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Re: live food for bettas

> Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 14:00:02 +0500
> From: "Shaikh Waheeduddin" <shawah at cubexs_net.pk>
> Subject: live food for bettas
> hi, I am in need of some advice, as seen almost on all websites u need to
> have some starter culture for live food, the thing is that here we dont have
> any source to get starter culture, is there any way to find the culture
> naturally, I have around 600 growing male bettas in jars, feeding them
> frozen beef heart makes water pollute, mosquito larve is very hard to get
> and it is also seasonal, I am thinking to grow brineshrimp to adulthood but
> lt may expensive, any suggestions or any website for this????
> thanks

It is more effective to feed them the newly hatched nauplii than to grow
Artemia to adulthood. That takes too much space for too little food. It
*will* be expensive, either way!

You can sometimes find small nematodes (or their relatives) like white
worms, grindals, etc. in damp leaf mold under trees, or just below the
surface of the damp soil. They are prolific reproducers and can convert
cheap fish-flake food, gram flour, etc. to high quality live food in
amazingly short time. They are most likely to be in places that never freeze
solid. Look near warm springs, river banks, etc. They thrive in damp peat

Ponds without fish often have Daphnia or Ostracods swimming in them. I have
outside buckets/barrels that produce a lot by feeding them green water. The
green water, itself, (Euglena species) is superb first food for Betta

I use ordinary plant fertilizer and sunlight to encourage the growth of the
green water. I also feed it old tank change water. If mosquito larvae or
midge-fly larvae (aka "bloodworms") show up, fine. They are even better

Vinegar eels can often be found squirming near the surface of old vinegar or
other acid liquids. Fed apple juice, they are wonderful for baby Bettas.
Some adults can see them OK and will take them, too. They are pretty tiny.
Great for baby Bettas because they squirm to the surface where the babies
hang. [Microworms are next to worthless, for they sink to the bottom and
baby Bettas don't feed there at first.]

Last, but far from least, is Fruit Flys (Drosophila species). If you set up
jars with nutritious mush with a little yeast in the bottom, seasoned with
some kind of soft fruit (banana, peach, apricot, etc.), they will collect to
consume the feast. The trick is to add enough anti-mold stuff (you can order
all this from Carolina Biologicals, BTW -- their fruit-fly food is tops) to
keep the cultures going for a couple of weeks of their cycle. Seal the top
with filter floss or very fine screen. Soon maggots will crawl up the sides
and metamorphose into pupae. When those hatch you have a jar just full of
flies. Place in refrigeration to make the flys become dormant, and feed only
as fast as the fish will eat them unless you want a house full of the
beasties. [We solve that problem here by buying mutants (wingless or
giant-wing) varieties that cannot fly. IDK if Carolina can send them to you,

The maggots themselves are good food, too. They are hard to shake loose from
the mush. If you wash it through a fine net, you can collect them.

Good luck, keep us posted if you have any success with any of this.


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

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