There are many things you should know in order to properly take care of Bettas. Their greedy appetite can sometimes be a problem especially for beginners who are new to Bettas. Betta fish are unique species that require special eating routine and diet in order to remain healthy.
Unlike other fish that follow plant-based diets, bettas need food rich with protein. This is why it is a bit tricky to find the best betta food that will give all the necessary nutrients to stay healthy. In this article, we will go through some of the best betta foods as well as a complete guide on what to look out for and how to feed your betta fish.
Types of Food
Before looking at the specifications of each food, you have to know all the types of food that are good for your betta fish. Knowing what to give your bettas will lower the chance of feeding them with the wrong type of food and potentially cause some health issues.
There are five different food types to choose from, such as:
This is a special food made specifically for betta fish. The pellets have the right amount of vitamins and proteins in order to keep your fish healthy and maintain vibrant colors. Depending on the food, one pellet to ten, twice a day will be enough to keep your betta fish in good shape.
It is important to know that some pellets can fall down to the bottom of the tank which can seriously affect the chemistry of the water. So, you have to make sure your bettas eat all the food that you give it to them.
This should be your last option for feeding your betta fish. Fish flakes are common in the fish industry and most types of fish will eat them. However, they do not have the right amount of protein that your Betta needs. This means that your betta fish will not be satisfied with the food that you provide and change its behavior and maybe attack smaller fish from the tank.
If we talk about betta’s food of choice, this is it. Bettas love freeze-dried food and it is one of the easiest options for feeding. You can find this type of food in local pet stores where they have dried bloodworms and other things that should be dispersed in small portions throughout the day.
Even though freeze-dried betta food provides all the necessary nutrition for your fish, it is recommended that you change the menu once in a while just so they can remain healthy and full of energy.
Live food is also a great option for your betta fish. It provides all the necessary proteins and vitamins perfect for keeping your fish on a healthy diet. However, live food for betta can be tricky to find in pet stores just because not everyone has it.
There is an option to make live food at home, such as bloodworms, but betta fish food homemade can be tricky to make and takes a lot of time.
If you do not have the time to make your own live food, frozen food can be an alternative. You can feed your Betta fish frozen brine shrimp or worms in small pieces. You can also buy live food and divide it into portions and freeze it.
Frozen betta food does not lose any of its nutrition values and it will still keep your betta fish in perfect health.
Best Betta Food Review
Now since we know all the types of food and their specifications let’s jump into the products and find out which is the best food for betta fish.
1. Ocean Nutrition Atison’s Betta Food - Best Betta Food
This particular product is a floating pellet food that is made by Ocean Nutrition. This means that you won’t face the problem of mixing the water chemistry once the food falls into the tank, as this one will remain on the surface, just like bettas like.
By using this type of food, you will provide all the necessary nutrition that will enhance the color of your betta fish as well as keep them healthy. It is made from natural ingredients that are made in small pellets which are perfect for Bettas just because sometimes they can a bit peaky. Bettas prefer small-sized food over large ones.
If you are wondering how much to give to your betta fish, the math with this food is simple. You can give your betta fish 7 pellets on the surface twice a day depending on the size of your betta. The container can last for 6 months after opening if properly closed with the lid, so you don’t have to worry about the best before date.
2. Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellets - Best Pellets Food For Betta
Floating food is very important for many things such as your fish betta fish prefer eating from the top and they can easily spot the food, will not dissolve in the water and affect the water chemistry, easier to clean leftovers, monitor how much your betta fish eats and etc.
Hakiri is the perfect floating pellets for your betta. Basically, it is made from dehydrated and concentrated fish ingredients that provide the right amount of proteins and vitamins to keep your betta fish healthy.
In order to build a good and stable immune system, Hakiri Betta Bio-Gold is also rich with vitamin C. They also thought about the color of betta fish which is why this food is infused with natural enhancers to help your betta fish maintain its vibrant colors. It seems like this is food is specifically made for betta fish.
