What to do When Your Betta Fish is not Eating?

What to do When Your Betta Fish is not Eating?

When you’re caring for a betta fish, it can get very worrisome if they’ve suddenly decided to stop eating. There can be a few causes for this, and there’s no need to panic right away. There are a few things you can try at home.

How Long Would It Take?

While you should act as soon as you notice your betta not eating, it will take them around two weeks to starve to death. That means you have plenty of time to figure out the problem and fix the issue.

The Causes

Here are some possibilities you may or may not have considered already about this problem:

  • It’s possible that your fish is eating, just when you’re not looking.
  • It’s also possible your fish is too stressed out and isn’t able to feed right now (new tank, new mate, new food?).
  • Most likely, your fish is bored of his food or not liking it. Try something new, like high-quality pellets from Omega One or some other treat for them.
Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets | $9.01

If your fish is too stressed out because of recent changes or something else, try giving them a little darkness to help reduce this stress. If you just added a new mate that they don’t seem to be getting along with well, remove them from the tank and see if that helps your betta begin eating again.

You can cover your tank with a small blanket to give them this darkness. This will also help if your tank recently changed locations. The new amount of light and/or movement around their tank may be causing them stress. Remove the blanket for a little while each day and keep an eye on them. The blanket can be permanently removed once their more accustomed to the new environment.


It’s possible your betta is suffering some mild digestion problems. These can be avoided by getting your betta on a regular, rotating diet of their favorite foods and not over-feeding them. Your adult betta should be fed once per day, and if it takes them longer than about 2 minutes to eat all the food you’ve given them, you’re probably overfeeding.

Many people suggest feeding them fresh, skinned peas about twice a month to help with their digestion. Just pop a couple in their tank once every two weeks. If they float, they’ll like them even more! This will help them prevent and get over common digestive issues.

Final Considerations

The last few things you should consider are the temperature of your tank (78 to 80 degrees is best, they are tropical fish, after all) and the size of the food you’re giving them. Some bettas prefer micro food, especially if they’re on the small size.

If your tank is too cold, make sure to get a heater to sustain the water temperature at a comfortable range. You also need to be keeping on top of your tank’s upkeep and, most important, don’t let your betta get bored of their diet.

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater | $9.99

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