Why Does Betta Fish Spit Out Food? 8 Common Reasons!

Betta fish are popular in the pet community for their beautiful appearance and playful nature.

When it comes to food, betta fish are known to be greedy eaters.

Hence it’s surprising when pet owners notice that their betta has started spitting food out.

Let’s explore the reasons in detail.

Possible Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Spits Out Food

When your betta starts spitting food, it could be a cause of concern.

However, in most cases, the problem can easily be tackled at home.

If you start noticing any other symptoms like your betta being inactive or swimming sideways, you should immediately consult your vet.

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why bettas spit their food:

The Food Is Too Big for Betta

One of the most common reasons your betta fish starts spitting out food is because it’s too big.

The stomach of betta fish is the same size as their eyes. This makes it difficult for bettas to consume large-sized food at times.

Moreover, when the food size is too big, bettas try to break it into smaller pieces. 

Hence, they may have to spit food out while they are doing this.

So if this is the case, there is nothing to worry about. Just try and change the food and see if your betta still spits the food or not.

Your Betta May be Constipated

One of the early signs and symptoms of constipation is spitting food out.

When your betta fish is suffering from constipation, it means that their stomach is already full of undigested food. In such cases, your betta would spit out food.

Bettas are generally known as a greedy breed of fish.

Therefore when a betta spits out food, there is a high chance of it being under the weather.

Your Betta Fish Is Juvenile

New betta fish owners often complain about their bettas not swallowing food.

In such cases, there is a high chance your betta fish is still relatively young.

Young betta fish only feed on live food as it’s easier for them to digest. If you try to feed frozen or dried food to a young betta, they will most likely spit it out. 

Always try to buy betta fish or any other fish from a trusted and reputable source.

This way, you can get complete transparency and accurate information related to your betta.

It would also help you to identify problems easily when you know everything about your betta fish.

Your Betta Has Parasites

Your betta fish can get infected by parasites in their stomach. As a result, your betta may face severe digestion and other issues.

So, they may end up spitting the food out when you try to feed them.

Typically, parasites in the stomach are not considered a huge problem.

It can be solved by keeping your betta fish quarantined in a separate tank for a couple of weeks.

However, if you notice other symptoms like your betta facing difficulty in swimming, contact your vet immediately.

Your Betta Fish Is Overfed

All betta fish owners know that betta fish has the tendency to overeat.

No matter the amount of food you give to them, they will eat it all (or at least try to eat it all). Irrespective of whether their small stomachs can digest it or not.

Hence, if you notice that your betta has suddenly started spitting food out, it could be simply because they do not have the space to digest it anymore.

Bettas can easily overeat, so be cautious of how much and how often you feed them.

Your Betta Fish Does Not Recognize Food

Another common reason a new betta might spit out food is when they are unable to recognize it.

Some betta fish are simple-minded, and cannot tell that they are being fed.

In such cases, you can try switching up their food with live food. Most bettas are naturally fond of live food and find it hard to resist.

Keep in mind that if your betta spits out any food or refuses to swallow it, remove it from the tank after 10 to 15 minutes.

If your food is left unattended in the tank for too long, it can spoil and contaminate the water in the fish tank.

Your Betta Does Not Like its Food

Believe it or not, betta fish can be really picky about food sometimes.

So, if you notice your betta has to spit out food, it could simply be because they do not like its taste.

You can try experimenting with dried and live food to confirm whether your betta is a fussy eater.

Your Betta Fish Is Moody

Typically, betta fish are known as chirpy and playful types of fish. However, they may not always stay in the same mood.

Your betta fish can be moody at times and refuse to do interact with anything and anyone in such cases.

Whether you feed them their favorite food or show them their favorite toys, your betta would not budge.

How To Make Your Betta Eat Again

You can take try these remedies and treatment options to stop your betta from spitting out food:

Change Your Betta’s Food

Since betta fish are known to be naturally greedy, it could come as a surprise when they refuse to swallow food.

Fret not because this problem can be solved by changing their food.

You can either choose to change the brand of the food and see if your betta enjoys it.

On the other hand, you can change your betta’s feed entirely and see how it responds to it.

Typically, live food is considered an all-time favorite food of bettas. You can serve fresh and juicy live food in small portions to your betta.

When you serve them the food of their choice, chances are they will end up hogging it.

Give your Betta Food in Small Portions

Large portion size is one of the most common reasons why bettas spit food.

You can fix this by chopping your food into smaller portions. Your betta will then finish the food in no time.

Keep Track of Your Betta’s Eating Schedule

It is very easy for your betta fish to get carried away with food, and they end up overeating.

As a result, your bettas are unable to swallow any more food.

To avoid this from happening, you should always try to keep proper track of their eating schedule.

Instead of serving food in large quantities once or twice a day, try feeding them smaller portions more frequently.

It would help if you also observed how quickly your betta is eating their food.

If they gulp it down in a few seconds, stop feeding them after a while, or else they may end up overeating.

Make Your Betta Starve

When your betta is facing digestive issues, it is recommended that you make them starve for at least 24 hours.

Digestive issues are usually linked with constipation, which causes a bloated stomach.

In order to cure constipation, your betta needs to digest the food in their stomach before consuming any more.

This is why you should make your betta starve to let their bodies heal naturally.

Moreover, sometimes when your betta is throwing tantrums, you should not entertain it.

Sometimes you just have to treat them like how you treat kids.

If you make your bettas starve, they will eventually get back on track and feed on whatever food you serve them. Pet parenting done right.

Move Your Betta to Another Tank

If the methods mentioned above fail, this could mean your betta is sick.

This could also indicate that your betta has parasites in the stomach.

Either way, the only solution is to move your betta to a separate tank.

You can keep your betta fish quarantined for a couple of weeks to get rid of the problem entirely.

It is recommended that you feed them a healthy diet that contains a variety of food options.

Play with Your Betta

When a betta is feeling low, they may end up giving up on their favorite activities. We are talking about eating.

To cheer your betta fish up, you can play a few games with them.

Also read: 15 Best Toys for Your Betta Fish Tank

When your betta is in an active and playful mood, it is more likely to enjoy eating as well.

Try to feed them their favorite treats to show appreciation when they do that. This will also help develop a stronger bond between betta and their owners.

When to Take Your Betta to The Vet?

If you notice that your betta is still spitting food out, even after you tried all remedies – it’s high time that you take them to the vet.

You should typically wait 3-4 days after trying home remedies to see if your betta is recovering.

If the situation does not improve after this, you should consult your vet.

Final Thoughts

We hope this blog helped answer all your concerns regarding ‘Why does betta fish spit out food.’

Remember that your betta’s eating habits rely mostly on the type of food and how frequently you feed it.

If you keep track of their schedule and feed them a healthy and balanced diet, your betta will not face any issues.

Other articles you may also like: