THREE DIFFERENT PELLETIZED FOODS TESTED: A betta taste test to see which one they prefer.

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I'm developing an automated betta feeder. The design is simplified by using pelletized food so I used seven bettas to test three different brands to determine which the bettas preferred.

The bettas were fed live brine shrimp for three days to spoil them and make them as finicky as possible. Then I began hand feeding them the pellets and recording how the fish took to the new diet. To the best of my knowledge, prior to this test they had never tasted these foods. They showed a clear preference for one. Here are the results:

 
Betta Bits: 3/32 inch balls, many stuck together, floats 1 hour, rejected by all fish.

Betta Bites: 1/16 inch balls, some stuck together, doesn't float well, rejected by 5 fish.

Betta Bio-Gold: 1/16 inch balls, very few stuck together, floats 12 hours, readily accepted by four fish, completely accepted by all fish at second feeding.

 

The clear winner was Betta Bio-Gold, sold almost every where for $3.00 for a small package or $2.00 at Walmart. Don't let the small package size be a put off. A large betta only needs 9 or 10 pellets a day so one of these packages will feed a betta a month. Betta Bits and Betta Bites where very dark in color whereas the Bio-Gold is an attractive shade of gold, hence the name. Also, it has an aroma that smells like fish whereas the other two smelled more like chemicals. I suspect the darker color and off-odor may be the result of over baking during manufacturing.

Repeating variations of this test confirmed the initial results. Even after starving the test fish for three days, they were either reluctant or still refused to take the Betta Bits or Bites. Bettas do have a sense of self preservation so I assume that if hungry enough they would take these two foods. But, they showed no inclination to do so during these tests.

I feed my bettas live brine shrimp every morning and 4-5 Betta Bio-Gold pellets at night. They attack the pelleted food as readily as they do the shrimp.

I'm sure there are bettas that have been raised on Betta Bits and/or Bites and love them. These fish may even reject the Bio-Gold pellets my fish preferred. However, for my money the Bio-Gold is a better food.

I contacted the company that makes Betta Bio-Gold and asked if they have a similar product in a smaller pellet that could be fed to young fish. They said that they did not.

UPDATE: In 2005 I discovered that the Biogold people now have a powdered version of their food that can be eaten by the youngest betta fry. I intend trying it once I get my fishroom rebuilt.

 

 
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