When it comes to keeping fish in an aquarium, feeding will always part of the routine, making sure that your fish get the nutrients they need to thrive.
Some people are just feeding their fish any random brand and type of fish food; this should not be the case, as different types of fish will have different nutritional requirements. In this case, we are going to look at Betta fish.
There is good news about this type of fish, which is that it can feed on a variety of different types of food. You still have to know which types those are, how often to feed it, and what not to feed it.
Table of Contents
How Much to Feed a Betta Fish?
Feeding the betta fish is crucial, but you have to control the amount. You would not want a lot of your fish food going to waste. Make sure to only feed it the amount of food it can finish within 2 minutes.
Do not be surprised to see that is all the time the betta fish will spend eating. The remaining food in the aquarium will simply go to waste—it will now settle to the bottom of your aquarium and end up rotting there. You can imagine the amount of pollution this could cause in the aquarium water.
With so much food settling at the bottom, you would have to clean the aquarium more often to remove the remnants. Also, the dirty water caused by the remaining food could easily make the fish sick.
Sometimes you might get a betta fish that eats for more than 2 minutes. If you see such a behavior, it means your fish is getting fat.
Yes, do not be surprised to see the fish actually get fatter with time. Check around the belly area to see if it has a bulge. If there is a bulge present, then your fish is definitely overweight.
For those using pellets to feed the fish, simply use 3 pellets at each feeding time to eliminate the wastage of food.
How Often Do You Feed a Betta Fish?
Most of the time you will buy an adult betta fish from the pet store. For such a fish, simply feed it twice per day.
Giving it more food than that would not help the fish but simply go to waste as indicated earlier. The label on the fish food might state that you should feed it more often, but in reality, we know that’s just a gimmick to get you to buy more fish food.
If you end up with a younger betta fish the feeding is still the same, twice per day. The fish is also just like humans—skipping a meal once in a while not bad.
Whenever you skip giving the fish its food, it can help by giving its digestive system a break. Think about how the fish only eats for two minutes and that is it—this shows how small its digestive system is.
A break from feeding also helps the fish to get rid of the toxins from its body before the next meal comes in. You can feed it only once one day, or skip a day and then get back to the routine.
What to Feed a Betta Fish?
The other name for betta fish is Siamese Fighting Fish. The reason is that this fish will attack other types of fish in the aquarium if it sees them as a threat.
With such carnivorous behavior, it is easy to conclude that this fish likes to feed on protein. Below are some of the best betta food types to feed your betta fish.
1. Frozen food such as bloodworms – if you are in a position to get brine shrimp or bloodworms, then it is possible to have them frozen so that the fish can feed on them later on. You will simply have to unfreeze them in small batches when it’s time to feed them to the fish. Although they can be expensive, this food type comes with a lot of energy for the fish.
2. Using live food – the live food in this case could be the bloodworms. You can feed them directly to the fish so that it can enjoy some new proteins. Just make sure that you give the fish the right amount.
3. Feeding the fish with fish flakes – this could be the least expensive food you will ever have to buy for your betta fish. If you want to try this type of food, feed them a few times and watch their reaction first; some reports have shown that the betta fish do not always like the fish flakes.
4. Use betta fish pellets – these are not just any fish pellets, but special ones made specifically for betta fish. It should be easy for you to find this type of food in most pet stores. Most people use it as the staple food for their betta fish, and it actually works great. One thing to note is that these pellets are quite large, so they would sink faster and not be suitable for smaller fish.
5. Freeze-dried foods – your betta would likely see these foods as a treat. From statistics, it appears that betta fish often love to eat this type of food. You will definitely see them eating more of this food type than the others if given the chance.
You should always think carefully about the type of food you will feed a betta fish or any other type of fish. For the betta fish, it is notable that the fish flakes are not its favorite food, so taking the time to choose other food types is a good idea.
Research various options for fish food before you settle on one. Some might not always offer the best nutrients. Food with a lot of filler content is not worth giving to your fish.
>> Best Fish Tanks for Bettas Available Today?
>> What Plants are Safe for Betta Fish?
>> Does a Betta Fish need a Filter?
Thanks for emphasizing the importance of not putting too much fish food in the tank at a time. We have all heard of people overfeeding their dogs and cats, and the worst thing that happens is that the pets get a little chubby, but putting too much fish food in the tank is a lot worse. It can really harm the fish.
