Is There A Balanced Diet For A Betta Who Has Trouble With Pellets?

Elle2128

Member
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 the 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 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!
 

david1978

Member
Mine get hikira flakes for the most part.
 

Momgoose56

Member
There is flake food for Bettas. Omega One makes one (my choice) and Tetra BettaMin is another one. There are others. Check with your local fish store. They probably have them or you can order them online.
 
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Elle2128

Member
I guess I just always hear not to feed flakes to them. I tried feeding him a single flake from a tropical fish food container, but he ignored it completely. Dunno if that was because it wasn't Betta specific or he just wasn't interested in a flake at all.
 

Repolie

Member
I think you should get a turkey baster or pipette to hold the food for him. My bettas won't eat any food that falls down to the gravel, so I have a pipette to hold the food for them to eat. A balanced diet means you have a variety of food to feed. Frozen foods are a great addition to add.
 
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Elle2128

Member
How do you keep the food in the baster/pipette? Doesn't seem like it would stay where they could actually reach it. I have tried kind of holding it on my finger, which sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.
 

Repolie

Member
Elle2128 said:
How do you keep the food in the baster/pipette? Doesn't seem like it would stay where they could actually reach it. I have tried kind of holding it on my finger, which sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.
I soak the dried food in another container and I use a pipette to suck up the food. With a certain pressure I can hold the food in place at the edge.
 

angelcraze

Member
Have you tried pre-soaking his pellets? Honestly, if he's eating 3 pellets per feeding, that's pretty good. But presoaking should help him eat it. I only feed pellets to my fish, but it's because I have many and it is less messy for my tanks. Also my large fish get more nutrition per bite, but even very small and young fish get pellets, just smaller pellets. They all learn to eat them no problem. I feed pellets as a staple, frozen or freeze dried once a week as a treat. Pellet and flake have all the nutrition a fish needs. The best brands are NLS, North Fin and Omega One.

Fluval bug bites have been a big hit too, I just limit the bug bites to twice a week because a main ingredient is green peas which I've read is bad for the fish's digestive system longterm.
 
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Elle2128

Member
angelcraze said:
Have you tried pre-soaking his pellets? Honestly, if he's eating 3 pellets per feeding, that's pretty good. But presoaking should help him eat it. I only feed pellets to my fish, but it's because I have many and it is less messy for my tanks. Also my large fish get more nutrition per bite, but even very small and young fish get pellets, just smaller pellets. They all learn to eat them no problem.
If it is presoaked it just instantly starts dropping to the bottom, which kinda seems to defeat the purpose.

david1978 said:
Mine get hikira flakes for the most part.
I tried searching for these, but can't find them anywhere? Where do you get yours?
 

david1978

Member
Oops hikira are the little pellets. Omega one flakes. Guess I should of double checked before posting.
 

angelcraze

Member
Elle2128 said:
If it is presoaked it just instantly starts dropping to the bottom, which kinda seems to defeat the purpose.
Do you think he'd eat from your fingers? Purpose of what pls? He only goes for the floating pieces?

And I was thinking, what size pellets are you feeding him? Maybe he needs smaller sized pellets?
 
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Elle2128

Member
He sometimes eats from my fingers, though the pellets don't always stick. Once the pellet starts falling he'll chase it till it hits bottom, but won't eat it off the gravel. I have seen him picking around in the gravel later on, so its possible he goes back for it at a later time? Not 100% sure.

Defeats the purpose of finding food he will eat since as I just said he won't eat it once its sunk, at least during regular feeding time.
 

angelcraze

Member
I think he's having a hard time eating the pellets. They entice him and he recognizes it as food, but has a hard time with them for whatever reason. Could be they are too large, too hard (reason why I suggested to pre-soak)....trying to think of more reasons.....
Try either making them smaller by breaking in half or fourths maybe, a smaller sized pellet food?
 
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Elle2128

Member
Are there smaller ones? These seem pretty small, but there isn't a size on the container so I can't say for sure.
 

