What is the best live culture for adult bettas?

bumblinBee

I've been looking into live cultures for a little while. I don't have many tanks, I've got two 5g home to two bettas respectively, and one 25g community (honey gourami, ember tetras). I'm trying to find a live food that is easy to keep that will be of an appropriate size to grab the attention of my bettas. They can be picky fish - it took a lot of attempts to convince them to eat frozen blood worms, daphnia and mysis shrimp. I'm just trying them on frozen tubifex worms and they don't want anything to do with them..

In your opinion, what live culture grabs your bettas attention the best, is a good size, and is easy to maintain? I would love to try flightless fruit flies, but I can't find anybody selling them right now. Every store on Amazon seems to be sold out. I would also love to culture daphnia, but they need an air pump and a decently sized tank to culture them properly, and I don't have the space for that right now. A lot of the live cultures sold in my area right now are more aimed as fry food, very small worms and the like. I worry they won't be large enough to attract attention from my adult fish.. any suggestions?
 

StarGirl

Blackworms? You can keep them in the fridge in a dark container.
 

BigManAquatics

Black worms is definitely a good idea. They can hunt down later the ones they don't eat immediately. Bettas tend to like that! Possibly brine shrimp as well maybe, though don't know all what is entailed. Just know i haven't seen my fish turn down brine shrimp!
 

StarGirl

Black worms is definitely a good idea. They can hunt down later the ones they don't eat immediately. Bettas tend to like that! Possibly brine shrimp as well maybe, though don't know all what is entailed. Just know i haven't seen my fish turn down brine shrimp!
Brine shrimp are hard because you have to raise them in a certain salinity. They are saltwater shrimps. Daphnia would be easier in that respect.
 

bumblinBee

Blackworms? You can keep them in the fridge in a dark container.
Black worms is definitely a good idea. They can hunt down later the ones they don't eat immediately. Bettas tend to like that! Possibly brine shrimp as well maybe, though don't know all what is entailed. Just know i haven't seen my fish turn down brine shrimp!
Thank you both for the suggestion! I'll have a look around and see if there are any blackworm cultures selling. Do either of you know anything about culturing mosquito larvae? It's another option I'm looking at.

I'd love to try brine shrimp, maybe even as pets as well as food because I find them quite cute as adults - but the salt water isn't an option for me atm.
 

StarGirl

Never done mosquito larvae. Would be too afraid of them making mosquitos in my house. :p
 

JustAFishServant

Out of 18 bettas, 11 of which are fosters, eat all types of live food. But I don't buy or travel for it. I forage for carpet beetles, their larvae, fungus nat maggots or other small critters in my home and buy pinhead crickets or tiny mealworms. I have 7 pet bettas; 1 is old with poor eyesight and unable to hunt. 2 fry, a dwarf, a big unpicky gal who jumps for her food, one who's blind in his right eye and a half-giant. Overall I go cheap but they don't mind.

I either collect my feeders from inside my house or buy them (crickets are 12¢ each at petsmart which is where I source the crickets; others from Scales 'n Tails). I live in the US and many folks don't have the same feeder opportunities as me. In this case, all you do is find small, cheap (or in my case, usually free) critters; full-grown, nymphs or larvae! It's easy and definitely won't break the bank ;)
 

bumblinBee

Out of 18 bettas, 11 of which are fosters, eat all types of live food. But I don't buy or travel for it. I forage for carpet beetles, their larvae, fungus nat maggots or other small critters in my home and buy pinhead crickets or tiny mealworms. I have 7 pet bettas; 1 is old with poor eyesight and unable to hunt. 2 fry, a dwarf, a big unpicky gal who jumps for her food, one who's blind in his right eye and a half-giant. Overall I go cheap but they don't mind.

