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Old 01-18-2013, 02:16 AM   #1 
Sir Fishington
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Not sure how to handle a picky eater.

Hello everyone, Ive had my betta for a couple of months now and we tried flake food with freeze dried bloodworms for the first couple of days. he would pick a few of the worms but ignore the flakes. so we switched to nutrafin pellets and hes enjoyed them fine until recently. for the last week hes been on a hunger strike and very very reluctant to take any of his pellets, and hes completely ignoring freeze dried worms. (maybe one pellet every 2-3 days and he seemed to not enjoy it). so i got some frozen bloodworms and he gobbled them right out of the dispenser as fast as he could. my question is are these the signs of simple a picky eater or something else? also can i get him back onto pellets somehow? its my understanding that bloodworms are more of a treat and not advised for everyday feeding.
-he seems to be acting normally again and is very energetic, but he was sick due to some pretty poor conditions that less that knowledgable me had him in.(fin rot on his pectoral fin.) but hes had 100% daily changes with salt for 10 days and he seems great now other than his diet.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:43 AM   #2 
Roemgie
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Originally Posted by Sir Fishington View Post
Hello everyone, Ive had my betta for a couple of months now and we tried flake food with freeze dried bloodworms for the first couple of days. he would pick a few of the worms but ignore the flakes. so we switched to nutrafin pellets and hes enjoyed them fine until recently. for the last week hes been on a hunger strike and very very reluctant to take any of his pellets, and hes completely ignoring freeze dried worms. (maybe one pellet every 2-3 days and he seemed to not enjoy it). so i got some frozen bloodworms and he gobbled them right out of the dispenser as fast as he could. my question is are these the signs of simple a picky eater or something else? also can i get him back onto pellets somehow? its my understanding that bloodworms are more of a treat and not advised for everyday feeding.
-he seems to be acting normally again and is very energetic, but he was sick due to some pretty poor conditions that less that knowledgable me had him in.(fin rot on his pectoral fin.) but hes had 100% daily changes with salt for 10 days and he seems great now other than his diet.
Freeze dried bloodworms are the worst! THey will make him bloat very bad and they lack all nutrients. Get frozen blood worms, also try New Life Spectrum pellets they are one of the healthier ones and he may like the smell/taste of them better.

Also never feed flakes, they will also make him bloat and they aren't healthy at all
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:31 AM   #3 
MrRomero
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As Roemgie said, freeze dried treats typically lack nutrients and more importantly, moisture. Food with a lack of moisture can get stuck more easily in your bettas GI tract. This goes for pellets and flakes as well because the food can get stuck and swell up with fluid while inside the stomach, which may lead to constipation and swim-bladder disorders. Some companies such as New Life Spectrum (NLS) have formulated their pellets with excellent ingredients and a decent moisture content (around 10% max moisture). Plus the NLS pellets are pretty much a perfect size for any mature/adult betta and they release a strong fishy smell which will entice their instinct to eat.

It's true, you should not feed only bloodworms as the staple to their diet. It is very limiting in terms of nutrients it provides. Fish, and all other animals, benefit from variety in their diet. Just make sure you do not overfeed! I prefer the "Stomach is as big as their eye" theory.

As for the frozen foods being used only as treats, I challenge that theory. My bettas receive frozen daphnia, frozen blood worms, frozen mysis shrimp, frozen tubifex worms, and frozen brine shrimp as the staple to their diet. I alternate which food they get everyday to give them and variety in their diet. I also keep Omega One Betta Buffet and New Life Spectrum pellets around to feed one day per week in order to supplement other vital nutrients and vitamins to their diet. The high moisture content of all of these foods allows for healthy bodily function, while providing the much needed protein for the carnivorous fish!

Think about it, do bettas get pellets filled with supplements in the wild? They eat insect larvae primarily and pick off worms and other critters and microorganisms when available.

Just as with people. We eat a variety of foods for our diets and we take supplements occasionally for the things that we lack.

Last edited by MrRomero; 01-19-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:44 AM   #4 
Roemgie
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Originally Posted by MrRomero View Post
As Roemgie said, freeze dried treats typically lack nutrients and more importantly, moisture. Food with a lack of moisture can get stuck more easily in your bettas GI tract. This goes for pellets and flakes as well because the food can get stuck and swell up with fluid while inside the stomach, which may lead to constipation and swim-bladder disorders. Some companies such as New Life Spectrum (NLS) have formulated their pellets with excellent ingredients and a decent moisture content (around 10% max moisture). Plus the NLS pellets are pretty much a perfect size for any mature/adult betta and they release a strong fishy smell which will entice their instinct to eat.

