Choosing The Best Food For Betta Fish Based on Ingredient Quality

Getting the best food for your betta and providing it with a healthy diet doesn’t need to be hard.

Simply looking at the first ingredients listed will give you a clear indicator on the quality. In this article, I want to show you how you can check ingredient lists to instantly know if it’s good or bad. I’ll also share my favorite foods for bettas.

How To Analyze Food For Betta Fish

Red and blue marbled betta fish swimming near the surface of its aquarium

When choosing food for your bettas, the first ingredient listed on the back is the most important. Here’s what you want and what to avoid:

Keep it Protein-Based

Betta fish are mainly insectivores, meaning they primarily feed on insects and larvae, so their natural diet contains high amounts of protein.

If a particular fish food has a plant-based item at the top of its ingredient list, its protein contents are likely to be low or solely plant-derived. That means it  probably isn’t a very high-quality protein source.

Here’s what to look for instead:

Select a feed that contains protein-rich ingredients like whole fish, insect larvae, krill and shrimp. It’s better to choose a food that specifies which species the protein comes from: “whole krill” is a high quality ingredient, whereas generic “fish meal” is made up of leftover parts, like scales, guts and skin.

Here’s an example of high-quality ingredient

Lastly, be sure to look at the crude protein percentage of the food. For Bettas, aim to choose a food that contains around 30-40% or more of crude protein.

Stay Away From Fillers

Fillers are nasty little buggers, and you’re going to want to avoid them as much as possible.

We’ve just talked about how important it is for Bettas to consume high-protein foods, right? Well, it might come as a surprise for you to learn that many manufacturers purposely add crappy fillers from plant materials to their products.

This is because plants are far cheaper than animal-based ingredients like shrimp and worms, so companies stuff in plant-based foods, usually grains, as fillers to keep their costs down.

Here is an example of low-quality fish food you should avoid

This practice makes it pretty difficult for hobbyists to find high-quality foods for their Bettas.

Here’s what you need to know to avoid the dreaded filler food:

Foods high in specified animal proteins are often low on fillers, too. If the first three or four ingredients of a selected product are plants like soy, wheat and rice, you’re probably best buying something else.

In addition to this, you should avoid products with lots of long, unidentifiable ingredients added like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) as these, too, are often disguised fillers that can be harmful to Bettas.

The thing is, no matter how mindful you are about your fish’s food, most products will contain at least some plant foods.

I don’t want to scare you off of Betta foods containing plant-based food. Even the highest-quality Betta good will contain some plant ingredients to add fiber and obtain the right consistency. You just don’t want plant-based stuff like oatmeal, soy or wheat middlings to be the top ingredient.

Best Foods For Your Betta Fish

The following foods all contain high-quality ingredients for your betta fish.

Fluval Betta Bug Bites

Fluval Bug Bites Betta is a great choice to add some protein to your fish’s diet. The main ingredient is black soldier fly larvae, which helps to mimic the natural diet of insects and larvae that Bettas eat in the wild.

Click For Full Ingredients

Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Salmon, Fish Protein Concentrate, Wheat, Potato, Shrimp Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Lecithin, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Calendula, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Riboflavin, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Inositol, Folic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement

Fluval Bug Bites Betta Fish Food, Granules for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 1.05 Oz.
Fluval Bug Bites Betta Fish Food, Granules for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 1.05 Oz.

    Last update on 2024-07-14 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Omega One Betta Buffet 1.5mm Pellets

    Packed with salmon, whole herring, and whole shrimp, these pellets are a great choice for bettas. Period they also contain marigold extract, which can help enhance red colors in bettas.

    Click For Full Ingredients

    Salmon, Wheat Flour, Whole Herring, Pea Protein, Whole Shrimp, Wheat Gluten, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Marigold Extract, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

    Omega One Betta Buffet 1.5mm Pellets, 1 oz
    Omega One Betta Buffet 1.5mm Pellets, 1 oz

      Last update on 2024-07-14 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes

      These flakes are made from Protein sources, like krill, squid and whole fish, as well as great plant-based foods like a mix of seaweeds, kelp, spirulina, marigold and algae. They make a great staple diet for bettas.

      Click For Full Ingredients

      Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannus), Garlic, Fish Oil, Seaweed (Ulva latuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Euchema  cottonii, Euchema spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Kelp, Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate,Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Vitamin B12 Supplement,  Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,Calcium Pantothenate,  L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

      New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food
      New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food

        Last update on 2024-07-14 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Omega One Super Color Flakes

        These flakes have always been a favorite in my fish room and I highly recommend them for betta fish. They’re made up of great protein sources, like salmon, whole herring and whole shrimp Mixed with pea protein, kelp and color enhancing marigold extract.

        Click For Full Ingredients

        Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Herring Oil, Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols, Carmine, Annatto Extract, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Marigold Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

        Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz
        Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz

          Last update on 2024-07-14 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food

          Spirulina 20 has always been one of the foods that I rotate around for my various aquariums. It is a good mix between animal based ingredients and large amounts of spirulina, which is packed with all sorts of different nutrients. I’ve always had good growth from this food.

          Click For Full Ingredients

          Salmon Fish Meal, Spirulina Algae Meal, Soy Flour, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Dried Krill Meal, Shrimp Meal, Plankton Meal, Lecithin, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C)

          Sale
          Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce
          Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce

            Last update on 2024-07-14 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            New Life Spectrum Betta

            New Life Spectrum Betta has great main ingredients, like krill and squid, that will fulfill a Betta’s need for protein. Combined with this are nutrient rich plant-based foods like kelp and other seaweeds and spirulina that will provide great sources of vitamins and minerals.

            Click For Full Ingredients

            Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannous), Seaweed (Ulva lactuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Eucheuma cottonii, Eucheuma spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Kelp, Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Garlic, Ginger Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Fish Oil, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

            Sale
            New Life Spectrum Betta 25g (Naturox Series)
            New Life Spectrum Betta 25g (Naturox Series)

              Last update on 2024-07-13 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms

              Freeze dried bloodworms are a great source of extra protein for betta fish. You wouldn’t want to make this your fishes only food, but it makes a great supplement or treat a couple times a week.

              Click For Full Ingredients

              Freeze Dried Bloodworms

              Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz
              Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz

                Last update on 2024-07-14 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                Which Food is Best?

                Proper feeding is essential if you want your Betta to live a long and happy life.

                I recommend getting a stable food like, Fluval Betta bites or New Life Spectrum Betta and then rotate in Zoo Med Spirulina and frozen bloodworms a few times a week.

                I hope you find this article helpful.

                I wish you and your fish the very best!

                Christopher Adams
                Christopher Adams

                Hey there, my name is Christopher, and I've successfully ran freshwater aquariums for the past few decades. The mission of this site is to make it simple for anyone to run their own freshwater aquarium.

                One comment

                1. Thanks for the beta diet information Christopher. I enjoyed reading it. I especially like the way you gave explanations & reasoning for the oh, so many options iI see available as betta food. rainbow Sprinkles will be better fed now, ive always given him some variety, now i know what, when, which and why.

                  Respectfully
                  Louise

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