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So, I've seen a lot of debate lately about feeding amount for bettas.

When I first got into fishkeeping, I followed the general consensus I was finding that 2-3 average-sized pellets twice per day was what one should feed. Then as I started reading more on different forums, I realized folks seem to be pretty well divided into 2 camps - the majority being those that do as I was doing, counting and limiting pellets, and the minority being those that fed as much as the fish would eat and never counted or limited. I started leaning toward the non-counters because after all, stomachs stretch, and it's not like the fish are counting pellets in the wild. I would imagine that fish, just like any creatures, will eat all they can when they find a food source because it's not like they are just walking up to the buffet for 3 meals a day. They don't know where the next meal is coming from, so they eat what they can hold. Of course, on the other hand, pellets are probably more nutrient-dense and are definitely not exactly what they will eat in the wild. The fish's meals in the wild are naturally limited by availability, so they may not ever get the chance to overeat.

I eased into it, and I've now been feeding all my bettas generally as much as they will enthusiastically eat at each feeding for a few months now. When their little tummies start to look nicely rounded or they start to fool around in between bites, mealtime is over. I don't have any overweight fish. Nobody has any bloating problems, swim bladder issues, or other health problems. They're all nicely tapered, healthy, lively fish.

I know pet care is up to the caregiver and what he/she feels is best and most appropriate for the pet. I'm not saying one way is better than another or that I'm right and other people are wrong. I'm not trying to start anything. I'm just really interested to hear everyone's opinions because I have had my mind changed about several things through reading everyone's input across several forums. I like that moment when I read something that just clicks and changes everything I thought I already knew. (I also know that some fish are prone to SBD, bloating, etc. and those are special cases which must be treated differently.)
 
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I fall more into the camp of feeding him all he can take in a single feeding, but within reason. Sounds contradictory, but from my past experience with Bettas, their appetite is never fully satiated.

I had a Betta, Brutus, a few years back. He ate as much of everything I put in front of him and he kept on eating as long as I fed him. One night, I was feeding him bloodworms. He ate worm after worm after worm to the point I noticed his belly had swollen way out of proportion to the rest of his body. I stopped right away, but I am convinced he would have kept eating had I kept feeding him. With that in mind, when I feed my boys today, they get differing amounts based on what I am feeding them.

They won't take pellets, so his diet consists of bloodworms, two types of brine shrimp, and Cysop shrimp (pretty sure that's what they are called). With blood worms, I give them 6-7 of the long ones. I judge that to be enough given their size and the size of his belly. they get 5 of the Cysop as they are a bit larger and meatier than brine shrimp. With the brine shrimp, I feed them alot of decent sized clumps until they starts spitting them out.

Even with this feeding schedule, they still roam the tank looking for food in between feedings. So, I am pretty much convinced that they will eat voraciously no matter how much I give them, and do so beyond what is healthy, requiring my own judgement as to what is enough.
 

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when their little tummies start to look nicely rounded or they start to fool around in between bites, mealtime is over.
+1,000. Fish should look like they've eaten after a feeding.
 

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I'm also in the camp for non-counters. I do watch them still though, as soon as they start to get distracted or go off to do something or don't seem as enthusiastic about the food I stop feeding them. This is different for each fish.

I personally don't like to count because all of my fish range from 2 years to only 2 months old. It would be like feeding an older person a muffin and a coffee which they might be satisfied on but then giving that same meal to a growing teenage boy; it's not going to satisfy him in the least for a single meal (perhaps a snack though haha). So age plays a big role in how much I feed as well, my older ones don't get as much because they don't expend as much energy as the youngin's do.
 
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I have a ravenous veiltail who will keep eating until he looks like he is going to burst, so I limit how much I feed him to about 6-8 mini pellets, 2-3 times a day with bloodworms or brine shrimp mixed in sometimes. My younger(?) Super Delta will throw up the pellets if I give him too many, so I limit him to 5-6 minis at a time, or 2 re-hydrated worms. The Halfmoon falls somewhere in between, if I overfeed him, or if he is feeling ill, he throws the pellets up.
 

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I don't count . I feed what I've learned over time they'll eat in a somewhat short period of time. I dump in the approximate amount I assume they'll eat which is more then 5-9 pellets . Also I recently counted how much Jaysees betta in his 125g ate each feeding. He ate over 10 2mm pellets each feeding. Those pellets are 2 times as big as NLS betta pellets.


