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What Do Betta Fish Eat: 5 Best Foods for Betta

Ever wondered why your betta fish might be turning up its nose at its food? Or perhaps you’re concerned about offering the right nutrients to ensure vibrant colors and optimum health?

Deciphering the diet of these fascinating aquatic creatures can be a puzzle for many enthusiasts. Dive into our comprehensive guide to discover “What do betta fish eat?” and “5 best food for Betta fish“. Get the answers to all your feeding dilemmas. Let’s embark on this aquatic culinary journey together!

What Do Betta Fish Eat?

what can betta fish eat
What can betta fish eat

Just like us, Betta enjoy a good meal. In the wild, they love eating bugs. But at home, you can feed them different types of food to keep them happy and healthy as Blood Worms, Mysis Shrimp, Betta Flakes, Betta Pellets, Daphnia, Brine Shrimp, Tubifex Worms, and Mosquito Larvae…

  • Dry Food: There are special pellets and flakes made just for Betta fish. They’re easy to find and good for everyday feeding.
  • Live Food: Betta fish like hunting. You can give them tiny live foods like fruit flies, earthworms, or mosquito babies. It’s fun for them and natural.
  • Frozen Food: If you don’t want live food, there are frozen options too. Things like frozen shrimp or worms can be a treat for your Betta.

Betta fish like to eat freeze-dried food such as bloodworms. Bettas can be fed pellets as a mainstay of their diet. The best betta food replicates these specific dietary needs without a lot of added and indigestible fillers.

5 Best Food For Betta Fish

Every Betta fish has its own personality, especially when it comes to food! Some Betta fish seem to eat anything and everything, like tiny, eager sharks. But others? They’re the picky ones, often leaving their owners scratching their heads at mealtime.

If your Betta is one of those finicky eaters, don’t stress. They just have a more refined palate! There are many high-quality foods packed with protein that might just tickle their fancy.

#1 Frozen Bloodworms For Betta

When we think of a Betta fish’s diet in the wild, it’s filled with small insects, little crustaceans, and other meaty morsels. This makes frozen bloodworms—a bright red larva of midge flies—an excellent choice for them.

Bloodworms - best food for Betta fish
Bloodworms – best food for Betta fish

Most local pet stores stock frozen bloodworms. They’re typically presented in two formats: foil-sealed individual cubes or breakable frozen slabs. If you’re in the U.S., you might want to lean towards the Hikari brand. Known for its superior quality, Hikari ensures that the bloodworms are of premium standard and are easy to handle during feeding.

Keep in mind, a whole cube is rather generous for one meal. Thaw out a cube in a small containerand use a pipette or tweezers to serve a few bloodworms to your betta.

While your Betta might seem perfectly content gorging on bloodworms day in and day out, it’s essential to introduce variety. Just as we benefit from a balanced diet, so do our finned friends. Regularly rotating between two to three different food sources ensures they receive all the vital nutrients for a healthy life.

#2 Live Blackworms (Live Foods)

Live foods are often regarded as the gold standard for betta fish food options. They mirror what bettas would naturally munch on in the wild, offering not just nutritional value but also behavioral enrichment.

Live Blackworms food for Betta
Live Blackworms food for Betta

Among live foods, blackworms come highly recommended. Why? Being a true freshwater species, they don’t just die off in your aquarium. Instead, they burrow into the substrate. This behavior makes them perfect little playmates for your betta, turning mealtime into a fun hunting game. It’s not just about feeding; it’s also about stimulation and keeping your betta engaged.

However, as wonderful as live blackworms are, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. They might not be readily available at every local fish store and  there’s a slight risk of them introducing parasites into your tank.

Yet, the benefits generally outweigh these concerns. Blackworms are rich in nutrients and provide ample mental stimulation for bettas. If you decide to introduce them to your aquarium, be discerning. Ensure you’re sourcing the worms from a trusted fish store. The best ones keep their blackworms refrigerated and in clear, fresh, odorless water.

#3 Betta Food Pellets

Betta Food Pellets
Betta Food Pellets

While pellets might not have the authentic appearance of natural food, they pack a punch in terms of nutrition. They’re crafted to contain the essential nutrients your betta fish requires, ensuring that they get a well-rounded meal in just a bite or two.

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Unlike some food options, Betta food pellets don’t dissolve rapidly in water. This means less waste and a cleaner tank.Another advantage is that Betta fish are surface feeders due to their upturned mouths. Conveniently, most pellets float, aligning with the betta’s natural feeding habits.

#4 Freeze Dried Betta Food

Freeze Dried Betta Food
Freeze Dried Betta Food

Freeze drying is a special preservation technique that removes moisture from foods, making them lightweight and dry, but importantly, retaining much of their original nutrients and taste. This is why freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp have become popular choices for betta enthusiasts as an alternative to frozen foods.

One of the main advantages of freeze-dried foods is the sheer convenience. You don’t need to store them in a freezer, and they’re always ready to use. When introduced to the tank, these foods tend to float at the water’s surface, aligning with the betta’s natural feeding habits. This makes it easy for betta owners to portion out the right amount for each feeding session. And if your betta doesn’t finish everything? The dry nature of freeze-dried foods means they can be effortlessly removed from the tank, ensuring the environment stays clean.