Julia Edinger says
Thank you !! for bringing this important fact to everyone’s attention 😉
People need to goggle their questions on care an feeding on the Beta ….
Google – NOT Goggle.
Carol Buttel says
Thank you for all the information. It was great. I appreciate your help because I love my beta thank you
Fish lover says
I like fish
Crystal Brock says
Very good info. Thanks.
Thanks for the info I just got one today and the store said feed them 3 pellets every other day, is that a correct statement
I had the store tell me that, but I swear ours was starving! He started literally jumping out of bowl for first pellet I dropped in. Went back to same store, and another person said every other day as much as they could consume in 20 minutes (scooping out any left after this time). But ours will eat at least 10 pellets in just 1 minute, which seems like too much (I’ve never given more than that to see if he would just keep going or finally stop), so now I’m just really confused.
that’s to much 2 or 3 pellets each time u feed the betta
Julia Edinger says
that’s right!! people should goggle ,, it’s helpful in the proper care of the Beta …
Google NOT goggle….AND Betta , NOT Beta
another thing feed the betta twice a day once a day will not be enough and give the betta enough for the two meals and let the betta have free time in between meals
Also for smallet fish give then 4 pellets at meals but when u see or can tell the are getting bigger ( after about 3 months ) start giving them 5 because there body has grown ( If u see no change u do not have to up the number of pellets )
Maybe the food you’re feeding doesn’t have enough nutrients in it?
Connie Kalina says
Can they just live of my ivy in water?
No! They are not vegetarian. Feed a high quality pellet made especially for bettas such as National Geographic Betta Pellets
I was just looking up the correct amount of times and pellets I should be feeding my betta. I have been feeding him 3 pellets every other day for almost 2 years and he appears to be great! Still very active. I hope he’s not starving
Julia Edinger says
I read to different options on goggle. Went with the 2017 info 😉
Nit Picker says
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to nitpick – I thought it was a typo the first time, but three different comments here I see you say “goggle”.
It’s “google”, with two o’s. Also, while I’m here, I wanted to point out that Google is just a search engine and doesn’t have any information on feeding Bettas, it just helps you find websites that do. I say this because if you’re going to reference information like this, it would be much more helpful to mention the name of the site you were reading, not the name of the search engine. I know people say “google this or that” all the time, but like I said before, you mentioned it three times and it doesn’t support what you’re saying.
Does it really matter that much how google is spelled?
Apparently misspelled words are the end of the world.
My fish, Valentino (my handsome Betta ????) would not even flinch when I used to put out fish flakes, but he loves pellets and will sometimes enjoy a few blood worms.
I feed Valentino a small pinch of about x5pellets each morning. Which he consumes all of them and carries on, seeming satiated. He waits for me each morning in the same location to be fed.
That’s what happens to my fish.
Kayla Wilkes says
My betta fish will not eat the pellets but he loves the flakes.
Guys, I read that the betta fish’s stomach is about the size of it’s eye. This should be an indication of how much to feed the betta. I think feeding it twice or thrice a day is best, giving it only as much food that can fit it’s stomach each feeding session. Feeding it different kinds of food throughout the week is best I think.
By the way, here in Sri Lanka most betta fish at pet stores are kept in a tiny glass jar containing about a cup of water. That’s about a quarter litre of water! The one I just bought was kept in a small jar about half the size of that! The fish are kept for months on end in deplorable conditions. They’re definitely not fed well, and in some pet shops the water is almost never changed! The betta is a very hardy fish and can survive in these conditions, but please, never do this to your betta. Make sure it has ample space to swim in and explore, and dark/shaded areas to hide if necessary. Just my two bits. Now I need to go get a bigger tank for my betta. 🙂
Bettas were put on a small containers so that they could grow faster because of the tiny space the beta only focuses to grow.
Also some times in the pets stores you can see that the water is color brown its not old water but water with an Indian almond leaves which is good at killing bacteria.
I was told to feed my beta twice a week because they’re bittom feeders. Is this correct??
Their mouths are upturned, meaning they eat from the surface. You should feed them twice a day in small amounts. They do not have very large stomachs so over feeding is easy to accidentally do.
That’s incorrect. Bettas are not bottom feeders.
