How To Feed Your Betta Fish and Avoid Overfeeding

Bettas are naturally carnivorous. Their diet mainly consists of insects, insect larvae and tiny crustaceans.

Tending to eat smaller, meaty animals that have high protein contents (such as bloodworms, daphnia, mosquito larvae). Tank raised Bettas will gladly eat flakes, pellets, live, freeze-dried and frozen foods.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to feed your betta so you don’t risk overfeeding.

Feeding Your Betta Fish

Let’s discuss what you need to know about feeding betta fish.

How Much Should I Feed my Betta?

It can be really hard at first to figure out how much you should feed your Betta. Please, take my advice and make sure that you are not overfeeding your fish. This can wreak all sorts of havoc on your fish and aquarium.

Bettas tend to eat kind of slowly. So trying to say, “Only feed your Betta for 2 minutes,” really doesn’t work.

Instead, you have to look at the volume of food you’re giving your fish. A Betta’s stomach is only about the size of one of their eyes, so you really only have to feed them a very small portion at a time.

They only need 2-5 pellets or flakes or insects per feeding.

Promptly remove uneaten food so that it doesn’t rot in the tank and foul your water.

How Often Should I Feed My Betta?

It can be tempting to add your fish’s daily ration to its habitat all at once for convenience, but Betta fish are actually better adapted to consume multiple smaller portions throughout the day.

You should divide your fish’s rations between two meals a day.

I recommend you take it slow, and feed your Betta small amounts and see how it goes from there. And that’s because the dangers of overfeeding should be taken seriously.

Dangers of Overfeeding

Overfeeding Betta fish can lead to a number of complications.

Bloating and constipation are the most common symptoms of overfeeding, both of which can lead to illness and death.

Betta fish are particularly sensitive to overfeeding compared with other species because of their compressed digestive tract. 

The problems associated with overfeeding can be controlled by following the above practices rigidly, not giving into the temptation to feed your fish more than it needs.

Fasting Your Betta 

Some studies also show that fasting your Bettas once per week can help to avoid constipation.

This will not cause them any harm and will actually help to clear their digestive tract, minimizing constipation risk; simply refrain from feeding them over a 24 hour period on a weekly basis.

Special Mention: Blanched Peas

Though Bettas feed almost exclusively on animals (and not plants), blanched peas can be used to prevent constipation by providing large amounts of fiber.

Feeding some blanched peas a few times a month can really help your Betta’s gut health.

Preparing Blanched Peas

To prepare blanched peas:

1. Take a single pea and blanch it by dropping it into boiling water to soften it.

2. Leave it there for 15-30 seconds and then cool it by dropping it into iced water.

3. Peel the skin and feed a small portion of the pea to your Betta.

Peas can be used as a quick remedy for constipation or bloating, or as a dietary supplement once per week to provide fiber.

How Long Can My Betta Go Without Food?

Betta fish are able to survive up to two weeks without any food before dying from malnourishment.

In the wild, fish often have to survive extended periods of time on little to no food and are well adapted to make it through these periods.

Final Thoughts on How to Feed Your Betta

Feeding your betta doesn’t need to be complicated. As long as you’re following my advice of not overfeeding, you’ll unlikely run into any issues.

Katherine Morgan
Katherine Morgan

Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. An aquarium specialist, I've kept tanks for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast.

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