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Like many other aquarists, if you are also wondering what human food you can feed to your bettas that are safe for consumption, you are at the right place to learn about that.
On this article, today we are going to give more details about the human food that you can feed to the betta fish.
Can Betta Fish Eat Human Food?
As we know, Betta fish falls into the category of carnivorous or, if precisely put, insectivores. Their regular diet contains small meaty creatures like mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, etc. This fulfills their need for protein and other nutrients that cannot be replaced with green vegetables.
Be it a fish or you, meeting the dietary requirement is of paramount importance that shouldn’t be compromised.
You can feed human food to your bettas as long as they don’t lack the necessary nutrition for their survival. You shouldn’t put bettas on a strict plant diet, but treating them once in a while with some boiled peas and tiny cucumber pieces would be more preferable.
Or, for instance, if you run out of supply and couldn’t go outside at the moment, put some tiny mango pieces in the tank for your aquatic pet to chow down.
What Human Food You Can Safely Feed to Betta Fish?
Occasionally, you can treat your betta fish with the human food like boiled peas, corn, leafy greens, cucumber, sweet corn, and some non-citrus fruits like strawberries, apples, pear, melon, and cantaloupe. But, keep it mind that human foods are not natural diet for betta fish you should not over feed them.
When it comes to giving human food to betta fish, most of it isn’t suitable for the betta fish. Processed food is a big no as it contains a variety of chemicals and preservatives that are harmful to any fish to consume. Below we have listed a few food items, plant and animal based, that are safe for you to feed your bettas.
Boil a couple of peas until they are mushy, remove its shell, cut it into small pieces, and put it down in your aquarium. It’s an excellent source of fiber that also helps relieving digestion issues and prevent constipation and bloating in betta fish.
Slightly boiled spinach or lettuce can also be given to betta fish. Green leafy vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins, offering several health benefits. It’s also easy to digest.
Zucchini or cucumber is often given to the betta fish. You have to cut it into tiny pieces, blanch it properly and remove the seed before offering it to your fish. Cucumber contains many nutrients and is also said to cure swim bladder infections in fish.
You can feed your betta fish a few boiled kernels but make sure to remove the outer shell. However, corn has almost no digestible nutrients to it, and that tends to be harmful sometimes. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep in mind not to feed corn often but when you do, give not more than one boiled kernel to a fish.
Bettas love strawberries, apples, pear, mango, melon, and especially cantaloupe. You can feed the tiny bits of these fruits but keep it once in a while as if you are giving your aquatic pet a treat. You should never give any kind of citrus fruits to fish because their digestive system cannot handle the acidity. Moreover, citrus fruits lower down the pH of the tank causing the water to be acidic.
As we know, betta fish is used to eating small marine creatures; thus, feeding them raw, unseasoned shrimps, oysters and scallops would be more of a substantial meal. It contains animal-based protein and other nutritional benefits that a betta would need to thrive.
Betta fish would happily munch on softly boiled chicken. Make sure it’s finely shredded and free from any sauces and herbs/spices. But don’t feed chicken very often to your fish because consuming too much terrestrial animal protein causes many health issues such as obesity, high cholesterol levels, and potential organ failure. The idea of giving cooked chicken to fish is merely for adding variety to their diet and is not necessary. Always make sure to remove the uneaten meat promptly, so it’s not sitting in the tank for long.
Boiled Egg Yolk
Boiled egg yolk is a nutritious food option for betta fry to promote healthy growth. To feed egg yolk to betta fry, take a hard boiled egg yolk, mash it up, and let it dry for a few hours and feed them. Another way to feed egg yolk is mixing with water, but this can cause water contamination very quickly compared to first method.
While egg yolk is a great food option for betta fry, however, it can also be fed to adult bettas occasionally if no other food option is available.