This food will also reduce the signs of aging astaxanthin which helps enhance betta’s colors and spirulina. It is a high-quality premium food that is produced to mimic the wild Betta diet.
Just because the fish pellets are tiny, you should feel comfortable giving your fish 5 to 10 of them up to three times per day, of course, all depending on the size of your betta fish.
3. Tetra Blood Worms Freeze Dried Treat - Best Freeze Dried Food for Betta fish
It is important to know that betta’s freshwater fish that like to eat insects out there in their real habitat, which is why these freeze-dried blood worms are one of the best choices for betta fish food. The desired protein is available for the fish and it also has a great taste the betta fish prefer.
They contain over 53% crude protein which is great for supplying your fish with their daily protein needs. This freeze-dried bloodworm larvae will also encourage natural instincts in bettas just because it is the sort of food they have in their natural habitats.
However, this food should not be the main diet of your betta fish, this food is more like a supplement or a protein boost that your fish might be missing. If you face the problem of picky betta fish that avoids eating, it is a great idea to mix up their food diet with this bloodworm supplement.
4. Omega One Betta Buffet Flakes - Best Flakes Food for Betta
As we mentioned before, Bettas can be a bit picky with the type of food they like. So, if your betta prefers flakes to pellets, this is the obvious choice to go for.
In order to address the issue with the lack of protein in flakes, this food is full of natural ingredients such as salmon which is the main ingredient. Omega One also has other natural ingredients such as pigments from salmon skin that boost the vibrant colors of your betta fish, as well as shrimp, herring, and halibut.
No wonder why it’s called Omega One that is a lot of fish. Just because Bettas need high protein foods this is the perfect protein-packed meal. In order to avoid the disintegration of the flakes in the water, Omega One also has natural protein binders to help them stay packed, making it easier for the fish to spot the food.
This is also good for cleaning leftovers which can affect the chemistry of the water. Omega One is one of the best fish food for bettas if they do not prefer other types of food.
5. New Life Spectrum Marine Fish Formula 1mm Sinking Pet Food - Best Budget/Cheap Food for Betta
This food is made from a pack of all-natural whole ingredients such as Antarctic krill, squid, herring and mussels. This means that this food is packed with all the necessary proteins for the optimal betta fish diet. Basically, this is a saltwater fish food formula that is appealing to different kinds of species, including Bettas.
Other than the protein ingredients, this food also is enrichened with algae meal and fruit and vegetable extracts in order to provide the fish with the necessary vitamins and minerals for improving their immune system. The pellets are slightly larger than 1 mm each and they are positioned in the semi-floating category, which means that they will stay on the top for few seconds than slowly fall to the bottom of the tank.
The new Life spectrum is also good for betta’s digestive system and just because of that they prefer it which is good if your betta fish are extremely picky. The food is carefully designed all by picking specific ingredients that are good for the digestive system of the fish, and they leave behind as little waste as possible in order to maintain the balance of the water and the healthy environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Recognize Good Stable Food?
Sometimes it is hard to know what the right food for your betta fish is. If you want to understand what the best betta food you need, you need to understand what is necessary for your betta fish.
There are a lot of different types of food on the market and all of them have different specifications which means that some foods are not good enough for your betta fish. The trouble is how to separate which is food is good or not for your betta fish.
Do Bettas Need Special Food?
The short answer is no. Basically, they only need food that is rich with protein that any ordinary fish is eating. You can find them at local pet stores and they and they are like normal fish food only made with protein-rich ingredients.
We are going to discuss how to choose the best food for betta fish by understanding its ingredients.
As we mentioned earlier, bettas naturally feed on bugs that have fallen into the water and occasionally might eat some plant-based food when they are hungry, but greens don’t have a part in their regular diet.
As we can see from their natural diet, they need a lot of protein. So, how can you recognize a food rich with protein? – Well, the best option would be to go for foods that are made from ingredients like fish, shrimp, and krill. If the food is plant-based, it is best if you go for different products.
