Betta Fish Not Eating? A Betta Hunger Strike (2024)

Puzzled why your Betta fish not eating food? There are plenty of explanations for why Bettas don’t eat from poor water quality and old age to underlying illnesses, and it can be hard to comprehend the problem. But don’t worry for in this article we will detail all the information you need regarding why your Betta fish isn’t eating and what steps you should take to get it back to eating.

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Introduction: Why Won’t My Betta Fish Eat?

  • Betta Fish
Betta Fish
Betta Fish

It’s common for Betta fish to stop eating every now and then. They’re picky eaters, so they need to find food palatable to consume it. Nevertheless, there might be a medical condition that is causing them to go without eating. This could include parasite infestations, illnesses, tension, or even water quality issues. It’s essential to identify the cause of your Betta fish’s lack of appetite, so you can take action to fix the problem.

8 Possible Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Don’t Eat

If your Betta fish isn’t eating in their fish tank, there are a handful of explanations for why that might be the case. To help you determine what’s causing the issue, here are 8 of the most often-seen reasons.

Betta Fish
Betta Fish


Betta Fish
Betta Fish

It is important to remember that Betta fish are exceptionally delicate, and any sudden alterations in their habitat can induce stress. This can lead to a loss of appetite and a decrease in activity. To keep your Betta fish calm, make sure its environment remains tranquil and consistent. If any changes are necessary, be sure to make them gradually.


Betta Fish
Betta Fish

Be vigilant about your Betta fish’s health, as they can easily fall prey to diseases like bacterial or fungal infections. Some of the signs of illness they might display are a lack of hunger, sluggishness, and unusual swimming movements. If you think your Betta fish might be sick, it’s essential to get it to a vet immediately.

Water Quality

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

The quality of the water in your tank is essential for the health and well-being of your Betta fish – if it’s not up to scratch, it can cause distress and make them feel unwell, as well as reduce their appetite. Always test the water regularly and keep it clean by changing it regularly and using a dependable filtration system.


Overfeeding Betta
Overfeeding Betta

Giving your Betta fish too much food can cause a loss of appetite and other health concerns like bloating and constipation. Therefore, it’s essential to only offer them small amounts of food at once and make sure to feed them only once daily.

Old Age

Old Age Betta Fish
Old Age Betta Fish

As Betta fish get older, it’s common for them to become less energetic and have a decreased appetite. This is a natural part of the aging process, so it’s essential to ensure they’re still receiving the proper care and a healthy diet to keep them in good condition.

Seasonal Changes

Seasonal Changes Betta Fish
Seasonal Changes Betta Fish

Changes in the seasons, such as a decrease in the amount of light, can impact Betta fish. During winter or other low-light times, they may stop eating. To assist them during these times, you can give them additional illumination or use a water heater to keep the temperature stable.

Poor Water Temperature

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

It’s important to keep the water in your tank at the right temperature for your Betta fish – usually between 76-82°F – as incorrect water temperature can cause stress and a decrease in appetite. Make sure to get the temperature just right for your unique species!

Poor Diet

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

To ensure your Betta fish stays healthy and active, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet. A variety of high-quality pellets, frozen or live foods, should be given to guarantee they’re getting all the nutritional needs they require. If their dietary needs aren’t met, it can lead to a lack of appetite and other medical issues.

What to Do When Your New Betta Fish Is Not Eating

  • Betta Fish

If you’ve recently gotten a Betta fish and it isn’t eating, the best thing to do is to examine the water quality in the tank. Unsuitable water quality can cause a lack of appetite in Betta fish. If the water is alright, you should investigate for any indications of stress or sickness. If your Betta shows symptoms of being ill or stressed, it might not be interested in eating. Make sure to bring your Betta to the vet to get it taken care of.

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

Keeping your Betta fish in good health and its water clean is vital, but to keep your fish from becoming a picky eater, you should offer it a variety of food. Live, frozen, flakes, and pellets are all suitable types of food for Bettas, so why not try offering your fish something new to keep them engaged?

What to Do When Your Betta Fish Stops Eating

  • Betta Fish

If your Betta fish is no longer consuming food, the initial step should be to assess the water quality in its tank. Unsatisfactory water conditions can factor in a Betta fish’s declined appetite. On the other hand, if the water quality is ideal, it may be a sign of stress or illness. If this is the case, your Betta may not be interested in eating. It is recommended to take your Betta to the vet in order to get it checked out.