I either collect my feeders from inside my house or buy them (crickets are 12¢ each at petsmart which is where I source the crickets; others from Scales 'n Tails). I live in the US and many folks don't have the same feeder opportunities as me. In this case, all you do is find small, cheap (or in my case, usually free) critters; full-grown, nymphs or larvae! It's easy and definitely won't break the bank ;)
My only concern with collecting insects outside is the possibility of them carrying something. Some kind of cross species disease/virus, or maybe they've been recently consuming some kind of insecticide that I don't want my fish to consume by proxy. I've never found mealworms small enough to feed, but that's an interesting concept. I'll keep my eyes peeled for them, thanks for all the ideas!
 

SparkyJones

Mosquitos. The eggs hatch between 1 day and two days. They are larve for about 5 days and then become pupae, from pupae to flying adult about another 2 days.

You set out dechlorinated tap water in a shady spot near grass. monitor it each morning. Right above the water line they will lay eggs.
You'd harvest this dish and set out a new dish to start over. Once the eggs hatch you net out the larvae into clean decholinated water. You don't want stagnant water getting in your tank. From the moment they hatch you have about 5 days before they become pupae, at that point you'd destroy that batch and go collect another, Pupae are no good, the fish don't like em much and in another 2 days they will become mosquitos.

Diseases. Plenty of diseases from stagnant water, fungus, algae, bacteria ect. You don't want to use that water in your tank.

As far as viruses, they would affect you, not the fish, same viruses you could get from being bit by a mosquito and basically the same chances as not raising mosquitos for food. You aren't raising adults, you won't get bit and they won't be in you house. Larvae are harmless to you and your fish. Biting adults are the risk, but you aren't really feeding the larvae, and put them into clean water they aren't going to really make it past pupae stage without the green stagnant water to feed them to get there.

1 female mosquito lays about 100 eggs. If you got a bunch of small fish to feed its a worthwhile free source of food.

I like to monitor the bowls each morning for larvae, so I know about how long I have to get rid of them. They grow from about 1/8 inch to about 1/2 inch and then start to ball up that's when they are going into pupae. As long as you dump them out to die outside before then you don't have anything to worry about with them flying around your house.

You don't really want them sitting in your filter or on a wet prefilter sponge or something like that, or feeding like crazy and having them around in the tank hiding in floating plants.
Put some in wait for them to get eaten, feed some more. Little here a little there, as the saying goes feed only what your fish can consume In a couple minutes.

It sounds easy and hard to someone that hasn't done it. It's easy to get mosquito larvae and from there a little complicated to find a method to harvest and use and get rid of unused. But once you have the routine it's pretty smooth and just going to the yard each day for a fresh batch for the day. It's getting over the uncertainty period that's the hard part, figuring out the timing and being comfortable with what you're doing. then you'll be popping out each day for a new batch and dumping the old long before they even get to 1/4 inch. Easy and free, you can afford to throw away the uneaten once you get the hang of it.

Just about every form of growing live insect fish foods is some sort of off putting at first some grosser than others. I found mosquito to be easy compared to daphina or infusoria. Brine shrimp works, kind of more of a hassle.
 

Flyfisha

If you want a live food culture for adult betta bumblinBee my recommendation is grindal worms.

I hatch brine shrimp daily and have micro worm cultures that are great for fry. Both of those don’t have the size for adult fish as a meal replacement. Mosquitoes are a summer time only game in my climate.

Grindal worms require feeding every 2 or 3 days. They require new soil / potting mix in around 6 months.
To feed them you can use dry fish food but I get free complimentary Sample bags of dry dog , kitten and cat food from pet shop chain stores.
I find potting mix suits my lifestyle?
A link to an Aussie U tube channel.

 

JustAFishServant

My only concern with collecting insects outside is the possibility of them carrying something.
I don't collect any outside for the same reason as I live in an urban area. I just find whoever's taking up residence inside my home. That's why I mentioned carpet beetles and fungus nats. No issues come of this, for the fish or me at least. However, we use all-natural cleaning supplies as to not poison my pets, including amphibians who breathe through skin ;)
 

bumblinBee

Mosquitos. The eggs hatch between 1 day and two days. They are larve for about 5 days and then become pupae, from pupae to flying adult about another 2 days.

