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Old 09-23-2015, 08:30 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC CA
Question SPOILED: Ignores pellets, eats worms & brine shrimp

I've had a few betta fish over the years and never had one this spoiled before.

My buddy Steve ignored pellets from day one. I tried to push the issue for a few days, but the most he would do was chomp on it and spit it back out (These aren't huge pellets either. Previous bettas just crunched them down.).

So after a few days, I panicked and fed him brine shrimp. He ate plenty, the porker.

Then it was back to ignoring pellets.
He eats blood worms just fine.

So the question here is -- How do I get him to eat the pellets?
As much as the brine shrimp are "gut stuffed" with nutrients, I'm fairly sure blood worms and shrimp wouldn't be a balanced diet.

Has anyone else had this issue? Is the only answer to keep buying pellets until he accepts them? Is it possible the food went "stale" after being in storage for a year?

Tank: 2.5G
Heater: Yes (79*)
Filter: No (weekly water change)
Bubbler: Yes (under gravel pull, large round rocks, not cycled)
Light: Yes
Decor: java moss & fake plant

Last edited by azhwi; 09-23-2015 at 08:37 PM. Reason: adding tank details
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:18 PM   #2 
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Location: Chicago
Add a bit of garlic to the pellets, after not feeding for 3 days. A healthy adult fish can easily go for 2 weeks without eating. I'd wait it out. If he's picky after 3 days, wait 2 more. Still picky? Every other day, a couple pellets. Once he does eat them, don't overfeed.

With an unfiltered 2.5 weekly water changes won't cut it. Try 50% every other day, along with the food scheme.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:57 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Boston, MA
you gotta be strict, a healthy animal will NOT starve themselves.

Put the pellets in, wait a few minutes, if they're not touched, scoop them out, try again the next day. Repeat.
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:49 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
I had one that was exactly the same, tried everything to get him to eat. I ended up crushing his pellets and mixing with a bit of garlic juice, a bit of salmon juice from a can (red sockeye in water), some Omega One Betta buffet flakes, and then rolling him new pellets. I made enough to last in the fridge for a couple of days. He gobbled those up, ate the extras, and is now eating just the regular non-salmon and garlic pellets like a pro.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:52 PM   #5 
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Once you get him to consistently eat the pellets too, you may not want to go back to brine shrimp or bloodworms if that's a problem, otherwise you're going to start the process all over again. At least that's what I've experienced with my pickier one, but it's still good for a diversified diet.
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pellets, picky eater

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