Before you wade into the exciting world of raising a betta fish, there are some things you need to know. Aside from maintaining proper tank conditions, the number one most important part of keeping a betta is feeding it the right food.
There are a lot of options out there, so here are our top picks to help you decide which is the best betta food for your finned friend.
Top Product Recommendations
1. Omega One Betta Food
Almost all fish do well on a diet that includes flakes, and some of the best betta fish flakes on the market come from Omega One. These particular betta flakes are made from wild salmon, which not only provides your betta with the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that they need, but also helps to bring out the colors of your betta, making them look even more beautiful.
On a practical note, these fish flakes beat out a lot of other betta fish flakes on the market because they don’t make your betta’s tank dirty. They are made with less starch than some other brands, which makes for less mess when your fish eliminates them later.
One drawback to these fish flakes, as well as almost all other fish flakes I have personally come across, is that your betta might not like them as much as other types of foods. Bettas love live food or foods shaped like live food best of all, but they will also usually eat pellets fairly easily. When it comes to flakes, it can take a bit of work to get them interested.
- Makes betta’s coloring more vibrant
- Full of protein
- Keeps water cleaner
- Bettas don’t always take to fish flakes
- Easy to overfeed because the flakes are large
- Tends to sink to the bottom of the tank if uneaten
2. Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellets
If flakes aren’t your betta’s style, then you should check out betta food pellets. These Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellets, in particular, have always been very well-received by all of my bettas, even the picky eaters!
One of the best things about these pellets is that (aside from a few pellets that like to do their own thing) they float. This way, you can see how much your betta has eaten, and you can easily scoop out any leftovers. This means you can maintain a cleaner tank and keep an eye on your fish’s diet.
These Hikari pellets are also smaller than some other brands, making them easier for the betta to get in its mouth. It doesn’t have to take bites like it would of fish flakes, and it won’t get choked on the chunks of food.
Other benefits to this particular product include special technology that enhances color and keeps it from fading as the fish ages, as well as a good dose of vitamin C to keep your betta healthy and happy.
- Enhances and maintains your betta’s color
- Convenient packaging with enough food to last a long time
- Rich in protein and vitamins
- Easy to feed and to monitor diet
- While some people find the dispenser on the package very useful, an almost equal number find that it is difficult to use
- Some of the ingredients aren’t as healthy as some other brands and include some fillers
- A bit expensive when compared to other brands and packages
3. Tetra Blood Worms Freeze Dried Treat
Let me just start this section by saying that there is no food that my bettas have ever loved more than freeze-dried blood worms. Even though they aren’t living worms, they look that way to the fish, and his hunting instincts come alive as he rushes to snatch them up as soon as they hit the water.
Tetra Blood Worms Freeze-Dried Treats come in a big enough container to last quite a while (even if blood worms should only be an occasional treat). They are also specially treated to ensure that any potentially harmful organisms and substances are kept out of the treats, so your betta is free to enjoy them safely.
This wiggly-looking snack not only activates your betta’s fighting instincts, making him feel ferocious and vibrant, but it also provides him with added nutrition and elevates his energy level.
These Tetra blood worms can also be eaten by other small, similar fish, making them a good choice if your betta buddy has tank mates.
- Bettas love them because they activate their hunting instinct
- Gets betta’s energy levels up
- The contents of one bottle last a long time if you follow the instructions on the package
- Free of harmful substances
- Can make your betta sick or overweight if they eat them too often (this is true of any blood worms or similar treats)
- If uneaten blood worms stay in the tank too long, they make the water grimy and dirty
- Container has a child lock, so it is difficult to open quickly
4. Tetra Baby Shrimp Sun Dried Treat
Another good occasional snack from Tetra is their Baby Sun-Dried Shrimp Treat. Like the blood worms listed above, these should only be given two or three times a week. But when you do give them to your betta, they provide him with a ton of health benefits.
While some treats are just mainly to pique your betta’s interest in food or to give him a bit of fun, these baby shrimp actually help the betta to digest food better. This is thanks to their shells, which provide roughage. They can also help to enhance your betta’s vibrant colors, especially if your betta is red, orange, or pink.
One potential problem with this treat, though, is that the shrimp may be a bit large for a betta to bite. Users report that they are bigger and thicker than blood worms, which are already more than one mouthful for a betta. A solution to this could be to break the shrimp down into smaller pieces by crumbling them between your fingers as you put them in the tank.
