Feeding: What Do Betta Fish Eat?

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Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are well-known for their vibrant colors and stunning fins. It is critical to provide your betta fish with a diet and environment that is appropriate for their needs. These are distinct from the requirements of other common household fish.

Feeding: What Do Betta Fish Eat?

Learn what to feed your betta fish, how often to feed them, and what to do if your betta fish refuses to eat before getting one as a pet.

What betta fish eat? Betta fish eat a high-protein diet because they are natural carnivores. Some people believe that bettas can survive in a small tank by eating plant roots. This is false and may be harmful to your betta fish.

Betta pellets with a high protein content that are available in pet stores should be the mainstay of your betta fish’s diet. It is critical to use a betta-specific pellet formula. Those made for other types of fish, such as tropical fish, will not be healthy. Betta pellets and flakes contain the proper amount of nutrients for your betta fish. They are simple to portion to keep your fish from overfeeding or underfeeding.

Your betta fish can enjoy high protein freeze-dried and frozen foods as special treats. These include brine shrimp and bloodworms. These treats should not constitute the majority of your betta fish’s diet. They should be fed in moderation to your betta.

How Often Do You Feed a Betta Fish?

It is suggested that you feed your betta fish two to four pellets once or twice a day. When pellets are placed in water, they expand and become very filling for your betta fish. 1 to 2 days per week, freeze-dried or fresh food can be substituted for pellet feeding.

Experts advise getting rid of any extra food that your betta fish isn’t eating. This food sinks to the bottom of the tank and, if not removed, degrades the water quality.

The majority of tropical fish spend their days foraging for food. Bettas, like most fish, are not designed to eat infrequently and in large quantities. It is recommended that you feed your betta at least twice a day. Three meals are also acceptable if you have access to your aquarium throughout the day. Try to space them evenly. Keep in mind that proper water temperature is essential for proper digestion and metabolism. Make sure your betta aquarium has a reliable heater and thermometer, and that you check them on a daily basis.

If you are going to be gone for more than a day, plan to feed your fish using a timed vacation feeder or a reliable fish sitter. Bettas cannot be fasted for more than a few days.

How much to feed a betta fish?

How much to feed your fish starts with what you should be feeding them. Bettas’ metabolic needs necessitate a higher caloric intake due to their tropical origin. Bettas must drag an ornate tail, which necessitates more calories and frequent rest periods. According to research, the dietary protein level in betta fish should be around 35%, with a mix of plant and animal protein. Although wild betta fish eat mostly insects, most pet bettas are fed a commercial diet that promotes good health.

Pellet size will vary greatly between commercial betta diets. It is difficult to provide a consistent number of pellets per feeding for all commercial diets. No matter what diet you choose for your fish, don’t expect one betta to finish all of the food in a container before it goes bad. Water soluble vitamin content, including Vitamin C, has degraded in quality after about six months. You will need to replace your betta’s food container before they finish it all.

Given the variation in pellet size in commercial diets, the best betta fish feeding recommendation is to consider your fish’s anatomy. Feed your betta the same amount of pellets that would theoretically be the size of one of its eyeballs in one meal. Depending on the diet, this could be as few as two or three pellets or as many as ten to twelve. If you need to feed more than eight pellets, start with half the amount, wait for your fish to finish eating, and then feed the other half. The betta should be able to eat the entire meal in about five minutes.

But what about protein-rich frozen and freeze-dried diets? Yes, we know that wild bettas live primarily on high protein insect diets, but the lifestyle of a wild fish differs significantly from that of a captive fish. Wild fish must go through periods of fasting when food is scarce, compete with other fish for resources, and reproduce. Bettas in captivity do not have to worry about these things, so their dietary requirements are reduced. High protein treats, such as freeze-dried and frozen diets, should be fed only once or twice a week. If you are breeding your fish, their dietary needs will differ.

How much flakes to feed betta fish?

The recommended feeding schedule is twice per day, with the first meal in the morning and the second 12 hours later in the evening. The amount of flake should be what they can consume in two minutes and adjusted to less as needed.

Can Betta Fish Eat Food Meant For Humans?

A hotly debated topic among betta fish owners is whether their pets should be fed human food. The answer is yes, but only on rare occasions.

You can feed your betta fish human food when you run out of fish food or if you want to give your fish a treat.

Giving a betta fish human food all the time, on the other hand, is not a good idea. Your betta fish will not be able to live solely off of human food.

Human food is in no way a substitute for what a betta fish eats. Human food should only be given to betta fish on rare occasions, according to feeding instructions.

