Betta fish are the most beautiful aquarium pets. You might also be inspired by seeing betta at first sight. But many betta keepers misjudge how and what do bettas eat.
The result is the overfeeding or constipation of betta. Betta is sensitive to food. Overeating can lead to bloating or constipation. While the uneaten food in the tank can cause toxicity or dirt.
Bettas are carnivorous therefore live food will be best for bettas. They tend to eat food on the surface of the water and eat almost all the food provided to them.
Though, a well-balanced diet will be consisting of meat and freeze food with pellets. There is a wide variety of food available for betta-make an ideal schedule of betta food with one day of fasting in a week.
No doubt, a betta is easy to keep as compared to other fishes. But there are many concern points related to betta’s health.
What can you feed betta fish? This is the most common and frequent question asked by beta-keepers. Which food will be healthy and nutritious for a betta? Here, you will learn all about what you can feed your betta fish.
What Do Bettas Eat
Bettas can eat a diverse variety of food, but not everything. In wild, they eat insects, worms, shrimps, and carrions.
Therefore in captivity, betta requires these meaty foods as well. Some people believe that betta can survive on plants’ roots only. That’s not true. Betta can eat plant roots but cannot digest them properly.
In the same way, feeding betta with pallets alone is not a good option. Betta doesn’t require much maintenance but demands a complete diet. Just provide a portion of food that betta can eat in three minutes. The greedy nature of bettas might confuse you, but keep control over the quantity.
Best Food For Your Betta Fish-Nutritious and Healthy
Betta fish are known for their fighting nature. They can even fight for food with other companions in the tank. In rare cases, they can also eat small fishes. Depending upon their nature: they prefer and love live food. Definitely, it will be difficult for betta keeper to just provide the live food to betta fish. In captivity, betta doesn’t need to be fed with only live food.
They need a balance of live food, pallets, and some other available options. You can adopt these options for betta fish when you are seeking for: what can I feed my betta fish. Whatever you are going to feed your betta, its nutrition, and protein count matters.
Basically, food for betta fish is divided into five groups. Each group differs in its nutritional value from proteins to fiber. Add a small portion of these groups to the betta diet to keep them healthy.
Live Food As First Priority For Betta
If you want your betta to be healthy, live food must be your priority. Ensure your betta food consists of major protein portions and other nutrients like vitamins, fiber, and phosphorus. Live food for betta mainly consists of insects, shrimps, daphnia, carrions, and bloodworms. In wild, betta eats all these live foods for its survival. These live foods will be expensive for betta keepers, but they fulfill the carnivorous need for the betta.
Be careful when you are feeding betta with live food. Don’t use outdoor caught insects or worms, as they may consist of a parasite. It can cause disease in betta, posing a risk to their life.
Even fatal diseases like tuberculosis have been reported to develop. You can also harvest the insects or mosquitos in your house.
That will be messy. Feed at least 1.8 grams of live food to the betta. Prefer to buy the live food for betta from a reputable pet store. Though, it will not guarantee 100% disease or parasite-free food.
You have to ensure it to the possible extent for the healthy living of betta. Many betta-keepers confuse the term of living food. It is not only meant for living food but also available in frozen or freeze-dried form.
Frozen Food is a Good Option
Feeding frozen food will be a good alternative. It is easy to store and cheap. It contains all the nutrients as same as live food. There is also a reduced risk of bacteria in frozen food. An important point to consider is that frozen food is hard for betta fish to digest.
Therefore, when you are going to feed betta with frozen food, melt it first. Melting the frozen food will make it soft and easily digestible. Defrost the quantity of food that you need to feed betta at one time. Refreezing thawed food can increase the risk of bacterial exposure.
Don’t provide the food in cubes to the betta. Melt the frozen food, soak it in water and then make its pieces. Sprinkle these pieces on the water so that betta can easily eat them. You can use frozen shrimps, bloodworms, or daphnia for betta’s eating.
Freeze-dried Food as a Substitute for Natural Food
You can also choose freeze-dried food as betta’s food. But it will not be much nutritious and healthy for fish. Freeze-dried food is devoid of moisture and has fillers to keep them stable.