- Good source of protein and helpful for digestion
- A more “natural” food choice than pellets or flakes
- Reasonable price for container size
- Container holds a large amount of shrimp, so it lasts a while
- Shrimp pieces are too big for bettas and have to be broken down
- Uneaten shrimp pollute the water
- Bettas don’t tend to like these shrimp as much as they like treats like blood worms that move more in the water, so they might not go after them right away
5. TetraMin Nutritionally Balanced Tropical Flake Food for Tropical Fish
As the name implies, TetraMin’s Nutritionally Balanced Tropical Flake Food is excellent for warm-water fish like the betta. It includes antioxidants to help promote the health of your fish, protein to help it grow larger and stay strong and energetic, and even prebiotics to help your betta digest all of its food more easily.
This particular product comes in several different size options, meaning that you can easily choose the amount you think would best suit you and your fish’s needs. If you don’t want to keep buying food every few weeks, you can choose the 2.2- or 4.52-pound boxes and possibly be set for years! I haven’t seen many other brands that offer a size this large. Just be sure to keep an eye on the expiration date!
These fish flakes are also formulated to keep your tank water clean. While you should still remove uneaten food after a few minutes, these flakes shouldn’t dirty up your tank as long as you follow the instructions on the package.
Lastly, while I don’t recommend putting all your faith in online reviews, this is the only fish food product I have ever seen that was almost unanimously given 5 stars on Amazon. Customers love the price point and the size options, as well as the fact that it keeps the water cleaner than a lot of other flake foods.
- Keeps tank water cleaner
- Can buy in large quantities for a low price
- Fish seem to really enjoy the taste more than your typical flakes
- Special formula promotes healthy tropical fish
- You get what you pay for: ingredients are good, but not terrific in terms of quality
- Multiple Amazon customers complained that the cap/safety seal are not fitted properly, resulting in spills and staleness (it isn’t clear whether this is a manufacturing problem or an Amazon problem, so you may be able to avoid it by buying the food at a physical store and checking it first)
6. Ocean Nutrition Atison’s Betta Pro 75g
If you are a veteran betta owner like me, chances are, you have had at least one picky betta. These bettas refuse to eat any type of food for no other reason than that it just bores them. These picky eaters will usually do just fine with blood worms or other live-looking food, but those are only good for occasional treats. So, what can you do?
Well, you can start by checking out a product like Ocean Nutrition Atison’s Betta Pro. These pellets are full of all the nutrition that bettas need in their diet, but they also contain “natural attractants” that intrigue the betta and make him want to overcome his pickiness and gobble them up.
Picky eating can be a very serious problem for bettas because, like us, they have to eat to stay alive. With these pellets, your betta will be more prone to eating, and he will also be more energetic and alert. His scales and fins will be stronger, and he won’t get overweight from eating too many treats.
These pellets are also specially formulated to help improve and sustain a betta’s health before breeding, ensuring that not only your adult bettas are healthy, but also any fry they may have.
- Attractive to picky eaters and a more nutritious option than blood worm or shrimp treats
- Recommended by betta breeders for both breeding and showing bettas
- Contains more natural ingredients than other dry food brands
- Doesn’t cloud water if you remove uneaten food in a reasonable time frame
- A bit expensive for the size of the container
- Can leave an oily film on the surface of the water (as many fish pellets do, regardless of the brand and quality)
7. Tetra BettaMin Select-A-Food Variety Pack
Out of all the products on this list and all the other products I have tried, this is the best betta fish food I have come across. Bettas (and all other animals) need/want variety in their diet, and Tetra’s BettaMin Select-A-Food Variety Pack gives you just that. Instead of having to buy three separate bottles of food — flakes, pellets, and treats — you can get all three in this one container.
The top of the canister is designed in such a way that you can dial it one way or the other so that when you pour it, you only pour out the type of food that you want. This is extremely convenient, and it ensures that you always have options on hand if your betta needs a different kind of food or you just want to change things up.
In addition to the convenience factor, this select-a-food package provides you with a completely balanced diet for your betta. It was explicitly created with betta fish in mind, and includes vitamins that keep them healthy and keep their colors vibrant.
You can also find this product pretty much anywhere you shop for fish food (online or in stores), and it is always at a good price point.
- Three-in-one dispenser that is simple to use and has every type of food your betta needs
- Healthy choice and full of essential nutrients
- Great price point
- Users report that their bettas really enjoy the foods in the canister, especially the pellets, which are smaller and easier to eat than some other brands
- You probably won’t run out of all of the foods in the canister at the same time, which could be problematic when it comes to timing your food buying
- Can cloud the water
- Flakes can disintegrate too quickly
Betta Fish Food Buying Advice
The list above is full of good suggestions for food for your betta to try, but it isn’t really enough when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet for your fish. It is important for you to know, not just which products or brands are best, but also what foods and ingredients are best for your betta in general. Here are some tips for buying betta fish food that will help you plan the perfect menu.
