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Balanced diet for Betta who has trouble with pellets?

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Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for a little while, but haven't quite been able to find a post already addressing this exactly. I just got back into having Betta's again. I have my Betta, Shouto, in a 10 gallon planted tank for anyone wondering.

So, first let me say, he eat very well. This is not a problem with his appetite and desire to eat in any way. If anything, the problem is that he gets a little too enthusiastic.

What is happening is that when I go to feed him (Omega One Betta pellets) he gets pretty excited and strikes hard at his food. Sometimes he grabs it no problem. Most of the time, he just ends up knocking into it, and if it doesn't knock it down to the bottom the first try, it will the second or third in general.

So, I will put a new pellet in, and he does the same thing. He might get one or two, but I end up with a bunch more at the bottom of the tank, which I obviously don't want. I mostly just stop after 3 whether he has gotten them or not recently. Sometimes later on he will go down and pick them off the ground, but not always.

THIS LEADS ME to my actual question. What would be a balanced diet for a Betta without feeding pellets? He gets Hikari Freeze-dried Bloodworms every few days already, and has no problems at all eating those, and definitely loves them. But I know I can't just feed him bloodworms all the time.

Currently looking into possibly getting Daphnia and Tubifex worms? Do you guys have some other suggestions on how to give him a balanced diet he can eat without worrying about his enthusiasm ruining it? Lol.

Thanks everyone!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its amazing how such a website doesn't come up on the first pages of a google search, lol.

But, also, their feeding schedule still has pellets 4 days a week. Is it just not possible to not feed pellets?
 

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Pellets are not a good option for a Betta ( if not pre-soaked) because of their tendency to contribute to bloat. Betta's are primarily carnivorous fish so need foods high in protein.
However, as much as they are primarily carnivorous, they also need a fraction of green in the diet, so I would suggest the addition of spirulina to supplement this. An option to get this in their diet is a freeze dried or frozen food product with the addition of spirulina.

I use freeze-dried blackworms w/spirulina that I get here: https://aquaticfoods.com/.
It is a lean and healthy protein that is excellent for Bettas. I would soak small pieces in garlic juice on occasion, which is very healthy for all fish. When not soaking in garlic, I would take a small pinch of the freeze-dried black worms and soak in a little water before you drop into tank. Pre-soaking makes sure that it doesn't swell in the delicate stomachs of the betta.

You might try this with the remainder of your pellets to see if it is easier for your Betta to eat. If it works, continue to feed pellet; if they are high quality like Northfin or New Life Spectrum Brand, they are nutritious to rotate with other foods ( as long as pre-soaked.)

Other foods for Betta: Frozen brine shrimp, dahnia, bloodworms. But, these should not be the staple diet as their protein levels are lower.
 

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If you have a decent fish store in your area I would try some Tubifex Worms and Brine Shrimp. I usually get a scoop of worms and a scoop of shrimps for about $ 3.00 total. They stay alive in the refrigerator for a week. Rinse out the worms every day and net out the dead shrimps. Both my Betta's...Jumbo and Shimmer get a variety of foods which include Pellets and dried Blood Worms. Their sparingly fed twice a day and really look forward to their meal.

When I first got into Betta's I was amazed at how they hit the worms. If you've ever fly fished for Trout, you'll know what I mean when I say "hit". 8)
 

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Mine sometimes misses pellets if they are floating, too. So now I drop them in from a little above the tank so they start to sink immediately, and I wait until the betta is facing the area so he will zoom over and pick it up while it is sinking. I wait until he is done and looking around for more before I drop in another pellet. Perhaps you could try that?

I also feed him omega one flake and give the flakes individually, dipped in below the water line with tweezers (so the shrimps don't steal from him). On other days my betta gets frozen bloodworms or mysis+brine shrimp. Sometimes I crush up shrimp pellets or NLS pellets and give him pieces of that. Once a week I soak his pellets in garlic juice first. In the summer I give him live food several times a week- mosquito larvae- that's his absolute favorite. All my fish go nuts for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the ideas guys! I've tried the soaking, and he does seem to get them a little better as they are falling, but not perfect. I think if I had something for them to land in he would eat them out of there, I just don't have anything on hand right now.
I think I am going to look for a smaller pellet, as well as supplement with some of your suggestions and see how it goes. Thanks again!
 

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My bettas have no trouble going after pellets or blood worms that sink. I had a blind betta (diamond eye-scales grow over eyes) that only ate off the substrate, not at the surface.

If you want a real happy betta get a hold of some live black worms and put those in the tank. They'll live in the substrate and give him something to hunt.
 
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