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

If your Betta is in top shape and the water is clean and clear, you should experiment with some new meals for them. Betta fish can be choosy about their food, so you must provide them with various choices. You can present your Betta with some frozen or live food and multiple kinds of flake or pellet food.

How Long Can Betta Fish Live Without Eating?

  • Betta Fish

Betta fish, commonly known as Siamese fighting fish, can make do without food for a couple of days, usually between 2 to 4 days. Though, it’s not recommended to let them go without food for long periods of time since this can be stressful, unhealthy, and potentially deadly.

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

It’s essential to have a consistent feeding schedule for your Betta fish and give them a well-balanced and healthy diet. In case you’re going away for a few days, it’s wise to have someone else feed your fish or to use an automated feeder to ensure they receive food on a regular basis.

At the end of the day, it’s better to be overly cautious and give your Betta fish the necessary food and care.

Can You Feed Your Betta Fish Too Much?

  • Betta Fish

It is possible to give your Betta fish too much to eat. Overeating can lead to a host of medical issues, such as swelling, irregularity, and a greater chance of bacterial and fungal infections. If your Betta fish eats more than it can handle, the excess food will start to rot in the water, causing an accumulation of hazardous materials like ammonia and nitrates. This can harm the water quality and induce anxiety and sickness in your Betta fish.

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

It’s essential that when feeding your Betta fish, you give them small amounts of food at one time, and you only feed them once per day. Consider using a feeding program to guarantee that your Betta fish receives the correct amount of food. It’s also important to watch your Betta fish’s weight and overall condition to ensure it is healthy. If you observe that your Betta fish is becoming overweight or looks bloated, you may have to tweak its diet or feeding schedule.

How to Tell If Your Betta Fish Is Hungry

Betta Fish

Are your Betta fish ready to eat? Here are some clues that might indicate they are feeling peckish:

  • Swimming Towards Food 🐠

    If Betta fish need sustenance, they will usually make their way to the top of the tank when they spot food or perceive the sound of food being distributed.

  • Flaring Gills 🐠

    When Betta fish are feeling hungry or energized, they often show their eagerness to eat by compellingly flaring their gills.

  • Increased Activity 🐠

    When Betta fish feel famished, they tend to be more animated and swim around the aquarium more often.

  • Mouth Movements 🐠

    If your Betta fish is feeling peckish, they may display signs of hunger by frequently opening and closing their mouth or lightly biting at the water’s surface.

  • Darkening Of The Belly 🐠

    If you own a Betta fish, you may notice its tummy darkening, indicating that it has finished breaking down its last meal and is now ready for something new to eat.

Monitoring your Betta fish’s behavior and eating habits regularly is highly recommended so you can better understand what is typical for your own fish. If you detect that your Betta fish isn’t consuming its food or is dropping weight, it could be an indication of a medical issue, so it’s wise to consult a vet.

How to Feed Your Betta Fish

  • Betta Fish

It is essential to provide your Betta fish with the appropriate quantity of nourishment. Betta fish tend to be fussy eaters, so presenting them with a selection of tropical fish food is recommended. Give your Betta some live or frozen food and multiple kinds of flake or pellet food.

Betta Fish
Betta Fish

It is only necessary to feed your Betta the amount of food it can consume within a few minutes. If food is left in the tank after a few minutes, it should be removed. Excessively feeding your Betta could lead to obesity and other medical issues.


Trying to understand why your Betta fish isn’t eating can be a tricky and challenging task. There are many explanations for why your fish refuses to eat, such as stress, a new environment, water quality issues, parasites, sickness, and old or new food. It is crucial to identify the source of the problem so you can take the appropriate action to rectify it.

If you’ve just recently brought your Betta fish home, it may need some time to get accustomed to its new habitat. Present your fish with a selection of food and only give it the amount it can consume in a few minutes.

Check out our website for more helpful fish-keeping tips, including product reviews, ranked lists, how-to guides, and other relevant articles. Taking care of a Betta fish requires some effort, but with a little effort and maintenance, they can make a fantastic addition to your home aquarium.


Common Reasons why Betta stays at the bottom of the Tank?

It’s not unusual for a Betta fish to spend a lot of time at the bottom of the tank. This behavior can be caused by a variety of factors, so it’s important to take a look at why your Betta might be spending so much time there.

The first thing to consider is the water quality in your tank. If the water isn’t properly filtered or if the pH or temperature levels are off, your Betta could be feeling uncomfortable and trying to stay away from the rest of the tank. Make sure you test the water regularly and keep it clean – this is one of the most important aspects of keeping your Betta healthy!

