Home Betta Fish Foods – The What, When and How to Properly Feed Your Betta Fish

Betta Fish Foods – The What, When and How to Properly Feed Your Betta Fish

What Do Betta Fish Eat
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Betta Fish Food – When and How to Feed Your Beta Fish

What Do Betta Fish Eat?

Betta needs a diet that is high in protein. These fish love aquatic worms as well as insects. To give your Betta a diet that will be similar to what they would eat in nature, you need to offer them a selection of different foods. If you cannot give your Betta a diet that is varied, give the Betta one new food each week. They cannot love alone on vegetables or root plants.

Not every Betta will like to eat the same food. These fish have different taste bugs. It is important that you see what they like quickly and feed them their preferred food. Old food will begin to decay in the tank and can lead to sickness and disease. Watch which foods are not begin eaten and do not feed them to the Betta any longer.

There are some foods that the Betta will most likely enjoy. These foods included dried flakes, pellets, freeze dried brine shrimp and bloodworms. Live food can also be introduced because the fish will eat it. Once the Betta is grown you can continue to give them life food if it is something that they like.

The bright colors on the Betta generally come from a healthy and diverse diet. A fish that is fed a healthy diet is also less likely to get diseases compared to Bettas that are not given a healthy diet.

If you want to know what the Betta should eat keep in reading. We will provide step by step instructions on how to feed your Betta.

The Betta’s diet should be high in protein as well as meaty foods. Pellets, live and frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia are all good for the Betta.

Many people wonder how much food they should give their Betta and how often they should feed the fish. This is one of the questions that is asked the most often when a person is purchasing a Betta for the first time. Overfeeding the Betta is a common mistake many people make. The information provided by the pet store or on the label of the foods are not always accurate. They often state that you need to feed the Betta more food than it needs to be healthy.

Bettas can be very picky when it comes to their food. They like to eat food on the surface of the water and will often not touch it once it has fallen into the bottom of the tank. They need a well-balanced diet including a lot of protein. Bettas are carnivores. They cannot survive alone by eating plants. They need protein, and there is not enough protein in plants to keep the Betta happy and healthy.

Many people feel their Bettas the pellets. They are easy to use, and the Bettas will eat them. If the pellets are not eaten, they can be easily cleaned out of the tank. In addition to the pellets, the Bettas should be given freeze-dried or frozen foods.

To make sure the Betta is healthy and happy there are some feeding guidelines that you need to follow. These tips can help keep the Betta from getting sick and prolong its life.

Betta’s Nutritional Needs

Betta Fish Foods
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Bettas are similar to humans in the fact that they have certain nutritional needs that have to be met in order for the fish to be happy and healthy. They need vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates. They need to eat a well-balanced diet.

In the wild, the Betta would eat insects making it carnivirious. The best Betta fish food will keep this in mind and limit the amount of fillers and other materials that are indigestible in their food. Most people that own a Betta are not able to provide it with live food. In this case, it is advised to give them high-quality pellets, flakes, freeze dried foods, frozen, and when possible live food. Each goes into move detail below.

The digestive track of the Betta is short and is not able to process fillers including corn and wheat. These fillers can be found in many pellets and flakes. This can cause excessive bloating and digestive track issues such as constipation. There is no nutritional value in the fillers and if digestive they will be turned into waste. The Betta needs foods high in protein to stay healthy. Fiber and moisture are also important in their diet. They help keep the digestive track regular and keep it properly functioning.

In order to get the proper nutritional the Betta needs protein, fats, fiber, phosphorus, carbs, calcium, a number of vitamins including A, D3, B3, B2, B1, B6, B5, C, M, and H. Be sure the food is all natural and protein is the first ingredient listed. Do not feed the Betta goldfish good or foods that are designed for other fish.

Vitamins are needed to keep the fish healthy and fight off disease. They will also prevent anaemia. They are found in live and frozen Betta foods.

Minerals are needed to regular the body fluid. This is often found in formulated pellets.

