View Full Version : A bit of an enigma...

05-26-2009, 05:41 AM
I have had a very small male crowntail betta for about a year now. I feed him pellets...Betta Gold I believe...and he has always had this strange issue, where he swallows the pellet, waits a moment and then expels it again from his mouth. Sometimes he'll attempt to swallow it again, other times he swims off. I am not overfeeding him - I also follow the method of having a day off from any feeding at all once a week, and I've even tried different food sources, such as peas, bloodworms, etc. He'll have none of these, even brineshrimp which my other bettas have always loved with a passion.

At the moment he is in a 2.5 gallon and I am getting ready to move him into something bigger. He seems happy...he's vibrant, full of life, flares at me through the glass whenever I walk by (lol), and has even built a nice little bubblenest around his bamboo plant. There was an incident that occurred shortly after I bought him when I honestly expected him to pass...he was acting as if something was seriously wonky with his swimbladder, but within two days the problem disappeared and he hasn't appeared ill since.

This peculiar eating behaviour started the instant I brought him home. To tell you the truth there are times when I think he goes quite a while without eating! And yet...he looks as good as he ever has (he was a pity buy, the smallest and least healthy betta this store had to offer. Still not quite a "looker" but no obvious signs of disease). If he truly wasn't eating or somehow couldn't eat, then I presume he'd be dead by now...

I'm just curious as to why he might be doing this. It happens with EVERY pellet he eats. The old "suck down and regurgitate". Anybody have any insights?

05-26-2009, 03:15 PM
I tried pellets with my beta and he never touched them.
Does yours eat them once they have softened?
I feed mine a good brand of flake food.He eats them up instantly everyday still.

05-26-2009, 03:19 PM
mine do the same..
try feeding him flakes..
it will be gone in a few seconds thumbs2:

05-26-2009, 04:04 PM
Try the flakes, or presoak your pellets in a bit of his tank water to soften them up. Most likely he is spitting them up because they are to hard for him to chew.

05-26-2009, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the responses! I've tried presoaking but that doesn't seem to help. The thought that they were too firm for his liking occurred to me also...

Northernguy, what brand of flakes do you use?

05-26-2009, 11:31 PM
I've also had my betta for about a year. When I got him, he used to refuse every kind of food except dried blood worms.

Somebody on these forums suggested fasting him for a few days, then offering a pellet. If he didn't eat it, fast him another day and offer a pellet again. Eventually, he consented to eat a pellet. He spat it out initially and then swallowed it, I guess because he was hungry. I only gave him a blood worm if he ate his pellet. We played this game for a few weeks until he figured out he wasn't getting "dessert" until he ate his dinner.

He gobbles a couple pellets a day now, followed by his blood worm reward. He doesn't spit them out anymore, so I guess he has learned how to tolerate them. I feed Hikari Bio-Gold, which is a relatively small pellet. Some types of pellets are pretty big compared to a betta's mouth/stomach.

I never had any lasting luck with flakes, tubifex worms, or freeze-dried shrimp bits. Your mileage may vary, however. Good luck!

05-27-2009, 01:23 AM
Thanks! Hikari is what I use as well. I'll have to try your method.

05-27-2009, 04:03 AM
Thanks! Hikari is what I use as well. I'll have to try your method.

I wish you the best of luck. Your fish is even pickier than mine! At least I could use blood worms as a bribe to get him to eat his nutrient pellets. Sounds like yours simply doesn't go mad for anything.

A while back, somebody suggested I leave a tin of water outside and capture live mosquito larvae a few at a time (obviously dump the water before they turn into mosquitoes or you'll have a lot of angry neighbors). I never did try it. Maybe it's an option of last resort -- live food that he has to chase might get his appetite going.

05-27-2009, 09:01 PM
Well, the brineshrimp I used were living, but he just let them swim around him and completely ignored them! Silly fish.

I'm not too sure about the mosquitos...namely because I don't want to take the chance of any of them hatching. I'm terribly allergic to those bites. I'm sure I'd forget about the bucket at least once. lol