Is this normal?

Phloxface

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
4
Lava is spending a lot of time creating an enormous bubblenest. (see photo) He seems healthy and active otherwise but just doesn't eat as much as he should. I feed him HikarI Bio Gold pellets and he does eat them, but only one and only if it's a small pellet (I have to sort through them to find the smaller ones). Phlox will eat as many as I give him (but he gets only 3 per meal) but Lava will eat only one every few hours. This makes it hard to get enough food into him as I have to work and sleep and can't be there to feed him every few hours round the clock.
Is his preoccupation with building the nest the reason for his weird eating habits? Do Bettas only get obsessed with nest building at certain times (like the way dogs and cats go into heat several times a year) or are they pretty much always ready to spawn? He seems to think he already has eggs in there and is always watching the bottom of the nest for falling fry or searching the bottom of the tank for them. He will sometimes hold a pellet in his mouth for a long time as if it were an egg and sometimes spits them into the nest. Is my fishie obsessed with fatherhood? ???
Just wondering if this is normal behaviour.

Also, does anyone know if there is a brand of Betta pellet that is smaller in size than HikarI Bio Gold? Maybe a smaller or softer pellet is easier for him to chew.
 

Butterfly

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
22,850
Reaction score
123
Location
Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Beautiful bubble nest. Just means he's happy. I wouldn't worry, as long as he's eating he's fine. Remember their tummys are only as big as one eye.
Carol
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,627
Reaction score
22
Location
Nebraska
Experience
5 to 10 years
Yes you have one HAPPY LITTLE FISHIE!!  He sounds like he may be very young and not ready for "big betta " food.  I would definitely recommend Ocean Nutrition's Atison's Betta Pro (the one with the Pink lid).  They are quite small and will get him through until he is older.  I got mine online through the following: 



For goodness sake get the small container as he will outgrow them before they are gone but you will be able to slip them into his adult diet, just use twice as many since they are so tiny. (6-8 pellets twice a day adult meal, 4-5 pellets twice a day baby meal)  He will let you know when he is ready for big boy food, believe me!  If you have a local Petsmart get them there, otherwise he will be fine on 1-2 small pellets twice a day until they get here if you order them, Petsmart is quite prompt with getting orders out.  You will have them within a week and he is okay for that long.  Butterfly is very correct, they can get by on very little if they have to.

He is so lucky to have such a loving Mommy.   

Rose
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
OP
P

Phloxface

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
4
He ate two pellets this morning but turned away from the third one and swam away. I guess he was full. He is a little bigger than Phlox so I figured he was older. Maybe Phlox is just the "runt of the litter". Phlox eats big Betta food no problem.

I have a Petsmart only 10 minutes from here and that's where I got my fish and all their supplies. I'll see if they have that food.

I measured Lava when he was floating still at the side of the tank. He is 1 1/4 inches total body length (without tail). Phlox is probably 1 inch. Would that make them babies? How long are their bodies as adults?

Tomorrow morning Lava gets his heater and filter, finally! Maybe once he is in warmer water his metabolism will speed up and increase his appetite?
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,627
Reaction score
22
Location
Nebraska
Experience
5 to 10 years
They will be in the 2 1/2" range as adults.  I would say you have fish that are maybe 4 months old and as such are still considered to be babies.  You are very lucky.  Most fish stores stock the ones that are too old to breed and so it is very possible that little Lava is wanting a lady to breed with but I would not recommend it as his disposition does not lend itself to a successful pairing.  Also they both are a bit too young yet to introduce to a female even though they may want to build bubblenests.  If Phlox is eating "big betta" food then he wants it, but do be careful as it may constipate his little system easier than the smaller pellets.  His tummy is still very little.  You may want to limit him to 2 pellets at a time.  He will "tell" you he is still hungry but they are basicaly little gluttons who do not know how to quit.  Just hold him back for his own good until he gets a mite bigger.  They also need to get used to eating peas at least once a week for a treat (not in place of a meal) - say for a lunch as this is the age to try to teach them good habits and it is good for their little inards to have the greens.  You will thank yourself for it later.  Put a small piece on the end of a small spoon or your finger (they will not hurt you or if they nip it does not draw blood or hurt) and let it go into the water.  it needs to be less than half the size of their eye and should be a defrosted and peeled piece of FROZEN pea.  Just put one in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds on a small plate or saucer - no water.  Then take the skin off and chop it in TINY little pieces.  Give a couple to each fish and do this once or twice a week.  They will come to treat this like a real treat and look forward to it eventually.  Mine get so excited they do what I call the "pea dance" getting all wiggly and wild.  they follow the pea all the way to the bottom if they miss catching it off my finger and love to chase it.  It is a game we play and they love it.  It may take a couple of times but they will catch on and find out they are being given something good and then they will have fun with it.

