Feeding Betta Fish: A Look at Fish Nutrition and Health
Feeding Betta fish should be done carefully in order to make sure they live a full healthy life. In the wild, Betta fish feed on zooplankton, which include crustaceans, the larvae of mosquitoes and other insects such as flies, crickets, or grasshoppers. Variety in food tends to make for healthier Betta fish, so make sure to mix it up a bit with the options below. Even different types of commercial foods will help with variety. Take a look at my Betta Fish Supplies page to see the exact brands of food, pellets, and blood worms I recommend and use.
Feeding Betta Fish – Commercial Food
Most commercial Betta fish food pellets are a combination of mashed up shrimp meal, fish meal, brine shrip, wheat flour, bloodworms and vitamins. This is a safe and easy option. While Betta fish prefer live food, you can feed them freeze dried food such as bloodworms (frozen mosquito larvae) or brine shrimp. While feeding them live food is fun to watch, freeze dried food is free from parasites and is generally safer.
Feeding Betta Fish – Live Food
Another option is to feed your Betta live food, such as red mosquito larvae (bloodworms) or live brown worms. While Betta fish love live food, they can bring disease and bacteria and should be washed thoroughly. You should never feed your Betta fish worms caught in your garden, since the pesticides they may have been subject to can be highly toxic.
If you decide to get live food, then be careful with the amount when feeding Betta fish. While they will let frozen food sink to the bottom, a Betta fish won’t stop eating live food and can literally eat himself to death!
Feeding Betta Fish – Amount of food
When feeding Betta fish, make sure not to overfeed them. Adult Betta fish should be fed no more than once a day, while babies (or fry) should be fed twice a day. A good rule of thumb when feeding Betta fish is to give them no more food than they can consume within two minutes. If there is still food floating around after two minutes, chances are this food will sink and could eventually create bacteria that may harm your Betta.
It’s also a good idea to take forgo feeding Betta fish one day a week (consistantly on the same day). This gives the fish’s digestive system a chance to recover and clean itself out. It’s possible to leave for a weekend without feeding Betta fish, but more than two days and you should either have someone feed them or get an automatic feeder.
Feeding Betta Fish – Special circumstances
If your Betta fish are mating, then you can feed them a wide variety of foods (generally this is healthier for most fish) including blackworms, Grindal worms, fruit flies, brine shrip, mosquito larvae, and bloodworms. Adult pre-spawning Betta fish can be fed up to four times per day.
When feeding Betta fish babies (named Betta fry), you should start around five days after spawning. You can feed the fry several times a day. Boiled egg yolk, baby brine shrip, and infusoria that are made up of small particles are all perfect choices.
Do You Want to Ensure Your Betta Lives a Happy, Healthy Life?
If you answered YES to the above question, then I highly recommend you get Caring for Betta Fish: a Guide for Betta Lovers by Marcus Song.
This regularly updated, essential guide includes the right plants to keep water clean and free from ammonia, ways to acclimate your Betta to other fish, and much more. Your Betta Fish will thank you for the rest of his life! Click Here to get it now!