Betta fish are carnivorous by nature, and although there are stories of them eating various things on the internet, you may find yourself in a predicament where you have no food fish food at home, and you need to give your fish something to eat.
It can be difficult to find what is suitable for them, yet one food appears to be harmless, so to give your Betta a good bit of protein, all you need to know is.
Can betta fish eat cheese? Scouring the internet, you may see a story of a sister who fed a Betta some cheese. This doesn’t mean they can eat cheese long term. Fish stomachs are not capable of breaking down or digesting animal fats. While they may eat a small piece, these carnivorous fish are happier with any live insect you can find or the odd bloodworm to keep up their protein-rich diet.
Just in case you feel inclined to start feeding your Betta fish human food, read on, and you will learn what they can eat, and what they should never be encouraged to eat.
How Betta Fish Eat
To understand a little more about what Betta fish can eat, you need to look at their anatomy. There is more to them behind their little colorful bodies. Here you will learn how the various parts of their body dictate what they are capable of eating.
- Mouth: The mouth on a Betta fish arcs upward. This means it is a surface feeder. You will see that Betta foods float instead of sinking. This mouth shape allows them to catch insects that are on the surface when in their natural habitat.
- Betta Teeth: In something so small, many individuals are surprised to learn Betta’s have teeth. The size of the teeth is only any use to the Betta to aid in breaking down larger bits of food. If you watch Betta’s feeding, you can make out the chewing action before they swallow.
- Digestive Tract: After chewing, the food enters the digestive tract to deliver energy, and to end up becoming waste. The stomach here is small, and Betta is susceptible to being bloated and constipated. If your fish overfeeds, it will quickly suffer from these, and it will have a detrimental effect on the swim bladder. It is this the fish uses to rise to the surface when feeding and to take in some air.
What is the Betta Diet?
As much as they can, Betta fish will want to eat insects and larvae. Yet, when it comes to commercial fish foods, things can be harder for the fish owner. There are countless foods available, which say they are a perfect blend of proteins and nutrients for Betta fish.
Many fish owners check the ingredients if they spot one that is vegetable-based in the first couple listed. They tend to leave this and move to another. The first few ingredients should be delivering proteins. These can comprise fish, shrimp, krill or others.
When you begin looking for Betta foods, you can find these as pellets, flakes or freeze-dried foods, or even frozen or live. Here is a look at these in more detail.
- Pellets: A pellet is the most common form of Betta food you find. You will find many fish experts soaking their pellets a little, so it makes it easier for their Betta to digest them.
- Flakes: There are many types of fish flakes, yet when it comes to feeding, these flakes need to be specific for Betta. Many others will be vegetable-based and are not good for Betta over extended periods.
- Freeze-dried foods: You can find Betta’s favorite foods in freeze-dried forms. These can comprise tubifex worms, brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworms. Like the pellets, these need soaking before use. You can find these are a primary culprit for constipation and bloating in your fish.
- Frozen or live: Many of these foods are the same as you find freeze-dried. Out of all the above, for your fish to feel as if they are in their natural surroundings, these are the preferable choice. Other inclusions are mosquito larvae, vinegar flies, and Mysis shrimp.
Will Cheese or Other Human Food Hurt My Fish?
Out of all the human types of foods, you may be able to feed to a Betta; cheese is probably the worst. Apart from that, Bettas can eat some specific human type foods on an infrequent basis. While they have the proteins as mentioned in the above, they do like a change in their diet now and again.
Whatever food you decide to give your Betta must not contain any fillers or additives. It also needs to deliver the right kind of nutrition for them.
One instance you may need to do this is like the other fish keepers who do so; they run out of Betta food.
Here are some of the human foods Betta can eat:
- Mango: The chunks should be very small and only one piece given on rare occasions. If the fish doesn’t eat it within 30 minutes, this needs removing as it can harm the tank water if you allow it to sit there.
- Corn Kernel: One single boiled kernel is enough. Remove the outer skin and smash it or chop it.
- Peas: Peas are good sources of fiber and Betta are known to enjoy these on occasion. These also need the outer skin removing and smashing with a fork or cutting into tiny pieces.
- Shrimps and Tuna: If you use these from the can, be sure to drain all oil and make sure they haven’t been processed or seasoned in any way.
The same rule applies to these as before. If they are not eaten within half an hour, these foods need scooping out of the tank to stop it from clouding.
Foods Not to Feed Betta Fish
This list is far from endless as there are far more foods than can be written here, and are not suitable to be fed to Betta fish.
- Citrus: Fish may not like the taste, yet the acidic content can change the tank pH levels.
- Breads: There is no level of nutrition in bread for Betta fish.
- Plant-based foods: Betta fish are carnivorous, so trying to feed them on plants won’t keep them alive.
- Fibrous or stringy: Bananas, carrots, or beans are all no use for a Betta.
- Farm-raised meats: Processed meats contain harmful additives, and meats such as beef or chicken are not suitable either.
Human Food for Betta Tips
If it comes to the crunch and you do need to feed your Betta fish another kind of food, be sure to follow these few tips to make sure you make it easier for your fish to feed properly.
- Betta fish have very small stomachs, so whatever you feed them, it doesn’t need to be a lot. If you overfeed your fish, this can be a fast track to them becoming sick. Keep an account of how much you feed them. Betta fish only require feeding twice per day. Once in the morning, and once in the evening, or at least with 12 hours in between.
- If Betta fish are not eating immediately or they appear lethargic or bloated. It can be a sign they have overeaten, or they are not feeling well.
- Keep to fresh foods if you do need to give human food to your Betta. Anything processed can lead to more complications than it solves.
To answer the question of whether Betta eats cheese. Even if they can, you are better not attempting it to see for yourself.
Their stomachs may be delicate, and it is not worth risking the health of your fish by trying to feed them cheese. Humans can suffer if they eat too much, so fish can find the effects even worse.
- Hi, my name is Adam and I'm an aquarium enthusiast! I didn't discover the joys of being an 'aquarium fanatic' (as some of my friends call me!) until I was in my 20's. When I first started out I found it difficult to find all the information I needed so I started this website to compile all the useful information I can think of. Enjoy!