Why is the Betta fish not eating? 

In this post, we will understand why your betta fish is not eating. We will also outline reasons and solutions to solve the problem and return your fish to its regular diet.

Why is the Betta fish not eating? 

One of the reasons is that Bettas do not like to eat food that’s still frozen or crunchy. There are usually a large number of fish owners attempting to determine why their betta fish are not eating. Betta fish are one of the most common species maintained in captivity, which implies that the difficulties encountered by one owner are almost certainly shared by many others. Fortunately, this implies that if your betta fish isn’t eating, there are a few things to consider and try. 

Pay attention at feeding time

Before rushing out and making modifications. If you fear your betta fish is not eating, pay close attention to their behavior around feeding time. Do this procedure many times and take notes. Determine if your betta fish is refusing to eat at all or is consuming just a fraction of the food you give them.

This is one of the most frequent errors made by betta owners. They believe their fish are not eating when, in fact, they are overfeeding them. If your betta fish is refusing to eat, one of the most effective methods to do this is to closely watch the specifics around feeding time.

How long has this been happening?

The amount of time your betta fish goes without food indicates the severity of the issue. If they’ve just skipped a meal now and then, it’s usually not a huge concern. If, on the other hand, it is constant and regular, there is a problem.

Assuring that the betta fish food is prepared

It is possible to provide the correct food to your betta fish and yet have them refuse to eat it. This is often the case when attempting to give children freeze-dried or frozen items.

While these are perfectly acceptable items to give your betta fish, they may go unnoticed if they are not thoroughly frozen.

Betta fish avoid foods that are still frozen or crunchy.

If you’ve been dumping food in before it’s thawed and softened enough, this might be the reason they’re refusing to eat.

This may be remedied by allowing the food to sit for a bit longer before being dropped into their tank. If you want to go all-out, place the frozen meal in a small container of tank water. This will expedite the process and have the dish ready to consume in no time.

If the betta fish is refusing to eat, it might be that she dislikes the additional food you’re offering. Certain bettas are just not fond of freeze-dried or frozen meals.

Examine the betta fish diet

Examine the food and diet you are offering to the betta fish. If they refuse to eat, likely, their food does not meet their nutritional needs. Providing them with healthier meals and a range of foods that meet all of their nutritional needs is the best course of action. This may result in an additional expense, but it is well worth it.

Overfeeding a betta fish

At times, you may be unaware that the betta is eating. A betta’s stomach is roughly the size of his eye, therefore if you give him an excessive amount of food, it will be unable to consume it all. You may detect food floating at the top of the tank and conclude that it is not eating it. Thus, you are feeding too much.

If a betta fish is not eating pellets, they may be just not hungry. This is often the situation when a betta is overfed. Due to their small stomachs, bettas require only four to six pellets twice daily, or the equivalent in live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods.

Not only may overfeeding lead your betta fish to stop eating, but it can also result in an increase in waste in the water. Additionally, excessive eating often results in health concerns such as swim bladder disease or constipation.

To prevent overfeeding, keep an eye on your fish whenever it eats. If you put a few pellets in and the fish consumes just one or two, you may choose to reduce the amount.

The betta fish might be suffering from stress

It is fairly unusual for newly acquired betta fish to embark on a brief hunger strike after their relocation. Acclimating to a new tank is stressful for any fish, and this stress manifests itself in a variety of ways. Some fish become timid, some become hostile, and yet others lose their appetite. This is another issue that should be fixed on its own. They should resume eating after they feel more at ease in their new home.

Water parameters are not well adjusted

This is another frequent explanation for your betta fish’s refusal to eat. Fish are particularly sensitive to changes in water conditions, which manifest themselves in a variety of ways.

While betta fish can tolerate a wide variety of water temperatures, they cannot tolerate everything. If your water temperature begins to drop too low, this might be why the betta fish are refusing to feed (they may also start laying at the bottom of the tank).

For reference, this species prefers temperatures between 74 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. To rule this out, Verify the accuracy of the equipment and check the water temperature frequently. Also, there are optimal pH levels, water hardness, and ammonia levels, which all have a significant effect on the betta fish. 

The betta fish was just acquired 

When it comes to a new betta, it is not unusual for them to first refuse to eat. They are often stressed as a result of the transfer and being in a new environment.

The simplest approach, in this case, is to let the betta settle. Turn off the lights for a few days and feed him in the morning and evening. If he continues to refuse to eat, remove the food after ten minutes.

