Best Betta Food: Ultimate Guide to Feeding Your Betta

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Bettas are one of the most low-maintenance fish to own.

However, it’s important to feed your fish the best Betta food to help them thrive. 

Throughout this guide, you will learn:

  • The best Betta food options
  • What Bettas need in their diet
  • What to look for when choosing the best Betta food
  • How to properly feed your Betta 
  • And different feeding tips

Let’s dive in! 

Best Betta Food: Ultimate Guide to Feeding Your Betta

Feeding your Betta the best Betta food is important to ensure they receive all the nutrition they need. The 5 main types of food you can feed your Betta include: pellets, flakes, freeze-dried, live, and frozen. 

It’s best to feed your Betta various foods to ensure they receive proper nutrition and a balanced diet.  

Here are our picks for the best Betta food. 

Best Betta Food Pellets 

Pellets are one of the most common foods people often feed their Bettas. 

This is because they are typically more nutritious than flakes and it is easy to see how much you are feeding them. 

They also are more appealing to your Betta.

For instance, pellets have a similar shape to the insects and larvae that Bettas naturally eat in the wild. 

High-quality pellets will mostly contain dried meats such as krill, shrimp, and other fish. 

Make sure that the pellets you feed your Betta have at least 30% crude protein content and little to no fillers. It’s also important that any pellets should be Betta-specific to ensure they receive the necessary nutrition they need. 

There are two types of pellets to consider for your Betta: floating pellets and sinking pellets. 

Floating Pellets

These are the most common types of pellets for Bettas. 

Floating pellets float on top of the water to mimic insects and larvae that float on the water in the wild. 

Sinking Pellets

Sinking pellets are another option to feed your Betta. 

Keep in mind that some Bettas strongly prefer sinking pellets while others only eat floating pellets. In the wild, Bettas tend to prefer food that floats at the surface. 

But try out each option to see what your Betta prefers. 

Either way, remember that your Betta food should contain at least 30% crude protein. 

Best Betta Food Flakes 

Betta flake food is another common way people feed their Bettas because flakes are easy to use and are cost-efficient. 

However, there are a few downsides to using flakes to feed your Betta

For instance, flakes are typically not as nutritious as other fish foods, so it is important to use flakes that are specifically made for Bettas. 

Also, flakes tend to sink to the bottom of the tank if not eaten right away. This can quickly make the tank dirty, which means you will need to clean the tank more often to avoid waste build-up. 

Lastly, flakes make it difficult to measure how much food you feed your Betta, which can lead to over-feeding. 

But, if you clean your tank often and learn the proper amounts to feed your fish, flakes could be a good option. 

Best Freeze-Dried Betta Food

Freeze-dried Betta food is a great way to add more nutrition into your Betta’s diet. These include freeze-dried protein sources such as bloodworms, shrimp, krill, and daphnia. 

Bloodworms are a treat, but shouldn’t be the only food for your Betta as they’re less nutritious than other options. It’s easy to over-feed with these, so make sure you know how many bloodworms to feed to your Betta, and how often.

Although freeze-dried fish foods are typically more nutritious than regular pellets or flakes, they should not be used as the primary source of food for your Betta. 

It’s best to primarily feed your Betta pellets or flakes and then substitute a few meals per week with freeze-dried food to ensure your fish receives a balanced diet. 

Best Live Betta Food

In the wild, Bettas eat a lot of insects and other live foods. So, feeding your Betta live insects and larvae at home provides them with a well-rounded diet and is some of the best Betta food to feed in captivity. 

This also benefits your Betta’s overall quality of life because live foods mimic their natural environment. They will be able to hunt and eat the same foods that they do in the wild.

But while feeding your Betta live foods has many upsides, there are a few things to consider. 

  • These foods are typically much harder to find than regular pellets or flakes.
  • Live foods can be more expensive than the other options on this list. 
  • It can be risky to feed live foods due to possible parasite infections unless you culture your own live insects and fish at home.
  • Live foods have a much higher fat content than other foods and should be given sparingly to your Betta.

Live foods are a great way to feed your Betta more nutrition, however, these should not make up the majority of your Betta’s diet. Live foods should be considered a treat for your Betta a few times per week. 

Best Frozen Betta Food

Frozen food is some of the best Betta food you could give to your fish. 

This is a great alternative to feeding your Betta live food as it is practically the same thing, only frozen. 

Frozen foods are typically less expensive and parasite infections are far less common in these foods. 

Keep in mind that you will need to completely thaw frozen foods before giving them to your Betta. If you give it to them frozen, it will be much more difficult for them to eat and digest. 

Frozen food should also be given as a treat a few times per week, and should not make up the bulk of your Betta’s diet. 

Do Bettas Prefer Flakes or Pellets?

So, if given the option, do Bettas prefer flakes or pellets? 

The answer is, it depends on your fish.

As stated in this article, you will need to make sure your Betta receives proper nutrition. So whether you choose pellets or flakes, make sure it is made specifically for Bettas. 

Keep in mind that pellets typically have more nutritional value than flakes. And either way you choose, it’s best to add other types of food into their diet such as frozen, freeze-dried, and live food. 

This is to ensure they receive all of the necessary nutrition.

What Do Betta Fish Need In Their Diet?

Bettas are native to South East Asia in the wild, where they mainly feast on insects, insect larvae, and a very small amount of plant matter. 

