Are you adding a betta to your household’s fish tank? Avoid the biggest mistake new betta owners make: they don’t understand their diet needs.
Bettas are not only mesmerizing; but love to swim and play. An active fish requires a healthy diet. So let’s dive into the world of fish nutrition. We’ll look at what they eat in the wild, the types of food you should feed them, how much and how often, and some common mistakes people make which could lead to potential health problems. Once you know all of this, you are equipped with the know-how to care for your betta and keep them healthy for years.
What Betta Fish Eat
Feeding Siamese fighting fish is easy if you avoid a few big mistakes. Remember that betta fish are carnivores who eat insects, worms, and larvae in their natural habitat in Southeast Asia. You may see them nibble on plants and algae occasionally, but avoid the common mistake of believing they are vegan. Betta fish cannot live on plants. You should feed them nutritious food, such as freeze-dried food from the pet store.
There are many options for live and frozen foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimps, daphnia, and more. Any betta food from the aquarium store should be sufficient.
If you want to stimulate their hunting instincts and give them some excitement, you can try live food once in a while, which they will need to swim and catch, but be sure it’s something they can eat.
But the best food for most meals would be betta pellets specifically designed for the species you buy at the fish store, and they contain all the necessary nutrients they need. However, it would be best to buy quality pellets, not cheap flakes.
You can always mix it up once in a while, and you don’t have to stick to the same brand. Just imagine yourself eating the same meal in a bowl of water for years. It would get boring, wouldn’t it? Luckily, there are many different types of food betta fish love, and a varied diet will keep it balanced, avoid malnutrition, promote health, and keep its life more interesting. Let your betta thrive, not just survive.
How much should you feed a betta fish?
Avoid the biggest misconception about feeding bettas: you can’t simply feed it until it refuses to eat more.
Sometimes less is more. Be careful not to overfeed your betta or feed it too often, which can lead to obesity and health problems.
How much is the right amount? Most experts recommend feeding bettas once or twice a day, with a total of two to four pellets per day. Since the serving sizes differ between brands, check the label on the packaging and follow their instructions. Betta fish typically can spend up to 45 seconds eating a meal.
However, there are factors to consider when feeding it, specifically size, age, activity, and metabolism. Depending on the sub-species of betta, some are bigger and more active than others, which increases their metabolism and requires more food. On the other hand, smaller, older, and more passive fish do not require as much food. If you see leftovers or uneaten food, you are most likely giving it too much food, and it can only finish some of it, and the rest turns into unnecessary waste in your fish tank and makes your water dirty. Watch your betta and how much it eats, whether it is interested in food in the morning, evening, or not. Lower appetite than it usually has can also be a symptom of possible illness.
If you believe it is overfed, you can consider a fasting day where you don’t feed it to see if its appetite increases the next day. While some experts believe that bettas can go up to 14 days without food (don’t try it at home), many people think that a fasting day or two can have digestion and health benefits similar to a cleanse or detox.
Feeding a betta is straightforward once you learn how to do it and avoid common mistakes. Feed it the correct amount of food, at the right time, in the right form, and observe its feeding and behavior over time.
Best Bette Fish Food, where to buy it and how much it costs
Many different retailers sell betta fish food. Here are the 5 best betta foods you can buy online on a budget:
- Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms from Petco, 0.46 oz or 13g for $7.99 to $9.99.
- TetraBetta Floating Mini Pellets from Petco, 0.15 oz or 4.5gg for $2.99 to $5.99
- Aqueon Color Enhancing Betta Food Pellets from Petco, 0.95 oz or 27g for $2.99 to $4.99
- Top Fin Freeze-Dried Bloodworms Fish Food from Petsmart, 0.4 oz or 11.4g for $8.49
- GloFish Betta Flake Food from Petsmart, 0.71 oz or 20g for $3.99 to $4.99
The most value for your dollar is the Aqueon pellets, and you can order in bulk to save money.
Purchasing online can save you money and you may be lucky to find sales, discounts, or coupon codes. But remember, make sure to pay attention to quality too. Invest in high-quality food and your beloved fish pet will love you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should betta fish be fed?
Most experts say you can feed bettas 1-2 times per day with 2-4 pellets or flakes in total.
You may need to adjust the feeding portions if you have giant bettas or younglings.
Can betta fish eat plant-based foods, like lettuce or peas?
Please only feed your betta food that experts and veterinarians recommend, and avoid feeding them human food. Bettas might be able to eat other things without a problem, but why take the risk? Generally, plant-based foods are too low in protein for bettas and may cause issues with your betta’s digestion.
Can betta fish eat freeze-dried or dehydrated foods?
Yes. Especially those labeled, such as flakes made specifically for betta fish.
They enjoy eating these foods, which are convenient for the betta owner to store as they have a long shelf-life. You can also alternate with live and frozen foods for more variety.
Can betta fish eat flakes designed for other types of fish?
Experts don’t recommend that you feed betta fish flakes meant for other types of fish, as they may not be suitable for its nutritional needs or digestive system.
Stick with the best food for your betta which is the one they sell at the store and has “betta” written on the label.
Can bettas eat tropical fish flakes and fish food?
Most tropical fish flakes are designed explicitly for omnivores and carnivores with a minimum of 30% protein content. If you are unsure, ask the employees at the fish store or get consulted by a veterinarian.
You can also alternate with live or frozen fish food for variety and balance, as long as they suit a betta fish’s health.
Can bettas eat goldfish food and flakes?
This question has two answers. If you are asking, can they physically eat goldfish food and survive? Yes. Is it optimal? No. Goldfish food should not be the primary food source for bettas as goldfish have other nutritional needs.
Stick to products formulated for bettas, and avoid feeding them human food.