#5 Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula

Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula
Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula

Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula introduces a unique approach to betta fish feeding with its nano pellet design. The primary ingredient here is black soldier fly larvae, a deliberate choice aimed at closely mirroring a betta fish’s natural insectivore tendencies.

The benefits of this food source don’t stop at just mirroring their wild diet. It’s rich in high-quality protein, bolstered with essential vitamins and minerals to promote the optimal health of your betta.

One thing to note about this product is its slow sinking nature. While this characteristic might mean that some betta fish might be initially hesitant to chase after it, it can be a boon if you have a community tank. Fish like tetras and corydoras are likely to appreciate these granules, ensuring no food goes to waste and every member of your aquatic family gets a share of the nutritious meal.

Here’s a table summarizing the pros and cons of each food option for Betta fish:

Food Option Pros Cons
Frozen Bloodworms


– Mimics Betta’s natural diet – Requires thawing before feeding
– Available in premium quality (e.g., Hikari) – Limited nutritional variety
– Easy to handle during feeding – Should be part of a varied diet
Live Blackworms – Natural and engaging for Betta – May not be readily available
– Provides mental stimulation – Slight risk of introducing parasites to the tank
Betta Food Pellets


– Convenient and nutrient-rich – May not mimic natural diet as closely
– Minimal waste in the tank – Limited variety in texture and shape
– Floats, aligning with Betta’s feeding habits
Freeze Dried Betta Food – Convenient and no need for freezing – Limited nutritional variety
– Floats and easy to portion out – Can become messy if not eaten entirely
Fluval Bug Bites


– Mimics Betta’s natural diet – Sinks slowly, may not be ideal for all Betta fish
– High-quality protein and essential nutrients May require adaptation for some Betta fish
– Suitable for community tanks

What Can Betta Fish Eat Of Human Food

Have you ever noticed your Betta looking at you, wagging its tail like a little puppy while you’re enjoying your meal? It’s tempting to spoil them with bits from our plates. While it’s fun to treat Betta fish occasionally with human foods like boiled peas, leafy greens, cucumber, sweet corn, and non-citrus fruits like strawberries or melon, they’re not staples in a betta’s natural diet. Overfeeding Betta with our treats is not advisable.

Many human foods aren’t suited for bettas. Especially steer clear of processed foods. The additives, chemicals, and preservatives in them are a red flag for our finned friends. So, while it’s okay to occasionally indulge them with the mentioned safe foods, be cautious, mindful, and moderate. After all, bettas rely on us for their well-being.

#1 Boiled Peas

Betta fish can occasionally enjoy the simple pleasure of boiled peas, but there’s a catch. Always remove the shell before offering it to your betta. The skin can be tough for them to digest. Interestingly, not only are these peas a treat, but feeding a betta a couple can assist with digestion troubles they might be experiencing.

Boiled Peas food for Betta
Boiled Peas food for Betta

#2 Cucumber & Lettuce

Both cucumber and lettuce can occasionally grace your betta’s menu as delightful treats. However, moderation is the keyword. When giving these, ensure they’re chopped into tiny, manageable bits for your fish. While they might appreciate these green additions now and then, it’s essential to remember that lettuce, in particular, shouldn’t become a regular feature in their diet.

Cucumber & Lettuce for Betta
Cucumber & Lettuce for Betta

#3 Fruits

Bettas, much to some owners’ surprise, have quite the sweet tooth! Fruits like strawberries, apples, pear, mango, melon, and their favorite, cantaloupe, can serve as occasional treats. When offering these fruity delights, present them in tiny portions, ensuring they’re manageable for your betta.

However, not all fruits are betta-approved. Steer clear of citrus fruits. Their acidic nature isn’t just problematic for your betta’s digestion but also impacts the tank’s pH balance, turning the water acidic.

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Fruits food for Betta fish
Fruits food for Betta fish

#4 Seafood For Betta

Bettas have a natural penchant for some gourmet treats from the sea! Fresh fish pieces and select seafoods, like tiny bits of shrimp, oysters, or scallops, can be exciting additions to their mealtime.

The benefit of such treats is that they’re rich in animal proteins, aligning with a betta’s dietary needs. This means that, every now and then, you could swap out regular fish food for these aquatic delights. However, when serving these, always ensure they’re unseasoned, keeping your betta’s health and well-being in mind.

#5 Chicken

Chicken Food for Betta
Chicken Food for Betta

While it might seem unconventional, bettas can indeed nibble on meats like chicken, beef, or pork, but only in very minute amounts. Some aquatic enthusiasts may frown upon this practice, deeming it unnatural for a water-based creature to consume land meats. However, while it’s not their natural diet, it isn’t intrinsically harmful.

Should you choose to offer these meats, it’s essential to boil them thoroughly, ensuring they are devoid of any spices or seasonings. Remember, even though bettas are carnivorous, land meats should remain an infrequent treat rather than a regular component of their meals.

