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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!
I'm a new betta owner. I got my betta from a friend who couldn't keep him any longer, and I'm still in the process of figuring out how to best take care of him. I've been reading a lot on the Internet and upgraded my equipment successively over the last few weeks, and I can tell that he appreciates it. He's become a lot more active and he seems to respond to me now when I approach the tank.
The only thing that I don't seem to be able to figure out is how to best feed him because he totally ignores any type of food that floats. I've tried different types of pellets and flakes, and brine shrimp, too, but he doesn't respond to anything, even when I leave the food in there longer than I should. But when I present the same food to him on a skewer and hold it right in front of him, he will eat it right away.
Is this a common thing? He has no trouble swimming to the surface to breathe, but he just won't go up to eat. Is there anything I can do to encourage him? I have tried to find an answer to this online, but most people seem to talk about bettas who a) overeat or b) don't eat at all.
Thank you for any advice!
 

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This is not abnormal, not my case anyways.

Whenever I feed my SD boy he doesn't eat, I have to literally push the flakes down with a toothpick and he'll eat them. Same with pellets, he'll wait for them so sink before he eats them. :T

I dunno, maybe he knows he's a pampered boy? He knows that he's going to get his food pushed down for him.
 

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I've run into that issue. Frozen blood worms do the trick nicely.
 

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I have picky eaters, but none who actually do this. You can try to tempt him with some frozen Bloodworms or some frozen Glassworms/Mosquito Larva. You can also try and not feed him for acouple of days, then try to give him a pellet or some flakes. He may just be used to not eating every day as Bettas really don't NEED to be fed daily, though I feed mine every day anyway (sometimes i give them a Bloodworm at night for dessert).
You could also try to soak his pellets first, which I think is what alot of people have to do if their Betta gets bloated easily, this helps them to sink down faster as well.

I hope some of that helps, don't give up, some Bettas just want to be pampered and know that you'll treat them like Kings and Queens if they make you. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for your help! I'm glad I found this place!
I'm happy he eats at all. I just wonder where he picked up the habit because the friend I got him from didn't spend much time with him and I'm pretty sure she didn't feed him with a skewer. I don't particularly mind doing this, but I would like for him to eat normally so that he will still eat when I'm not around.
Can I get frozen blood worms and larva at a pet store? I haven't seen these yet. And can I feed them frozen or do they need to thaw?
Thanks!
 

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Yes, PetCo and PetSmart are the best places to find them, your local pet store might also carry some as well.
 

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If you want mosquito larvae, leave a bucket of water outside. After a few days, you should have some nice little wrigglies in it. :) He'll enjoy chasing around the live food. The only trouble I've found with these delicacies is weening the fish back on to pellets when the supply runs out. ;)

You can also get sinking pellets, or soak them to get them to sink.
 

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I rather enjoy hand-feeding (or toothpick-feeding) my fish. It gives me a chance to relate to them and to assess their well-being. It prevents waste food buildup as well as keeping them alert.

In fact, if they don't eat from my hand, they don't eat. An old falconry habit, it keeps the animal responsive and tame.
 

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The whole "Feed only as much as your Betta will consume in 3 minutes" is crazy and I think should be removed from all Betta food. They will eat and eat until they cannot swim properly and get severely bloated. I wouldn't doubt it if they eat until their stomachs burst- my boys always want more food even if they are already rather chubby.
 
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