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Old 10-23-2014, 07:07 PM   #1 
MadtownD
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Question NLS pellet question

I feel like this is a silly question, but I'd appreciate some input. We have a small, skinny but apparently full grown (we've had him 1 or 2 months) male veiltail. I suspect he's tail-biting and he's definitely a glass surfer and has never built a bubble nest... Long story short, I thought improving his quality of food might help his fins heal/happiness/lifespan. He's been getting 5 Hikari betta pellets once a day, which he eagerly gobbles up.

I bought New Life Spectrum betta pellets... But they're huge compared to the Hikari. I tried to feed him one (even tried pre-soaking in tank water) but it just stuck halfway out of his mouth and he couldn't swallow it.

So... cut the pellets in half and feed 5 half-pellets daily? Cut in half and feed him 5 whole pellets (10 halves)? Or just say the heck with it, between the kids and the dog life is sufficiently complicated and he'll have a long, happy life with the Hikari bio-gold pellets?

In case it matters: He's alone in a 5.5g filtered, heated tank with silk plants. We change 50% of the water weekly.

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:10 PM   #2 
kjg1029
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try crushing them? some of mine only eat NLS small fish formula, witch is basicaly crushed pellets becasue there so tiny! I would feed 5-6 pellets a day max.
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Old Yesterday, 08:19 AM   #3 
MadtownD
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Hm crushing. Good idea- I'll try that this morning. Thanks!
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Old Yesterday, 08:52 AM   #4 
lilnaugrim
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For the bigger pellets, I grab a pinch full and grind them against each other which makes them smaller. I do it in the container so they don't go everywhere of course.

Don't pre-soak pellets, they lose their nutrition through the water if you do that. The only things you should soak are freeze-dried foods. You can soak pellets but only if you are medicating them for the fish to ingest (obviously you wouldn't do this all the time lol).
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Old Yesterday, 10:05 AM   #5 
artemis35
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Quote:
For the bigger pellets, I grab a pinch full and grind them against each other which makes them smaller. I do it in the container so they don't go everywhere of course.
I also do the "fingertip grinding" thing with the NLS pellets when they are too big. I often see people here recommending cutting the pellets in half, and I always wonder just how the heck they do it? Maybe I'm too literal, but if the cutting required an actual sharp object (vs. just fingernails or something) I'd definitely be in the emergency room requiring stitches in my hand if I tried it

Quote:
Don't pre-soak pellets, they lose their nutrition through the water if you do that.
Huh, I have never heard that one before, Lil - but it does make sense when you think about it. Too bad that pre-soaking pellets is such a commonly suggested practice.

I've personally never had to do it, though, because my fish are way too greedy to let something as trivial as a pellet not entirely fitting in their mouth stop them from devouring it anyway
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Old Yesterday, 10:23 AM   #6 
lilnaugrim
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Haha yeah I agree! When I do split a pellet it is with my fingernail, balancing the pellet on my thumb and using my pointer fingernail to split the pellet but honestly, it's easier to grind them haha and you get varying sizes too so maybe once the fish is grown up more, you won't need the tiny pellets so there will still be some bigger ones left over. Though it won't hurt at all to use smaller pellets anyway, just feed more of them.

Yeah, the thing about letting the nutrients out hasn't been talked about much lately but was a big thing when I joined here a year and a half ago. Honestly, nothing helps if you soak the pellet anyway, if the pellet is too large for the fish, it will still be too large for the fish when it's soaked. It may be a little softer but he's still most likely going to spit it out still and it becomes even more messy. Best to just grind/cut the pellets or even just buy NLS Small Fish formula that are .5 mm pellets!

Oh and a note on feeding, many of our fish keepers here no longer count pellets much but rather watch the fish. We feed until the stomachs expand a bit and become nice and round, this is a sign of a good healthy fish. If he looks skinny then he's not getting enough nutrients and so feed more. Generally for NLS pellets I can feed anywhere from 6-15 pellets per fish at one feeding a day and that lasts them the 24 hours until they get their next meal. I do fast once or twice a week to let their digestive systems "reset" and flush everything out.

Don't be afraid to feed him more, as long as he's not bloating up like a beach ball, it's perfectly safe and normal. Most fish will get bored with feeding after a number of pellets and you can see the change in behavior, he'll start to goof off between pellets (this means you feed 1-2 pellets at a time to gauge where it is he starts to goof off or slow down in eating) and that's when you stop feeding. Granted, don't let any pellets rot in the water either, that will just make a mess too.
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Old Yesterday, 11:40 AM   #7 
MadtownD
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Lots of helpful info here; I'm glad I asked. I tried grinding with a spoon this am and it didn't work- I'll try the 'grinding pellets against each-other in my fingers in a container' tomorrow. Thankfully that sounds easy enough that my busy household can manage it daily. Thanks again.
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