Note: All of the different food items we have mentioned above shouldn’t be used as a staple food but occasionally fed as a treat. And with boiled or blanched food, make sure it’s completely cooled before you give it to your fish. Augmenting the betta fish diet with exclusive human food would certainly give them a dietary boost, but you should be mindful of overfeeding. Also, make sure to scoop out the leftover and uneaten food within a few hours of feeding.
How Much Human Food to Feed to Betta Fish?
Once you know what to feed, next, having a complete understanding of how much to feed is probably the most important thing. The worst you can do to a fish is to overfeed. Isn’t it your responsibility to inquire about the right amount one should give to a betta fish?
The size of the betta fish’s stomach is roughly the size of its eye, so it’s always wise to feed them accordingly. For example, a quarter of a pea would be sufficient for one betta.
Overfeeding can cause serious health issues to almost any fish and is not different for bettas. Betta fish can survive up to 10 days without any food, so curb the doubt that may creep in your head about feeding them half tummy; at least you aren’t risking them bloating stomach due to overfeeding.
Also, keeping a fixed schedule for feeding your fish can be really helpful for their digestion system and overall well-being.
Customizing Betta’s Diet with Human Food
When you are trying to expand the diet of the delicate species, it’s essential that you must know what their natural diet consists of.
Bettas are obligate carnivores and require a protein-rich diet for maintaining good health. It means a significant proportion of their regular diet must contain insect matter or commercial betta food available in the market. This is where they get most of the essential nutrients responsible for their survival and well-being, so anything apart from the standard diet isn’t necessary.
However, if you wish to add some variety, you can treat your betta fish with the food items mentioned above with little to no moderation.
As a matter of fact, not all bettas will show interest in green leafy vegetables or fruits because it’s not a part of their natural diet. So initially, you might face a hard time trying to get your fish to eat that.
Just like we humans, fish can also be fussy sometimes about choosing what they like to eat or not. But as you keep treating them once in a while with plant-based human food, they will eventually build a habit of eating it.
What Human Food You Should Not Feed To Your Betta Fish?
Some human foods can actually make your betta fish sick, so it’s important to know what to avoid. Here are some human foods that you should not give to your betta fish:
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to fish. Even a small amount of chocolate can make your betta sick.
- Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits contain acids that can be harmful to fish. The acidity of citrus fruits can damage your betta’s gills and internal organs.
- Bacon: Bacon is high in fat and salt, both of which is not good for your betta fish. The fat content of bacon can cause swim bladder problems, and the salt content can dehydrate your betta.
- Dairy Products: Dairy products contain fat and lactose, both of which can be difficult for betta fish to digest. Dairy products can also make your betta’s water cloudy.
- Garlic and onion: Garlic and onion contain compounds that can be toxic to fish. These compounds can damage your betta’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.
- Bread: Bread is not a toxic food to betta, however, it’s not a healthy option either to feed your fish. Bread is high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can betta fish eat bread or crackers?
Bettas may eat it, but it’s not suggested to feed them bread or crackers often. Firstly, it holds little to no nutritional value for the fish and contains additives. Since bread contains yeasts when it comes into contact with water, it expands, giving rise to bloating and constipation to the fish.
Can you feed betta fish meat?
As we know, bettas are carnivorous, so technically, meat isn’t bad for them. However, it’s not natural for any marine animal like fish to eat land-dwelling animal’s meat for protein. Moreover, farm-grown animals are subjected to antibiotics and steroids, so preferentially keep the meat option in your fish diet as little as possible.
Can you feed betta fish tuna?
Out of all human exclusive food we have mentioned above, tuna is closest to the natural diet of betta fish. You can feed tiny bits of tuna to your fish from time to time, but make sure it’s fresh. Or, if you are planning to give canned tuna to your fish, it shouldn’t be packed in oil. Always go for an unflavoured variety with as few additives as possible since it is more suitable for the betta fish to munch on.
If you have made it to this section, you have known the various types of human food which you can feed to your bettas. The bottom line you’ve to keep in mind is: the betta species cannot survive exclusively on human food, so feed it occasionally as a treat, and don’t comprise with the standard carnivorous diet.