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How Often To Feed Betta Fish | Food & Feeding Guide

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Whether it is because they are visually stunning or they are easy to maintain, Betta fishes are one of the most preferred pets people have.  If you own an aquarium and you are worried about how often to feed betta? Or what type of food to give them? Then get ready to breed your Betta fish successfully with the help of this guide. Just like any other species, fishes have their own food and the nutritional requirements needed for survival. You don't want to overfeed them hence, avoid bloating neither do you want them to be undernourished.

Breeding these beautiful species is quite simple, however, they are very picky when it comes to food. In case you don't know, they prefer to feed only on the surface while ignoring the food that sinks to the bottom of the aquarium. Moreover, these fishes are carnivores, thus feeding them a vegetable-based diet or plants is pointless. They require meat-based food or food rich in protein for better health. This article will help you in understanding the variety of food options, the right quantity, and the required nutrients.

blond lady using her hand to give food to her aquatic pet

How Much to Feed a Betta Fish?

It is important to know that Betta fish' stomach compartment is as small as their eyeball and should be fed the same size. Besides, feed them as much as they can consume in 2 minutes as they tend to feed only on the food on the surface. The rest of the food sinks to the bottom of the tank thus, leading to wastage. You wouldn't want to be changing the water tank every day, neither do you want to waste your food. 

Besides, if there is rotten food at the bottom, it will lead to the release of harmful chemicals into the water thus, contaminating it. This will lead to extra effort in cleaning the water tank as you want to ensure that they live in the right environment.

For pellets, 3 -4 pellets should be enough. Moreover, experts suggest presoaking of pellets before giving them as they can expand in the fish belly if they are consumed dried.

If you are going for brine shrimp, 2-3 will also do to avoid overfeeding Betta fish. Brine shrimp have more nutrients than pellets and they are quite larger. Therefore, less is the key when feeding them with brine shrimp

Pro Tip

Notice any bulge around the belly area? Your pet is overweight! Consider feeding them less to avoid health issues like bloating, bladder problems, constipation and a lot more.

How often to feed Betta? 

It is preferable to feed your Betta Fish twice a day in small portions, once in the morning and once in the night. Keeping the feeding time consistently will help you and your Betta to adapt easily to the routine.

Confused over how often to feed Betta fish? Well, feeding them daily is preferable but fasting once in a while isn't a bad idea. It is better to feed them every day or nearly every day. You are more likely to buy adult Betta fish in the store and they should be fed daily. Likewise, younger ones should also be fed twice a day. 

Two feedings per day: one in the morning and the other at night will do. This will help you and your pets to adapt easily to the routine.

Although it might be indicated on the flakes label to feed them often, however, we all know this is another strategy to get you to patronize them and buy more.

Can I skip meals for Betta fish?

Yes, you can! Skipping their meals once a week will do them good. In fact, this is necessary for healthy living as it is a needed break for the digestive system. Also, it helps in keeping the bladder in shape. Need I say more? Skipping meals helps in removing any built-up toxins that might pose threats to their health before the consumption of the next meal. 

How many days can a Betta fish go without food?

​​Betta fish can go for days without feeding. It takes roughly two weeks of starvation for a Betta to become predatory. So, if you keep an aquarium in the office and you wouldn't be available to feed them at the weekend, no worries!

What to feed a Betta fish?

There are various food options you can incorporate into their routine and it doesn't have to be pellets only. Moreover, it is important to change the diets at least once a week. Giving them the same food every time can make them lose interest and eat less. Therefore, they might end up preying on other smaller varieties of fish. Spice up the food with options that varies from pellets, worms, Betta fish flakes to live or frozen Betta Food. 

  1. Fish Flakes

    If you are considering your budget and cutting costs, fish flakes are a great option. They are inexpensive and contain the required nutrients for healthy living. However, considering that Betta fish are picky eaters, try and watch their reaction when you are introducing it to them for the first time.

    Not all Betta fish like fish flakes. Also, it sinks to the bottom of the tank. Therefore, make it a habit to remove them immediately after feeding the fish to avoid polluting the water.

  2. Worms

  3. If you want to give your pet a treat or make them happy, worms are part of their favorite major diet. They can be live, frozen, or dried freeze and there are different types like bloodworms, brine shrimps, white worms and even black worms. You can freeze them in order to store or keep them. However, ensure you defrost the exact quantity required for feeding before giving it to the fish. If they are live food, feed them directly to the fishes and make them happy.

    Note that these worms do not contain all the required nutrients of the fish, therefore, your fish should only feed on this occasionally.

  4. Betta Fish Pellets

  5. ​Being among the most popular Betta fish food, they are easily available in pet stores. They contain the nutrients required and are used mostly by Betta fishes’ owners as a staple food. Bear in mind that your Betta fish are to be fed only the ones made specifically for them and not the regular pellets. Moreover, ensure you soak these pallets before giving them as they might expand in their stomach if served dried.

    More importantly, note that pellets are quite large and might not be ideal for smaller Betta fish. Also, they tend to sink easily to the substrate of the aquarium.

  6. Freeze-Dried Betta Food

  7. This is also a good treat for Betta fishes but they should not be given as staple food. They can be freeze-dried bloodworms or brine shrimps which are greatly loved by Betta fishes. However, the quality might not be matching with live or frozen food as the moisture is already removed. A good thumb rule is to soak them before introducing them as they tend to increase in size when they come in contact with water.

  8. ​Live or frozen insects

  9. Insects like daphnia that are of different types like Daphnia Magna, Daphnia Pulex, and Daphnia Moina are also good for your Betta fish. They are easily available in pet stores or you can get them in ponds and small pools. However, you might want to put in the freezer for a few minutes in order to weaken the insects before feeding the Betta fishes.

Some points of caution

These points highlight the best practices that you can follow to ensure the best health and ecosystem for your Betta fish. 

  • Food with extra fillers should be administered occasionally as the quality is not so good.

  • Offer them varieties of food as they tend to get tired of eating only one time.

  • Take note of their food pattern 

  • Ensure soaking dried pallets before administering them as they tend to increase in size when soaked in water.

  • Fish flakes are not always their best food, therefore, explore with other food options.

  • Be careful when feeding them with live worms or insects.  Some of them are a carrier of parasites and bacteria. You don't want to expose your Betta fish to unnecessary risks.

  • Dried - freeze food or flakes should not be a staple food. Due to a lack of moisture and fillers, they might be suitable for your Betta fish. Avoid indigestion.

  • Don't make directions on food labels as ultimate as some of the instructions are just a means to make you buy more.

Video Introduction


Without any doubt, it is important to have an understanding of how often to feed Betta and the type of food you can give them. Try as much as you can to keep a  close check on their eating. This will make you identify what goes well with them and what doesn't.

More importantly, it will help you identify any changes in them on time and then take the necessary steps to curtail it. Are they gaining weight? Are they underweight? Are any signs of constipation? Are they feeding well? These are the important things you should monitor when breeding Betta fish.

All in all, a good Betta breeder will conduct research on the various food options and give them the ones that contain the necessary nutrients.

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