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Old 04-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #1 
Psylk87's Avatar
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Do Bettas really need to fast?

Like I asked in the subject. Do Bettas really need to fast? How often and for how long?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:33 PM   #2 
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When you get down to it, no. They don't. If you are feeding proper amounts there is no need to fast.
As carnivores, their digestive system is slow. That's why some people fast, to give them a day of rest from digesting. Also in an attempt to mimic a wild setting, though not completely accurate, times between meals can vary greatly depending on season.
Some dog experts recommend fasting dogs once a week, however as far as I know there are minimal positives to doing this. Same goes for betta.

On the other hand, some betta are prone to bloat (I'm noticing crowntails most often). I have a crowntail prone to bloat. He is fasted 1-2 days a week (usually once) and often is fed once daily. In this case it's important to fast a betta, when they have digestion/constipation issues.

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:39 PM   #3 
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I don't think the average betta does. However, with one prone to bloat I would think fasting once a week isn't a bad idea. I don't intentionally fast my fish, but I do forget to feed them from time to time and I don't feed them when I go out of town. This has never caused any problems in any way or benefited me.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:48 PM   #4 
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I forget too, or I use hand lotion before bed and feel uncomfortable feeding them. I think forgetting is more natural, since it's totally random when it happens. xD
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:55 PM   #5 
True Indigo
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I find that it also depends on your water temperature. Chances are, if the water isn't very warm and you don't have a heater, you might want to fast him once a week to avoid potentially bloating.

I, however, have a heater that always keeps the water at a constant 78 degrees (84 on hot days) and thus he's able to digest food easily. Just the other day he managed to finally catch the last ghost shrimp in his tank and devoured the whole thing after I JUST fed him three pellets. He was bloated like crazy! However, the next day he was fine, still had a small belly, but I was comfortable giving him half of his usual meal that day.

I feed my fish three pellets twice a day. Sometimes I'll give him a single extra pellet too every once in a while and I've never had a problem with him bloating. So water temperature definitely plays into it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:05 AM   #6 
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The above mentioned bloat is a good reason to fast. That being said i don't often fast my Bettas. I do occasionally forget to feed until after the lights have gone out at least once a week.

If i leave for a couple days i will fast them. When i ship i fast them for 2 days, and then they don't get fed for 3-4 more days while in transit and i have yet to lose one.
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