Betta fish are really neat creatures to have in your home, and when it comes to fish, betta fish are both easy to take care of and extremely beautiful too. Just like all other pets you have, they need to eat. Now, fish can be pretty tricky when it comes to meeting their dietary needs, not to mention that betta fish can be pretty picky eaters too. Feeding a betta fish is perhaps the hardest part of owning one. So, how do you feed your betta fish? How often do you feed a betta fish? What do you feed a betta fish? These are all questions that we are going to get to the bottom of right now.
So, How Often Do You Feed A Betta Fish?
One of the biggest things to keep in mind with betta fish is that just like with other fish, they are prone to overfeeding. Fish may be awesome pets, but they definitely are not the smartest creatures out there, and that means that they will continue eating and eating until they pretty much blow up. So how often should you feed a Betta Fish? A betta fish should be fed twice per day at most and you should only feed them little pinches at a time.
Yes, you can feed them slightly more at a time, but be sure not to give them too much because you’re only feeding them once. Some people also decide to feed them three times per day, in which case only very small pinches of food are needed. In all reality, if you notice that your fish is constipated or is not digesting food well, you can try skipping a meal. Skipping a meal won’t kill the fish and it may actually give it a chance to recover from digestion issues.
If you need some tank suggestions then this post will help.
How Much Food Do You Need To Give A Betta Fish?
A general rule of thumb to follow when feeding your betta fish is to not feed them any more at once than they can consume in two minutes.
How Many Times Do You Feed A Betta Fish Per Day?
If you feed them twice per day then 2 minute feedings are ideal. If you feed them twice per day, well, do the math. In all reality, if you only feed them once per day, a 3.5 minute feeding session should be enough, but you can push it to 4 minutes if you feel like it.
Fish can get fat if you feed them too much so be sure not to over feed them. Over feeding can cause obesity, disease, and ultimately death. Moreover, if there is too much uneaten food in the tank, not only is it hard to clean, but it will begin to rot and pollute the water, yet another thing that you definitely do not want to happen. (more on keeping a betta happy on this article).
What To Feed A Betta Fish / Diet ?
Ok, betta fish are also known as Siamese fighting fish, which is because they are very territorial and aggressive, and that is partially due to the fact that they are highly carnivorous and see other fish as a threat to their live food source. A betta fish’s diet should consist of around 60 to 70 percent protein, with about 20 percent veggies and greens, and the remainder being carbohydrates. There are a few different good food choices for your betta fish so let’s just go over those quickly.
This is a good option to go with if you want to save a little bit of money and still give your betta fish a good meal. Fish flakes for carnivorous fish will have all of the necessary nutrients that your betta fish needs to be happy and healthy. Moreover, there are also special betta fish flakes that meet their dietary needs bang on.
Just be sure not to over feed them as the flakes can swim around in the water and pollute it if left uneaten. It has been noted that some betta fish do not like flakes, which is something that you will have to figure out on your own.
Another good food option to go with are betta fish pellets. Keep in mind that these fish do have some pretty strict dietary requirements so you can’t feed them any old generic fish pellets. They need to be betta fish pellets. These things tend to sink pretty quickly, so once again, do not put in too many because they will sink to the bottom, rot, and pollute the fish tank (if you are having problems with your betta eating pellets then this post should help you).
You can get frozen food such as frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia. These are great because they have lots of protein, are perfect for a betta fish’s diet, and they aren’t all that expensive either. You can buy these things frozen and unfreeze them in smaller batches to feed your betta fish.
There are some good live food options to go with including brine shrimp, daphnia, insect larvae, and blood worms. These are perhaps the most expensive foods you can get for your betta fish, but they will definitely enjoy them. Live foods will mimic a betta fish’s natural environment and will give them a whole lot of pleasure when they hunt down their prey. Do keep in mind that some live foods do contain diseases which may be passed on to your betta fish.
It's also a good idea to get some good live plants for your tank, more on that here.
Freeze Dried Foods
This type of food is also going to be fairly expensive to buy compared to some of the other options though Betta fish love this type of food because of the fresh taste that freeze drying leaves it with. Moreover, while this food may be a little more expensive than live foods, the freeze drying process does guarantee that the food does not contain any harmful diseases.
What Happens If You Overfeed A Betta Fish?
The short answer to this question is nothing good, not at all. Over feeding your betta fish can cause them to get fat. Now, while being fat is not a huge problem in itself, it will cause sluggishness, limited mobility, and well, being fat just does not look nice. Fish can develop certain conditions from being fed way too much on a regular basis, conditions that can be debilitating and even deadly in certain circumstances.