Betta Food Types
Betta fish can eat four main types of food: pellets, flakes, live food, and freeze-dried food.
Live food is obviously their favorite, since it is what their wild ancestors would have eaten when they lived in the rice paddies of Thailand. However, this kind of live food isn’t always easy to find in pet stores or online.
You can actually feed your betta tiny bugs like ants, gnats, and houseflies from time to time if you know they are free from pesticides, although it may be tough to catch them!
The next best thing to live food in the mind of a betta is freeze-dried foods. These typically consist of live foods that they love to eat like blood worms and shrimp that have been flash frozen and dried out. This results in a food that is easy to handle and looks like the real thing for the betta, which is great for playing into his hunting instincts.
The downside to this type of food is that it can only be used as an occasional treat. It should not be given to the betta every day like its normal food, because it doesn’t contain all the nutrients it needs. This food is best given as a treat two to three times a week, even if your betta will surely want to eat it more often!
Fish flakes are what a lot of people think about when they think about fish food. They are basically just very thin pieces of food that almost look like confetti or even semi-transparent fish scales. They can come in various colors, and they typically have all of the vitamins, minerals, and protein your fish needs.
Unfortunately, a lot of other betta owners and I have found that bettas don’t really seem to like fish flakes all that much. Bettas can be picky eaters, and they seem to just not be visually stimulated by this type of food as easily as they are by others. It doesn’t always inspire them to attack and bite, since it just looks kind of like a little leaf on the top of the water.
That being said, some bettas do enjoy flakes if you break them into smaller pieces. Just always be sure to remove them if they aren’t eaten right away; otherwise, they will dissolve and make your tank water cloudy.
For most betta owners, pellets should be the staple of your betta’s diet. Bettas are usually easily sold on these little floating balls, and they contain all the protein and nutrients and other things they need to stay healthy, happy, and vibrant.
Pellets are also easier to clean out of the tank if they aren’t eaten right away because most of them float (although they can still sink to the bottom and make your tank dirty if you leave them in there too long).
One thing to look out for is the size of the pellet you are going to feed to your betta. The smaller ones are usually best tolerated, because they fit more easily into the betta’s mouth. The larger ones might be too hard to eat, resulting in a very frustrated betta!
Putting It All Together
Each type of food listed above has its pros and cons, but ultimately the best betta diet consists of a well-rounded variety of all the things listed above.
Additionally, if your betta doesn’t like one type of food, consider trying a different brand, as they all probably taste different to him!
Frequently Asked Questions about Betta Fish Food
How Many Pellets Should I Feed My Betta Fish?
Most experts (and fish food packages) recommend feeding 2-3 pellets twice a day.
Can a Betta Eat Human Food?
While it might be tempting to give your betta a crumb of your sandwich or a bite of ham, don’t!
It is usually a bad idea to give a betta human food, but there are a couple of exceptions.
Bettas can eat boiled peas with no skin/shell or salt, tiny slices of mango, lettuce, or spinach, and tiny pieces of fresh tuna without any oil, among other things. But these things should be given very rarely. (In fact, I would advise against doing it at all, as it is impossible to truly know what sort of substances could be on your human food).
Can Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Food?
They technically can, but they shouldn’t. Goldfish are omnivores and need a more vegetable- and bacteria-based diet, but bettas are carnivores and need things like meat, insects, and other sources of protein.
So while a betta could eat goldfish food, it wouldn’t provide him with the nutrition he needs.
How Many Times a Day Should I Feed My Betta?
Twice a day is recommended. Most fishkeepers feed bettas once in the morning and once in the evening.
Why Does My Betta Keep Spitting Out Its Food?
In most cases, this is because the pellet he is trying to eat is too big for his mouth and/or stomach. Bettas have a stomach the size of their eyeball, so anything bigger than that is going to be hard to get down!
This could also be because the betta doesn’t like the type of food. If your betta does this often, consider switching to a different brand or try him on a different type of food (switch from flakes to pellets, for instance).
There are a lot of options out there for feeding your betta, but a balanced diet full of variety is always best. This is why I would recommend Tetra’s BettaMin Select-A-Food Variety Pack as the best option on this list. But they are all winners in their own way, and it really all depends on your own betta’s tastes!