Are you planning to breed your two bettas? If you have a successful breeding season, you could end up with hundreds of baby bettas, or what we call “fry”.
It likely doesn’t come as any surprise that these fry can’t eat the same things as their parents…they’re too small!
So, you’re probably wondering what to feed betta fry. Keep reading to find out what and how to feed these little baby fish.
What Should You Feed Betta Fry?
The best thing to feed baby bettas is going to vary based on their age.
At birth, you should feed them egg yolks of infusorians.
In one week, you should feed them brine shrimp.
At 3-4 weeks of age, you can start feeding them freeze-dried or frozen foods.
Just After Birth
You won’t need to feed the betta fry right after they’re born. They will get their needed nutrients from the yolk sac. That will sustain them until they begin swimming around. When the babies get hungry, they will begin swimming around looking for food. This is when you know it’s time to start feeding them.
Newborn Fry Diet
Just after birth, betta fry will be too small to eat anything like brine shrimp. Instead, you’ll need to keep them on an all-liquid diet. The most nutritious thing to feed them is the runny inside of egg yolk or Infusoria.
Egg yolk can make your tank water dirty fast. Use a pipette to squirt a small amount of egg yolk into the water column. Give the babies time to eat this up before adding any more.
You will want to clean the tank a few hours after feeding. If any food remains, it can cause an ammonia spike in your tank. Fry are vulnerable and fragile in this stage, so any amount of ammonia can kill them.
If you don’t like the idea of adding raw egg to your aquarium, you can also buy Infusoria. Infusoria is the next closest thing to brine shrimp, except that it’s much tinier.
Infusoria are live aquatic organisms that are microscopic. This may include critters like amoebas, paramecium, rotifers, vorticella, or algae.
These organisms are so small that even your tiniest betta fry can eat them. They’re also incredibly easy to care for, so you can even begin to culture your own infusoria. If you plan to be a frequent breeder, culturing your own food will save you lots of money and will make your life easier.
This is a good option to feed your baby bettas because infusoria darts quickly around the tank. This is appealing to betta fry as they can have fun chasing the critters around the tank.
Still, you shouldn’t use infusoria as a permanent source of nutrition for your betta fry. You should only give it to them while the betta’s mouth is too small to snack on anything else.
1-Week Old Betta Fry
As your betta fry grows older, you should switch them to brine shrimp. Most bettas are large enough to begin eating brine shrimp at about 1 week of age.
Brine shrimp are the perfect food for baby bettas. They are protein-packed and rich in nutrients. Brine shrimp are also larger than infusoria, so they will be more filling. It will also be easier for your larger fry to catch them.
You can feed the brine shrimp to your bettas the same way you’d feed the egg yolk or infusoria. Use a small eye dropper or pipette to suck up the brine shrimp. You can then target feed the shrimp to your betta.
Be careful that you only feed juvenile brine shrimp to your bettas though. Adult brine shrimp are too large and can choke your bettas.
Like infusoria, you can set up a hatchery and breed brine shrimp yourself. This will save you money and time if you’re planning to breed your bettas frequently. This is also a good way to use the adult brine shrimp that are too large for your bettas to eat.
3-4 Week-Old Betta Fry
At this age, your betta fry will be big enough to switch to frozen or freeze-dried foods.
Worms & Crustaceans
Worms and crustaceans are good for your growing betta. They are protein-packed and rich in nutrients like the brine shrimp. These foods closely resemble those that betta fish eat in the wild.
Here are some of the best foods to feed your betta fry at this age:
- Micro Worms
- Tubifex Worms
Even still, you should not feed these foods whole as you might a full-grown betta. Instead, you should crush the food up in a blender so that it forms a powder.
This allows your betta fry to get used to adult betta food. At the same time, it keeps them safe from choking.
Commercially-Made Betta Fry Food
Some people do not like using bloodworms or crustaceans. It can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t know what to look for. In this case, you can buy commercially-made betta fry food. It’s important to keep in mind that you should only feed these foods to bettas one month of age or older.
These foods are usually designed as micro pellets or as a powder. They can be tricky because it won’t interest some bettas, so they will refuse to eat these foods. That’s because they are not as rich in proteins and nutrients as worms and crustaceans are.
Because they don’t have as many nutrients, they also aren’t as well-suited for your bettas. They lack certain nutrients, so your betta fry may grow slower and smaller than normal.
How Often Should You Feed Betta Fry?
A baby betta’s digestive system isn’t as advanced as an adult’s. Most people feed their bettas once or twice a day, but you should feed fry 3-4 times a day. This will help your bettas digest their food better. It will also prevent the water from getting dirty as they’ll have more time to eat everything.
Don’t Feed These Foods
You should not feed bettas plant matter at any stage of their life. Bettas are obligate carnivores and cannot digest plant matter.
If you choose to feed commercially-made foods, be sure to check the ingredients. Many processed foods contain vegetable matter like algae. Make sure to avoid this.
What you’re going to feed your betta fry depends on how old your bettas are. You’ll need to feed newborn betta fry a liquid diet of infusoria or egg yolk. As your betta gets older, you should switch them to protein-packed brine shrimp.
Feed your betta fry these delicious, nutritionally-dense foods. You’ll have yourself hundreds of beautiful fish in no time.