Carbs- they will give the Betta energy and help fight off disease. They need to be fed in moderation, or they can cause constipation. They are found in a number of fish foods.
Protein- they will give the Betta energy and will help build up the bones and tissue. The nature of the Betta requires a great deal of protein.

Types of Betta Fish Food

Bettas should not be given foods that are designed for goldfish or other fish. The Betta needs protein as the main ingredient. The fiber also found in their foods will help with the digestive process. Each day the fish should be given around 1.8 grams of food.

What to Feed the Betta

Live Betta Fish Foods

When purchasing live Betta food, you need to buy it from a reputable dealer. If not you may get food that contains disease and parasites. The Betta can live solely on live foods but cannot survive on pellets alone. Bettas love to be challenged and given the chance to hunt their food. It can also increase their life expectancy. The Betta will get the proper nutrition and will be able to live a long and happy life.

Bloodworms are one of the Betta’s favorite live foods. They can be purchased in frozen cubes. Each cube will contain hundreds of worms that have been freeze-dried.

Do not put the entire frozen cube into the tank. Cut the cube into small pieces and put that in a cup with some water from the tank. When you see around two worms come out of it the food can be fed to the Betta. This will help prevent overfeeding.

Once the block is frozen, do not put it back into the freezer. Any worms that are not eaten can be thrown away. The worms will stay in the refrigerator for one or two days. If they begin to smell or the color changes, they need to be thrown out. This means that the worms have gone bad and should not be fed to the Betta.

Daphnia is also known as fruit flies. Before giving them to the Betta put them in the freezer for a couple of seconds so they will slow down and not move as fast.

Mosquito Larvae

Betta Fish Food
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This is part of the Betta’s natural feeding source in the wild. They may be hard to find during the winter months. The larvae are active in the spring and summer, and there are a number of them around. There is also a starter kit that can be purchased so you can begin to harvest the larvae on your own. You can also find a local dealer or even an online store that carry them.

Live or Frozen Brine Shrimp

These shrimp are found in the ocean and are loved by Bettas. The photo from the University of Utah had to be zoomed in since these shrimp will only reach 1 centimeter even as an adult. These shrimp are packed with nutrients that the Betta needs. They contain protein, amino acids, and vitamins. These brine shrimp are easy to raise. They can be found at the local fish store which makes them easy to add to the Betta’s diet.

Wingless Fruit Flies

These flies are known simply as fruit flies or vinegar flies. If you have left a piece of fruit out in the kitchen, these are the little bugs that will fly around it. Bettas love these flies. They can be dropped in the tank. Be careful as they can fly out or pick up disease. There are a number of wingless flies that can be given to the Bettas. They can be bred at home and are inexpensive to raise.

Mysis Shrimp

These shrimp are also called opossum shrimp. They are good for the Betta due to their exoskeleton. The skeleton is high in fiber which will help with digestions. If the Betta is picky when it comes to eating they may like these shrimp. They are filled with nutrients and are high in both moisture and amino acids.

Vinegar Ells

Frozen Foods for the Betta

Frozen dried Betta fish foods are a great option. This is a way to get some of the Betta’s natural foods in their diet. It will not replace the quality offered by live foods. Freeze dried foods have the moisture removed and fillers to help keep them stable. Freeze dried shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia can be given as treats. They may be low in nutrients, but they can replace a meal a week. They should not be given as the main food source.

Before giving the Betta frozen foods, they should be soaked in some water from the tank in order to rehydrate them. This will also increase their moisture content. If the Betta is fed only this type of food, they can become bloated and constipated.

Freeze dried foods are free from bacteria as well as parasites. They are easy to find, and most local pet stores carry them. These Betta foods can also be purchased online, and they are inexpensive. They can be stored easily and will often come in special containers.

You will be able to keep the food good until it is ready to be used. If you purchase live food, you need to section it out. One portion needs to be given to the Betta right away while the rest can be frozen.

