If you own a betta fish, you must be wondering what you can and cannot feed your little pet.
In this blog, we will aim to answer whether or not you can give human food to your betta fish.
We will also shed light on a few guidelines as to how you should feed your betta fish. Happy reading!
Can Betta Fish Eat Food Meant For Humans?
A very controversial topic amongst betta fish owners is whether their pets should be given human food. The answer is yes, but only occasionally.
You can serve your betta fish human food on occasions where you have run out of fish food or if you want to give your fish a little treat.
However, giving human food to a betta fish all the time is not good. Your betta fish will not be able to survive entirely on human food.
Human food is absolutely not a substitute for what a betta fish usually eats. Specific feeding instructions say that human food must be given to betta fish only rarely.
When we talk about human foods suitable for betta fish, we must not include any sort of processed foods like salami.
A betta fish cannot digest processed foods, and the preservatives can also make them sick.
Betta fish are carnivores, which means that majority of their diet consists of meat-based meals.
Whatever human food you give to a betta fish, make sure it is only a supplement and not a replacement for an entire meal.
Just like any other animal, betta fish also prefer a little variation in their diet. When giving human food, make sure that you follow the same guidelines as you do for commercially-bought food.
The food must not contain any fillers, preservatives, chemicals, or additives. It must also fulfill the dietary requirements of your betta fish.
Some Human Foods You Can Feed a Betta Fish
Following are some human foods that you can feed your betta fish occasionally:
Remove the outer skin of the peas and boil them until they are mushy or cut up into very tiny pieces. Your betta fish will enjoy it!
Peas are an excellent source of fiber and can prevent constipation and bloating. Make sure you remove the shell and the skin before you give peas to your betta fish.
Lightly microwave or boil spinach leaves and cut them up into tiny pieces to feed your betta fish.
However, not all betta fish will like spinach. Try giving it to your betta fish and see if it enjoys it.
Sweet corn is an excellent treat for betta fish. Boil sweet corn kernels and cut or mash them up. Remember to remove the outer skin at all costs.
Even though delicious, a sweet corn kernel does not contain any nutrients, so make sure your betta fish gets its nutrients as well.
The best way to give cucumbers to a betta fish is to boil it until it is soft and cut it up into tiny pieces.
Nibbling on cucumbers gives your betta fish a yummy treat and enables faster digestion.
Mangoes can be absolute delights for betta fish. However, they must be given very rarely. Cut up a very small piece of mango and lower it into your betta fish’s tank.
See your fish nibble it down excitedly. However, if the mango piece does not disappear within 30 minutes, remove it from the tank, or it will contaminate the tank, causing your betta fish to die.
Just like spinach, lettuce leaves are also beneficial for your betta fish.
They contain a high amount of vitamins.
Just make sure that you do not give very large quantities of lettuce to your betta fish. Always cut and boil lettuce leaves before giving them to your fish.
Since betta fish are carnivores that live in the sea, they rely on other small fish for their diet. Therefore, betta fish will deficiently enjoy some seafood!
You can give your betta fish fresh pieces of shrimp, scallops, and oysters. Raw chunks of tuna are also a great choice.
These protein-rich foods provide the most natural meal substitutes for betta fish.
Human Foods That You Must Never Give to a Betta Fish
Following are some foods that you must never give to your betta fish, no matter what happens:
Bread consists of carbohydrates and holds no nutritional value for a betta fish since betta fish are carnivores.
Avoid giving bread or other carbohydrates like rice and pasta to your betta fish.
Citrus fruits will lower the pH of the water in your fish’s tank as well as its body.
Betta fish cannot handle the acidity of citrus fruits. Avoid giving oranges, lemons, kiwis, etc.
As mentioned, betta fish are carnivores.
If you add plants in their tank and expect them to live off them, you’re wrong!
Betta fish will die due to a lack of protein and starvation if you rely on plants to feed them.
Fibrous vegetables and fruits
Avoid giving fruits and vegetables like beans, bananas, and carrots to your betta fish. Your fish might find these really hard to swallow and chew.
Fibrous fruits and vegetables can also cause digestive problems for your fish.
The Meat of Farm-Grown Animals
Giving your betta fish cow, chicken, or pork meat is harmful to its health. Your fish will not devour a piece of meat that its body is not made to eat.
Giving meat from farm-grown animals can cause severe digestive issues if your betta swallows it.
A Betta Fish’s Normal Diet
Betta fish need high amounts of protein in their diet in order to survive and live healthily.
Because they are carnivores, betta fish eat shrimp, fish, bloodworms, and other small creatures when they are in their wild habitat.
Since you are keeping your betta fish at home in an aquarium, you must ensure that you replicate their wildlife diet. You can purchase fresh or frozen food options from a local pet shop or aquarium store.
Some foods you can feed your betta fish regularly are:
- White worms
- Blood worms
- Glass worms
- Mosquito larva
- Fruit flies
- Shrimp (brine, fairy, opossum)
If you are giving your betta fish dried versions of the foods listed above, make sure you soak them in water before giving it to your fish.
This will prevent the notorious bloating and digestion problems.
If you wish to feed pellets or fish flakes to your betta fish, please do so but only occasionally. Commercially-produced pellets and flakes can cause digestive problems for your betta fish.
Find high-quality fish flakes and pellets that support digestion and do not cause constipation or bloating. If you are giving pellets, soak them in water to ensure complete digestion.
It is advisable not to buy large quantities of commercial fish food since most foods have a minimum expiration time.
Please do not use any processed food (packed or tinned) for more than 6 months after opening it.
Feeding Tips for Betta Fish
If you want a healthy and happy betta fish, you must follow these extremely important tips we will share with you in this section:
Never Overfeed Your Betta Fish
Give your betta fish 4 to 8 easily-digestible granules of food each day, twice a day. Avoid overfeeding as many betta fish cannot regulate the amount of food they eat and will eat too much.
The stomach of a betta fish is the size of one of its eyes. Yes, it’s that tiny! So it would be best if you were careful about how much you feed your betta.
Make a Feeding Schedule
Feed your betta fish twice a day, after every 12 hours. For example, feed your fish at 9 am and then at 9 pm.
Even if you change the time, no need to worry. As long as you keep a 12-hour window before you give your fish its next meal, you’re doing good.
Give 75% to 90% Meat-Based Foods
Betta fish must not consume a lot of plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables.
It is fine to give these occasionally. However, since bettas are carnivores, their diet must consist of 75% to 90% meat-based food options.
Do Not Give Too Much Human Food
As discussed previously, giving too much human food must be avoided since bettas cannot survive solely on human nutrition.
Digestion problems can also arise due to human food consumption. Give human food occasionally, as a treat, perhaps once or twice a week.
If your betta fish is a picky eater, give it a variety of different foods. While frozen and dried foods are the best options (free of bacteria), you should also give raw or fresh foods to spark your betta’s interest.
Your betta fish needs to be fed every day. You need to make sure it is getting enough protein. Proteins are an essential part of their diet.
If you are giving commercially-bought food, provide no more than 4 to 8 granules to a betta fish each day. Please make sure they are small enough for your fish to swallow.
Feed your betta fish according to its nutritional requirements. Like all animals and even humans, betta fish have specific needs that you must fulfill as the owner.
Bettas, like all other fish, have very tiny and sensitive digestive systems.
Keep their food options as close to the ones they get in their natural habitat, and you will have a healthy pet for a long time!
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