What Human Food Can Betta’s Eat (& What To Avoid)

Let’s just get one thing out of the way, the majority of human foods are not healthy for Betta fish to eat. Betta’s are carnivores so all of their diet should be made up solely from meat. Remember it’s always best to stick as close to their natural diet as possible, or to use high quality fish pellets.

With that being said, is there ever a time when you should feed your betta food meant for humans? Well… Keep reading to find out!

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Can Betta Fish Eat Food Meant For Humans?

The debate over whether or not betta fish should be fed human food is a highly contested one. Yes, but only on rare occasions. When the fish food runs out or as a special treat, you can feed your betta fish some of the food you consume. But giving a betta fish human food all the time is not good. Your betta fish will not be able to live on only human food.

Do Betta Fish Eat Anything?

I’m going to be honest with you, while it does depend on the betta. The answer is generally yes. Anything you drop in the tank that your betta see’s as food they are most likely going to eat. But just because they can eat it, doesn’t mean they should.

Can Betta Fish Eat Fruit?

Because it’s not meat, fruit is one of the worst things you can give your betta, and it may lead to bloating, constipation and sometimes even swim bladder disease. As well as this pesticides and other additives used in the processing and storage of fruit can be outright deadly to your betta. This includes bananas, blueberries, apples, and anything else you can think of!

Fighting fish, Siamese fish, in a fish tank decorated with pebbles and trees, Black background.

Can Betta Fish Eat Cooked Rice?

Cooked rice is one of the worst things you can feed your betta, it’s up there with bread. If you feed them cooked rice all you’re going to do is increase the chance of bloating them, which can sometimes be fatal. A one off probably won’t hurt but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.

Can Betta Fish Eat Vegetables?

You shouldn’t feed your betta vegetables. If you think that your betta needs more fibre in their diet, then you need to feed them things that eat plants. Daphnia are a great example of this, they are extremely high fibre because their diet is, making them the best choice for bettas.

What Meat Can Betta Fish Eat?

Betta fish can eat all sorts of meat. In fact they are carnivores, or more specifically insectivores. So while yes they can eat all sorts of meat, it should be done sparingly, as it’s not the most ideal. Some kinds can even be harmful or deadly if the proper precautions aren’t followed. If you want your fish to live a long and healthy life, it’s essential that you know what meats are best for your betta fish.

The best choices of meat to feed your betta fish include:

Shellfish

Bettas eat anything seafood-related. There are many delicious shellfish choices, such as, crab, lobster, and others. These foods can be fed raw or cooked; however, the shells should be removed before feeding to prevent any injuries. Cut up small amounts of fish like tuna, salmon, or sardines are another option. Fresh fish is preferable because canned fish often contains unhealthy preservatives.

Meats Like Chicken and Turkey

Be sure to pick out the bones. Better yet, shred them into very small pieces before giving them to your Betta. They can be give to your betta both raw or cooked; just remember anything excessively fatty or oily should be avoided. And when preparing them, avoid using any spices or herbs that could be harmful to your Betta.

Pork

And of course, we can’t forget red meats. However, if you are going to feed your betta pork, make sure that you’re shredding it down just like other meat, so it’s small and easily consumable. You can even try blending it too!

Egg Yolks

Lastly, this is one I absolutely recommend for betta fry. Egg yolks. They’re probably THE best human food you can feed your betta. They’re full of nutrients, and egg yolk particularly a great choice for betta fry, thanks to how easy it is to eat! Just make sure to hard boil it first, and then mash it up.

Can Betta Fish Eat Shrimp?

Bettas can absolutely eat shrimp, but it doesn’t mean they will. If you have shrimp in your tank, there is a strong chance that your betta will just leave them alone, however, it does depend entirely on your bettas temperament.

However, if you’re talking about whether they can eat prawns, then yes, shredded up you can give your betta prawns.

Can They Eat Snails

If we’re talking about the French way of cooking snails, I’d say no because of the way they’re cooked. If you’re talking about snails from your garden, again, I wouldn’t recommend as you may end up contaminating your tank.

If you’re talking about snails in your tank though, it’s highly unlikely your betta will eat them. But if you have a particularly aggressive or territorial betta, it is possible.

Human Foods That You Must Never Give to a Betta Fish

While there are many human foods that are OK for your Betta to eat, hers are some you’ll definitely want to avoid!

Chocolate 

Betta fish are highly susceptible to the poisonous effects of chocolate and should never be fed any. The chemical theobromine, found in chocolate, is toxic to betta fish and should be avoided at all costs.

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Coffee

Caffeine, which is found in coffee, is another substance that is bad for betta fish. Due to the fact that it raises their levels of tension, consuming an excessive amount of caffeine may be harmful to betta fish.

Alcohol

You should never give your betta fish any form of alcoholic beverage because doing so could be disastrous for them. The effects of alcohol on a betta fish’s respiratory system are fatal for the species.

Citrus Fruits

Fruits that contain citric acid. Never feed fish anything with citrus fruit in it, as they may become sick. For them, citrus fruits are too acidic. Moreover, citrus fruits lower the tank’s alkalinity and increase the pH level, both of which are undesirable.

Baco

Baco and other preserved meats typically contain a high amount of fat as well as additional additives. Additionally, it has a rather oily texture. The presence of all of these elements creates an environment that is toxic to betta fish.

Dairy

Cheese, ice cream, and milk are just some examples of dairy items that can be hazardous to the health of aquarium fish due to the high levels of sugar and fat that they contain.

cheese

Garlic and Onion 

Onions and garlic are toxic to fish because fish are unable to withstand the sulfur that is found in them. Breathing difficulties are often the result of problems developing in the digestive system and the intestines.

Candies

Sugary treats are not appropriate for betta fish in any capacity. If given an excessive amount of sugar to consume, they run the risk of developing obesity and other health problems.

Salts

Salt should never come into contact with betta fish. If the dose is high enough, it can cause severe dehydration and even lead to death.

Plants

We’ve all seen people who let their betta just eat a peace lily. However peace lilies and every other plant should absolutely not be fed to bettas as they will get no nutritional value from them.

Bread

Bread meals can be dangerous to your fish since they absorb water and expand when eaten, and they provide little nutritional benefit to your fish’s diet. Undoubtedly, bettas can’t eat bread.

bread

Vegetables

Again, being carnivores, make sure you you avoid feeding your bettas vegetables as they’re not going to get anything from them, and may eventually end up becoming constipated.

 Recap

Bettas, like all creatures, have dietary needs that must be met in order for them to thrive. And the best approach to make sure that your betta is getting all the nutrients they need is to simply feed them betta pellets. In certain cases, however, as this article has demonstrated, it is OK to “treat” your fish by feeding them human food. If you run out of fresh or frozen food for your Betta and don’t want it to go hungry until you get more, you may always resort to some of these items.

Keep in mind that the food you’re giving your Betta isn’t something they would normally eat. Never feed your Betta human food as a main course; instead, use it as a treat or a supplement IF YOU HAVE TO.

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!