You can also get live or frozen food such as bloodworms that are also rich with protein, but for some reason, if you cannot get access to these kinds of food, generic food is still a better choice than plan meals.
It is very important that you keep track of the crude protein percentage. This is the amount of protein that the food contains. You should be looking for foods that contain at least 40% crude protein in order to create the perfect diet for your betta fish.
Low on fillers
You will be surprised that most of the foods contain plant-based ingredients such as rice, soy or seaweed even though bettas need a high percentage of proteins. The truth is that plants are cheaper than fish or shrimp, and manufacturers decide to use them as fillers to lower the cost of their product.
This makes harder to find high-quality protein foods without unnecessary plants. If you see the product ingredient list and the first five are plant-based, you should probably look for another alternative.
Some manufacturers even decide to put all kinds of things that are unknown and barely pronounceable mentioned on the bottom of the list. Usually, they put unnecessary things just to keep the food compact, or to increase portion size which is a reason for caution. These ingredients can affect your fish's health in the long run, so it is better if you avoid products that contain unknown things.
How Much Should You Feed a Betta Fish?
One of the main concerns for new betta fish owners is how much to feed their betta fish. The answer depends on the size of the betta fish, and the easiest way to determine how much to feed your betta is by examining the size of its eyeball.
This might be a weird metric to know your betta food serving size but it all makes sense. Usually, the stomach of the betta fish is roughly the same size as a betta’s eyeball. So depending on the size of your food, you can determine how much food is ideal for your fish not to be overfed or starving. Usually, 2 or 3 small pellets will get the job done, of course depending on the size.
If you find leftovers in the tank for a few days, it is probably time to cut back a little from the amount of food you give to the fish or soak dry pellets in water before placing them into the tank. This might be helpful for regulating fish’s appetite as you will prevent them from expanding in their stomachs.
How Often Should You Feed a Betta Fish?
Obviously, the next question should be how many times per day should you feed your betta fish. Usually, bettas should be fed once or twice a day again depending on the size. Babies or young fish need to be fed 2 meals a day, and once they are adult bettas you can feed them only once a day.
However, it is very important that you do not overfeed your betta. If you are going to be out of the house for some time, it is better if you skip the meal for your bettas rather them give them double the size before leaving.
What Happens if You Overfeed a Betta Fish?
Constipation is one of the main problems that can be caused by overfeeding your betta fish. This may be even a bigger problem if you use low-quality food that has a lot of fillers making it harder for the betta to digest it.
If you spot that your betta fish has distended belly, the fish has lost its appetite or has stopped producing waste, it is a constipation issue.
At this time you have to take things seriously just because constipation can quickly evolve in something more serious like swim bladder disorder. In other terms, the swim bladder fills with air and releases it just so it can swim up and down and position itself in the water.
Constipation can be caused by unnecessary food that takes up too much space in the small body of betta, not allowing the bladder to function properly.
Some fish might occur immediately and others are more prone to constipation. However, if you notice that your Betta fish cannot swim upright, it is probably a bladder disorder. The swim bladder can be regulated again to function properly by fast your betta until the blockage passes, which means that there is no permanent damage.
If you are having this issue constantly, you should try soaking the food in water for at least 10 minutes. This way you will remove any food expansion in the stomach of the fish.
What to Feed Betta Fish When Out of Food? Can Betta Eat human food?
You should definitely try to keep feeding your betta fish the regular food that is meant for them, but if you run out of food there is always an alternative. You should always remember that your betta cannot survive exclusively on human food.
When it comes to human food, most of our foods are processed and not suitable for Betta fish, in fact, the chemicals inside our food will make them really sick. However, there are some human foods that can be processed by betta fish. Keep in mind that betta fish’s diet needs to be meat-based high in protein, so any human food you give to the fish should be as a treat, not a meal.
Betta fish can eat things from our kitchen such as:
It is important that after boiling you need to remove the shell of the peas just because it is hard to digest. In fact, peas can sometimes help relieve digestion issues in Betta fish.
