If you know anything about Bettas, you know that they can be quite picky when it comes to food.
It can be hard to know what to feed them because they require a well-balanced diet that’s high in protein.
Let’s take a look at the feeding guidelines below to make sure you’re keeping your betta healthy and happy.
Feeding Your Betta Fish
Wondering how often you need to feed your betta fish?
You’ll be surprised to find that you’re not the only one concerned about what, how much, and how often you should feed your betta.
It’s one of the most frequently asked questions that first-time betta fish owners have on their minds. Because, believe it or not, overfeeding is extremely common.
What makes it worse is that you can’t always rely on the information you get from the pet stores where you purchased your fish.
If you’ve bought a normal betta from a pet store, you’re typically required to feed it around twice every day. However, it’s advisable to ask the owner if there’s any additional dietary requirement that you need to keep in mind. This will allow you to continue the feeding routine the fish has already adjusted to.
When you’re taking care of younger bettas, feeding them twice a day is perfectly fine as well.
Just make sure you’re feeding them once in the morning and once at night.
Feeding your betta more than twice a day isn’t recommended generally. It’s important to note that bettas only eat for around 2 minutes.
This shows that their digestive tracts are quite small. To give their body a break, you may consider skipping a meal.
It’s advised to give your bettas a break from food every now and then. This allows their bodies to get rid of the toxins before they can have the next meal.
To give them a break, all you need to do is feed them once a day, skip a whole day, and then go back to the normal routine.
Betta fish in the wild have been found to eat irregularly.
This proves that skipping a meal-time and again is not a bad thing. You should keep an eye on your fish and check how it’s handling the frequency of feeding.
How much and how often you feed a betta ultimately depends on how bloated it looks.
You also need to pay attention to the amount of waste inside the tank to determine if you need to adjust their diet.
You should change the routine once in a while for optimal health.
The majority of betta keepers feed their fish pellets as they’re quite simple and effective.
They’re not as messy as other food and can be portioned quite easily too.
Frozen or freeze-dried foods can be given as treats or incorporated into their daily routine as well.
Betta Fish Dietary Requirements
Since bettas have short digestive tracts, they can’t process fillers like wheat and corn and may not react well to these.
Many flake foods and pellets contain these fillers that may lead to digestive issues like constipation.
They don’t provide any nutritional benefits either and only contribute to more waste.
Bettas are classified as carnivores and survive on insects in the wild. This means that you need to feed them foods that are rich in protein.
It’s also important to incorporate fiber and moisture into their diet to help with digestion.
The best kinds of betta food you can get to take care of these dietary requirements.
They don’t contain unnecessary and indigestible fillers either.
As a betta keeper, you need to make sure their food is rich in fat, fiber, protein, phosphorous, calcium, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
Most betta keepers are advised to provide a wide variety of pellets, fish flakes, live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods.
Here, we’ll take a look at each of them in detail:
Fish flakes are the most common type of fish feed.
They’re a great go-to feed for bettas, especially the ones prepared by Omega One, a popular betta flake brand.
They’re packed full of essential Omega 3 and 6 nutrients that fish need to maintain their health.
In addition to that, they also contain beta-carotene that is found in salmon.
These are known to be a natural color enchantment that gives betta fish the vibrant color they’re famous over the world for.
These fish flakes are quite inexpensive and are a great option for all budgets.
For your first time feeding these to your betta, only give them a handful. Keep an eye on them to see whether they’re eating them all or not.
If your betta doesn’t enjoy fish flakes, there’s no need to worry. You can try giving them another form of feed.
Frozen Food (Bloodworms)
If you have enough space in your house to hold, store, and freeze bloodworms, then this is another amazing treat that you can feed your betta.
They’re a great source of energy and will help your betta grow, unlike any other food.
These will also help you maintain a healthy routine for your fish.
Even though these frozen bloodworms are relatively expensive than traditional fish food, they can be stored for quite a long.
Before feeding them to your betta, you simply need to defrost them in tiny batches whenever needed.
Frozen food can be harmful to bettas, which is why they need to be defrosted. Bloodworms are available in a number of sizes that can easily fit your budget.
They’re great for other types of fish as well that you may have in your tank.
Bloodworms are usually fed as a treat or reward, not as regular food.
You can feed this to your betta if you end up skipping a meal or want to replace any vitamins that were missing in their regular feed.
Betta Fish Pellets
Betta fish pellets’ are the most common betta fish food available in the market is pellets.
They come with varying high-quality ingredients that are meant to help your fish stay healthy.
The best kind of pellets is known to have fewer fillers. Some betta fish pellets can also expand once they’re exposed to water.
You need to be careful while feeding those to your fish as they can cause digestive issues and bloating.
Soak these pellets in the tank water before to make sure they don’t expand inside your betta’s stomach.
Just like frozen food, you can also buy and store freeze-dried foods for your betta.
Bloodworms and other treats are also available in this variety.
This form of feed is particularly great for all types of freshwater and saltwater fish.
They’re rich in protein which is an essential nutrient that healthy fish thrive on.
It’s advisable to give these as part of staple food and not on their own. The last thing you want is for your betta to get used to this treat.
Just as the name suggests, you can also freeze or defrost these dried foods in small batches whenever you need them.
Feeding Your Betta Fish When You’re Away from Home
If you’re going away from home for a while and need to take care of your betta, here are a couple of things you should consider:
- There’s no need to panic if you’ll be gone only for a short weekend. Most bettas can do perfectly fine without food for a few days and won’t starve to death. This is mostly true for fish that are inside a planted tank. Planted tanks have a natural organic matter that can be a source of natural food for your fish.
- If you don’t keep your betta fish inside a planted tank, there’s still no need to worry. Bettas can usually go for about 2 weeks without eating before they die of starvation. You shouldn’t be away for that long, but this just shows that you can be away for a weekend and come back to see your betta alive and well.
- Needless to say, if you’re going away for longer, it’s advisable to get a friend, family member, or neighbor to feed your fish every once in a while. You can also consider investing in an automatic feeder if your budget allows.
As we’ve established in this article, you need to think carefully about the type of feed your giving your betta.
This is important if you want your fish to live a long and healthy life in your aquarium.
Here are a few considerations you should keep in mind:
- Feed your betta live food whenever possible
- Feed them 3 pellet size amounts once or two times daily and use pellet size as a guide when you’re not using the pellets.
- It’s completely fine for your betta to skip a meal for a few days, as long as it doesn’t happen regularly.
It’s also important to note that not all bettas are the same. You need to monitor your betta closely at first to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Remember to buy good quality food and give them a break from meals every now and then. Don’t overfeed your fish or you’ll end up putting its health at risk.
Other fishkeeping articles you may find useful:
- Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?
- Can Betta Fish Eat Bread?
- Do Betta Fish Need Darkness to Sleep?
- How to Make a Self Sustaining Aquarium for Betta Fish?
- What Should the Aquarium Temperature be for Betta Fish?
- What Size Aquarium Is Best For Betta Fish?
- How to Make Aquarium Fish Food at Home?
- What Do Baby Betta Fish Eat? Betta Fry Diet!
- What to Feed Fish When you Run Out of Fish Food?