As a new aquarist, you may face some difficulties with your Betta fish. Despite being the most domesticated fish, they require a lot of care. Betta fish are sensitive to environments, so they easily get stressed or infected with diseases.
And the most common question with new owners is why do betta fish spit out their food?
Although spitting out food may be normal with the betta fish, some causes may signal infections or other hazardous effects. However, betta fish can give you a buddle of joy if you give them better care.
They are the type of fish that occupies the least space at homes. And with no time, they find a way into the owner’s heart.
Characteristics of Betta Fish
Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), also known as betta fish, originates from South East Asia. They have unique and complex characteristics from other fish. Take a look;
- They are a bit greedy for food.
- They grow to a length of around 2.4 to 3.1 inches.
- They have various brilliant colors.
- They are interactive with people, so they can be trained to act in a certain manner. This is why most owners ask why my betta fish stare at me.
- They are active during the day and inactive during the night.
- They have a tiny stomach
- Males make bubble nests to protect eggs from predators and create better conditions for procreation.
- They live in shallow waters or slow-moving water streams.
- They are carnivorous
- They are very territorial since males fight once put in the same tank.
Reasons Betta Fish Spit Out Their Food
Some of the causes of betta fish spitting out their food are normal. However, some other reasons may signal something isn’t right and require immediate treatment. Let’s dive in and learn some causes;
1. The Food Portion May Be Bigger
Betta fish have tiny stomachs, and for this reason, some food potions may be difficult to swallow. In some cases, the food absorbs water after being released into the tank and engorges. This results in betta fish biting small chunks and releasing them back into the water to soften.
It’s always funny how new aquarists ask why is my betta fish spitting out his flakes? Worry not; it isn’t a big issue.
The behavior is also associated with the fish’s greedy nature of gobbling up anything that it comes across.
Read: Why did my betta fish turn white and died?
2. Your Bettas May Be Young
Usually, young betta fish are fed with live food at pet stores. The food is regarded best for easier digestion since the younger fish’s digestive system is not strong as the adult fish.
Challenges come when you feed them with pellets and flakes that they aren’t used to. They will spit them because they seem strange.
To avoid such, introduce the new foods slowly into their live diet until they get used to them.
3. Your Bettas May Have Digestive Issues
Digestive troubles usually happen to betta fish. And the most common symptom is spitting out food. Other symptoms associated with constipation include;
- Not able to defecate
- Bloated belly or swollen body with streaked-out scales.
You can let your betta fish fast for around two days before feeding them with daphnia to treat the condition.
Read: Different varieties of betta fish
4. They May Have Parasite Infections
Parasite infections in the betta’s stomach may cause difficulty swallowing the food. However, the chances of parasites may be lower than other causes since most aquarium water is treated.
If you notice symptoms like difficulty in swimming, transfer your fish into a quarantine tank to avoid infecting others. You can observe it for some days while carrying out necessary treatments.
5. Your Betta Fish May Be Stressed
Sometimes betta fish get stressed and eat smaller portions than normal. Here are some causes of stress;
- The sudden drop in water temperature
- Unbalanced water PH
- The male fish may have fought therefore sustaining injuries.
- Poor water quality
- Overstocked in the tank.
- Infected with diseases.
Read: How do I purify my betta fish’s tap water
Measures to Keep Your Betta Fish Healthy
- Pre-soak the dry food like pellets or dry blood worms in water before feeding them.
- Feed the young betas with easy-to-digest food.
- Regularly clean the tanks and change the water.
- Ensure the water heater and the filter are functional.
- Observe any signs of infections and call a veterinary doctor for immediate treatment.
- Clean uneaten food to avoid decaying. Once decayed, it emits toxic nitrates into the water.
FAQs on Why Do Betta Fish Spit Out Their Food
What Do I Feed a Betta Fish?
You can feed your betta fish friends with live food to stimulate them. On the other hand, blood worms, frozen brine shrimp, and flakes are regarded as the best and most tasty betta food by many aquarists. All betta foods are inexpensive and easy to store, making them the best and cheaper option to keep as pets.
Can a Betta Fish Go a Day Without Food?
Most aquarium fish can go for several days without food. However, some species handle it better than others. Especially betta fish can survive for around 10 to 14 days without feeding. But of importance is to note these extended fasts go along with factors like constipation or treatment of infections.
How Many Flakes Do I Feed My Betta?
You can feed your betta with one to two flakes per meal, and you should feed them twice a day. Excess food in the tank can be dangerous once it decays. It emits toxic nitrates into the water, infecting the fish with bubble gas disease.
Secondly, excessive food may clog the tank filter and affect the fish’s health. It’s advisable if the fish don’t eat food after 10 minutes, remove it from the water to avoid such challenges.
It’s important first to observe and know the real cause of betta fish not eating or vomiting. Apart from diets, there are other practices you should carry out to ensure your fish are healthy.
For instance, keeping water temperature and PH at the required levels isn’t exceptional. But if betta fish spit out their food just because of portion sizes, you shouldn’t worry about it.
Read: How to euthanize a betta fish without clove oil
Pets WebMD: What Do Betta Fish Eat?
FisheyBusiness: 4 Reasons Why Betta Fish Spits Food Out (+ How To Fix)