Betta Fry Food

Betta Fry Food
Betta Fry Food

Betta fry, right from their earliest days, show a natural predilection towards chasing and consuming anything in motion that’s smaller than them. However, their feeding preferences don’t quite align with dry options such as flakes or powders. Instead, their inclination leans heavily towards live foods.

For the growing fry, a diverse menu can include Infusoria, minute free-living nematodes like Vinegar Eels, Microworms, Banana Worms, and Walter Worms. Other nutritious options to consider are baby Brine Shrimp, Daphnia, Fairy Shrimp, and Grindal Worms. These live foods mimic their natural diet, ensuring your betta fry receive the best start in their aquatic life.

What To Avoid Food Bettas?

You might think as a tropical fish, betta fish can eat tropical fish food. In fact, they cannot. So it’s essential to avoid feeding your betta flakes designed for goldfish or other tropical species. Bettas possess uniquely short digestive systems, making them ill-equipped to handle fillers like corn and wheat. Unfortunately, many pellet and flake foods contain these fillers, which can result in issues like bloating and constipation for your betta. These fillers offer no nutritional value and mostly exit as waste.

And as we mentioned above, citrus fruits are not for bettas. Always make informed food choices for your aquatic friend to ensure a happy, healthy life.

Learn More: How Long Can a Betta Fish Go Without Food (Exactly Answer)


What Is The Best Betta Food For Color?

High-quality pellets with natural color enhancers like spirulina and krill promote vibrant hues in bettas.

Does Betta Fish Food Expire?

Yes, betta fish food has an expiration date. Always check the packaging and avoid using expired food, as it loses its nutritional value.

Can Betta Fish Eat Turtle Food?

No, turtle food is formulated for turtles and lacks essential nutrients bettas require. Stick to betta-specific foods.

Can Betta Fish Eat Normal Fish Food?

While bettas might consume general fish food, it may not cater to their specific dietary needs. Betta-specific food is recommended.

Can Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Food?

Avoid goldfish food for bettas. Goldfish food often contains fillers which bettas can’t digest well, leading to health issues.

Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Flakes?

Tropical flakes can be eaten occasionally, but they shouldn’t replace betta-specific food. Ensure they don’t contain unsuitable fillers.

Can Betta Eat Tetra Food?

Bettas can eat tetra food in a pinch, but it’s not ideal for their regular diet. Always prioritize betta-formulated foods.

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Can Betta Eat Guppy Food?

While bettas can consume guppy food, it’s best as an occasional meal, not a primary diet.

Can Betta Fish Eat Bread?

No, bread isn’t suitable for bettas and can cause digestive issues.

Can Betta Fish Eat Shrimp?

Indeed, bettas can enjoy small, unseasoned shrimp pieces as a treat.

Can Betta Fish Eat Brine Shrimp?

Certainly, brine shrimp is a nutritious and welcomed food for bettas.

Can Betta Fish Eat Ants?

While bettas might eat ants, it’s not a common or recommended food source.

Can Betta Fish Eat Lettuce?

Betta can eat lettuce, in small, finely chopped amounts occasionally, but it’s not a staple.

Can Betta Fish Eat Bananas?

In moderation, tiny bits bananas are okay as a rare treat for Betta fish.

Can Betta Fish Eat Mealworms?

Yes, Betta can eat mealworms, but it’s better to focus on aquatic-based food sources for regular meals.

Can Betta Fish Eat Strawberries?

Yes Betta can eat strawberries, but only occasionally and in tiny bits as a treat.

Can Betta Fish Eat Carrots?

Betta fish can eat carrots, but it should be finely chopped or grated and given sparingly.

Can Betta Fish Eat Sea Monkeys?

Absolutely, sea monkeys (brine shrimp) are a good food source for bettas.

Can Betta Fish Eat Flies?

Yes, bettas can eat small flies and often appreciate the live food.

Can Betta Fish Eat Algae?

No, bettas are carnivores and don’t gain nutritional value from algae.

Can Betta Fish Eat Spinach?

Betta can eat small spinach, finely chopped amounts occasionally, but it’s not a regular diet item.

Can Betta Fish Eat Fruit Flies?

Indeed, fruit flies can be a tasty treat for bettas. If you want to offer fruit flies as an occasional treat or to add variety to their diet, make sure the fruit flies are small enough for your betta to consume easily, and they should be dusted with a high-quality fish vitamin supplement to enhance their nutritional value


In wrapping up our exploration into the dietary preferences of these vibrant swimmers, we’ve demystified the central question: “What do Betta fish eat?” and “food for Betta fish” From pellets crafted specifically for their needs to a delightful array of treats like strawberries and brine shrimp, bettas indeed have a diverse palette.

But it’s essential to strike the right balance, ensuring they get the nutrients they need while avoiding overfeeding or introducing unsuitable foods.

For more insightful tips and fascinating insights into the world of aquatic life, don’t miss out on our other blogs from National Park Aquarium. Dive in and keep exploring!

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