Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Flakes?

Have you bought a betta and are now wondering what to feed it? Or, maybe you’re wondering if they really need those special betta flakes that stores sell. Or, maybe you already have a tropical community tank, so you’re wondering, can betta eat tropical flakes?

Bettas are beautiful, colorful fish. Their color truly stands out the healthier they are, so it’s better for you and the fish to get the right kind of food.

Keep reading and you’ll find out exactly what to feed your betta fish!

Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Flakes?

Yes, betta fish can eat tropical flakes, but it shouldn’t be their main food source.

What Nutritional Requirements Do Betta Fish Have?

Bettas are carnivores and they thrive on animal-based protein sources. Most tropical flakes contain a decent amount of animal-based protein. So, it’s safe and healthy for bettas to have. But, you’ll need to supplement them with other foods as well.

It’s actually better to buy food that is made specifically for bettas. Insect-based foods like Bug Bites are a great option, and you can choose between pellet or flake foods. Ideally, these would make up the staple diet of your betta.

What Supplemental Food Should You Give Them?

Rather than feeding your betta tropical flakes, try to stick with betta flakes or pellets. Tropical flakes simply don’t have enough protein to be your betta’s main food.

You should also give them the occasional meaty snack.

Provide your betta with frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms once or twice a week. Bloodworms are one of their favorite meals, and they’ll snatch them right up.

You can also give them live brine shrimp. Brine shrimp is very nutritional, so it makes the perfect snack for your betta. Plus, because they are alive, it will stimulate your betta’s hunting instincts. This will keep them from getting bored.

Cultivating brine shrimp on your own is easy. So, it’s a cheap way to make sure your betta always has nutritious food.

Although live brine shrimp is nutritious, it shouldn’t be their only food source. If bettas eat live food all the time, they may begin to refuse non-live food in the future. This can make things tricky if you lose access to live food for some reason.

What If Your Betta Doesn’t Want To Eat?

Bettas are known for being picky eaters, so they might not want to try what you’ve given them. This is especially true if you’ve bought a betta from a pet store where they mostly feed flakes or pellets.

Just keep giving them different foods and encourage them to eat. After a few tries, they might show interest in eating the new food you’re giving them.

Also, just because your betta spits out its food doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t like it. Bettas have small mouths, so it’s hard for them to eat things that are too large. Sometimes, they will spit out food to break it down, then will eat the smaller pieces.

How Much Should You Feed Your Betta?

Bettas have small stomachs, and they are prone to digestive issues. So, you should take care to not feed them too much.

Their stomachs are only about the size of their eyes. You should feed them a small pinch of food one to two times a day.

Be especially cautious with pellets. They expand once they enter your betta’s stomach. It’s easy to overfeed your betta on pellets. They generally only need to eat two to three pellets at a time.


Tropical flakes contain a lot of crude protein, so they are safe to feed your carnivorous betta. But, tropical flakes don’t contain enough protein to be your betta’s main diet.

Instead, consider feeding your betta a food specifically made for them that is higher in protein content. At the very least, supplement their diet with frozen, freeze-dried, or live food.

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