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What do Betta Fish Eat?

So your new Betta buddy won’t eat a thing, Now what?

You could try using betta pellets, but they’re too big, and your Betta keeps spitting them out?

What can I feed my betta fish, you scream out!!

No worries, we can help.

In the post below, I will go over all the different types of food that a Betta Fish typically enjoys and which ones are the best.

I’ll provide you with some tips to get your betta eating if they have stopped, along with a step-by-step betta feeding schedule you can start using today.

Our Most Popular Betta Fish Food

  1. Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms Freshwater & Marine Fish Treat
  2. Tetra BettaMin Tropical Medley Color Enhancing Fish Food
  3. Aqueon Betta Fish Food
  4. Omega One Betta Buffet Flakes Fish Food
  5. New Life Spectrum Betta Naturox Semi-Float Pellet Fish Food

What You’ll Learn

Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Fish Food - WYL

Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Fish Food – WYL

What Do Betta Fish Eat?

If you really want to know what a betta fish should eat, keep reading as we go into great detail about it this post with step-by-step instructions at the end.

To quickly summarize things;

A Betta’s diet should be protein-rich and meaty. Pellets, frozen or live bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp are best.

Here is a great video from Life With Pets detailing exactly what types of foods and how to feed your betta fish.

Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Fish Food Flakes?

Betta fish are tropical so tropical fish food flakes are alright to use. However, as mentioned above Betta fish are carnivorous and need a protein-rich meaty food specifically for Bettas.

Tropical fish flakes are plant-based and don’t contain the nutrients and proteins found in meat.

Tropical fish food flakes won’t hurt your betta fish but could cause bloating or swimbladder disease if that’s all you feed them.

“Wild Betta fish are hardy and can eat almost anything in their environments, including worms, larvae of mosquitoes or other insects, and even smaller fish. Their natural environment is often resource-limited, so many Betta species have little choice of food.” Wikipedia

What To Do If Your Betta Spits Out Food?

This is a common problem for many Betta owners.

Most of the time, the pieces are just too big. A lot of fish spit out their food & break off little pieces before they spit it back out.

Try breaking the pellets and/or food up before placing it in the tank. If you’re using frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, you may want to place them in a small cup with some tank water, this will soften the worms, sometimes it’s a texture thing.

My Betta Fish Won’t Eat Anything?

If you just recently brought your Betta home, it is very normal for a Betta to not eat during the first week, while he adjusts to his new home.

Another thing to consider is constipation. It is very common for Betta fish to get constipated from overeating. One day of fasting is recommended in most Betta feeding schedules.

Also, try feeding your Betta the inside of a pea, which also helps keep Betta fish regular.

If your Betta shows signs of bloating or constipation, thaw a frozen pea, De~shell it, and dice it up. Betta’s see it as a treat and usually accept it.

Sometimes other factors can contribute such as tank size, water quality, and hiding places. If all these are in place and your betta is still not eating, it could be ill.

Best Food For Betta Fish

Please note the information I’ve provided below has been gathered from many places, hopefully, I’m managed to get it all down.

There are many ways to feed your Betta. This is just a guide to help make things easier for beginners or if your Betta is really picky.

I hope you find the recommendations in this guide helpful. They are in general and from my personal experiences and research. There will always be exceptions and variations depending on you and your Betta.

General Betta Feeding Information;

NEVER follow the feeding guidelines shown on the packages of Betta food. Most of the time, they call for more food than your Betta requires.

As a note; the stomach size of a Betta fish is about the size of its eye. As you can imagine one or two betta pellets can fill your betta’s stomach in one feeding.

Do Not Overfeed! Betta fish will continue to eat if it’s available. Overfeeding can lead to bloating, which could cause swim bladder disorders. Even if they beg you and do a happy “Feed Me” dance, stay strong and do not give in.

All Betta fish eat differently. Most Betta fish are picky eaters. A new Betta can take up to 30 days or more to accept a new food.

There is no special food that all Betta fish will eat; it just takes time, trial and error to find out what your Betta will and will not eat.

Mix it up, Betta fish like variety and actually require the nutritional value of eating a variety of food to stay healthy. You wouldn’t eat the same thing every day, so don’t force them too.

Keep the tank clean and remove all uneaten food. Give your Betta approx. 10-15 min to eat everything. Uneaten food can slowly rot and create toxins in the water that are harmful to your Betta.

Best Betta Food – 5 Types

  1. Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms Freshwater & Marine Fish Treat
  2. Tetra BettaMin Tropical Medley Color Enhancing Fish Food
  3. Aqueon Betta Fish Food
  4. Omega One Betta Buffet Flakes Fish Food
  5. New Life Spectrum Betta Naturox Semi-Float Pellet Fish Food

#1) Floating Pellets are probably the most typical Betta food used and considered a staple, meaning this is what your main food source will be.

There are lots of pellet sizes and brands available, so selecting a high-quality Betta pellet is important. Always read the ingredients and choose a Betta pellet that is high in protein.

A good guideline is that it should use some kind of fish meal and have a crude protein of over 32%.

#2) Sinking Pellets can also be used as a staple for your Betta, in the wild Betta fish typically eat of the surface of the water, so sinking pellets don’t mimic this instinct.

However, as mentioned above your Betta may be unique.

#3) Betta Flakes are another staple, but very hard to control how much you are feeding. Flakes also sink fast and are very hard to remove if uneaten.

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This is considered a staple food.

