"Training" Betta to eat pellets? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Maxwedge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 19
"Training" Betta to eat pellets?

So I'm still in the same boat with my Blue Alien's eating habits... He will only eat black worms. He likes the hunt, and isn't over-eating, but I'm not sure if they will give him a "well rounded" diet and complete nutrition. I do feed them and the culture lasts indefinitely.

For pellets I have tried New Life Spectrum, Ocean Nutrition, and the old Hikari Bio-Gold. He looks at them but doesn't seem to know that they're food. I also got some Scuds in their own 2.5 gallon but they are super tiny and he treats them like the pellets... watches them go by but doesn't seem interested in eating them. I'm hoping he'll be more interested when they get a little bigger. I am not interested in raising Daphnia/Moina at this time.

So what I am thinking of doing now is isolating him in a breeding box/net inside the current tank, and Only offering the pellets. In the large surface-area tank it's easy for him to ignore the pellets and let them drift away. But in a smaller space without the plants, tubes and filters, I think he won't be able to ignore the pellets and will check them out. Especially if they are the only food he can find.

So that is what I am going to try. If anyone has any opinions or experience "re-conditioning" their fish to eat a different food I would appreciate your input. Right now I feel like my kid won't eat his brussel sprouts, so I've been feeding him candy instead. "it's the only thing he'll eat".
Maxwedge is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 06:40 AM
Member
 
Old Dog 59's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Oil City PA. USA
Posts: 1,303
Aquarium
Yep he has you trained. LOL The only way you can switch his diet at this point is to Stop the candy and feed him whole food products. If your switching to pellets than put a couple of pellets in the tank and leave them there. He doesn't recognize them as food so he needs to start. If he picks at them it's a start. However some betta never east pellets. He might go for flake food, and introducing him to it is the same way. and then there is always feeding live blood worms (or frozen is the same as live) They are whole food and are great for betta.

I have one betta that use to eat flake food, he is now in a community tank and the other fish eat his flake food but the Cory will eat the frozen blood worms. So he now will eat nothing but the blood worms and the other fish only eat the flake ( go figure). The rest of my betta eat flake food with no problem, But when I first got them they had to recognize the flake as food and it took a couple of days before they did that . Once they did they have been eating it ever since.
Old Dog 59 is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 09:21 AM
TFK Moderator
 
Veloran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,261
I will say that the hardest part is in your head. A healthy fish won't let himself starve to death.

Then again, I trained mine to eat at a floating ring I made so I didn't get pellets getting lost under the floating plants. He then got sick, I got worried and now I'm fully trained to get him his pellets while he's hiding under the floating plants.
Veloran is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 05:17 PM
Member
 
Old Dog 59's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Oil City PA. USA
Posts: 1,303
Aquarium
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloran View Post
I will say that the hardest part is in your head. A healthy fish won't let himself starve to death.

Then again, I trained mine to eat at a floating ring I made so I didn't get pellets getting lost under the floating plants. He then got sick, I got worried and now I'm fully trained to get him his pellets while he's hiding under the floating plants.
Now that's how your betta trains you to feed him right. LOL I like this reaction. Now tell me fish don't think. Or have a personality.
Old Dog 59 is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 05:53 PM
Member
 
Rana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: MA
Posts: 562
Aquarium
I trained several of my bettas to associate a red plastic stick (About the size of a toothpick- it's actually the handle of a tiny "spoon" that came with a freezedried treat) with food, so introducing them to new foods is pretty easy. All I did was give them frozen bloodworms off the stick until just the sight of the stick makes them swim over eager to eat, and once they're trained that far I use the stick to "point out" new foods I've put in the tank for them to eat like floating pellets and flakes. Also helps when the current moves their food someplace they weren't expecting and they can't "find" it. I used bloodworms, but obviously you'd want to use the food your betta is already used to.

