Betta Sucks At Eating

Naivara
  • #1
Um, as you can gather by the title, my betta sucks at eating. Whenever I drop a pellet into the water, he floats slowly up from where he sleeps on the ground, and then stares at the pellet for a second before launching himself at it and completely missing it. I have to push the pellet in front of his face again so he can see it, otherwise he will assume feeding time is over and go back to sleeping. It takes more than four tries usually, if I'm lucky he gets it first try. Very often, as a result of the pellet soaking through and the momentum and impact of his lunges, the pellet falls from the surface to the bottom of the tank. If he sees it, he goes after it, but very slowly, and most of the time doesn't end up getting it, and the pellet will just sit there at the bottom of the tank if I don't use the turkey baster to suck it back up. When I do, I usually try to squirt the pellet in front of my betta's face, and after five minutes or so he finally gets it. I think that he is just old, and might be starting to lose his sight and depth perception. He doesn't have cataracts, I looked at his eyes and checked for the white dots but he has none. And he spends most of his time sleeping either behind the filter or on the ground. Anyone have any ideas on what might help?
 
shiv234
  • #2
try soaking it in garlic....or maybe go to a quality flake
 
Naivara
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Powder or the actual juices from the clove?
 
Rich Johnson
  • #4
Betta eyes are good at seeing above them. They aren't so good at seeing right in front of them. I try to drop the pellets against the glass, then point to them from above. My betta, Morty eventually gets them.
 
luckdown
  • #5
Powder or the actual juices from the clove?
What I do is mince some garlic and put it in water and microwave it for a bit, let it soak a few minutes till its room temp then use the garlicky water to soak the food and save whatever I don't use in the fridge for next time
 
Naivara
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Okay thanks all! I will try that the next time I am feeding him.
 
luckdown
  • #7
Hope it helps! Let us know how it goes :3
 
fish time
  • #8
Sounds like my african butterfly fish when it sees a pellet it swims slowly to it and trys to bite it but when it gets it, it spits it out so that's why it only eats flakes , well it least until it gets bigger.
 
JThor
  • #9
Personally i'd say switch to flakes. For a lack of better wording, i've "trained" or at least conditioned all of my males to learn to go to one side of the tank to take flake foods after having not much luck with pellets myself.
 
zoinksberg
  • #10
I'd go with some of the things others have suggested but also it helps my fish a lot to give them a routine. For me, as soon as I turn on the tank light I feed them. This way they recognize that the light means food and they swim to the top. I also feed them in the same place every day. Sometimes my betta will look for the food but not be able to find it floating so I point at it from the glass or from above. They're pretty smart and can usually catch on to these methods.
 
Greengirl87
  • #11
Like everyone has already said, point from above, have a routine, etc. Except I find that with my betta, colonel mustard, I sometimes have to stick my finger tip in the water and have him follow it over to where the pellet is.
 
CanadianFishFan
  • #12
Some bettas don't like pellets, try a smaller pellet or different brand. Garlic may work too. I had a betta who refused 4 different types of pellets. But he liked his flakes.
 
luckdown
  • #13
Some bettas don't like pellets, try a smaller pellet or different brand. Garlic may work too. I had a betta who refused 4 different types of pellets. But he liked his flakes.
I have some picky rescues who have refused almost all food but I tried some wet (but not live) shrimp that I cut into pieces and they devoured them in seconds. Though I don't recommend using live food or things like that on a daily basis. But the point is. I've tried a million things, sometimes they're just picky.
 
Greengirl87
  • #14
I have some picky rescues who have refused almost all food but I tried some wet (but not live) shrimp that I cut into pieces and they devoured them in seconds. Though I don't recommend using live food or things like that on a daily basis. But the point is. I've tried a million things, sometimes they're just picky.
Have you tried garlic? I just use garlic guard by seachem when I feed my fishies peas. They go crazy for garlic! The only one not fooled is my angelfish, castiel. Don't get me wrong, he goes for the garlic peas immediately too, but then realizes it is a pea and spits it out. Won't try again. That strange angelfish is a much pickier eater than my betta, but gosh I love him. Lol!
 
CanadianFishFan
  • #15
I have some picky rescues who have refused almost all food but I tried some wet (but not live) shrimp that I cut into pieces and they devoured them in seconds. Though I don't recommend using live food or things like that on a daily basis. But the point is. I've tried a million things, sometimes they're just picky.
True usually live food or even I tryed frozen food they love, but it can't be there daily source of food...
 
luckdown
  • #16
Have you tried garlic? I just use garlic guard by seachem when I feed my fishies peas. They go crazy for garlic! The only one not fooled is my angelfish, castiel. Don't get me wrong, he goes for the garlic peas immediately too, but then realizes it is a pea and spits it out. Won't try again. That strange angelfish is a much pickier eater than my betta, but gosh I love him. Lol!
I've tried everything with and without garlic . My non rescues LOVE garlic soaked food

Oddly enough I have one betta who LOVES carrots (to the point he is territorial over them) but the fish it was actually for refused to eat any

But everyone rescue or not adore peas

I have 30 bettas, 4 Platies, 11 platy fry, 6 corries, and 3 swordtails just counting my fish. They all have different preferences when it comes to food. It's really just trial and error figuring out what everyone prefers and what combos work best.

Most eat staple food but not everyone will eat all of the different treats
 
Greengirl87
  • #17
I've tried everything with and without garlic . My non rescues LOVE garlic soaked food

Oddly enough I have one betta who LOVES carrots (to the point he is territorial over them) but the fish it was actually for refused to eat any

But everyone rescue or not adore peas

I have 30 bettas, 4 Platies, 11 platy fry, 6 corries, and 3 swordtails just counting my fish. They all have different preferences when it comes to food. It's really just trial and error figuring out what everyone prefers and what combos work best.

Most eat staple food but not everyone will eat all of the different treats
Yes my tetras and swordtails will eat anything! My betta will eat about anything, but he seems to prefer certain brands of pellets over others. The angelfish is picky about his flakes a bit. But he will devour shrimp and bloodworms. He absolutely won't touch anything veggie related. Lol!
 
Naivara
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Thanks again everyone! I don't think the garlic thing will help; he still wants to eat the pellets, it's just that he has a hard time seeing and getting them. I tried the garlic nonetheless, and it just sunk to the bottom of the tank as soon as I put it in because it was soaked through. Mister(that's my betta's name)went after it for a little, but he gave up. I have a routine, I turn the light in my tank on to wake him up(he's usually sleeping)and let him know that it's feeding time, and there is a hole in the lid of the tank that I drop the pellet through. Buuut since he sucks at eating that I have to open the lid and push it back in front of his face when he misses it. So it's kinda impossible for me to have a routine, since I have to interfere. Mister is a rescue fish. He was supposed to be a half moon, but his fins were in such poor condition from fin rot that you couldn't even tell. He has recovered a little, but not enough to get back to his former glory. When I got him, almost dead, I fed him frozen bloodworms. They floated to the bottom of the tank so he could eat them, because he was too weak to swim to the surface. So I'm thinking that maybe I should try feeding him bloodworms...? I fed him a bit of them when I was feeding my other fish, but most of them just sunk to the bottom because he was too slow.
 

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