Two of the most common questions regarding betta fish feeding habits are how often do you feed a betta fish and what is the best food to feed them. Two great questions as this really shows you are thinking about the health of your little fish.
Getting the feeding right is very important to your fish’s health. Feed them the wrong food and they won’t get the nutrition they need, feed them too much and they will become bloated – a very common cause of betta fish illnesses, put too much food in the tank and the spare food will sink to the bottom and then become waste – dirtying the water.
What do betta fish eat?
Betta fish are carnivorous animals. In the wild they hunt insects, larvae and insect eggs from the water’s surface. So this means that your betta should be eating a meat / protein based fish food. Be careful, some of the standard tropical fish flakes do not match the betta fish diet. If your betta shares a tank with other fish you will have to take into account the diet of all the fish.
What is the best food for betta fish? It seems like obvious advice but a betta fish specific pellet is usually the best. To make sure the fish food you have meets the carnivorous betta fish’s needs check the ingredients. The first few ingredients should be meat based and overall protein percentage should be 40% or more.
You can also treat your betta fish with freeze dried / frozen blood worms. However it is important not to over-treat! Once a week should help avoid any bloating.
Betta fish are surface feeders, check that the pellets you buy are for bottom / mid tank feeders as these pellets will sink. This still doesn’t stop most betta fish though, they will catch the pellets on the way down – but it would be beneficial to have a floating pellet or flake.
How often do you feed a betta fish?
You should feed a betta fish two small feeds per day. Feeding them once in the morning and once at night every day is great. Making these feeds around 12 hours apart and at the same time every day will help you and your betta get in a routine.
Some owners opt to fast their betta fish for 24 hours once every 10-14 days. This day of fasting helps reduce the chance of constipation.
How much should you feed your betta fish?
2-3 medium sized pellets in the morning and 2-3 pellets at night should be sufficient.
Be careful of overfeeding! This is a very common mistake which can lead to bloating which can then lead to serious health problems for your betta fish. Keep in mind a betta fish’s stomach is not much larger than its eye – so it’s very easy to overfeed.
Don’t be tricked into your betta’s large appetite, sometimes they would eat the whole pack if you tipped it in. They may look like they are hungry for more but it is important not to overfeed them. Putting too much food in your tank has other negative effects as wasted food that is not cleaned up pollutes the water and makes your tank dirty.
What’s your betta fish’s favorite food? Leave us a comment below…