Can you eat betta fish?

In this blog, we will discuss if bettas are edible or not. We will also discuss the pros and cons of eating a betta fish.

Overview

In this blog

  • Can you eat betta fish?
  • What are the benefits of eating betta fish?
  • What are the consequences of eating a poisonous betta fish?
  • Can you eat your aquarium betta fish?
  • Why you should not eat a captive-bred betta fish?
  • Which betta variety is edible?
  • Who can eat betta fish?
  • How to cook a betta fish?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions

Can you eat betta fish?

Till now I have heard about owning a betta fish because of their beautiful colors and varieties. This is something new to me too. It will be interesting to discuss this topic because not much information is available about this topic on the internet.

As per betta breeders & betta keepers, there is no problem in consuming a betta fish. Bettas are carnivorous fish and eating them won’t be an issue at all.

There are different varieties of betta fish and maybe some of them are edible too. I haven’t done any research on this personally but read a few articles regarding the same. As per those articles, if you have consumed a betta fish accidentally or to know the taste, it is totally fine.

Its overconsumption is fatal or if the betta fish has consumed something toxic then consuming that particular betta fish could be life-threatening. Well, it’s totally up to an individual, if they are interested to eat they will eat and if not they won’t.

Keep reading this blog to know more about this interesting topic. I am sure you will get some important information which could help you if you are planning to eat one. 

What are the benefits of eating betta fish?

Betta fish are carnivorous fish species that consume a lot of protein in their diet. Proteins are essential for the growth and development of muscles and other organs. If you are eating a betta fish, you’re getting a lot of protein indirectly.

The human body needs proteins to function properly, along with other energy sources like fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. So bettas can provide proteins to you if you are consuming the non-poisonous ones.

What are the consequences of eating a poisonous betta fish?

A betta fish doesn’t become poisonous unless it consumes something poisonous. If you happen to eat a poisonous betta fish then you might suffer from various health issues.

  • Consuming a poisonous betta fish can lead to instant paralysis. This could be fatal and sometimes can lead to death too.
  • Consuming a poisonous betta fish can lead to respiratory failure. Some viral infections in bettas can damage the lungs and once the lungs are damaged, you can’t survive.
  • Consuming a poisonous betta fish can cause nausea, especially when you are consuming raw betta fish. Soon after consumption you feel uneasy and get pukish sensations too.
  • Consuming a poisonous betta fish can lead to unconsciousness. You might faint instantly after consuming a poisonous betta fish.
  • If the betta fish has consumed extremely poisonous food or substance, it can lead to the death of an individual too.

Can you eat your aquarium betta fish?

No, you should never eat your aquarium betta fish because they stay with many other fish and aquarium water parameters keep changing and stress your fish. This leads to various infections in bettas including bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections. 

Some infections like internal tumors are not visible to us and if we consume a betta fish with tumors, then we might end up getting some serious infections too.

It would be better if you don’t eat your aquarium betta fish. It can impact your health adversely.

Why you should not eat a captive-bred betta fish?

Wild bettas consume live food directly in their natural habitat whereas captive-bred ones don’t get the fresh ones. So, eating a wild betta fish is still okay than eating a captive-bred betta fish.

Consuming a captive-bred betta is not a good idea, as it is produced for different traits like aggressiveness, fin colors, veil types, and various other traits too. 

In my opinion, never consume captive-bred bettas, because they are produced unnaturally and can cause various side effects in the consumer’s body.

Eating wild bettas is not allowed, because they are already at the verge of extinction due to human activities. Eating or keeping an endangered species is a big crime. You have to be very careful about such sensitive matters. 

If you are very much interested in eating a betta fish then you can produce it by breeding the captive ones and consuming them. Make sure you’re not eating a sick betta fish. Eating a sick betta fish can make your health worse too.

Which betta variety is edible?

There are overall 73 different varieties of betta fish available. Most of them are captive-bred; there is no sufficient data available to know which betta fish is suitable for human consumption.

It is better to ask betta breeders to know more about this.​​They are the best ones to answer this question. You can’t eat wild bettas because they fall under a vulnerable category and you can’t own one.

There are several pages on Facebook about betta breeders, you can follow them to know more about the same. They have the right knowledge about bettas since they have been in this profession for quite a long.

Always consult before eating a captive-bred betta fish, because there are no dates available on the internet to support the same.

Who can eat betta fish?

There are various species in the wild that prey on bettas and bettas also eat other aquatic creatures to maintain the food chain.

Bettas were never meant for consumption by humans, they were produced for their beautiful traits.

Species that can eat betta fish in the wild are:

  • Bigger fish
  • Frogs
  • Birds 
  • Cats ( i am not sure about this, read somewhere)

The above-listed species are the ones that eat betta fish in the wild.

How to cook a betta fish?

Cooking a betta fish sounds so weird to me, but anyway, if you are interested in eating one then you can check some videos on youtube. There are a few videos about how to cook a betta fish.

The procedure is the same, as to how you cook other edible fish. Keep in mind,not to eat raw ones, wash them properly before cooking.

Things to keep in mind while eating a betta fish:

  • Make sure you are eating a non-poisonous betta fish.
  • Never consume raw betta fish.
  • Wash them thoroughly before cooking.
  • Cook it properly.
  • Always consult before eating.
  • Don’t eat every day. ( It can cause allergies)
  • Avoid overconsumption. (It can upset the digestive system)
  • Eating a poisonous betta fish can lead to various health issues including death.

Summary

  • Eating betta fish is a personal choice. Some prefer to eat some don’t. Betta fish are not meant for human consumption, but are bred for their beautiful personalities, aggression, and pectoral fins.
  • If you’re a betta lover, you won’t eat them. But if you’re someone who wants to know how it tastes, you will end up eating them.
  • Eating a betta fish accidentally won’t kill you, but eating a poisonous one can be fatal.
  • If you eat a poisonous betta fish, you could become paralyzed instantly. This could be very dangerous and sometimes can lead to death.
  • If you eat poisonous betta fish, you may get sick. This is especially true if you eat the fish raw. Shortly after eating you feel uneasy and vomit.
  • There are a few videos on youtube on how to cook betta fish. I didn’t like the way they addressed their bettas as ugly fish.
  • If you’re a hardcore betta lover you will love them in your aquarium and not on the pan.
  • Before eating a captive-bred betta fish, be sure to check the internet for any supporting information. There are no known dates for their consumption, so it is best to be cautious.

Frequently asked questions

Can you eat a betta fish regularly?

In my opinion, you should avoid eating bettas regularly. Consuming it every day can upset your digestive system.

Is it a good idea to consume a captive-bred betta fish?

No, captive-bred bettas are not meant for consumption. Avoid eating captive-raised ones, as it can cause some allergies or indigestion.

Can you eat a live betta fish?

No, you should never eat a live fish. It is inhuman.

Are there any side effects of eating raw betta fish?

Yes, there are many side effects of eating raw betta fish like allergies, rashes, indigestion, etc.

Are there any recipes available on youtube to cook a betta fish?

Unfortunately yes, there are few videos available on youtube.

Is it ethical to eat betta fish?

Bettas come in the vulnerable category, so in my opinion, don’t consume them. They were initially bred for fighting purposes and not for consumption. 

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?