Best Food For Betta Fish: Top 10 Picks (With Health Info)

There is a lot of misinformation about what belongs in a betta’s diet and how much to feed. 

Reading nutrition labels on popular foods marketed for bettas does not always provide clear answers to these questions.

We researched several types of food for bettas and provided facts and reviews to help you decide which food is best for your fish.

New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets are the best food for betta fish overall because of their nutrient-dense formula and immune support.

best betta fish foods

10 Best Foods for Betta Fish Reviewed

All of the betta food below have some unique aspect. Some are great for a treat, while others win in different categories. We’ve listed where each one shines in the bullet points above.

Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Pellets

betta fish bio gold food
  • Color-enhancing ingredients
  • Small pellet size
  • Easy-to-use packaging
  • Affordable

Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Pellets are the best choice for beginner betta keepers. Easy-to-use packages allow you to measure out the correct amount for each feeding.

The pellets are very small and are well-suited for young bettas and those with difficulty eating larger pellets.

Specialized ingredients for betta fish enhance color and reduces the impacts of aging.

Hikari Betta Pellets are high in protein and moisture for lots of energy and easy digestion.

This pellet food contains a variety of vitamins and minerals for your betta. But it also contains a fair amount of fillers like wheat flour, potato starch, and corn gluten meal.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 38%
  • Crude Fat (min): 4.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10%
  • Ash (max): 12%

Northfin Food Betta Bits

northfin betta food
  • No fillers, hormones, or artificial colors
  • High protein content
  • Easy to digest
  • Slow-sinking pellets

Northfin Food Betta Bits are a nutritious food rich in protein. The pellets do not contain hormones, fillers, or artificial colors. This makes it our top choice for filler-free food.

The small, slow-sinking pellets are easy for a betta to digest and contain natural color enhancers.

Northfin Betta Bits also contain plenty of essential vitamins and minerals to support immune function and growth.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 45%
  • Crude Fat (min): 5.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 5.0%
  • Moisture (max): 9.0%
  • Ash (max): 9.0%

Fluval Bug Bites for Small Fish

bug bites tropical betta food
  • Black Soldier Fly larva is the first ingredient
  • Rich in Omega 3 and 6
  • Micro-sized granules
  • Sustainably processed

Fluval Bug Bites for Small Fish are one of the smallest betta granules on the market.

With up to 40% insect larvae protein, these micro granules have the flavor and nutrition carnivorous betta fish crave.

The whole salmon makes this food the best choice for Omega 3 and 6. Omegas promote healthy skin, scales, fins, and vibrant colors.

These micro granules contain essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for a balanced diet.

Fluval Bug Bites for Small Fish are processed in small batches for quality control and are guaranteed to be fresh.

The ingredients in these granules are sustainable and do not contain artificial fillers, colors, or preservatives.

Take care not to overfeed your betta because these granules have a higher crude fat content than other foods.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 40%
  • Crude Fat (min): 12.5%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 5.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%
  • Ash (max): 9.0%

Fluval Bug Bites Betta Formula

fluval bug bites betta formula
  • Formulated specifically for bettas
  • Micro-sized granules
  • Added shrimp
  • Insect larva is the first ingredient

Fluval Bug Bites Betta Formula granules contain all the nutrition as the regular granules but with added protein sources and carbohydrates for bettas. 

This protein-rich formula is our pick for the best source of protein compared to other betta foods.

The size of the micro granules makes them sink faster than regular betta pellets, so take care not to add too many to the tank at once.

This betta food is processed sustainably with ingredients like Black Soldier Fly larvae, whole salmon, and shrimp meal.

Like Fluval’s other formulas, these granules do not contain artificial fillers, colors, or preservatives.

Be aware of the higher crude fat content in this granular formula.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 45%
  • Crude Fat (min): 12.5%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 5.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%
  • Ash (max): 9.0%

Ocean Nutrition Betta Pro

ocean nutrition betta pro
  • Excellent live food replacement
  • Baby brine shrimp is the first ingredient
  • Ideal for show and breeding bettas
  • Easy to use

Ocean Nutrition Betta Pro is specially formulated for bettas to support vibrant colors and promote healthy growth.

