There are over 25,000 different species of fish in the world and every individual species has their own special food preferences and requirements. – https://www.petcoach.co
Betta fish are loved by aquarium owners all over the world for their stunning vibrant colors and their long hypnotic fins. Many people feel that they are the crown jewels of their tank. We think that they’re probably one of the most popular carnivorous aquarium fish in the world.
Betta fish have very specific feeding patterns that need to be taken into account if you want to give them a happy and healthy life. It can all be a little bit confusing at first. How much should you feed them? How often should you feed them? And what foods are best?
Today we are going to answer all those questions (and more) in our betta fish food buyer’s guide. We’re going to end the article with 4 reviews of what we think are the best betta fish foods on the market in 2018.
Let’s get started.
Betta Fish Feeding Guide
Feeding betta fish is a reasonably simple task. Most people recommend that you feed them two small meals a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. The recommended serving is 2 to 3 medium sized pellets per fish, per feeding.
If you wish, you can purchase frozen bloodworms or other tasty treats for your fish (they love them). However, these treats should be limited to roughly once per week to be part of a balanced diet.
Some owners believe that you should fast your betta fish once every two weeks or so to help relieve them of constipation issues. Fasting is generally done for 24 hours, so if you want to do this then essentially you just don’t feed them anything for one day every two weeks.
The most common issue that betta fish owners encounter is overfeeding. These little fish have an appetite that you have to see to believe. They will eat as much food as you can give them (within reason). As such it’s very easy to think that they are “still hungry” even after providing them with loads of food.
However, the stomach of a betta fish is only a little bit larger than the size of its eye. Feeding it too much can cause severe health issues, and if done over a long period of time it can even be fatal.
What To Look For In A Good Betta Fish Food
Let’s take a look at some of the things you should be looking out for in a good betta fish food that’s going to give you hassle-free feeding and happy healthy fish.
Natural Ingredients – There’s a little bit of a debate surrounding artificial colors and flavorings in fish food. Some owners will tell you there’s nothing wrong with them, and other owners will tell you they should be avoided at all costs. We’re of the view that for a happy, healthy fish you should ideally feed them all natural foods free from anything artificial. They’re no more expensive than foods that have artificial colorings and flavorings in them, and they are widely available.
The way we look at is that if it’s this easy to go all natural, why would you not?
Protein – Betta fish are carnivores in the wild. They mainly live off of a diet of worms, crustaceans, and other small creatures. These natural food sources are high in protein, and as such the betta fish has evolved to require a huge amount of protein in their diet to stay healthy. Because of this, most betta fish foods on the market will have a sizeable amount of protein in them.
Try and find products that have the highest protein content possible to keep your fish in good shape. If possible aim for products that use meat and fish-based proteins such as salmon, and shrimp instead of soy and other filler based products. Meat and fish-based proteins contain several natural oils and minerals that are beneficial to the overall health of your fish.
Floating – Betta fish are top feeders, and as such it’s always preferable to get floating pellets or flakes whenever possible. Almost all dedicated betta fish foods on the market float, so this won’t be a difficult task. It’s worth noting that betta fish can quite easily catch non-floating food while it sinks to the bottom of the tank. They’re not just going to sit there and stare at it.
Be sure to take this into account if you have bottom feeders in the same tank.
Pellet Size – Pellet size is only really a concern if you’re dealing with super low cost or generic fish foods made by completely unknown (usually Chinese) brands. Betta fish are reasonably small, and as such, they require small pellets to eat easily and digest properly. Some lower quality (or non-specific) foods have pellet sizes that are a little too big, so be sure to watch out for them.
Non Clouding – Some lower quality pellet based fish foods can cloud the water in the tank when they are not immediately eaten. If your fish miss pellets (or wait a while to eat them) then the pellet can break down and start to release particulate into the water which makes it cloudy.
There are very few fish foods on the market that will cloud water from a single feeding, but over time the effects can quickly add up. As a result of this, you will need to change your water more frequently, which is less than ideal. Ensure that any food you’re putting in your tank states that it’s non-clouding.
Dispensers – A nice little addition to some foods is a dispenser. These are far from essential, but they do make life a little easier for you. These dispensers are often included with the food for free and provide you with the perfect amount of pellets for a single fish sized serving. It takes the guesswork away and allows you to regulate the amount that your fish are being fed over time.
Different Types of Foods for Betta Fish
Betta fish can be fed a wide variety of live foods as well as pellets and flakes. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular choices below.
Pellets / Flakes – The vast majority of people choose to feed their betta fish with pellets or flakes instead of live food. It’s much more economical and convenient, and it’s also a great way to be sure that you’re giving them all the nutrients that they need.
Mosquito Larvae – In the wild, mosquito larvae form a large part of a betta fish’s diet. It floats on the top of the water and provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals essential for the health of the fish.
You’ll struggle to find a place to buy mosquito larvae for obvious reasons, and as such this food is usually off the menu for betta fish in aquariums. Some dedicated owners decide to go out into the wild and harvest their own larvae, but unless you know what you’re doing we highly advise against doing this.
Microworms – Many people like to culture (grow) their own microworms to feed to their betta fish. They’re tiny little worms that can be ready for feeding in 3 to 4 days of being cultured. They are better suited to younger fry betta fish due to their small size, but adult betta fish will happily eat them too.
Brine Shrimp – Brine shrimp are very small shrimp that are packed full of the essential nutrients that betta fish require. Again people grow these shrimp themselves to feed to their fish, but you can also buy them from the store. Younger betta fish should ideally only be fed baby brine shrimp, whereas adult betta fish can easily handle the size of the adult shrimp.
