Most betta owners get into a dilemma about whether they should offer only granules-based types of food to their betta fish or they can certainly go for other options. Well, it is suggested by the experts that, the betta owners can certainly offer other types of foods like live food to their bettas. However, the ratio of live food that you can offer to your bettas should be limited because the richness of the food can cause health complications.
Therefore, in this article, I am going to discuss whether live food is good for your betta or not. In addition, I am going to elaborately discuss all the live food options that you can offer to your bettas.
Live food is certainly good for the bettas because of the richness of nutrition that they contain. The high amount of nutrition in the live food is really important for the bettas but ensure that you offer live foods to your betta in limited amounts as the richness of protein may cause constipation.
The high amount of nutrition in the live food helps the bettas to grow significantly. Therefore, it is really important that you feed your bettas the live foods in small amounts. You have to make sure that you have offered live foods to your bettas 2 to 3 times a week.
In addition, not all live foods are suitable for bettas. There are some specified live foods available in the market that are suitable for your bettas. Also, for the betta fry, there are other specified live foods which are recommended by the experts.
Is Live Food Healthy For Betta?
Live foods can be one of the great supplements for your bettas. There are different sorts of live foods available in the market ranging from worms, shrimps and even nematodes or eels. Three main types of live food are available for purchase: alive, refrigerated, and freeze-dried. Your fish will benefit most from living or frozen meals, both of which can be found at most reputable fish and pet stores.
Constipation can be avoided by pre-soaking freeze-dried or dry foods in aquarium water before feeding. Aim to provide a betta of roughly 2.0 grams of live food every day.
To avoid any misunderstandings, “live food” relates to a specific kind of food, which is insects. The three various types of this “live food” are alive, frozen, and freeze-dried. Although calling live food “living” might seem a little superfluous, it helps us differentiate between the three distinct types, which I will now examine in more depth in the later part of this article.
What Are The Finest Live Foods For Bettas? (13 Healthiest Options)
Well, there are multiple live food options that are available for the tank fish. However, in the case of the bettas, there are just a few options. As bettas are considered to have one of the sensitive digestive systems which is why you will need to be careful while offering your betta’s live foods.
Below I have covered and explained all the possible live food options that you can offer to your bettas. Have a look at it through the end.
1. Mosquito Larvae
Mosquito larvae provide a fantastic additional live food option for your betta. In contrast to many other live feeds, mosquito larvae are one of the bettas’ regular meals in the wild. Unlike some other live feeds, feeding mosquito larvae to your betta on a daily basis may be done with no concern about bad consequences.
You have to ensure that you’re not feeding your betta too many mosquito larvae. The maximum number of larvae you should feed at once is three to five, and if your fish refuses to eat in between feedings, stop adding more to the tank. Although they do offer the majority of the nutrients for your betta mosquito larvae, it’s still crucial to feed them regularly.
The main concern is preventing the larvae from maturing into teenagers. They’ll start to annoy you severely at this time, and you’ll need to smash the majority of them.
If you raise mosquito larvae that you find in the wild make sure you store them in the refrigerator for approximately two weeks. However, be certain that you are confident that the larvae are free of pesticide contamination.
Daphnia is among the most popular live food varieties that betta owners give their fish. It’s good since it has a significant amount of protein and fibre. Daphnia is sometimes an excellent option for your betta if you feed them a lot of pellet or flake diet to ensure their digestive tract functioning. Aside from the fact that they consume a lot of plants, which your betta will also consume, their bones are also lined with fibrous substances.
Daphnia is often found in ponds, swimming pools, as well as other water bodies. Additionally, breeding them is relatively simple for betta owners. Once you’ve purchased the first quantity, you can continue to breed them. Consequently, you won’t need to bother about purchasing more.
Maintain an optimum live daphnia intake of no more than 5-7 each meal while feeding bettas. You do not need to bother too much about constipation since they do an excellent task of keeping your betta’s digestive tract flowing, but overfeeding will still induce a weight increase.
3. Fruit Flies
Another live food that is comparable to what bettas would consume in the wild is fruit flies, which may be a wonderful addition to your betta’s meal. Although winged fruit flies can also work if you ensure they get into the tank’s water, however, most people may favour feeding their betta wingless/flightless fruit flies.
Take caution not to overfeed your betta when you’re giving it fruit flies. Most of the time, 2 or 3 flies are more than the adequate per meal. Furthermore, make sure you include them as a part of a healthy diet.
In most cases, pet shops and internet retailers provide everything you’d need if you wanted to establish your own fruit fly cultivation. When breeding fruit flies, make sure to select those without wings.
