Feeding routine

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Aurora

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I have read that you should skip feeding at least one or two days a week and then follow up with feeding pea to help prevent constipation. Does anyone practice this and if not what do you do to aid in preventing constipation problems? I really feel guilty not feeding them especially when they stare at me and seem to be begging. I just want them to be as healthy as possible so please share your tips............
 

Phloxface

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I'm not sure where you got this information but I don't think there's any reason to stop feeding a healthy Betta. You can prevent constipation by feeding green pea once a week but unless the fish IS constipated keep feeding it every day. Be careful of overfeeding. It's hard to resist their begging but they really only need a small amount of food twice a day. I feed 2-3 small pellets (Hikari Betta Bio-Gold) twice a day. My fish would eat 3 times that amount if I let them but I don't. Once a week I give pea and one of my Bettas, who has a snail in his tank, regularly nibbles whatever veggie I put in for the snail.
 

chickadee

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There used to be a notion that you skipped a day of feeding a betta but I do not subscribe to that and never have. My bettas are fed two meals a day 7 days a week. They are controlled meals however (see feeding section in the Betta Care Guide at the beginning of the Betta Board. One meal is 2-3 pellets OR 6-7 freeze dried blood worms not both. This is given 2 times a day. That is ALL. Betta are little pigs and the rule that you give all they will eat in 2 or 3 minutes will constipate them terribly) The only extra food they get is pieces of frozen pea two times a week or so. The pea does not take the place of a meal. It is a treat and should be treated as such so that they think they are getting a little bit of a special nummy from their loving parent. It gives you a little quality time with your baby and it gets to be a bit of a ritual and fun for both of you. Put it on the end of a plastic spoon or your clean fingertip and just drop it into the water. Make the pieces half the size of their eye and then chop that piece into about 3 pieces to get it small enough for them to eat.

Also if you chose to feed pellets, please be sure that each pellet is eaten before giving them another one as if they gulp them down they will become constipated as they do not chew them. Make them chew their pellets and then offer another one. It will pay off I do promise. Dealing with a constipated betta is no fun and bettas can and do die of constipation.

Rose
 
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Aurora

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Thanks for the insights, they are greatly appreciated!!!!!
 

poefox

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I also feed Rusty 2 times a day, though he's in a 10 gallon tank and gets lots of exercise; I've been feeding him 4 pellets each time and he even gets a bit of shrimp pellet he steals from the corydoras catfish.

Now and then to go without food is okay for a fish for even a few days, but it is not good in general for bettas, because it helps when they get socialized and feeding is a good way to accomplish that.
 

chickadee

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Bettas also have the biggest occurence of constipation of any fish I have any knowledge of and to feed them consistently is a good way to keep the digestive system moving at a steady rate. It is important to control them so they are not stuffing themselves and making sure that they are getting some greens every week and for some reason peas do work the best. I do not know why they are so prone to this but I have never known of a poorly fed or overfed betta that has not suffered constipation at least one time and perhaps more. One thing is for sure, if they ever are constipated it makes it doubly easy for it to happen again so prevention is definitely worth the effort.

Poe is correct in saying that most fish can easily go without food for a period of time with no damage at all, in fact I have read articles on the fact that obesity is becoming a problem in a lot of aquariums. However, it is also correct that to the Betta, mealtime is a socialization experience as well as a nourishment. It is for that reason that I suggest never missing a feeding as the Bettas never really bond with other fish, but they do with you. They consider themselves more like you than like the other fish around. If you withhold food they probably would not miss it much but when you do not show up to play they do miss that!! (even if they act totally bored )

Rose
 

poefox

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Yes the 'act bored' is the key. BTW, there is a difference between a betta that is just hanging out waiting to be fed and the betta doing that impatient little wriggling dance they do. That is basically showing their eagerness for feeding. However they are also smart and will learn that you may respond to it.
 
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