The Ultimate Betta Fish Food and Feeding Guide

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Dear betta owners, do you want to know what are the best foods for your betta? or you’d love to know how often they should be feed? You are not alone! Interestingly, this is one of the most frequent questions asked when it comes to keeping bettas for the first time. One thing you need to be careful about is where you get this sort of information from. Speaking of information, here is the ultimate betta fish food and feeding guide. In this piece, we will be sharing with you all you need to know when it comes to feeding that amazing water creature.

Bettas are picky eaters (it’s their nature), they also tend to prefer eating food on the surface of the tank or even in the wild rather than taking it on the substrate of the tank. They need a well – balanced diet that’s rich in protein simply because they are carnivorous. Bettas can’t survive by feeding on the roots of plants – forget what you’ve been told.

Some betta keepers tend to feed pellets due to its simplicity and effectiveness. They tend to create less mess and can easily put aside their portion for feedings. Live, frozen foods, freeze-dried can all be used as treats or can just be implemented into bettas daily feeding routine.

If you’d love to keep your betta happy and healthy, then feel free to follow the ultimate betta fish food and feeding guide below as there are effective tips to make you feed your betta the right way.

Selecting betta fish food can be difficult, not knowing whether or not to go for living, freeze-dried, or frozen. Do you follow the myth of feeding them with plant roots, or do they need plant matter in their diet, or should I just simply feed them with just meat?

What Do Betta Fish Eat In The Wild?

Back in the wild, bettas are carnivores. They live in the heart of South East Asia where most of their diet consists of larvae and small insects. A lot of people tend to believe that they can feed off on just plants – well, that’s a myth. A betta’s digestive tracts are short, and short digestive tracts mean they are carnivores.

If you hope that your betta fish will mainly feed off plants in their tank then you need to know that it’s the worst thing you can feed your betta. However, being in the wild means they may occasionally feed off plant life, but there will be no nutrition in it. The meat they feed in is highly rich in fiber and protein. Also, the insect they eat has fibers in their stomachs.

Best Food For Betta Fish:

Bettas are classified as carnivorous. They eat insects back in the wild. What is the best food replicator? The perfect replicates have all they need without going overboard with the indigestible fillers. Most betta keepers don’t see this as a possibility for the right source of food. This is why it’s a perfect alternative to feed them different high-quality pellets, freeze-dried, flakes, live and frozen foods.

Betta Fish Pellets

Pellets are some of the common betta fish food out there on the market. The quality varies greatly across the brands. However, the best betta fish pellets have fewer fillers and are top-quality when it comes to the ingredients. Some betta fish pellets tend to expand significantly after they’ve been exposed to water. This tends to cause digestive issues and bloating if you are careful enough as they will expand in your betta’s stomach. Speaking of pellets that expand once wet, you need to soak them in tank water before feeding your betta. This will hydrate them, especially if your betta tends to attack food aggressively.

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Betta Fish Flakes.

There are unique flakes that are made for betta fish. You don’t need to feed your betta any other tropical fish flakes because they lack the protein requirements bettas require. These betta flakes can be a staple in regular feeding; however, they tend to be very messy. If you’ve got excess flakes, it should be removed immediately once you’re done feeding. They often refuse to eat flakes as well.

Sometimes, your betta will avoid the pellets because they are big or he is not craving for it. If that’s the case with your betta, then betta fish flakes will be the best alternative.

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Frozen & Live Betta Food.

Have you ever fed your betta with pellets? If you haven’t fed your betta with any other type of pellets then your betta is really missing out on quality food. Bettas are carnivores and tend to get aggressive while feeding when they have to patiently wait and stalk their prey. You can replicate this scenery in the tank by feeding them with natural feed sources.

It is difficult to source out this sort of food but they do make for a balanced diet. However, you need to be careful where you source your frozen and live foods from, as they may carry different disease especially parasites. This is why you should never feed your betta something caught outside.

With frozen foods, there are lots of options on the market. A great alternative to storing live food. Frozen betta feed can be kept in your freezer until it’s time to defrost and feed your betta. Just make sure you are taking as much as you need to place in the tank and store the rest back into the freezer to avoid thawing. Another thing you shouldn’t do is refreeze any thawed food; it may be exposed to bacteria.

Freeze Dried Betta Feed.

One of the great options for your betta is the freeze-dried betta food – with it, you get to introduce some of the betta’s natural food into their diet. But this doesn’t in any way replaces the quality of frozen or live foods. Freeze-dried foods don’t have moistures as they’ve been stripped off and replaced them with fillers. This is to keep them stable.

