Betta Fish Feeding Guide: Food Type, Schedule, Quantity & Frequency


Betta Fish Feeding Guide

If you are looking for a fish pet that is easy to keep and entertaining at the same time, then betta fish might be what you’re looking for. Understanding how to food the fish properly could even be better to help you keep them alive for a long time. Experienced aquarists already understand the feeding characteristics of tropical fish such as betta.

Having a proper understanding of the right food mix and feeding schedule for your aquarium is a step forward to keeping healthy fish. Betta fish are carnivorous, which mean they need meat based foods. In the tropical areas, betta fish feed on small insects, mosquito larvae, and some varieties of seaweed.

The following is a compilation of expert advice on the appropriate schedule of betta fish feeding.

How to Feed Betta Fish?

The first step should be to understand how to feed fish in your aquarium tank. The best type of food for your betta fish is floating pellets. Because the regular feeding schedule of the betta fish is two times per day, one should ensure they follow this schedule every day to keep the fish healthy and disease free. To be able to approximate the amount of food needed start by considering how many fish you have in the fish tank.

Always try to estimate the amount of food needed by your fish for a one time meal. Generally, one should measure pellets that the fish will finish in less than 2 minutes. Observe the feeding behavior of the fish to approximate if they need more food or if they have had enough. If more food is needed, then gradually add smaller amounts of pellets until the fish appears to be satisfied.

Feeding Schedule for Betta Fish

Just as it is vital to feed other living species, it is also essential to make sure your betta fish are fed in a good routine. A proper feeding routine ensures your betta fish get the nutrients and minerals they need to survive. One thing to consider is that too much food in the tank can cause much waste and problems with water quality.

To avoid the problems that come with too much waste in the aquarium tank one should make sure they are feeding their betta fish the right amount of food. Typically a betta fish feed two to three times a day depending on the number of fishes.

It is important you consider how much food you are giving your betta. Is it too much food? Too much food falls at the bottom of the tank and starts the rotting process. This means two things that you will need, and another thing is that if your betta fish overeats it may develop fatal health problems and inactivity.

The importance of asking the pet store owner about the feeding sessions of the betta is because it will be more advisable to follow that particular routine. If the fish were fed once in the morning and once in the afternoon, ensure you follow the same routine as it will enable you to understand the food requirements of your fish.

For How Long Can a Betta Fish Live without Food?

It is not advisable to leave your betta fish without food for for too long, but can survive without eating for even a week. Actually male bettas will not eat during their breeding period and while taking care of their fry. This can take even up to one week.

It is advisable to feed small amounts of food to avoid the accumulation of waste in the fish tank. Even if you are keeping younger bettas, it is best to feed them twice a day and also skip particular feeding sessions if there is still leftover food in the tank.

There are plenty of tools to use to automatically feed your fish if you are unavailable at their feeding times. Automatic feeding devices come in handy to maintain the feeding schedules of the fish when it was at the pet store. Bettas only eat for 2 minutes which means that you only need to put small amounts of food in the fish tank.

If you don’t want to use automatic feeder on your tank, but still want to feed your betta fish while you are on vacation, you can introduce live food into the aquarium. Brine shrimp, blood worm or daphnia will live in the water column for many days. Your betta fish will only have to hunt them when hungry.

What Food Can I Feed My Betta Fish?

Betta fish are carnivorous, and in the tropical, they hunt for larvae, insect eggs, insects, and small creatures found in the water. This means your betta should be fed with meat based food that has high levels of proteins. However, if you have other types of fish species in your tank, you will have to consider their type of diet. Not all tropical fish fit in the diet category of betta fish.

There are types of food that are sold that are betta specific, and they are usually the best. To ensure that the food you buy fits in the betta’s diet category, the ingredients should be meat-based and should comprise 40% of the food. Other available foods include frozen or dried blood worms, insects, and other small living organisms.

Why You Should Choose Floating Betta Food

Many tropical fish species, including betta fish, are referred to as bottom fooders, and their mouths usually point upwards. Floating pellets promote easy digestion for the betta fish because naturally, this species has adapted to eat floating food for maximum absorption. Betta fish are also more likely to enjoy feeding on the floating pellets, which also lets you enjoy their swimming activity.

Another benefit that comes with using floating fish food is that it reduces the amount of waste residue at the bottom of the tank. Since you should measure the amount of food that the bettas can finish in minutes, the fish will have completed the meal in 2 minutes. The only little waste residue will sink to the bottom of the fish tank, and this ensures that your water change schedule does not change.

Best Commercial Food Pallets for Betta Fish

Below is a review of the best food for your betta fish.

1. Hikari Betta Bio-Gold

This is a betta specific food that is made to provide the nutritional requirements needed by your betta. This particular food has the essential omega 3 & 6 required to promote the health of your fish. The pellets of this food float on water to enable one to monitor the feeding behaviors of the fish to avoid overfeeding. The stabilized Vitamin C promotes the immune system of the fish so that they can remain healthy for a long time.

If you are looking for a type of food that will help in reducing waste in your fish tank, the Hikari Betta Bio-Gold should be your choice. The floating pellets come in different colors, making it enjoyable to watch fish feeding on the meal. The food has rich color enhancers to ensure that your betta fish have unique coloration and they also look healthy.

