Being a betta owner can be one of the best things that ever come to you. Not only do they look amazing in different colors, but they’re entertaining and relatively easy to take care of. Bettas are notoriously greedy but for some reason, you may notice your betta fish spitting out food.
Being concerned about your little pet is normal, especially if you’re a new betta owner. But before drowning yourself in unreasonable anxiety, it’s important to get to know the nature of betta fish.
Bettas are naturally greedy—they can gobble up anything they find on the water surface. In the wild, bettas are primarily carnivorous and their major diets consist of larvae and insects. They also have short digestive tracks which means it’s not designed for plant-based foods.
Despite being greedy fish, bettas have a small belly—their bellies are no bigger than their eyeballs. While some pellets are bigger than the size of their bellies, your bettas might struggle to eat them.
When you see your betta fish spitting their food out, it doesn’t mean they’re not eating. Instead, they are trying to eat their food by breaking the pellets into smaller chunks. They take small bites so they can be easily swallowed.
This is the simplest explanation for betta’s habit of spitting food out but it is not the only reason. There might be some other causes, so you’d better take a further investigation.
Betta Fish Spit Out Its Food: Most Common Reasons
Large portion size is one of the reasonable causes that make bettas spit out their food. To help them out, you can pre-soak dried pellets before giving them to your pet. Pre-soaking dried fish food is a brilliant solution to overcome this eating issue, so your bettas can eat it without having to vomit their meal.
But when your fish keeps spitting out food even after you crumble the food into a smaller portion, there might be other factors causing this issue. Here are some possible reasons why betta fish spit out their food:
Digestive issue is one of the most common reasons why bettas regurgitate their food or not eating them at all. This may sound really bad, but overall, there’s nothing to worry about.]
In most cases, constipation is a digestive issue that commonly occurs in betta fish. This is a condition when your little pet is not able to defecate. How to tell your bettas suffer from constipation is quite easy—check if its belly is bloated. Constipation is mainly caused by the wrong diet and it’s easy to treat.
Having that said, constipation isn’t a health issue to overlook. Leaving constipation untreated will lead to a complication because excessive pressure in their bloating belly can squeeze betta’s inner organs.
So you’ve just bought a new betta and you notice that it out keeps spitting its food. If you don’t recognize a bloating belly, then your fish may be a juvenile. Young bettas are normally fed live food. If you feed them pellets, they might either not be used to eating that kind of food or the portion size is too big.
To figure it out, try mixing the food and see if there’s a difference. If they choose other food than the pellets, it signifies that your betta fish is simply not getting used to it. You can also try crumbling the pellets and check if it is willing to eat, just to find out if the issue is only a matter of size.
Parasite infection rarely happens but it’s also a reason that causes your bettas to spit out food. This kind of parasite stops your fish from eating properly, even if they’re hungry. Whenever they try to swallow their food, they will spit it out.
It’s rather difficult to tell that your bettas suffer from parasite infection. But if you are sure that it’s the cause, you might need to move it into a quarantine tank. You may also need to take further action to kill the parasites.
Bettas can be so dumb or fussy that they are not aware of their food. Or if they’re aware, they decided not to eat it. If you think your betta is dumb, keep feeding it normally. It may not eat at first but as it gets hungrier, it will be eating the food.
However, please note that you shouldn’t leave the food for more than 10 minutes inside the tank. If your betta doesn’t eat food, remove it from the tank, otherwise, it will contaminate the water and cause an ammonia spike.
How to Treat Bettas Spitting Out Food
Treating betta that keeps spitting out food can be daunting. You will need to identify the causes so you can take the right action to solve the issue. Based on the different reasons above, here are some potential solutions to get rid of this quirky eating habit.
Feed Small Portions
As aforementioned, large food is the most common reason why bettas spit out their food. When they regurgitate, they’re trying to break down and soften the food. As a solution, try breaking or crumbling their pellets to help them swallow.
If this works, then you have nothing to worry about. But if your betta fish keeps regurgitating their good even when you feed smaller portions, there might be another reason.
Feed Live Bloodworms
Another solution to get rid of this eating habit is by feeding live bloodworms or brine shrimp. Bettas love these diets and their size is just right for bettas—live bloodworms are their natural diet in the wild. But be sure not to feed live food too often, otherwise, your pet will refuse to eat pellets and dried fish food.
Constipation is another common reason that causes betta fish to spit out food. This condition is typically easy to treat with fasting treatment. Let your betta fast for 2 to 3 days then feed them some daphnia. You might need to notice if the bloating bellies have vanished.
Feed the Best Pellets
There are so many dried fish food and pellet products available on the market, so choosing the best one can be daunting. In general, it is necessary to choose pellets made from natural materials. It should also contain sufficient protein and fiber to keep them healthy and pretty.
In addition to pellets, you can also choose flakes. There are plenty of flake products that are made to improve the overall health of your bettas. Make small research to find the best flakes for your pet.
Overall, bettas spitting out food is not uncommon. Don’t stress, especially if they are new or young. Do some solutions above to solve the issue and be a happy betta fish owner.