Betta Fish Care – Essential Tips on Feeding Betta Fish

The Siamese fighting fish, otherwise known as the fighter or betta, is a highly sought-after freshwater fish known for its dazzling colors, vast, sweeping fins and relatively easy maintenance. It’s a fish native to the rice patties Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, whose name is derived from a local Thailand dialect: ikan bettah. Although fairly easy to care for, proper betta fish care does involve a bit of unique watchfulness in order to ensure your fish live a long and healthy life.

One of the most important aspects to master is betta fish feeding. Siamese fighting fish are naturally carnivorous and prefer to feed mainly on the surface. While they are not unknown to eat vegetable matter, zooplankton is the food of choice in their natural habit. This includes mosquito larvae and other insects: mainly crickets, grasshoppers and flies. Its brilliant colors are explained by the wide variety of food in its diet; as fish who feed on a multitude of foods generally display more abundant colors, live longer, and heal fin damage faster.

At your home, betta fish feed on commercial betta pellets composed of wheat flour, fish meal, mashed shrimp meal, bloodworms, shrimp, and vitamins. In addition to this, your fish can eat daphnia, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and frozen or live bloodworms.

You want to make sure, at all times, your fish feed in a well maintained tank full of fresh water. This is a crucial element of proper betta fish care because they are prone to disease and even death from waterborne bacteria resulting from an unkept environment.

Because betta fish are natural surface feeders, you should do your best to make certain your fish see the food as it enters the fish tank. You can do this by dropping the food in front of his mouth where there is no mistaking what is actually taking place.

Bettas are also well-known to be pretty particular in what they choose to eat. For this reason, a good diet should include food pellets specific to betta fish. As stated earlier, bettas should be fed a wide variety of foods; foods acceptable on a betta’s menu include betta pellets/flakes, frozen foods, and freeze dried brine shrimp and bloodworms. While not necessary, live foods are also always welcome in a betta’s diet.

Betta fish can live for as long as a week without food, but it certainly isn’t something advised because your fish will manifest damaging consequences as a result. Ideally, it is preferred to stick to a daily feeding schedule. But if you are going away for the weekend, you can rest assured your fish will not be floating at the top of the tank when you arrive home. Some people actually find it beneficial to skip a daily feeding on occasion in order to clean out their betta’s digestive system.

A common problem in betta fish care is overfeeding. A betta’s stomach is only the size of its eye. Typically, a betta will take no longer than 2 to 5 minutes to eat to the point of satiety. If you notice food sinking to the bottom of the fish tank, this a clear sign of overfeeding.

You want to be especially careful when feeding your fish live food. While your fish will stop eating once it has had its fill of frozen or dried food, it will continue eating live food until the supply is exhausted in the tank. A betta will actually eat until the point of death.

An overfed betta betta can excrete an amount of waste that leads to an unsafe pollution level in the tank in which it lives. Obviously, though, the size of the tank in which the betta lives will also be a factor. If your betta’s belly appears bloated or paunchy, this is another sign of overfeeding.

Other signs of overfeeding include water that displays a continuous white and cloudy appearance, algae appearing on the surfaces of the aquarium within a week of cleaning, slight readings for ammonia in the water when tested, uneaten food accumulated in the fish tank’s filters and wet/dry filter, and uneaten food accumulated on the bottom of the tank after a feeding.

Remember to always remove any uneaten food that has fallen to the bottom of the tank after a feeding. Forgetting to do this will lead to food rot and in turn pollute the tank.

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