‘How to feed a betta fish’ is considered as the most sought question to the betta owners, especially the newbie. Feeding betta is not that easy as it seems. You need not be an expert though but must know the basics.
As they are carnivorous, bettas prefer most of the meaty food. Novice owner sometimes feeds them vegetable-based dry pellets that the fish doesn’t admire.
To serve up a proper meal, you must know the appropriate way of feeding. We have decorated the content with 3 basic steps that will make you an expert.
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 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.
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 by the fish. So, uneaten food should be removed from the container using a small net.
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, it’s appetite will come back to normal. Bettas can be picky in case of their food. If the betta spits out the menu, change of diet or brand may be required.
Step 2: Don’t Bore Him With The Same Food
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 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 as 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.
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 it 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.
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 in 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 its full size before the bettas eat them.
Congratulations, now you know how to feed a betta fish and can feed your lovely bettas without any hassles. So, next time, when you have fed them, they won’t irritate; instead, they will parade more lively.