The second reason could be that your Betta is just feeling stressed out. If there is too much activity in the tank, such as other fish or too many decorations, your Betta may be trying to find a peaceful spot at the bottom of the tank. Try keeping things in the tank to a minimum and add some plants and decorations that provide hiding spots for your Betta.

Finally, it could be that your Betta is just trying to find food. Bettas are bottom feeders and naturally look for food near the bottom of the tank. If you notice that your Betta is spending a lot of time near the bottom of the tank and not eating much, try adding more floating food to the top of the water.

No matter what the reason, it’s important to keep an eye on your Betta’s behavior and make sure that they are staying healthy and active. If you have any other questions or concerns about why your Betta is staying at the bottom of the tank, don’t hesitate to contact a veterinarian or experienced aquarist for more advice.

When can Betta Fish Start Eating Freeze-dried food?

The answer to this one is actually pretty straightforward. Betta fish can start eating freeze-dried food as soon as they’re brought home from the pet store. That said, it’s important to note that freeze-dried food is not a complete diet for betta fish, and should be supplemented with live or frozen foods.

When first introducing freeze-dried food to your betta, it’s best to start off with small amounts and then gradually increase the amount over time. This will help your betta get used to the new food and avoid any potential digestive issues. You should also supplement their diet with live or frozen foods that are high in protein and vitamins.

It’s also important to remember that bettas are tropical fish, so you’ll need to make sure their water temperature is between 78-82°F. Also, make sure to feed your betta no more than twice a day, and only give them as much food as they can eat in two minutes.

It’s also a good idea to pay attention to your betta’s behavior after they start eating freeze-dried food. If they seem lethargic or uninterested in the food, that may be a sign that they’re not getting enough nutrition from it. In this case, you should consider supplementing their diet with live or frozen foods.

Can poor water quality cause your betta to stop eating?

Yes, poor water quality can definitely cause your betta to stop eating. Betta fish are very sensitive to their environment and need clean, well-oxygenated water to stay healthy and active. Poor water quality can be caused by a number of things, including a build up of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, an incorrect pH level, or an overpopulation of fish in the tank.

When your betta’s water becomes too polluted, they become stressed and will often stop eating. This is their body’s way of coping with the stress and protecting itself from any further damage. It’s important to monitor your betta’s water quality regularly and take steps to keep it clean and healthy.

You can do this by performing regular water changes (usually 25-50% every two weeks) and testing the water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH levels. If you notice any of these levels are too high, you should take action immediately to correct them. Additionally, you should be mindful of how many fish you have in your tank and make sure it is not overcrowded.

If you find that your betta has stopped eating due to poor water quality, you should take steps to improve the water conditions as soon as possible. Once the water quality is back to normal, you should start offering your betta a variety of food and see if they start eating again. If not, you may need to seek professional help from a fish veterinarian or an experienced fish keeper.

Should you get your Betta from a Pet Store?

When it comes to getting a Betta fish, you have a few options. You can purchase one from a pet store, order one online, or even find one at a local pond or lake. Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh each one before making your decision.

When it comes to getting your Betta from a pet store, there are a few things to consider. For starters, you’ll be able to get a good look at the fish before you buy it. This way, you can make sure that the fish is healthy and that it looks the way you want it to.

The downside of getting your Betta from a pet store is that they may not have the best quality of fish. Many pet stores get their stock from large commercial fish farms, which means that the fish may not be as healthy as they could be. Additionally, pet stores can be more expensive than other sources for buying Bettas.

Overall, getting your Betta from a pet store can be a good option if you want to make sure that the fish is healthy and you don’t mind paying a bit more for it. However, if you’re looking for the best quality Betta or the most affordable option, then you may want to look into other sources.

Can Betta Owners Feed Betta Pellets to other Fish?

It’s not recommended that you feed Betta pellets to other fish. Betta food is specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of Bettas and may not provide the nutrition that other species of fish need. There are several reasons why you should avoid feeding Betta food to other fish.

First, Betta food is designed to float on the surface of the water, while other fish species may prefer to feed from the bottom of the tank. If you feed them Betta food, it may not be eaten by the other fish and could end up polluting your tank.

Second, Betta food is usually high in protein, which could be too much for other species. This could lead to digestive issues or even organ damage over time.

