How Often Should You Feed a Betta Fish?

How often should you feed a betta fish, that’s a really interesting question?  I’ve fed my betta fish several different times throughout the day. 

The first way that I fed him was in the morning and evening before work. During this time, he didn’t get any extra food for his breakfast because I left at about 6:00 am and returned at 9 or 10 pm during the week.  

Every other day after work when I got home from working at an outside job (it was hot) it would die just out of water stress, so to prevent this I made sure to feed him 3 times a day.  

How often should you feed a Betta fish?

It’s better to feed your betta fish three times a day. So, they get a small dose of food every time as opposed to eating one large meal.  

This also helps from overfeeding your betta fish, which can cause ich.  

So I would recommend feeding three times a day unless you have really good filtration on your tank and are sure that the ammonia levels are either nonexistent or at a safe level for your Betta fish.  

Remember, overfeeding can be just as bad as underfeeding your betta.  

Underfeeding him could lead to starvation and stunted growth while overfeeding can cause all sorts of health problems including ich.  

What to feed a betta fish?

Betta fish are carnivores and should be fed high-protein foods.  

For example: Feed them blood worms (only feed it to them once or twice a week).  

How much to feed a Betta fish?

The thing about fish is that it’s really hard to give a specific amount of food. It all depends on the size of your tank and what kind of food you’re using.  

How much you give your betta depends on the size of their stomach, which varies by species.

I recommend doing a search online for “betta fish stomach” because there is lots of information about that subject.  

The smaller ones like B. imbellis and B. smaragdina have more narrow stomachs than larger bettas such as B. splendens, so they need less food than the larger ones.

When feeding your betta don’t leave any food behind. For example, if you feed it one blood worm you should pick up the rest after they are done.

Taking photos of your fish before feeding them will help remind you when and how much they’ve eaten.  

If you’re using freeze-dried blood worms, for example, one pinch will feed your betta for several days while frozen brine shrimp is a much smaller amount so that you can only feed once or twice per day.  

Why you shouldn’t overfeed your betta fish?

The reason it’s suggested not to feed too much is that if the food is not eaten within several hours it will begin to rot in the water creating excess ammonia which will eventually poison your fish (or get you killed).  

Bettas are also known to get ich from overfeeding, so be careful and feed sparingly.  

I would tend to recommend feeding every other day unless you know how much food your betta can eat within a safe amount of time.  

Also, remember that how long it takes the pellets to dissolve in the water depends on how much water you have in the container as well as several other factors (you’ll learn more about these later).

Why proper sized feed is important?  

They’re great little pellets that dissolve in water. The only problem that I had with them was that the pellets were too big and my Betta fish would be swimming around for about 10 minutes trying to eat them.  

I solved this problem by using a clean needle to puncture them open, which made it easier for him to eat.  

Also if you have ich issues, this food is very good because the ich parasite can’t attach itself to the outside of the pellet before it dissolves into the water (which means no ich).  

Things should follow when you feed your betta

Here are some rules that you should follow when feeding your betta fish: When feeding pellets, use these guidelines:  

-Feed only what they can consume within 5-10 minutes.  

-They don’t need to eat all of it. This ensures that they don’t eat too much and get swim bladder problems from over consumption (they won’t be able to swim straight).  

-If it takes longer than 10 minutes for the pellets to dissolve, then you are overfeeding and giving them too many pellets at once. Remember 5-10 minutes per dose.  

-Also remember that what food you feed them will determine how much water changes are needed.  For example, Brine shrimp and freeze-dried blood worms will mean that you have to do your water changes more often than if you feed pellets  (which have a much lower waste product).  

Remember, the protein-rich foods are fine to be fed once or twice per week as long as it’s not every day.  

-If your tank is small you need to clean it on a regular basis. This includes doing something called a partial water change.  

-Be careful when feeding your fish anything that is rich in protein (i.e. brine shrimp, blood worms). Those things have lots of nutrients that can cause ammonia spikes or nitrite poisoning, which may kill off your fish.

-Only feed them what they need. Put down just a pinch because too much food won’t do well for them. 

A good rule of thumb is if it takes longer than 10 minutes for the pellets/blood worms to dissolve on the bottom then you’ve given them too much at once and they shouldn’t eat all of it.

How often you should change debris water?

I would recommend doing a water change right after or at least the next day because poop will fall through the gravel.  

It’s also good to do this on the day or two after you’ve fed them, just in case there is some uneaten food that can cause ammonia spikes.  

It’s also good practice to vacuum the gravel at least weekly (if not more). In fact, I would recommend doing it at least 1-2 times a week.  

Why?  Because there can be lots of debris left behind from fish food, decaying plants/decorations, and poop that can easily be vacuumed off and make your tank look a lot nicer.  

There will be less of a chance of your fish getting sick.

What should you not feed a betta fish?

Don’t feed your betta fish, meat, or any other type of food that is rich in protein. It can be unhealthy for them.  

You should never feed them foods such as Raw meat (steak), Fake crab meat (i.e. Krab’s claws) because it could deteriorate very quickly in their tank and cause bacteria to grow rapidly.

Sometimes wild bettas eat small plants or leaves from the water they live in.

I have seen pictures of these things on a few websites, but I would not recommend doing this because there may be contaminants/chemicals in the leaves which could kill your fish.  

Instead, I would recommend cutting out a leaf from your houseplant and giving it to them.

Final Words

This was just a brief overview of what to feed your betta fish and how often should you feed a betta fish? 

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