When discussing human foods suitable for betta fish, processed foods such as salami must be avoided.

Betta fish are unable to digest processed foods, and preservatives can make them sick.

Betta fish are carnivores, which means they eat meat for the majority of their diet.

Whatever human food you give a betta fish, make sure it is only a supplement and not a full meal.

Betta fish, like any other animal, prefer a little variety in their diet. When giving human food, make sure to follow the same precautions as you would with commercially purchased food.

There must be no fillers, preservatives, chemicals, or additives in the food. It must also meet your betta fish’s nutritional needs.

Some Human Foods You Can Feed a Betta Fish:

  • Boiled Peas
    Remove the peas’ outer skins and boil them until mushy, or cut them up into very small pieces. It will be a hit with your betta fish! Peas are high in fiber and can help prevent constipation and bloating. Before feeding peas to your betta fish, make sure you remove the shell and skin.
  • Spinach
    To feed your betta fish, lightly microwave or boil spinach leaves and cut them into tiny pieces. Not all betta fish, however, enjoy spinach. Give it to your betta fish and see if it likes it.
  • Sweet Corn
    Sweet corn is a delicious treat for betta fish. Sweet corn kernels should be boiled before being cut or mashed. Remember to always remove the outer skin. Even though it’s delicious, a sweet corn kernel is devoid of nutrients, so make sure your betta fish gets his or hers as well.
  • Cucumbers
    Cucumbers are best given to betta fish by boiling them until soft and then cutting them up into tiny pieces. Cucumbers provide a tasty treat for your betta fish while also aiding digestion.
  • Mangoes
    Mangoes can be a real treat for betta fish. They must, however, be used sparingly. Cut up a small piece of mango and place it in the tank of your betta fish. Watch as your fish eagerly nibbles on it. If the mango piece does not disappear within 30 minutes, remove it from the tank; otherwise, it will contaminate the tank and kill your betta fish.
  • Lettuce
    Lettuce leaves, like spinach, are beneficial to your betta fish. They are high in vitamin content. Just be careful not to feed your betta fish excessive amounts of lettuce. Before feeding lettuce leaves to your fish, always cut and boil them.
  • Seafood
    Betta fish are carnivores that live in the sea and rely on other small fish for food. As a result, betta fish will not get enough seafood! Fresh shrimp, scallops, and oysters can be fed to your betta fish. Raw tuna chunks are also a good option. These protein-rich foods are the most natural betta fish meal substitutes.

Human Foods That You Must Never Give to a Betta Fish:

  • Bread
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Plants
  • Fibrous vegetables and fruits
  • Beans
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • The Meat of Farm-Grown Animals: Cow,Chicken,Pork

What foods can betta fish eat?

If you have a betta fish, you’re probably wondering what you can and cannot feed your pet.

Betta fish require a lot of protein in their diet to survive and live a healthy life.

Betta fish eat shrimp, fish, bloodworms, and other small creatures in their natural habitat because they are carnivores.

Because you are keeping your betta fish at home in an aquarium, you must replicate their natural diet. Fresh or frozen food can be purchased from a local pet store or aquarium store.

High-quality Foods You Can Feed Your Betta Fish Regularly Are:

  • Mosquito larva
  • Fruit flies
  • Shrimp (brine, fairy, opossum)
  • Moina
  • Copepods
  • Fish Flakes
  • High Protein Pellets
  • Wingless Fruit Flies
  • White worms
  • Blood worms
  • Glass worms
  • Daphnia

If you’re giving your betta fish dried versions of the foods listed above, make sure to soak them in water first.

This will prevent the dreaded bloating and digestion issues.

If you want to feed your betta fish pellets or fish flakes, please do so sparingly. Commercial pellets and flakes can cause digestive issues in your betta fish.

Find high-quality fish flakes and pellets that aid digestion while causing no constipation or bloating. Soak pellets in water before giving them to ensure complete digestion.

It is best not to buy large amounts of commercial fish food because most foods have a minimum expiration date.

Please do not eat any processed food (packaged or canned) for more than 6 months after it has been opened.

How much does it cost to feed a betta fish?

Betta fish pellets and freeze-dried food prices can vary greatly depending on brand. A container of betta fish pellets should cost between $4 and $8. Your pet supplier may offer bulk food purchasing options.

What should you do if your betta fish is refusing to eat?

Betta fish can go for up to 14 days without eating. There is no need to be concerned if your betta fish skips a meal or two. There could be several reasons why your betta fish isn’t eating.

