Studies show that 7.2 million American households keep fish in aquariums. These tiny creatures don’t take up much space, have a calming effect on people, and can enhance their surroundings with their pretty colors and graceful movements.
When it comes to good looks, Siamese fighting fish, otherwise known as bettas, are among the most popular types of fish among these enthusiasts.
If you’d like to include one of these beautiful specimens in your collection of aquatic species, there are a few things you need to know first. Get started by discovering the best live betta food for keeping your Siamese fighters healthy and happy.
What Do Betta Fish Eat in the Wild?
Betta fish are Asian natives. Where they live in the shallow waters of ponds, slow-moving streams, and marshes. They’re active during the day, spending most of their time hunting for live prey.
They prefer to dine on insects and insect larvae, although they will eat plant roots if necessary. You can feed your bettas pellets specially formulated to meet their dietary needs, but they’ll always thrive better on a varied diet of live fish food.
Fortunately, many fish food brands stock excellent live fish food products designed for feeding betta fish, such as:
Bloodworms get their name from the characteristic red color caused by high quantities of porphyrin, an iron component, in their tissues.
As a result, they’re an excellent source of iron, and they also have between 6 and 8% protein, although they do lack some essential amino acids needed by betta fish.
You should always include other sources of amino acids and nutrients in your betta’s diet. Most people prefer to use bloodworms as a weekly treat for their fish rather than as part of their main diet.
Black worms aren’t as easy to come by as other types of betta food, but they’re a good supplement to your fish’s diet. They provide most of the key nutrients and proteins that Siamese fighter fish require for good health.
Bettas enjoy black worms and will guzzle as many as they can, so these worms also work well as a treat. Feeding too many blackworms can cause constipation and other digestive issues for your fish.
You should only feed black worms occasionally, and it’s best to limit your fish’s intake to two or three at a time. You’ll notice that feeding black worms on occasion helps improve your betta’s coloring.
Live Brine Shrimp
Brine shrimp are a popular food for bettas and have a high nutrient content. You can feed your mature fish adult shrimp or baby shrimp.
Fry will do better with only baby shrimp added to their diet. You can set up a hatchery to ensure your fish enjoy fresh supplies of shrimp, but you’ll need salt water for this project.
Like most live foods, it’s best to limit your betta’s shrimp intake to two or three meals a week.
Opossum shrimp are a healthy choice for bettas, as they’re very high in fiber. This will help keep your fish’s digestive system in good order.
Bettas enjoy opossum shrimp, so it’s a good choice as a staple ingredient in your fish’s diet. These shrimp are quite large, so don’t feed more than one or two per day.
You can also set up a breeding station for opossum shrimp, but make sure you feed them enough, or they’ll eat each other.
Daphnia thrives in shallow waters like bettas do. You’ll find them in small ditches, ponds, and pools. They look like very small freshwater shrimps.
There are three types of daphnia suitable for feeding bettas: Daphnia Manga, Daphnia Pulex, and Daphnia Moina. They’re full of fiber and nutrients and are an excellent supplement to your betta’s flake-based diet.
Daphnia Moina is the smallest variety and an outstanding choice for feeding your betta fry. They have a higher protein content than the other types of daphnia to cope with the growth needs of young fish.
Daphnia is one of the best fish foods for bettas, but you must ensure you get them from a reputable supplier or breed them yourself. Wild daphnia may carry diseases and parasites.
Bettas mostly eat mosquito larvae in their natural habitat, but they’re hard to come by in daily life.
If you live in an area where mosquitoes abound, you might come across mosquito larvae floating in the water. Before you scoop it up to feed your fish, be sure the water isn’t dirty.
You can keep mosquito larvae for up to two weeks in a covered jar in your refrigerator.
Microworms and Mini-Microworms
Microworms and smaller mini-microworms are diminutive types of roundworms. They’re the easiest live food to grow for betta fish, and they’re an excellent source of nutrients for young fish.
It’s relatively easy to culture microworms, and you’ll only need to wait around four days to harvest your first batch. Be sure to leave some behind to grow your next batch.
Fruit flies are another type of food that’s similar to what bettas eat in the wild. As far as possible, you should only feed your fish wingless or flightless fruit flies.
One or two flies per meal are more than enough to keep your betta healthy and happy.
The Best Live Betta Food
The most important thing to remember about live betta food compared to betta fish flakes is that it may carry parasites and diseases if you source it from the wild.
It’s always better to get your betta food from a reliable, reputable source or set up a hatchery with disease-free stock and breed it yourself.
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