Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
A lot of times it’s hard to figure out what’s the best diet for your pet, especially when you speak to customer representatives who do not have the knowledge or even own the pets. I found this especially true about fish. So, what do we do as pet owners? We take to the internet and do some research on what the best types of foods are.
Similar to cats, dogs and other living beings, diet is subjective and while some brands of foods are better than others, many are “satisfactory”, but do not optimize the nutrients your pet will need to remain healthy and not get sick.
So, is there one type of food that’s better than others for Bettas? Should you be feeding them live feed? Should you be giving them pellets? Are flakes the best way to go?
What do Bettas Eat in the Wild?
When figuring out what kind of food you want to feed your pet, you must always look at what they eat in the wild. Are they an omnivore? A carnivore? A herbivore?
In the case of Bettas, they are actually carnivores and will not want to eat anything green. Because of this, they will need high amounts of protein.
Bettas often choose to eat other smaller fish, and a lot of them you can actually feed to your Betta at home (as long as your pet store provides that type of food, which sadly can be rare.)
Live Foods You Can Feed at Home that Wild Bettas Naturally Eat
I can’t tell you how grateful I am for online shopping, because a lot of foods Bettas are actually accessible to fish owners. Although a number of the products are “Freeze-Dried” there are a few products that allow you to hatch fresh food for your Betta! Some of the foods you can find online include:
Blood Worms: Tetra Blood Worms Freeze Dried Treat & Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms
Daphnia: Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Daphnia
Mosquito Larvae: Tokyu Betta Fish Food & Mosquito Larva Betta Food Pellets
Brine Shrimp: (Omega One Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp, Ocean Nutrition Food Instant Baby Brine & Brine Shrimp Eggs
White Worms: Freeze Dried White Worms
Fairy Shrimp: Fish Guppy Egg Fairy Shrimp Aquatic
*Please always make sure when you are purchasing food (especially food that requires hatching) to read reviews! Although products are recommended, it can be hard to keep track of all the batch changes and keep updated on their standards/quality. Even though this is true, I do keep lists updated and appreciate feedback from our readers if they have any suggestions or concerns.
Can Bettas Survive with Only Pellets or Flakes?
Yes, they absolutely can, but the commercial food is not the best for your Betta. Similar to kibble with dogs and cats or pellets with hamsters, chinchillas and gerbils, natural food is much better for them. This being the case, a lot of fish food is not suitable for Bettas. Make sure you’re looking for high-quality food that is made specifically for Bettas and not just an overall “tropical fish food.” This will make sure that your Betta has enough nutrients to keep them bright and colourful. You can also choose to feed pellets and supplement with frozen, freeze-dried or live food. (Fresh and Frozen being the absolute best.)
Bettas who eat only pellets or flakes may develop digestive problems or bladder issues. This is because they often contain fillers that are not easily broken down by their tummies.
Bettas are also often overfed when they are strictly pellet fed. This can lead to bloating and constipation. If you choose to feed only pellets, I highly recommend going through my guide on how to properly pellet feed your Betta.
Some foods that we recommend are Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellet, Ocean Nutrition Atison’s Betta Food, Aqueon Betta Pellets Betta Food, Omega One Betta Buffet Flakes & TetraBetta PLUS Mini Pellets.
The Fish Store is Closed and so are all of the general pet stores! Can I feed any human food?
As you may know, I have an obsession with writing about what types of human foods we can give our pets. I’m surprised I haven’t written one for Betta Fish yet! So, let’s cover some of the most common foods you can feed your betta fish.
This is by far the most commonly fed human food for Betta Fish. It’s actually the cure for constipation. While they are harmless and filled with necessary fibre you will want to make sure that they are fed correctly to your Betta. Make sure you’re not feeding too much of a pea to your Betta (think about the amount you give your Betta in pellets or live food), and make sure to boil the pea until it is mushy. You will also want to make sure you remove the skin from your pea and cut it up into very small pieces. Usually, a quarter of a pea is the recommendation for a day’s feeding.
Cucumbers and Zucchinis
Similar to peas you’re going to want to feed your Betta a small amount of thoroughly cooked cucumbers and zucchinis, making sure that the skin is removed. These veggies aren’t the most popular with Bettas, so if your little one doesn’t grab it right away remove the food carefully with a net.
Lettuce & Spinach
I’m not a huge fan of feeding your Betta lettuce or spinach since the only way you’ll be able to feed your Betta them is by microwaving them. You’ll want to zap them for about 3-5 seconds since the cellulosic barriers in the leaf are quite tough. This will make sure that they will be able to break it down.
So it would be easy to assume that Bettas will eat meat since they are carnivores, however, this isn’t true. While yes, Bettas can technically eat a bit of chicken or red meats from time to time, it’s not this type of meat that your Betta prefers.
I do not recommend you feed your Betta meet because of the antibiotics and other additives that can be used while raising animals. A lot of these will upset your Betta’s stomach or could potentially harm them long-term.
Now, I’m not talking about other live fish here, I’m talking more about canned or freshly killed fish that you would eat for dinner. I would highly recommend against feeding canned fish, but if you are cooking yourself a little fish for dinner, try out some freshwater fish. Make sure they are unflavoured/unseasoned and similar to the meat, make sure there are no additives or preservatives. (So frozen fish may not be the best either.) You want to avoid cans as much as possible for these reasons, as well as because they usually contain a lot of oil that can harm your Betta as well as the water health in the tank.
I’m only adding this one to the list because of how common it is to feed Bettas citrus fruit. DO NOT DO IT. I repeat. DO. NOT. DO. IT! Because of the acidity in the citrus fruit it will 100% affect the water condition and will harm your Betta! Bettas cannot handle high acidity and may actually die from your good will.
We’ve all tried to feed fish, ducks or other live animals at parks with crackers… but does this make it okay? Bettas do like the taste of crackers, but they are not great for them. They have lots of sodium, butter, oils and other chemicals that aren’t great for your Betta long term. If you’re stuck in a pinch… you may try feeding your Betta a bit of cracker, but do remember… your Betta takes 2 weeks to starve. If you’re able to grab the appropriate food for your Betta in the next couple days please avoid crackers.
So Pet Parents, what are some of your favourite foods to feed your Betta? Which ones do they prefer? Have you ever fed your Betta human food? Did they like it? Let me know in the comments below!