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Old 03-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #1 
ByronArn
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Betta spitting out his Pellets

Hello, I've had Andy (a blue male betta) for about a year and a half. For most of this time I kept him in a small half gallon tank that was advertised as a betta tank. I know, shame on me. I didn't know they needed bigger tanks. Well, last week we (my wife and I) noticed him floating on his side. After much research, I realized he had Swim Bladder Disease. I got him a bigger tank, switched from flakes to pellet food (I read the pellets were better because there was less chance of over feeding, and they were better for the Betta's stomach), withheld food for 3 days, and resolved to do more regular water changes. At first we got a cheap 1 gallon tank, and then we spotted a 10 gallon tank I liked. Much to my wife's annoyance, we ended up spending $150 on tank, new food, new water conditioner, heater, filter, etc.

He's no longer floating on his side, and in fact I see no symptoms of Fish bladder Disease. Yay! Whats got me worried, however, is he tries to eat his pellets, but ends up spitting them out. I cannot tell if he actually ate anything or not. What should I do?
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:02 PM   #2 
shellieca
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Yay for you in the upgrade!! Which pellet are you feeding? Most on here will suggest New Life Spectrum as they are smaller than most pellets, swell less in their tummy & are better quality. Also because he has been eating flakes he may need some to adjust to eating a pellet. You can try crushing one pellet, drop in just a little of it to see if he eats it, if he does drop some more.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:11 PM   #3 
Otterfun
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Originally Posted by ByronArn View Post
Hello, I've had Andy (a blue male betta) for about a year and a half. For most of this time I kept him in a small half gallon tank that was advertised as a betta tank. I know, shame on me. I didn't know they needed bigger tanks. Well, last week we (my wife and I) noticed him floating on his side. After much research, I realized he had Swim Bladder Disease. I got him a bigger tank, switched from flakes to pellet food (I read the pellets were better because there was less chance of over feeding, and they were better for the Betta's stomach), withheld food for 3 days, and resolved to do more regular water changes. At first we got a cheap 1 gallon tank, and then we spotted a 10 gallon tank I liked. Much to my wife's annoyance, we ended up spending $150 on tank, new food, new water conditioner, heater, filter, etc.

He's no longer floating on his side, and in fact I see no symptoms of Fish bladder Disease. Yay! Whats got me worried, however, is he tries to eat his pellets, but ends up spitting them out. I cannot tell if he actually ate anything or not. What should I do?
Usually they take gettting used to a new form of food, so it's a good sign he at least ate it and spit it out instead of staring at it and move on.

I suggest using GarlicGuard by SeaChem and soak the pellets for about a minute or two before dispensing it. 100% success rate on my pciky eaters. After they got used to it, you do not need to do it all the time. My picky eaters gobble the pellets even without the soak now. I use OO (omega One) and NLS (New Life Spectrum).

I am not sure if fresh garlic juice will be the same so I hesitate to offer that as an alternative since SeaChem is a product with garlic oil, not sure what that means....

http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...rlicGuard.html

FYI, if they are really stubborn, they can go without food for at least 2 weeks and survive.
Also a change of environment may trigger a loss of appetite, too. Cover the tank, make it dark and less stressful for the betta to get used to the bigger space. Normally, they would resume eating soon. But also check for symptoms of disease caused by opportunistic bacterial infection as a result of lower immunity caused by stress.

But then if flakes is "The" food, then try giving it to the betta sparingly to avoid future episodes of SBD.

Last edited by Otterfun; 03-14-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:14 PM   #4 
ByronArn
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Here's what I am feeding him: TetraBetta Floating Mini Pellets.

So, as for the transitioning thing, do you think once he's hungry enough, he will go ahead and start eating them? I know Bettas can live up to 10 days without food...

If I crush the pellet, won't it be like a powder, too small for hm and dirtying up the water?
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:18 PM   #5 
Otterfun
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Here's what I am feeding him: TetraBetta Floating Mini Pellets.

So, as for the transitioning thing, do you think once he's hungry enough, he will go ahead and start eating them? I know Bettas can live up to 10 days without food...

If I crush the pellet, won't it be like a powder, too small for hm and dirtying up the water?
I think your betta is old enough to eat pellet.
If it's me, I'd just take a break and try again in a day or two. I'd hesitate to crush it, but then it will be good material to help with your cycling process...just do the water test to monitor the ammonia, nitrite & nitrates.

Oh does your betta do the "food dance" around feeding time? All of my bettas somehow figured out that is the way to get my attention, like a puppy. If he does the food dance, it is a good indication he is hungry and want to be fed...
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #6 
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That's one of the worst quality pellets on the market, so I wouldn't worry about him not eating it.

You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week.

I like New Life Spectrum Betta best.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #7 
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That's one of the worst quality pellets on the market, so I wouldn't worry about him not eating it.

You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week.

I like New Life Spectrum Betta best.
+1 NLS is a quality food but not that many places carry it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:37 PM   #8 
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Petco carries it. There are also lots of online stores.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:32 AM   #9 
shellieca
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Originally Posted by ByronArn View Post
Here's what I am feeding him: TetraBetta Floating Mini Pellets.

So, as for the transitioning thing, do you think once he's hungry enough, he will go ahead and start eating them? I know Bettas can live up to 10 days without food...

If I crush the pellet, won't it be like a powder, too small for hm and dirtying up the water?
Not necessarily, there will be some bigger chunks just not as big as the whole pellet. Its worked for me in the past on more than one ocassion but since I've switched to the NLS pellets I don't have to usually worry about, not even for a small Betta.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #10 
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when I first brought home my betta he would spit out the pellets. so I switched from topfin to OO since my petsmart only carried that and not NLS. He would still either spit them out or just swim away. I did try placing a few pellets in a small bowl with fresh minced garlic and it still didn't help.

I did notice he would like to forage on the bottom of his tank. So one of the members here suggested crushing them up. I would crush them and place them in his floating log and he would forage off the bottom of the log. After about a week of this I decided to try giving him whole pellets. He then started eating them and has been fine with them ever since.
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