What Do Betta Fish Eat In The Wild

What Do Betta Fish Eat In The Wild?

Betta fish are a popular pet, and it can be a weird thought that, somewhere, these fish live in the wild. A hobbyist can learn a lot from the natural behavior of the wild betta. Would you believe that mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and water fleas have inspired the dry pellets we use today?

When you take an animal into your home, you do your best to ensure that you mimic their natural environment as closely as possible.

For betta fish, this means that you need to recreate the humble environment of the shallow rice paddies of Thailand.

A good hobbyist doesn’t just make sure that their betta gets to live in an aquarium in which it can thrive. A natural diet is also an important component to the betta’s habitat.

Sure, betta fish are hardy, and they can eat almost any food which is fit for carnivores.

Trying to find a food they can thrive on is an extra step towards ensuring your betta’s health and happiness.

The question here is, are you looking for the best food for your betta? Are you looking for top brands which offer the highest quality?

These top-quality foods are not only a matter of nutrition, as even the humble betta fish has its own taste references.

Not all foods are created equally. Are you one of those people who are willing to go the extra mile to find what your betta loves to eat?​

What Do Betta Fish Eat In The Wild?

Betta Fish Eat In The Wild

During an investigation into what is best for your betta in their tank, consider looking at what Betta Fish eat in the wild.

Obviously, betta fish don’t eat dry pellets in the wild. In nature, there is no supreme caregiver who walks around dropping food appropriately into rice paddies.

How exactly do the fish manage to survive without a caretaker? As with generations of carnivorous fish before them, they hunt!

Bettas aren’t exactly like a wolf or tiger, aggressively taking down giant prey. Instead, they hunt for things which are a little smaller in size that don’t put up much of a fight.

Bettas mostly eat different types of insects and their larvae. Their diet mainly consists of mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and water fleas.

Generally, betta fish are opportunistic hunters which will eat any squirming thing which fits in their mouth. Yes, this does mean they will eat very small fish, including babies.

Can Bettas Eat Human Food?

Betta fish eating human food

Opportunistic hunters are notorious in the animal kingdom for not being particularly picky. You may wonder if they can also eat people food.

To cut a long story short, they can eat human food. They will eat it and can normally digest a lot of foods properly.

The bigger question here is should you feed your betta human food? Unless your diet consists of mini fish, fruit flies, and worms, you can’t use it as a substitute for fish food.

Some foods can be a harmless treat for them, but remember that this diet is not natural for your fish. You should never rely on these things to provide sufficient nutrition for your fish.

It may be easier to just offer your fish your leftovers, but there are better options available. There are foods which are specially formulated for bettas.

Can You Feed Your Betta Pellets Or Fish Flakes?

Betta Pellets

Going to the store and getting proper betta food is the best way to provide them a healthy diet. While they may all look alike, you need to know that not all fish foods are created equally.

It can be hard to tell by looking into a canister of fish food, but the dry bits are made from something. What they are made from depends on the type of fish the brand is marketed for.

Herbivorous food is made for vegetarians. Usually, this consists of a combination of different algae and other plant particles.

These varieties are not suitable for the carnivorous betta. Instead, they require a recipe which contains a higher concentration of protein.

Carnivorous food is made from ground-up meat which usually comes from insects, worms, crustaceans, and other fish. Carnivorous tropical fish foods are mostly interchangeable.

There are some minor exceptions to this, but they provide comparable nutrients. Most experts recommend that you should actually buy species-specific food.

If you go to any local pet shop, there is bound to be a small section which tailors for betta care. Here, you will find the perfect food for your betta fish.

It can be a great idea to supplement dry food with healthy treats.

Although live food can be a hassle to find and store, many stores stock freeze-dried or frozen bloodworms and larvae which you can feed to your betta.

There are also some small things you can find in your kitchen that you can give to your betta. While it is no substitute for betta food, you may be surprised to find out what you can feed your betta that you can find at your local grocery store.

Can Betta Fish Eat Peas?

Fish Eat Peas

One of the most common questions is whether or not betta fish can ingest peas. Many seasoned hobbyists have heard a story or two about using peas as a remedy for specific illnesses in betta fish.

One example is that peas act as a natural laxative for many fish species.

Using peas as a laxative is a perfectly healthy thing to do if done in moderation. If your fish is experiencing any type of sluggish or bloated behavior, a peeled and defrosted frozen pea may do the trick.

