Skip to Content

Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Flakes?

If you have any kind of fish, knowing what to feed it is a crucial aspect of taking care of it, and you can maximize your fish’s chance of thriving by ensuring that it has a proper, nutritious diet at all times.

Fish have surprisingly varied needs, and you must know what foods are suitable for the inhabitants of your aquarium and what foods are not. With that in mind, have you ever wondered, “can Betta fish eat tropical flakes?” and considered feeding some to your Betta?

Bettas are great fish, but they can be sensitive and they need a lot of excellent care if they are to thrive.

They are primarily carnivores, although they will eat some vegetable matter, and that means you must provide a protein-rich, balanced diet if they are to stay healthy.

Unfortunately, Betta fish can also be very picky eaters and may reject certain foods, or go off food that they previously liked, which can be frustrating for their owners.

There is a myth that Betta fish can survive by feeding on the roots of plants, but this is untrue and you should certainly never give it any credence.

Betta fish require protein and if you don’t follow the correct feeding guidelines, you may find that your fish ends up very sick, or that it dies.

Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Flakes?

Some people feed their Betta fish on tropical flakes, and while it is okay for a Betta fish to eat these flakes (if they will), they will not provide the fish with a balanced and nutritious diet, and you will probably find that it fails to thrive.

Although Betta fish are tropical fish and therefore they can eat these flakes, they are better off being fed on things that they would naturally eat in the wild (which we will cover later) to ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals that they need.

Failing to feed your Betta properly leaves it vulnerable to infections and diseases, so be careful about this.

It is okay to feed your Betta a few tropical flakes on occasion, but you will probably find that the Betta is not particularly interested in eating them, and only swallows a few pieces.

If that is the case, make sure you remove uneaten food about five minutes after offering it, and consider feeding the fish fewer tropical flakes in the future, or swapping to other foods instead.

You may find that your Betta rejects any tropical flakes that are vegetable-based, although some Bettas might eat them, especially if they are hungry.

If your Betta does like the tropical flakes, make sure that you are only feeding them to it occasionally so that it is eating other nutritionally-balanced foods too.

Is It True That Tropical Flakes Will Improve The Color Of A Betta Fish?

In theory, tropical flakes may be able to improve the color of your Betta fish, but it depends on the contents of the flakes.

In general, a Betta fish’s color will be improved by eating a good diet, and if the tropical flakes supply it with balanced nutrition, you may see the color of its body and fins enriching.

However, if the flakes are only providing mediocre nutrition, they will not help to enhance its color, and may even make it duller.

Some people say that giving your Betta fish shrimp is the best way to enrich its colors, as shrimp contains carotenoids, which can help to boost the colors. It is also possible to buy a fish food that has been specifically designed to improve your Betta fish’s colors and make it more vibrant.

Some people recommend offering a cooked pea (mashed) to the Betta, but it may refuse to eat this as Bettas are predominantly carnivores.

Another option includes placing a bright lamp fairly close to the tank, but far enough away so that it will not make the water hotter.

This can encourage stronger, darker colors in the fish, but make sure you use artificial light, as sunlight will promote algal growth.

Finally, keeping the tank conditions good and regularly checking there is not too much ammonia in the water will help to ensure your fish is bright and colorful.

What Type Of Fish Food Flakes Should You Feed A Betta Fish?

There are lots of options if you want to feed your Betta on fish flakes but you don’t want to give it tropical flakes.

Betta flakes are (unsurprisingly) usually the best choice, as these have been formulated specifically to provide all the nutrients that a Betta fish should need.

You can check out what brands are available locally, and try to look for ones that are high in protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins.

It is important to avoid flakes that contain fillers such as wheat or corn, as these are not easy for Bettas to digest, and they contain very little nutritional benefit.

They will simply pass through the digestive system and be ejected as waste. Opt for protein-packed flakes, or choose other foods to give to your Betta.

Betta fish will happily eat shrimps, mosquito larvae, tuna (in brine, rinsed), etc.

By preference, they should be consuming things like insect larvae and tiny insects, as this is what they would naturally feed on, so try freeze-dried bloodworms or live brine shrimp, along with Betta pellets if you like.

These will provide the protein that the fish needs and it can be very interesting to watch your Betta feed, but if you only have flakes, the Betta should survive on these well enough, as long as they are high in protein.


If you have ever doubtfully eyed a box of flakes and wondered “can betta fish eat tropical flakes?” the great news is that they can, but the unfortunate news is that your Betta may choose not to. Try offering it just a few flakes to begin with to see whether it will consume them, and if it does, feel free to feed it these as long as they are high in protein.