Kayla Wilkes says
I had never seen a betta fish eat off the bottom of the tank until we bought one for our classroom at work. He stays at the bottom of the tank with his head in the rocks.
Iv got 5 betta now and there all very happy healthy and active I feed mine twice a day and I’ll feed 2 to 3 pellets a day depending on if they act like there really hungry and I’ll feed bloodworms the second feeding
Wow I thought that Betta fish would fight each other I guess it’s just the boys
I believe they mean in separate tanks, do not keep any betta together in one tank, no matter how large. I know many people say betta sororities (5 female betta in a large tank) are fine, but most end in disaster and have no benefits for the fish.
2-3 pellets TOTAL? Or 2-3 pellets at each feeding, with 2 feedings per day???
Hear is what I feed my betta:
Monday : 3 pellets (twice a day)
Tuesday : 2 frozen blood worms (twice a day)
Wednesday : 2 pellets (twice a day)
Thursday : same as Monday
Friday : same as Tuesday
Saturday : same as Monday
Sunday : nothing
This helped slot now I know what not to feed my fish King my beautiful handsome King thx ????????
So…2-3 pellets per feeding, with two feedings per day? Does this sound right?? Please answer; haven’t had a Betta for 3 years and will be getting back into the hobby soon…and I wanna do ALL my research beforehand!! 🙂
Kayla Wilkes says
I’m pretty sure its per feeding. My betta fish wouldn’t eat the pellets so I feed him a small pinch of the BettaMin tropical medley twice a day and he seems happy.
Bethanie Love says
i feed my betta twice a day with 3 pellets. and i clean her tank twice a week. and i got her two days ago…… what time should i feed mine?
I’m totally confused. If you just got a Betta 2 days ago how are you changing the tank water already twice a week? You should not be doing that you’re gonna stress the fish out. Do partial changes a week after the fish has time to acclimate. People are so irresponsible.
Yes that is correct.
It’s crazy to me that even the people who make the food don’t know how to properly feed. I have pellets made for bettas and it says 2-3 per day / for 2 minutes. But even 1 time per day for 2 minutes is over feeding IMO. Bettas (like most fish) will readily scarf down food, so in 2 minutes they could take 20+ pellets, but of course you can’t do this as the pellets expand in water.
Also, the pellets are almost always stuck together, so 1 is usually 2, and sometimes 3. So to recommend 3x per day for 2 minutes is basically animal abuse by over feeding.
I kept a Betta for 4 years on a 1x per day schedule feeding 4-6 pellets at a time. The guy who sold him to me said 3 pellets a day…obviously I think a little more is better. It also took nowhere near 2 minutes for a betta to eat this amount…it’s closer to 20 seconds, especially when hey get big.
I just lost my Louey after 2-1/2 years. He enjoyed a 5 gallon planted tank to himself and was very active. I usually fed him 2 pellets in the morning and 2 pellets in the evening with the occasional freeze dried bloodworm. I did try giving him a once a week “cleansing” of an algae based pellet but he wasn’t fooled!
Great fish who slept in the top corner of his tank closest to my bed each nite. Didn’t think I’d bother with another one right away but after throwing out all the sand/plants, washing everything up and putting it away, I found myself today down at my favourite aquarium shop buying new sand, new plants and now just doing my fishless cycling.
Can’t wait til I can rescue another fish from those nasty containers they display them in and show him his new kingdom!!!
Enjoy your bettas! Great fish and beautiful to watch swimming and hiding around their tanks.
Love my batta I have two beauties in a 10 gallon octagon for seven months. The don’t fight. And I watch them all the time during feeding and after
They don’t fight Blue Angel and Red Baron are health fins and all.
Is it okay to feed betta inorganic feed?
I have had two betas before and have just adopted my precious little Francis. He is a pearl colored male and I am keeping him in a normal sized fishbowl feeding him 2-3 pellets a day, twice a day. Is there any tips I should now about keeping him healthy?
I feed Betta 12 pellets a day and 6 in the morning and 6 in the night and my cousins fish stayed alive for more than 5 years by doing that so 12 in all is good ????????????????
