Betta Fish Feeding Schedule: Best Guide For Beginners

Food and nutrition are undoubtedly among the most important factors in maintaining your fish’s health. That said, not all aquarists are equipped with enough knowledge on how to build a diet suitable for specific types of fish. If done incorrectly, you may end up overfeeding or starving the entire tank.

In case you are interested in learning how to establish a betta fish feeding schedule, today’s article is the answer. Explore everything you need to know about feeding these animals by scrolling down!

What Do Betta Fish Eat?

By nature, bettas are carnivorous. They can eat anything from insects, insect eggs to tiny fish and shrimp. Furthermore, they can also consume larvae and other protein-rich sources of food.

This habit applies to both wild bettas and domesticated bettas. Should you want your bettas to thrive, make sure to provide them with a similar diet.

betta fish eating

Still, using only protein-rich diets might be detrimental to bettas’ growth, as they might lack other vital minerals. Consider creating a mixed diet by offering plant-based food occasionally. This way, your bettas can have the best of both worlds.

How Often Should You Feed A Betta Fish?

In most cases, bettas require being fed twice a day. An early meal in the morning and a late meal in the evening should be enough to satisfy their appetite.

Ideally, there should be at least 12 hours between these two meals. This way, your fish have enough time to digest the previous meal before taking in a new one.

While this frequency is highly recommended, you should not forget to fast them once every two weeks. Constant food intake can be the leading cause of constipation, which irritates your fish and increases their stress level.

By not allowing bettas any food for roughly a day, you allow them to refresh their belly and get ready for more nutrition later on.

How Much Should You Feed A Betta Fish?

How much to feed your betta fish depends on the time and how large your tank is. Normally, 2 medium-sized pellets of food in the morning and another 2 in the evening should do the job. Feel free to adjust the number if you feel like your school of bettas needs more.

Nevertheless, it does not mean that you can let bettas eat as much as they want. Bettas have an insatiable appetite and do not know when to stop when it comes to eating. Hence, throwing in more food than needed may lead to problems.

If your bettas end up consuming all of the foods, they may suffer from stomach bloats. If not, the excess food will lead to algae buildup and water contamination.

5 Best Types of Food For Betta Fish

Live foods

If you live in places where live foods are accessible and affordable, using them as the main diet for bettas will suffice. Look for anything resembling bettas’ food in nature, such as bloodworms or brine shrimp eggs. Make sure they are fresh and clean before being thrown into the water.

Here, be aware that a few types of live foods alone will bore your fish. Try to diversify their diets and keep your bettas interested in eating by combining different prey.

live food for fish

Pellet foods

Pellet foods are the go-to options for most aquarists thanks to their affordability and ease of usage. All you have to do is to find pellets made from the right ingredients.

Next up, measure the amount of pellets needed for each meal and let it sink into the tank. Your bettas will be more than happy to swim by and munch on it.

Food flakes

Food flakes are rather similar to pellet foods in terms of ingredients and nutritious value. However, their shapes and size pose a problem to bettas.

If you want to take advantage of food flakes, consider buying medium-sized flakes that can float in the water.

Freeze-dried foods

If you are looking for a combination of natural diets and convenience, nothing beats freeze-dried foods. Admittedly, these foods are not as yummy or nutritious as live or frozen food. But still, they allow aquarists to create a diverse diet that keeps bettas stable.

Frozen food

Should live foods or pellet foods be unobtainable to you, there is always frozen food. Often sold in cubes, frozen food makes for great meals for bettas.

Not only are they highly digestible, but they are also healthy for their growth. The only thing to be wary of here is that the food needs to be used up once defrosting, or else you risk bringing bacteria inside the tank.


1. How much time can a betta fish go without food?

Usually, a betta fish can live anywhere from 7 to 10 days if left hungry. But this is the worst-case scenario only. Under no circumstances should you leave your bettas hungry for such a long period.

Even if you manage to feed them right before they die, the extended malnutrition will spike bettas’ stress levels. Consequently, their longevity will be compromised. You should stick to the recommended schedule so your bettas can survive.

2. How do you know if your betta fish is hungry?

hungry betta fish

It is relatively easy to spot a hungry betta. They tend to show how much they need food through physical activities such as munching on plants or swirling around in one place instead of swimming enthusiastically. You can also feel how bettas are lethargic and do not wish to move around.

Examine your fish closely to determine whether they need another meal or not.


Now that you know all about a betta fish feeding schedule, it is time to design one of your own. Make sure to maintain the frequency and quantity of each meal. This way, your bettas are bound to live for a long time!