Tropical Fish

How Do You Feed Betta Fish?

5 min read

Betta fish really don’t eat very much food because they are so small. They also have very small mouths which can only eat very small creatures like insects worms or crustaceans, which is what they eat in the wild.

Bettas are also cold-blooded animals who require fewer calories because they don’t maintain a set body temperature like a warm-blooded animals that would require more calories to maintain their body temperature.

So, let’s get to the specifics of how to feed betta fish...

There is a lot of information online with varying methods of how to feed a betta fish, but as with all fish you usually want to mimic their natural environment in their aquarium.

Betta fish eat at the surface of the water so as a staple diet you can drop floating pellets made specifically for your betta into their aquarium. You can feed them 2-4 pellets twice per day or 1 pellet 5-6 times per day. In addition to pellets, you can feed freeze-dried treats every other day or every other feeding during the day. Don’t feed your betta fish for a whole day, at least once per week, and never feed your betta fish more than they can eat in 3 minutes.

Voila! Easy, right?…

Get Your Betta Fish Pellets Here

It is once you get to know your betta, but they have different personalities, so not all bettas will like the same exact foods or the same amounts, so you will have to get to know your betta based on the following factors…

Betta Fish

Your Betta Fish’s Activity Level

Some betta fish are very active so naturally, they will require more food. If your betta fish is always lounging or not moving very much they won’t eat as much.

Just stick to the, ‘never feed them more than what they can eat in 3 minutes’ rule, especially if you feed them twice per day rather than several times per day.

The Size of the Betta Fish Food

Even the pellets that are made specifically for betta fish come in different sizes, so you will get used to how many pellets your betta fish will eat.

Also, if you feed your betta fish wafers or flakes, you may need to crumble them into smaller pieces and try to feed them the same amount as you would with the pellets.

You can feed your betta freeze-dried treats such as the following:

  • Adult brine shrimp
  • Glassworm
  • Black mosquito larvae
  • Bloodworm
  • Tubifex Worrms
  • Daphnia
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Mysis shrimp

Make sure you feed your betta fish the same size chunks of these foods as the pellets and that you only feed these treats in a regular rotation with their staple pellets.

Your Betta Fish’s Tummy

If you overfeed your betta fish, their stomach can become bloated. You want the tummy of your betta fish to be slightly round.

It is easy to tell the difference. Bloated is obvious and can lead to health issues.

As your betta fish grows they will need more food also, so this can get confusing.

You want to keep their tummy slightly rounded and you shouldn’t be able to tell where their swim bladder is. The swim bladder is at the tail end of your betta and helps them with balance when they are swimming.

If you can actually recognize the swim bladder protruding at the tail end of your betta, you need to feed them more.

Start Slow

Just start with only a few pellets per day for the first week and keep an eye on your betta’s waistline to try and get the slightly rounded belly.

Betta fish can go 1-2 weeks without eating so it is better to err on the side of caution when you are first getting to know your betta fish.

It is way easier to slightly feed your betta fish a little more at a time rather than deal with a bloated betta fish.

Betta fishes have different personalities, so you need to control the feeding.

Some betta fish will only eat till they are full but you may have one of the ornery ones who constantly overeat until it is too late and they are sick.

We recommend the pellets made specifically for betta fish because they have been tested and proven to keep betta fish healthy and colorful.

Frequently Asked Questions About, How Do You Feed Betta Fish

How Often Do You Feed Betta Fish?

This depends on you and your betta fish. If you are busy, you may only be able to feed them twice per day rather than several times per day. If you have time and are willing to make the sacrifice, it can be better to feed your betta fish a few times per day but is not necessary to keep them healthy.

The most important factors are to keep their belly slightly rounded and to never feed them more than they will eat in under 3 minutes.

Remember to starve your betta once a week. This is called fasting and cleans out their digestive system while helping keep them from overeating.

How Much Do You Feed A Betta Fish?

You will have to start out slow as described above and only feed your betta a few pellets per day until you notice if their belly is slightly rounded. If it isn’t slowly add a pellet every few days until their belly has a nice round shape. Then, you can rotate treats every other feeding or every other day.

How Many Days Can A Betta Fish Go Without Food?

Betta fish can go 1-2 weeks without food but it isn’t a good idea to let this happen unless there is an emergency. You can always keep an automatic feeder on hand that you can hook up if you have to leave for a week or two.


Remember, it is easier to start slow and feed your betta fish a little more at a time.

Betta fish pellets are easiest to start out with because they are specifically formulated for betta fish, float and have a good shelf life. They have also been tested and proven to keep betta fish healthy.

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