Stress from a recent temperature change, tank cleaning, or significant environmental change may cause your betta fish’s appetite to change as they adjust. Betta fish prefer water temperatures ranging from 71 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Betta fish are frequently seen in bowls that are insufficiently sized for them. This can make them unhappy and make them unable to eat. Make sure your betta fish has enough space to swim and explore. If you notice your fish turning away or spitting out food, you should try different pellet brands. Finally, as betta fish get older, they become less active and eat less food.

If your betta fish continues to refuse to eat, they may be sick. In the event of illness, seek the advice of a veterinarian or another expert.

How to prevent your betta fish from overeating?

Betta fish in the wild will eat whatever they can get their hands on. When there is extra food available, it is very easy for your betta fish to overeat. Bloating, digestive distress, and obesity can all result from overeating. Excessive uneaten food can also cause your fish’s water to become dirty and unhealthy.

Feed your betta fish only the recommended daily amount to keep them from overeating. Using a net or a turkey baster, remove excess food on a regular basis. Some experts also advise not feeding your betta fish for one day per week to give their digestive system a chance to catch up.

Feeding Tips

Never Overfeed Your Betta Fish

Feed your betta fish 4 to 8 easily digestible granules of food twice daily. Avoid overfeeding because many betta fish can’t control how much food they eat and will eat too much.

A betta fish’s stomach is the size of one of its eyes. Yes, it’s that small! As a result, you should be cautious about how much you feed your betta.

How Can I Tell If I’m Overfeeding My Betta Fish?

If your betta fish is eating for more than two minutes, it could be a sign that it is being overfed, which could lead to excessive weight gain. It’s completely natural for a betta fish to gain weight over time, but you should keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t become an unhealthy amount.

One way to tell if your fish is overweight is to look around the belly area for any bulges; if there are any, your betta fish is most likely overweight. If this is the case, or you suspect that overfeeding caused the swim bladder disorder, allow your betta fish to fast for a few days to allow it to digest all of the food in its system.

Continue your regular feeding routine once the bloating and swim bladder disorder symptoms have subsided.

Make a Feeding Schedule

Feed your betta fish every 12 hours, twice a day. Feed your fish at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., for example.

There’s no need to be concerned if you change the time. You’ll be fine as long as you keep a 12-hour window before feeding your fish its next meal.

Meat-based foods should comprise 75 to 90 percent of the diet.

Betta fish should not eat a lot of plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

It is acceptable to give these on occasion. Bettas, on the other hand, are carnivores, so their diet must consist of 75 to 90 percent meat-based food options.

Do Not Give Too Much Human Food

As previously discussed, providing too much human food must be avoided because bettas cannot survive solely on human nutrition.

Digestion issues can also arise as a result of human food consumption. Give human food as a treat on occasion, perhaps once or twice a week.

Add Variety

Give your betta fish a variety of foods if it is a picky eater. While frozen and dried foods are the best options (because they are bacteria-free), you should also provide raw or fresh foods to pique your betta’s interest.

Feed Everyday

Every day, your betta fish should be fed. You must ensure that it is getting enough protein. Proteins are a necessary component of their diet.

If you’re feeding commercial food to your betta fish, limit it to 4 to 8 granules per day. Please make certain that they are small enough for your fish to swallow.

Avoid These Beginner Mistakes

Keeping your betta fish fed and happy may appear simple, but there are several (beginner) mistakes to avoid! Here are a few examples:

  • Don’t feed your fish as much as they can eat in five minutes. Betta fish (and other fish) almost always accept food even when they aren’t hungry, so this is a one-way ticket to obesity.
  • Food should not be used to reward jumping behavior. It’s thrilling to watch a betta jump for food, but it’s also quite dangerous because the fish could accidentally jump out of the aquarium or injure itself on the lid.
  • When going away for an extended period of time, do not use holiday/weekend fish food blocks; these can quickly malfunction and pollute the water, leaving you with murky water and, most likely, a dead fish. A few days without food are harmless as long as your betta is well-fed. If you will be gone for more than a few days, it may be worthwhile to have someone keep your betta on its regular feeding schedule.
  • Remove any uneaten betta fish food from your aquarium as soon as possible. Rotting food can degrade water quality and become very dangerous to your betta as ammonia accumulates in the tank.
  • Feed only a small amount of freeze-dried food. It’s fine as a snack now and then, but it’s been linked to constipation and other issues when consumed on a regular basis.
  • Frozen food should not be thawed and re-frozen. This encourages rapid bacterial growth! Any thawed leftover food should be discarded and not fed to your betta.v

Why Shouldn’t I Feed My Betta Fish Once A Day?