  • Frozen bloodworm brine, shrimp brine
  • Frozen Mysis shrimp is high in moisture and amino acids
  • Frozen beef heart can be given as a special treat. The oils from the meat may pollute the water in the tank.
  • Frozen black mosquitoes larvae
  • Freeze-Dried Food

When possible do not feed the Betta a lot of freeze-dried foods. While they are easy to purchase and store they lack the vitamins and minerals that fresh foods contain. They lack moisture. When they are put in the water, the food will expand and cause the Betta to become constipated.

Betta Fish Dry Foods

Dry foods should not make up the majority of the Betta’s diet. They can cause problems in the digestive system and can lead to a number of serious health issues. The pellets that are fed to the Betta will take in water and increase in their size. Feed the Betta dried food in moderation.

Be sure the dry food contains at least 40 percent protein.


Before giving the pellets to the Betta soak them in water. They will be able to take in the water and can be eaten at a size that is digestible.
Pellets are the most common form of Betta fish food that is sold. The quality will vary from brand to brand. The best pellets will have few fillers and will be made with high-quality ingredients. Some pellets will expand more than others when they are placed in water.

If the pellets do expand in water, they can lead to bloating and other digestive issues. They may actually expand the Betta’s stomach. Soak the pellets in tank water before feeding them to the Betta.
.1 Floating pellets are the most common type of Betta pellets. For many, they are often the main source of the Betta’s food.
There are many different pellet sizes. Be sure to select pellets that are high quality. Read the ingredients before making a purchase. The pellets need to be high in protein.
.2 Sinking Pellets can be used for the Betta. While Betta often eats foods one the water’s surface and these pellets will mimic their hunt.

Betta Fish Flakes

There are certain types of flakes that are designed for the Betta. Do not give the Betta tropical fish flakes. They do not have the protein that the Bettas need. Betta flakes can be fed to the fish on a regular basis, but they do get messy. If the flakes are not eaten, they should be removed from the tank right away. There are some Bettas they will refuse to eat the flakes.
Tip: if you see that your Betta is floated or constipated peas can help. Boil a pea will give the fish the fiber it needs to make their system regular again. To help keep the Betta regular give them a pea once a week followed by a day where the fish will fast.

Some Betta owners do not like peas and will recommend using bloodworm when the fish is having digestive issues.

Food That is Not Meant For the Betta

Do not overfeed the Betta dry pellets, flakes, or food that is freeze dried. Some foods that are marked for Betta can lead to digestive problems. They may contain fibers that the fish cannot digest and may not have enough moisture to be healthy. These packages will often be located in the store near the section where the Bettas are for sale. Do not overfeed the Betta with any type of food. If the Betta is bloated reduce the amount of food the Betta is receiving.

Fish for Betta Fry

A fry will eat off of a yolk sack for up to 48 hours. After this, the Betta will begin to search for food. Infusoria is great for baby Bettas. This food is a minuscule create and if in liquid form. The fries can also be fed microworms, but they must be very tiny.

Rules for Feeding the Betta

When should the Bettas be fed?

Find a time that fits into your daily schedule.

Take a look at your schedule and find the time where you can give your Betta 5 to 10 minutes of your attention. You should be able to observe the Betta to make sure it is eating properly.

You will also want to remove any leftover food that was not eaten.

Watch the Betta for signs. If the Betta is sleeping when you get up in the morning, do not wake them for a feeding. Wait until you have been moving around a couple of minutes and allowed your Betta to adjust to your schedule.

One day of the week the Betta will need to fast. Many people pick Sundays. Fasting will allow the digestive track to clear out and reduce the chance of bloating or constipation.

What is the best food for the Betta?

The best types of Betta fish foods include worms, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae. Frozen and freeze dried pellets are also good if they have a high protein content.

How much should I feed the Betta?

It is hard to know exactly how much to feed the Betta. You do not want to overfeed the fish, and at the same time, you should not underfeed it.