Cucumber and lettuce
These are also good foods for Betta fish just because they are rich with vitamins and easy to digest. Every human food you give to Betta fish must be cut in very small pieces and in small quantities.
Microwaved or boiled spinach will do the job too. It is a matter of taste and we all know that Betta’s are really picky.
Chicken, Beef, and Pork
You can also give your Betta fish a meat treat. However, most of the people are against this unnatural eating diet where the water-dwelling creature is eating a land-based animal, but it will not harm the fish.
You should make sure the meat is boiled with no added spices and should be given in very small quantities just so it will not have negative effects on the digestive system.
SeafoodBetta fish will definitely enjoy some fresh fish pieces and other types of seafood in little chunks. The upside is that it is protein-based food which is necessary for Betta fish and a good substitute for occasionally giving them a threat over the regular diet.
More: Best Tank For Betta Fish
How to Feed a Betta Fish While on Vacation?
Of course, at some point, you are going to have to leave your home and go for a vacation. This is one of the most commonly asked questions by new fish owners. There are few things to consider before going on a vacation.
The first thing is how long vacation are you planning to take? – If you want to go away for a few nights or a long weekend your fish will be fine, but any longer than that it is going to be a problem.
The most obvious thing to do is ask someone to pet sit while you are away. Make sure you clean your aquarium before you leave just so you don’t have to worry about the water. You can ask someone to come and feed them occasionally or give the aquarium to them if it is a small one.
It is important that you explain the whole procedure for feeding your betta fish, just because they are very sensitive and can easily get health issues if not fed properly.
Another and more practical option would be an automatic feeder. There are a lot of options available on the market with different programs to set specific feeding times. Keep in mind that since they are only machines there is no guarantee if they work accurately.
In order to check if the feeder functions as it is supposed to be, set it on just to be sure.
Another option is to buy food blocks. These are, as the name suggests, blocks of food that float on the water dissolving slowly to release small amounts of food at a time. They are designed to last about 2 weeks so there is plenty of time for your vacation.
How Long Can Betta Fish Go Without Food?
Just because of Betta fish’s nature, it is in their genes that they learn to cope with dry seasons and limited food in the wild, which is why they can last for up to 14 days without any food.
This is why it is better to underfeed your fish rather than overfeeding them which can cause health concerns.
Can I feed my Betta live food?
Noticeably, Betta fishes will give you a wide range of feeding options, and live food is one of them. However, they are notoriously picky with their food and you should always try to focus on their main diet and provide them with all necessary proteins and vitamins.
There are a lot of live food options that you could feed your Betta fish but the healthiest food choices are:
In their natural habitat, they eat mosquito larvae on a daily bases. They are floating on the water making it easy for them to get the food. However, it is difficult to find this type of food to feed your bettas.
Microworms are considered as one of the best betta food. They provide the right sources of nutrients and they are easy to harvest within 3-4 days. So you can have your betta fish food homemade.
Live Brine Shrimp
Brine shrimps are also good for betta fish. Sometimes it is hard to make your own fish food at home as you need to own shrimp hatchery to ensure the wholesomeness of the live food.
There are also other options like bloodworms, earthworms or daphnia which are heavily packed with protein and good for your betta fish.
Will betta fish eat food from the bottom of the tank?
Usually Betta fish eat their food within two minutes. So, you have to make sure you give them the right amount within that time limit. All the excess food that is dropped to the bottom of the tank will simply go to waste. Betta fish will not go to the bottom of the aquarium and eat it, which means it is left there to rot and compromise the chemistry of the water.
Make sure you clean the bottom food regularly in order to maintain the best environment for your fish.
There are many different kinds of food that you can give to your betta fish. However, keeping an optimal diet by providing the right food with proteins and vitamins and the right amount daily will make sure your fish live longer and healthier. There are many rules to follow, but you will quickly get the hang of it if you follow all the instructions mentioned above.