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Old 07-30-2012, 03:33 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Jefferson, Texas
Food Gets Stuck?

I feed my albino betta, Edgar, 3 of the little betta pellets every other day and have done this since I got him one and a half years ago. Lately, I've noticed he "carries" the pellets around in his mouth and acts like he is in distress by swimming around and up and down while holding the pellet. He usually either gets the pellet down his throat or he spits it out and doesn't go back to it. It's like maybe the food is getting stuck in his mouth or teeth if they have teeth. I also give him a pinch of flakes for something different too.

Today i was watching him and he got his food, it went in his mouth, stayed there, and you can actually see it in his mouth, then he started swimming up and down back and forth like he was trying to dislodge it. His fins were working overtime as he sank to the bottom. I started freaking out and got his little net and scooped him out of the bowl and the pellet fell out once i got the net off of him.

Has anyone every heard of this happening? Once the food is out of his mouth, he is back to his normal calm self. I'll keep feeding him just the flakes, but i know he loves his pellets too. Other than crushing the pellets up like food for an old man, I don't know what else to do. thanks!
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:06 PM   #2 
Twilight Storm
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I'm not sure what kind of pellets you are feeding him, but if it just happened lately using the same food you've been using, his food may be stale and hard for him to chew now.

You can go with a smaller pellet like new life spectrum grow formula or maybe try a new bottle of what you prefer to use. I use NLS betta formula atm because that's all my Petco, or any other pet store in the area carries.... and one container lasts forever!! LOL.

You can also pre-soak his pellets to get them soft before feeding them in some dechlorinated water, but that goes back to not wanting to treat him like an old man. :D

Seriously though, I lightly crushed my pellets for my baby betta because there was no way he was going to get the pellets I have in his mouth when he was so small. I didn't make them powder though, just smaller chunks. I put them in a post-it note folded like a little square and just pressed on them lightly with a pen, bottle, lighter, whatever was handy. It worked well, and took like 20 seconds longer to feed.

Your guy is definitely having issues chewing them and his distress swimming is him trying to manipulate and chew. I haven't heard of a betta choking to death but I would assume it's very possible if he really gets a pellet stuck in there.

If your pellets are new return them as defective and get a new brand.

Just my thoughts
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #3 
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Hey thanks for your reply. I'll certainly try some fresh food and maybe I'll soak it just for good measure if he acts like it's an issue. This is pretty old, I guess. It's the Wardley Essentials and I know I've had it since I got Edgar.

He was a tail biter for ever and I couldn't figure out how to make him stop. I recently put a picture of my grandbaby behind his tank and his tail is growing out so pretty. Guess he was bored.

He is currently swimming around and making a bubble nest, so I guess he is none the worse for wear. Thanks again!
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:06 PM   #4 
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Maybe he would appreciate smaller pellets? I used to feed my girls pellets that were too large and they would swim around with the pellets in their mouthes (like shown below)

I dont really like soaking pellets because the nutrients leach out into the water. If it is your last option, then okay but I would try getting smaller pellets. I dont know what size pellets you have but I use New Life spectrum & omega one.

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Old 07-30-2012, 08:23 PM   #5 
Twilight Storm
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NP T, and yeah I agree about soaking the pellets. I didn't know it leached the nutrients out of them offhand but it's a pain to do unless you NEED to.

I second picking up some new life spectrum :D (obvious reasons) but it IS a good food. It's kind of second among the top choice of breeders it seems.

First place is Atisons Betta Pro but it is no longer sold in America because the company who took over the production of it decided it was a specialty food and American bettas didn't need it I guess. (censored expletives about the company here.)

Go with Grow though if you get NLS and want tiny pellets. They are smaller then the betta formula. Grow has more protein then the betta formula.

The betta formula is more readily available though and still small enough in most cases. Some pellets are cut bigger then others in the jar but even the biggest ones in mine pose NO PROBLEM to adults. Actually most of my adults could probably eat at least 3 pellets in one bite.

Anyway LOL, research food you wanna use, it does sound like your food probably is just old and needs to be replaced. Save the old bottle just in case you want to start cycling a tank or if you want to make snail jello in the future or something. (if you have snails)
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:30 PM   #6 
Kenny G
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The best thing you can do is by micro pellets for your betta. They are much smaller and easier for your betta to eat and digest.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #7 
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smaller pellets, or cut/crush them.
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