A Meal Fit for Feeding Betta Fry

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First rule newly hatched betta fry live by when it comes to feeding is if it don’t move it must not be food.

Turns out rules to live by like this keep things simple. So if you are thinking you can feed your betta fry some kind of dry food you seriously want to think again as that simply might not work. These tiny guys are genetically hard wired to attempt to eat anything that moves and is smaller than them because it just might be food. But when it comes to fine bits of dry flakes that just sit there, well those may not catch their eye or suit their fancy. Not when they have a built in taste for live fare even if it means starving to death. Weird, huh?

This is why you need very tiny live foods. Especially for the first couple of days and weeks when the fry are all eyes and tail. They’ve got itsy bitsy mouths and tiny stomachs yet they need to keep them filled. But if they don’t have micro sized live food to consume they really will likely starve to death. Oh not all of them of course. Some will scrape by on the microorganisms found in your tank. But more than 90% sure will. Because they just won’t find enough to eat.

Possessing small sized stomachs is another reason why you’ll want to consider feeding them 5, 6, 7, maybe even as many as 8 times a day if you want to be aggressive about it. As you can see, a growing fish needs to eat and eat often if you want them to develop at the fastest rate possible. For sure you’ll want to feed them at least two, maybe three times each day. Do don’t slack on this because you could say these guys are all appetite and not much else.

Problem is live foods are generally not readily available for purchase. Which only adds to the challenge of raising a spawn. That’s right. You have to raise your own food. And do it in sufficient quantities and with enough variation to produce healthy baby fish.

Okay so with that if it moves it might be food rule in mind, here’s a short list of things you might consider offering them.

  • Micro worms
  • Vinegar Eels
  • Infusoria
  • Baby Brine Shrimp

While baby brine shrimp are excellent, they are a tad too big for newly hatched fry. Infusoria presents too many risks of fouled water to fool with if you ask me. That leaves the nematodes like microworms and vinegar eels as the best starter foods.

Since I’ve already provided a super tutorial on microworms, this time let’s focus on vinegar eels. Which are a simply different variety of nematodes. These guys make their living off cider vinegar rather than yeast as microworms do.

Besides vinegar eels are touted as the super low maintenance fry food. Cultures can last for months at a time without any need to start afresh as the eels happily swim about in the cider vinegar. To get you started here’s a quick video that explains how to culture them:

Video Takeaways:

This short video gives you a list of things you’ll need to cultivate these eels. Basically that is a container with a lid, apple cider vinegar – make sure you get the real thing, two or three thin slices of apple and starter culture. Cut a hole in the lid of your container, and stuff it with filter floss or a cotton ball. Doing so lets the air in and keeps undesirables like fruit flies out. Add the vinegar, slices and starter culture and wait for nature to take its course. In other words wait for the nematodes to be fruitful and multiply.

The key to success here is having your starter culture. I’ve seen walter and banana worms, microworms and vinegar eels starter cultures offered on sale on eBay as a package deal by highly rated sellers for less than $12 for the whole bunch, shipping included. But even if that deal isn’t available to you, you can get these things dirt cheap off eBay.

Of course once you’ve got them, you have to harvest them. If they aren’t climbing up the sides, you can always use a coffee filter, as this video shows, to strain your catch.

Or you can use a long neck bottle of some sorts – think beer bottle, wine bottle. even ketchup bottles and the like. Simply fill the bottle from your culturing jar right to the bottom of the neck. Stuff some filter floss down into the neck. Slowly fill the neck the rest of the way with aged tap or bottled water. Let sit overnight and in the morning you’ll find that the eels will have worked their way up the neck thru the filter medium to get to the oxygen. You’ll notice the liquid in the neck will be clouded with eels. Use a pipette to suck out that food rich water and you’re good. This quick video shows you how that harvesting approach works.

So there you have it. Vinegar eels in a nutshell. From culturing to harvesting three different ways so you can have a tasty meal fit for constantly hungry betta fry to offer in next to no time.

About Lucas
Putting a name with a face I'm Lucas Smatana. Like you I'm passionate about betta fish and hope to share my enthusiasm. The idea here is to make sure you get helpful info and useful ideas on betta fish care that really work. To insure your betta keeping experience is a good one both for you and your fish. So that you and your pet enjoy a long, happy and healthy relationship.

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