With brine shrimp embryos as the first ingredient, these pellets are one of the best live food replacements.

The pellets are small enough to feed bettas from two months old through adulthood.

The jar includes a small spoon for easy portioning, and the floating pellets encourage your betta’s hunting instincts.

This food is ideal for conditioning bettas for show and breeding purposes.

The small pellets do not cause cloudy tank water when used correctly.

Ocean Nutrition Betta Pro pellets cost more than other foods but are an excellent source of protein and vitamins.

The crude fiber content is slightly lower than other pellet foods, so take care not to overfeed your betta. A lower fiber content increases your betta’s chance of constipation issues.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 38%
  • Crude Fat (min): 7.5%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 2.1%
  • Moisture (max): 9.0%
  • Ash (max): 6.5%

New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets

new life spectrum betta food
  • Includes garlic for immune health
  • Made with squid
  • Color enhancers
  • No hormones
  • Semi-floating pellets

New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets contain high-density nutrition to keep your betta full and reduce waste.

These semi-floating pellets are the perfect size for smaller betta fish.

With a well-rounded nutritional profile, these pellets are our top choice for the best overall betta food.

High-quality proteins like whole Antarctic krill, giant squid, and whole Menhaden fish promote healthy growth.

Adding garlic improves your betta’s immune system and protects your fish against parasites.

This color-enhancing formula keeps your betta looking vibrant and does not contain hormones and uses only natural preservatives.

New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets are also rich in fiber and moisture to improve your betta’s digestion.

These nutrient-dense pellets also help your betta recover from malnutrition.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 37%
  • Crude Fat (min): 7.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 7.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%
  • Ash (max): 10.0%

Aqueon Pro Betta Pellets

aqueon pro betta food
  • Nutritionally balanced
  • Developed around a betta’s natural diet
  • Floating pellets
  • Immune-system support

Aqueon Pro Betta Pellets contain plant and animal proteins to simulate a betta’s natural diet.

Micro and macro algae and Vitamins C and  E support your betta’s immune health.

Probiotics support digestive health and reduce the risk of bloating and constipation in betta fish.

Aqueon Betta Pellets also contain natural color-enhancing ingredients.

These inexpensive pellets contain complete nutrition for bettas and get our vote for the best budget-friendly option.

Due to the inclusion of plant-based ingredients, these pellets are not free of fillers.

Aqueon Pro Betta Pellets are the perfect size for small and large bettas.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 37%
  • Crude Fat (min): 8.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 8.0%
  • Ash (max): N/A

The Best Treats & Variety for Betta Fish

Freeze-Dried Daphnia

daphnia betta treats
  • High in protein
  • Rich in amino acids
  • Multivitamins reduce stress-related illness

Freeze-Dried Daphnia is a healthy treat for your betta due to the high amounts of protein, amino acids, and vitamins. The amount of nutrients in this snack makes it our pick for the best treat for bettas.

Feeding these to your betta once a week helps prevent swim bladder disease and boosts the immune system.

The food is small and easy to digest, and your betta will enjoy the variety in its diet.

Daphnia is a mild laxative for bettas, so this treat prevents constipation.

A high amount of vitamins and minerals promotes fin health and helps your betta recover from illnesses like fin rot.

Since the only ingredient is daphnia, you do not have to worry about fillers.

The larger container makes these treats budget-friendly.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 67.4%
  • Crude Fat (min): 9.5%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 4.6%
  • Moisture (max): 6.9%
  • Ash (max): 8.8%

Ocean Nutrition Instant Baby Brine Shrimp

ocean nutrition baby brine shrimp
  • Includes a mini spoon for easy feeding
  • Floats well
  • Over 1.5 million baby brine shrimp in each jar
  • Limited ingredients

Ocean Nutrition Instant Baby Brine Shrimp is an excellent supplement for your betta.

While this treat is more expensive than others, you get a large quantity for your money.

Baby brine shrimp improve a betta’s digestion, and your fish benefits from the variety in its diet. 