Per feeding, the Betta should be given food that is no bigger in size than its eyeball. The size of the eyeball is around the size of the Betta’s stomach. If you are giving the Betta bloodworm, than three worms per feeding will do. This is the same for pellets. Three pellets that have been soaked should fill up the Betta. The fish should be given food twice a day. This should equal around 5-6 bloodworms or 5-6 pellets every day.

Food Portion Trial and Error

If the food that you are giving the Betta is not being eaten than you should reduce the amount you are feeding the Betta. Food that sinks to the bottom of the tank should be taken out right away. If left of the bottom of the tank the food will grow bacteria and contaminate the water in the tank.

If all of the food is eaten they you may want to feed the Betta little more. They can get an additional bloodworm or pellet.

The Betta should not be given more food than it can eat in a two minute time period. If the Betta eats too much, it can become overweight. This can lead to a number of health problems and problems with the digestive tract.

How often should the Betta be fed?

The Betta should be fed twice a day with time between the feedings. The Betta will have one day of the week where it will fast. This will reduce the chance of constipation. The Betta will not starve. The Betta needs to go two weeks without food before suffering from starvation.

The Betta should be fed in the morning and again in the evening. This will give them time to digest before the next meal time. The meals should be given around 12 hours apart. Feeding at the same time each day will get the Betta’s digestive system on track and reduce constipation.

Tip: create a feeding schedule for the Betta. This will allow you to track their eating habits.

Risks of Overfeeding the Betta

Overfeeding the Betta will make it sick. It can lead to swim bladder disorder as well as constipation.

What to Do if the Food Spill into the Tank?

This has happened to many Betta owners. Some food will spill out before it can be removed.

Before putting the food in the tank break it up into smaller pieces. Frozen food can be put in a small cup with water from the tank. This will help soften them up.

My Betta Is Not Eating

This can be due to several factors:

  • Stress- if the tank has been cleaned or if the Betta is rehomed it is going to refuse food for a couple of days. This is common
  • Improper water temperature- if the water is too cold the Betta’s metabolism will be slowed
  • Age- as the Betta ages they will become less active and will not need as much food
  • Illness- if the Betta is ill it will not want to eat. You may need to take actions to help the Betta get back to health
  • Picky eater- the Betta may not like the food you are giving it
  • Trouble with other fish- Bettas do not like to fight for their food. If there is another fish that is taking the food, they should be placed in separate tanks.

Tips for Feeding the Betta

  • Adults should get 3-4 pellets once a day or 1-2 twice a day. When they are spawning, they can get fed a little more. Young Bettas can be given boiled egg yolk or brine shrimp once they are five days old.Do not feed the Betta garden worms. The worms for the Betta should be purchased at a pet supply store.
  • Besides a treat, the Betta should fast for a day to help regulate the digestive tract. If you are not able to feed the better for more than two days, you need to have someone feed them and clean their tank water. You can also use an automatic feeder.
  • Make sure you have the Betta’s attention before putting food into the tank. You will be able to see if the Betta is eating right away. If the food was not eaten within 15 minutes, then remove it.
  • Check the nitrite and ammonia levels in the water to make sure they are balanced. If not bacteria can grow.
  • Do not feed the Betta using your hands. Tweezers should be used to put the food into the tank. Your hands may contaminate the food with bacteria.

Final Thoughts

A Betta may eat even if it is not hungry. Do not follow the guidelines on the package of Betta fish food. They will often state that you need to give the Betta more food than what is needed.

The stomach of the Betta is around the size of their eyeball. One or two pellets are enough.

Do not overfeed the Betta. If there is food in the tank, they will eat it. Overfeeding can lead to swim bladder disorder.

All Bettas eat differently, and they are often picky. It may take up to 30 days for the Betta to eat a new food.

There is no special food all Bettas will eat. It will take time as well as trial and error to find the food that works best.

Betta like variety so mix things up. You do not want to eat the same thing every meal, and neither does the Betta.

Keep the tank clean and take out any food that is not eaten. If there is still food in the tank after 15 minutes take it out. Uneaten food can rot and put harmful toxins into the water. This will make the Betta sick.