It’s not often that Bettas are compared to human beings, but in the case of some feeding behaviors, we are exactly the same. Our bodies were made to digest certain foods. We thrive on natural, uncontaminated food products that haven’t been overly processed or “chemicalized.” Yes, we can survive for a time on artificial ingredients, but we eventually pay a price with ill health. The Betta fish is identical to us in that regard, although what they need to eat is obviously very different.
The most nutritional foods for adult Bettas are insects such as mosquito larvae, fruit flies, glass worms, bloodworms and baby crickets. But of course, it’s important to remember that what is healthy for an adult fish doesn’t necessarily work for baby fish, which again is similar to humans.
Baby Betta Food
Baby Bettas are more difficult to keep healthy because they have fewer fish they can eat, so getting optimum nutrition for them can be a challenge. When they are in their natural habitat, baby Bettas eat microbes and algae that glide over them. Therefore, if you want to raise your Bettas from babies, you should culture food sources such as protozoans. Starter culture kits can be purchased through supply houses, aquarium magazines or other companies on the internet.
Although babies prefer what they consume naturally, the other option is to feed them liquid food in squeeze tubes. However, the problem with this is that they spoil quickly from heat and can become yeast contaminated, so you have to exercise caution. If you have to go in this direction, consider using dry food which is easier to keep and handle.
Adult Betta Food
Like human beings, once the baby becomes an adult, the world of eating opens up tremendously. Crustaceans such as brine shrimp are a favorite Betta food and supply a great amount of nutrition. Other types of shrimp, such as fairy shrimp and opossum shrimp are also very nutritious for your Betta. All of these can be purchased or you can actually raise them yourself.
If you prefer buying your Betta food from a pet store, purchase water fleas (frozen Daphnia) in a frozen state. However, this is a seasonal product and shipments to pet stores can be unreliable.
There are many foods that supply a variety of vitamins for your adult Betta. You can culture them or purchase them at pet stores or via internet suppliers. Some of which are: moina (a dwarf cladoceran), scuds (bottom dwelling crustacean), copepods (one of the Betta’s most nutritious foods), worms (earthworms, white, black, grindal, midges and bloodworms) and fruit flies.
For the beginning owner, you might want to try prepared foods in the form of flakes and granules for your betta feeding regimen. Of course, just like humans, your Betta will respond with more health when given a diet full of live nutrients. Either way, Bettas are beautiful and a delight to own and will stay healthy for a long time if given the nutrients they require.
Want to learn more about betta feeding? Click here to watch our informational video!