Can You Overfeed A Betta Fish?


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This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

Your Betta fish is there to make the aquarium lively with its vivid color. It needs a proper diet of course, to bring out the most of its beauty. But sometimes, you might even ask yourself, “Can you overfeed a Betta fish?”

You can overfeed a betta fish. Betta fish can be easily mistaken as hungry, and providing large amounts of food will put a risk on its life.

As an owner of a newly-purchased Betta, you should know everything about its dietary plan to prevent potential health issues. Keep reading this article to find out!

How Much To Feed Your Betta Fish?

The size of Betta pellets varies from one brand to another. Hence, there is no particular amount of pellets to feed your Betta.

When feeding pellets of your preferred brand for a single meal, you’ll need to make sure the amount equals the size of your Betta’s eyeball. The number of pellets can be as little as two or all the way to 12. For more than eight pellets, it is recommended you let your Betta finish the first half and then give the second half.

Many owners prefer soaking pellets beforehand because they get easier to digest. However, doing so will prevent the vital nutrients from getting inside your Betta. Also, expanded pellets can contribute to bloating.

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In the case of frozen and freeze-dried foods, it is recommended you feed your Betta once your twice a week. Compared to freeze-dried foods, frozen foods, which come in cubes, is a bit difficult to portion to the correct size.

How Do You Know If You Are Overfeeding Your Betta?

As Betta fish always look hungry, you will be tempted to feed it more to satisfy the hunger. It can reach to a point of overfeeding, which can be dangerous. Below are the signs to look out for if you think you are overfeeding your Betta.

1. Uneaten Food

Whenever you notice flakes resting on the bottom of the tank, it is an indication that you have fed more than the required amount. Flakes are supposed to be consumed within a couple of minutes because they tend to get soggy and form a rotting layer around the gravel over time.  

2. Floating Pellets

Pellets float on water. While feeding these to Betta, you’ll need to ensure there aren’t extra pellets floating around for hours. If you do find some, it is a clear indication that the fish isn’t interested in consuming further.

3. Cloudy Water

When uneaten fish food lies in the aquarium for hours, it can result in cloudy water. That’s because bacteria start to feed on the food and reproduce every few hours.

4. Sudden Change In Appearance Or Activity Of Betta

If you ever notice your Betta getting bloated, become lethargic, or tilt over, it is highly likely that the fish has been overfed.  

What Happens If You Accidentally Overfeed A Betta Fish?

As mentioned earlier, overfeeding can be dangerous for a Betta fish. Here’s what happens when you accidentally overfeed your Betta.

  • When a Betta consumes more than what is required, it starts bloating. Because of the swollen belly, the swim bladder will fail to function properly, leading to death.
  • The immune system of a Betta fish weakens, making them more susceptible to diseases.
  • When leftover food stays inside the tank for hours, it will start rotting. As a result, there will be a buildup of ammonia, which is harmful to your Betta. It will also cause a reduction in oxygen levels.
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If you’ve accidentally overfed your Betta fish and are worried about it, it is recommended you contact an aquatic veterinarian as soon as possible.

How To Prevent Your Betta From Overeating?

Prevention is better than cure. Instead of worrying about the consequences of overeating, you should take preventive measures in the first place.

In order to prevent your Betta from overeating, you’ll need to ensure it gets the daily recommended amount of food. If you’ve accidentally spilled food or there’s some extra, make sure to remove them immediately. You can either use a siphon, a fish net, or a turkey baster.  

What Should You Feed Your Betta Fish?

Betta fish, especially those living in the wild, usually eat protein-based foods, such as insects and their larvae. They consume foods from the water surface. Because of that, it is essential you choose food that floats on the surface and is easily accessible to your Betta.

Pellets Or Flakes?

A lot of people think that flakes made for tropical fish will also do for Betta fish. But in reality, they don’t. The nutrients contained in those flakes aren’t sufficient for Betta fish, so your little friend won’t get what it needs.

On top of that, most Bettas don’t prefer flakes as they resemble that of debris. So, they are likely to avoid this kind of food. Not only that, but also it’s difficult to break the flakes to the right size. While larger flakes increase the risk of choking, smaller flakes increase the risk of dirtying the water for they will go unnoticed.

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Betta pellets are ideal because they look more like insects and contain the exact amount of nutrients needed. They are also of the correct size for swallowing. When choosing a pellet, it is recommended you choose the one that floats on the water surface. You’ll find high-protein Betta pellets in almost any pet store.

What About Frozen And Freeze-Dried Foods?

Alongside pellets, it is also essential you give your Betta a special treat. Frozen and freeze-dried foods, such as bloodworms and brine shrimps are ideal for Betta. These foods are packed with high protein levels. To prevent your Betta from getting sick, it is important to feed frozen and freeze-dried foods in moderation.

Note that there lies a major difference between frozen and freeze-dried foods. Frozen foods are a second option to live foods because live animals are frozen while alive. Hence, these foods retain most of the nutrients.

On the other hand, the freeze-drying process involves the removal of some of the nutrients from the live animal, thereby, making the food less beneficial.


Betta fish is a tiny creature that has a stomach about the size of its eyeball. It is capable of consuming small meals rather than one large meal. With the right diet at the right proportion, you can expect your Betta to remain healthy and lively. That’s what every proud Betta owner wants, don’t they?

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About Muntaseer Rahman

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