Can Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Food? (Will It Hurt Them)

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can betta fish eat goldfish food

At first glance, you may look at betta fish and goldfish and think they are pretty similar. So why couldn’t a betta eat goldfish food? But it’s important to note that in their natural habitats, goldfish and betta fish actually have different diets. This is primarily because betta fish are carnivores by choice.

Should Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Food?

Betta fish can eat goldfish food and likely will if you put it in their tank, but it’s NOT good for them and you should not regularly feed your betta goldfish food or make it a part of their ongoing feeding schedule.

Betta fish require a high protein diet and generally, goldfish food is not. Many of the betta specific foods have crude protein in the 45-65% range while goldfish pellets and flakes are much lower.

Natural Betta diet vs goldfish diet (carnivore vs omnivore)

The key to understanding why eating goldfish food is not healthy for your betta fish becomes clear if you more fully understand how these beautiful fish behave and eat in their natural environments.

What do bettas eat in the wild?

Betta fish are carnivores and prefer to eat meat-based foods. Their natural diet consists of small insects, such as water fleas, mosquito larvae, and zooplankton. They will also eat small fish and crustaceans. They prefer them live, but they can eat them when they’re dead too.

What do goldfish eat in the wild?

Goldfish or carp are omnivores. They eat different types of vegetation, algae and small invertebrates, such as worms and insects that live in the water. They like them crunchy!

What Will Happen If You Feed Your Betta Goldfish Food?

Betta fish will be able to eat goldfish food, but there are some unhealthy consequences if they do it too much. A diet of primary carbohydrates can cause betta fish to become obese or develop swim bladder disease.

Lack of protein in the food they take in will also cause them not to develop their coloring as vibrantly. Their growth and health will also be affected. If they lack protein, their growth will be stunted, and they may become aggressive with other fish in the tank.

In some cases, goldfish food can even cause death. If they stop eating, the resulting malnutrition will cause death within a few months. If you observe that they are Small size/lack of growth, the implication is that they are not getting enough protein. This should stop immediately, and you need to start feeding them more protein. If this does not happen, there will be deficiencies in vitamins A & D which can cause health problems, including blindness.

Can I feed my betta regular fish food?

You can, but make sure it is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. The best betta fish food will contain at least 55% protein and less than 40% carbs. However, caution must be exercised while feeding them with other fish food, as bettas are more prone to diseases when compared to other fish.

Can betta fish eat fish flakes?

You can feed them fish flakes, but they aren’t very nutritious. They’re better than starving your betta fish, but you should only feed that as a last resort or if you have no other option available to you. If there is any uneaten food in the bowl after an hour has passed, then remove it and don’t replace it.

Betta fish food pellets are better because they sink to the bottom of the tank and stay there, making it less likely that your betta will miss his meal.

What should I feed a betta fish?

Betta Fish Food Flakes

Earlier we said you shouldn’t feed your fish goldfish flakes or tropical fish flake, but the good news is there are betta fish-specific flake food. It’s created with high-quality ingredients that will keep your betta healthy, and it’s enriched with vitamins and minerals to make sure he gets everything he needs.

Betta fish food flakes usually have a good protein content in the 40% – 50% range.

The downside of using flakes as your only type of food is that it can quickly become unappetizing to a betta fish. Betta’s can be picky eaters and unfortunately, betta flakes are often not their favorite meal.

It’s important if your fish doesn’t eat all the flakes that you remove them from the tank before they sink to the bottom and begin causing a mess in your tank.

Pros Of Betta Flake Food

  • Reasonable cost
  • Usually easy to find
  • Shelf-stable, easy to store


  • Your betta may not eat them
  • Can make a mess in the tank

Why should I feed my betta fish pellets?

Betta Fish Pellets are a great way to give your pet the proper nutrition without adding too many things into his water. Betta food pellets are one of the most common ways to feed your betta properly, but as you can imagine there is a wide range of quality out there, so it’s important to know what to look for.

How To Choose The Best Betta Food Pellets?

