According to recent research, your betta buddy’s colors can be made even more beautiful by feeding it a high-quality, nutritious diet. Also, your fish’s general health is very closely linked to its diet.
To know what the best food for your juvenile or adult betta is, you first need to understand what bettas eat. So to help you, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide with all the information you need to make the right food choices for your precious fish.
We’ve also reviewed Northfin Betta Bits. This food is perfect for bettas; read on to find out why!
What do bettas eat?
In their natural environments, betta fish are primarily carnivores, though they do eat a small amount of plant matter and algae. So technically, bettas are omnivores. The wild betta’s diet is pretty varied, though, consisting mostly of water-bound insects, insect larvae, and tiny crustaceans.
Your aquarium-kept betta fish requires a diet with plenty of meaty protein. A balanced diet is essential in preventing common health conditions that affect bettas, including constipation, dropsy, and bloat, all of which are generally associated with a poor-quality or unsuitable diet.
When choosing food for your betta fish, always read the list of ingredients to make sure the first few items are whole meat or meat derivatives. The total protein content needs to be at least 40 percent or more.
What’s the ideal diet for your betta?
Your betta’s diet should include the following essential elements: protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fat, phosphorous, calcium, and essential vitamins, including A, D3, K, E, M, C, H, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12.
Ensure that whatever food you choose has a meat-based protein source listed as the first ingredient on the product’s packaging.
Interpreting fish food packaging labels
Interpreting fish food packaging labels is all about reading beyond the brand’s marketing hype and getting to the nitty-gritty of what the product actually contains.
- Read the label on the food pack and find the ingredients list. If there isn’t one, don’t buy the product! Some very cheap brands don’t bother to list what’s in the food, so it’s best to steer clear.
- Everything in the fish food is listed in order of the weight of each ingredient contained in the product. Protein should be at the top of the list.
- The protein source should be a fish derivative. So, ideally, you want to see fish, bloodworms, shrimp, krill, or something smaller. The label should also give you the percentage of the ingredient; you’re looking for a protein content of 40 percent or greater.
- Many cheap fish foods include padding and fillers, usually wheat flour or rice meal. Although those things won’t harm your betta, they contain little or no value nutritionally and are included in the food to simply bulk it up. Basically, it’s the manufacturer’s way of making a product that uses minimal expensive ingredients to keep the production costs down and sales profits up.
- Read the label to find out what additives and preservatives are used. Ideally, you want a product with no artificial color enhancers or preservatives.
Note: There are many different brands of generic tropical fish foods for sale in fish stores and online. However, we recommend you only feed your fishy friend food that’s formulated for betta fish.
Bettas are specialist feeders that require a diet that’s high in meaty proteins. Standard tropical fish foods are often geared more to the needs of omnivorous species that eat lots of plant matter than to fish that are mostly meat-eaters.
Pellets vs. Flakes
If you look closely at your betta, you’ll notice it has an upturned mouth. That’s because bettas are labyrinth breathers, taking frequent gulps of air from the water surface; they’re also surface feeders.
The betta hangs motionless just below the water surface, waiting for an insect to settle on the water above. The fish swims up underneath the waterlogged insect and grabs it; inside your betta’s mouth is a row of tiny and sharp teeth that are used to snag and keep hold of prey items it catches.
Fish flakes aren’t ideal for bettas simply because the flakes quickly soak up water and sink out of your betta’s reach. Unless you have other fish in the tank that will clean up the flakes, the food will vanish into the substrate and decompose, eventually polluting your water.
Floating betta pellets or crisps are the best choice for your beloved buddy. These foods are designed to float on the water surface for a long time before sinking, so that gives your fish plenty of time to eat the food before it disappears out of reach.
Variety is important
Bettas can be quite fussy feeders, so you must provide some variety in your pet’s diet — just imagine how bored you’d get if you only ever ate one kind of food…even if the meal was your favorite, you’d get tired of it pretty soon!
That’s where frozen and freeze-dried foods can be a godsend. You can feed your betta fish frozen insect larvae, bloodworms, daphnia, and more a couple of times a week to keep it interested. Freeze-dried bloodworms are a good choice, as they’re protein-rich, however, you need to soak the bloodworms before feeding them to your fish so it doesn’t overeat and get bloated.
Bottom line: Include a few tasty treats in your betta’s diet so the fish doesn’t lose interest in the pellets you feed it.
How Much to Feed
Bettas can be picky eaters, but some are also very greedy — it all depends on the individual fish.
As a general rule, you should offer your betta fish only as much as it will eat in a minute or two. Feed your betta once or twice daily for six days, then don’t feed it on the seventh day.
Don’t panic; depriving your fish of food for 24 hours isn’t cruel. Fasting is very important for your pet’s health, as it gives your betta’s digestive system the chance to process any food that’s passing through it before adding more. That’s a very effective method of preventing your fish from developing constipation and bloat.
Northfin Betta Fish Food Review
- NorthFin Betta Bits are professionally developed to improve the health and well-being of your Betta Splendens, while naturally enhancing their brilliant colors. No fillers, hormones, and artificial pigments. Easily digestible, floating 1 mm pellets.
- No fillers, hormones, or artificial pigments
- Packed with proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals
Northfin makes a range of fish foods, including Northfin Food Betta Bits. This is an excellent product that offers everything you need to meet your betta’s daily dietary requirements.
Betta bits are tiny floating pellets specifically designed for surface feeders, especially betta fish. The pellets float on the water surface without sinking, allowing your fish to take its time and not forcing him to scarf down its food, which could cause digestive problems.
The food isn’t packed with fillers, contains no artificial colors, and no growth hormones. However, the manufacturer added amino acids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins, all of which are essential for excellent coloration and overall health. The food is very easily digestible for your betta, ensuring your fish can absorb all the valuable nutrients the pellets contain.
Other betta owners report their fish love Northfin Food Betta Bits. Even fussy feeders are tempted to feast on these tasty pellets! Not only are those bettas that are fed this food healthy and active, but their colors are visibly improved after a few weeks.
Essential Constituent Percentages
As you can see from the above image of the product packaging, the food contains an impressive guaranteed 45 percent crude protein, plus fat and fiber.
So, you know the food contains much of the basic nutritional requirements you’re looking for.
What about the ingredients?
If you take a look at the ingredients list, you can see that whole Antarctic krill, herring, and whole sardine meals are the first three ingredients. The important word here is whole. That means the meal is made using whole fish instead of the trimmings, bones, fins, or the like.
So, the ingredient is a high-quality one that’s more nutritionally valuable.
Spirulina, kelp, and Astaxanthin (Haematococcus Algae) are also included in the food to provide some plant matter, and there’s a fairly comprehensive list of vitamins and minerals, too.
The food does contain wheat flour, but that’s not right at the top of the ingredients list, and it’s the only filler that’s used.
All in all, Northfin Betta Bits is a high-quality product that can form a balanced, nutritious daily diet for your betta. We recommend you vary your pet’s diet by including a portion of frozen food and maybe some pre-soaked freeze-dried bloodworms, too.
Betta fish are mainly carnivorous, which means they require a balanced diet high in quality meat protein with some plant matter included, too.
Since bettas are surface feeders, we recommend floating pellets specially formulated for betta fish as a staple diet. Betta pellets are usually tiny, perfect for the betta’s little upturned mouth. Vary your pet’s diet by including frozen meaty foods and perhaps some freeze-dried bloodworms or Tubifex.
We recommend Northfin Betta Bits as a nutritious daily diet for your betta fish. This quality betta food contains 45 percent whole fish meal plus plant matter and lots of vitamins and minerals.
What’s your betta’s favorite food? Tell us in the comments!