Betta Fish Spitting Food Out (Why It Happens)

If you notice your betta fish spitting food out then you may be worrying, especially if you’re a new betta owner. However, in a lot of cases, this is nothing to worry about. Keep reading to find out all the different reasons it happens.

Why Is Your Betta Fish Spitting Food Out? (Most Common Reason)

The most common reason your betta is spitting out food is simply that it’s too big. Your betta’s stomach is roughly the size of its eyeball, and some pellets are even bigger than that. So in a lot of cases, your betta will spit food out a couple of times because he literally can’t swallow it. However, this doesn’t mean he’s not eating. Sometimes he may be taking small bites out of the food.

While it looks like he’s spitting the food out, he’s actually breaking off small chunks as well as making the main part more digestible. While this is the most common reason it isn’t the only reason. Here are some more common causes.

He May Have A Digestive Issue

If you notice your betta fish spitting out food or just not eating then he may be having digestive troubles. This is extremely common in bettas and normally isn’t something to worry about.

In most cases, it’s going to be constipation that your betta is suffering from. If you think it’s constipation you will also notice other symptoms such as your betta not being able to defecate.

To treat constipation it’s normally best to fast your betta for 2-3 days before feeding him some daphnia. (Check out the full guide on.)

You May Have A Juvenile Betta

If you’ve just purchased your betta then he may still be a juvenile. When they’re young they’re normally only fed live food. So if you’re feeding them pellets or flakes there may be two problems. The first problem is that your betta just isn’t used to eating pellet or flake food.

The other may once again be that at the moment the food is just too big. If you think either one is the case then you should try mixing up the food until you find something your betta will eat. Once you find something begins slowly introducing new foods into his diet as he gets bigger until he’s willing to eat anything.

It May Be A Parasite

Although it’s rare, on occasion bettas can end up with parasites in their stomach. These parasites can stop your betta from being able to eat properly. Even if he’s hungry he may be unable to swallow food, so instead, he’ll just spit it out.

However, the chances of it being a parasite is a lot smaller than something less sinister. But if you think it’s a parasite that your betta is suffering from then you should move him to a quarantine tank. This way he won’t contaminate your tank and infect other fish.

If you think your betta is suffering from a parasite there will normally be other symptoms as well such as trouble swimming.

Fussy/Dumb Betta

Sometimes your betta is just fussy or dumb. He may not be aware that what you’re feeding him is actually food, or if he is aware, he’s decided that he doesn’t want it. Asides from the food being too big, this is normally the most common reason why your betta is spitting out food.

If you think this is the case then normally all you need to do is keep feeding him what you have. At first, he may not eat it, but the hungrier he gets the more likely he’ll be to eat it.

Just remember, that if your betta doesn’t eat food within 10 minutes then you should remove it from your tank.┬áIf you don’t remove it from the tank then it’s going to start to decay which will cause an ammonia spike.

Final Thoughts

If you notice your betta fish spitting food out, then in most cases, its really nothing to worry about. The chances are the food is either too big for him to eat at once (in which case it may be worth cutting it up) or because he’s dumb or fussy.

However, it could be a sign of something worse. You should keep an eye on your betta to make sure that it’s not an ailment like constipation or a parasite. If you think it’s either of the two then you should begin treating your betta the best way you can as well as moving him to a quarantine tank if you think it’s a parasite.

If you notice your betta spitting out food then don’t stress right away, especially if he’s new or young. The chances are it’s nothing to worry about!

And if you want to know more about what bettas can eat you should definitely check out this article on the best food for bettas! It will give you in-depth knowledge about all the different varieties of food. As well as what to buy and what to avoid!

Lastly, if you notice your betta still isn’t eating then check out this handy article which details all the different reasons your betta may be avoiding his food!

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