Last Updated: February 27, 2023 by Flora Gibbins
If you have some experience, you already know how rewarding and tricky the breeding process is. After all, betta fries are fragile and have a hearty appetite, eating three to five meals a day!
Yes. Tiny, but big eaters!
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So, a healthy diet can help you grow the best fish in the shortest time. But what food should you feed your betta fry? When should you feed them? And how much betta fry food do they require? Keep reading to get the answers.
- What to Feed Betta Fry
- What Not to Feed Betta Fry
- How Often and How Much Should You Feed Baby Betta Fish?
- Watch This!
- Frequently Asked Questions
What to Feed Betta Fry
We’ll go over the different types of good food to give your baby betta.
When betta fry hatch, their bodies are too small for fry foods, and they can only consume liquid-based foods. So, they find the essential nutrients in their egg sacs.
Then, they start swimming around the nursery, looking for food. In that phase, it’s helpful to provide the betta fry with small amounts of runny egg yolk from boiled eggs. However, clean the filter after a few hours to avoid any foul smells.
After egg yolk, betta fry can start feeding on infusoria, a single-celled organism, and natural food source, because it’s tiny. It’d help if you had live plants as part of your betta fry tank because their leaves and stems contain infusoria.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to raising an infusoria culture, just hit the pet store or find an online fish store. We recommend you get a live food culture before you start breeding the betta fish. So, when the eggs are laid and you check that they’re fertile, start your infusoria hatchery. This way, it’ll be ready when your fry is free-swimming.
For instance, you can add a tablespoon of microworms to a bit of water in a 3/8″ cup. Then, when the culture is ready, put it under an overhead light, and look for any glistening movements. That usually signals live worms.
Remember that we’re talking about newly free-swimming fish. In other words, if they’ve only just left their egg sac. And, for three days, betta fry survives on infusoria. So, you need to catch the infusoria in an eyedropper and squeeze it into the fry nursery tank.
Typically, you only need a few infusoria per meal. The fry eats this natural source. Then, their mouths grow enough for them to eat small particles.
If you’re wondering what to feed your fry, free-living nematodes are some of the best live foods (along with infusoria). When they become free-swimming, they’ll need tons of protein and fat, which they can find in tiny nematodes, including vinegar eels, microworms, banana worms, and Walter worms.
About five weeks later, when you introduce live worms, you can stop feeding your fry nematodes, as they’ll no longer provide them with any nutritional value.
As for how to supply them with it, you can mimic the betta fry’s natural habitat by using aged water, adding a bundle of hay in the corner of the breeding tank, and planting many aquatic plants.
What the hay does is that it infuses in the water and makes it more green or yellow. Also, it hatches numerous organisms, including bacteria, rotifers, protests, and, sometimes, nematodes.
Baby Brine Shrimp
Now that they’ve eaten infusoria for three or four days, start feeding betta fry baby brine shrimp. Of course, the little ones will benefit from this meat-based protein source. Adult brine shrimp is too large for the baby betta fry to consume, but you can use it for breeding. As for frozen brine shrimp, this variety isn’t suitable either.
As your fry grows up, you can still feed baby brine shrimp while introducing other foods to them. Even when they’re eight to nine weeks of age, baby betta can still eat live brine shrimp!
Like infusoria, a baby brine shrimp hatchery is a good idea. Start it early on to ensure your fry have a good food source. Then, use an eyedropper to catch the baby brine shrimp, and squeeze it into the grow-out tank.
Your baby betta fry should be three to four weeks of age before you add frozen and freeze-dried foods to its diet. You can keep the frozen foods out overnight. Then, crush the food with a blender to create a powder. Also, storing the grounded food in the freezer for a few days is an option.
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Examples of finely grated frozen foods to give your betta fry are Bloodworms, Micro worms, Daphnia, and Tubifex worms. These worms should provide them with tons of protein, which will help them grow fast.
Four or five-week-old baby betta fry fish are ready for live Blackworms and Grindal worms, which are rich in nutrients. These live foods are also great for adult bettas. We like that Blackworms are aquatic worms, so you can grow them in the tank when raising betta fry. Needless to say, you need to establish cultures for these worms.
Commercial Fry Foods
You can feed your fry commercial betta fish fry foods if they’re eight to nine weeks old. And you’ll find them in the form of micro pellets or a powder, which should be more convenient than the hassle of live cultures. However, some betta fish won’t eat dry foods, so it’s best to try it out before purchasing huge quantities of these products at your local pet store.
As for suggestions, you want to feed your betta fish carnivore dry pellets, and always check the ingredients lists to ensure there are no plant-based ingredients in them.
Tip: Notice that the size of fish food grows as the fish fry grows. In other words, you’re feeding them the biggest food that their mouths can fit.
What Not to Feed Betta Fry
You don’t want to hinder the growth of your fry, so maintain proper care, and avoid feeding your fry these foods:
Some Commercial Foods
Commercial products aren’t generally recommended because they may be low in protein and moisture and full of digestible filters. Accordingly, these dry foods cause your betta fish to grow much slower and give them digestive issues. That’s especially true for products with fry algae in their formula, which is a big no.
Avoid feeding your betta fish any leaf matter, as they can’t digest plants and will bloat, which will delay their digestion and absorption of protein. As a result, your betta fish fry will grow slowly.
Certain Human Foods
Don’t feed your betta fish just any human food. So, avoid giving them cows, pigs, other farm-grown meats, bread, stringy fruits and vegetables, and citrus fruits. Instead, if you want to have your betta fry eat human foods, try these foods:
- Leafy greens
How Often and How Much Should You Feed Baby Betta Fish?
With newly hatched fry, you want to give them several meals a day with very small portions. This way, they’re more likely to eat all the food, which will ensure the grow-out tank doesn’t get dirty fast. Otherwise, the discarded food would undermine its water quality.
Additionally, when you keep the meals small and many, especially in the early stages, you can get your fry to consume large quantities of protein, giving them an optimal growth rate. In that way, the feeding instructions differ according to age.
We’re talking three to four small meals a day. As the fry becomes larger fish, you can reduce the number of meals you give them to two a day. Once is acceptable, but we wouldn’t recommend it until they’re fully grown.
When it comes to quantities, a rule of thumb is to give your fry enough food in each meal that they can consume in five minutes. That’s usually two to three sprinkles of food, but it depends on how many fries you have. If there are a lot of them, you can place the food on an offered leaf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will betta eat its fry?
Betta fish tend to be great parents and get protective over their baby bettas. Nevertheless, bettas eating their fry is possible, and that’s especially true for male betta fish.
How do you know if your betta fry is hungry?
Typically, your young fry will remain close to the bottom of their grow-out tank when they’re hungry and low on energy. They might even lurk about their bowls. This behavior should be noticeable since betta fries are, by nature, active and social creatures.
Ultimately, it’d be best if you considered how old your betta fry is to choose the proper food for it. You can start with egg yolk, nematodes, and infusoria; then, introduce baby brine shrimp. Afterward, it’s time for frozen food and live worms. Finally, they become old enough for dry food.
As for the number of meals, you can give your fry three to four small meals a day and gradually decrease their number. This way, you’ll grow quality bettas in optimal time!