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Ten Tips on Betta Fish Feeding and Nutrition
Betta fish are carnivorous and have specific nutritional requirement. They have short digestive tracts and cannot digest vegetable matter. Their natural diet consists of small insects and larvae. They will not live on plants in the tank.
Betta will keep eating live and frozen food until they get sick. They will ignore food that has sunk to the bottom of the tank. Limit quantity of food carefully and monitor each feeding. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and illness. Uneaten food should be removed from the tank to maintain water quality.
Flake and pellet food can have a lot of filler and live food, followed by frozen and freeze dried food, is superior in nutrition. Live and frozen food can be difficult to store and obtain while commercial flake food is readily available and has a long shelf life.
Betta fish that will not eat can be a sign of illness or constipation. Constipation can be reduced by skipping feeding your fish one day a week. Also an occasional indigestible fiber such as a small amount of thawed frozen pea will maintain the betta’s digestive health.
Young betta fry are best fed live food that is small in size. Ideal food include vinegar eels, young brine shrimp and microworms. They will need more frequent feedings, up to four to six times a day. They will take thawed frozen food and a variety of food is good.
Freeze dried food has the advantages over live and frozen food. It is easy to obtain, store and to use. Uneaten food is easier to remove than live or frozen food, helping to maintain tank water quality. There is less chance of introducing infections into the tank in comparison.
Frozen food should be properly stored. Once thawed, it should be used right away or thrown out. Use thank water to thaw the food and do not introduce into the tank until it has reached tank temperature to avoid shocking the fish.
Live foods provide excellent nutrition for the betta and allow them to exhibit their natural hunting behavior. They provide stimulation for the betta. Live foods can easily introduce infections into the tank. This can be reduced if you grow you own cultures.
A key to betta health and nutrition is variety in the diet. A staple flake or pellet diet should be supplemented with live, frozen or freeze diet food. Even a single variety of live food can be nutritionally incomplete.
Finally, betta fish can be finicky eaters at times and at other times gorge themselves to the point of constipation and illness. They will typically eat what they were raised on and will be difficult to switch from live food to flake food.
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