LeticiaM

Member
I am not sure if this is helpful, but I feed my Betta from a little syringe. I soak his pellets first in a little tank water in an egg cup for 10 minutes. Then I suck up the pellets and a little water, and hold the tip of the syringe in the water until he notices it. At first I had to push it out (when he was watching), but now he has learnt where the food comes from. Now he comes swimming right over when he sees the syringe! He either bumps his nose into the syringe so the pellets fall, or latches right onto the tip to suck it out!! They are pretty smart
Good luck!!
Edited to say I mainly feed Omega One pellets and Fluval Bug Bites
 

angelcraze

Member
Elle2128 said:
Are there smaller ones? These seem pretty small, but there isn't a size on the container so I can't say for sure.
Did you say what you are feeding him exactly? What brand is it and formula?
 
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Elle2128

Member
Oh sorry, I thought I put that in the post! They are Omega One Betta pellets.
 

Brooklyn Vasquez

Member
Possibly you could get into krill, I found it to be quite nutritional.
 

angelcraze

Member
Elle2128 said:
Oh sorry, I thought I put that in the post! They are Omega One Betta pellets.
Ok, pellet size says 1.5mm. Imo, it needs to be presoaked if you want to watch him eat right away. I like the idea of feeding him with a pipette or by hand. He is most likely eating some later, after they've been soaking for a while. I feed that size of pellet to my angelfish, but angelfish pack food in and chew. My tetras and my guppy gets Omega One small fish color pellet mostly. It is a lot smaller than the betta formula.
 

Addie42

Member
my dude is really small and doesn't take pellets too well I bought him sick and ever since I started giving him HikarI bug bites (insect larvae and salmon) he has been improving and growing a lot
 
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Elle2128

Member
Huh, they really don't seem that big, lol. But I'll try a smaller food then, I was considering it but wasn't sure. Does anyone have any experience with NLS vs Northfin? They are both the same size. One described as semi-floating the other as slow sinking...not really sure which would be better for my betta, as both are supposed to be good brands.

I'm also going to try the turkey baster idea, see how that goes, and if nothing else I can use it to clean up lost pieces, lol

LeticiaM said:
I am not sure if this is helpful, but I feed my Betta from a little syringe. I soak his pellets first in a little tank water in an egg cup for 10 minutes. Then I suck up the pellets and a little water, and hold the tip of the syringe in the water until he notices it. At first I had to push it out (when he was watching), but now he has learnt where the food comes from. Now he comes swimming right over when he sees the syringe! He either bumps his nose into the syringe so the pellets fall, or latches right onto the tip to suck it out!! They are pretty smart
Good luck!!
Edited to say I mainly feed Omega One pellets and Fluval Bug Bites
Somehow didn't see this earlier, but that also seems like a good idea. I feel like that would at least give you a little more control than the baster would. Thanks!
 

LeticiaM

Member
You are welcome! I use a 3ml syringe and it’s perfect With a turkey Baster I find it is a balancing act and I am just not that co-ordinated!! Ha!!
Good luck!
 

angelcraze

Member
I feed both NLS and NorthFin. I find they are about the same, they will float for a while then sink slowly. They are both the same in hardness. The bug bites seem lighter and easier to break.
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
Elle2128 said:
I guess I just always hear not to feed flakes to them. I tried feeding him a single flake from a tropical fish food container, but he ignored it completely. Dunno if that was because it wasn't Betta specific or he just wasn't interested in a flake at all.
Just easier to overfeed a betta with flakes it seems. I know its why mine don't get them often. I use them mainly just to add a little more variety to their diet. Hope you find something the fishy will eat!
 

imba

Member
NLS betta formula takes a long while to sink from my experience.

I never needed to soak my pellets too ever
 

Momgoose56

Member
Is your betta possibly going blind? Get a clear closeup picture of his eyes/face if you can and post it. Maybe there's something off there.
 
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Elle2128

Member
I mean, I picked up Fluval Bug Bites at my LFS, and those are super tiny and he sees those just fine. I think its just a matter of the size. I certainly hope.
 

Momgoose56

Member
Elle2128 said:
I mean, I picked up Fluval Bug Bites at my LFS, and those are super tiny and he sees those just fine. I think its just a matter of the size. I certainly hope.
Well then you have no problem! Feed him that...bug bites betta is a balanced diet. A hungry fish, that isn't sick, blind, injured or have digestive tract deformities will eat whatever food is available. Problem solved. He'll eat bug bites when he's hungry.
 
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