Feeding your Betta fish right is one of the best ways to take care of your pet, but are there betta fish special foods? Well, you may have seen various fish foods tagged “betta fish” sold in pet stores. However, you still wonder which is the best for your betta fish.
So, what special food is good for your betta? Feed your Betta fish special betta pellets which contain blood worms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and other vitamins. Choosing a food mixture of this sort will help to keep your betta fish healthy while raising its immune system. Of course, a healthy betta is a brightly colored betta and long-lived betta.
While choosing foods specially made for bettas are good, you should also know more about feeding your lovely pets right. Certainly, there is more to choosing the best food for your betta fish, with due consideration to their nature and preferences.
What Type of Food Does Betta Fish Eat?
Particularly, betta fish are carnivores, meaning they will avoid algae. However, it will not hesitate to eat small fish in the tank if hungry but that’s only in rare cases.
Generally, they are popular for being aggressive and attacking their companions. Thus, keep them in a separate tank than small or aggressive species.
In fact, some consider betta fish to be a picky eater. However, the reality is the quantity of the food is what matters.
Therefore, the best types of food for Bettas are
- live brine shrimp or worms,
- mosquito larvae,
- frozen or freeze-dried live food, and/or
- betta pellets.
On the other hand, food such as flakes and cubes will not provide a quality meal for them.
Is it Better to Feed your Betta Live Food?
Usually, live food is preferable, but it is not always easy to purchase.
Also, it can be exhausting to buy bloodworms from the store and to grow them in your home can be tricky.
Particularly, most of the time, it will not be worth your time if you only have one or two betta fish.
On the other hand, keep in mind that live food is absolutely necessary if you intend to breed these wonderful fish.
Is Frozen Food Good For as an Alternative?
Ordinarily, frozen food is a great alternative to live food and will give you more time to take care of your tank.
Also, you can feed frozen worms or brine shrimp in small pieces.
However, if you only find live food every once in a while, divide it into portions and keep it in the freezer for the next few weeks.
Freeze Dried Food for your Betta
Generally, freeze-dried food is one of the bettas favorite foods and one of the easiest options for feeding.
Particularly, pet stores carry dried bloodworms and such, which only need to be dispersed in small amounts each day.
Meanwhile, although your fish can live perfectly on this food alone, it is best to change the menu every once in a while. Usually, just to be sure that your betta fish is completely healthy and full of energy.
Pellets for Your Betta Fish
In particular, betta fish pellets are specially made for betta fish. Thus, feed one pellet to your betta fish, twice per day.
Usually, the pellets have the exact amount of protein and vitamins to maintain the brilliant color of your betta fish.
However, make sure the pellets do not accumulate on the bottom of the tank as this can seriously affect the chemistry of the water.
Should Fish Flakes be the Last Option?
Particularly, fish flakes are common and most fish will eat them. However, your betta fish should not have this type of food unless it is dire.
Meanwhile, the disadvantage of fish flakes is the lack of appropriate protein your betta needs. Thus, if your betta fish does not like the food you provide, they may attack smaller fish from the tank and even other betta fish.
How Much Food Does a Betta Fish Eat?
If you do not know how much food you should give to your betta, there is a simple way to find out. Often times, just give them as much food as they eat in two minutes.
Thus, after this short time, your fish will be through with eating and the leftovers will create an unhealthy environment of pollutants.
Likewise, another interesting thing about betta fish is that they can actually gain weight. Usually, some of them will continue to eat after two minutes. Meanwhile, after some time its stomach will grow, in which case your fish will have to go on a diet.
How Often Should You Feed Your Betta Fish?
Ordinarily, feeding frequency depends on the size of your betta fish and the type of food you feed it.
In general, you should never feed adults more than twice per day and once is enough, younger betta fish will need two meals per day for growth.
Therefore, every once in a while, it is good to allow a day without food to help their digestive system rest.
However, make sure not to extend this fast more than you have to, otherwise, your betta fish will not remain healthy.
How to Make Your Own Betta Food
Particularly, if you’re getting tired of trying to find the right commercial betta food or just want to add some variety to the diet of your fish, you’re in luck. Ordinarily, there are a few great ways to make your own fish food, and it works for bettas too.
Specifically, you can make food from scratch using the gel food method. Alternatively, you can opt for the live food by hatching brine shrimp and fruit flies. Also, you can set up your own live food colony for a constant supply of Betta snacks.
Making Gel Food
Particularly, gel food was originally ‘invented’ by goldfish keepers. Specifically, because some fancy goldfish don’t respond well to commercial fish foods.
Although it might be a bit too messy to use as a daily staple, your betta fish will love gel food as a snack!
So, how does this work?
Particularly, to make gel food, you pure all the ingredients you’d like to feed your fish and then bind them together using gelatin or agar-agar. Thus, as you can imagine, recipes can be varied endlessly, which comes in handy when you’re feeding betta fish that require a specific diet like the insectivorous betta.
Also, you can freeze the food and then thaw before using. Particularly, so you can keep it in your freezer ready to go at all times.
Meanwhile, here’s a simple recipe you could try (vary the amounts according to your preferred portion size; keep in mind bettas aren’t big eaters).
- Frozen shrimp
- Frozen betta fish foods like bloodworms or mosquito larvae
- A few spinach leaves
- A little fresh garlic
Likewise, because bettas don’t eat much at a time, try using plenty of gelatin to make the mixture relatively stiff. Specifically, this allows you to easily cut it into smaller pieces and prevents your betta’s tank from turning into a mess.
Hatching Brine Shrimp & Fruit Flies
Ordinarily, live foods are a fantastic betta food option. Thus, if you want to add some variety to your betta’s diet and stimulate its natural feeding behavior, hatching some bugs at home might work well.
- Hatching your personal brine shrimp – Particularly, this is quite common in the aquarium hobby because it’s very easy. Specifically, brine shrimp are tiny saltwater crustaceans that produce dormant eggs that you can store for a long time.
Therefore, to hatch a colony of your own to use as betta food, all you have to do is find a brine shrimp hatching kit. Thus, follow the instructions and be patient.
- Hatching wingless fruit flies – Particularly, if setting up a brine shrimp hatchery sounds like too much of a hassle, wingless fruit flies are an even easier option. Generally, this is a popular live food for “terrarium pets” like a juvenile praying mantis and poison dart frogs.
However, because the flies lack wings you can easily feed them to your betta as well.
Betta Fish not Eating
Generally, one of the most common issues with betta feeding is when the fish refuses to eat altogether. In particular, there are a few different causes for this and luckily most are fairly innocent.
First off, bettas often stop eating if they’ve been put under a large amount of stress. Particularly, all stress factors can cause temporary refusal of food. Thus, if this is the case, the problem will resolve itself within a few days once your fish is calm.
However, if it’s taking a little longer than you’d like you can always try to tempt the fish with some yummy frozen worms or even live foods. Usually, they’ll jump at the chance to eat those!
Next, your betta may not be eating because it isn’t used to the food type you’re using yet. Generally, some bettas refuse to acknowledge flakes. Maybe the person who bred your betta fish exclusively used live foods. Meanwhile, whatever the exact reason, your betta fish will usually get hungry enough to eat unknown foods within a few days.
Lastly, your betta fish might be refusing food because it is sick. Particularly, diseases that affect the mouth (like infections) can make it impossible for your betta to swallow. Alternatively, very sick betta fish might lose their appetite.
Meanwhile, there isn’t much you can do if this is the case besides diagnosing and treating the problem as soon as possible.