Homemade Fish Food for Bettas – The Complete Guide

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Commercial pet food is always a great choice as long as it is high-quality. It is appositely designed for a certain creature, so it perfectly replicates all the nutritional values for it to thrive.

However, many owners today like making meals for their beloved pets at home, having in mind that such meals can never contain artificial ingredients or chemicals. So why not give it a try at least?

Such food can certainly not replace pellets for any adult betta, but it can make a great alternative sometimes. If you are up to the task, here is our suggestion of the best homemade fish food for bettas. This may be much easier than you have imagined.

What do Bettas Usually Eat?

In the wild, these little hunters are mostly insectivorous, feeding on basically any such meaty treat which passes by. And the insect larvae, too. When held as pets, they will happily accept apposite protein-based commercial pellets, as well as delicious meals like brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Some owners like including occasional land meat or vegetable treats, such as poultry or peas. This can be quite controversial sometimes because fish are obviously not naturally intended to feed on anything originating from outside the sea.

However, offering tiny portions of certain land food is perfectly fine, as long as provided occasionally rather than a regular treat. Additionally, such food may bring to several advantages to their overall well-being. Or, in the worst case, it certainly cannot harm.

If you are out of betta fish food, don’t feed them just any food that humans can eat, such as bread, pizza, or potato chips. These are harmful to bettas. Instead, prepare some food yourself. Here is a quick overview of what you can use to make betta food at home.

Homemade Food for Bettas

A simple paste can be a great replacement meal during those days when you are not up to heading to the store.

All you need here is a tiny portion of chicken liver, a splash of garlic (or garlic juice), and a few minutes of your time. Simply blend these two together, until a smooth paste comes out as a result.

The easiest way of feeding your betta with such paste without making a complete food-residue mess all over the tank is by using a syringe. Simply place a tiny portion inside the syringe and let the top get inside the tank.

There is no need of reaching deep inside the aquarium, as bettas prefer feeding at the top. Once your pet approaches, let the paste come out and wait before releasing it again.

There may still be some food leftovers sinking towards the bottom, so please make sure to collect most of them to avoid ammonia spikes.

Small chicken liver treats can boost your betta with healthy proteins, without compromising their fat intake. Adding to that, garlic works hard on improving its immune system.

Garlic is sometimes also recommended to be added to pellets if fish have fungus or internal parasites, so it certainly has beneficial factors. And, more importantly, bettas really seem to like it!

Don’t feed your betta only paste, because they love eating whole foods, such as bloodworms or pellets. With their tiny teeth, bettas will chew on these foods for a while, making them busy and active.

Homemade Food for Betta Fry

When it comes to betta babies, many owners nowadays head to homemade infusoria rather than buying these microorganisms at the pet store. It is simple but it does take 2 to 3 days before becoming a meal.

First of all, pick some leafy greens which are going to act as the base. These can be peas, spinach leaves, green cabbage or a mix of them all. Peel the peas and beans and chop all other vegetables before placing them into a jar.

The jar should be just one-third full. Next, the jar should be filled up to three quarters with boiling water. Once it cools down a bit, you may add aquarium water to fill up the jar completely. And finally, simply let the jar rest for 2 or 3 days next to a window with plenty of sunshine.

This will allow for the vegetables to dissolve and for bacteria to get created. At this stage, the water will appear cloudy. Once the infusoria start to grow and feed on bacteria, the water will clear out and this is exactly how you will know it is ready.

Use a dropper to place small amounts of infusoria water inside your tank with fries. They are super small now and grow quickly, so please make sure to feed them twice each day to ensure their healthy development.

Your homemade infusoria should be thrown away after 2 days as soon as the jar water starts becoming cloudy again.

How Long Can Bettas Survive Without Food?

Betta fish can survive without food, with no health consequences for up to 4 days. They can survive even longer, sometimes for even two weeks, but their wellbeing is then certainly compromised.

If you happen to not feed your pet for a couple of days during vacation, there is nothing to worry about. On top of that, some owners even like to fast their pets for a day every now and then, and it is considered to be beneficial.

Live Food for Betta Fish

Bettas love eating live food such as bloodworms, daphnia or shrimp. They can and will eat cherry shrimp and will attack even smaller Amano shrimp.

If you are raising baby bettas, you might consider preparing infusoria for them, because this helps them grow faster and healthier.

Can Bettas Eat Fruits or Vegetables?

Although most betta fish are carnivorous, offering them occasionally fruity or green treats can sometimes be beneficial.

Fibers that can be found in peas, for example, can become extremely helpful to get the bowels moving into bettas which suffer from constipation. Additionally, they really seem to enjoy tiny portions of mango.

Can Bettas Eat Chicken Meat?

This topic can be quite controversial among betta lovers, as fish never feed on land meat in their natural habitats. However, bettas are carnivorous fish that require protein-enriched meals with low fat, and this is exactly what chicken meat is.

Offering your pet small amounts of cooked and un-spiced chicken is certainly not harmful, but always make sure to not make it a regular meal.

Wrapping Up

Betta fish are carnivorous little hunters and they should feed accordingly in the wild. However, when kept as pets, it is important for humans to provide the right nutritive values for them to thrive. Therefore, commercial pellets should be their basic diet.

Homemade meals can be a great addition for keeping them interested, but it can also provide great care to your colorful pets. So why not head to the kitchen and try a new recipe out?

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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