The tiniest kind of daphnia is called a moina. They are therefore excellent for betta fry, young bettas, or very picky bettas. Moina has a greater nutritional profile than conventional daphnia, which is one advantage of employing them. Being carnivorous fish, bettas must consume a large amount of protein in their meals.
Adolescent moina are frequently preferred for feeding betta moina since they have less fat. But adult moina can also work just as well if you merely intend to use moina as a dietary supplement for your betta. Daphnia is a brilliant option for your betta, but if you want to liven things up for him, moina might be a wonderful alternative.
5. Black Worms
You might not see black worms as frequently as some of the other delicacies on this list, but don’t let this stop you. They provide a substantial number of the nutrients needed for bettas and make a wonderful addition to a balanced diet. Black worms provide a significant quantity of nourishment, and many people have found that when they are used frequently, their bettas’ color changes and they get much healthier.
Although they are a great option, black worms shouldn’t be a regular component of your betta’s diet. They have an abundance of nutrients, but if eaten too much, they may result in digestive issues including constipation.
Ensure they don’t receive black worms at every meal while serving your betta black worms, which you should limit to no more than 1-2 every meal. If given the chance, bettas would often devour as many as they can since they generally enjoy them.
6. Micro Worms
Micro worms are among the simplest to establish a colony with if you choose to do so. They are exceedingly simple to maintain and offer excellent nutrition to bettas of all ages, including fry and juveniles.
Despite the fact that micro worms are a distinct species, there are several more closely related species, like freshwater worms and banana worms, that you may utilize as well.
Like with any other live food, micro worms may make a wonderful mainstay in your betta’s diet, but this shouldn’t be the only item your betta consumes. They contain a lot of protein, but they also include a lot of fat. Constipation is the ultimate outcome of consuming too much fat in your betta’s food, which can interfere with digestion.
Nevertheless, they may be a fantastic source of nourishment for the betta fry if you intend to breed your betta.
7. Blood Worms
There is a large amount of incorrect information out there about feeding bloodworms to your betta fish. In addition, some individuals advise limiting your betta’s diet to blood worms. But it’s clear that this is inaccurate. If you intend to feed your betta bloodworms, you should always do it as an occasional treat.
Given too many bloodworms, your betta will become constipated because they are too rich. Only 2-3 servings of betta bloodworms per week are the absolute maximum you ought to offer your fish. They do have advantages even if they are not the healthiest diet for your betta. They have a very high iron content compared to many other living foods.
8. Tubifex Worms
Despite the fact that they are two distinct species, blood worms and tubifex worms are sometimes confused. Although they make excellent nutrition for your betta, you have to use them with caution. While the possibility of transmitting illnesses and pathogens exists with all living food, tubifex worms are more prone to do so.
They frequently live in stagnant water that is contaminated with garbage and sludge. If you’re feeding your betta tubifex worms, ensure you’re either growing them yourself or purchasing them from a very reliable supplier. In addition, ensure they are well-cleaned before being introduced to your tank when you finally have them.
One or two tubifex worms at a time are the maximum amount to feed your betta. Your betta will probably bury it beneath the substrate where it will ultimately rot and die if the betta doesn’t eat the worm. Last but not least, giving your betta frozen tubifex worms could be a better option. The likelihood of illnesses and parasites transmitting through food is often lower when it is frozen.
9. Meal Worms
Many people worry about feeding mealworms to their betta fish. This issue doesn’t have a straightforward yes or no response. Mealworms are problematic since many of them have thick skin that many bettas won’t be able to chew through. Your betta won’t be able to consume one of them due to their size.
Fortunately, there are methods to feed them to your betta and they are quite nutritious. You should start by giving your betta young mealworms. They won’t be as large and their exoskeletons won’t be as tough when they’re newborns. This implies that they will be edible to your betta.
Additionally, mealworms may be purchased and chopped up so that your betta can consume them. Furthermore, since they are less prone to become trapped, this is much healthier for their digestion.
Mealworms should only be fed to bettas once or twice a week if you want to feed your betta mealworms. Last but not least, mealworms are simple to produce and maintain, and they develop more slowly if you preserve them chilled. The number of young worms you can feed your betta will increase as a result.
10. Opossum Shrimp
Another excellent option for feeding your betta is mysis or opossum shrimp. They include a lot of fibre, which will improve your fish’s digestion. They are much more challenging to find but if you do, your betta will like them! Even picky bettas frequently enjoy eating Mysis shrimp, in truth.