You set out dechlorinated tap water in a shady spot near grass. monitor it each morning. Right above the water line they will lay eggs.
You'd harvest this dish and set out a new dish to start over. Once the eggs hatch you net out the larvae into clean decholinated water. You don't want stagnant water getting in your tank. From the moment they hatch you have about 5 days before they become pupae, at that point you'd destroy that batch and go collect another, Pupae are no good, the fish don't like em much and in another 2 days they will become mosquitos.

Diseases. Plenty of diseases from stagnant water, fungus, algae, bacteria ect. You don't want to use that water in your tank.

As far as viruses, they would affect you, not the fish, same viruses you could get from being bit by a mosquito and basically the same chances as not raising mosquitos for food. You aren't raising adults, you won't get bit and they won't be in you house. Larvae are harmless to you and your fish. Biting adults are the risk, but you aren't really feeding the larvae, and put them into clean water they aren't going to really make it past pupae stage without the green stagnant water to feed them to get there.

1 female mosquito lays about 100 eggs. If you got a bunch of small fish to feed its a worthwhile free source of food.

I like to monitor the bowls each morning for larvae, so I know about how long I have to get rid of them. They grow from about 1/8 inch to about 1/2 inch and then start to ball up that's when they are going into pupae. As long as you dump them out to die outside before then you don't have anything to worry about with them flying around your house.

You don't really want them sitting in your filter or on a wet prefilter sponge or something like that, or feeding like crazy and having them around in the tank hiding in floating plants.
Put some in wait for them to get eaten, feed some more. Little here a little there, as the saying goes feed only what your fish can consume In a couple minutes.

It sounds easy and hard to someone that hasn't done it. It's easy to get mosquito larvae and from there a little complicated to find a method to harvest and use and get rid of unused. But once you have the routine it's pretty smooth and just going to the yard each day for a fresh batch for the day. It's getting over the uncertainty period that's the hard part, figuring out the timing and being comfortable with what you're doing. then you'll be popping out each day for a new batch and dumping the old long before they even get to 1/4 inch. Easy and free, you can afford to throw away the uneaten once you get the hang of it.

Just about every form of growing live insect fish foods is some sort of off putting at first some grosser than others. I found mosquito to be easy compared to daphina or infusoria. Brine shrimp works, kind of more of a hassle.
Woah, thank you so much for taking the time to write this! I feel like it's a good way to reduce mosquito breeding in my area as well (even if it's incredibly small scale). Can't tell you how much I appreciate the tutelage, this seems feasible and I'm excited to try it! :)

If you want a live food culture for adult betta bumblinBee my recommendation is grindal worms.

I hatch brine shrimp daily and have micro worm cultures that are great for fry. Both of those don’t have the size for adult fish as a meal replacement. Mosquitoes are a summer time only game in my climate.

Grindal worms require feeding every 2 or 3 days. They require new soil / potting mix in around 6 months.
To feed them you can use dry fish food but I get free complimentary Sample bags of dry dog , kitten and cat food from pet shop chain stores.
I find potting mix suits my lifestyle?
A link to an Aussie U tube channel.

Yes! This is a lovely suggestion, thank you! There are a few people selling grindal worm culture starters in my area, so this looks to be a promising option. Mosquitos are definitely a temporary source of food in my area as well (can't exactly find mosquitos in the snow haha).

I don't collect any outside for the same reason as I live in an urban area. I just find whoever's taking up residence inside my home. That's why I mentioned carpet beetles and fungus nats. No issues come of this, for the fish or me at least. However, we use all-natural cleaning supplies as to not poison my pets, including amphibians who breathe through skin ;)
Ah, I don't know how comfortable I'd be using pests from within my house lol. We've got several ant traps set up year round and we're quite liberal with our use of pesticides and disinfectants etc. The insects in my home aren't alive for very long - not the safest option for feeding to my fish ha. But it is a good idea for others, than you for sharing!
 

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