Frozen peas are the only type of pea you should give to your fish. Fresh peas sometimes contain harmful herbicides, and canned peas are often preserved with additives your betta should avoid.

While peas are often recommended for fish which are experiencing swim bladder problems, they can also make a great snack every once in a while.

Just make sure you don’t overdo it!

Can Betta Fish Eat Breadcrumbs Or Crackers?

While eating peas can provide medicinal relief, crackers and breadcrumbs are more like fast food. Sure, a betta will probably nibble down on scraps when you drop them into their tank, but they’re not a healthy choice.

Bread-based products are not good for many animals for a number of reasons. For exactly the same reason you shouldn’t feed bread to ducks in a pond, you shouldn’t give it to your fish either.

Can Betta Fish Eat Vegetables Such As Cucumber, Lettuce Or Spinach?

Betta Fish Eat Vegetables

When people think of health, their minds often jump to vegetables. Are they a wise choice if you are looking to give your betta some extra nutrition?

As a matter of fact, yes! Betta fish can enjoy nutritional benefit from eating certain vegetables as well.

Spinach, cucumbers, and lettuce are healthy for a betta to eat in small doses. They can provide a nice boost to their wellbeing.

While they are safe when boiled, it goes without saying that vegetables should be left unseasoned.

Just remember, they are not a substitute for betta’s normal diet. A betta is a carnivore which gets most of its nutrients from meat.

They do not have the correct anatomy to allow them to obtain nutrition from plants. In fact, there are many plants which pose a lot of problems regard bettas’ digestion.

Vegetables which are high in fiber, such as carrots, put a lot of stress on the body of a betta.

There is also no guarantee that your betta will enjoy the taste of foreign snacks you offer them, particularly if they are on the bitter side.

Can You Feed Your Betta Fish Meat Such As Chicken, Beef Or Ham?

Betta Fish eat Meat

Theoretically, a betta will be attracted to meat. The question which arises is whether or not they should eat meat which is not a part of their natural diet.

While bettas tend to live off the meat they naturally come across in their natural habitats, this normally

doesn’t mean meat from land animals such as cattle, poultry or pigs.

In terms of safety, meat is fine to consume as long as it is okay for people.

If you want to try to feed your betta fish some meat, you should keep a few things in mind.

As with vegetables, meat should be completely unseasoned. Trust us, betta fish prefer bland food rather than potentially harmful spices.

In addition, meat should be boiled to eliminate germs. You do not want to use rotting meat to feed your betta.

It can damage the quality of their tank water, and frankly, it could kill your betta.

Keep in mind that this is not the kind of food their wild counterparts will be used to. While meat is safe for them to consume, they may not recognize it as food.

Can You Feed Your Betta Fish Seafood Such As Tuna Or Shellfish?

Betta Fish Seafood

On the other hand, a love of seafood is something which is engrained in them. Even though the species has probably never encountered a prawn or tuna in the wild, all seafood is pretty comparable.

It is perfectly safe for betta fish to eat any seafood you have lying around, just as long as it is clean and fresh.

It’s important to make sure to break the food up into small pieces so it will fit in their little mouths. Make sure that you do not use tinned food.

Cooking the food first is an excellent way of reducing the chances of your fish becoming sick or accidentally passing along a harmful parasite.

Due to their natural familiarity with this food, they will be more likely to treat bits of fish as food, compared to pork or cucumbers.

Can You Feel Your Betta Fish Fruit Such As Banana, Mango Or Melon?

Fruit is arguably the hardest thing to get your betta excited about. Fruit is something they are not really used to, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t eat it.

Mango, banana, melon, apple, and peas are all things which are safe to feed your fish. Just remember that some fruits are harmful to your fish.

Citrus fruits such as grapefruit and oranges can pose health threats to your betta. Before offering your betta any fruit, make sure that it is not a citrus fruit.

A well-rounded diet can be the difference between your betta fish surviving and thriving. Offering them a little diversity in their diet can help keep them happy and healthy.

While treats are given with good intention, make sure to always offer them responsibly.

Ensure their snacks are safe, and understanding that they aren’t a substitute for a complete diet, can add an extra element of fun to your betta rearing.

Do you have any fun tips and tricks for how you let your betta snack? Tell us in the comments below!


  • William Rieder

    Hi, my name is William Rieder and I'm a pet and animal blogger. I love reviewing all things pet related, from dogs to cats to horses! I also write about other topics such as personal finance and relationships. I enjoy helping people find the perfect pet for their lifestyle and am always interested in hearing what they have to say about their pets.

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