Feeding Betta Fish

Bullring Markets 2012
Photos by John James
By Birmingham Culture on 2012-11-02 10:23:02

Ok, so you brought your Betta home from the pet store. And you have bought some food the sales clerk recommended. And yet you don’t really know a whole lot about feeding Betta fish. You want to be a super Betta parent, though. You are committed to having the healthiest and happiest Betta on the block! You want to know what will make this Betta be with you for many years to come.

If all that is true, here are some tips for you:

You are right – feeding Betta fish the best diet possible will have a profound effect on its health and longevity. In fact, next to the quality of tank water, it’s the second most important factor in caring for your Betta fish. And the two are very much connected. You will see in a minute, why.

The first question is: How much should I be feeding Betta fish?

Be careful not to overfeed it! That’s number one. We can be very eager to make our Betta happy and full and we often go overboard. Remember, they are tiny creatures, with tiny stomachs and huge appetites. And they don’t have much will power when it comes to food. Yes, they can be finicky, but they will also eat until their stomachs are bulging, if left to their own devices. So learn these quick rules:

Feed it only what it will consume right away (in 2 minutes)
Do not leave any uneaten food in the tank (it can be a challenge to pick it all out…)

There are many theories out there, but it’s enough to feed your Betta fish once a day. Pick a time that is convenient for you and stick to it. Bettas like consistency when it comes to feeding time.

Since you want to be a super Betta parent, I will tell you a secret: the best time for feeding your Betta fish is an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. In the wild, this is the time when the insects swarm and land in the water for the Bettas to scoop them up.

The second question is: What should I be feeding my Betta fish?

We already mentioned the fact that Bettas are carnivores. A vegetarian diet will not sustain them. The healthiest food for them is called Hikari Bio-Gold. It’s imported from Japan and used by many breeders.

Since your Bettas need a varied diet, here are some other elements of their weekly menu:

Blood worms – give infrequently
Daphnia (water fleas) – twice per week at the most
White chicken meat
A tiny piece of steak
Vegetables – a cooked and peeled pea, for example

Variety will contribute to a strong immune system in your Betta.

And once again – whatever is not eaten right away, needs to be removed from the tank. Leftover food will rot and produce bacteria and ammonia, making the environment dangerous if not deadly for your Betta.

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