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Old 07-25-2013, 08:04 AM   #1 
NorthernLights
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Fish will not eat NLS or OO

So...

Galahad refused to eat the first couple of days. Now, I realize that is typical (although Odysseus has always been ready and willing to eat at any time), but still it alarms me a bit, mostly because Odysseus will start biting his tail when fasts, and I don't want Galahad to start on that path...

He turns his fishy nose up at New Life Spectrum completely. He'll put one in his mouth and then spit it out, at best, and ignore the other pellets. His only use for Omega One Betta Buffet pellets seems to be something to chew on, because he chomps them to bits and spits them out, too. I soak my pellets, and I have tried crushing them, to no avail. I even tried un-soaked pellets, but no joy. He spits everything out. The only thing I have gotten him to eat is some Omega One freeze-dried blood worms (also soaked, of course). He goes through the chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out routine with those too, but al least he swallows them eventually.

I am going to special order some OOBB flakes (since the local shops do not carry them), but I am concerned that I may have a bloodworm only eater. I've heard of bettas like that, and I know he can't be getting a proper diet off bloodworms alone, so how do I convince him to eat healthy foods? Hunger does not seem to do the trick, and I tried mixing blood worms and pellets and he quite successfully selected only the blood worms to eat while ignoring the pellets.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:24 AM   #2 
peeptoad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernLights View Post
So...

Galahad refused to eat the first couple of days. Now, I realize that is typical (although Odysseus has always been ready and willing to eat at any time), but still it alarms me a bit, mostly because Odysseus will start biting his tail when fasts, and I don't want Galahad to start on that path...

He turns his fishy nose up at New Life Spectrum completely. He'll put one in his mouth and then spit it out, at best, and ignore the other pellets. His only use for Omega One Betta Buffet pellets seems to be something to chew on, because he chomps them to bits and spits them out, too. I soak my pellets, and I have tried crushing them, to no avail. I even tried un-soaked pellets, but no joy. He spits everything out. The only thing I have gotten him to eat is some Omega One freeze-dried blood worms (also soaked, of course). He goes through the chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out routine with those too, but al least he swallows them eventually.

I am going to special order some OOBB flakes (since the local shops do not carry them), but I am concerned that I may have a bloodworm only eater. I've heard of bettas like that, and I know he can't be getting a proper diet off bloodworms alone, so how do I convince him to eat healthy foods? Hunger does not seem to do the trick, and I tried mixing blood worms and pellets and he quite successfully selected only the blood worms to eat while ignoring the pellets.

Any advice would be appreciated!
I am by no means an expert, but I have a betta with a similar issue... he simply will not eat pellets, no matter what I do. I tried crushing them, soaking them in garlic juice: nothing.
I did finally have success with Omega One betta flakes, so maybe try those and see how he reacts. After turning his nose up at pellets for over a week my little guy devoured the flakes as soon as they hit the water.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:55 AM   #3 
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Maybe he was raised on flakes? Good luck and let us know what works.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:59 AM   #4 
lilnaugrim
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Keep trying the pellets, try one and if he doesn't eat it take it out. Wait a few minutes and try another and do the same. After a few days of no real food, he'll understand that this is food and it's good food and he'll eat. This is very common in Betta's that have just been brought home from the store or that have been raised on other foods such as live foods or even frozen foods like most Thailand Betta's.

But the key is just keep trying the pellets, I don't recommend even trying flakes just because they're too messy and you really want him to eat the pellets. So if he knows that he can get flakes and will eat them, he probably won't eat the pellets until a while down the road. So just make him wait and when he's hungry and settled in, he'll eat.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #5 
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Hmm....that is quite a pickle, and a very unusual one at that. I think I've only ever heard of a case or two where a betta would outright refuse pellets completely no matter what. I guess some, like humans, can just be quite picky little guys.

At this point, I would suggest one last-ditch effort on the pellets. Something I also see a lot of people doing when their fish wont eat pellets is trying a lot of things all at once to try and get them to eat, then giving up after a few days or a week. I can completely understand how frustrating it is, but in some cases, like in this one, you may need to take slightly more drastic measures and be very patient.

For the next two weeks, offer him NOTHING but garlic soaked NLS pellets twice a day at his usual feeding times. He turns his nose up at them? Remove them. DON'T give in and feed him anything else for these two weeks, you want to get him nice and hungry and make him realize that this is all hes getting in the way of food. In theory, he should at some point during these two weeks realize that this is what he has to eat, get hungry enough, and finally eat his pellets.

If after two weeks your guy is still sticking it out and stubbornly refusing to eat his pellets, then the Omega One or NLS flakes are probably the next best option as far as commercial food goes. Its not quite as ideal(flakes tend to be messier, its hard to measure a proper amount, and you want your fish to snap them up pretty quick because once they take on water and sinking they start loosing their nutritional value), but so long as you feed carefully(this may require a few extra minutes at feeding time feeding one flake after another so you can more properly measure his food intake and prevent too much mess) then it can work. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, but do try the pellets one last time. You could very well get it to work.

Good luck!
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:22 PM   #6 
Freyja
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:40 AM   #7 
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A hundred percent with DragonFish
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:13 AM   #8 
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Galahad was a Petco rescue (Odysseus came from a different Petco in another state that took much better care of their bettas). I don't know if all Petco's use the same food for their betas, but I realize now that part of the filth on the bottom of his cup must have been pulverized food that he'd chewed and spat out. I am assuming they do not use a high-quality food, so he may not be used to food that tastes like food should! Considering how completely he's ignored the NLS, I wonder if he even realizes it is food at all?

I've got some Omega One Betta Buffet flakes arriving tomorrow, so I will try them. I will seek to wean him into pellets with the method described above, but I would like to get some quality food into him first. He basically did not eat for the first 4 days. That was when I caved a gave him some bloodworms, just so he would eat something. I know they can go for a while without food, but since my other betta (Odysseus) tail-bites when he is fasted, I am leery of letting Galahad go hungry too long, because I do not want him to start on that path.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:26 AM   #9 
lilnaugrim
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lol, sorry, I was just thinking about the boy in my avatar; Rembrandt. He didn't eat for the first month I had him and he's still doing wonderful, I've had him 9 months now

good luck on your endeavors though, hope he eats soon
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #10 
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I'm not sure how true it is with all Petcos, but mine around here feeds their bettas on freeze-dried bloodworms, so I've always had a little trouble transitioning the boys I got from there onto pellets, but to be honest none of them out up much of a fight as your little guy....once they tried the pellets and got a feel for them(there was much munching and spitting out, though), within a couple/few days they were eating them just fine.

Its very possible this Petco fed their fish some low-quality flakes or freeze-dried, so he probably is just more used to those sorts of food and may have just gotten into the habit so much of spitting them out because he didn't like them he hasn't really gotten the chance to realize that you're giving him some good, tasty stuff now.

While I would suggest going right into the method I suggested and not waiting, in fact with him a little hungrier you may get quicker results, obviously its up to you if you really feel like you want to get something in him before hand or not, but do try my method and try to get him on the pellets if you can.

Best of luck!
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