What can you feed Betta fish besides fish food?

In this article, we will answer the question “What can you feed Betta fish besides fish food?”. We will list the top recommendations for how to feed your Betta fish properly and we will also suggest a feeding schedule.

What can you feed Betta fish besides fish food?

Betta fish can be fed many other items besides fish food. It is possible to offer them some treats such as flies, worms, and small shrimp. These items can be offered live, freeze-dried, or frozen. They may also be fed small amounts of other meat, such as other fish. However, this item should be extremely controlled, as the fibres found in the meat can difficult the fish digestion.

These items can be easily found in pet stores or you can breed them at home. It is important to guarantee your fish total nutrition according to their requirements.

In the wild, the Betta fish diet is based on insect larvae and smaller fish. Thus, it would be natural for them if you offer small shrimp, larvae, worms, or even a bit of tuna. You can also offer some soft vegetables. Such as boiled peas with no shells.

Always remember to remove any leftover and uneaten items from the tank immediately. Otherwise, they could contaminate the water and provoke chemical strikes.

What are the Betta fish diet requirements?

Betta fish are carnivorous fish that usually feed on insects in nature. The most appropriate Betta fish foods reproduce their natural specific diet. However, it is quite difficult to reproduce the entire diet. Thus, you can opt for some complements to the fish food, as some snacks, for example. A complete diet should contain high-quality pellets and flakes specific for Betta fish, live, freeze-dried, and frozen items.

A complete Betta fish diet should offer them enough protein, fat, fibres, vitamins, calcium, and carbohydrates. The best nutritional value should focus on proteins. Remember to not feed any pellet or flake prepared for other fish species, such as goldfish or other tropical ones.

Additionally, Betta fish do not digest and process fillers, such as corn and wheat. Thus, pellets or flakes with these fillers should be avoided as they could lead to digestive issues like constipation. 

What can I offer to my Betta fish besides fish pellets and flakes?

Freeze-dried items

Freeze-dried items are a very good option to present some natural items to the Betta fish diet. However, in comparison to living or frozen items, freeze-dried items are not the best choice. Freeze-dried items had their moisture removed and some fillers added for them to remain stable.

Also, we recommend making these items humid by rehydrating them before offering to you Betta fish. Additionally, it is important that freeze-dried items are not the unique items in your Betta fish diet as they could provoke bloating and constipation.

An advantage of freeze-dried items is that they do not carry or develop bacteria and parasites. Freeze-dried items are easy to find in pet stores and online. They are not expensive and can be easily stored in usual fish food containers.

Live & Frozen items

As Betta fish are carnivorous and territorial fish, they can get hostile during feeding time. Thus, offering natural live or frozen items is one of the best ways to reproduce their natural habitat and food sources.

You should pay attention to the origin of the live and frozen items, as they can be an opening to parasites and other organisms. You should never feed your Betta fish with items without a safely known origin.

Many foods can be found frozen. This is a great option to keep live food storage. You can keep natural items until you are ready to defrost and feed your Betta fish. You should never refreeze the items. Once defrosted, they could have been exposed to bacteria. Below are some of the top Betta fish live or frozen items.

1.   Live or frozen mosquito larvae – This is a very good option found in the natural Betta fish habitat. They may be quite hard to find during the cold and dry seasons, they are easily found during warm wet ones;

2.   Live or frozen Brine shrimp – Brine shrimp are aquatic crustaceans and are also great choices for feeding your Betta fish. This item is fully loaded with nutrients required by your Betta fish, such as proteins, vitamins, and amino acids;

3.   Live or frozen Bloodworms – Bloodworms are also known as Glycera, they are the larvae of the midge fly. Betta fish would usually feed on them in the wild, which makes the bloodworms very good items even for picky Betta fish. Bloodworms have low levels of amino acids but high levels of iron;

4.   Live or frozen Wingless Fruit flies – These flies are also known as the vinegar fly. These flies are the ones found close to bananas, apples or other fruit in the kitchen. However they are pretty easy to find at home, it is crucial to guarantee their source as they could carry some diseases. There is also possible to find wingless varieties that are better to guarantee your fish will eat them;

5.   Live or frozen Mysis shrimp: Mysis shrimp are also known as opossum shrimp. They are another great choice to feed your Betta fish. They are rich in fibres due to their exoskeleton and assist in your fish digestion. These are also full of nutrients required by the Betta fish

How often should I feed a Betta fish?

Adult Betta fish should be fed once a day, while fries should be fed twice or three times a day. This may look not enough, however, fish pellets can expand more than 2 times when wet. Thus, you should feed your Betta fish accordingly to its activity pattern.

Betta fish will overeat if too much food is offered. This could provoke constipation, bloating, swim bladder disease, or obesity. Also, if too much waste is in the water, the tank could go through a contaminant breakdown, which would be very harmful to your Betta fish.

Betta fish feeding schedule suggestion

  • Day 1: 2 to 4 Betta fish pellets (1 or 2x per day);
  • Day 2: 2 or 3 pieces of live, frozen, or freeze-dried items (1 or 2x per day);
  • Day 3: 2 to 4 Betta fish pellets (1 or 2x per day);
  • Day 4: 2 to 4 Betta fish pellets (1 or 2x per day);
  • Day 5: 2 or 3 pieces of live, frozen, or freeze-dried items (1 or 2x per day);
  • Day 6: 2 to 4 Betta fish pellets (1 or 2x per day);
  • Day 7: Fast – this might help your fish digestive regularity.


In this article, we answered the question “What can you feed Betta fish besides fish food?”. We listed the top recommendations for how to feed your Betta fish properly and we also suggested a feeding schedule.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What can you feed Betta fish besides fish food?

What can I feed my Betta fish if my fish food is over?

Several items can be offered to Betta fish besides fish food. You can opt for offering live or frozen items, such as some small shrimp, worms, insect larvae, some soft vegetables, or little amount of tuna fish.

Can Betta fish eat any type of food?

No, Betta fish are carnivores. Thus, some requirements should be attended to keep your Betta fish healthy. They need a protein-rich diet. You can opt for small crustaceans, insect larvae, and worms. Fish pellets and flakes are also very important to keep your Betta fish healthy.

What live food can I offer to my Betta?

It is possible to offer live brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnias, and some insect larvae. However, these items should not be the only items in a Betta fish diet.

Can Betta fish eat bread?

It is not recommended to offer bread to your Betta fish. Betta fish can have trouble digesting wheat. Thus, you can opt for some natural items to supplement a fish pellets or flakes diet.

What are fish pellets?

Fish pellets are one of the most common rations on the market to feed your fish. They are composed specifically of a single species. Thus, the nutritional composition will try to attend to the fish species needs. However, it is important to supplement the fish diet with some natural food.

Can Betta fish eat chicken?

It is not recommended to feed your Betta fish with chicken. However, if you have no other item at the moment to feed your Betta, you can offer a tiny amount of chicken. But this should not be frequent as the Betta fish could develop bloating and digestive issues.


Grant. What Can You Feed Your Fish If You Have No Fish Food. https://aquariumsathome.com/what-can-you-feed-fish-if-you-have-no-fish-food/

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Mari. 2021. Betta Food & Feeding – The Do’s And Don’ts. https://www.aquariadise.com/betta-food-feeding/

Nisola. What Can Betta Fish Eat Besides Fish Food? https://www.justagric.com/what-can-betta-fish-eat-besides-fish-food/