I actually did it by accident the first time- I just needed a way to give my first baby a single bloodworm at a time and hated wasting wooden toothpicks- but once I realized how useful it was, I kept it up. Bettas do see in color, so picking a bright color for the stick/toothpick and then not changing is a good idea.

It may or may not work for you, I have no idea the trainability levels of wild bettas vs domestic, or if a live worm would even stay on a stick long enough for your betta to make the association of stick = food. Maybe a pair of tweezers instead of a stick? But it's another option to consider.


SIP
Rana is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 06:08 PM
Reference Team
 
LittleBettaFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
Posts: 8,865
I disagree that a healthy fish won't starve itself to death. The majority of fish will transition to pelleted or flake foods. But there are some species of fish (particularly marine), and some individuals (often wild-caught fish) that will starve themselves to death if not provided with live foods.

Personally, I like to make the transition from live to frozen. Then from frozen to pellets or flakes. I find it makes the process easier with particularly stubborn fish. I use a pair of long 'aquascaping' tweezers to target feed my fish. This is useful when first introducing frozen foods, as you can move the food around to simulate live prey and this can stimulate a predatory response. I also teach my fish to associate a tap on the glass with food, so all I need do is tap on the glass and all my fish come to the front of the tank.

If you can get your fish accepting a range of frozen foods, such as enriched brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and mosquito larvae, that should provide him with all the nutrients he requires. So you may not even need to transition to dried foods.

Otherwise, have you thought of trying a gel food such as Repashy? I know your fish is a hybrid, but none of my smaller wild bettas have taken pellets readily. They tended to chew on them and spit them out. They preferred flake food, but this caused issues with bloating. So I switched to gel food.

I'm not a fan of live blackworms as a sole food source. I think they're a great tool for conditioning fish for breeding, but fed on a regular basis, they can cause obesity. My earlier wild bettas were fed a diet consisting almost solely of live blackworms, and they were massively obese compared to my present fish.

Good luck. It's going to take both persistence and time.


LittleBettaFish is online now  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Maxwedge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 19
Thanks guys. If I can find live blood worms I will try them - I've only ever seen freeze dried and frozen. He rejected frozen brine shrimp. I have Repashy "Soilent Green" algae gel for my shrimp but didn't know they made a food for predators. I doubt it would work though since his issue is that he ONLY goes for wriggling food. If it's not swimming, wriggling or jerking he doesn't want to bite it.

Yes, he has trained me. He searches the bottom for worms all day, and excitedly swims back and forth when I get home from work so I'll get him more. When I put pellets on the surface he swims up and looks, but then swims back down and says "WORMS Dad, Worms!"

Here he is searching the bottom for live worms...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wild worm hunt 1.jpg (53.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg wild worm hunt 2.jpg (56.3 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg wild worm hunt 3.jpg (49.7 KB, 2 views)
Maxwedge is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 10:14 PM
Reference Team
 
LittleBettaFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
Posts: 8,865
Can you try frozen bloodworms or frozen mosquito larvae? Most of my fish have definite preferences as to sort of food they like. For example, some of mine show no interest in frozen brine shrimp, but will eat frozen bloodworms.

What happens if you use tweezers to twitch/wriggle the frozen food around near his head?

Repashy have a special recipe for insectivorous fish. It's banned for import here in Australia now due to our quarantine regulations, but my wild bettas used to love it.

To introduce my fish to Repashy, I did the same as I did with frozen food. Put a small amount in my tweezers, and move it around to catch the fish's interest, and then let them nibble at it. Most of them spit it out the first few times, but I just kept persisting. I think because there's less chewing involved than with a pellet, they're more likely to swallow it.

He doesn't look in poor condition in your photos, so missing a few days of food won't hurt him. My wild bettas only get fed very sparingly. They usually go one to two days between meals, and most of them are now three or four years old.

He definitely needs more variation in his diet than live blackworms. I wouldn't even alternate between them and another food source until he is eating either frozen foods, gel food, or flake/pellets reliably.


LittleBettaFish is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome