Hey everyone, I've asked this once before but I'm just concerned :L The flakes I have are Tetra Betta flakes (there are also small shrimp+krill inside the tub). Anyway, I feed 4 flakes in the morning and 4 at tea. But these flakes are smaller than most flakes I've fed past fish, they range from about 1mm in length to 3mm, and was just wondering what everyone's ideas are? I just fed him 4 flakes but then he was practically begging at the top of the tank for more, and I'm just concerned I'm not feeding him enough, and btw I was a victim of the begging face and gave him 3 more! lol. I also do two feedings, one in the morning and one at tea time, (just did the tea time feed). Thanks in advance for any help!
I suggest ditching the flakes all together...not only is it hard to control how much your betta eats(which is important, as bettas can be prone to bloating)but they cloud the water as well, its hard to remove what is uneaten without a water change, and on top of all that they have almost no nutritional value so its not even like the those risks are even worth it.
So, I suggest trashing the flakes and going and picking up a good pellet brand like New Life Spectrum, Omega One, or Aqueon. Pellets are easier to feed, don't ruin water quality, and if he happens to not feel like eating one you can just pick it right back out. You should feed 2-3 pellets, twice a day depending on the size of the pellets and your betta. Remember; A Bettas stomach is about the size of their eye, and the pellets will take on water and expand in their stomach.
While a good pellet should be your staple, you can add a little variety to his diet, you can also pick up some frozen Bloodworms/Brineshrimp and feed a few(thawed in a small container of tank water)in place of one meal 1-3 times a week. :)
I have the small flakes for now, too. I feed a very small pinch, probably 5-8 flakes, once a day, in the morning. I watch him closely and scoop out whatever he doesn't eat within a minute or so with my finger.
Hmm....well if thats all you are able to get at the moment(I can only imagine how frustrating and irritating it must be that your LFS doesn't sell pellets....or at least, I'd be irritated and frustrated xD;)then feed a few, see how much he eats, and watch his belly, and be very careful to get out any uneaten food right away so it doesn't destroy your water quality. Eventually, you'll get into the habit of feeding him the right amount.
Have you checked around online to see if you can order pellets? Perhaps another LFS, or chain store in another town even?
Well, I'm 13 so the only way of getting pellets online is through my mum lol... When I'm close to running out of food (with only giving him about 9 flakes a day that small tub will last a while and also a fasting day it may be a month or two till I even get close tO running out!) I will definitely get pellets through the Internet! There is only one other pet shop in town but they don't have pellets either!!!!!!!!! >_<
By the way he is having no constipation and no bloating, even though he gets three FD bloodworms in his two treat days... Also, I just fiddle and only put one flake in at a time, takes like a few seconds longer but then if he doesn't want it I easily scoop it out, however he always eats it haha
Although flakes are not ideal for Bettas due to portion control....they have plenty of nutritional value for the first 30 seconds-1 min...once any type of food hits the water the nutrients start to leach out-especially water soluble vitamins-this also happens with pellets-but due to the density it takes longer for the nutrients to leach out of the pellets unless you soak them...then the second the soaked pellet hits the water its not much different than flakes and with some- all the nutrients may already be leached out from soaking in too much water.
Bloating issues are caused more from gulping too much air than the food itself unless the Betta is grossly overfed or poor quality food is being fed.
Nutrition is as important as water quality and this area is often overlooked by some hobbyist...and often this is where some hobbyist try to cut corners and/or save money-
Good nutrition can enhance-immune response/system, increase disease resistance, assist in maintaining bodily function and growth/development
The cost of the food doesn't always make it quality food...a lot of research has gone into the dietary needs of our tropical fish.
Lots of myths revolve around fish foods too-and as we all know some myths can be really hard to bust......they are repeated so much that they soon become truth when they are still only a myth.....
Freeze dried foods being one of the big ones-just like flake food myths, soaking food to prevent bloat, veggies or peas are bad for them...etc......
Every company is different in how they make the fish foods..this tells us that they are not all created equal....
Frozen-depending on the freezing process the frozen foods can be poor quality due to the cells being broken in the freezing process-making them void of useful nutrition......properly frozen they will contain nutritional value-but limited and should not be used as the staple diet
Freeze dried foods-when properly processed-gut loaded food items contain the needed nutrients, however, they are usually too high in protein, limited on the type of nutrition to be used as a staple diet
Flake foods-if they are processed properly and eaten within a minute of hitting the water is a great choice for a staple diet-however, portion is harder to control
Pellet food-again proper processing-fed and eaten within a few minutes are a good choice for a staple diet and portion easily controlled.....
Feeding a wide variety of foods-freeze dried, frozen, flakes, pellets and live...what one is missing the other may have to meet the nutritional needs of the fish.
Food doesn't have to be Betta specific-look at the ingredients-the first item needs to be fish/seafood meal or whole (excluding foods like bloodworms, daphnia etc...) nearly all fish food will have fillers to help bind the food and provide other nutrients to the diet to meet the nutritional needs of livestock kept in a closed system.
You also have to look at the age of the foods regardless of the type....once the seal is broken-you have roughly 6 months before it start to degrade and nutritional value is lost....it is still safe to feed generally-but nutrition, vitamins, minerals are decreasing if not totally absent.
This is when having friends/family in the hobby can be helpful....buy several different foods in the smallest container you can find and split it up.
Heat will cause the food to degrade even faster-the worst place to keep fish food and a common place that hobbyist keep it....On top of the aquarium light/on the hood...not only the heat from the light but you also have added moisture and with added moisture you can have other problems when the fish food start to mold/fungus that grows undetected in microscopic form....
Some foods can even degrade faster with light.
Best place to keep dry foods-tightly seal container in a cool, dry, dark place.
By understanding the digestive process of the Betta can help you understand and prevent issues.
Bettas have enzymes and acids in their mouth, GI tract, stomach that help break the food down to be absorbed.
They have a short GI tract and the foods pass quickly-some poor quality foods can be passed before the fish can absorb the nutrients and pollute the tank faster, same with veggies like peas-its not that they are bad/harmful for them-its more due to the short GI that the nutrition can't be absorbed making them void of nutritional value.
High quality food are easily broke-down, absorbed and used by the Betta causing little pollution in the tank.
Signs of vitamin/nutrient deficiencies include but not limited to- weight loss, slow growth, loss of pigmentation, blindness, infertility and increased predisposition to infection or compromised immune response.
Over time and by observing the Betta you will learn how much to feed...
Thank you for the extremely long post! And I didn't know the bad effect caused by leaving the food on top of his aquarium!!! That one shocked me a bit, the littlest things... Also, I disagree with the fact that it's hard to manage the amount of flakes that you feed. I can easily pick out a single flake and they are about 1-3mm long. Also, by putting them in one by one, Daz will eat each as soon as it hits the surface so there isn't a loss of nutrients there. But as said before thank you for all the advice. Oldfishlady please bear in mind that I am more than aware that pellets are better, it is just a case that my LFS doesn't have them! However I will order some online when I start to run out of flakes, and I will make sure I get a good brand such as new life spectrum or aqueon (ones that I commonly see mentioned here).