Have you ever wondered whether you can feed insects to your betta fish? Betta fish eat insects in the wild, so does that mean you should drop random insects from your house and garden in to your betta fish tank?
In this blog post, we look at the pros and cons of feeding insects to your betta fish and explain which insects are safest for your fish to eat.
What insects do betta fish eat in the wild?
Wild bettas will eat small insects such as mosquitoes or other aquatic invertebrates that they find floating in the water.
This leads a lot of people to think it’s a good idea to feed any kind of insect they can find to their betta fish, often feeding houseflies or even crickets to their betta fish. However, there are a few reasons why this is not a good idea.
Why you shouldn’t feed wild insects to your betta fish
The number one reason that you shouldn’t feed wild insects to your betta fish is that these insects can carry diseases and parasites that aren’t normally found in betta fish environments.
When you buy fish food from a reputable pet store, you can usually be reasonably confident that it is free from diseases and parasites. This is simply not true with wild insects. Feeding insects to your betta fish therefore risks introducing disease to your tank.
The second reason not to feed wild insects to your betta fish is that they could have been sprayed with insecticides that will get passed on to your betta. Even if the insect appears to be healthy, you don’t know that it may have a resistance to chemicals that your betta does not. These chemicals can then make your betta fish sick when it eats the insect.
Thirdly, there is a risk of physical injury when you attempt to feed an insect to your betta fish. Some bugs, such as crickets, may be too big to fit into a betta fish mouth, while other insects can bite or sting.
Can you feed worms or spiders to betta fish?
Again, the answer here is you can, but we strongly advise against it.
For all the same reasons that you shouldn’t feed insects to your betta fish – the risk of disease, chemicals or physical harm such as choking – you shouldn’t feed larger creatures like worms or spiders to them either.
What types of insects are safe to feed to a betta fish?
The best foods for your betta include small aquatic invertebrates such as mosquito larva or brine shrimp. As long as they come from a trusted source, these small organisms won’t spread disease and they are small enough for your betta to easily eat them without risk of choking.
Conclusion: Feeding insects to betta fish
We would never recommend feeding wild insects to your betta fish. Wild insects could carry diseases and dangerous chemicals or could harm your betta fish by stinging, biting or choking them. The only insects we would recommend feeding to a betta fish are store-bought small aquatic invertebrates such as mosquito larva or brine shrimp that you can purchase at any pet store for around $10 per container of 10,000 live larvae.
Have you ever fed insects to your betta fish? Which did you choose and how did your fish react? Please let us know in the comments.