Betta Feeding Guide: How often & What to Feed a Betta Fish?

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Food is essential for any living being, and our betta fishes are not going to be less. To have a healthy Betta, we have to be clear about some things related to their diet, such as how often to feed a Betta fish, what to feed, how much should you feed, and what to feed a Betta fish when out of regular food!

In this article, we intend to provide all the necessary information to have a healthy betta. The Betta fish is one of the favorite inhabitants of the aquarium keepers because of its incredible color and its particular personality. Undoubtedly, it is difficult to resist the uniqueness of its character. But as beautiful as it may seem, betta fish care is also very critical. And the food is one big part of intense concern.


How Often Should You Feed A Betta Fish

You need to know how often you should feed a betta fish so that you can avoid both possible diseases and having a malnourished and off betta.

If we feed our betta fish very little, we probably have a dull specimen, without color in its fins, with a low mood, and also prone to disease. If we overfeed our betta fish, it is very sure hydrops will generate.

For these reasons and many more, it is essential to know how often you should feed your betta fish.

Feed The Betta Fish According To Its Age:

Age is crucial in fish, especially when we want to feed them properly. So you need to know how often do you feed a baby betta fish as well.

A baby betta fish that is still in its first days of life will need a good feed to be able to develop and grow properly. We only have to feed it once a day with the right amount of artemia. Since artemia is live, it will move and take a while to digest.

It is important to note that if they are fry, you should not stop feeding them once a day. The fry can lose energy quickly, and this can cause death.

If it is already a teenage betta fish about 2 to 3 months old, it is advised that you divide the food into 2 portions, so that you can feed twice a day but with smaller pieces.  You can aim for once in the morning and once at night. Feed them 2-3 Betta pellets in each feeding session. However, like human beings, it won’t cause any harm if they miss a feeding session every now and then. But if you give a lot of food on both occasions, your betta fish will suffer from dropsy.

You should never feed him more than the bill. If you do, you will be supercharging the betta, which will lead to a significant decline in the health of your fish. It can end in the worst possible way.

If you feed your dear betta fish twice a day, the fish will utilize the food thoroughly. Also, it will stay happy and healthy. But, I’ll suggest not feed your Betta more than twice a day. I hope this clears it all about how often you should feed a betta fish.


What to Feed Your Betta Fish?

Betta fish are carnivorous, and therefore their diet should be rich in protein. Betta eats pellet food, fish food, frozen leeches, and live foods such as daphnia and Artemis.

Live foods are small, highly nutritious crustaceans. Sometimes, the betta fish feeds on prawns, leeches, and small insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and flies.

Variety in items

The variation in the diet of your bettas is crucial to lead a healthy life and have vibrant colors. Actually, there is not a single food that will make your fish suddenly intensify its color, but you must combine nutrients and achieve a proper diet, as varied and productive as possible.

It is important not always to give the same food again and again. Imagine being a lifetime eating mashed potatoes; we would end fed up with the blissful mash, right?

Therefore, we recommend changing food (among which we will name later), surely if you do your Betta will be happier. And happiness is good for the health of your Betta!

Also, be sure to give them live food like daphnia sometimes a week. If it is not within your reach, you can give them natural frozen fish food, sold at pet stores.

Finally, it does not hurt that we occasionally offer some nutritional supplements to our fish. These supplements contain astaxanthin, fatty acids, or vitamins. Remember, if you make your Betta’s diet varied, you will surely be receiving all the nutrients it needs to enjoy excellent health.

Types of food for Betta

Here I will separate the food from the Betta into two groups: Base Food and Booster Food!

Base Food

This group would enter the usual must-eat foods

Pellets: I do not think it is the technical name of that type of food, but surely you all know what I mean. For me, without a doubt, this is the best food for Betta, and we should give it more time.

We can call it the “base” food. The advantage of the pellets is that they float, and therefore they will not end up on the aquarium floor.

You can use two different types. The truth is that they work very well. It is a food that is made, especially for bettas, and the truth is that it gives you more confidence.

How often should I feed my betta fish flake is dependent on the size of my betta fish.

Scales: They are also good food for our betta. But they have a disadvantage that they make the aquarium dirty too much and tend to go to the aquarium floor. We recommend giving them scales only occasionally. The ideal time is the day before the weekly water change of the betta aquarium.

You can give two different types of pellets (taking turns) and more occasionally scales. These scales also have small prawns that they love.

Booster food

This group would enter the food that I call “booster.” It is food that is recommended to give bettas but does not have to be as usual as the case of pellets and scales.

The following meals would enter this group:

Live Food: We can get the types of food in the stores specialized in the aquarium hobby. Several types of live food for our beta are available, such as arteries, mosquito larvae, worms, or daphnia, among many others.

It is important to note that we cannot give bugs that we find at home or on the street. These insects can have bacteria or any substance that is harmful to our Betta. This food will usually be the one they enjoy the most. It will also provide them with many proteins.

Artificial Food: Usually, betta fish show a weakness for food of animal origin. The truth is that they are omnivorous and can adapt to a host of artificial formulas.

