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Which foods for betta fish are best?

Thanks to their bright colors and feisty personalities, betta fish are popular pets. However, because of their low cost, easy availability, and the fact that they are often sold in small containers, many owners don’t realize that these tropical fish require special care and a high-quality diet.

Fluval Bug Bites Color Enhancing Fish Food for Betta Fish is formulated with the nutritional needs of bettas in mind. Made from fly larvae and whole fish, this food is the best choice for those looking to provide their betta with high-quality, natural ingredients.

What to know before you buy food for betta fish

What betta fish eat in the wild

Bettas are insectivores. This means that their natural diet is almost completely composed of insects, insect larva, and other small invertebrates. Bettas require protein and animal matter to survive and will suffer from malnutrition and eventual death if these nutrients are not regularly provided in their fish food.

How often betta fish need to eat

Bettas, like most fish, do not require a large amount of food. Overfeeding your pet can result in poor health and dirty water. It is recommended that you feed your betta a small pinch of food or a few pellets twice a day.

Picky eaters

Surprisingly, bettas can be finicky when it comes to what they choose to eat. For this reason, it is recommended that you try a variety of different foods until you find two or more than your pet likes. Having more than one type of food on hand will allow you to switch between them to keep your fish interested and engaged.

Betta fish food types

  • Flake food is what most people think of when they imagine feeding fish. Flakes are inexpensive and are usually formulated to feed a wide variety of species. Because of this, they may not have the nutrition that bettas specifically require. They also dissolve easily and can cloud your tank’s water quickly.
  • Pellets are easier to serve to your pet than flakes and also allow you to easily determine how much your fish is eating. Select pellets that float, as bettas prefer to eat at the water’s surface.
  • Live food, such as brine shrimp or bloodworms, contains great nutrition for your pet. However, unless you purchase your live food from a clean, reputable source, it may actually do more harm than good to your pet in the form of illness or parasites.
  • Freeze-dried or frozen foods are best used as treats for your fish rather than as their standard diet. 

What to look for in a quality betta fish food

Nutrition and ingredients

Bettas are predatory fish, and therefore require a diet high in protein. Select food that has shrimp, worms, or similar ingredients at the top of its list. Ingredients like “whole shrimp” are superior to those listed as “meal” or “powder.” Avoid foods that contain long lists of chemical additives or wheat and grain-based fillers, as these do not provide nutrition.

Easy feeding

While feeding a fish is not especially difficult, it can still be challenging to accurately measure out the right amount of flakes or wrangle live food items. Generally, pellets are the easiest to administer since you can count them individually and easily see how many your fish is able to eat within a certain amount of time.


Fish food is not generally expensive. However, more expensive options like live or frozen food can result in unexpectedly high costs over time. To keep your pet’s diet economical, use frozen or live food as a treat and use flakes or pellets as their primary food source.

How much you can expect to spend on a betta fish food

Betta fish food can range from as little as $4 for a small can of flakes to $15-$20 for larger containers of freeze-dried whole food items or frozen brine shrimp.

Betta fish food FAQ

Will a betta fish overeat?

A. Yes. Like many fish, bettas are prone to overeating if provided with an excess of food. This can result in sickness, injury, and dirty water. Only feed your fish what it can consume within five to 10 minutes.

Will a betta fish eat my other fish?

A. While bettas do not eat other fish, they are aggressively territorial and will fight other fish or animals that they see as intruders. Because of this, bettas are solitary creatures and should not be kept with other fish of any species.

Will betta fish eat plants?

A. Generally, they won’t. While a small amount of vegetable matter does make its way into a betta’s diet occasionally, its digestive system is designed to process insect shells and animal protein. They will not feed on decorative aquarium plants.

Betta fish care tips

  • Use a proper aquarium. One of the most common misconceptions about bettas is that they can live happily in a small container. This is not true. For a betta to thrive it requires a proper tank setup with a heater, filtration, and hiding places.
  • Use a gentle filter. Bettas are most comfortable in still water, so select a filter that will not create a disruptive current that will stress out your fish. Some filters are specifically designed for use with bettas.
  • Treat your water. Bettas are highly sensitive to water acidity and chemical imbalance. Be sure to use a specially formulated betta water treatment product whenever you change your pet’s water.
  • Provide shelter. Bettas often take shelter under leaves or debris in the wild. Keep your pet feeling safe and secure by providing it with some items to hide in and explore.

What’s the best betta fish food to buy?

Top betta fish food

Fluval Bug Bites Color Enhancing Fish Food for Betta Fish

Fluval Bug Bites Color Enhancing Fish Food for Betta Fish

What you need to know: This food is made of top-of-the-line ingredients designed to give your betta full, natural nutrition. 

What you’ll love: This betta fish food is mostly made up of fly larvae and the whole salmon, making it one of the most nutritious betta food options available. Its natural taste and smell make it attractive to your pet.

What you should consider: Some betta owners report that these flakes dissolve too quickly and dirty their water.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top betta fish food for the money

Omega One Betta Food

Omega One Betta Food

What you need to know: These floating pellets make feeding time easy and contain great nutrition. 

What you’ll love: With salmon and whole herring listed as the first two ingredients, this betta food is packed with protein. The small pellets float on the water’s surface, providing your fish with its natural and preferred feeding method. 

What you should consider: Some betta owners report that these pellets don’t stay afloat as long as they would like, sinking to the bottom before their fish notices them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and PetSmart

Worth checking out

Tetra BloodWorms

Tetra BloodWorms

What you need to know: These freeze-dried larvae make healthy snacks for your betta.

What you’ll love: Whole, dried bloodworms, and no filler make this an ideal and irresistible supplement to your betta’s regular diet.

What you should consider: This is not suitable for use as daily food and should only be given as a treat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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