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Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Fish Food?

Did you buy your first betta fish and are confused about whether they can eat tropical fish food? 

The good news is, yes, they can! Bettas are, in fact, tropical fish and thrive in warm freshwater. In their natural habitat, betta fish can typically be found in East and Central Asia, such as in rivers, ponds, and shallow puddles. 

However, not all tropical fish food is created equal, and bettas can prefer some over others. The quantity fed will also affect your betta’s health. This article will discuss the answers to these concerns, so read on to find out!

Are tropical fish food safe for betta fish?

Now that you know bettas can eat tropical fish food, you might be asking yourself if it is safe for your betta to consume. Your feisty betta can indeed be fed many types of tropical fish food safely. 

It is best when buying to look at the nutritional label to ensure that protein is listed as the main ingredient. Also, check that the food contains essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and calcium. 

Bettas are greedy, voracious carnivorous fish and need protein and vitamins to maintain good health and keep their fins long and their scales shiny.

How much tropical fish food to feed your betta?

How much tropical fish food to feed your betta

Feed twice a day

Overfeeding should be avoided at all costs. The best option is to only feed your betta two to four pieces of tropical fish flakes twice a day

Tropical fish food is safe to consume, but if bettas are not kept on a strict feeding schedule, their health can decline. 

A feeding schedule must be established and adhered to from the get-go. 

Feed 2-4 pieces at a time

Bettas have very small stomachs that can typically only hold a tiny amount of food at a time, and it is easy to overfeed them, especially since they act hungry all the time. 

Most bettas will continue to eat if food is available, leading to dire circumstances for the poor betta. They just don’t know when to stop, and some will even ignore the feeling of being full. 

One of the unfortunate circumstances when bettas eat too much, is a bloated stomach. This can be seen when a betta’s belly is protruded and causes the betta to swim sideways.

Fast once a week

To ensure that your betta is not being overfed and to give your betta’s body time to digest food while avoiding constipation and bloating, it is a good idea to have your betta fast once a week. 

No need to worry about your betta being hungry during a one-day fast since they can go without food for about 14 days. 

If you accidentally overfed your betta, there is no need to panic. Simply skip the next day’s feeding to allow their bodies to digest their food.

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Vary diet

There is a wide variety of tropical fish food that bettas can consume. Varying your betta’s diet ensures good health and nutrition. 

However, since there are many different kinds of tropical fish food, it can be overwhelming for a first-time betta pet owner to figure out what is best to give to your betta. 

Continue reading for steps on how to pick what kind of tropical fish food to feed your betta.

Recommended feeding schedule

Follow this feeding schedule with a varied diet to keep your betta strong and healthy:

MondayFeed 2 tropical fish flakesFeed 2 tropical fish flakes
TuesdayFeed 2 tropical fish flakesFeed 2 freeze-dried brine shrimp
WednesdayFeed 2 tropical fish flakesFeed 1 mushy green pea
ThursdayFeed 2 tropical fish flakesFeed 2 tropical fish flakes
FridayFeed 2 tropical fish flakesFeed 1 freeze-dried blood worm
SaturdayFeed 2 tropical fish flakesFeed 2 tiny bites of leafy greens

You can vary this schedule to suit your betta’s specific needs. 

Not all bettas will like the same thing, and it will be fun discovering what your betta’s likes and dislikes. 

Start with this feeding schedule to get a general idea of what your betta likes and adjust as you see fit. 

Remember to stick to protein-rich tropical fish food and do not overfeed. 

Types of tropical fish food for betta

Types of tropical fish food for betta

Tropical fish flakes

Once a feeding schedule is established, it is time to figure out what tropical fish food your betta likes most. 

Though bettas are voracious and greedy eaters, they can also be very picky. They will reject any tropical fish food that does not appeal to them. 

Tropical fish food is not a one size fits all betta food. There are different types of tropical fish food to consider, and try to find one that works best for your betta.

Tropical fish flakes are the most popular and can easily be found in supermarkets and pet stores. This type of food consists of flakes that float to the top of the tank for a limited time. 

Only put 2-4 flakes out for your betta to eat; any that sink to the bottom of the aquarium should be scooped out immediately. Betta fish have a hard time consuming flakes that get mixed in with gravel. 

Flakes that are left behind will rot and possibly cause harmful bacteria to grow and cause your betta to get fin rot which is potentially fatal.

Tropical fish pellets

Tropical fish pellets are another option for your betta. The upside to feeding your betta pellets is that they float much longer and are easy to grab from the container. 

The advantage of pellets is it makes for easier cleanup if your betta does not eat up everything in one go. Rule of thumb, remove all pellets that your betta does not eat within 2 minutes.

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Freeze-dried tropical fish food

In fact, many types of betta tropical fish flakes or pellets will fit just fine with a bettas diet since it is full of protein and necessary nutrients.

However, to replicate their natural habitat and give your betta a chance at a healthy, long life, it is recommended that they be fed a varied diet such as freeze-dried brine shrimp or blood worms. 

Bettas can get bored of being fed the same thing every day and consider brine shrimp and blood worms to be a good treat. 

Live tropical fish food

Live tropical fish food is another option that can bring out your betta’s natural killer instinct. Baby mealworms and mosquito larvae are tiny and easy for your betta to eat. 

Not only is it fun to watch your betta chase its food, but it makes them exercise as well. 

Most specialty pet stores carry live tropical fish food, making it much easier to mix up your betta’s diet. A varied diet makes for a happy betta.

Safe alternatives to tropical fish food

Safe alternatives to tropical fish food

Tropical fish food, whether it is flakes, pellets, freeze-dried, or live, is the prime diet for your betta. It is protein-rich and what your betta needs. 

However, there are safe alternatives to tropical fish food that your betta can consume, such as:

Green peas

The best way for a betta to consume green peas is by soaking them for a few hours or overnight to get the veggie soft. 

Bettas have difficulty swallowing and digesting hard foods, so make sure not to skip this step. 

Remove the green pea skin and mash it into tiny pieces before feeding it to your betta. 

Leafy greens

Take a few tiny pieces of leafy greens, such as lettuce or spinach, roughly the size of fish flakes, and feed to your betta. 

Leafy greens give your betta much-needed fiber, which aids in digestion. If you notice that your betta is constipated after fasting, give your betta a few tiny pieces to aid digestion. 


Peel off the skin with a potato peeler and boil for about 5-10 minutes. The consistency of the cucumber that your betta needs are mushy, not crunchy. 

Slice the cucumber into tiny pieces before feeding. Cucumbers are nutritious for your betta and even aides in fighting infections like swim bladder disease. 

Raw tuna

If you have some raw tuna in the fridge, save a tiny piece for your betta. Raw tuna is packed full of protein and is nutritious. 

Try to avoid canned tuna as those can have preservatives and are harmful to your betta. 


An unlikely treat that some bettas love is tofu! It is chock full of amino acids and protein. Look for tofu with no added flavor or ingredients; plain is the way to go. 

Tofu is already soft, so there is no need to boil it down. Just make sure to cut it into tiny pieces and feed 2-3 bites to your betta. 

These alternatives should only be given sparingly and not as a main diet but as a rare treat. 

Remove any pieces that are not eaten immediately, so your betta’s home stays fresh and clean.