Due to their size, you only need to serve your betta mysis shrimp one or two times daily. They can be a regular food source for your betta, however, you shouldn’t feed them exclusively. In contrast to other meals, they are heavy in fibre and roughage rather than excessive fat.
As long as you provide them with adequate food, they can also reproduce successfully by themselves. They’ll start devouring one another if you don’t.
11. Fairy Shrimp
Fairy shrimp are not only excellent food for your betta but as well as remarkably simple to grow. If you want to avoid having to constantly buy betta fairy shrimp, it could be easier to develop your own culture. Shrimp may be a fantastic part of your betta’s diet if you decide to feed it.
But keep in mind that no single food source can start providing your betta all the nutrition he needs. He should have two to three fairy shrimp every meal, and you shouldn’t feed him more than thrice a day. They should always be included in your betta’s diet alongside other kinds of food, never serving as the main source.
12. Brine Shrimp
Brine shrimp is one of the live fish feeds that are most typically suggested for bettas. They are excellent for adding to your betta’s diet, but, like other live foods, they must be used occasionally. As a result of their extreme richness, brine shrimp pose a health risk to your betta if you feed them too frequently.
Only do it twice or three times a week if you intend to feed your betta brine shrimp. Brine shrimp have the drawback of being somewhat more difficult to cultivate. In contrast to other living meals, brine shrimp must thrive in saltwater, not freshwater.
13. Earth Worms
Another underutilized yet great source of protein for betta fish is earthworms. Earthworms may be bought from a fish bait shop or collected from your garden, then put in a jar and kept in the fridge. Earthworms might need to be chopped into bite-sized pieces.
What Are The Live Foods That You Can Feed Betta Fry?
Beta fry fish may attack fiercely since they are carnivores and will only consume moving, live things. Due to this, attempting to give them any kind of flakes or fish food is a waste of time. Even while it can seem like there aren’t many choices when hunting for live meals tiny than a beta mouth, there are really many possibilities.
Food that moves will be preferred by young siamese Fry. Nevertheless, as they become older, you might be able to add various frozen food alternatives and pellets to their meals.
From the moment they are born, it is crucial to provide the correct foods for your betta fry. The reason is that as soon as the baby fish in the tank gain freedom from their egg cysts, they will start to eat. This necessitates having access to fresh, high-quality meals constantly.
Below there is a listicle of live foods that you can offer to your betta fry:
- Walter Worms
- Grindal Worms
- Banana Worms
- Baby Brine Shrimp
- Fairy Shrimp,
- Vinegar Eels
What Are The Factors To Be Considered While Offering Your Bettas Live Food?
There are some factors that you will need to keep in your account if you want to offer live foods to your betta. In addition, these factors are suggested by the experts which is why you will need to make sure that all the factors are implemented properly. The factors are elaborately described below:
1. The Parasitic Drawbacks Of Live Food
The possibility of parasites and germs being present in live food is one of its main drawbacks. If you don’t purchase it from a reliable vendor, you risk giving your betta a variety of illnesses. There is also no clear method to tell if living food is contaminated with germs or parasites. Therefore, there is a little possibility that your betta will become ill.
Nevertheless, you may lessen the odds by cultivating your own live food in addition to purchasing it from a reliable vendor. The majority of live foods may be cultivated at home pretty easily. In the long term, producing your own food is frequently far less expensive than purchasing it from a shop.
2. The Effect Of Chemicals On Live Food
In certain cases, live food might get infected as a result of the numerous insect repellents and sprays that are available. Your betta might get poisoned if you give him tainted live food. Once again, it’s critical to confirm that the merchant from whom you are purchasing live food is reputable. As a result, there is a far greater chance that the food you purchase is pesticide-free.
The ideal strategy, though, is to cultivate your own live food. By doing so, you will be able to be certain that it hasn’t been exposed to pesticides and will know precisely where it has been.
3. Do Not Offer Your Betta Live Food To A Large Extent
If you’re giving your betta live food, he probably won’t stop eating once he starts. Even to the extent that he is consuming more food than that which is healthy. It is recommended by the experts that you shouldn’t feed your betta more than 1 to 2 times per day and ensure the portion is not bigger than the size of the betta’s eye.
The live foods that are found in the market are bigger which is why you might need to offer less portion of live foods to your bettas.
After the above discussion, it must be clear what types of live food can betta fish eat. However, some betta owners might get confused about other live tank mates of bettas and whether bettas fish will eat them or not. To clear the confusion please have a look through my next article. Do Bettas Eat Snails? Why?