It's true, you should not feed only bloodworms as the staple to their diet. It is very limiting in terms of nutrients it provides. Fish, and all other animals, benefit from variety in their diet. Just make sure you do not overfeed! I prefer the "Stomach is as big as their eye" theory.

As for the frozen foods being used only as treats, I challenge that theory. My bettas receive frozen daphnia, frozen blood worms, frozen mysis shrimp, frozen tubifex worms, and frozen brine shrimp as the staple to their diet. I alternate which food they get everyday to give them and variety in their diet. I also keep Omega One Betta Buffet and New Life Spectrum pellets around to feed one day per week in order to supplement other vital nutrients and vitamins to their diet. The high moisture content of all of these foods allows for healthy bodily function, while providing the much needed protein for the carnivorous fish!

Think about it, do bettas get pellets filled with supplements in the wild? They eat insect larvae primarily and pick off worms and other critters and microorganisms when available.

Just as with people. We eat a variety of foods for our diets and we take supplements occasionally for the things that we lack.

I think frozen food is the best, if I said it as treats my apologize. But some betta people don't want to handle them at all so I usually try to find several pellets so I can mix up their diet that way
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:12 AM   #5 
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Actually.. freeze dried causing bloat and expanding is another myth that for some reason hasn't died down yet...

The gastric acid and enzymes in the gut will break it down and will not cause blockage.. digestion doesn't work this way for one and usually when a fish bloats with food it is related to ingredients (poor quality-high in grain & grain byproducts) that is causing a pathogenic bacteria gases in the gut to multiply- that in turn expand the gut appearance..... and with the FD foods it is usually due to overfeeding-but these are often empty calories and poor nutrition as the reason they shouldn't be used as the staple diet and oddly enough frozen foods can even be poor nutrition due to cells that break in the freezing process-but this can vary with the company processing...some better than others. (OFL)

Higher quality pellets are idea as the staple of the diet - they will cover most of the fish's needs in nutrition. Live food is even better, but not everyone can feed live.

Freeze dried/frozen food should only be fed once or twice a week more as a treat/boost in protein.. but shouldn't be the main diet.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #6 
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The gastric acid and enzymes in the gut will break it down and will not cause blockage.. digestion doesn't work this way for one and usually when a fish bloats with food it is related to ingredients
Not sure I understand what's being said here. This sounds like it's a rebuttal to another statement perhaps. Is this a direct quote from someone else's conversation with OFL?

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oddly enough frozen foods can even be poor nutrition due to cells that break in the freezing process-but this can vary with the company processing...some better than others. (OFL)

Higher quality pellets are idea as the staple of the diet - they will cover most of the fish's needs in nutrition. Live food is even better, but not everyone can feed live.

Freeze dried/frozen food should only be fed once or twice a week more as a treat/boost in protein.. but shouldn't be the main diet.
I do agree with these statements for the most part. Pellets contain very little fiber which I believe to be just as essential to a bettas diet as protein. The fact is that heat, exposure to air, and exposure to moisture will break down nutritional values of most foods (especially susceptible are the vitamins). Pellets, unfortunately are at a higher risk from these factors than frozen foods. This is the reason I use both frozen foods and pellets to give the Bettas the best chance of benefiting from the available nutrients. I too, like many others, do not have access to live foods nor do I have the experience yet to culture them myself with freedom from parasites and minimal contamination. I just choose to use frozen as the staple diet with pellets as the additional supplementation and it has worked for over a year now and my bettas are colorful and energetic :)

Myates I do appreciate the additional info you've provided to this conversation. I am always learning and want to continue to do so.

Last edited by MrRomero; 01-20-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:09 PM   #7 
Sir Fishington
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Thanks everyone for the replies haha. Very glad i joined this forum. Ill see if i can find some NLS pellets at a store near me. I did find out he will eat pellets but only one at a time. Like i feed him one pellet like 5 times during the day he will never eat two in quick sucession. But when it comes to thawed frozen bloodworms hell eat whatever i put in the tank so i dont think hes having digestive problems. I do have a question about how you guys portion the frozen blocks of worms tho. I buy it in the blister packs and he definitely cant eat a whole block in one day. Might be a dumb question but im at a loss of what to do with leftovers. And the package only says to use immediately
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #8 
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Just as with people. We eat a variety of foods for our diets and we take supplements occasionally for the things that we lack.
I do agree with you however i do have one thing to say to that. My dog has been eating the exact same brand of food 3 times a day for years haha i know they are very different and some of you are gunna face palm at that comment but i had to bring it up, blame it on 30 hours without sleep :)
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