It’s important to remember that we are looking for protein, high-quality ingredients, and limited fillers like wheat or corn. Betta’s gain no nutritional benefits from these fillers and they can in fact cause digestive issues for your fish like constipation because they have a short and simple digestive tract.

Always make sure that a protein like fish or shrimp as the first ingredient and that they have at least 35% Crude Protein on the ingredient list. Pellets will tend to range from about 35% to 50% crude protein and be careful not to buy anything less than that.

Another important tip is to watch out for pellets that tend to expand in size when introduced to water. If your betta eats very quickly they could expand after they have eaten them and cause digestive issues. It’s often a good idea to moisten the pellets with a little water from the tank for about 3-5 minutes before putting them into the fish tank. This way they will have already expanded.

Freeze Dried Food for Betta Fish

Freeze-dried food is a useful and convenient option that will help your fish get a taste of some of its natural prey in the wild but keep in mind it’s not the highest quality food choice. Live or frozen betta food is almost always going to be a higher quality choice.

The things that give freeze-dried food its convenience (reasonable price & shelf stable) are also what make them lower quality. Usually, they have some fillers added to them, and to make them last longer they have had the moisture removed. That’s why it’s important to rehydrate them with a little tank water before feeding them to your fish. Increasing the moisture content will help reduce the chances of causing bloating or constipation in your betta.

It depends on what type of food you choose (worms vs. daphnea vs. shrimp etc), but the protein content usually ranges from about 45% to 65%.

Pros of Freeze-Dried Betta Food

  • Readily available
  • Reasonable price
  • Good protein content
  • Shelf-stable, easy to store & keep

Pros of Freeze-Dried Betta Food

  • Can contain fillers
  • Low moisture content

Common Freeze-Dried Betta Food Ingredients: Fish, shrimp, bloodworms, krill and plankton, Crickets, mealworms and tubifex worms.

Live & Frozen Food Options

Some of the most common options (that bettas love) are brine shrimp, blood worms, mosquito larvae, fruit flies, mysis shrimp. It’s important to remember that in the wild, bettas are used to hunting and having to work for their food. Getting flakes or pellets that just float around can get boring. If you feed your betta live food you will be surprised to watch the chase and the wild animal kingdom in your own tank!

Why should I feed my betta fish live food?

Live food is the best way to give your betta fish all the nutrients he needs to stay healthy. It also provides him with a variety of different textures and flavors that can keep him from getting bored with his diet.

The downside to feeding your betta fish live food is that it can be expensive and difficult to find. You also need to make sure that you are getting food that is safe for your pet to eat. Some types of live food, such as feeder fish, may contain parasites or other harmful organisms.

How should I feed them? Do I need to rotate their food?

It is important to remember that betta fish are carnivores. This means that they need protein in their diet to stay healthy and vibrant. You should feed your pet live food or pellets at least once per day, although twice a day may be better if he can eat them quickly enough. Rotating his diet by feeding them different types of food can make sure that he gets the nutrients he needs. Betta fish are also very playful, so giving them live food once in a while is an excellent way to let them have fun and burn off energy!

What if my betta doesn’t eat?

It’s critical to remember that your pet should eat on a daily basis. If you find he isn’t eating, there are a few things you can do to pique his interest in his meal.

You can try changing the type of food you are feeding him. If he’s been eating pellets for a while, try switching to frozen or dried food. You can also try thawing the food before you give it to him. If your betta is still refusing to eat, you may need to take him to the vet for a check-up.

There are many different types of food available for betta fish, and they all have their own benefits. It is important to find the right food for your pet and make sure that he is eating every day. If he is having trouble eating, you can do a few things to encourage him before it becomes an issue.

Summary and Recap

Can betta fish eat goldfish food? The answer is yes they can’t but they shouldn’t because it’s not good for them due to it’s low protein content. It’s a good idea to feed your betta live food or pellets at least once a day to ensure he gets the nutrition he requires. If your pet isn’t eating, try changing the type of food you are feeding him or taking him to the vet for a check-up. Bettas are playful fish and love to eat live food! Make sure to give him some once in a while for a fun and nutritious diet.

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