How Many Pellets To Feed A Betta? (& Why You Shouldn’t Overfeed Them)

Feeding your betta is a very important aspect of caring for them. Most experts recommend feeding your betta fish 2-4 pellets at least once a day and up to three times a day, spaced six hours apart, depending on their diet. But what other aspects do you need to know in feeding your betta?

In this article, you’ll know everything about betta feeding and more! So, keep reading!

Key Takeaways:

  • Feed adult Betta fish 2-4 pellets once or twice a day, ensuring each pellet is no larger than the Betta’s eyeball.
  • Space feedings at least 6 hours apart to prevent digestion issues.
  • Baby Bettas (fries) should be fed a mix of pellets and fresh or freeze-dried food once or twice daily, with a diverse diet for optimal growth.
  • Overfeeding can lead to stomach expansion, obesity, and digestive issues in Betta fish.
  • Signs of overfeeding include leftover pellets in the tank, physical signs of weight gain, and changes in the Betta’s behavior.

How Many Pellets To Feed A Betta?

It can be hard to know exactly how much to feed your betta. However, there is actually a very simple way to remember how many pellets you should feed your betta.

You should feed your Betta between 2 and 4 pellets twice a day. The size of pellet should be no larger than a Betta’s eyeball. And make sure you’re leaving at least 6 hours between feedings, to reduce the chance of digestion issues.

By separating your fish’s feeding times gives them enough time to digest their food.

The amount of food your Betta consumes varies depending on their stomach size. Generally, a Betta is an opportunistic eater and will eat until there is no longer anything to consume. Avoid feeding your Betta directly, or they will convince you they are still hungry and continue to beg for food.

How Many Pellets To Feed A Baby Betta?

Baby Bettas (also called fries) need to eat a meal of pellets and fresh or freeze-dried food once or twice daily. Their meal should be full of adequate proteins and nutrients to help the fry grow. Similar to in adulthood, these pellets should be no larger than their eyes.

The diet of a baby Betta should contain more protein than an adult Betta because of the nutrients required to make your Betta fully grow. Your Betta fry’s menu should be as diverse as possible so your fish can gain sufficient nutrients, proteins, and minerals to grow.

Many fish owners suggest that a diverse menu in Betta’s fryhood is even more important than adulthood. Some of the best ingredients to add to your Betta fry menu include bloodworms, blackworms, and mosquitos. These proteins assist the baby Betta in maturing at a healthy and rapid rate.

For the best growth and intellectual development, feed your fish food intended for a Betta fry. These commercial food pellets are full of added proteins. They have no unessential additives that cause digestive issues or other problems. Pay careful attention if you are the owner of a baby Betta that your baby is continuing to grow.

Betta fish eating

What Happens If You Overfeed Pellets To A Betta

Overfeeding ConsequencesDescription
Stomach ExpansionPellets expand in water and, if eaten when dry, in the Betta’s stomach, causing expansion.
Expansion leads to weight gain, dangerous for Betta’s health, and can result in obesity.
Obesity can be harmful to the Betta’s spine and overall well-being.
Digestive IssuesOverfeeding can cause severe digestive problems, especially with additives in the food.
Check the expiration of Betta’s food to prevent feeding outdated food, which can be fatal.
StressOverfed Bettas may become anxious, especially if they develop obesity or other health issues.
Stress can lead to personality changes and, eventually, may contribute to the Betta’s death.

Several negatives can come from overfeeding your Betta fish. These negative outcomes can include digestive issues, stomach expansion, and much worse.

Many fish will continue eating until they can no longer eat. Considering this, you must avoid overfeeding your Betta fish to prevent endangering its health.

Stomach Expansion

Overfeeding your Betta is dangerous because of the way the pellets expand in the water. Similarly, if your Betta eats pellets when they are dry, then they may expand in your Betta’s stomach up to two or three times when they eat.

Naturally, consuming more calories than a Betta is capable of burning off results in weight gain. Weight gain is dangerous for a Betta fish. Eventually, it results in obesity if the Betta does not engage in exercise. Obesity is problematic for the small Betta and can be extremely gruesome on the fish’s spine.