It is highly recommended that the freeze-dried feed be soaked in tank water before feeding to ensure that they are rehydrated. This will help increase the moisture content in the feed. You should only feed them with just freeze-dried food as this can lead to bloating and constipation issues.

One major benefits of dried food are that they are free of parasites and bacteria. They are also very easy to find in pet stores and can be purchased online; They are very affordable and can be stored in your typical fish food containers.

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1. Live/Frozen Brine Shrimp.

Brine shrimps are aquatic crustacean and are one of bettas favorites. They are very small growing up to just 1cm as adults. They’ve got the nutritional needs that betta fish need to live and thrive on. They are rich in amino acids, vitamins, and proteins. They are very easy to raise too. You can also find them in local fish stores.

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2. Live/Frozen Mosquito Larvae.

Live or frozen mosquito larvae are staples in their natural habitat. They are perfect betta food options. In as much as they are very difficult to source, unlike the brine shrimp. During the winter, it may be practically impossible to source for them during the winter period, but they are active and abundant during springs, summer, as well as in warmer climates. Make sure you get a starter culture and harvest them. You can also find a local store to get some.

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3. Live/Frozen Wingless Fruit Flies.

If it’s hard getting any of the options above then live/frozen wingless fruit flies will be a perfect alternative. Wingless fruit flies also known as vinegar flu are common fruit flies. They are attracted to poorly stored apples, bananas, as well as other fruits. Interestingly, bettas love these little bugs. They are insectivores. The only problem is you don’t know the disease they carry. However, there is the flightless and wingless variety that would be a perfect fit for your betta fish. They can also be bred and harvested in small containers.

4. Live/Frozen Mysis Shrimps.

Opossum shrimp or Mysis shrimp is another ideal option for betta fish simply because of their exoskeleton body. The shrimp’s exterior is rich in fiber which is known to aid the digestion of protein-rich foods. If you have one of the bettas that are picky eaters, then this might help. They’ve got the nutrients needed by bettas to survive. they are also high in amino acids and moisture which will keep your betta hydrated.

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5. Live/Frozen Bloodworms.

Glycera or bloodworms are the larvae of midge flies. They can be found in ponds and in pools of water Bettas commonly feed on them in the wild. This makes them ideal variations for even the most selective eaters. In as much as they are one of bettas favorites, they shouldn’t be made an exclusive source of food because they lack amino acids. The reason for their bright colored appearance is because they are rich in iron content.

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How To Spot Quality Food For Betta Fish?

The ultimate betta fish food and feeding guide won’t be complete without knowing how to spot quality food for your betta. When you are looking out for great food for bettas, you must look out for quality. There are factors to consider when it comes to quality food. these factors make things easier.

Avoid Fillers as much as you can.

You should avoid fillers if the quality is what you are looking for. So, how do you know you have fillers in betta fish food? One of the red flags to consider is if it is referred to as a fish meal. In as much as its fish meal sounds great, the fact is, it can be hard to tell the ingredients they have in it. Even if they’ve got meat in it, there is a high probability of having lots of fillers in them.

Also, another effective way to avoid fillers is to study the ingredients. If the ingredients aren’t meat-based, then there is the likelihood of having lots of fillers in them. Even though small amounts of filler in your fish feed won’t hurt your betta, having lots of it in the feed is unhealthy.

Protein is everything.

When looking for fish feed for your betta, you must go for protein-rich fish feed. The food you choose should be high in crude protein. It is one of the most important staples required by bettas. A betta’s diet is not complete without crude protein. The best way to check whether a particular food is high in crude protein or not is by studying the ingredient list. If the amount of protein it contains is not clearly stated, then it’s safe to say that it is not high in protein. Protein is top-priority as far as betta fish feed is concerned. If you can’t find the protein quantity but instead have the number of animals in the ingredients, or you notice that the majority of the ingredients are animal-based, then chances are it’s going to contain a whole lot of protein making it perfect for your betta.

Avoid low-quality pellets and flakes.

You need to avoid feeding your betta with low – quality pellets and flakes. Using these feeds won’t make your betta grow healthy. the cheapness of the food most times lies in the price of the feed. Most low-quality flakes and pellets are ridiculously cheap. Instead of going for a cheap feed, you should opt-in for quality ones as it will save you a whole lot of money in the future.

Avoid unstated ingredients.

If some of the ingredients in the feed are unidentifiable, chances are, it is very bad for your betta. The red flag should pop up when you notice very long words in the ingredient table and you have no idea what they mean. Quality feeds have basic ingredients and have ingredients that are not complex to identify. Also, when you notice chemicals on the ingredient table, you should avoid buying them.

