Q: What amount of mosquito larvae is appropriate for one betta?

Question submitted by Macky, Durham - NC

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUCEMENT: 

Animal Planet will be airing our betta segment (on "The Most Extreme") again on the following dates:

bullet June 15 at 2AM

for more info click here.  If you have not seen it yet, there's your chance! Note that it is towards the end of the 1 hour show, since bettas made #2 on the most extreme fighters of the animal kingdom countdown :)).

A: Once upon a time, God created all creatures known to men (and a few more that roam the deep oceans that no one even knows exist ;) ). At some point, God created the PIG. Pleased with the results he figured that an aquatic pig version might be appropriate and created the BETTA.

;P

Now that we all know exactly were bettas come from and that it has been established that they are nothing more than aquatic little piglets, one can quickly conclude that bettas will indeed devour food they like as though there is no tomorrow and this is their very last meal. Since bettas have no self control in the matter, the breeder has to step in and regulate his fish's food intake himself/herself. 

One wonders, how much is too much? And how little is not enough?

So your question is (although pretty darn short) is in deed a good one. I will however go off the restricted topic of mosquito larvae  and expend (or spill if I may say) a bit to cover a bit more food territory.

A few things to remember when feeding bettas:

bullet young bettas that are still growing will need more foods. For these young lads, it will necessary to feed enough to obtain nice rounded bellies. Do not however turn your bettas into puffer fishes LOL, or make them look like they swallowed one of your little brother's marble!! The rounded belly will be noticeable when you look near the ventrals and the betta should no longer look "flat". We want a nice 'roundish' shape.
bullet fully grown bettas are done growing (duh) so they no longer need all that extra food. Overfeeding them will only result in problems such as swimbladder disorder. So for the fully grown betta you should feed but not aim for a round belly, just one that does not look "empty". Aim for a slight curvature indicating the stomach is now full (but nowhere near explosion point).
bullet For older bettas you should feed even a bit less. Their metabolism is down and as all of us who no longer are 20 can attest, you DO gain weight faster when you get older (darn!). So they require less food.
bullet The larger the betta the more food you will need to achieve above desired results. Hence a fully grown betta that is larger than another fully grown betta will require more food, even though both are fully grown. Use your good judgment.

Now back to mosquito larvae etc... I have rarely fed them to my bettas, but I do know that not all mosquito larvae are created equal, meaning they too, get larger as they get older. Rather than give you a number of larvae, I would say feed enough to achieve the desirable belly size described above, depending on your betta's size and age. 

For example, in most cases of adult bettas I feed about 5 to 6  fully grown frozen brine shrimp to each betta. Or about 4 frozen bloodworms. Young growing bettas that are smaller in size may need to eat the same amount to get the bigger belly described above.

In short, it is all in the eye (as opposed to the wrist LOL).

Signing off, oink oink to you.

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