Aside from birds, rabbits, dogs, and hamsters- fishes have grown into an increasingly popular choice for house pets. Some families dream of having a beautiful aquarium installed in their living spaces, filled with the fishes they’ve raised on their own – while some stay modest and keep their fishes in a small glass container with sufficient sunlight. On a different perspective, some families would go all out and construct an outdoor pond as a part of their own living spaces where their exotic fishes could live: such as the opulent Koi and the slightly more modest Betta fish.
Despite being around the modest scale of grandeur in comparison to Koi fishes, Betta fishes exudes a charm of their own that no other fish could compare. It is also worth noting that the value of these Betta fishes vary in the types and subspecies they have, but before anything else, it is wise to have a basic understanding of a Betta fishes’ background.
Betta fishes are freshwater fishes who’s natural habitat lies in populous parts of South East Asia, such as: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and Vietnam. Betta fishes also, by default, have an interesting aggressive and territorial personality. Though unconventionally endearing in personality, Betta fishes are also well known for their unique physique which may vary from the three subtypes: groomed Bettas, fighting Bettas, and wild Bettas. In Indonesia, these Betta fishes are highly concentrated in Pampang, East Kalimantan.
Aside from their sparky personality and unique physique, breeders favor these aggressive fishes for their low mortality rate and low maintenance care: both financially and time wise. Breeders would usually utilise a simple container installed with an aerator (a tool used to regulate the air circulation). Most importantly, breeders would feed their fishes good quality feed that ranges from over-the-counter nutritional pellets to organic alternatives. It is also wise that breeders practice a feeding routine to regulate the amount and quality of feed that is being consumed.
This practice would vary according to every breeder’s needs, so to uniform one feeding routine would be unwise. Breeders should understand each farm’s needs first, but to give you a head start to tailor one of your own, be sure to read through this article to find out the 8 ways to healthily feed your Betta fishes.
1. Portion Control
There is no uniformed ideal amount of feed that should be fed to your fishes, because it depends on their own needs. Underweight fishes would need to be fed more than overweight fishes, so it is wise that breeders consult medical professionals to understand the ideal dose that is needed.
However, a general knowledge states that the stomach of a Betta fish is more or less the same size as their eyeballs. Therefore, it is wise that you do not feed your fishes more than their stomachs could take – as leftovers could cloud the waters and do more harm than good.
2. Minimise Amount of Feed
As briefly mentioned in the previous point, it is wise that breeders control the portions of their farm’s feed according to their individual needs. It has also been mentioned that providing large portions of food would be unwise for their overall health, and could lead to further damage. Therefore, to be extra safe, it is wise that you minimise the amount of feed being served.
In retrospect, minimising the amount of feed being served is also a financially savvy move that allows you to invest other costs on other needs. Most breeders starts off with 4 pellets/fish and then transition slowly to 3 pellets/fish. Once the fishes have picked up their pace and have shown signs that they need more feed, breeders could increase the amount up back to 4 pellets/fish.
3. Cleaning Up Food Waste
If you’re caught in a situation where you find yourself overfeeding your farm and are left with a lot of food waste, be sure to clean up their habitat from it as soon as possible. Leftover food, when left unsupervised and immersed in water for a long amount of time, could be a nest for dangerous bacterias and other chemical-induced harmful particles. As also briefly mentioned, leftover food can leave their water habitat cloudy and murky. To avoid this, breeders are advised to clean up the areas by straining the leftover food with a small net and changing the waters – all while relocating your fishes in a safe and clean temporary container of course.
4. Routine Feeding
For portion and quality control – as mentioned – breeders should practice a routine feeding system. This is to carefully monitor the quality and amount of feed is being consumed. As briefly noted, there is no uniformed routine feeding, but there is a general rule of thumb that advices breeders to feed their farms 1-2 times/day. Provide a good time interval in between meals for the fishes to process their food fully, to avoid overfeeding. Generally, breeders do not necessarily require as much attention into feeding their fishes – in fact, Betta fishes can survive up to 2 weeks without food.
5. Wide Variety of Feed
To motivate Betta fishes to get their daily dose of feed and to avoid boredom, feed your farm a wide variety of food. In their natural habitat, Betta fishes hunt different sorts of small animals for them to feed on that are different sources of nutrients. In the long term, feeding your farm one type of feed could potentially harm their immune system.
6. Feeding them Worms
Feeding your new Betta fishes worms could help them adjust to their surroundings. Betta fishes are usually found in areas where worms grow, so naturally they have become a grown feed. Worms served as feed is also easily accessible, and you could find them on local pet shops at an affordable price. They are also given in multiple forms such as frozen, alive, dead, dry, or even in gel form.
Aside from worms, insects are another organic alternative for over-the-counter pellet feeds. These insects could be served in different forms as well, such as alive or frozen. Two common insects most breeders have taken a liking to feed are Daphnias (water fleas) and fruit flies. They are also commonly found in their natural habitats, and are packed with healthy nutrients and vitamins.
8. Minimise Dose of Dry Pellets
As much as they are convenient and healthy, breeders are advised to minimise the dose of dry pellets served to their farm. Too much process food may disrupt your fishes’ digestive system and cause dehydration – thus it is wise that they are fed organic food containing good water levels. Furthermore, some may argue that organic food can provide just as much – if not more – nutrients than processed food.
So there you have it, 8 ways to healthily feed your Betta fishes. Please do be reminded, as mentioned numerously beforehand, that uniforming a routine and diet is not always the most effective way to raise Betta fishes. Breeders are advised to do more prior research to understand each of their farm’s needs. Once breeders have a good understanding of what each farm needs, they could then effectively tailor a program for their fishes.