When do you change fry from smaller foods, ie bbs, vinegar eels,
microworms, to other larger foods. How do you do it, what
foods do you give and what do you do to transition them from one to
the other, etc. Thank you.
this is a very good question in deed (and very well formulated if I
may add ;) ). There are many ways to go about this and once again,
each breeder will give you a different answer. I guess it is
necessary for each of us to find what works best for him/her, and
usually this is achieved by A)- asking a lot of other breeders how
they go about it B)- trying a bunch of ways C)- seeing
what works best for you D)- coming up with a few more ways of
doing it E)- seeing which works and which does not (aka
experimentation) F)- finding the path to enlightment G)-
reaching Nirvana LOL.
A few basics about tackling the switching of fry foods:
|How to switch foods. I
always tell people to switch foods GRADUALLY on any betta I
ship. These are medium sized, or larger sized bettas. So what
applies for the big sturdy ones certainly applies to the tiny
fragile ones. Fry will die quickly and you have little room for
error. Thus it is vital to be careful and switch foods very
gradually. By this I mean start to introduce a very small
quantity of the new food. Some fry are more inquisitive and
aggressive than others and also larger, these "food pioneers"
will venture to new culinary territories promptly, while the
rest will be (at first) clueless. Feeding too much of a new food
too fast will cause a lot of uneaten food to rot in the tank,
creating a bacterial outbreak and possibly wiping out your whole
spawn (AGHHH). So tip toe and add a tiny quantity at first,
making sure to still feed the other usual fry foods (microworms,
bbs, daphnias, vinegar eels, or whatever you may feed your fry).
Gradually the other fry will figure out that the new 'stuff'
floating about in their universe is FOOD. They catch on by
observing their pioneer siblings pigging out and end up trying
the food and start to eat them. Soon everyone will eat it, but
remember that the runts may be twice as small or more as the
rest of the spawn so here again, you must provide food for them.
So always keep feeding the tiny fry type foods until all bettas
are large enough to eat the other foods. It might be necessary
to use a fry coral to protect the tiny runts and you can then
feed them say bbs by placing it in their coral, while the rest
of the tank may get another type of food suitable for larger
mouths. Eventually the larger fry will no longer show any
interest in microworms. They will continue eating bbs much
longer but eventually it no longer makes sense to feed it to
them because you would need massive amounts of them hatched
daily. So most breeders will stop feeding them after a while.
||What foods to give:
There are many many options. Just about ANYTHING a large betta
eats can be fed, for as long as you can make it small enough for
their mouths. It will be necessary to grind, chop, loosen foods
to make them safe for the fry. You do not want them to choke on
a big ol' frozen brine shrimp now! You can also use the
"Honey I shrank the kids" shrinking machine, but these
are hard to find and remain, to this day, rather costly (LOL).
Another set back with these types of machines is that you will
then be forced to make a sequel, which will never be as good as
the first thing, so if you can't improve it, live it alone as I
always say ;).
||A bit more about larger fry
foods: Some make fry grown faster than others (usually any
live food will), but the main concern here is figuring out what
it is you want your bettas to eat as adults. If you cannot find
live foods then it might be wise to not try to get some just to
get the fry larger and then switch to other dry foods. Why?
Cause most bettas get spoiled very easy and once you feed live
foods, there is usually no coming back LOL. Bettas will LAUGH at
you if you feed them say pellets or freeze dried foods. Yes our
bettas are real gourmets, food connaisseurs if I may add, and
their delicate taste buds run the show. Another MAJOR draw back
of live foods is that they can very easily carry VERY nasty
diseases, the kinds that can wipe out every single last one of
your fry (and other bettas). So perhaps bigger, faster is not
better. Take your time to bring your fry to a larger size and
feed safe foods above all. variety a big plus. Adding a few
drops of fish vitamins to dry foods can help make them more nutritious.
Don't overdo it though!
Well, I hope this helps you and remember there is no one way to do things, just WHATEVER works for you and your bettas. (and please everyone, don't email me to find out where you can get one of 'em shrinking machine thingies!!!!).
This column will resume again on monday.