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What Human Foods Can Betta Fish Eat? Vet-Approved Guide to Safe Feeding

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By Lindsey Stanton

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We really do love betta fish, as do thousands of other fish enthusiasts around the world. These beautiful fish have quickly become one of the most popular home aquarium fish choices in existence today.

Of course, just like with any other pet, you need to feed your Betta fish. Not only do you need to make sure that they are not hungry, but you need to feed them the right foods too. So, when it comes to feeding, what human foods can a Betta fish eat?

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The Betta Fish Diet

In the wild, betta fish are carnivorous. They will eat pretty much any kind of meat that they can wrap their mouths around. This includes all kinds of insects and insect larvae, daphnia, brine shrimp, blood worms, and other such creatures too.

They are fairly hardy and prolific eaters, or in other words, they don’t hold back. They like to eat quite a bit, especially when it comes to live foods like insects. This is because in the wild, they aren’t fed consistently, and therefore readily eat opportunistically whenever possible.

Now, some Betta fish do occasionally chow down on plant matter, but not very often. If you see a Betta fish eating plants, fruits, or veggies in the wild, it is probably because they have not been able to catch enough live prey.

However, there are some betta fish which have been anecdotally shown to enjoy the occasional herbivorous treat. That being said, there is no scientific proof of them being able to thrive on such a diet.

Butterfly Betta fish in aquarium with black background
Image Credit: Martha Suherman, Shutterstock

What Foods Do Betta Fish Eat in the Wild?

  • Copepods
  • Moina
  • Shrimp
  • Fairy shrimp
  • Brine shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Fruit flies
  • Mosquitos
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Blood worms
  • White worms
  • Fish fry

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What Human Foods Can Betta Fish Eat?

When it comes to human food, the vast majority of our foods are simply not suitable for consumption by Betta fish. You can rule out any kind of processed food like salami or bologna.

Those chemicals and preservatives will not do your Betta fish any good and can very well make them really sick. There are some foods that you can feed your Betta fish, ones that you might eat yourself, but you can’t feed them exclusively human food.

For the most part, you should be giving them special Betta fish food or other things that they would normally eat, like the worms and insects we discussed above. That being said, there are some human foods that you can feed them.

Just keep in mind that the majority of the Betta fish’s diet needs to be meat-based, so any human food you give them needs to be done occasionally as a treat, not as a meal or meal supplement.

What Are Some Human Foods You Can Safely Feed Your Betta?

Boiled Peas

peeled snap peas up close
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Boiled peas with the shell removed can be eaten by Betta fish. Make sure to remove the skin because it is hard to digest. A couple of boiled peas are actually shown to help relieve digestion issues in Betta fish.

Cucumber & Lettuce

lettuce on the table
Image Credit: Jef Wright, Unsplash

Cucumber and lettuce are also acceptable (but not necessary) treats to feed your betta fish. Just don’t give them too much of either of these things and make sure to cut them into really little pieces. It is not advised to feed them lettuce on a regular basis.


shredded boiled chicken on the plate
Image Credit: jiaming xie, Shutterstock

Meats like chicken, beef, and pork can be fed to Betta fish in very small quantities. Now, most people are against this simply because it is unnatural for a water-dwelling creature to eat a land-based animal, but it is not technically harmful.

Make sure to boil the meat all the way through and add absolutely no spices. Though bettas are carnivores, these meats should not be considered a staple addition to their diet.


Image Credit: Jumpstory

Betta fish will definitely enjoy some fresh fish pieces and other types of seafood. Little chunks of shrimp, oysters, scallops, and other such creatures make for good treats.

The upside here is that these foods are all animal protein-based, which means that you can technically substitute fish food with these meats on occasion. These foods should not be seasoned when being offered to your betta.

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Commonly Asked Questions

Can Betta Fish Eat Bread?

Whether or not betta fish will eat bread is not the question here, because yes, betta fish will eat bread and crackers.

However, no, they should not eat bread. Bread, crackers, and other such things contain yeast. Yeast expands and causes constipation in fish.

Severe constipation can lead to a variety of more serious issues, which will then lead to death.

Can Betta Fish Eat Apples?

Yes, you can feed your betta fish some apples, but not much. In the wild, apples are not a part of their regular diet, and while not too bad for betta fish, large amounts of apples should be avoided.

Simply put, while giving your betta fish some small apple chunks won’t kill them, it isn’t the best either.

What to Feed Betta Fish When Out of Food?

Most healthy bettas can easily go without food for several days with no adverse health effects. If you’re out of fish food, you can consider fasting your fish for a day or so while you purchase some more.

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So, this is kind of a two-sided scenario. Betta fish can eat some human foods as an occasional treat, but most foods we eat are not recommended for them. Sticking to their regular diet is the best course of action.

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Feature Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock

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