Since these baby brine shrimp offer digestive support, it is our top choice for the best treat for digestive health.

The miniature spoon included in this jar makes feeding easy.

Be sure to rinse the baby brine shrimp in a separate container of tank water to remove some of the salt.

One of the downsides to this treat is it is only good for 6 weeks after opening. 

To work around this, use an ice cube tray to freeze small amounts of the shrimp. 

This way, you are able to thaw them as needed, and you do not waste any of the product.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 7.0%
  • Crude Fat (min): 0.7%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 1.7%
  • Moisture (max): N/A
  • Ash (max): 0.7%

Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms

omega one blood worms
  • Rich in protein
  • Free of parasites
  • Floats well

Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms are a safer alternative to live blood worms because they do not contain parasites.

Freeze-dried blood worms are an excellent source of protein and add variety to your betta’s diet. This makes it our pick for the best protein snack for bettas.

It is safe to feed your betta small quantities of freeze-dried blood worms 2-3 times per week as a supplement to its staple diet.

Take care not to overfeed freeze-dried blood worms to your betta. 

The high protein content in freeze-dried blood worms may cause constipation, which leads to swim bladder disease.

The protein content is high in freeze-dried blood worms, but they are not a good source of other nutrients. 

The freeze-drying process destroys most of the nutritional content in blood worms.

Nutritional Information:

  • Crude Protein (min): 40%
  • Crude Fat (min): 3.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 5.0%
  • Moisture (max): 7.0%
  • Ash (max): N/A

What To Look For in Betta Food

Betta fish are carnivores, so they need a high-protein diet. 

Look for foods with at least a crude protein percentage of at least 35%. 

Plant-based foods do not contain enough protein for your betta.

Despite what some may say, betta fish do not eat plants. 

If you see your betta nibbling on a plant, it is most likely starving or bored. 

Another explanation is your betta is eating tiny bugs on the plant leaves.

Bettas feed on insects and insect larvae in their natural habitat. Fluval’s Bug Bites Betta Formula satisfies this need by including Black Soldier Fly larvae as the first ingredient.

Another thing to look for is foods specifically formulated for betta fish. 

Generic tropical fish food usually contains plant-based ingredients because it is designed for omnivores.

Betta fish-specific pellets contain more animal-based ingredients, which are better suited for their carnivorous diet.

You must also avoid excessive fillers from wheat, soy, and other plant-based ingredients. Look for foods with animal proteins high on the ingredient list.

Small amounts of filler are not necessarily bad for your betta. The reason to avoid them is that bettas do not receive any nutritional benefit from fillers.

Offer your betta fish variety in its diet with some freeze-dried foods as a treat once or twice per week.

There are several types of freeze-dried foods to choose from. Daphnia, brine shrimp, and blood worms are all nutritious options.

Freeze-dried foods are generally preferred over live foods. They are less likely to contain harmful parasites.

Are Pellets Better Than Flakes?

Betta food pellets are better than betta flakes for several reasons.

Pellets for betta fish usually contain higher-quality ingredients than flake foods.

Betta fish flakes also tend to be messier than pellet foods. 

It is more difficult to remove uneaten flakes than pellets. Leftover food could cause an ammonia spike in your aquarium and lead to serious health issues.

This is not to say all betta fish flakes are bad. It is simply harder to find flake foods with the same nutritional content as betta fish pellets.

We did not include betta fish flakes on our list because most pellet foods have a superior nutritional value in comparison.

If you choose fish flakes, be sure to pay attention to the nutritional content, especially the amounts of fiber and protein.

The fish flakes must also be specifically designed for betta fish. Tropical fish flakes do not contain the nutrient profile bettas need.

Are Freeze-Dried Foods Better Than Live Foods for Bettas?

From a nutritional view, live foods are better for bettas than freeze-dried foods. The freeze-drying process destroys many of the beneficial nutrients in live foods.

Live foods also allow your betta to use its hunting instincts.

The problem with live foods is the higher risk of parasites. 

If live foods are not purchased from a reputable source, there is a greater chance they contain some form of parasites.

Parasites are not usually a problem with freeze-dried foods because the parasites cannot survive processing.