Some owners give Vegetable flakes instead but bettas mouths are just not made for flakes and I have never had much luck with mine being able to eat them.  You can try them if you would rather do that. 

Rose
 

BlueBetta

New Member
Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
For flakes I think it depends on the fish and what it was fed at the breeders. Fiction loves his flakes and is pretty much indiscriminate of what kind of flakes he eats. I have special betta flakes for him, but once I got a larger tank and made it a community with him inside he eats the other fishes generic flakes too.

So try the flakes, or maybe try and get one of those free sample packs and see if he eats it.

BlueBetta
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,627
Reaction score
22
Location
Nebraska
Experience
5 to 10 years
I am going to have to respectfully disagree with the idea of giving a baby betta generic flakes. They are still in the process of developing organs and those flowing and beautiful fins. You will be surprised at how much more finnage they will put on yet. They need a balanced diet meant for bettas and their development. Whether it be for adult bettas or baby bettas is not too important at this point, but the amount and the type of food is kind of important so I would stick with food made especially for bettas until they are a few months older.

Rose
 

BlueBetta

New Member
Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
I didn't mean that I don't feed Fiction his speical betta flakes. It's just that he will also eat the other fishes' flakes. I always feed him first and try and feed the others away from him, but once some flakes float over to him he eats those too.

BlueBetta
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,627
Reaction score
22
Location
Nebraska
Experience
5 to 10 years
I wasn't criticizing you I do promise! I just wanted Phloxface to understand that since her bettas are still babies that it is not a good option to give them different food just yet. Once they become adults (usually about 10 - 12 months old) they can safely eat whatever they will give us permission to put in their little tummies. They just have such small tummies right now that they need all the room they have to be filled with food that has all the betta nutrients and vitamins and such in the balance they need so they develop into the handsome little gentlemen we know they can be.

I have been checking around and a lot of the stores are now starting to carry younger Bettas. This is a topic that needs to be addressed as it will be more important now than ever for people to feed the little ones carefully as it will make a big difference in their growth and lifespans.

Rose
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
OP
P

Phloxface

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
4
Don't worry, I feed my babies the best quality food and only food made for Bettas and their unique nutritional needs. I feel the HikarI Bio Gold pellets are excellent quality and my fish seem to like it (Phlox LOVES it!) I'm also picking up some Daphnia tomorrow as I've heard it's good for them also (fiber) and I do feed them peas 2 times a week. So far I've had no luck getting Lava to see it before it sinks but it took Phlox a while too. I use a plastic spoon but sometimes it falls off before I get Lava's attention. Maybe the Daphnia will help too.  I also have freeze-dried bloodworms but find neither of my fish likes it much.

All of the Bettas at my Petsmart are quite young and small. they carry a good selection of female Bettas too and they are even younger. Some are so tiny you can barely see them in the cup (the cup actually looks fairly decent sized for a temp home for these tiny females). I'd say the females arrive at about 1/4 inch and don't even have their coloring yet. They are so cute I feel tempted to get one but I'm worried that a female might get egg bound and die if I don't breed her (I don't have the time, money or space to breed Bettas). They've got some tiny males now about 3/4 inch long only.

One sad thing... Some idiot at that store put another Betta into that same horrible Lava lamp I found Lava in!  :'( At least they turned off the bubbles so the fish isn't caught in a tornado of bubbles...
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,627
Reaction score
22
Location
Nebraska
Experience
5 to 10 years
Daphnia is very good for them to have as a replacement for peas, but not as a meal replacement at this stage. Too much fiber as opposed to the other nutrients and they still need to have a protein meal twice a day. So they are allowed (as mine get) a couple or three daphnia at lunch time but not as a replacement for the betta food. When they are adults if they chose to eat more daphnia that is their decision, but for now they are needing the regular food for growth.

If you are ever serious about females, please be aware that they need to be bought in groups of 3 or more and preferrably at the same time as they do not accept new members to the group at a later time well. There needs to be a "queen" in the female group and if there are two they will fight but with 3 or more the pecking order will be settled and life should be peaceful. One female is generally not a happy little fishie. I know Emma is not a very happy one right now but she is going to share with Otos as gviing her 2 new betta mates would not work - she is too aggressive.

I do agree, it takes a much braver heart than mine to breed bettas. It is a lot of work and expensive to boot.

Rose
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
211
Guests online
2,805
Total visitors
3,016

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom