Hey guys! I'm new here, but used this forum a lot while I was looking for fish/tanks/etc, and was hoping you could help me with a question.
I got a male betta (named Gilligan) over the weekend. When I got him I noticed there were several uneaten pellets in the bottom of his container, but just attributed it to being overfed by the petstore employees. I transitioned him into a cycled 2.5 gallon tank with a few plants, a bridge, etc., and he's been doing pretty well. Unfortunately, he won't eat any pellets. I gave him a few days to get adjusted, thinking it was just shock, but today's the fifth day. The closest he's come was taking a pellet into his mouth a couple times yesterday, then spitting it out. I went back to the petstore today to ask them about it, and they recommended I try freeze-dried bloodworms. Gilligan ate them up, but when I tried to sneak a pellet in in-between he wouldn't eat it.
So it looks like I just have a really picky fish, not one who's in major shock or has stomach problems. However, I was wondering if it's ok to feed him the bloodworms as regular food, because on the package they're listed as being a "treat" and not really an everday sort of thing, and I don't want to cause any problems. Any thoughts you all have would be really appreciated! Thanks!
Just keep trying the pellets 'til he eats. He will eventually eat. I had one that wouldn't eat for two weeks!!!! They can go a while, so don't worry if he isn't eating. Bloodworms are a twice a week treat with my clan.
Nothing should be fed as an every day food-- variation is the key. All my bettas were stubborn with pellets too but they will eat them after a while. Since the bloodworms are freeze-dried, only feed them as treats: the freeze-drying process tends to suck the nutrients out of them, and they are also notorious for causing constipation. Here are some other things you can spice his diet up with:
-Different brands of Betta Pellets
-Sinking Granules for Tropical Fish
-Frozen Brine Shrimp
-Frozen Pea (their favorite but only as a treat.)
Pellets make a good staple since they are so convenient.
Thanks for all the help, guys! I was just confused because the girl working at the pet store said that her betta eats freeze-dried bloodworms exclusively, and the package didn't seem to be labeled for that, so I thought I'd ask people who mostly work with bettas. And I've heard conflicting things on the peas, so I think I'm just going to stay away from them. I'll keep feeding him the pellets, or maybe try another brand, so that he gets the clue that he has to actually eat them.
You might want to further explain this because this does not give further enlightenment why exactly peas damage the digestive tract. Please include references as well.
Kelly528 is correct. Variation is in fact the key. Please bear in mind bloodworms are loaded with too much proteins. Proteins are terribly difficult to digest in vast amounts. They become prone to bloat as a result as they cannot utilize the excess protein to body development.
I am not a fan of freeze-dried foods either. They just don't appear any more beneficial to me than live and frozen ones. Besides that, they include air so when a fish attempts to ingest freeze-dried foods, they also absorb air in the process thus they are more than likely to suffer buoyancy issues.
Don't let the fish get too used on meatier foods. Bettas are just one of the many finicky eaters. Once they become too used to bloodworms especially frozen ones when you feed them too frequently, they certainly will hesitate trying other foods. When this happens, you could simply try adding garlic on the food to coax the fish to eat. The food can be soaked with multivitamins or get some multivitamin tablets such as Centrum and mix them with the food which your fish will obediently eat. This is a good way to get him to utilize the various nutrients he needed for proper body development.
He will eventually eat...sometimes it only takes a few days, sometimes it can take a week or two. You can also try another brand of pellets, Hikari is really good.
Well not as a staple... I'm sure their nutritional value is nil, but they're good fibre and bettas love them, therefore every week I break down and feed my guys a pea. I'm sure you don't even need to feed them on a weekly basis (if you're feeding your betta tummy-friendly foods) but they love them as much as bloodworms!
Originally Posted by dramaqueen
Peas aren't natural for them since they are carnivorous. Daphnia is a better alternative.
Very true. I think they're both equally effective. Peas may not be necessary, but I consider them natural because wild bettas can obtain small amounts of veggies from the stomach contents of their prey, while domestic fish cannot.
Originally Posted by doggyhog
peas can actually damage their digestive tract.
I have read nothing about negative effects of an occasional pea, but I'd imagine so if you fed them every day, since clearly betta's are not then natural enemy of the pea.
Wow, thank you guys so much for all of you information! The garlic thing is really interesting, Lupin, I'd never heard anything about that. Gilligan actually ate one of the two pellets I gave him this evening, and I also found a small bubble nest going behind the filter, so I'm taking that all as good signs.
I really appreciate all of the help and encouragement with this. My mom's had an aquarium for about 10 years, but I'd never seen one of her fish not eat, so it's been really reassuring to know that it's not uncommon in bettas. You guys are awesome!