Questions (a bunch of em) about Betta Nutrition and Betta Care (mainly nutrition) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Questions (a bunch of em) about Betta Nutrition and Betta Care (mainly nutrition)


When trying to pick top quality food for your Betta... do you look at:

- the % guarantee analysis over the ingredients list
- the ingredients list over the % guarantee analysis

I know both are important... but which do you weigh as more important (in terms of making the final decision)? And why?

I ask this because I know New Life Spectrum (NLS), Omega One, Atison for example... are the popular brands for Betta fish (since I keep seeing it mentioned as a highly regarded + recommended brand).

So I went to go find and purchase suggested brands and I looked at their % guarantee analysis and ingredients list and compared to brands that were not recommended or mentioned such as Aquarian, Aqueon, Wardly, etc that had foods designed for Bettas.

Although the ingredients list was better (NLS/Omega One VS Others). The % guarantee analysis was lesser (in terms of protein). So I'm wondering why one would choose ingredients over nutritional value if food is purchased for the sake for having a pet healthy.

ATM, the foods I have for my Betta are:

- Hikari Betta Bio-gold
- Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets
- Nutrafin Max Colour Enhancing Flakes (I tried feeding this and he did eat it)
- Live Flightless Fruitflies (I am going to steer away from feeding worms because it seems like they have a knack for causing potential problems)

Is this a good selection of food?


Is there any others foods I should purchase to make my Betta happy? Should I order some New Life Spectrum and Atison food for him? Or should I save my money? I don't mind spending the money because what will make him happy and healthy which will make me happy.


Is there any nutrition in flightless fruitflies? Is their nutrition based on the media in which they eat? Should I feed these things to him as part of his daily meal plan or just as a treat? I plan on getting a live culture next week for him to have a form of live food that isn't worms.


I have read the following guide:

and I was wondering if the information in there is outdated or still holds true. Specifically the following:

"Nutritional Analysis: These are the percentages that indicate the nutrient profile of the food. Because bettas are insectivores, you should seek a high protien, low fat food. Fat between 3-8% and protien between 35-45% is very favorable. Higher moisture and lower ash and magnesium, when possible, are also preferred for kidney health.

Ingredients: The source of nutrients matters almost as much as their percentages. Try to avoid foods that use large ammounts of low quality "filler" ingredients such as corn, wheat, and soy. At least the first two ingredients and preferably the first three ingredients should be animal protiens, as ingredients are listed in order of % composition. When possible, also seek betta foods with some invertebrate protiens, and try to avoid foods whose ingredients aren't easily recognizable whole food products. "

What is your guideline on picking food? Is it the same as the above about protein % and fat %? What happens when the protein % is over 45% which I saw in some foods AKA Nutrafin MAX (with 47% min). Is there any such thing as too much protein for a carnivore fish such as the Betta?


I know the disadvantage of live food such as worms is intestinal issues and disease... but is there a disadvantage to flakes and pellets? Or is the only disadvantage is that if you don't pre-soak them it will swell up (which can be solved and is no longer a disadvantage).

Does that mean flakes and pellets have no disadvantages (as long as I prepare them right by soaking and making sure the pieces can fit inside the Betta's mouth easily)?


Is "Nutrafin Max Colour Enhancing Flakes"

the same as ""Nutrafin Max Betta Colour Enhancing Flakes""

But just branded with another name? I'm wondering if they are different and I should buy the one specifically manufactured for Bettas.


Is a Betta able to tear his fins on the roots of floating plants (Amazon Frogbit / Water Lettuce)?

Is it required to trim the roots? Or is it fine. I don't want to seem overprotective but I don't want him to tear his fins (he is a HM).

I've already removed all rocks in the tank and I believe the driftwood and cholla wood is smooth and will not cause damage. So I'm looking @ the only thing that may cause damage...

__________________________________________________ _

Thanks for reading. Any input in any form (suggestions, critiques, links to guides, etc) is appreciated.

I'll be eagerly awaiting for answers because once I get them I'll decide whether or not to checkout Atison's and NLS @ ebay for my Betta.

P.S: I'm trying to determine if a variety of foods is best or if it is detrimental. In the link I posted earlier it stated:

"Most animal nutritionists agree that the best way to ensure complete nutrition for your pet is through variety. Because each food as its fortes and failings, it is best to feed multiple foods; this will magnify the benefits and reduce the negatives. What's more, feeding a great variety of foods is more enriching for your betta, providing a valuable source of stimulation that is lost when we stick to just one type or brand of food. That's right - I said brand. Even if all you can afford to feed is flakes or pellets, feeding multiple brands will offer much-needed variety; I myself feed fourteen brands of pellets in addition to frozen and live foods!"

I have read many conflicting arguments on the topic of Betta nutrition (For example: so I thought I'd ask here where I frequent. So many sources I've read are outdated

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 01:08 PM
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some dry foods have soy protein, wheat gluten etc. these are used as filler but they also raise the protein %.

A. So you could have a cheap product with very little animal based protein but a lot of vegetable based protein.


B. A quality product with only animal based protein and no filler.

The A. product could have a higher % of protein than the B product but they fail to tell you that most of that protein is useless.
I don't use NLS myself but many people love it and I'm sure it is a quality product. NLS has a lower % protein than many other flakes and pellets but since it is better protein you get more out of it.

