Can I Feed My Betta Fish Chopped Up Large Shrimp?

colorful betta in planted tank

It’s not just us who find shrimp extremely delicious. Even the Betta swimming in your aquarium would love munching on some fresh shrimp. But aren’t shrimps quite large in size? So, do you feed the whole shrimp? Or is it okay to chop up a large shrimp and then feed your Betta?

You can feed a Betta fish chopped up large shrimp. Make sure to chop finely if the shrimp is more than 2 inches. Otherwise, your Betta might choke on the piece of shrimp you have just offered.

Not just the right food, but the right amount and size also matter. A Betta only has a stomach as large as its eyeballs. The last thing you want is the Betta suffering with a big piece of shrimp in its mouth. Here, we have taken the matter in hand and tried to explain how exactly a shrimp should be fed to your Betta.

Key Takeaways

  • Brine shrimp (Betta’s favorite food) is around 0.3 to 0.4 inches long.
  • Bettas have a stomach as large as their eyeballs.
  • You can finely chop a large shrimp before offering.
  • It’s better to avoid cooked shrimp for your Betta’s diet.
  • You can also feed frozen shrimps or dried shrimps instead of live ones.

Can My Betta Eat A Whole Shrimp?

Bettas thrive on food like Artemia, daphnia, mysis, fruit flies, blood worms, water worms, etc. One common thing in all these food options is the high density of crude protein. Being a carnivorous fish, Bettas require at least 40% of their regular diet to be filled with protein. It’s even better if they extract this protein from a living insect rather than some plants. Usually, in the wild, Bettas depend on freshwater shrimps and larvae to fulfill all their nutrition needs.

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Now, the question is can your pet Betta eat a whole shrimp? Well, it depends on the size, of course. If it’s larger than 0.2-0.3 inches, there’s a chance your Betta might choke on the food. Here’s a list of common shrimps and their size range. Have a look first.

Types Of ShrimpsSize (In Inches)Needs To Be Chopped Up
Brine Shrimp0.3-0.4 inchno
Ghost Shrimp1.5 inchesyes
Cherry Shrimp1-1.75 inchesyes
Amano Shrimp2 inchesyes
Brown Shrimp2-7.5 inchesyes
Rock Shrimp2-6 inchesyes
White Shrimp2-7.5 inchesyes

 As you can see, only the brine shrimp is small enough to be eaten in one go. But the rest of the shrimps, especially the White, Brown, and Rock shrimps, are way larger than the Betta fish itself. Some species of shrimps can even grow up to 6-7.5 inches. At the same time, a Betta fish is hardly more than 3 inches. So, it only makes sense that you have to finely chop the shrimp and then offer it to your Betta. Otherwise, the fish can choke itself trying to eat a large piece.

betta fish chilling behind a jar inside aquarium
Owner: Mykelty Jo

Can I Give Chopped Up Shrimps To A Betta Fry?

Shrimps have almost every important nutrition required by a Betta Fry. Having enough protein will fasten the growth of a Fry. So, you can definitely try the “chopped-up” method here as well. Just make sure not to overfeed the fry, as they only have a tiny stomach.

Also, don’t try to feed shrimp eggs to your Betta fry, considering the small size. A Betta fry can’t digest shrimp eggs. So, once the Betta fry has learned to swim freely and hunt for food like micro worms, you can offer chopped-up shrimps. Make sure you are chopping it fine.

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How Often Should You Give Shrimp To Your Betta?

Now that you know chopped-up shrimp is good for you, Betta, should you offer it every day? Well, even if you have enough shrimps in stock, don’t overfeed such protein sources more than twice a week. Shrimps and blood-worms are extremely tasty to your Betta. But these are not appropriate for daily feeding.

You should stick with a specialized pellet for Bettas as a regular food. These pellets not only have protein but just the right amount of carbs, fat, minerals, and vitamins. It makes sure that your fish is not lacking any important nutrition while growing up. What happens with regularly eating shrimp is that it makes the Betta reluctant to try other food.

Is Raw Shrimp Better Than Frozen/Dried Shrimp?

There are basically three forms of shrimp you can offer to a Betta. It can be a live shrimp, a raw but chopped-up shrimp, and frozen packets. Which one you should give entirely depends upon your convenience. But you have to keep track of the portion size.

If you are going for a live shrimp, make sure it’s small enough to feed your Betta. If yes, put the shrimp in a plastic bag and immerse it in the aquarium. Wait for at least 20 minutes. During this time, the temperature of the shrimp will adjust to its surrounding. After that, you slowly let the shrimp fall into the aquarium, and your job is over. Considering Bettas are naturally attackers, they will hunt that shrimp down and devour it.

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Next, if the shrimp is a little bigger in size, you have to chop it up. In that case, wash it first to remove any preservatives on its body. Then, get a sharp knife and cut it into pieces that can be fed to your Betta. Some people question whether is it okay to offer boiled shrimp every now and then. Well, try to avoid it as much as you can. It just doesn’t make the digestion any easier. It’s okay to give some unseasoned boiled food, but raw is always better. Plus, never give fried shrimp to your Betta.

The third option is giving frozen shrimp. These are found in supermarkets. Basically, you extract a cube and let it defrost for a while. Now, separate only a small portion (1/4) from the cube and feed it to your Betta. The key is to remember the size of the pellets your fish eats every day. Don’t go beyond that size.

If you don’t like frozen shrimp, another option is frozen and dried shrimp. You just soak it in water until the compressed and dried shrimp returns to its original shape. Then, just drop it into the aquarium. You can chop it down as well if the size looks a bit overwhelming.

Note: It’s important not to feed your Betta-dried shrimps. It can cause extreme bloating and constipation. Keep the shrimp inside a water bowl for a good amount of time.

Before You Leave!

There’s always an exception with fish food. What if your Betta doesn’t like the idea of eating chopped-up shrimp and gets sick? In case you see any kind of bloating, don’t hesitate to let it fast for the next couple of days. Feeling worried? Well, check out our article that explains whether you can fast a betta or not.

Article: Can I Fast My betta fish?

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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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