THE JOY OF HAND FEEDING BETTAS:
This sounds crazy but is really a lot of fun. If you only have a few bettas, or want to interact more with a few favorites selected from a large collection, hand feeding is an enjoyable activity which also eliminates wasted food spoiling the tank. Here's how it works:
Purchase some bamboo skewers from a grocery store. Move the betta in his jar to a comfortable location for you, dip the blunt end of the skewer in the water, and use it to pick up a small piece of betta food. (This works best with a floating, pelletized food.) Dip the skewer back in the water to release the food. If the fish doesn't notice it right away, move it around with the skewer to attract his or her attention. After the fish eats that piece of food, get another and repeat the process until the fish is full. Go through this process every time you feed him and within a very few days (I feed mine twice a day) the fish will have learned the routine. All of a sudden he or she will understand that the tank movement and/or your presence is the signal food's on the way. The fish will eagerly swim to the top of the tank and wait to be fed. It's common for mine to actually jump half an inch out of the water and snatch the food pellet off the skewer before I every touch it to the water.
Most fish seem to swim around in a mindless daze. Bettas are different as this hand feeding procedure shows. I find it a thoroughly enjoyable pastime. Moreover, the fish who are hand feed seem more interesting in what's going on outside of their jars. They swim over to the sides more readily to study anyone who approaches.
Try this with your favorite fish and see for yourself. Just be patient. Bettas are smart for fish but they're not rocket scientists.
I've heard from several people who do or have tried hand feeding their bettas and they all report that it works. One lady even stated that her betta would let her stroke its back with her finger.
(Click on Bettas to return to the main betta page or on main site to browse 70 topics ranging from exotic kaleidoscope designs to the strange world of lucid dreaming.)