If you had 1 million dollars on two tables...
on table one you get 41% of the million dollars
on table two you get 48% of the million dollars

which would you choose? (ooops, on table two half of the $480,000 is monopoly money and on table one it is all real)

20L My Other Tank: OEBT Shrimp
40B Inlaws Tank: 2 goldfish
75 Main Tank w/ sump: 5 Glossolepis pseudoincisus, 5 Melanotaenia boesemani, 10 Melanotaenia praecox, 5 Melanotaenia lacustris, some cories, a bn pleco and rainbow fish fry
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 02:25 PM
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1. I go with protien from meat vs veg, these fish eat bugs and veggies are not on their menu.
2.Frozen brine shrimp and blood worms as a 1-2 time a week treat.
3. I have not seen them around here for sale yet but it's a bug so I would say they would be good for any fish that eats mostly bugs
4. they are current enough and yes same as question 1 answer
5. well with any food is over feeding bloating and the like, the food with less real meat protein and more veggie protein are more likely to cause these problem. would have to go compare labels to know for sure
7.I doubt they could on floating plant roots, and as far as everything else in the tank buy a cheap pair of pantyhose put one over your hand and run your hand across the rocks/driftwood/ornaments if they snag that will tell you that his fins could get caught on that object and cause a tear.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, thanks for the explanation. I understand it now completely. Like how vegetarians get their protein intake... but Betta won't process vegetable proteins as well as VS animal proteins.


Ouu never thought about using a pantyhose as a test to run over any objects I was unsure of. Thanks for the great idea.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 10:52 PM
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I think that as long as you feed a variety you should be fine. I feed a few different branks of flakes, w different micro pellets and frozen foods and my bettas are doing quite well.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 02:58 AM
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1. answered
2. fish don't get happy or sad, but live food will stimulate them
3. yes they have nutrition, and the better the food they eat the better it is for your fish
4. answered
5. the disadvantage of dry food is that they are not live foods. i'm not sure where you are hearing about problems with worms and parasites and intestinal issues. parasites have been linked to live blackworms and intestinal issues to bloodworms. Others feed those two items to their fish for years with no issues.
-still there are grindal worms, banana worms, microworms, whiteworms all totally safe and I've never read of an issue.
6. doesn't look like nutrafin is that good, why bother? try almostnaturalfshfood

variety for sake of variety is silly. In fact, unless two foods are significantly different I wouldn't even bother with two. I personally use a color enhancing flake and a spirulina based flake to supplement live foods and frozen foods. I would never bother with two different color flakes.
I don't know that 'Betta" food is in any way really any different than any other fish food, except for the size of it.

I don't have bettas but if I did I would feed...
frozen baby brine shrimp (or live)
grindal worms that I cultured myself on really high quality cat food
NLS, Omega One or almostnaturalfishfood betta pellets and/or color pellets/flake

I would just rotate the feedings among the three.

20L My Other Tank: OEBT Shrimp
40B Inlaws Tank: 2 goldfish
75 Main Tank w/ sump: 5 Glossolepis pseudoincisus, 5 Melanotaenia boesemani, 10 Melanotaenia praecox, 5 Melanotaenia lacustris, some cories, a bn pleco and rainbow fish fry
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 03:06 PM
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I love your concern for your betta(s). We need more people on the hobby like that. Actually caring for the fish. Well I hope you find all your answers. I can answera few but I'm at work lol.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Whilst trying to obtain Atison's Betta Food (which is near impossible now since it is discontinued but there are some still floating around). A supplier instead offered me a different brand of food known as "NorthFin Betta Bits Formula".

The following details are:

The NorthFin Betta Fish Formula contains easily digestible all natural ingredients with 100% natural colour enahncers. Specially formulated and well balanced diets for bettas.

High Quality Ingredients
Highly Digestible Ingredients
Free of Fillers, Hormones and Pigments

Ingredients: Whole Antarctic Krill Meal, High Omega-3 (DHA), Herring Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Wheat Flour, Kelp, Spirulina, Garlic, Astaxanthin (Haematococcus Algae), Calcium Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorby-2-Polyphospate (Source of Vitamin C), D-Activated Animal-Sterol (D3), DL Alphatocopherol (E), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Hydrochloride B6, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, Zinc.

Size of pellets: 1mm

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein (Min) : 45%
Crude Fat (Min): 7%
Crude Fibre (Min): 5%
Moisture (Max): 9%
Ash (Max): 9%

Would this be a great addition to my food rotation? According to previous posts and what I've learned I think it is pretty amazing food... Am I misjudging?

My final food rotation will be:

- New Life Spectrum
- Omega One
- Hikari
- Fruit Flies
- Possible Northfins (Yes/No - let me know what you think)

Will not be using flakes.

Looking forward to your answers (:

I do what I can to make my pets happy lol. In fact I just rescaped my cube tank to make it 100% betta friendly by removing rocks, driftwood, and burying the cholla wood so he wouldn't get stuck or get torn fins. Tank still looks good to me so hes happy and I'm happy lol.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 04:23 PM
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I really think you do not need 5 kinds of food I will admit I will rotate between NLS and omega one, plus the frozen brineshrimp and blood worms and maybe if petco/petsmart around here starts selling the wingless fruit flies but that would be more than enough variety
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 06:01 PM
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I feed mine live or frozen foods exclusively* (frozen only when I'm out of live). Have had my crowntail for several years now (in a 20G-Long community tank with snails, shrimp, and kuhli loaches). He's active, has a hate on for the snails (flashes at them like mad at the big ones when the crawl on the glass), and is just a joy. My favorite fish off all time.

*I’ve noticed that he will occasionally eat some the New Life Spectrum micro pellets when I feed the other fish.
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