confused about how much to feed betta
about 3 weeks ago, I was given a blue (w/ a little red) male betta in an approx .75 gal vase w/ a large plant. I immediately removed the plant (an Spathiphyllum since they are mildly toxic to humans and animals when ingested; I'm a horticulturalist). It also had really slime-y roots since Spathiphyllum is not an aquatic plant.
Then bought a 3 gal tank w/ gentle filter, thermometer and water conditioning and cycling additives from a reputable store. Fish perked right up, going from nearly immobile to swimming all round up & down among the soft-edge, various sized plastic plants.
Was told to vary food but to be sure not to overfeed. But the small plastic bag w/ pellets came w/ the gift had a little insert instructing 2-3 pellets/day. The "Hikari Tropical Betta Bio-Gold Pellets" I bought has instructions stating 2-4 pellets 2-3x/day which means that I could give from FOUR to TWELVE pellets daily -- kind of a big range! And the "San Francisco Bay Brands Betta Food Freeze Dried Bloodworms" instructions advised as much as can be eaten in 30 seconds to a minute. Recognizing that these 3 products can have 3 very different components, that's still a huge range in volume of food for the same fish. Can they all be right? Should I rotate among them one different kind per day? BTW, the fish spits out the blood worms unless I cut them into small pieces then still takes longer to eat them than w/ the two other types of food.
When I feed my Betta, I vary his foods between sinking algae pellets (Corys love them, Oto too), sinking shrimp pellets (Corys and Betta) and actually Betta pellets. I usually put in about... 3-5 Betta pellets because in my opinion, it's better to underfeed than to overfeed. That way you won't have any problems with Nitrates because you are fish-in cycling. Make sure you keep up on the water changes as well, that'll make a huge difference in the Betta's overall health as well.
But to go back to your original question, I would only give him 3-6 pellets at a time, I'm assuming they are the little Betta pellets. And I would only feed him once a day, there's no need to feed them 2-3 times. That'll only make your maintenance that much harder.
thanks & further questions
Thanks so much for for info! But...
1. how much of the shrimp and algae food should I give and how often?
2. Will more than one feeding "make maintenance that much harder" if it's the same amount of food?
I've been splitting the betta's feeding into AM & PM just because he's so responsive and active when he gets fed.
3. Is the tank still cycling?
It's been 20 days since I strained out particles & solid debris from the original water the betta came in, then used that same water along in my new 3 gal tank with half as much fresh filtered water that had been treated w/ a de-chlorinating and a cycling additives. Two, 4 & 6 days later I added an 1/3 new, treated water to bring the tank slowly up up to 3 gals, then continued to add the cycling additive over the next week as its label directed.
Wish I'd bought a 5 gal instead of a 3 gal...hadn't wanted a fish or the expense, but couldn't find anyone else to take it, so I went out and purchased what seemed the humane minimum which was still almost $200. Now my husband & I'm kinda hooked.
When I feed my fish, which I just did, I drop in 2 Shrimp pellets and 1 sinking algae pellet and that's it for the day. When I drop in just shrimp pellets, I drop 3 in just so everyone has enough to eat.
When I said by, "making your maintenance harder", I meant weekly water changes. When food decomposes (or comes out as fish waste), it goes through the Nitrogen cycle which the beneficial bacteria (in the filter media and gravel) convert it into Ammonia, then convert it into Nitrites, and finally converts it into Nitrates. When you overfeed, you're essentially increasing the amount of Nitrates you have in the tank when it's all decomposed. If you have aquatic plants in the tank, they will use some of these Nitrates as food and lower the amount in the water column. The "making your maintenance harder" part comes in with weekly water changes: the more Nitrates in the tank, the bigger the water change has to be. For example, if you have 80 ppm of Nitrates (most hobbyist keep theirs under 20 ppm) you could do a 50% water change to bring them down to about 30-40ppm), so you see what I'm trying to get at with the "maintenance harder" talk?
And your final question... Yes the tank is still cycling. Fishless cycling usually lasts about 4-6 weeks. Fish-in cycling can last anywhere from 4-8 weeks, based on what I've read and researched since I first got into the hobby. So I would say your tank is still cycling if it's only been 20 days. You could speed this process up by "seeding" your filter with media from an already established filter on a mature tank. That'll shorten your cycle time to about 2-3 weeks.
Hope this helps, I didn't mean to sound condescending about the Nitrogen cycle. It took me a while to grasp the concept so I try to explain it the best I can.
I feed my bettas 3-4 betta pellets per day and starve them on Sunday. In between pellets they eat the smaller cherry shrimps and snails in their tank.
I think they are eating too much already because they go into a frenzy at feeding time leaping out of the water so i don't dare feed less.
I have 6 male bettas and 4 female bettas. The males each get between 6-10 pelets a day. (these are big pelits as well, ment for larger fish). I do not count how many pelits that my females get because it is next to imposible to keep track with all of them in the same tank (I have a sororety tank where all of my females live together).
If you do not mind me asking, How could you spend $200 on a 3g tank? The tank probably cost under $20 (at the high end, a 10g tank costs $10 at Petco). The gravel is under $10 for a tank that size. You can get a heater and filter for under $25 total. A betta does not need a light. If you bought the tank as a kit it probably cost ~$50 and all that you would need to buy is the decor. A good quality water conditioner in the bigest bottle costs ~$10 (prime). Add in some food for $3 and you should not have even spent $70 - $80 dollars at the high end.
Lots of tanks. Some tanks are planted. Fish include community and bettas.
2 Dachshunds. Angel (Red) and Cookie (Chocolate Dapple).
Shiny Things and Beauty the rabbits.
RIP Princess and Max the Dachshunds, Tiger and Ping Pong the rabbits, and all the fishes from when I was a newbie.
It is Ldoerr NOT Idoerr.
Black kitten named Midnight that was found 10/29/12
My male betta gets around 6-12 betta pellets a day (his glowlight tetra friends steal some from him). He also gets a little flake when he steals from the glowlight tetras. They all get frozen foods sometimes too.
My male bettas get 4-6 pellets each. I have no idea how many each female gets, since 5 of them are in a sorority and 1 has her own tank due to her aggressive nature
A Betta's stomach is about the size of its eye, so use this as a judgement call for serving size for each "meal". Monitor your fish's abdomen before and after eating, if it gets very large, (a big bulge just under and past the gills), then you are feeding too much.
If your fish gains only a faint increase in that area after a feeding and remains streamlined (not fat) you are not overfeeding. If you begin to see abdominal bloating, you know to cut back on the amount you serve to your fish.
2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.
As dylanishawtt noted above, cycling takes place in the filter media (the biological filter part) not in the water. It is a common misassumption that if you change your water you lose the cycle - bacteria do not live in the water - they live & grow on surfaces, primarily the filter - that's why its important to learn the proper way to clean your filter so you don't end up throwing away your beneficial bacteria (which grows from the presence of ammonia).
Originally Posted by direlobo
You will know your tank is cycled by taking readings regularly using your API kit and seeing 0ppm's for ammonia & nitrites & 20ppm or under for nitrates.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies