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Can Betta Fish Eat Koi Food? What Should You Know?

can betta fish eat koi food

You unexpectedly wake up one day to realize you’re out of betta fish food. You rummage your fridge and pantry, but all you come across is koi food. You don’t want to starve your betta fish, but can betta fish eat koi food?

Betta fish can eat koi food, but it won’t meet its nutritional needs. They need high protein levels in their diet, and koi food contains higher amounts of fiber than protein. A betta fish will survive a day of fasting, so it’s alright not to feed a betta fish if all you have on hand is koi food.

This article will talk about betta fish, koi food, and the most important things you need to know about feeding betta fish. It’ll also answer if betta fish can eat fruits, meat, or bread.

Why Betta Fish Should Not Eat Koi Food?

Koi food regularly contains fish meal, wheat flour, wheat germ meal, spirulina, and dry brewer’s yeast. Its highlight is protein sourced from plants and a high fiber diet, contrary to a betta fish’s supposed food intake of protein sourced from insects and other small creatures.

Betta fish are carnivorous. Their natural diet consists of insects and other small critters in the wild. When it comes to nutrition, they need an ample amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, fiber, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D3, E, K, H, and M.

Compared to koi, betta fish often suffer from bloating and other digestive issues. This means betta fish will have problems handling the fillers most koi food contains. Corn and wheat usually give betta fish issues, while high protein levels in their food boost their energy.

Feeding Betta Fish

Technically, you can get away with feeding your betta fish anything, such as koi food or at times even human food, but you shouldn’t. Betta fish can tolerate food that doesn’t meet their nutritional needs, but it’ll be harmful to them in the long run.

The best food for betta fish is live or frozen food, but you can also opt for prepared food like pellets or flakes, freeze-dried food, and vegetables. However, if you choose to feed your betta fish pellets, be wary of its possibly high filler content and low moisture volume.

What Can Betta Fish Eat?

Betta fish are wondrous creatures, and whether you’re new to keeping fish as pets or not, you may find yourself wondering what food is best for betta fish. You can always go to your local pet store and ask around about what betta fish can eat. However, it’s always better to have a more detailed guide about betta fish food than have someone hand food to you without explaining why.

Betta fish can eat a wide variety of food, including prepared food, freeze-dried food, frozen food, live food, and vegetables. There’s plenty of betta-specific food in the market right now, but your choice of betta fish food should be influenced by your preferences and your fish’s needs.

If you’d like to watch a video about betta fish food, check out Girl Talks Fish’s clear and concise YouTube clip:

Prepared Food

Some betta owners swear by prepared food like pellets or flakes because it’s the most convenient betta food. You can keep it anywhere, and they’re guaranteed to grant your betta fish an almost-complete nutritional boost every day.

Most betta fish had also been fed pellets since they were young, so they’ll most likely be familiar with it already. The best pellets are the floating pellets like TetraBetta from Amazon since they don’t make a mess within your aquarium, and bettas love to eat floating things.

However, you can also opt for this Fluval Bug Bites sinking pellets from Amazon, which sink to the bottom of your aquarium. You’ll find that some betta fish enjoyed hunting for their food now and then.

Note that there may be times when a betta refuses to eat pellets or spits them out. This usually happens when they find the pellets too big or too dry for them. Alternatively, it could be because your betta fish is tired of pellets and wishes for some variety.

Freeze-Dried Food

Freeze-dried betta food is among the best options for betta fish food. It’s inexpensive and less processed compared to pellets, and it’s also generally free from harmful bacteria compared to live food.

However, freeze-dried betta food can cause constipation and swim bladder problems within bettas. This is because freeze-dried food swiftly absorbs a betta’s gut moisture. One way to combat this is to pre-soak the food for at least 10 minutes before allowing your betta fish to eat it.

If you’re looking for excellent freeze-dried food, try Tetra BloodWorms from Amazon.

Frozen Food

Most betta owners see frozen food as both a blessing and a curse. If you store it right and feed it to your betta fish every once in a while, things should be okay. However, if you incorrectly keep it or regularly feed it to your betta fish, problems may arise.

Frozen food is great for betta fish since it mimics their natural diet. Brine shrimp, Midas shrimp, blood worms, mosquito larvae, and wingless fruit flies are regularly used for this. Your betta will find this food tasty but be warned that frozen food can’t consistently meet your betta’s nutritional needs.

Similarly, you need to properly store the frozen food or risk having harmful bacteria enter it. You’ll also have to not re-freeze anything you’ve already unfrozen because bacteria will get into it and ruin the food.

Live Food

Betta fish will appreciate live food, but it can be quite a hassle to keep live food. Besides being more expensive than other betta food, it also uses up a lot of your time to ensure the live food is thriving. Likewise, it’s hard to prevent live food contamination, so various illnesses such as internal infections may affect your betta fish if you’re not careful enough.


Betta fish don’t need vegetables in their diets, but you can feed them vegetables every once in a while. Vegetables such as cucumber and peas are known to relieve constipation.

However, always ensure the vegetables are boiled and cut into quarters first. A betta fish’s stomach is only the same size as its eye, so a small piece of cucumber or pea is more than enough for your fish.

If you’d like a tutorial on how to feed your betta fish pea, check out True Aquarium’s YouTube clip. It shows you how to prepare the pea and explains why it’s good to feed pea to your betta fish:

How Much and How Often You Should Feed Your Betta Fish?

You may be confused about how often your betta fish should be fed. You’re not alone. Betta fish are prone to overfeeding since they always act hungry.

It’s wise to feed your betta fish two separate times a day to allow its digestive system to break down food properly. If you’re feeding it with pellets, aim to give it 2 to 4 pellets each feeding session. Meanwhile, if you’re giving your betta fish live, frozen, or freeze-dried food, 2 to 3 pieces is an optimal amount.

It’ll also be best to fast your betta fish once every week to aid in its digestion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How long can betta fish live without eating?

Betta fish can live without eating for 14 days. You shouldn’t neglect to feed your betta fish, but this means you can get away with not feeding it for a weekend, especially if you’re trying to get its digestive system to process the food it’s eaten.

Q. Can betta fish eat fruits?

Betta fish can eat fruits, but you shouldn’t feed them fruits, especially citrus fruits. Remember, a betta fish’s diet mainly consists of insects, so fruits aren’t a necessity. Likewise, citrus fruits are too acidic for betta fish, which could end up killing them.

Q. Can betta fish eat meat?

You shouldn’t feed betta fish meat like chicken, pork, or beef. Naturally, they wouldn’t even come across those kinds of meat in their natural habitat. Moreover, meat often contains additives that are harmful to fish.

Q. Can betta fish eat bread?

Betta fish can eat bread, but it’s wise not to feed them bread. Your betta’s digestive system will likely suffer from the bread’s additives, such as oil, butter, and salt. Additionally, bread expands when wet, so it will bloat and constipate your fish.

Final Thoughts

Betta fish can tolerate koi food, but it’s best not to feed them koi food. You can get away with not feeding your betta fish for a few days, which would give you enough time to look for betta-specific food.

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