Well I just got a blue betta fish yesterday evening on its fins it’s white tipped
I’m STILL confused!!!! I just inherited my neighbors Betta Fish, she passed away and her landlord was going to flush him, so I said I would take it, which I did. I’ve never really had a fish before, and I want to do right by him. I’m in the process of getting a new tank, however I’m still confused about the feeding. His old mom was clearly feeding him the flaked food, but he didn’t seem too interested, which made me nervous to leave it in there, so I did more scooping then he did eat!!!! I bought the pellets, and he loves them!!! I’ve read so many articles on what to feed, how much, how many times per day as well as giving a variety of different foods!!! Do I feed once a day, twice a day, or every other day??? Do you stay with one food, or give a variety throughout the week?? And are freeze dried ok or should it be fresh food???
I have no idea who is giving the best advice??? Can anyone recommend a reputable site where I can find ALL the information needed for keeping a healthy & happy betta?????
I really appreciate ANY help you can give me!!!!
I think this helped me alone thanks this was really helpful
This website is really useful if you want to find out what the problem is with your betta fish.
All these sites and comments are really confusing. I bought a betta yesterday, a half moon male named Challen. I fed him 5 pellets yesterday, should I feed him today, how many times and how much? He is 1.5 inches from nose to the base of his tail before the fin.
I bought a 5cm baby male crowned betta two days ago now and am not sure on how often to feed him. I was told that he should be fed every other day, but I’ve read that I should feed him twice a day, consisting of six pellets. When I was talking to the lady at the pet shop she said that because his so small I don’t have to feed him as often, so every other day, if that will be fine (didn’t know if she knew what she was talking about), but she also said that once he grows a little more I can continue feeding pellets but also add in bloodworms to his diet. Is this correct? I’m not sure on how much because I don’t want to starve him. For the last 2 days, I have only fed ‘Poseidon’ in the morning, but because the pellets are smaller than his eyes I gave him a few more then recommended. Is that okay? The day he was brought home he didn’t eat at all so I had to scoop out his food, but I thought this was normal because he was just getting used to his new home! Any advice on how much to feed a baby betta?
Also, how often should I clean out his bowl? It’s quite large for his size! I just don’t want to be upsetting him.
I feed my betta fish pellets and would treat it with blood worms . Then I went into anaphylactic shock from handling the blood worms . Please wear gloves if you’re going to handle blood worms . Just a warning to keep you safe . I almost died .
Ok.. people need to calm down. I know you want to care for you’re fish but really.
I have had many bettas. They all lived for years. Make sure you have AT LEAST a 2.5 gallon tank (preferably 5) I have my current in a 20 gallon long with a few tetras and some Corey catfish. They LOVE planted tanks. They will swim in and out of the plants forever. They dont require a filtered tank but it is always best for the health of the fish. You should do a 25% water change every week and if you dont have a filter and it’s a small bowl (god forbid) you should completely change the water at least once a week. Also, you really only need to feed 2 or 3 pellets twice a day. My betta swims up to the glass and does the hungry betta dance even if he just ate. They are always going to do that. It doesnt mean they NEED more food. Also, brine shrimp and blood worms are great variety to feed to be sure they are healthy and happy. I alternate pellets, frozen brine shrimp and blood worms. He’s very happy and very healthy.
Beenie man says
Yes, don’t overfeed your beta. I fed mine 2 or 3 times a day a teenie tiny pinch of food. The food label says as much as it can consume in 2 minutes. My beta would eat probably 20+ he always eat so fast. Anyhow I am guessing he was getting about 5 per feeding so as much as 15 pellets a day. And guess what he died. I am going to get another and feed just 3 pellets twice a day.
Is it ok to feed live endler fish fry to my beta?
I put one in the other day and I’m pretty sure he ate it!
My endlers keep having babies!
I have a betta named Chet that I had for a year now. I feed him 2Xs a day 3 pellets each time. I try to skip a day but boy it’s hard cuz on that day he sees me & gets so excited and I start feeling guilty but I think it’s good to do so. I clean his tank every 10 days. He seems very happy & healty.
I have a 5 gal tank with filter for my Beta. It has the water flow which pushes the food around a couple of times then down. Henry, my beta, isn’t fast enough to get the pellets. What do I do?
Praveen Ghoshal says
Hi there, you can keep the filters off momentarily while feeding your betta fish if you think the flow is too much.
For a few minutes, if you turn off the filter (there’s won’t be any significant issue). And after your betta has grabbed all the pellets, you can turn it on again.
And the best solution is to use a filter with a gentle flow, like a sponge filter. Hope that helps 🙂