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Old 12-08-2014, 11:17 AM   #1
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Help with betta

So I recently bought a betta after my last one died. He is currently in a 20g tank and appears to be loving it as he's exploring all the time and swimming everywhere. Makes me happy after the tiny cup he was in

The problem I am having however, is that he can't find food in the tank. When I try to feed him, he smells the food but instead of going for the food he goes nuts and tries to catch my shrimp (Only when there's food in the tank). He's too slow to catch them though so he's not eating. It's pretty obvious that he's just not used to searching for food.

What would you guys do to help him find food in the tank?
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:26 PM   #2
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When I had a betta I fed the good old NLS thera a + garlic. He loved it. 1 mm sinking pellets.

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Old 12-08-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
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Mebbid, there is no telling the torture that Bettas go through before arriving to your pet store. One thing that I am sure of is that he is now in good hands. I hope that he gets better.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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He's not sick at all, he just doesn't know where to look for the food Think I will have to use my target feeder from my salty tank and give him some of the frozen food I feed to my reef.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:00 PM   #5
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Just a thought, maybe some live food like brine shrimp. I feed my bettas mosquito larvae in the summer. i take it to the extreme, but they love it and seem to live a long time. But I digress, I think some live food may be the ticket.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:08 PM   #6
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I would second the live food. Most of it moves, which will attract the fish's attention. You may be able to get him on frozen after a bit. I'd suggest always putting food into the tank in the same spot as well.

I'm not that keen on Betta dry foods myself. I have one that won't eat dry, just won't, so I feed them all live or frozen. They sure seem to appreciate it.

I have one that's a dedicated bottom feeder and will search out every single brine shrimp or black worm, no matter how big his stomach gets. He's always hungry the next day too. Despite the fact they have a mouth designed to snatch insects from the surface, this one doesn't seem to know how to do that. Maybe he'll learn one day.. meantime, I give him worms and brine shrimp, etc.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:10 PM   #7
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I was going to recommend attaching trailers to the shrimp that the betta can chase and eat at the same time! Live foods would be chill too.

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Old 12-08-2014, 10:13 PM   #8
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You know, I've never actually fed any fish brine shrimp.. I guess it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. Maybe if I put all my shrimp in the tank he will have enough targets to eat. I have to have over 100 at this point... I stopped trying to count them.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:15 PM   #9
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Rinse them well Mebbid with tank water.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:19 PM   #10
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LOVE to see a shrimp in harness ! . Brine shrimp are kind of cool to feed, they will survive for several hours at least after you drop them in. I fish them out with a sieve and just swish that in the tank. Keep them in the fridge and they'll last for days.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishfur View Post
LOVE to see a shrimp in harness ! . Brine shrimp are kind of cool to feed, they will survive for several hours at least after you drop them in. I fish them out with a sieve and just swish that in the tank. Keep them in the fridge and they'll last for days.
I've been planning on trying to start a brine shrimp culture for my reef tank, but tbh with school I'm barely motivated enough to do my water changes much less start THAT project
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:47 PM   #12
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I recall being in college.. there often isn't much time. I lived at home though, so I managed to keep my horse and my fish and turtles.

So I take it there are no sources to buy adult brine shrimp locally ? Luckily for me, one of my lfs's stocks adult brine shrimp. New stock every two weeks, rarely last more than a few days. I'll buy one portion, which will last 4-5 days, give or take. I dip some out with a fine sieve and swish them into tanks where they'll swim for some time, though most end up near the bottom. They never last long - feed them to all my fish when I have them, as I do blackworms.

If you can get live blackworms, they'll last a LONG time in the fridge - up to 4 weeks, or more. Available online too. They'll do fine in an open 32 oz deli cup. [If you have to cover them be sure there are lots of air holes ]. The one thing is, they must be rinsed daily so their water won't foul.

A chopstick is a perfect tool to gently swirl the worms, and usually some will wrap onto the stick. I hold the stick over the tank in the same corner each time and the boys come up to snatch them. Those that sink are eaten later on. Bettas may not be designed to bottom feed but they have no problem doing it for live foods.

If you have any space at all and can get some, scuds are another live food that Bettas appear to really enjoy, and take virtually no effort to culture. Available from labs like Carolina Biologicals if you can't find some wild ones under a rock. Sometimes they show up with plants, that's where mine first came from.

Even a gallon size plastic jar or vase with plants and a bit of substrate would serve to keep a scud culture going. Kept in a bright but not overly sunny window, such a culture won't even need lighting using lower light plants. Feed a bit of algae based fish food every few days or when you see it's gone, as scuds will eat plants if they get too hungry, though they prefer algae or detritus. Leaf litter would be good for them. Can be caught in most nets unless very young, and they'll survive until eaten, providing stimulation and exercise for the fish.

Just fyi, blackworms often have a few leeches with them. I find that most of them are already dead. Those I toss [ they're white, as are dead worms ] but live ones are taken by the Bettas just as eagerly as the worms are. They hang onto the end of the chopstick quite tightly. They used to gross me out, but not any more, though their big cousins sure would.

The leeches are harmless, so if one escapes being eaten for awhile, won't hurt anything. Not big, stretched out they might be an inch long, contracted they're no more than 1/8" diameter bumps, a dull greyish-brown colour. The few escapees I've had seem to prefer living on the underside of frogbit leaves and if I find one there, I push it onto a chopstick with my finger and give it to a Betta.

Blackworms can survive for weeks in a tank, and if there are enough of them, potentially can become permanent or semi permanent residents. Usually they reproduce by fragmentation, sexual reproduction being very rare in a tank setting. If you have bottom feeders like loaches or cories, don't feed them for a few days and extra worms will soon vanish. Even Bettas will hunt them on the bottom.
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