Competition with other betta fish

Betta fish are infamous for their aggressive territorial defenses. Male bettas should never be housed in the same tank or even in the same room. Female bettas, depending on their disposition, may also be rather aggressive. Fish that are too concerned with their tankmates’ well-being might quickly get upset and stop eating.

Betta fish could be poisoned with nitrates

A rapid increase in Nitrate levels in the aquarium water of 20 or more parts per million (PPM) might damage the Betta fish. Nitrate poisoning is a frequent cause of a Betta refusing to feed and may also cause the fish to become sluggish.

When poisoned, Betta will lose interest in moving and will likely prefer to sleep on the bottom of its tank. Nitrate poisoning has also been linked to swimming bladder illness, a condition in which a Betta swims sideways or even upside down. If the Betta fish exhibits any of these signs, you should act fast.

Betta fish could be poisoned with ammonia.

A Betta fish may refuse to eat if the aquarium’s ammonia levels suddenly rise. Ammonia poisoning causes the fish to become sluggish and lose its appetite. Ammonia accumulates in the aquarium when organic matter degrades, such as uneaten fish food and fish feces. Additionally, red gills and fast breathing are signs of ammonia toxicity in Betta fish.

Examine For Illness

A sick betta fish will often lose its appetite. This is often accompanied by a general lack of energy. This helps diagnose the issue a little bit simpler.

If the betta fish is not eating and you fear they are ill,  it is conceivable that a disease was brought into the tank unintentionally with a new fish or item. So, the betta fish may be sleeping insufficiently, which may exacerbate the condition. Another possibility is that the water is polluted or that the food is contaminated. Both of these are frequent causes of disease in betta fish and often result in their refusal to feed.

To be safe, bringing your pet to a veterinarian that specializes in fish is a good option. They should be more knowledgeable about the subject than you are and should be able to diagnose and assist in resolving the issue.

It could be Betta Mating Season

The last reason is that it may be mating season. Bettas exhibit odd habits during the mating season, both alone and in couples. They “dance” in the water and often pause for extended periods. They will interconnect and construct bubble nests on the surface of the water maintained in pairs. These are unmistakable signs of the breeding season – and there is no reason to be concerned about a lack of appetite. This is an unavoidable side effect.


In this post, we understood better why your betta fish is not eating. We also outlined reasons and solutions to solve the problem and return your fish to its regular diet.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is the Betta fish not eating? 

How long can a betta fish survive without food?

While most aquarium fish can survive a few days without food, some do better than others.

Betta fish may fast for up to 14 days, however, there are a variety of variables that contribute to this protracted fasting period.

How can I entice my betta fish to consume food?

To encourage a betta that is refusing to eat, consider varying its food. You may provide live brine shrimp or freeze-dried bloodworms as betta treats. Intersperse these feedings with pellet food and, frequently, many bettas will be happy with a diverse diet and will develop an appreciation for pellet food.

How often should I replace the water in my betta aquarium?

In general, you should replace your Betta’s water roughly once a week. While betta fish can withstand water with less oxygen than other fish, there are other reasons to change the water. Betta fish like a pH of 7.0, which is considered “neutral.”

How can I determine whether or not my betta fish is stressed?

When fish are disturbed, they often exhibit strange swimming patterns. If the betta fish is swimming erratically without moving, collapsing at the bottom of his tank, rubbing his fins against gravel or rocks, or locking his fins at his side, he may be suffering from severe stress.


Leighton, 2022. Why Your Betta Fish Is Not Eating And How To Solve It


Momchil, 2020. 8 Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Won’t Eat (+Tips) https://aquanswers.com/betta-fish-wont-eat-reasons-why/

Sanders, 2021. What to Do If Your Betta Fish Is Not Eating https://www.thesprucepets.com/what-to-do-betta-fish-is-not-eating-5210883

Why is my Betta fish not eating? (Top 5 Possible Reasons) https://fishkeepingforever.com/why-is-my-betta-fish-not-eating-top-5-possible-reasons/

Betta Fish Isn’t Eating Pellets? Here Are The Top 5 Reasons Plus Fixes


Betta Fish Not Eating (All Reasons & Solutions)

Sheppard, 2021. Why Your Betta Fish Is Not Eating (Simple Checklist) https://www.aquariumsource.com/betta-fish-not-eating/