How Much Should You Feed Your Betta Fish?

In our previous articles, we talked about the fact that bettas hardly stop eating, you should be the one dictating it. One other thing you will learn in the ultimate betta fish food and feeding is knowing how much food a betta fish needs. There is a very easy way to find out. Give them as much food as they can finish within 2 minutes. Within two minutes, your fish will be done feeding. Another fact about feeding a betta fish is that they tend to gain weight after feeding. Some may continue to feed after two minutes, as a result, causing their stomach to grow. If this happens, your fish will have to go on a diet.

How Often Should My Betta Fish Feed?

How frequently you feed them depends on the type of food you feed as well as the size of the fish itself. Generally speaking, adult bettas should never be fed more than twice daily. While younger fish requires two meals per day for proper growth, older bettas can live on one meal per day. You can find out more about this in our other article based on how often should you feed a betta fish.

My betta fish won’t eat anything.

Still on the Ultimate Betta Fish Food and Feeding Guide, If you just brought home the betta, it is very normal for it to not eat anything during the first week. It needs to adjust to the new environment. You don’t have to worry about your betta not eating.

Also, this could be as result constipation. One of the rules of the ultimate betta fish and feeding guide is to avoid overfeeding as this could lead to constipation. It is very common for betas to get constipated once they have been overfed. This is why it is recommended that you starve them for a day. You should also try feeding your betta the inner part of a pea as it helps to keep the betta healthy.

If your betta shows signs of constipation or bloating, you should thaw frozen pea, de-shell it and dice it up a little. Once done, feed your betta the diced peas.

Things to do and avoid while feeding?

One of the important things about The Ultimate Betta Fish Food and Feeding Guide is knowing the things to do and those you should avoid. The worst place to get information on how to feed your betta is on the packages of betta foods. Most times, they call for more food than necessary which is obvious as it will keep you coming back for more. The stomach size of a betta is just as big as his eyeballs, now, imagine what overfeeding would cause them. This means one or two pellets will fill your betta’s stomach in a single feeding.

  • You not overfeed. This can never be overemphasized. If its available, bettas won’t stop eating if it is available. The best way to avoid your fish from being infected with swim bladder disease is by feeding them properly.
  • Bettas don’t have special food; you just have to give your betta some time. after a few trials and error, you will find out the best feed for your betta.
  • You should learn to spice things up. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. Interestingly, bettas love varieties. They need a variety of food to stay healthy.
  • Your fry or baby bettas should be fed one meal daily.

How To Feed Your Betta Fish? (step-by-step feeding guide)

Step 1:

You need to properly study the routine; you should take out time to give your betta the attention it needs. It could be between 5 to 15 minutes. This will give you enough time to make sure your betta stays healthy. While you are with your betta, you should see to it that it eats all the food and then remove what left to avoid polluting the water. You should also watch your betta for signals. Don’t wake your bettas just for food. Wait for a few minutes and then check back to see if they awake. A day should be set aside weekly for fasting, this will help prevent overfeeding your betta.

 Step 2:

You need to know the number of times you will be feeding your betta daily. Just as we’ve stated earlier, twice per day will be just fine. You just need to make sure not to feed them more than the designated number of times.

Step 3:

The next step is knowing how much food to feed your betta. Remember the size of a betta’s stomach? Well, that should say a lot. A betta’s stomach is just about the size of its eye.

Ensure that you keep track of what, how, and when your betta is eating every day. This will ensure that you have a written pattern and schedule that you need to follow. As you are feeding frequently, the volume of feed should reduce reasonably. Let your discretion guide you here.

Check out our other article on how to feed a betta fish!

What to do when your betta spits out the food?

Is your betta spitting out its food? when you see your betta doing that then it means the food you are feeding him with is bigger than what he’s able to consume. There is a simple way to solve this. All you have to do is grind the food before feeding him. Making it smaller will let your betta swallow it easily.

If a betta is spitting out frozen food, then you should make sure the food is properly defrosted before giving him. You can do this by soaking the food in water before adding it to the fish tank. Remember, you have to be extremely patient with your betta if you want to understand him betta. Unlike humans, they can’t tell you what’s wrong with them.


With the Ultimate Betta Fish Food and Feeding Guide, you should be able to take good care of your betta food-wise and of course, hassle-free. If you have anything you’d like to ask concerning the ultimate betta fish food and feeding, feel free to contact us today. Now that you know everything about the best betta food and feeding process, you should share the word with other betta owners. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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