One can only hope that by now you’ve read about the importance of feeding a variety of foods to your betta. And live foods are high on the list of those looking to add such variety. In other words they should be an important part of your betta’s diet. Simply because these are the closest menu items you can get that mimic the natural diet these fish eat in their native Asian rice paddies. Which is a healthy thing to mimic. Not an everyday part of their diet mind you. But you can’t forgo feeding live foods entirely either.
But this raises all sorts of questions such as:
Where do we get live food?
Can we easily make them a staple of our betta’s diet?
Is that even wise?
If so how much and often should we feed live food to them?
These are just some of the questions about feeding live food that we need to answer.
What kind of live food is available?
You will find a wide array of live food to feed them including:
Wingless fruit flies
Fruit fly larvae
Granted unless you’ve been into betta fish keeping for a while, some of these may not ring the (dinner) bell. But most can be either purchased or easily raised yourself.
Speaking of which…
Where to buy or get them?
Two options. First, you can purchase live food directly from the pet store. But make sure you’re buying from a reputable pet store to avoid the risk of such food carrying bacteria that may be the cause behind some betta fish diseases. Second, you can culture live food yourself. You can actually buy a culture by mail order and start from there.
Backyard garden worms as live food?
Not a good idea. Sorry but the worms you find in your garden or yard are not what we consider as the ideal live food that your betta should feed on. Such worms are most likely to be carrying bacteria that can make them sick. Not to mention they might have some traces of pesticides that can be fatal. So cross them off your list.
Do not overfeed
After you’ve determined where to get your food stuff from, appropriate feeding is the next challenge. Just remember never to overfeed since this could cause stomach bloat or worse, constipation. Besides, any uneaten food could easily foul the tank water which is another leading cause of premature betta fish death.
How much to feed
Okay so the trick here is to only feed your fish what it can eat in 1-2 minutes. And just that. Anything more than that would be labeled as gluttonous. Knowing as you do that that these guys, although picky eaters at times, will not hesitate to gobble up whatever is laid out for them since they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
How often to feed
It is recommended to feed live food once a day, once a week. This fare should never be your fish’s main diet since again feeding live food is not without its downsides.
How to feed
Another trick. Since bettas usually dine near the surface of the water you just don’t toss grindal or blood worms into the tank and go about your business. Because what if your finny friend didn’t take note that you actually dropped the food in? In that case it might just settle on the bottom of the tank uneaten, lost forever. And uneaten food equals dirty water. And dirty water often equates to unwanted betta fish diseases. Therefore, be sure to remove any uneaten food, live or otherwise. Also, if you’re handling worms, some would want you to be sure to rinse them thoroughly to clean them up before serving.
Storing the food
Again, don’t be too eager to feed everything you have to your betta. Luckily you can store them in the refrigerator for a week. Maybe longer.
Some betta fish owners would rather not feed live foods because done wrong, they can be a way to expose your fish to disease. However feeding like this does serve a purpose. And that purpose is to provide a complete and balanced nutrition for your pet. Just make sure you’re handling live food carefully and you’re getting it from a reliable source. Do that and your betta should be swimming healthily and enjoying life for years to come.