Finally, Betta food is likely to contain ingredients that are not beneficial for other species. For example, some Betta foods contain color enhancers, which are not necessary for other species and may even be harmful.

In conclusion, it’s best to avoid feeding Betta pellets to other species of fish. Stick with food that’s specifically designed for their needs and you’ll keep them healthy and happy.

How can I force my betta fish to eat?

Forcing your betta fish to eat can be a tricky situation. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that it is not recommended to force-feed your betta fish. Doing so could cause them stress and even illness or death.

That being said, there are some situations where force-feeding may be necessary. If your betta fish has been refusing to eat for a few days or more, and you’ve already tried other methods of getting them to eat such as changing their diet or adding live food, then it may be time to try force-feeding.

The best way to force-feed your betta fish is with a syringe. Fill the syringe with their normal food (typically pellets or flakes) and gently place the tip of the syringe into their mouth. Make sure not to push too hard, as this could cause them harm. Then, slowly squeeze out a small amount of food at a time until they’ve had enough.

It’s important to remember that force-feeding should only be done when absolutely necessary, and it should only be done under the supervision of an experienced fishkeeper. If your betta fish continues to refuse food for more than a few days, it is best to contact a veterinarian for help.

Why is my betta fish not eating and barely moving?

If your betta fish isn’t eating and is barely moving, it’s likely due to illness or stress. Unfortunately, betta fish can be prone to a variety of illnesses and can easily become stressed out by changes in their environment or diet.

The first step is to check your betta’s environment. Make sure the water temperature is between 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and that the pH is between 6.5 and 7.5. You should also make sure you are changing the water in the tank regularly (at least once a week).

Next, you should inspect your betta for signs of illness. Look for things like white spots on the fins, red streaks on the body, clamped fins, or rapid breathing. Any of these symptoms could indicate an infection or other illness that needs to be treated.

Finally, make sure your betta isn’t being overfed or underfed. If you’re feeding too much food, it could cause a build-up of waste in the tank which can lead to illness. On the other hand, if you’re not feeding enough food your betta could be malnourished.

If you’re still having trouble getting your betta to eat and move around, it may be best to take it to a vet who specializes in fish health. They can help diagnose any underlying issues and provide treatment if necessary.

How long can a betta fish go without eating?

When it comes to betta fish, the answer to how long they can go without eating really depends on a few factors. It’s important to take into account the age of the fish, their size, health, and metabolism when determining how long they can go without food.

In general, younger bettas tend to be hungrier and need more frequent feedings than older bettas. Juveniles should be fed at least twice a day, while adults can go a few days without food. If your betta is healthy and in good condition, it should be able to go up to 5 days without food. However, if the betta is young or underweight, it may require daily feedings.

It’s important to note that a betta fish can survive much longer without food than it can without water. Water is the most vital component for a betta’s survival, and it should be changed out at least every week.

If you decide to skip a few days of feeding, it’s important to keep an eye on your betta’s behavior and health. If your betta starts acting sluggish or refuses food when you offer it, this could be a sign that you need to start feeding more regularly.

How do you save a weak betta fish?

Saving a weak betta fish can be a tricky process, but it is definitely possible! The first thing you should do is figure out what’s wrong with your betta fish. A few common causes of weakness in betta fish are poor water quality, lack of nutrition, and disease.

If the water quality is poor, then you should immediately set up a new tank with clean, filtered water that has been treated with a dechlorinator. Make sure to also properly cycle the tank before introducing your betta fish so that the water parameters remain stable. Additionally, it’s important to perform regular water changes to maintain good water quality.

If your betta fish is malnourished, then you should start feeding them a high-quality, protein-rich diet that includes a variety of frozen and live foods (such as bloodworms and brine shrimp). Feeding them two or three times per day in small amounts can help them regain their strength.

Finally, if your betta fish is showing signs of disease or infection, you should take them to a vet for treatment. Common diseases in bettas include bacterial infections, parasitic infestations, and fungal infections. A vet can diagnose the problem and provide the necessary medications to help your fish recover.


Aaron White

Senior Editor at

I am a passionate writer for FishyFishPet, a website dedicated to helping fish pet owners of all levels learn about the best practices for caring for their aquatic companions. On our site, you’ll find a wealth of information on everything from choosing the right fish species to setting up a healthy and thriving tank ecosystem. Whether you’re just getting started with fish ownership or you’re an experienced aquarist looking to expand your knowledge, FishyFishPet has something for everyone. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you find our site helpful and informative.

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