What should you do if you accidentally overfeed your betta fish?

In this post, we will answer the question “What should you do if you accidentally overfeed your betta fish?”. We’ll also go over the explanations why you shouldn’t overfeed your betta fish in this section.

What should you do if you accidentally overfeed your betta fish?

If you have overfed your betta fish, remove the excess food right away and keep a lookout for signs of overfeeding, such as poor digestion, fatty liver, and fin rot. Inadequate digestion causes the fish to produce more waste than usual, resulting in the tank being polluted. Fatty liver is a hepatitis-like illness that mostly affects cichlids and other meat-eating fish, although it can also affect other species. 

The negative effects of overfeeding fish

It’s quite simple to overfeed fish since we humans like the engagement that comes with feeding our fish, which is one of the attractions of fishkeeping. Your fish will rapidly learn to swim to the top of the tank or to the front glass in order to catch your attention, and they will do it on a regular basis. 

We presume they are hungry and provide them with food, confident in our ability to do the right thing. However, keep in mind that fish have relatively small bellies and their appetites are considerably larger than their tummies. 

They like eating excessively, just as little children do, but they quickly understand that they can’t consume it all and leave a lot of the leftover food. That’s particularly awful in a fish tank because the food will simply lie there and deteriorate. The ideal fish aquarium may be created with proper feeding.

Overfeeding can result in a variety of problems

Water that is cloudy 

When the fish in the tank are overfed, this is generally the first sign that anything is wrong. Do not feed your fish for a day or two after removing all bad food from their bowls. Fish don’t mind because it won’t injure them and isn’t harsh. They can easily survive without meals for a day or two. Consider performing a partial water change while also removing any rotten food.

Fungus & Mould

When there is an increase in organic material in the water, harmful organisms such as mould and fungus will flourish. Uneaten food can mould in as little as a day or two if left alone. This poses a risk, especially if your fish’s fins are damaged or have open wounds. Infection can spread swiftly, wiping off your prized fish. Remove all traces of rotten food as soon as possible. Remove the rotting food with a gravel cleaner while also performing a modest water change to improve the water quality. Small particles of mould will remain in the tank, so keep an eye out for new fungus or symptoms of mould growth.

Oxygen levels will drop 

Uneaten food will initiate an aerobic process in your tank, reducing the amount of oxygen available to your fish and diminishing their overall health. Remove any uneaten food and enhance aeration for a few days to cure the problem.

Increased algae growth

Leftover food and dead organic debris in the tank will raise nitrate levels in your tank or pond, which will raise algae levels, leading your tank to turn green and overgrown with green algae. Green algae can overtake an aquarium in a short period if left untreated. Stop overfeeding and replace it with algae-eating species and bottom feeders to balance the ecosystem.

Blocked filters

Overfeeding can cause your filters to become clogged, reducing the flow rate of your tank dramatically. The tank might get dirty and full of ammonia without your knowledge, perhaps killing your fish. Check your filters regularly for any symptoms of obstruction, mould or fungus, or uneaten food. Take caution when cleaning your filter. If you use a sponge filter, you must follow basic guidelines to avoid harming the sponge’s beneficial bacteria. Here’s a link to our cleaning guide.

pH levels alterations

The pH balance in your aquarium will be influenced by decomposing and uneaten food in your tank. Acid levels rise as old uneaten food decomposes, affecting the pH level of your tank. Some of them are extremely sensitive to pH fluctuations and require constant and precise pH settings to survive. After spotting uneaten or mouldy food, check the pH levels. Use a reliable pH tester, then rapidly address and modify the pH level.

Disease and illness

Fin rot and fatty liver, both of which are frequent in African cichlids, can be caused by a tank with mould or fungus. It has an adverse effect on the liver and has the potential to kill a large number of fish. Examine your fish’s appearance and seek for traces of uneaten food in your tank’s rocks and caves, then remove it. Fin rot can be treated with a variety of methods. 

Best ways to avoid uneaten fish food

The most important thing to remember while feeding your fish is to give them a varied and well-balanced diet and to feed them at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Never offer them more food than they can eat in 5 minutes and resist the impulse to feed them on demand. Any food that remains in the aquarium after 5 minutes will sink to the bottom, where it will hopefully be consumed by your bottom feeders. 

It is recommended that uneaten food be discarded after an hour or so if you do not have any bottom feeders in your home. If the food is still there an hour later, the fish will not consume it, thus it must be removed. 

Live fish food, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms, should be fed to your fish. These may be found at your local pet store and provide your fish with a healthy supply of protein and nutrients. They’re also more likely to be devoured by your fish, which are fond of them. Again, don’t believe you can overfeed them since they’re alive and won’t go bad. 

They’ll clog your filter, and if your fish can’t eat them all, they’ll die and pollute the water.

Top tips

–       When adding new water to your fish tank, float a small plate or a flat piece of plastic on top of the water and then pour the new water on top of the floating plate or piece of plastic. It will reduce a lot of the noise in your tank and will not harm the plants or disrupt the gravel. For the fish, it’s also less stressful. 

–       Make sure the water temperature is as close to that of your tanks as possible. 

–       Before adding the new water, use a decent water dechlorinator to stabilize it and make it tank safe. 

–       At no time should you should do more than a 25% water change. When compared to a major water change, minor water changes done on a regular basis are preferred. 

  • Instead of manually siphoning out old water from huge tanks, use a pump to remove the water from the tank. This will save you a lot of time. 
  • By adding a vacuum stop tap to your sediment cleaner, you will be able to more easily manage the amount of water that comes out of your tank. 
  • Removal of old water should be done gradually in order to avoid overstressing your fish. Stress is the number one cause of fish death in the ocean.


In this post, we answered the question “What should you do if you accidentally overfeed your betta fish?”. We also went over the explanations why you shouldn’t overfeed your betta fish in this section.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What should you do if you accidentally overfeed your betta fish?

What exactly does a betta fish require? 

Bettas require constant food and aquarium maintenance, as well as filtering, hot water, stimulation such as plants and caves to investigate, and an aquarium that is large enough to accommodate them. Many fish tanks available for purchase, including this fish tank in a plush animal, are far too small to keep a fish happy. 

Is it possible for betta fish to consume rice? 

Surprisingly, most fish species, including Bettas, enjoy eating rice. Your Betta is inclined to endorse and devour it, unless you insist on it being a personal choice. The most essential thing to remember while cooking rice is to cook it until it is soft and mushy in texture.

Is it OK to feed mosquito larvae to betta fish? 

It may come as a surprise to learn that the majority of fish, including bettas, killifish, mollies, and many fries, are quite content to consume mosquito larvae. In their natural habitat, fish devour mosquito larvae. 

Can a betta fish become depressed and lonely? 

Betta fish are territorial by nature, and they should not be kept in the same tank as other betta fish since they will fight and injure one another, sometimes resulting in death. They are unlikely to become lonely in their tank, although they may become bored if it is too tiny. 

Is it possible for betta fish to become bored? 

If you place your betta in a tiny container with no decorations, give it the same meals day after day, and don’t make any changes to its environment, it will become bored very soon indeed. And boredom is a common cause of sadness and stress.


Do Bettas Know When To Stop Eating? Diet Tips & Overfeeding -familypetplanet.com/do-bettas-know-when-to-stop-eating-diet-tips-overfeeding/

Tips to Prevent an Overfed Betta – cafishvet.com/betta/prevent-overfed-betta/