#4) Blood Worms most betta fish LOVE bloodworms. You can buy them frozen in little cubes which have hundreds of little worms or freeze dried.

DO NOT drop a whole cube into the tank, instead of cut the cube into smaller pieces or break off a chunk, place it in a cup with some water from your tank. When you can get 1-2 worms out, use this at feeding time any more than this will be overfeeding.

Once you’ve melted some of the bloodworms, do not re-freeze them, you should throw out any unused worms. You can refrigerate them for a day or two, however, if they smell or change color, just toss them.

#5) Freeze Dried (shrimp, krill, bloodworms, daphnia) should be used for treats, they have low nutritional value and can be used to replace one or two meals a week but never as a staple food.

Bonus: Peas are great if you notice your fish is bloated or constipated. Basically, a boiled pea does what fiber does for me, and you, a pea once a week with a day of fasting, can help keep your betta fish regular.

Some Betta keepers don’t feel peas are a healthy option for your Betta and recommend using bloodworms with fasting as a way to cure bloating/constipation.

Step-By-Step Betta Feeding Guide

Step 1) Choose A Time That Fits Into Your Daily Routine

Evaluate your daily routine; look for a time where you can give your Betta your attention for approximately 5-10 minutes. This should give you enough time to ensure your Betta is healthy and eating.

You will want to ensure that your Betta is eating all the food and remove anything that is left over.

Watch your Betta for signals. If your Betta is still sleeping when you wake early morning, don’t wake them just for food. Wait until you have been up for a few minutes, take time to view how your Betta is adjusting to your routine, and work the feeding in when it’s best.

Choose one day a week to fast. Usually, I use Sunday, but any day will do. Fasting allows the Betta to clear its digestive system and help with bloating and constipation.

Step 2) How Many Times A Day To Feed Your Betta

The most common is twice per day, however once a day is also okay. Just be sure not to feed them more because you think they are hungry for the rest of the day.

Some people will feed up to three times a day. I would not recommend this. However, if you feel that your betta fish is unique and it’s what they need be sure to spread out the feedings (Very early, noon, very late)

Step 3) How Much To Feed Your Betta

Based on what you decide on steps 1 & 2, your Betta will determine how much it will eat at each feeding. Remember, the size of your Betta’s stomach is only about the size of its eye.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of what, when, and how much your Betta is eating at each feeding. This will help create a schedule that you can follow and organize as it can get confusing with all the different foods and treats your Betta will be eating.

If you feed only 1 time/day, Only feed about 4 pellets at each feeding, never more if you are using bloodworms 3-4 depending on the size.

If You feed 2 times/day, Only feed about 2-3 pellets at each feeding, never more. If you’re using bloodworms, 1-2 depending on the size.

For those that chose 3 times/day Never feed more than 2 pellets at each feeding or 1 bloodworm. Each meal should be small, as you are feeding more frequently.

Step 4) Choose What To Feed Your Betta

Using the list of foods above, decide what foods will be a staple, and what will be treats.

Always start with your staple food, before using treats. If you start with treats, some Betta will start rejecting the pellets and just wait for the treats. To prevent this from happening, use your staple for 2-3 weeks before introducing a treat.

Once your Betta has been eating the staple food, slowly bring in other types of staple foods. Only do this one food at a time as some betta fish are picky and can take up to 30 days to accept a new food.

If your Betta starts to accept the staple foods, start introducing treats the same way. Treats can be used as a replacement for one staple meal a week or as a combination with a staple (half treat, half staple)

Where to buy betta fish food?

You can buy food for your Betta pretty much anywhere.  Here are a few places I recommend;

  • Amazon
  • Local pet store
  • Big Al’s Online

How many days can betta fish go without food?

If you’re planning a vacation anytime soon, you may want to know exactly how long your Betta can go without food. To be honest, I’m sure it varies, and there are cases where Betta fish can survive for up to 14 days without food.

This is, of course, cruel, and I would never recommend doing this.

Instead, take a few steps to ensure your Betta fish will be taken care of. If you’re going away for longer than two days, invest in an automatic feeder or have friends/family look after your little guy. Your Betta shouldn’t be left alone for much longer than that.

How to make betta fish food?

There are plenty of recipes out there for homemade Betta food but here is a quick recipe from Cuteness

Powdered Spirulina Recipe

  1. Pour approximately 3 ounces of tank water into a small cup,
  2. Add one teaspoon of powdered spirulina to the water.
  3. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the powder has dissolved and evenly filled the water.
  4. Add 3/4 tablespoon of fry fish bites,
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground flakes
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of ground bloodworm.

How many food pellets for betta fish?

For a normal-sized Betta fish, you should feed him approx. 1-3 pellets per day, either all at once or separately. Keep a close eye on him during feedings and feed one pellet at a time to make sure your Betta completely consumes each pellet.

Never over-feed and remove any uneaten food after feeding.

What is Betta fish food made of?

It really depends on the fish food brand you are using as they all have their own mix. What you should really understand is that Betta’s diet should be protein-rich and meaty.

So when you select your Betta food, ensure the pellets, frozen or live bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp are high in the nutrients your Betta Fish needs.

What’s the best betta fish food?

The best types of food for Bettas are live foods like brine shrimp, worms, and mosquito larvae. Frozen/Freeze dried food and pellets are also great as long as they are high in protein.

As mentioned in this post tropical fish food flakes will not provide the nutrients they need.

Learn More About Your Betta Fish

What do Betta Fish Eat - Only Use These Best Types Of Betta Food