If you are new to breeding betta, it can be really nerve wracking to see betta fries for the first time. You’ll need a clear guideline about betta fry feeding, otherwise you’ll lose a large percentage of the fries. Let’s talk about how many days betta fries can survive without food first.
Betta fry can survive 3 days without food after they’ve hatched from the eggs. During this period they get nutrition from the attached egg sac. After 3 days, the betta fries reach the free-swimming stage and need feeding after every 8 hours.
Taking care of betta fries can be very confusing as they need different types of food at different growth stages. You’ll also need to know when to start feeding, how much & often to feed the fries.
I’ll talk about all of these in the rest of the article.
When To Start Feeding Betta Fry?
After the betta fries have just hatched, they still cling to the bubble nest. This is because they can’t swim freely at that stage yet. If for any reason they fall off from the nest, the male betta will pick them up and re-attach to the bubble nest. During this stage, the betta fries have a egg yolk/egg sac attached to their body.
This egg sac supplies them the necessary nutrition. So, there is no need for feeding. After about 72 hours, the fries start to swim freely. At this stage, the egg sac gets almost absorbed. Now, you should start feeding the fries.
The fries need frequent high-quality protein feeding. You need to feed them after every 8 hours. The food for fries is not the same as the adults. Betta fries need special foods to grow.
In the next section, I’ll talk about what foods can you feed betta.
What To Feed Betta Fry?
The most popular food choice for betta fry is either baby brine shrimp or infusoria. There are some other options as well. Let’s talk about each of them in details:
Baby Brine Shrimp
Brine shrimp, also known as Artemia, is a type of aquatic crustacean. The interesting thing about this crustacean is, their cysts can be stored for a long time and hatched whenever you want. This provides an excellent feeding opportunity for fish larvae. As baby brine shrimps are extremely tiny, they are ideal for any fish fries.
Here is the nutrition profile of baby brine shrimps:
- High in lipids
- Rich in unsaturated fatty acids
- 37%–71% protein
- 11%–23% carbohydrate
- 12%–30% lipid
- 4%–21% ash
There are mainly 2 ways to feed baby brine shrimp:
- Using freeze dried or sun dried brine shrimp
- Hatching brine shrimp from eggs and feeding the fresh babies
The first option is very easy & straightforward. There is no need for hatching the eggs. You can feed the brine shrimp straight from the container. However, it is the least nutritious option. Omega One manufactures pretty good freeze dried brine shrimp. This can be a good option if you don’t want the hassle of hatching.
If you really want to provide the best nutrition to your betta fries, you need to hatch the brine shrimp from eggs. It is easier to show you how to hatch the brine shrimp eggs than explaining. This video will show you everything step by step:
If you want high-quality brine shrimp eggs, I’ll recommend the one from San Francisco Bay Brand. I think their brine shrimp eggs are one of the best in the market.
Daphnia falls into the group of planktonic crustaceans. They are commonly known as water fleas. Like baby brine shrimps, Daphnia are also very small and ideal for feeding to betta fries.
Daphnia is rich in digestive enzymes such as:
These enzymes act as the exoenzymes in the gut of fish larvae.
Like the baby brine shrimp, you can also feed daphnia in two ways:
- feeding freeze dried daphnia
- culturing daphnia and feeding the fresh ones
I prefer the second one more as it is the most nutritious option. However, culturing daphnia will need some time and attention. If you are not ready for that, you can feed the freeze dried ones. I prefer the one from Hikari. It is called the Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Daphnia. Hikari is a reputed Japanese fish food brand. You can certainly regard their products as of high-quality.
The second option is to buy some daphnia magna and culture them on your own hatchery. If you want to know how to set up the hatchery, watch this video:
For live daphnia magna, you can contact this seller. He’ll sell to 200 live high-quality daphnia at a very reasonable price.
Infusoria is a collective term that represents very small aquatic creatures including protozoa, euglenoids, ciliates, algae, etc. Infusoria can be a very high-quality diet for fish fries.
If you want to feed infusoria to your betta fries, you’ll need to culture them on your own. I haven’t found any brand selling infusoria in containers. However, don’t worry. Culturing infusoria is extremely easy and I guarantee everything you’ll need is already in the house.
For a detailed guide of the infusoria culture process, watch this video:
If you want to kick start the infusoria culture process, you can buy some live active infusoria culture. After much digging, I’ve found this seller who sells this type of live culture. It is not a must, but an active culture will certainly speed up the process.
Microworm, as the name suggests, are microscopic worms that are perfect for feeding to betta fries. Culturing them is very easy. You can set up the culture media on your own. All you’ll need is just an active microworm culture.
The nutritional content of microworm depends on the culture you’re starting with. If you start with a good active culture, the microworm you grow will have excellent nutritional value too.
Generally, microworm consist of 24% dry material and 76% water. The dry matter contains mainly 19.5% fat and 40% protein. As microworm are high in fat, they are particularly better for fish fries.
If you want to know how to set up a microworm culture the easiest way, watch this video:
As I’ve already said, you’ll need an active live culture of microworm to start the process. I’ve found this seller who sells thousands of microworm for less than ten bucks! It will certainly be a great starter package to start your own culture.
Boiled Egg Yolk
Boiled egg yolk is also an excellent food source for fish fries. If you feed it the right way, your fish fries will grow much faster & healthier. It also can be a much cost-effective & easier way to feed betta fries.
All you need to do is boil an egg, take out the yolk and smash it completely. Then take tiny pieces of the yolk and put them on the aquarium water. The yolk pieces will start to float and gradually sink.
The fish fries will love to chase the yolk pieces and eat them. This is what your betta fry will get from a standard sized boiled egg yolk:
- 55 calories.
- 2.70 g of protein.
- 4.51 g of fat
- lots of other minerals & vitamin
When Can You Feed Regular Foods To Betta Fry?
The betta fries can’t eat regular fish foods such as flakes, pellets, etc for about 3 weeks. After about 3 weeks, when they are slightly more developed, you can try giving some regular betta foods.
If they can eat those foods, you can continue on giving the regular betta food. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait a few more weeks.
I hope you found this betta fry feeding guide helpful. Though I’ve mentioned a lot of feeding options, you just need to choose the one that is easy & comfortable for you. Don’t complicate the process.
Raising betta fries is Easy & Fun!