The combination of stomach expansion and obesity together are just some pieces of evidence that indicate how overfeeding can lead to fatality.

Digestive Issues

Overfeeding can cause severe digestive issues for your beloved Betta fish. Depending on the kind of food you feed your Betta, there may be additives that are difficult for your fish to digest. 

Check the expiration of your Betta’s food frequently to guarantee freshness. Feeding a fish out of date food is one of the main ways that you cause digestive issues. Expired food can even cause fatality in some cases.


Bettas can become anxious when they are overfed. After becoming obese or ill from stomach expansion or poor tank conditions, your Betta will become stressed. Their personality will change, and eventually, the toll of being overfed may end in death.

Signs You Are Overfeeding

If there are pellets leftover at the top of your fish’s tank, that is a sign that your fish is not eating all their food. Leaving leftover food in their tank can be dangerous and lead to overeating or fatality. 

Food that accumulates at the top of the tank may eventually rot and become dangerous for your Betta to ingest. You must remove these pellets immediately after the feeding and not let them settle at the top. Otherwise, you risk your Betta catching deadly infections.

A fish showing physical signs of weight gain like bulkiness in their abdomen might indicate that you are overfeeding them. Abdomen swelling can also be a sign of other major illnesses like dropsy.

Mastering the art of Betta fish care can be tricky, but not at all impossible. Click here to read everything you need to know about it!

betta care facebook group

How Do I Know If I Am Feeding My Betta Enough?

When there is no food left at the top of your tank, that is a direct sign that your Betta is consuming enough food. However, never continue feeding them until they are full. Bettas will eat as long as there is food in front of them. If you continue feeding them, they will continue eating.

Use your best judgment when deciding how much to feed your Betta fish. Never hand-feed them continuously, or they will eat until their stomachs explode. Betta eats when you place food in front of them. Continuing to place bloodworms or live food in front of your Betta encourages them to continue eating. Be mindful of the live food you feed them so they do not overfill themselves.

One common mistake for many Betta fish owners is forgetting to adjust their Betta’s food routine as they grow. Be conscious of a growing Betta fish and adjust their feeding routine as they mature from fry to adult. This way, you give your Betta the correct amount of food, and they are not malnourished. 

Watch this video by Tropical Fish Guy on how much you should feed your Betta!


Is 8 Pellets Too Much for Betta?

Eight pellets might be too much for a betta, as they have small stomachs and can easily become bloated. It’s recommended to feed them no more than 2-3 pellets twice a day. Overfeeding can lead to health issues and even shorten their lifespan. So, it’s important to be mindful of the amount of food you give your betta fish.

Should I Soak Betta Pellets?

Soaking Betta pellets is optional. It can make them easier to digest, especially for Bettas who struggle with dry food. However, not all Bettas need it; some are fine with dry pellets. Try both and see what your Betta prefers for better digestion.


Betta fish do not have large stomachs, so you must be considerate of how much you feed your fish. Feed an adult Betta only 2-4 food pellets, once or twice per day. Every fish has a varying diet, so you may adjust their feeding schedule to every other day if needed. When food begins to collect at the top of the water, avoid feeding them more. 

Adjusting your Betta’s feeding routine can make a major difference in their well-being. A Betta fish fed the correct amount of food each day will have a longer and healthier life than an overfed fish. This is because these fish are less exposed to harmful bacteria, potential disease and are being cared for better overall!

Feed your Betta fish around 2 to 4 food pellets each day. These food pellets are roughly the size of your fish’s eye and can easily cause multiple issues if fed incorrectly. Managing the amount of food and minding the food you feed your fish is important in avoiding overfeeding your Betta.


About the author

Hey there! I'm Antonio, the passionate owner and chief editor of Betta Care Fish Guide. With over half a decade of hands-on experience, I've become your go-to expert for all things betta and tropical fish.

Over the past 5 years, I've not only kept bettas and other tropical fish but also connected with a diverse network of hobbyists, seasoned fishkeepers, and even veterinarians.

Now, I want to help other beginner fish keepers who had the same questions as me when they were just starting out! So they can save themselves a ton of time and keep their fish happy and healthy!