However, this is not the best option to feed them, not at least to feed them indefinitely. This could cause nutritional deficiencies or health problems.

If you want to care for your betta fish properly, it is essential that you provide them with the frozen foods (Krill, Prawn, Squid, Clams, Daphnia) and obviously, with the right amount according to the size of the fish.

Homemade foods: Have you ever thought about what to feed betta fish when out of food? The solution is homemade food. Homemade meals vary greatly depending on the area in which you are.

Some foods can be in the form of pasta. Others can be given in small portions to our betta fish. Some menus use the egg yam to feed the young. You can also create food to feed our fry.

Others: Right now, we only know one specific food that would enter here; if in the future we discover more, we will add them. The only ones I know are the peas. You have to boil them, remove their skin, and chop them. With 1/3 of a pea would suffice.

Bettas not only love it, but it also helps them to prevent and cure constipation. Vegetables are also an excellent option to enrich the diet of Betta fish. One of their favorites is the tender sprouts of salads.


Food for the Betta fry

Having a fry of 1 month old is complicated. Taking a litter of betta fish forward is difficult, especially if you do not have the necessary information and the right tools.

If your fry is already 1 month, this means that they are already of considerable size to try the variety of food. You must take into consideration that depending on the case; they can be larger or smaller. So you must try.

Feed 1-month-old fry with artemia and oatmeal micro worm. This helps them to grow much faster and have more energy.

On some occasions, depending on the size of the fry, you can start giving them some chicken liver. But you have to make sure that your fry is already of the right size. Usually, the liver is already provided when they have about two months of life.

Another important point when you have a 1-month-old fry is that you can start making water changes more frequently. By this, you can help make betta fish fry grow much faster.

Foods that improve the color of your Betta

Betta fish are famous for their vibrant and spectacular colors. But sometimes, for different reasons, they may pale or lose color. Do you want to give your Betta fish something to eat that improves its colors? Indeed, this is possible, since the feeding of the Betta influences its color.

Next, we are going to show you some types of food that can improve the color of betta fish.

The base food must indeed be of good quality. But also, we can supplement our fish several times a week with natural food rich in pigments that improve its color. It is best to add live feeds and some natural supplements such as those listed below.

You can give them nutritional supplements and shrimp shells. These prepared products are not living food, but they are natural and are made from crustaceans such as krill and prawns.

They are rich in astaxanthin, a substance similar to carotene, of red color. Astaxanthin contributes to promoting the colors of the fish, especially intensifying red and pink. This is the substance that gives pink color to salmon, and some birds that feed on crustaceans, such as flamingos.

In addition to improving color, astaxanthin has other benefits for our fish, such as its high antioxidant power. An antioxidant helps to protect them against natural cell aging.

Live food for betta fish

Daphnia or flea of living water is a portion of good live food. Daphnia or water fleas are micro freshwater crustaceans that betta fish eat as live food.

To improve the color of the fish, daphnia should be swallowed alive, leaving them in their tank. The leftover Daphnis are not harmful since they live in the tub and contribute to filtering the water.

Artemias, tiny pink crustaceans, are an excellent source of protein for fish. It also improves the color.

A red mosquito larva is an excellent food supplement for aquariums. Red mosquito larvae are ideal for their nutritional value and their contribution to color.

You can read our other article on buying the best food for betta fish.

how often to feed a betta fish


How Much You Should Feed Your Betta

Bettas and in general, most aquarium fish need very little food to stay healthy. Even though they are obsessed with becoming overweight, we must prevent it.

Going through the dose can have dire consequences for our aquarium and our Betta. I’m not exaggerating; overfeeding harms us for two reasons:

  • The Betta is supercharged. The fish have a problem that they cannot control their appetite at all. If you throw them triple the food they need, they will probably eat it all. This leads to digestive problems or bowels that can take a toll on your Betta.
  • The leftover food intoxicates the aquarium water. When you give extra food, it is quite likely that there are leftovers in the aquarium. These leftovers will eventually decompose and generate ammonia. Ammonia is a substance highly toxic to our Betta. It will harm VERY seriously. The number of toxicants will depend on how often you clean a betta fish tank.

I will explain the recommended doses for each type of food:

  • Buy 99% pure Aloe Vera here. It will improve the health of your Betta.
  • Pellets: 5 to 7 pellets.
  • Scales: A small pinch. The amount will also depend on the size of the scales.
  • Live Food: Like the scales, this is relative. Try more or less to equalize the dose of the pellets. It will not hurt to take a small binge eventually.
  • Peas: One-third of a pea.

In short, following these steps, you will have an ideally fed betta and, therefore, be happier.

Pro Tips!

As we have already noticed, the betta fish’s diet must consist of a minimum protein percentage of 40%. However, foods such as goldfish flakes, tropical fish, and similar species are not suitable for this type of fish.

Likewise, if you observe swelling, try to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.


