Betta Fish Spitting Out Food: Causes + What to Do

Betta fishes are trendy pets in most households. Not only do they have bright colors, but they are also great for beginners. If you have a betta trawl, feeding routine and nutrition are important.  

Apart from taking care of them, the diet is essential to know which one works best for your fish. Unfortunately, a betta fish spits out food, and we have the main reasons why this happens. 

Why is my betta fish spitting out food?

The fishbowl environment might not be conducive, feeding it poor nutrition or meal, rotting foods, and microscopic meals. Let’s see each cause independently as follows: 

1.   Stale food and unconducive environment

As you know, betta fishes come from parts of Asia with fair flowing waters. Most aquariums mimic the water current for a safe and comfortable fish atmosphere. When your betta is spitting out food, you need to recheck the water pressure of the aquarium’s water.

 2.   The wrong type of food or poor nutrition

After setting up the fishbowl with all the proper requirements, you need to check the fish food. Usually, a betta loves protein-rich, light, and floating bits. The main reason is their mouths’ profile scoops upwards to access the meal off the water’s surface quickly.

It’s ideal to have a variety of fish foods because others consist of necessary nutrients, proteins, and vitamins. The following are some types of betta fish foods.

 3. Prepared Foods

Prepared meals contain lots of essential vitamins and proteins. Not only to offer your fish nutritional value but healthy eating. The most common ones include floating betta pellets and Fluval bug bites.

Floating Betta Pellets: These chunks are a hit because of their clean nature. They effortlessly float on water to support easy access and comfortable fish feeding. It’s easy to measure out in case you want to leave your betta to a pet sitter.  

Note: You can pre-soak the betta to avoid fish bloating.

 Fluval Bug Bites: The other prepared food is Fluval bug bites built from black soldier fly larvae. The larvae are great for tiny insectivores, but they sink quickly due to their small nature. For this reason, it’s become hard for betta fish to feed correctly.

4. Freeze-dried Foods

Similar to prepared fish foods, freeze-dried meals are also dry and usually packaged in a jar. What makes them different is the food preparation has minimal processing. Also, they are generally free from parasites and bacteria that can harm your betta fish. These freeze-dried foods include tube effects worms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and freeze-dried blood worms.

5. Frozen Foods

The last category we take a look at is frozen foods which are pretty affordable. The only downside of these fish diets is that they go bad quickly once thawed, unlike the 2 types mentioned earlier. They are packed in frozen sheets or cubes for easier use.

 Note that a cube is quite big and ideal for fish owners with multiple fishes.

 6. Food pieces are too big

The other cause of betta fish spitting out food is big chunks sizes. Feeding this type of fish is relatively easy because most are not as picky as other species.

What’s more, they will feed on small pellets, flake foods, bloodworms, and even brine shrimps. It’s best to chop up larger chunks of meals to make them digestible. Moreover, the bettas can eat frozen bloodworms, which needs a bit of chopping for easy feeding.

 7. Picky Eaters

Some betta fishes are too particular or picky when you’re introducing them to new food types. To avoid them from spitting out, try mixing the foodstuff with a favorite snack. This will help them enjoy the introductory meal compared to feeding them as they are.

8. Rotting foods

As earlier mentioned, betta fishes can be particular in their diet. If you notice that they haven’t eaten a meal within an hour, it’s best to remove the food. This helps leave the aquarium water clean and non-toxic.

 9. Microscopic foods

Always avoid these meal plans, especially for the loner fishes. Some bettas prefer a whole aquarium to themselves, and when you introduce a new species, they get frustrated. Also, stay clear from flake fish foodstuff, including powder meals made for Repashy gel and fish fry foods. This is because they can get into the fishbowl substrate and make the water filthy.

Why is my betta fish spitting out food?

Your betta fish could be a picky eater. You can try out another variety when you put a dry food, and there’s no response. Maybe the fish bits could have low-quality nutrition with zero vitamins and proteins. Also, try to introduce live foods such as blood worms and brine shrimps. 

When is it normal or not for betta fish to spit out foods?

It is normal when your betta fish is unaware that the given meal is food. Tap on the water a little bit so that there’s movement around. This makes the setting more realistic, especially for a loner fish.

Moreover, you can feed your betta some fly foods to encourage healthy and easy feeding.

Can you stop betta fish from spitting out food?

Yes, you can. Wait 2-4 hours before feeding your bettas fish when presented to a new fish tank. Normally a fish can get stressed because of a new fishbowl and needs to adapt and adjust to the setting.  

Another way to stop food spitting is by removing stale food. Don’t leave trawl meals for more than an hour if you notice your marine didn’t eat them.  


Betta fish spitting out food is a common issue if you have ever owned one. This problem is quickly addressed by following the tips above. For instance, you can remove any rotten food from the aquarium and clean the fish tank’s water.

Also, check to see if your fish is a picky eater and needs some adjustments to the introduced meals, whether pellets live foods or even powder meals. Remember, it might take time for you to understand your betta fish’s comfortably proper diet plan, but it’s all worth it in the end.

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