2. Fluval Bug Bites with Shrimp

Another recommendable type of betta food is the Fluval Bug Bites with Shrimp which also contains 40% larvae. The food is good for betas because it contains up to 40% meat content to fit the carnivorous diet needs for your betta fish. It contains components of omega 3 and 6 to boost the immune system of your betta for a prolonged time. This easily digestible food comes as a slow sinking formulate to avoid much food waste at the bottom of the tank. The slow sinking formulates also allows fish to eat at their preferred depth.

The other 60% content of this food is shrimp and insects to provide extra proteins and Vitamin C, which is needed by the betta fish to maintain their coloration. This particular type of food is inexpensive, and considering it meets the nutritional needs of your betta, and it might be an excellent choice to try. As an addition, this food contains a variety of seaweeds that act as a natural color enhancer for your fish, and it makes them look beautiful and shiny when fed regularly.

3. Omega Sea Buffet Pellets

The Omega Sea Buffet pellets as the name suggests is a betta specific meal that is made from tropical seafood. This means that the food is made to suit the essential nutritional requirements of betta fish, which are a tropical kind of fish. Omega Sea Buffet has components such as beta carotenes that provide extreme color enhancement for the betta fish. The elements of this food include tropical shrimp and fish that the betta would feed on when in its natural habitat.

4. New Life Spectrum Fish Food

A food made particularly for those who want to enhance the colors of their betta fish. It is a safe way for color enhancement as it contains hormone and chemical free color enhancing components. These pellets are made from shrimp meat and other wild insects, which mean it includes the 40% meat content needed for a carnivorous diet. The floating pellets enable the reduction of waste residue at the bottom of the tank, and thus, no regular water changes are required when using this type of food. The benefit that comes with trying this type of food is that it contains ginger and garlic that are important in helping to prevent parasitic or protozoan skin infections.

5. API Fish Pellets

Another floating fish food is the API fish pellets that are made to help the betta fish to detoxicate its body. This food is supposed to be fed to the betas twice per day in small amounts that the fish can consume in minutes. It is a floating food so that guarantees cleaner water in the fish tank. Reduced toxins in API fish pellets results in cleaner water for a longer period because the fish releases less ammonia. This food has 40% meat content and contains shrimp and tropical insects. Components such as Vitamin C compliment the necessary nutrients for a healthy body and robust immune system for your fish.

Best Live or Frozen Food for Betta Fish

If you have a source for live or frozen food betta fish are carnivorous and can food on any insects provided they are not poisonous. Professional aquarists do not recommend insect food for betas regularly; instead, they suggest once per week or twice per month. It is advisable to keep your betta used to readily available food such as fish pellets to avoid issues that can come with the scarcity of insects. There are options available such as buying flakes, frozen insects, and a variety of floating pellets. Always ensure the fish food has 40% meat components before purchasing your choice of betta food.

One advantage of frozen food is that they contain no bacteria or protozoan infections, which pose a threat to the health of the fish. They come in food containers when bought in a local pet store or when ordering online meaning they are easy to keep. It is recommended that frozen food is first dipped in water to rehydrate the moisture content before feeding it to fish. Overfeeding frozen food to betta fish will likely cause constipation and bloating issues and should thus be done once or twice per week.

As long as the type of food you are using to feed your betta meets 40% meat content, it is suitable for your fish. The pellet food options provided above have extra nutritional benefits needed to satisfy and support the betta’s carnivorous needs.

Will Betta Fish Eat Vegetables or flake fish food?

Bettas are a carnivorous type of tropical fish that means all its meals should be 40% meat based content. Feeding vegetables to betta fish is not advisable as the fish may develop complications chewing and swallowing vegetables. The only vegetation the betta fish can feed on is particular seaweed species which are found as components in pellet fish food.

If you want to feed your betta fish with flake fish food, ensure it is tropical flake fish food as these contain insects, larvae, and seafood components from the tropical zones. Betta fish is found in the tropical zones meaning it would thrive well on flake fish food from these areas.

What to Feed Baby Betta Fish?

Breeding betta fish is quite easy, though the challenge comes when you want to raise betta fry. If the water parameters are right, and the betta breeding pair is well-fed, they will breed and soon you will be blessed with tons of betta fry. Their father will take care of them, will protect them and will bring them back to the nest, but he is unable to feed them.

Betta babies are very tiny and they can’t eat just any type of fish food. So you will need to prepare them special food in order to keep them alive and help with growth.

The best food you can feed to baby betta fish is live brine shrimp. Brine shrimp are really small, and they can fit in the fry mouth easily. Brine shrimp also contains lots of proteins, which will help in the fry growth.

You can culture your own live brine shrimp population easily at home, using a brine shrimp hatchery.

After baby betta fish gets bigger, you can give them other types of foods. Keep in mind, that for best growth rate, you need to feed them high protein food.


According to the tips provided here, knowing the proper feeding schedule and type of food for your betta fish is paramount to keeping your fish healthy and colorful. Based on the type of feed recommended here, floating pellet food should be considered first because betas should naturally feed on floating objects. Secondly floating fish food promotes the maintenance of water quality in the fish tank because it does not leave much food residue at the bottom of the tank.

The recommended feeding schedule for betta fish should be twice per day mostly in the morning and once in the evening. The amount needed by betta fish for a one-time meal should be that which the fish can finish in less than 2 minutes. Always avoid overfeeding your fish as this causes dirty water from food leftovers, parasitic infections, and health risks for your betta fish.

Betta Fish   Updated: June 11, 2019
avatar Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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