While freeze-dried foods are not as nutrient-dense as live foods, it is still possible to find healthy ones.

Look for freeze-dried foods with high protein content, like freeze-dried daphnia or Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms.

A major benefit of freeze-dried foods is their longer shelf-life over live foods. This is especially true for blood worms. 

You may only store them in the refrigerator for a short time before they become unusable.

Freeze-dried foods also float on the surface longer than live foods. The added buoyancy gives your betta time to eat the food before it sinks to the bottom of the tank.

Frozen foods present the same challenges as live food regarding parasites. They are also difficult to portion correctly, and the thawing process is messy.

Can Betta Fish Have Too Much Protein?

Too much protein is not an issue for betta fish because most betta foods contain the appropriate amount. Protein supports healthy betta fish growth and provides energy for your fish.

Problems only occur if the protein-rich foods in a betta fish diet do not contain enough fiber. Without enough fiber, your betta has an increased risk of constipation and a bloated stomach.

Many betta fish keepers also assume it is safe to feed their fish lots of treats simply because they contain a high amount of protein. 

Overfeeding is the most common cause of betta fish illnesses.

Baby bettas need more protein than adult bettas, but you must not overfeed them. Breeding bettas also need higher amounts of protein.

Protein-rich pellets with a low fiber content may cause problems with your betta. 

The pellets break down quickly, building up in your betta’s stomach and causing digestive issues.

To combat constipation and bloating issues, vary your betta’s pellet diet with fiber-rich freeze-dried foods. 

Freeze-dried daphnia is an excellent supplement because its natural fiber content improves a betta’s digestion.

Breaking Down Our Choices for the Best Betta Fish Foods

Our top choice for the overall best betta food is the New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets because of its immune support and superior nutritional profile.

These pellets contain quality animal ingredients without fillers, hormones, or artificial colors.

For a more budget-friendly betta food option, Aqueon Pro Betta Pellets are a good choice. These pellets contain the nutrients your betta needs without breaking the bank.

If you are a beginner betta keeper worried about portion control, Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Pellets feature a user-friendly package, making it easy to get the right amount of food you need.

For more on caring for your betta fish, head over to our guide at the link on everything you need to know.

Frequently Asked Questions About Betta Fish Food

How often should bettas be fed?

We recommend feeding your betta 2-4 pellets twice per day. Each meal should be 6-8 hours apart to give your betta time to digest its food.

Many betta food packages instruct you to feed your betta as much as it will eat in 5 minutes. This is a bad idea because bettas are greedy eaters and are likely to eat everything you will give them.

Overfeeding causes serious health consequences in bettas and could even lead to death. Excess food also causes ammonia spikes in your aquarium if it is not promptly removed.

You may substitute a couple of your betta’s pellet meals with freeze-dried treats each week. Feed the same amount of freeze-dried foods as pellets, which are about 2-4 pieces.

How long can bettas go without food?

Bettas can survive between 10-14 days without food, which is unhealthy for them. Withholding food from your betta for prolonged periods of time leads to a slower metabolism.

Your betta fish will not digest nutrients properly and will slowly starve to death. Most betta keepers fast their bettas for one day every week, which is fine.

A 24-hour fasting period allows your betta’s digestive system to settle and process any leftover food in the stomach. Choose the same fasting day and be consistent about doing it. Continue to feed your betta its normal diet for the other six days of the week.

Do Bettas prefer flakes or pellets?

As a general rule, bettas usually prefer pellet foods over flakes. Many betta fish will not eat flakes at all. Pellets float on the surface longer than flakes, giving your betta more time to eat its meal.

Betta fish flakes are also messier than pellets because they are challenging to remove from the tank. Removing uneaten food is vital to maintaining water quality and prevents ammonia and nitrite spikes in your aquarium.

It is much easier to measure the correct amount of pellets than flakes, which helps you control portions and prevents overeating issues.

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Toni Tedescucci is a freelance writer who loves all animals, especially betta fish. When she isn’t busy writing for Betta Fish Bay, she’s spending time with her family or getting cozy with her cats and a good book.

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