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It must be hungry from doing laps against the 975 GPH filtration current :)
 

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I usually give my male 4-5 pellets in the morning and 3-4 pellets at night. Sometimes more. But my female I usually only give 3 at morning and 2-3 at night. My female typically gets less because she lives in a 5 gallon and while she does do quite a bit of swimming my male lives in a 20 gallon and is constantly flailing around. I figure the more work you do the more calories you need..Just like it would be in humans.. :p And I guess I don't really know how to explain what amount of "Frozen foods" I feed to them at each meal.. I really just feed frozen until I see they get a little belly. But with frozen foods I try to give them 3 meals a day. :)
 

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ALL my bettas get freeze dried bloodworms, white shrimp, Tetra Betta, tubifex and etc. I give them enough that their bellies stick out, but not so much that they're rounded. And yes i do know freeze dried can cause sbd, but as yet it hasnt happened and my females are always being conditioned so they generally get the most food and bigger water changes because of how roughed up they get in a spawn so they deserve a bit more pampering than the male.
 

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I don't count, can't really remember having ever counted, and am always confused as to why this seems to be one of the most common questions asked by new members.

All my wilds get live/frozen foods and they will normally eat until they are full or there is no food left. My fish definitely do get full, particularly if I feed blackworms, and will stop eating after a certain point. However, because I don't want my fish getting obese, I prefer to underfeed rather than overfeed.

I am also a very sporadic feeder. My fish may get fed twice in one day and then go two or three days before their next feed.

They are all active and healthy and spawning, so I figure that whatever I am feeding must be enough.
 

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I don't count, can't really remember having ever counted, and am always confused as to why this seems to be one of the most common questions asked by new members.

However, because I don't want my fish getting obese, I prefer to underfeed rather than overfeed.

I am also a very sporadic feeder. My fish may get fed twice in one day and then go two or three days before their next feed.
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It's just one fish in a tank - how much to feed it is a natural question. I don't think we see this question as much on the community side because it's nearly impossible to control the diets of the individual fish in the tank. But one little fish in a little tank....
I also think the counting has to do with fear of bloat and swim bladder issues, which is clearly a valid concern evidenced by the disease section.

I've never seen an obese betta, but I've seen some big fat pacus at the public aquarium. Id like to see what is considered fat and obese for fish. Is there a chart like what's on the wall at the vet for dogs?

I'm also quite irregular with my feedings - it's not unusual for them to go a few days without food, even when I am home. I let them eat their fill when they do eat, though. I think what is key for that is feeding high quality, easily digestible foods. I've never had any digestive issues since switching to NLS.
 

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Well I have wilds and the ones I own have a very streamlined look, and are normally much slimmer than a standard splendens.

I used to fed my previous wilds very heavily on live blackworms and I noticed they lost that streamlined look and became very thick through the body - like a sausage with fins basically.

Nowadays, I have cut down on the amount I feed, and my current wilds while having grown longer and put on more condition while in my care (most are wild-caught), have not gotten that very thick bodied look.

I suppose some of what you are saying in regards to community fish versus just owning a single fish makes sense. In my group tanks I certainly have fish that end up with a lot of food, and fish that end up with not so much food.

I do wonder if the large instance of bloat/swim bladder disorder is partly due to feeding of lower quality foods. I can't say I've ever had an issue when I use NLS pellets.
 

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Mine gets around three of the betta food pellets in the morning, and maybe two blackworms a night. His meal type can change due to what I have in stock, and depending on how 'full' he looks. Naturally, I don't want to risk swim bladder or obesity, and those health related issues from over feeding.
 

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I think obesity has more to do with the quality and type of food than the quantity (not that quantity doesn't play a role). Too, I think that whether the tank is filtered or not plays a role in the physical fitness of the fish, and thus the amount of food the fish needs. I believe someone mentioned this earlier.
 

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I'm a sporadic feeder as well when it comes to my boys. I would rather underfeed by a bit than overfeed. But generally it's a small pinch of I guess 5 pellets unless I'm feeding the tiny ones. If it's the tiny ones then it's quite a bit more. With my partially blind boy I feed one at a time until he's not interested in eating any longer.

I'm pretty good about not skipping more than a day on my 20g just because I fear if I miss a feeding then my neons will begin to look like something edible.
 

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I guess I'm in both camps. I give my larger bettas 4-6 Omega One pellets and a small bloodworm per day. I would never not count the pellets for Opalo - he's very enthusiastic about feeding, and he has a history of bloating/swim bladder disease. For my new, smaller boy, I give him whatever he'll eat. I normally have to put in quite a bit of food for him to touch any of it. It disappears from the bottom, so I guess he eventually gets hungry.
 

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I'm a counter for now- but only because my tank isn't completely cycled yet. I'd prefer to feed him until he looks like he's got food in his belly. It's 3 pellets a day, them slowly moving up as things stabilize in my tank.
 
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