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The betta, also known as the Betta splendens or Siamese fighting fish, is a strikingly gorgeous freshwater fish hailing from Southeast Asia. One of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby, the betta is a carnivorous fish that will need more than just fish flakes for a balanced diet.
If your betta is in a community tank, there’s a good chance your other fish may gobble up some of the betta’s food during feed time. Can other fish eat betta food?
Yes, other fish can eat betta food, but since betta food is specifically formulated for a certain type of fish, betta food isn’t the ideal staple food for omnivorous or herbivorous tank mates.
Can Any Fish Eat Betta Fish Food?
Since community fish tanks, which are tanks that harbor multiple different species of fish, have all the fish sharing one large space, it’s impossible to keep certain fish from eating food meant for another type of fish.
For example, when feeding a fish tank with a betta and a shoal of corydoras, it’s inevitable that the betta will have a nibble at the corydora’s algae wafer while the corydoras will get to munch on a betta pellet or two.
Since any food dropped into a community tank is fair game for the entire gang, almost all fish foods are safe for any fish to eat. This means that any fish can eat betta fish food, but it shouldn’t be the main part of their diet.
Will Betta Food Hurt Other Fish?
Betta food won’t hurt other fish, but it is specifically formulated for bettas only. This means, while betta food is nutritionally balanced for bettas, it isn’t so for other species of fish.
Betta fish are carnivorous, and as such, need a high protein content in their daily diets. In the wild, bettas subsist on insects and insect larvae, so the food that they eat in captivity should mimic the wild diet for the betta to remain as healthy as possible.
High protein betta food like Fluval Bug Bites will provide all the protein your betta needs to keep them active and beautiful.
What Fish Can Eat Betta Pellets?
Since bettas require a high protein diet, betta fish food also works well for other carnivorous fish like honey gouramis or dwarf gouramis.
Bettas and Gouramis are not only both carnivores, they are also both labyrinth fish, meaning that they have a special organ that lets them breathe air from the top of the water. Both types of fish also make bubble nests!
Since they are so similar, it’s no wonder that gouramis can tolerate diets of betta food better than some other fish.
Betta food is perfectly fine as a snack for other types of fish as well. Just make sure that the other fish receive a diet that benefits them besides the betta food snack.
What Kind Of Food Do Bettas Eat?
As the name suggests, flakes are dried fish food pressed into thin flake form. This food will float when first dropped into the tank, allowing top feeders to access the flakes before they eventually float to the bottom.
Flakes are formulated to provide everything your fish needs to survive, but they are the cheapest and least nutritious option for fish food.
Pellets are the best compromise between nutrition and the cost of daily betta food. Pellets are easy for bettas to eat, nutritionally complete, and full of protein.
Live food is by far the highest quality food for your betta. When you feed live food, you are almost exactly mimicking the natural diet of the betta.
Unfortunately, live foods are expensive and difficult to keep on hand, so a lot of betta owners reserve live foods for special treats.
- Freeze Dried
Freeze-dried fish food usually consists of the same sorts of food as live or frozen food, but with all the moisture removed. When freeze-dried, nutrients are lost, making freeze-dried foods less nutritious than frozen or live foods, but more nutritious than flakes or pellets.
The best of both worlds, frozen foods are almost as nutritionally dense as live foods, but can be stored much longer and don’t require the work that live foods do. Of all the food choices, frozen foods match quality with convenience the best.
Can All Freshwater Fish Eat Betta Food?
As we discussed before, betta fish food isn’t an appropriate diet staple for other fish, but because fish foods are designed to be safe for all fish to eat, all freshwater fish can eat betta food.
Fish like goldfish need more plant matter than bettas do. In fact, bettas have a hard time digesting plant matter, and it can make them sick if eaten in excess.
The reverse is also true! Too much protein can make some fish very ill. A few things that can occur if herbivorous fish eat too much protein are:
- Fatty liver
- Gas bubble disease
- Nutrient deficiency
Can Guppies Eat Betta Food?
Guppies are omnivorous and can eat betta food as long as we supplement it with other guppy-specific food.
Can Tetras Eat Betta Food?
Tetras are also omnivorous and can eat betta food, but they will need other foods as well to thrive.
Can Platies Eat Betta Food?
Yes. Platies eat a lot of insects in the wild, making betta food more suited to them than other fish species.