Betta species are carnivorous and therefore prefer a diet consisting of mostly meaty foods.

In captivity, Bettas thrive when given a balanced diet of protein-rich foods that also contain fiber. This includes bloodworms, brine shrimp, small insects, insect larvae, small fish, and daphnia. 

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Betta Food

When choosing the best Betta food for your fish, there are a few things to look for to ensure they receive a balanced diet. 

High Protein Content 

As stated before, Bettas require a protein-rich diet.

When selecting the best Betta food, it’s important to check the label and read the ingredient list. The first few ingredients listed should be high-protein ingredients such as krill, shrimp, or fish. 

Keep an eye out for labels that include fish meal instead of whole fish. Fish meal can be a blend of different ingredients that may not be good for your fish. 

It’s important to make sure the Betta food you choose contains at least 30% crude protein content. The best Betta food on the shelves will contain this much protein content.

Avoid Fillers

Along with choosing a Betta food with high protein, you should avoid foods that contain fillers in them.

Many manufacturers add cheap plant and fish meal fillers to their fish food to keep costs low. 

If the top few ingredients on the label include: soy, rice, seaweed, plants, or anything besides crude protein sources, it’s best to avoid feeding it to your fish. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that all plant ingredients on labels are bad. Even the best of the best Betta food will contain some plant-based ingredients. 

They just shouldn’t be the first few ingredients listed on the label. 

best betta food - betta swimming

How to Feed Your Betta Fish

Now that you have some ideas on the best Betta food available, let’s look at the best way to feed your Betta fish. 

How Much to Feed Your Betta Fish

When you buy a container of Betta food from the store, you will see instructions on how much they recommend feeding your fish per day on the package.

These instructions aren’t always correct and can lead to health issues for your Betta. 

For example, most feeding directions will tell you to feed your fish as much as they will eat within a 2-3 minute timeframe once or twice per day.

But feeding your Betta this way isn’t a good idea.

These instructions can lead to excess waste buildup in the tank, as well as overfeeding your Betta. 

It’s best to feed your Betta 2-6 pellets per day or 2-4 pieces of live, frozen, or freeze-dried pieces per day. 

Most animals require a variety of different foods in their diets, and fish are no different. As daunting as it may seem, try to feed your fish both live foods and pellets. 

How Often to Feed Your Betta Fish

It may be most convenient to feed your Betta one large portion of food once per day, however, Bettas should consume smaller portions a few times per day. 

For Bettas to properly digest their food, you should split their meals up and feed them in 2-3 separate intervals throughout the day. 

All of this will also strongly depend on your fish and how hungry they are. Some Bettas may only be hungry enough to eat once per day and some prefer 3 small meals throughout the day. 

Try out a few different methods to determine what your Betta prefers. 

Health Effects of Overfeeding Your Betta

Overfeeding your Betta can lead to several different negative health effects. 

One of the main issues that can arise is constipation and bloating. This can also happen if you feed your fish low-quality fish food with fillers that are difficult for them to digest. 

If you notice your Betta’s belly is more puffy than usual, or if they stop eating altogether, your fish may be receiving too much food. 

It’s important to only feed your Betta the correct proportions of food each day. Try to feed your Betta 2-3 small portions of food per day rather than a large portion once per day.

It may also benefit your Betta to give them a fasting day once a week to help clear out their digestive tract and avoid constipation. Simply pick a day of the week and refrain from feeding your fish for 24 hours. 

How Long Can My Betta Go Without Food? 

Bettas are used to not eating every day in the wild and can live up to 14 days without food.

It’s proven that letting your fish fast for 1 day per week in captivity is beneficial to their digestive system. 

So if you go on vacation or are unable to feed for a few days, your fish will survive just fine. 

Why Won’t My Betta Fish Eat?

Bettas are picky eaters and there are several different reasons for your Betta fish not wanting to eat.  

Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • They may not like the food you are giving them
  • Your fish is stressed or ill
  • You might be giving them too much food
  • Their tank is too cold or too warm 

Most of these issues are quick and easy to fix. 

For example, if you have recently changed their food (such as flakes to pellets, pellets to flakes, etc.), they may need some time to adjust to the change. 

As stated above, if your Betta is bloated and constipated, you might need to change its eating habits and let your fish fast once per week. 

Additionally, Bettas are tropical fish and prefer their water temperature to stay between 75-82℉. If you don’t have a heater in the tank, your Betta may be too uncomfortable in their environment to eat. 

Read more: Betta temperature shock

Lastly, if you have ruled out all of the issues above and your Betta still won’t eat, they may be ill.

Check for other symptoms such as lethargy, pale coloring, a bloated belly that won’t go away in a few days, or consistently laying at the bottom of the tank. If your Betta has one or more of these symptoms, you will need to consult with your veterinarian to seek help, as the illness could be life-threatening. 

Read more: how to tell if your Betta fish is close to death

The Bottom Line

Betta fish are some of the most low-maintenance fish to keep in captivity, and their feeding regimen should not be stressful or difficult.

Stick with high-quality foods without fillers and provide a variety of different foods such as live, frozen, freeze-dried, pellets, etc. 

Be cautious not to overfeed and give your fish one day per week too fast if they become bloated or constipated. 

Hopefully this article helped you choose the best Betta food for your fish. 

As long as you follow these guidelines, your Betta should be very happy with their diet! 

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