There are several feeding techniques you can use to feed your betta fish. Fasting is a common feeding routine that should only be done once a week for your betta fish.

To establish a routine, we also recommend that the fasting day be on the same day each week. It’s important to remember that some betta fish can be greedy and will often eat as much as you’re willing to put in the tank, giving the impression that they’re starving when they’re not any more hungry than any other feeding.

However, for the following reasons, we recommend two small flake feedings per day rather than one large feeding once a day.

Reason #1: Their Stomachs Are The Size Of Their Eye

Because betta fish have a short digestive tract and a stomach the size of an eye, it may surprise you to learn how much (or how little) food they require per meal. The flake food directions label on the side of the container is frequently deceptive about how much food you should give your betta fish.

We notice that the instructions usually state that you should feed them more flakes than is necessary. This would necessitate more frequent purchases of fish food, but a large quantity of fish flakes is not in the best interests of your betta fish.

Because they have a short digestive tract, it is easier for them to eat two small meals a day rather than one large meal because one large meal would cause them to eat more quickly and put a huge strain on digesting it.

Reason #2: Wasted Flakes Lead To Dirty Tanks And Sick Fish

Overfeeding and overeating can cause constipation, bloating, obesity, or, in the case of fish, swim bladder problems. If there are too many flakes in the tank at mealtime, whatever they don’t eat will sink to the bottom, and the food waste may produce dangerous toxins.

The accumulation of food at the bottom of the tank will necessitate more frequent tank cleanings to ensure that your betta fish does not become ill as a result of the dirty water. A betta fish will become ill if his tank water contains high levels of ammonia and nitrites, causing him to refuse to eat.

Older fish are also less active and require less food, so while what they can eat in two minutes is recommended, if your betta fish stops eating after one minute, adjust your feeding scale to accommodate this eating pattern to save money on wasted flakes and to avoid polluting the clean tank water.

Reason #3: Betta Fish Are Greedy For Food

Betta fish can go up to 14 days without being fed, though this is not recommended on a regular or intentional basis. Do not be alarmed if your betta fish shows little interest in their flakes at any point.

A lack of appetite could indicate that they are not hungry, or if the water is colder than 76 degrees Fahrenheit, it will slow their metabolism and reduce their food intake. It is not uncommon for them to skip a meal every now and then, just like humans.

Some betta fish owners practice weekly fasting, in which they do not feed their fish for one day to give their digestive tract time to process food completely, thereby limiting any problems caused by overeating. If you feed them one large meal in the morning, you are more likely to see them looking hungry at the end of the day and be tempted to feed them again because they have the personality of constantly looking for food at the top of their tank.

The best way to ensure they get all the food they need in a healthy way is to divide their daily food intake into two small feedings twelve hours apart.

Why does my betta fish spit out his food?

You may have noticed your betta fish ‘throwing up’ its food; there are a few reasons for this, and most of the time it is due to the betta fish!

You could be feeding your fish the best betta foods on the market, but some bettas are just that picky. Many betta fish were raised on one type of store food and are hesitant to try anything else at first. If your betta is still refusing to eat after a couple of days, there are a few options. The first method you could try is to provide live food, particularly bloodworms. Most betta fish will gladly accept a couple of bloodworms! However, avoid feeding bloodworms too frequently because they do not have the best nutritional value and, as previously stated, can be risky (and expensive) to feed.

The second method is to make the betta fish food more appealing. When they have a picky eater, many hobbyists soak their betta foods in a garlic mix, such as Garlic Guard. This seems to whet their appetite nicely!

Finally, your betta may be spitting out its food because it is too large to swallow. To help break up the pieces, try cutting them even smaller or soaking them in the garlic mixture.

If none of these methods work, your betta may be suffering from an underlying illness, parasites, or even constipation. Continue to keep an eye on your betta for any other signs of distress and treat as needed. There are a few methods for treating a constipated betta, such as peas or fasting, but it is best to do some research and keep trying until your betta improves!


Feed your betta fish based on its nutritional needs. Betta fish, like all animals and even humans, have specific needs that you, as the owner, must meet. Bettas, like all other fish, have extremely small and delicate digestive systems. Keep their food options as close to those found in their natural habitat as possible, and you’ll have a healthy pet for a long time!

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