Date of Award
Most animals choose food based on its nutrient content and time and energy involved consuming and digesting the food. We used a discrete food preference test to investigate if Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) preferred particular foods based on the food’s nutritional value. Among foods that Siamese fighting fish commonly eat, freeze-dried brine shrimp consist of high amounts of protein, plus lipids and carbohydrates, and shrimp are easily digestible; pellet food is a mixture of plants and small crustaceans; and flake food contains meat, yeast, and gluten. With this knowledge, we predicted that Siamese fighting fish consume freeze-dried brine shrimp first, followed by pellet food, and then flake food. We offered pairs of food choices consisting of pellets, flake food, or freeze-dried brine shrimp to male Siamese fighting fish. We recorded latency for fish to consume food, recording preference as the first food chosen. We found no significant difference in mean latency to choose food, but significant difference in food preference where the fish chose pellet food first most frequently, followed by freeze-dried brine shrimp, then flake food. The results of this study helped us determine if Siamese fighting fish display food preferences and whether nutritional value is a factor when choosing which type of foods to consume.
Bouradee, Kim and Boutavee, Kim, "Meat, plants, or both? A food preference study in Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens" (2017). Thinking Matters. 81.