I am a fairly new betta owner, and I will admit that I have not always given my fish the best quality of life. I bought the little guy (Dave, a handsome little delta tail) on impulse, taking the advice of a petsmart employee that he would do great in a 1/2 gallon kept at room temp. (Not blaming the employee for my ignorance, I should have done my research first.)
Upon finding this forum and the wealth of information available, I bought him a new 2.5 gallon tank and a 10w heater. He seems to be doing MUCH better! His colors are brighter and his personality is really starting to show.
I also purchased some frozen bloodworms after learning that he needs a variety in his diet. Problem is, he won't touch them. I tried hand feeding several to him, and he just nibbles at it and then spits it out. I've also tried freeze dried bloodworms and flakes. He won't touch those either. The only thing he seems interested in is the original pellets I bought for him. It's labeled "Aqueon Betta Food" and reads 38% protein on the label. Is it healthy to only feed him these? Is there a better brand that anyone would recommend? I want whats best for my little betta, and any advice would be helpful!
New Life Spectrum betta formula is very popular for picky bettas, and they are one of the better pellet brand out there. Omega One Betta Buffet is awesome.. first few ingredients is fish, with a higher % in crude fat. Some people love Hikari Bio-gold for bettas, but the ingredients just aren't up to par, imo.
If you can get him to eat flakes, I highly suggest NutraFin Max Color Enhancing flakes, or BettaMin Tropical Medley by Tetra is even better..
Bettas can be picky (surprisingly as they can also be piggies), but you can try to force the frozen food on him if you wish- offer only frozen food for a few days and see whether or not hunger will force him to accept them or not. It's whatever tastes best for them.. the ones I listed are the ones most accepted and enjoyed when it comes to flakes/pellets, especially for picky bettas.
Mosquito larvae and daphnia are also well enjoyed and accepted- put a bucket outside, throw in some leaves, maybe a little dirt, and check daily to see what little .. critters .. you have in there.. then use a shrimp net, or a small fish net to scoop out and gently rinse off and feed to the betta every so often.
But don't fret if your guy will only ever eat pellets- I have one like that. So all you can do is make sure to get the best pellets out there.
Mine won't eat anything but the sinking wafers I give to the cory catfish. They are best friends and share the wafer!
If anyone wants a full bottle of Tetra Dried Bloodworms and a full bottle of Wardley Betta Food I will gladly send them to you on my dime. I know they are not the best quality but it's free food if you need it. I hate to throw them out.
Keep trying different foods. Its possible your fish only ate flakes or a certain brand pellet in the store before you bought him. That's like my Ludendorff, I bought him last week and he wouldn't touch anything besides omega pellets. Today I got him to eat a de-skinned pea!! He loved it! Bowser also dies for a bit of pea. It's a treat so don't feed it all the time ^.^
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a picky betta! I suppose I'll continue to feed him the pellets since that's what he likes. I certainly don't want to force him to eat anything he doesn't want. I've heard the Omega One Betta Buffet mentioned elsewhere also, so perhaps I'll give that a try.
Another quick question: When changing his diet, is it ok to just abruptly change to a different brand? Or should I slowly introduce him to it combined with what he's already eating? Sorry, that might be a silly question... I just don't want to cause any digestion issues. Still learning here!
Honestly, start as soon as possible from bringing him home because since you'll likely be feeding something different from the store anyway the next day then it shouldn't hurt. Just not a pile of different foods at once! :D When I brought Bowser home he was a little bit bloated so I gave him a bit of pea, fasted him the second day and then started on Omega/Tetramin crumbles/frozen bloodworms. Sadly, I don't feed them anything else at the present time.
With betta's the only thing you need to carefully introduce them to is new water params. Giving them a different brand of food won't change their minds about eating unless they hate it. My betta Lelouch doesn't even eat a brand intended for betta's. He's got a small mouth so the NLS small fish 5 mm pellets work best for him.
Thanks everyone, I feel much better about this now! I was worried that he might not be getting everything he needs from a pellet-only diet. He seems healthy and happy, though, so I'll stick with it... However, I will probably change to a different brand.
My girls will eat their micropellets (designed for baby bettas, but I feed them because I have microfish in the same tank) and community micropellets, and the sinking cory wafers. They will not touch the betta pellets of the NLS cichlid pellets that my male will eat.