What Human Food Can Betta Fish Eat?

We may earn a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

Ever wondered what human food can betta fish eat?

Maybe you have a picky betta that turns their nose up at regular fish food, or perhaps you just want to treat them to something different.

Whatever your reason, here are some safe and nutritious options to consider.

what human food can betta fish eat

What Human Food Can Betta Fish Eat?

While bettas are insectivores (carnivores that primarily eat insects), they can also enjoy other protein sources such as chicken and eggs, as well as plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables.

That said, you shouldn’t give your betta just any human food as some may do more harm than good.

Let’s go over some of the common foods that are actually safe:

Spinach

Spinach and other leafy greens can be a wonderful addition to your betta’s diet.

You can also blanch the spinach by briefly boiling it, which will make it easier to digest.

Peas

Peas are another safe option. They serve as an excellent source of fiber and help regulate the digestive system.

Frozen peas should be thawed, peeled, and crushed before serving.

Zucchini

While not all bettas may enjoy zucchini, it’s a low-cost option to try.

Simply cut it into small, bite-sized pieces (removing any seeds or skin) and boil or steam the slices until they’re soft and mushy.

what human food can betta fish eat zucchini

Pears

Fruits such as pears (and melons) can be great snacks, as long as they’re soft.

To prepare it, thoroughly wash and peel the fruit and cut it into little, manageable chunks.

Mango

Just like humans, some fish enjoy the sweet taste of mango!

Start by peeling the skin off and removing the large seed inside. Then, cut the flesh so it’s suitable for your betta.

Blueberries

Blueberries might be tiny in size but they pack quite a punch in terms of nutritional value.

All you have to do is rinse a handful of berries under cold water and gently crush them to release their flavors and make them easier to eat.

what human food can betta fish eat blueberries

Chicken

Chicken is an awesome source of protein for fish.

You can use shredded chicken breast or chicken thighs (without seasoning), but make sure it doesn’t contain any bones or skin.

Shrimps

Shrimp can also be used to provide additional protein.

First, remove both the shell and tail, then cook the shrimp to reduce any potential risks of bacteria or parasites and cut it appropriately.

Egg yolk

Eggs, and especially egg yolks, are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

To make them, hard boil an egg, separate the yolk from the white, and mash or crumble the yolk so you can sprinkle it into the tank.

what human food can betta fish eat eggs

Foods to Avoid

On the other hand, certain foods should be avoided when feeding your betta fish. These include:

  • Bread: Bread isn’t nutritionally beneficial for betta fish and may cause digestive issues. On top of that, it can quickly expand in water and become a potential source of contamination.
  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits contain high levels of acidity and can disrupt the pH balance in your betta’s tank. In some cases, they can also cause digestive problems.
  • Dairy products: Betta fish are lactose intolerant and can’t properly digest dairy products. Feeding them cheeses or other milk-based products could lead to severe bloating and gastrointestinal distress.
  • Human snacks: It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that human snacks are unsuitable for any type of fish. This includes chocolate, candy, cookies, chips, crackers, and breakfast cereals.
  • Onions: Onions, along with other members of the allium family (i.e. garlic), contain compounds called thiosulphates that can damage the red blood cells in fish, causing anemia and other serious health issues.
  • Beans: Legumes like beans contain complex sugars and proteins that can be difficult for bettas to digest properly, which may lead to bloating and constipation. Additionally, they contain high levels of lectins.
  • Bacon: Bacon is high in fat and sodium and feeding it to your betta regularly can lead not only to obesity, but also to the development of fatty liver disease.
  • Processed meats: Just like bacon, other meats such as sausages, hot dogs, and deli meats are a definite no-no. These highly processed foods are high in salt, preservatives, and artificial flavors.

Feeding tips and frequency

Human food should never replace the staple diet of betta-specific foods.

These commercial foods are formulated to meet all the nutritional needs of your fish and should make up the majority of their meals.

Therefore, when feeding human food to your betta fish, remember to keep the portions small and ensure that the food is properly cut and prepared.

Raw or uncooked meat can introduce harmful bacteria or parasites that could potentially harm your betta’s digestive system, while overfeeding them can lead to constipation and other health complications.

In fact, some experts recommend limiting treats like human food to once every week or two.

If you’re cooking the food, don’t use any seasonings or spices and always wait until it cools completely before offering it to your betta.

It’s also a good idea to consult with a veterinarian or fish expert before making any changes to your betta’s diet and monitor their behavior and overall health closely after introducing new foods.

In summary

Bettas can safely consume a variety of human foods, including spinach, peas, pears, mango, chicken, and shrimp. Yet, they shouldn’t replace their regular food completely.

As with any changes in diet, you’ll need to monitor your betta fish closely for any signs of digestive upset and talk to a vet if you have any concerns.

About the author

Li-ran B.

Li-ran has been taking care of fish since he was a young kid and considers himself a self-proclaimed aquatic hobbyist at heart. What started as a simple childhood curiosity quickly turned into a full-fledged passion. Currently, his new obsessions are nano aquariums and glowing fish tank decorations.