Glutton bettas and feeding ghost shrimp - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
Catie79's Avatar
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Glutton bettas and feeding ghost shrimp

I went and got some ghost shrimp to see what my bettas thought of tank mates. I started out with six in my divided ten gallon with the two male bettas, but two didn't make it (one molted and got eaten by his fellow shrimp, not sure on the other one). I have had the remaining four for two weeks now and they've really settled in.

My tank is still pretty new so there's not a lot of algae. They've found the algae on some hornwort I bought for one side and I can usually find my little gardeners hard at work on the floating plants.

However, no food reaches the bottom (the bettas are hand fed) and there's very little algae to snack on so I've been doing some feeding with sinking pellets. Bettas are top feeders, right? Clearly Lucky and Fly never got that memo. Since they discovered that there's food to be had on the bottom, they patrol the gravel like determined blood hounds. I've tried hiding the pellets, but to no avail. Last night Lucky stole a pellet from a shrimp that had dragged it out in the open to work on it. It was too big for him, so he swam around like a dog with a bone until he could work it down a bit. I thought he was going to need the Heimlich maneuver when he swallowed that thing. This morning Fly had a big belly, too, so it looks like hiding the food isn't going to work. This happened last time I tried to feed the shrimp, too, and I know it's not good for the bettas to have a meal that big.

Any suggestions for getting some food to the shrimp with my greedy little bloodhounds patrolling? They have no interest in the actual shrimp, just use them as a way to locate food. I thought about flakes, but the bettas are actively turning over gravel in their hunt. Not sure if flakes would deter them.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 01:31 PM
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when I had ghost shrimp they would come up o the surface at feeding time. Heck I saw one steal a blood worm from one of my ladies.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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They do come up to the surface, but Lucky and Fly are kind of ridiculous. Nothing gets past the feeding corner. I tried to drop a betta pellet to a shrimp and the shrimp got body slammed by my glutton. I think my fish have issues. o.o

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 01:59 PM
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You think your fish have issues? I've got one girl who jumps and tries to stick herself to the glass above the water line. (I keep the water down 3" for a good reason!).
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 05:31 AM
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I have the same problem my Betta steals food from EVERYTHING! 1st i feed him his Betta pellets ,then i use a straw and drop shrimp pellets through the straw near the my cory's so the betta doesn't see the pellets drop to the floor, i also do this to my only ghost shrimp I soak a betta pellet till it sinks and I drop it through the straw infront of the shrimp. This sometimes works but the betta sometimes goes for his pellets pokes at the shrimp pellets about once or twice then goes for the soaked betta pellet the shrimp has. why must Bettas be such gluttons

Last edited by gn3ranger; 07-25-2012 at 05:41 AM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 07:41 AM
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I've got about 11 ghosties in with my pig of a CT. He has very similar behavior, but I've got a routine that keeps his overfeeding down, and the shrimp still get fed.

1) Using a turkey baster, get a full squirt of tank water in a small container (like the betta cups, or smaller if possible)
2) put a small pinch of flakes in the cup
3) Squirt in more tank water, causing most of the flakes to sink
4) Suck up a decent number of flakes with the baster
5) Find where the shrimp are hiding, and using the baster, give the food directly to them (it helps keeping the betta distracted with his own food, especially if the shrimp are on the bottom)
6) If the betta does go for the food before the shrimp can eat, chase him around a bit with the baster. I've had to do this several times, just be careful not to hurt him.

With this, my betta will still get a few flakes, but not enough to bloat himself off of it. Keep in mind that ghosties aren't really algae eaters. They'll eat it if there's absolutely nothing else in the tank for them, though. They very much prefer their own food or dead/dying plant matter from aquarium plants.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 08:40 AM
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Location: Florida
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Maybe you should just cup your betta while feeding? Just float him In the tank until the shrimps are done eating... Idk any other way to do it... ;) good luck!

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem.”
― A.A. Milne
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