When I was a kid, my best friend had difficulty keeping her adult betta fish alive.
But she would tell me about these elaborate plans she had to raise “baby bettas.” She was confident they would eat the same things as her grown betta fish.
This is, unfortunately, a common misconception about betta fry food.
You must feed betta fry according to their age. At first, they can only digest liquids, which is why we feed them egg yolk. Soon after, single-celled organisms are safe. Introducing commercial and frozen food is essential, but not until your betta is about three weeks old.
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Nutritional Needs of Betta Fry
Betta fry need tons of protein to help them grow quickly and correctly.
Without adequate protein, their growth rate is stunted. This is the most crucial part of providing a healthy diet for fish fries!
Betta fry also need fat in their diet.
This is something you take care of once they start free-swimming and can eat a couple of different kinds of food.
Getting various nutrients into your baby bettas is important, but at first, the main concern is protein!
Common Foods for Betta Fry
There are loads of commercially produced fish foods for fish fry.
Many of these foods are not explicitly targeted at betta fish, so it’s essential to ask whether they are suitable for bettas.
More importantly, you need to understand the growth stages of betta fry.
The Egg Yolk Solution
When they are first born, they should eat liquid foods as this is what they can digest.
Most fish owners feed their betta fry egg yolk. The best way to prepare the yolk is to soft boil some eggs.
The egg white will be solid, but the center will have a nice runny egg yolk.
This is an easy food for them to digest, but only give them tiny amounts at a time.
Remember, egg yolks pollute the tank water and make it smell really bad if you don’t clean up.
Make sure to remove any uneaten food before long, and give the filter a clean as well.
Commercial foods are a great choice once your betta fry reaches a few weeks of age.
Some people actually begin feeding commercial fish fry food sooner than this, which is safe enough. However, we recommend waiting two or three weeks.
There are plenty of other ways to get your fry nutrients before this age safely.
Once it’s time for commercial food, buy one specifically made with aquatic babies in mind.
This food will be small enough for your betta fry and include more protein and fat needed to achieve optimal growth.
Here are some of the best foods for betta fry, all of which you’ll find on Amazon.
1. Sera Micron Nature Fry Food
Many fry keepers have praised this food for keeping their babies alive and well when other foods didn’t work.
While many factors are going into fish fry health, food is definitely key!
All in all, this food is excellent for fish fry, and many betta owners say their fry not only thrived on it but also loved the stuff!
It is slightly more expensive than some other fry foods, though.
2. Hikari First Bites
What’s great about the Hikari fish food is it floats around the middle of the tank, giving your betta fry time to eat it.
This is another food betta breeders are really happy with. It promotes quicker growth but also prioritizes keeping your fry healthy.
These are both incredibly important for getting those babies to adulthood.
3. Northfin Fry Starter
For some reason, Northfin is less popular than the previous brands we’ve mentioned.
But their food is known for having great ingredients and pleasing fish of all ages.
This is a great food for fish fry, and specifically is one of the foods betta fry like just as well as other types of fish.
The Role of Supplements for Betta Fry
Supplements are a huge part of any fish’s diet. Betta fish love live and frozen foods, and baby bettas are no different!
The best time to introduce live foods as dietary supplements is once your betta fish are free-swimming.
Toddler Betta Foods
This is where you introduce solid foods, but those foods still need to be very small.
You wouldn’t give a human toddler a Big Mac, so you don’t want to provide betta fry adult foods, either.
At this stage of growth, you start to see a few more feeding options.
- Baby Brine Shrimp
Infusoria are single-celled organisms we see grow on live aquatic plants. These are relatively easy to produce at home to feed your betta fry.
A good plan is to have live aquarium plants in the betta fry tank.
You might even have a culture separately, though, where you raise infusoria to feed your babies.
Infusoria are very small and work great as the first live food for your fry.
Nematodes are another well-suited live food. Being as small as they are, they are easy enough for your betta to consume and digest.
There are multiple kinds of nematodes, so you might hear the names:
- Banana worms
- Walter worms
- Vinegar eels
Baby Brine Shrimp
Baby brine shrimp are a bit tougher for your fry, so make sure to introduce them to live foods like infusoria a few days before adding these guys.
Do not feed adult shrimp, as they are too big. They might even end up eating your baby bettas instead of the other way around.
If you have the resources, consider raising a brine shrimp colony. This makes it easy to provide baby brine shrimp to your fry.
But it also makes it easy to keep giving your betta live foods as they grow up!
Live foods are great for nurturing your betta’s budding hunter instincts!
Do not feed your baby betta fish frozen foods yet! All these foods must be fed live to be safe.
Appetite and Digestion in Betta Fry
Betta fry have bigger appetites than you might expect!
They can eat 3-5 meals in a day, though we recommend more like 3-4.
Here’s our rule of thumb: Feeding takes place in a five-minute period.
If your babies can’t finish it in five minutes, it’s too much food.
This will help you avoid overfeeding your babies, which is highly dangerous.
If your betta struggles to eat this many meals or seems hungry regardless of good meals, the tank may need changes.
Your betta fry feels it when their home has less than the optimal water quality.
The best betta fry temperature is around 82° degrees Fahrenheit (28°C).
Adjusting the temperature in the tank greatly affects energy and appetite!
Storing Betta Fry Food
All dry fish foods need to be kept in an airtight container.
Put the container in a cool area like a closet or shaded corner if you have one.
This prevents clumping and other issues.
Special Considerations for Feeding Betta Fry
When you give your betta fry new foods for the first time, do it with caution.
Betta fry are sensitive and struggle with new foods sometimes.
Feed them new foods according to their growth stage, and watch for bad reactions.
This is especially important when moving to dry food or frozen food.
FAQs on Feeding Betta Fry
How often should betta fry be fed?
Betta fry need to have 3-5 meals per day, but each meal must be small. Unlike adult betta fish, betta fry cannot go a day without food. You need to be consistent in feeding them.
Is it okay to feed betta fry live food?
It is perfectly safe to feed betta fry live food once they start free-swimming.
We highly recommend keeping an active microworm culture or brine shrimp colony. This way, your betta fry can eat live food daily, which is great for their growth.
Most betta fry keepers have noticed that their babies are more interested in live food than dry foods.
Can betta fry be overfed?
Betta fry are sometimes overfed by well-meaning owners. The trick to keeping them healthy is to clean out uneaten food and only feed them 3-4 times a day. Betta fry are sensitive, and you’ll surely notice if you’re overfeeding them.
Can betta fry be underfed?
Betta fry are sometimes underfed as well. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on how much they eat at meal times.
If they devour what’s there with no leftovers, adding more food won’t hurt. Feeding your babies is a bit of a balancing act.
How do I know if my betta fry are getting the right nutrients?
The best way to know whether your betta fry are well-fed is to watch their growth. In truth, many people lose betta fry rapidly because they are difficult to care for. If your betta fish are alive and swimming happily around and growing, good job!
Quality Betta Fry Food
As long as you consider what your betta fry can handle at each stage of life, you will do great!
Remember betta fry prefer live foods and thrive on high-protein and fat.
To learn more about caring for betta fry, read our other article on baby betta care.
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