One of the most important elements of keeping any type of aquarium fish fit and healthy is feeding them an appropriate diet and providing for all of their nutritional requirements.
Though it is easy to just buy generic fish pellets or flake fish food to feed all varieties of aquarium fish, different species actually have differing nutritional requirements, and the betta is no exception.
Read on to learn more about betta fish food and find out how to choose the best food for your betta.
About betta fish food
Most tropical freshwater fish are either vegetarians, meaning that they eat only plant matter, or omnivorous, meaning that they can eat both plant and animal matter.
The betta, however, is a carnivorous fish and betta fish food must therefore contain plenty of animal-based protein.
What do bettas eat in the wild?
In their natural habitat, betta fish live in shallow rice paddies in Thailand, and have access to a wide range of live foods.
Natural betta fish food includes aquatic worms, plankton, bugs and insects all make up part of their diet, and as rice paddies are shallow, bettas will often feed close to the surface of the water, picking off insects and aquatic bugs to eat throughout the day.
Betta fish food within the home aquarium
There are many different options available to you when choosing what to feed your bettas. It is, of course, important to feed a food that is designed for bettas’ specific needs in order to allow them to thrive.
Larger aquatic retailers will usually stock a wide range of pre-prepared dried foods such as fish food pellets and flakes, and if possible, you should choose a brand that is specially designed to feed bettas. These are more appropriate to their nutritional requirements than general community tank fish foods that contain different ingredients to meet the various needs of other types of community fish.
You may also wish to consider feeding your bettas live food or fresh frozen food. This can often be bought frozen into individual segments to defrost at home as and when needed to feed your fish.
The best live and frozen foods to feed bettas include mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex worms, and plankton. It is important to choose your supplier carefully in order to ensure the quality of the live or frozen food, as poor quality live or frozen food may harbor parasites.
Finally, it is worth noting that bettas are relatively picky eaters, so if they are used to eating live or frozen food and you have to feed them pellet or flake food at some point because you run out, you might find that they are reluctant to eat it and would rather wait for a more palatable meal!