Do Betta Really Eat Themselves To Death?

Lacey D
  • #1
I have a new single betta female in a community tank. Right now her only companions are a ton of male endler and a ton and a half of snails, but I will be getting some pleco and kuhlI loaches this month. She is a little slow to the food (at least a lot slower than the horde of endler), so today I did my usually weekly thing of dropping in a cube of snail jello, thinking that would occupy the endler while I prepared her brine shrimp. I came back to find that the endler were happily snacking away on the jello... and so was the betta girl and had a huge little tummy. Needless to say, no brine shrimp for her! I thought about pulling the cube (I usually leave it in there overnight for the snails to finish off), but decided to watch her instead. She spent some time guarding the cube but didn't keep eating, and by the morning the snails had done their job and reduced the cube to almost nothing. She was swimming in her usual spot, and not nearly as round as last night, so I'm pretty sure she's having no trouble digesting it. But should I try this again next week, or did I get lucky?

The snail jello is the usual organic zucchini, squash and peas baby food, gelatin, calcium powder and fish flakes. BTW, my boy betta doesn't touch it--I think he's too smart for that
 
LunaSky
  • #2
Very strange as Bettas are carnivores. I’ve never had a betta eat themselves to death though. But if she’s eating I guess you can’t complain too much.
 
Repolie
  • #3
Bettas are opportunistic feeders. So if there's food available, they will eat. There was a person on here who had a betta that someone overfed with ~9 pellets. He looked crazy! Like a balloon about to pop. I think you got lucky with her and you probably shouldn't try this again.
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
OK, I stopped with the snail jello...and she's still finding stuff to eat on the side. Pretty sure she's snacking on the smaller snails themselves, or even finding some fry (I have 2 female endler in this tank who got in by accident when they were immature and I can't get them back out. The girls are so much smarter than the boys, who just wander into the net on their own. Anyway, so now I have at least 2 tiny newborn fry wandering around...there may have been more).

My lovely Sweetheart is constantly prowling around the entire tank, and everything about her suggests she is hunting, so I'm certain she is finding things to eat. She also doesn't respond like the endler or my other betta do when it's officially food time, so she doesn't seem to associate ME with food.

I had been hoping to get a sorority going in here eventually, but I was trying to find a local breeder to source the other girls. Sweetheart was a Petsmart find (I was silly and picked up her cup, and it was all over). Will she stop eating herself into a beach-ball if I get the kuhli's to compete with her, or should I ramp up plans to get the sorority going... or find her another home where she doesn't have so much food wandering around?
 
GoldfishGuy
  • #5
If they eat to the point of constipation, they can die from complications.
 
rainbowsprinkles
  • #6
I killed one of mine in the early days by letting her eat as many mosquito larvae as she desired. I came back an hr later and she was so swollen it may have squished her labyrinth organ or who knows but she was dead.
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I killed one of mine in the early days by letting her eat as many mosquito larvae as she desired. I came back an hr later and she was so swollen it may have squished her labyrinth organ or who knows but she was dead.
Oh, so sorry to hear that I'm being very careful in making sure my betta boy doesn't overeat, but Sweetheart keeps finding food somewhere! I think I may have to pull her out and back into the 5 gallon quarantine tank if she doesn't stop.


If they eat to the point of constipation, they can die from complications.
So far she appears to be digesting everything she finds--her belly is changing size, and has even been completely flat a few times. But I will definitely keep an eye on her, and set up the spare tank tonight, just in case.
 
GoldfishGuy
  • #8
Oh, so sorry to hear that I'm being very careful in making sure my betta boy doesn't overeat, but Sweetheart keeps finding food somewhere! I think I may have to pull her out and back into the 5 gallon quarantine tank if she doesn't stop.



So far she appears to be digesting everything she finds--her belly is changing size, and has even been completely flat a few times. But I will definitely keep an eye on her, and set up the spare tank tonight, just in case.
Try feeding some peas after a 3 day fast whenever she swells up too much.
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Try feeding some peas after a 3 day fast whenever she swells up too much.
Ha, the problem is getting her to fast. As I said, I'm not intentionally feeding her--she's finding food all on her own. But I will keep an eye on her.
 
imba
  • #10
This is one of the issues keeping bettas in a community tank. They can be food hogs and might deny food for other shy fishes.
 
Seth Darkus
  • #11
My betta Draco lives with my turtle Drake they get along However sometimes he steals food from my turtle and he gets bloated so I gotta ensure only the turtle gets it and sometimes the shrimp steal it to than he chases the shrimp for the pellets he’s yet to get one and he doesn’t bug them heck the shrimp sometimes surf on his back. I think they have a symbiotic relationship at this point.
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
My chubby girl, stalking a snail. I did NOT feed her yesterday. Even though her stomach was completely flat when I got home, I decided to give it a break. So instead I dropped some algae wafers in for the endler and snails, since I can't do the snail food anymore. Checked in a half hour later to see her fat and watching the snails like a hawk. So either she tried the algae wafers, or she used one as a stalking post to attract some of the smaller snails out of hiding. Either way *glares at fish*
IMG_20180919_045415[1].jpg
 
midna
  • #13
I have about 100-200 flightless fruit flies right now and I bet if I put them all in my tank, my betta would eat every single one until he combusts lol
 
rainbowsprinkles
  • #14
I have about 100-200 flightless fruit flies right now and I bet if I put them all in my tank, my betta would eat every single one until he combusts lol

I guess you will need more bettas!
 
Fanatic
  • #15
I think some of mine would eat themselves silly, they are piggies.
Especially Martin, he really likes beefheart!
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
HA! I have found a way to feed everyone else without feeding her! HikarI First Bites make the kuhlI and endler go crazy, but Sweetheart is just confused about why the water smells like food, but there's no food anywhere in sight! SUCCESS!
 

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