Can Betta Fish Eat Frozen Brine Shrimp?

There’s no way you own Betta fish and never heard of a brine shrimp. It’s one of the staple food every betta owner has. It’s both healthy and delicious. But how about the frozen brine shrimp commonly found at pet-store? Is It healthy enough?

Bettas love brine shrimps both in live and frozen form. A frozen brine shrimp doesn’t lose any of its protein, fat or crude ash component. Plus, you only have to defrost the frozen cube and it’s good to eat.

Brine shrimps contain a high amount of amino acid and lots of good fat. That’s why frozen brine shrimp packets are a lifesaver for busy betta-keepers. However, if you still have any doubts about the feeding process, exact changes in nutrition, or anything else, keep reading.

Key Takeaways

  • Brine shrimp has around 47% protein; which is above the ideal range suggested by experts (45%).
  • Frozen packets can either contain baby or adult brine shrimps.
  • Adult brine shrimps are around 8mm in length (which is perfect to be betta food).
  • Frozen brine shrimp can retain most of its nutrients, unlike dried ones.

Can My Betta Eat Frozen Brine Shrimp?

Brine shrimp contains 47% crude protein and 5.5% of good fat in its body. Such a high percentage of protein makes it a popular choice for betta food. Anyone with experience will tell you that Bettas need a high concentration of protein every day to thrive. Also, their 0.3-0.4 inches body length looks just fine to be in Betta’s diet. Even a baby Betta wouldn’t have any problem chewing these small creatures.

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Now, if you are not comfortable providing live brine shrimp, frozen is also a wonderful option. Apart from fish flakes and pellets, anything natural and nutritious you want to feed would come in a frozen form. It’s just very easy for fish keepers. As long as you are defrosting the shrimps first, we don’t see why this would be an issue.

Why Is Frozen Brine Shrimp A Better Option?

If you want to let your Bettas experience some hunting, you can drop some live shrimps inside. But other than this particular case, we prefer frozen brine shrimps for every other scenario. And, here’s why.

1. No Change In Nutrition

To choose frozen brine shrimp over live one, you must ensure it has the same nutrients. Hopefully, the table below will wipe your doubts away.

NutrientsLive Brine Shrimp (per 100g)Frozen Brian Shrimp (per 100g)
Moisture Level80%Little less
Crude protein20 g20g
Crude fat2g2g
Vitamins and mineralsPhosphorus, Vitamin B12, Amino acid, riboflavin, etc.No change.

 As you can see only the moisture component is the only thing you lose after freezing brine shrimp. Other than that, you get the same amount of protein, fat, and even minerals. one big advantage of frozen shrimp is that it is almost identical to the raw one both nutrition and taste-wise.

metal body betta fish
Owner: Sean Aurellio

2. Easy To Handle

Next comes the ease of handling. Imagine if you had to cultivate brine shrimp in a separate tank. That would cost you almost the same amount of money to grow a high-maintenance fish. It’s more expensive and time-consuming for sure.

On the other hand, frozen brine shrimps are readily available in any pet store. In fact, brine shrimp is the most commonly found frozen food for your fish (compared to bloodworm, and mysis shrimp). There’s no such thing as handling. After feeding, you can just throw the whole packet in a freezer (that’s all).

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3. Easy To Prepare

The preparation that comes with feeding frozen shrimps is pretty simple. Just get the package out of the refrigerator. Take one cube out. Put it inside a zip lock bag and start hammering it a little. One or two strikes is enough to divide the cube into smaller chunks. Now, take one chunk outside and throw it inside the tank. soon, the chunk will dissolve into thin water and you can see small brine shrimps all around the tank.

4. Low Chance Of Contamination

The problem with live brine shrimps is that there is a pretty high chance of contamination. If the shrimp contains toxins in its body (due to any kind of disease) it will spread around easily. Soon, most of the brine shrimp in your tank will be sick (or worse; dead). You don’t want your fish to eat that.

To avoid wasting so much money and reduce the risk of contamination, frozen brine shrimps are the best bet. These shrimps are perfectly preserved in a small cube. And, it will stay that way only.

Are Frozen Brine Shrimps Better Than Free-Dried Ones?

Frozen brine shrimps are not more healthy.  However, the table says a different story.

Nutrients Of Dried Brine ShrimpPercentage
Crude protein53%
Moisture3.46%
fiber2.9%
Crude ash13%

 Almost every nutrient is in higher percentage when we examine dried brine shrimp. However, that’s because there is no moisture (3.46%) causing the body matter to shrink. So, we have calculated the percentage of dry matter (which will be higher for obvious reasons). That being said, freeze-dried brine shrimps are still a good alternative. But due to the low moisture component, many betta-keepers worry about difficult digestion.

Also, frozen brine shrimp will be able to contain vitamins and minerals more effectively than dried ones. As you can see, there’s no straightforward answer to this particular question.

colorful betta fish in white substrate tank
Owner: Raven Persad

Is One Cube Of Frozen Brine Shrimp Too Much?

Yes, one cube is too much for one Betta fish. Remember how small your Betta’s stomach is. If you are planning three meals for a betta fish, only one of it includes brine shrimp. We discourage you to feed brine shrimp daily. It can trigger an addiction in your Betta, leading it to reject every other food you offer.

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Our simple method is to provide one-third of the cube to one betta fish per day. Even it can be too much for your Betta. We highly suggest you throw a piece of the cube inside the tank and wait till three to five minutes. If there’s still something left after five minutes, make sure to reduce the portion next time.

Should You Choose Adult Or Baby Brian Shrimps For Your Betta?

Well, after settling on frozen brine shrimp, you still have one more decision to make. There are frozen shrimp packets in the market that contain either baby or adult shrimp. So, which one should you choose for your Betta?

Nutrients of Artelia nauplii (baby brine shrimp)Percentage
Protein7%
Moisture85%
fat0.7%
Fiber0.7%

As you can see the protein is much lower if you choose baby brine shrimps (only 7%). That’s because baby brine shrimps haven’t got the chance to get enriched in nutrition yet. So, it doesn’t have all the crude protein you would want for your Betta. That’s why we suggest you stick with adult brine shrimp (frozen) only.

However, if your betta is still in the infant stage itself, you can choose to feed baby brine shrimps. It’s easy to digest and also the size is much smaller (almost 1 mm).

Before You Leave!

We hope you have no more doubt about frozen brine shrimp. But what about dried shrimp? Is it as nutritious as frozen or live shrimp? If yes, what’s the process of feeding? Well, for that, you have to check out our next article on dried shrimp as betta food.

Article title: Can betta fish eat dried shrimp?

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.

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