Do Betta Fish Prefer Pellets or Flakes? (Solved!)

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I have to confess, I am a true Betta addict! In my fish room, I have more Bettas than is healthy for a man of my age. For me, the best part about keeping Bettas, apart from their bright colors, flowing fins, and bundles of personality, is feeding them.  I probably have more fish foods than I care to admit.

Looking at all my foods one day, I found myself wondering Do Betta fish prefer pellets or flakes?

In my experience, I would say Betta fish definitely prefer pellets over flakes. My Bettas are quicker to eat floating pellets than they are flake foods, even if the two foods are made by the same manufacturer.  Pellets will also hold together longer in the water, giving the Betta more time to eat them before they sink to the bottom of the tank.

Do Betta fish prefer pellets or flakes?

In my experience of feeding countless Betta fish over the last 20 years, I would say there is no doubt they prefer pellets over flakes.

With that said, however, I don’t think there is enough in it to make a massive difference either way.  I wouldn’t bin a perfectly good tub of flakes foods and go buy some pellets. 

The most important factor when choosing fish food is will the Betta actually eat it?

I have found that probably the most popular food, according to my Bettas at least, is Bug Bites for Bettas which is made by Fluval (I usually just order this pot from Amazon).

In reality, it doesn’t matter what the 22 Bettas in my fish room prefer, it only matters what your individual Betta prefers to eat.

Are pellets better than flakes?

In my opinion, pellets are better for Betta fish than flakes for one reason, they hold together longer in the water than flakes do.

The minute you put ANY fish food into water it starts to break down and the nutrients start to leach out.  

Flakes disintegrate much quicker than pellets, which I believe means they will lose much of their nutritional value if not consumed quickly.

Which pellets are the best for Bettas?

This is very much a question of personal choice.  When choosing which pellets to feed my Bettas, I always base my decision on the following criteria.

  • Will the Betta actually eat it?
  • What is the delivery method?
  • What are the main ingredients?
  • How long does the food hold together in the water?

Will the Betta actually eat it?

This question is so often overlooked when choosing the best food to feed a Betta.  It doesn’t matter how good the ingredients are or what the price is if the Betta won’t eat it.

Before spending money on a new food, try and source a sample to give to your Bettas before buying a new packet of food.  Most local fish stores won’t mind giving you a pinch of food to test on your Betta at home.

What is the delivery method?

When considering a new food, I need to know what the delivery method is.  Again, the food could be made of crazy high-quality ingredients, but if the pellets instantly sink to the bottom of the tank and the Betta won’t eat off the bottom, the food is no good.

Almost every Betta in my fish room wants to eat small pellets which float on the surface.

What are the main ingredients?

Once I know the Betta will happily eat the food and the delivery method suits my fish, I will start to look at the ingredients.

Bettas are carnivores, so a high protein diet is best.  I like food that is made as close to their natural diet as possible, which is why I feed Bug Bites as often as I do.

Bug Bites is made by Fluval and the main ingredient is Black Soldier Fly Larvae.  I have written more about will Bettas eat Bug Bites in this article.

How long does the food hold together in the water?

My final consideration is how long will the food hold together in the water.  So often you put fish food into the water and it instantly falls apart.  Not only does that make it harder for the Betta to eat, but it also makes a mess in the water.

I like to feed a food that holds together long enough the Betta can eat it before it disintegrates.

What other foods can be fed to Betta fish?

Whilst most of us frequently feed our Bettas either pellets or flakes, there are other foods Betta will enjoy eating.

I am a huge fan of feeding my Bettas both live and frozen foods including bloodwormsdaphnia, and mosquito larvae.

I try to feed my Bettas live or frozen foods 3 or 4 times a week, and sometimes more often.  I firmly believe in feeding my Bettas little and often, so I feed them once in the morning, once after work, and usually once in the evening too.  I try and make one of these feedings live or frozen food. 

Personally, I find frozen foods to be more convenient than live foods, and I usually have 3 or 4 different types in my freezer so I can give my Bettas as much variety as possible.

My final thoughts on ‘Do Betta fish prefer pellets or flakes?’

I can only speak from experience, but I would say without any doubt, Bettas that have passed through my fish room over the years preferred pellets.

With that said, it doesn’t matter what my Bettas prefer, it really only matters what YOUR Betta prefers, and to find that out, you might have to offer 3 or 4 foods and see if they have a preference.

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James