People are often confused about how often to feed a Betta Fish, and how much. Betta’s are a different kind of fish that eats a variety of food, the least favorite being the traditional “flakes” you’re probably used to feeding other fish.
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How Often to Feed your Betta Fish
An adult Betta, which is generally what you’d find at a Pet store, only needs to be fed once or twice a day. The fish food container you’ve purchased may say to feed them more frequently, but that’s just because they want you to buy more food!
A young Betta fry should be fed twice a day.
And with Betta Fish (as well as humans) its actually good to skip a meal once in awhile, it gives the digestive system a break and allows for getting rid of any built up toxins. This means its actually good for Betta Fish (and humans) to skip a day of eating once in awhile. Many people pick a day like Sunday to have their fish fast for the day.
How Much to Feed Your Betta
Feed your Betta only what it can eat in about 2 minutes. This is very important! Why? Most Betta’s are done eating after 2 minutes, and extra food they have not eaten will settle the bottom of the tank, start rotting, and pollute the tank. This creates a very unhealthy environment, meaning your Betta will get ill unless you clean the tank and get out all of the rotting food, plus change the water. So by feeding your Betta just enough you’re prolonging any tank cleaning or water changing you may need to do by keeping a healthier environment.
Also – if your Betta does go beyond eating for more than 2 minutes than chances are your Betta can actually get FAT if this trend continues. If you look close and notice a bulge where the belly is (around the front/ventral fins) then your fish is overweight!
If you are feeding pellets then maybe 2 or 3 in the morning, then 2-3 in the afternoon.
What to feed a Betta Fish
Betta fish are carnivores. Remember their nickname “Siamese Fighting Fish”? They will attack, bite, and eat other fish they see as a threat. What this means is they prefer to eat some sort of protein.
Here are the types of Betta Food that you should vary in their diet – ordered by easiest to find. Keep in mind the easier options are also their least favorite (think microwave dinner vs mom’s home cooking)
- Fish flakes – you can try and feed these to your Betta, they are cheap and inexpensive. They may or may not eat them, some Betta’s flat out don’t like them.
- Betta Fish pellets – specially designed for Bettas. This is easy to find at most pet stores that is a daily staple for most bettas. But some pellets are too large for smaller fish, or they sink too quickly and wind up as waste. Here’s some pellets mine have loved so far.
- Freeze-Dried Food – at most pet stores you’ll find these Betta treats, ranging from freeze dried bloodworms to brine shrimp. These are great treats for your Betta and they will appreciate them greatly!
- Frozen Food – if you can find live bloodworms or brine shrimp then buy them in bulk, freeze them in small batches, then unfreeze them for feedings. Some breeders feed these to their Bettas, but this isn’t too practical for owners of a few Betta’s. Plus this can be expensive!
- Live Food -like I said previously, if you can find live bloodworms or brine shrimp you can feed them right to your Betta. Again, its expensive and not easy if you only have a few Betta’s.
A note on feeding live food to your Betta: worms especially carry a bunch of bacteria and parasites, and are messy to deal with. So this is not for the amateur fish owner, know what you are doing or you’re adding additional risk of disease to your Betta.