaptation to a new environment, developed by nature during the development of a particular species, can manifest itself as a refusal to eat. Therefore, if the cockerel fish does not eat well, or does not eat dry food at all after moving from the store, it may need to be given time to get used to the new “home”. It is generally accepted that the adaptation period lasts for 7 days, during which the pet can completely refuse food, but at the same time continues to feel good.

Improper care

Most likely, the fish will not eat well if the environment does not match the habitat of the rooster. Since this is a tropical type of waterfowl, they need special conditions:

  • balance of light;
  • temperature 26-28 degrees;
  • the volume of the aquarium is at least 5 liters;
  • cleanliness: the food that these fish did not eat in 2-5 minutes is removed.

There is an opinion that since these creatures can live in reservoirs with muddy water, feeling great in rice fields, then their maintenance in an aquarium does not require special attention. This is absolutely not the case. If the pet does not feel comfortable, then he not only can stop eating, there is a great risk that the fish will die. For this reason, refusing to eat should be a signal that something is wrong with the cockerel.

The cockerel is doing well in a 7-10 liter aquarium. In cramped small aquariums (less than 5 liters), he becomes sad and stops eating.

The volume of the aquarium, which will allow the pet to feel comfortable, should be at least 7-10 liters. This is one of the explanations why a cockerel in a three-liter jar does not eat food. The individual must swim, move, and have relative space. If the aquarium contains a cockerel and a chicken, then its volume should not be less than 20-30 liters – this is a prerequisite.

It should be remembered that the fighting form has such a name for a reason. The representative is steadfastly ready to defend his territory, fighting with other inhabitants of the aquarium and even with his own reflection in the mirror. You should not plant fish of the same sex (males) in one container, as they will surely fight, causing injury to each other. Bites and injuries often cause a pet to enter an infection or develop inflammation of internal organs. As a result, males become indifferent to food, the fish behaves sluggishly, moves little.

The optimal water temperature for the cock is 26-28 degrees – a decrease in it can lead to the rejection of any food.

It makes it easier to care that these fish are labyrinthine – they get air not only from water but they also swallow it with their mouths. Therefore, you can do without filters and aeration, but it is unacceptable to drop the water temperature below 24-26 degrees. The optimum temperature is 26-28 degrees – lowering it can lead to the rejection of any food.

The water hardness should be between 4 and 15 and the ph level should be between 6 and 7.5.

At the same time, it is important to monitor such indicators of water as hardness – it should be in the range from 4 to 15 units, and the PH level – its values ​​can vary from 6 to 7.5. You need to turn off the light in the aquarium for a period of 6 to 8 hours a day – this time the fish should be at rest. 

Cockerel Fish in aquarium
Cockereal Fish

Food preferences

Usually males, regardless of gender, eat well dry food, live food, and frozen food. But it is important to understand that these inhabitants of the aquarium, over time, get used to a particular lifestyle and diet.

If you don’t want your roosterfish to stop eating in your home aquarium, find out what was fed at the pet store and stock up on the same food.

In pet stores, pets are fed the same type, they do not monitor their diet and do not seek to teach the fish to eat a variety of foods. Over time, pets get used to, for example, a particular brand of cereal, after which any other food can be questionable. Certainly, the best food for fighting fish is natural products (bloodworms, earthworms, brine shrimp, daphnia). They can be harvested on their own, bought in pet stores fresh or frozen. Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia are recommended to be given after freezing, and the earthworm is recommended to be given alive. If the cockerel gets bored in the aquarium and stops eating dry food, please him with live food. Fighting fish eat live types of food much more willingly.

If feeding pellets to roosters, make sure they are sized to fit in the fish’s smallmouth. Unlike live food, the pellets are difficult or impossible to bite through, and if fed with large pellets, the cockerel will remain hungry. But if your pet’s appetite has recovered, do not overeat. Do not feed them food more than 5% of the weight and remove everything that they do not have time to eat in 2-5 minutes.


Another reason why a cockerel fish spits out food is a disease. Most often, aquarium inhabitants suffer from fin rot caused by various infections. With the development of the disease, the fins of the fish are completely destroyed and it dies. Among the main symptoms of fin rot are:

  • clouded fins;
  • the appearance of white ulcers on the scales;
  • the eyes become cloudy;
  • fish often hangs in one place;
  • refuses to eat for a long time.

To combat the disease, antibacterial and antifungal drugs of a wide spectrum are used. The action of these funds allows you to very quickly suppress a bacterial infection. After that, you can start symptomatic treatment of the disease. The main therapeutic products used for fin rot are:

  • Sera Baktopur;
  • Neosulfex;
  • Ampicillin.

Another common disease that occurs in aquarium cockerels is ichthyophthyroidism or semolina. The syndrome is characterized by the appearance of white nodules on the body of the fish, which first affect the head, then all the scales. The disease can be compared to the flu, which people get sick, as it becomes more difficult to cure it every year.

Signs of ichthyophthyriosis: the cockerel fish spits out food, moves slowly and rarely, swims closer to the bottom, rubs against the substrate, shudders, swims in jerks. The main reason for the development of the disease is the poor sanitary conditions of the aquarium.

“Semolina” is easy to diagnose, it appears as multiple white spots that over time cover all the scales of the inhabitant of the aquarium. At the same time, the cockerel fish spits out food, moves slowly and rarely, swims closer to the bottom, rubs against the substrate, shudders, swims jerky. The main reason for the development of the disease is the poor sanitary conditions of the aquarium.

Together with the use of medicinal products, it is necessary to heat the water in the aquarium to the maximum permissible for the given species. If the bettas get sick, then the temperature in their aquarium should be 30 degrees, but not more.

Therapy for ichthyophthyriosis is based on the use of such drugs:

  • methylene salt;
  • salt;
  • Sera Costapur;
  • Antipater, etc.

Together with the use of medicinal products, it is necessary to heat the water in the aquarium to the maximum permissible for the given species. If the bettas are sick, then the temperature in their aquarium should be equal to 30 degrees, but not more, since it will be difficult for its inhabitants to cope with the disease. The water needs to be heated until the spots on the scales disappear completely and another 3-5 days after that for preventive purposes.

In order not to face the problem of refusal of food, it is necessary to carefully monitor the state of the water in the aquarium, constantly changing it. It is required to wash the walls of the tank, plant algae, and give the fish a variety of food. Cockerels love live food most of all, and bloodworms are considered the biggest delicacy for them. 

In general, the principles of feeding these fish are not too different from those of any other omnivorous aquarium fish. And when illness, tightness, or cold ceases to disturb your pet, he will delight you with good color and beautiful movements. 

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