What To Feed Betta Fish When Out Of Food

First, let me tell you something about the life of betta fish. Like most other fish, the betta doesn’t need to die instantly without food. Fishes have higher resistance tan tolerance against starving. They don’t die fast without food. Just like that, betta fish can also survive up to a specific time. For an average betta fish, the life expectancy will be more or less two weeks. Read more on how long can a betta fish go without food.

So, if it ever happens that you do not have any food for your betta at that moment, you have time to get some. Simply put, you have two weeks to arrange food for your betta.

Now, this is most unlikely to happen that you don’t have food and you can’t get it either. What will you do then?

Use some imagination and find clear water around the garden or playfield or wetland. These clear still water often have mosquito larvae. This can be your betta’s alternative food until the regular food comes.

Like we said before, betta can eat peas too. Some people feed their betta little peas. But before feeding anything, make sure your betta is comfortable with it! Read our other article on what can betta fish eat of human food.


How to Feed A Betta Fish?

Bettas can be alive for a long time if you can provide a proper diet. The following points can be handy to feed a betta fish.

Step 1: Identify The Right Amount

Food of appropriate size

The size of the stomach of the betta is approximately equal to the size of its eyeball. So bettas should not be given any meal larger than that in size at a time. It corresponds to about three food pellets per feeding. Dried food such as pellets should be soaked before feeding. The amount should be the same for gel food. This amount of food can be fed to betta once or twice a day.

Regular feeding

A young betta fry should be fed twice a day while adult betta may be fed once or twice per day. If you have fed twice a day, make sure you have evenly distributed the time. Ideally, a betta fish needs to feed 12 hours apart. Fasting once in a while will help to improve their digestive system and remove the toxins in their bodies.

No need to worry if bettas do not eat as it may indicate they are not hungry or they have been exposed to some stress recently (e.g., tank cleaning, new home, change in water temperature). In fact, they can live up to 14 days without eating.

Reduction of food when necessary

Reduce the feeding amount if the fish is not eating all of its food. Usually, bettas eat their food within 2 minutes. So they should be fed that amount of food which they can finish in 2 minutes.

Removal of uneaten food

Uneaten or leftover food can gradually pollute the environment of the tank. Also, there is a potential risk of eating rotten food from the fish. So, uneaten food should be removed from the container using a small net.

Attention Please

When betta fish grow older, they will be less active and eat less frequently, which is entirely reasonable. Betta fish will also eat less when it is sick. Signs of illness and disease should be monitored, and treatment should be initiated as soon as possible.

When the betta recovers, its appetite will come back to normal. Bettas can be picky in case of their food. If the betta spits out the menu, a change of diet or brand may be required.

Step 2: Don’t Bore Him With The Same Food

Food variation

Giving the same diet may weaken their immune system and dramatically decrease their appetite. Variety in food is necessary at least once a week.

Selecting the right food is an important issue. You can serve different meals to bettas that have been pointed out below.


Bettas are carnivorous. They feed on different types of small aquatic larvae in the open water. Specially made betta pellets or gels are the best diets for them in the aquarium. Brine shrimp or glass worm (tubifex worm) is also considered a proper diet. You will get these worms in the pet stores and amazon.


They also love live or frozen insects. Daphnia (water flea) and fruit flies are the most suitable for the purpose.

Frozen meat

Bettas usually prefer frozen meat. Moisture from frozen foods is partially removed before packaging to keep them stable for a long time. So it is highly recommended to soak the frozen food in water to rehydrate it before feeding to the betta fish.

Feeding only frozen food can lead to bloating and constipation issues. One significant advantage of frozen foods is that they are free of microorganisms like bacteria and parasites. They can be easily found online and at local pet stores. They are also inexpensive.

However, they should be given as a treat rarely as they can make the tank dirty with oils and proteins. Other foods that betta appreciate are frozen mosquito larvae, frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, frozen wingless fruit flies, etc.

Fish flakes

Special flakes made specifically for betta fish are available. Betta fishes should not be fed other tropical fish flakes as they may not contain sufficient proteins required for bettas. Betta flakes can be fed regularly, but betta fish may refuse to eat flakes.

Step 3: Avoid Inappropriate Feeding

The bettas properly should also ensure the prevention of improper feeding. The following points can be followed to avoid improper feeding. Besides, overfeeding should be avoided.

As mentioned before, instead of feeding dry food everyday variations should be brought into the diet of the betta fish. Some betta fish pellets expand significantly when they come in contact with water.

If a betta fish eats them, betta’s stomach may expand, and subsequent digestive issues such as constipation may occur. So, dried pellets should be soaked in water before feeding them to the bettas. This will enlarge the pellets to their full size before the bettas eat them.

what to feed a betta fish


What Do Bettas 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.


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.


My Betta Fish won’t Eat Anything

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 the result of 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 pear.


Wrapping Up

If you want to learn to take care of your precious betta fish, feeding them right is essential. The food of your betta fish is undoubtedly one of the pillars of their health.

This content is decorated with everything that you need. Not only feeding a betta, as a proud betta owner you should also know about what to feed Betta fish, how much should you feed your betta, how often should you feed a betta fish, what you can feed your Betta to improve their colors, and make them brighter and what to feed betta fish when out of food.

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