Moreover, over feeding your betta fish will result in much food going to waste, which is of course a waste of money. Even worse is that uneaten food will also result in a lot of uneaten food floating around in the tank. Uneaten food is a pain in the butt to clean out and it will also rot in the tank, releasing pollutants in the process, pollutants which can change the water parameters and poison your fish.
Finally, too much food means too much waste. Too much fish waste can poison your fish and put undue strain on the fish filter, not to mention that it means having to change the water much more often that you would otherwise have to.
What Happens If I Feed My Betta The Wrong Food?
The simple answer to this question is not much, at least not if you only feed them the wrong foods every once in a while. It’s just like how we are supposed to eat healthy foods and sometimes stray off the path and go to MacDonald’s. The point is that a treat every now and then won’t hurt. However you do need to be sure to feed them the proper foods on a regular basis, those which we have discussed above.
Not feeding them the right foods is just as bad for your betta fish as eating the wrong foods is for you. The wrong foods will end up causing a nutrient deficiency in your fish, or most likely a protein deficiency. Your betta fish may become ill, it may become fat, or on the other hand it may become too thin, it can lose its color, become sluggish and slow, and in the long run your betta fish can actually die from the wrong foods.
There is also a lot of confusion around Betta's making bubble nests, we have covered a separate post here with all the answers.
When To Feed A Betta Fish – Morning Or Night?
This is actually kind of a trick question because the Betta fish feeding schedule which most would recommend is twice per day. The recommendation from the experts is that you should feed your Betta fish twice per day, once in the morning and once at night. So, the answer here is that you should feed your Betta fish both in the morning and night.
The trick is to make sure that you allow for 12 hours of rest (no feeding) in between each meal so your fish can digest the food. More importantly, you want to feed your Betta fish at the same times, so at 8 AM and 8 PM, for example. The exact time of day is not so important, but what is important is consistency.
How Often Should You Feed A Betta Fish Pellets
Honestly, you should not be feeding your Betta fish too many dried pellets at all. Ok, so two or three times per week is fine, but absolutely no more than that. Flake food is much better than pellets anyway.
If you are going to be using pellets, soak them in water first so they increase to their actual size instead of expanding inside of your Betta fish, which can cause problems.
However, generally speaking a good mix of freeze dried proteins is best. You should be feeding your Betta fish lots of mosquito larvae, daphnia, brine shrimp, blood worms, and other such things.
If you are going to be using pellets, do not feed them to your Betta more than two or three times per week. They can contain fillers and other ingredients which can cause digestion issues.
How Often To Feed Betta Fish Flakes
Flakes are a little better to feed to your Betta fish than pellets. This is because they tend to have a higher nutritional content, at least the high quality ones. There is also the fact that the flakes do not really expand and cause digestion issues like the pellets are known to do.
That being said, flakes are still often full of fillers and things that your Betta fish does not want or need.
It is best to not feed your Betta fish flakes more than four or five times per week at most. Ideally, you should be feeding your Betta fish mostly live or freeze dried protein for its main source of nutrition.
Unless you have extremely high quality flakes, most flakes just don’t provide Betta fish with what they really need.
Betta Fish Feeding Tips
Let’s quickly go over some of the best tips you can follow to feed your Betta fish.
- A normal Betta fish requires around 1.8 grams of food per day, but not more. Make sure to not overfeed your Betta fish as this can cause serious health issues.
- Feed your Betta fish twice per day with 12 hour breaks between feedings. Ideally, they should be getting around 0.9 grams of food twice per day.
- Feed your Betta fish as many live or freeze dried foods as you can. They are better for your Betta than flakes or pellets, plus they will like them more anyway. We would recommend going with freeze dried foods as opposed to live ones, because live foods can harbor dangerous parasites and disease.
- If your Betta fish is being really picky and does not want to eat, you can try giving them some live foods. These fish are carnivorous hunters, so having to actually chase their food should inspire them to eat more.
- If your Betta is not eating, it could be an issue other than simply not liking the food. Old age, disease, stress, bad water temperatures, unclean water, and bullying from other fish can all result in your Betta not eating. You need to take care of the underlying issue real fast because a Betta that is not eating will not stay alive for very long.
- Never feed goldfish food or any other food to Betta fish that is not specifically intended for Betta fish. As is the case with goldfish food, it does not have nearly enough protein to meet the nutritional requirements of a Betta fish.
- Make sure that your Betta fish get enough vitamins, minerals, carbs, and proteins to survive. While they are carnivorous by nature, they do also need some other nutrients to stay alive and healthy.
What, how much, and when you feed your Betta fish are all important things to keep in mind and they are all necessary for maintaining a healthy and happy fish. As long as you follow all of our Betta fish feeding tips and you know how much to feed Betta fish then we guarantee that you will have a good looking and satisfied pet.