How can bettas eat freeze-dried food? The rule of thumb is to soak the freeze-dried food in the water. Keep the cube of freeze-dried food in water for 15-20 mins to retain its moisture. The fact is that dried food is free of bacteria and is easily available in stores.
Regular feeding of the freeze-dried form will not be much healthy for betta as it can cause constipation. Your betta can survive just on freeze-dried food, but it will not fulfill the nutritional requirement. But the freeze-dried food is more preferable to pellets or flakes. If you want to give betta healthy food, use a combination of freeze-dried food and pellets.
Pellets are a good alternative
Pellets are easily available and are considered a good choice for betta-keepers. But sometimes, betta doesn’t eat pellets as they have low nutrition. What quality do you buy pellets and how much betta eat them, matters a lot. When you are going to buy pellets, keep in mind buy specifically made pellets for a betta.
Pellets for tropical fish or golden fish will not provide nutrition to the betta. Also, keep an eye on the protein content of pellets. Prefer to buy pellets with a protein value above 30%. You can also the quality of pellets as the best pellets as dried meat.
Many pellets are of low-quality, they tend to settle at the bottom of the tank immediately and betta hesitate to eat them. Some pellets expand on soaking in water. They can cause digestive issues to the betta. Pay attention to such types of pellets.
First, soak them in water so that they may expand earlier in water, not in the stomach of betta. Don’t over-fill the tank with pellets. It can contaminate the water or can cause toxin production. Moreover, pellets look like insects on the surface of the water. Betta might be mistaken and can easily eat them by considering them as insects.
How many pellets can your betta fish eat? It is a common query of betta-keepers. Feeding betta 2-6 pellets a day will be enough. You can feed betta two pellets in the morning and two pellets in the evening.
Flakes should be your last choice
When getting the answer to what do bettas eat, flakes should be your last choice. Because the flakes have low nutritional value as compared to other food options. Also, betta doesn’t tend to eat flakes because of their appearance. Flakes look like debris on the surface of the water tank, so most bettas avoid eating flakes. Beta-keepers prefer flakes just because of their low price. While they are least nutritious so they should be given periodically to bettas. Flakes have enough quantity of fillers-not healthy for betta fish.
Here’s the deal:
If you want to feed betta with flakes, buy high-quality flakes. Focus on the ingredients of the packet. You can alternate the flakes with pellet or live food. Because flakes alone cannot be much healthy for the betta. Avoid over-filling the tank with flakes also. It can contaminate the water of the tank.
Can Your Betta eat Human Food?
This is interesting to know that you can feed your betta with human food. Though, betta’s stomach is very small-approximately the size of his eyeball. Yet they can consume and digest some human food. But it should be as a treat not in the majority. Your betta can eat peas. If betta has constipation, pees can be a good choice. The fiber in pea help betta to overcome constipation. In addition to that, betta can eat a short piece of mango. Single kernel, or leafy greens like lettuce.
By all the discussion it is clear now, betta being a carnivorous fish prefer to eat live food. But a portion of frozen or dried food, pellets, and flakes must be included in the diet of betta. What do bettas eat doesn’t depend upon the choice of betta or the low price of food. It enforces the addition of maximum nutrition to the diet of betta. To keep betta healthy, provide them a complete and balanced diet by choosing food from all the groups.
What can You Feed Betta Fish when You ran Out of Food?
You might face the situation of a shortage of food. Well, there are many choices you can avail. You can feed some raw shrimp, fish fillets, or worms. Or cut pieces of peas, melon, mango, or some insects larvae can also be fed to the betta.
What Over-feeding does to the betta?
Feeding too much can cause many health problems for the betta. Over-feeding causes constipation or bloating to the betta. You can observe swelling on the side of betta’s belly. Full body swelling can also occur. In rare cases, swim bladder disease can also be associated with severe constipation. So don’t over-feed betta in any condition.
What to Do If my Betta is overfed?
When you observe the signs of over-feeding, immediately stop feeding to the betta. Give them the time to digest the stored food. You can easily fast the overfed betta to around 2-3 days. To aid in digesting the bowels, you can feed daphnia to the betta. Daphnia will act as a laxative and help in removing constipation.
That’s all for my guide to what do bettas eat.
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