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Old 08-11-2012, 09:36 PM   #1 
cjz96
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Exclamation Allergen-Free Betta Diet? Anaphylactic reactions...

Hi, I have severe allergies to wheat and shellfish. I usually use gloves to feed my bettas and change their tanks. Recently, I've had anaphylactic reactions to feeding and changing them. All pellets and flakes contain wheat and (most of the time) shellfish. I was thinking about giving them bloodworms instead. I know wheat is used as a binder for the foods. What can I feed my bettas that is wheat and shellfish free that will keep them healthy and that is allergen free? Does anyone know of a brand of pellets or flakes that is safe? Thank you!
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #2 
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All pellets use wheat, and almost all use shellfish; it's just the nature of dry foods. They need a binder, and wheat is cheap. I think your best bet is to make your own gel food using items that you aren't allergic to. I think OldFishLady has some betta gel food recipes. There are some commercial gel food, but I have no experience with them.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:04 AM   #3 
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For feeding fish to fish (lol), which is what you should use without shellfish in the diet.. Fish to use include pollock, whiting, cod, haddock. (I was told to avoid salmon- it's far too oily) Pollock and whiting are the cheaper of the two, not that it matters. You don't have to buy whole fish, just fillets. Also fairly cheap are squid heads (I think they're called squid tubes?) if those aren't part of your allergy. For calcium you want blanched spinach since you can't include shrimp shells. Garlic juice can be added, for any benefits it provides.
You can squish it all together and freeze it, or buy packs of gelatin and make a gel food.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:34 AM   #4 
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Thank you! Would bloodworms also be sufficient? Maybe as a treat a couple times a week?
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:23 AM   #5 
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Bloodworms are fine but not as a staple food.
I'd wear gloves while handling bloodworms, it's quite common to get an allergy to them from handling them too much, a lot of fish keepers get it over time.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #6 
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You'll want to get live or frozen bloodworms - freeze dried bloodworms produce dust that is pretty well known to be an allergen. I know I always sneeze when I open my jar!

If you go with live bloodworms - DO NOT FEED them to the bettas while they are alive. You need to chop them up first to make sure they can't burrow out of fish tummies (which kills the fish).
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #7 
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Mosquito larvae.

Bettas evolved in the most perfect mosquito environment ever - lots of stagnant water full of tannins and leafy muck. I would make mosquito and midge etc larvae a staple food all year round, if winter didn't happen.. and they're easy to raise in the warmer months with a bucket half covered with an old cloth in the shade outside, a handful of dry leaves in the water and stagnant as possible.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:32 PM   #8 
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Thank you! I do have some freeze dried bloodworms (haven't tried them yet). Will my local pet store carry mosquito larve? I'm not too crazy about breeding mosquitos.
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