Earthworms – For some reason or another many betta fish owners overlook the humble earthworm as a tasty treat for their aquatic buddies. Head out into your back garden and start digging around to find some of the most nutritious fresh food your fish will ever have the pleasure of eating. Remember to cut them up into little pieces before feeding them to your fish, there’s no way that they could tackle a whole fully grown earthworm.
Blood Worms – While betta fish love to eat blood worms, they cannot be used as a sole food source. Bloodworms get their name (and their famous red color) from the huge amount of iron in their body. They have a high protein content and are readily available from any good pet store.
However, bloodworms lack many nutrients and amino acids that betta fish require as part of a balanced diet. As such they should only be provided as a treat from time to time to complement other foods.
Best Betta Fish Food
Aqueon Betta Food
We’ve researched several different potential pellet and flake based foods specifically designed for betta fish for this article. In our opinion, this product from Aqueon is the best food on the market in 2018.
It’s a pellet based food that provides your betta fish with all the vitamins and minerals they need for a healthy and happy life. It’s made from premium ingredients with the bulk of the protein coming from fish meal derived from salmon, herring, shrimp, and other fishes. There are no artificial colorings or flavorings, which combined with the wholesome ingredients we have just mentioned will keep your fish colorful and full of energy.
The pellet size has been perfectly designed to be the optimal size for the tiny mouth of a betta fish, and they will be able to eat this food with no issues whatsoever. They’re floating pellets that will stay on the top of the tank to mimic the natural food sources that they would find in the wild, and as an added bonus, they’re reasonably cheap too.
This is honestly the best all in one solution for feeding a betta fish. You could provide them with nothing but this food for their entire life and they would be as happy and healthy as they could ever hope to be.
We highly recommend you add it to the top of your shortlist.
3 More Really Good Betta Fish Foods
In all honesty, our overall pick had some very stiff competition to reach the top spot above. In this section, we are going to review 3 more betta fish foods that were “runners-up” but are still more than worthy of your consideration.
Tetra BettaMin Tropical Medley Color Enhancing Food
Let’s be honest here, one of the main reasons many of us have decided to add a betta fish or two to our fish tank is because of how darn beautiful they are. The combination of their stunning long fins and their mesmerizing colors is irresistible. As such, many of us will go to extreme lengths to ensure that they retain their beauty throughout their lifetimes.
Tetra is one of the longest established and most respected fish food manufacturers in the world. They have extensive experience in formulating the perfect foods for specific fish, and this product they have dedicated to betta fish is no exception. Its been primarily designed to promote the stunning color of your betta fish while providing a balanced and nutritional diet.
It does this by using a unique blend of different natural color enhancers, vitamins, and minerals that work hand in hand with one another to help your fish remain vibrant and colorful. It’s a floating flake-based food that’s red in color and has been made from a non-clouding formula (it’s free from artificial colors or ingredients too).
One of the things that we like most about this food is that Tetra has added whole freeze-dried shrimp into the box alongside the flakes. This means that your betta fish can eat one of their favorite natural foods (whole), and get the nutrition they require from the flakes at the same time.
It’s an amazing food that was very nearly our overall top pick. We highly recommend you consider this product alongside Aqueon’s food.
Omega One Betta Buffet Flakes Food
This food is a little bit more expensive than the other products on this list, which is the main reason it didn’t make it to our overall best pick. However, it’s a great product that prioritizes quality protein sources above all else. It’s made by Omega One who is a well-respected fish food manufacturer, they have extensive experience in creating food for happy healthy fish.
As we mentioned earlier, protein makes up a huge portion of a betta fish’s diet. It’s essential to their well being. Fish pellets made for carnivorous fish derive their protein from various sources, ideally this will be from meat or fish. However, it’s also possible to get protein from plant-based sources like soy.
While there is nothing wrong with plant-based protein, it’s nowhere near as good as meat and fish-based proteins (as it’s missing many essential amino acids and oils). As plant-based proteins are very cheap, many fish foods use them as “padding” for their meat-based proteins. This allows them to provide the nutritional requirements of the fish while keeping costs low (and they can still say that they have some meat or fish based proteins in their product for marketing).
Omega One use as much meat and fish based protein as possible in their food, and the majority of it comes from wild salmon (which is full of nutrients). Like all of the other fish foods on this list, they also have to use a little bit of starch and filler protein in their product – but it’s found in much lower quantities.
This is the primary reason that this food is the most expensive on this list. Their protein costs are much higher. If you want to let your fish feast like a king, then this is the product for you.
Wardley Betta Food
The final product on our list is an affordable option made by Wardley. It’s a pellet based food that’s full of all the vitamins and minerals required for a healthy fish. But if we’re totally honest, there’s not all that much that’s special about this product.
It doesn’t rely on special features and fancy marketing to make sales. It just quietly does what it’s supposed to with the minimum of fuss. It’s not going to cloud your water, the pellet sizes are perfect, it’s free of artificial colors and flavorings, and it’s a floating food too.
If you’re looking for a product that’s going to keep your fish happy and healthy with a balanced diet (while on a budget), then we highly recommend you check this food out.
So there you have it, everything you ever wanted to know about the wonderful world of feeding betta fish.
If you pick one of the products on this list (and remember to not overfeed them) then you’re going to give your fish the best possible chance of a long and happy life. They are all winners to have been mentioned here today, and they are all more than worthy of your consideration.