Can Betta Fish Eat Ants? What you need to know

If you are an owner of a beautiful fish such as Betta, you will probably try to provide the best possible diet to your pet. If you have been asking yourself – Can Betta fish eat ants, our answer is – sure you can. 

While in the wild, Bettas eat ants that swim on the surface when falling from a tree. So, ants are a natural food that you can serve your Betta. Serving a few ants will not be a problem as long as you do not feed your Betta regularly with them.  

can betta fish eat ants

Is it good to feed Betta with ants?

It is beneficial to feed Bettas with live food over commercial because of its nutritional content, they contain more vitamins and minerals, too.  The other thing is that it provides more of a natural environment and the fish will certainly be happier. 

What if your Betta won’t eat ants?

A Betta may refuse to eat not only ants but food in general. Many things that trigger this and you should eliminate each of the causes so that your Betta carries on normal life. It can happen because of changes in water temperature or tank parameters. If conditions in the tank change your Betta will first react by stopping eating. Other reasons that can lead to this such as stress or illness, being overfed or just being fussy. Once you eliminate the reason your Betta will start eating normally. 

However, you can feed your Betta with other live food as well, like:

  • Daphnia
  • Fruit flies
  • Bloodworms
  • Shrimps
  • Earthworms
  • Microworms

What happens if you feed your Betta with ants?

If you go with ants you need to be aware of the fact that ants release formic acid. Nothing bad will happen to your Betta pet if you feed it with a few ants occasionally, but you should not feed them a lot at once. Larger and aggressive ones can hurt your Betta.  

Will too many ants per meal kill my Betta?

If your Betta pet is fed with too many ants per meal it may harm your fish, it will get ill and probably die. Ants contain a formic acid which if eaten in larger quantity can kill your Betta pet. Another thing that can hurt your Betta are pesticides in ants. If ants are exposed to pesticides before they are eaten, your Betta can suffer from poisoning. You can serve ants to a Betta only if you are sure they are toxic-free, if this is not the case serve something else. 

Serving ants to Bettas: Advantages and Disadvantages

There are advantages for Bettas if you serve ants for dinner. Live food triggers a spawning instinct, it reminds them of their natural habitat and it contains a lot of proteins needed in their diet. Other than that, your Betta will enjoy the hunt. 

The main disadvantage of serving ants to Bettas is the amount of formic acid they let inside their organism after feeding and the possibility of poisoning if ants were pre-sprayed with something before being served as food. 

Ants can be a good snack for Bettas once in a while but certainly not the kind of food your Betta should live on. 

What do Betta fish eat?

Bettas as carnivores in their natural habitat live on live insects, larvae and small invertebrates. In most cases, they will eat anything they can swallow. You should provide a variety of food and there is a lot in the market to choose from. The most important is that the food you give your pet is rich in proteins. 

Here is the list of recommended choices of consumers:

  • Live food is always the most recommendable because it replicates their diet from the wild. Some you can catch yourself like mosquitoes in the summer. Water fleas or Daphnia are our second choice where you can add worms or bloodworms. Each of these can be bought at a pet store.
  •  Apart from live food there is always an option of dry food.  Is more popular, cheap and easy to feed and the best choice is pellets. Always choose the ones you pick that are rich in proteins. Mind the size of a pellet (1 to 3 mm) so that your Betta can easily swallow. If they are too big your pet might choke on them. Floating ones are better because they remind us of an insect floating on the water surface. Flakes are also recommended but they are less rich in proteins because they have artificial ingredients. A Betta will choose pellets over flakes, we are sure about it. 
  • Frozen food is also an option and the same as live food just they are frozen. Before serving it, always pre-soak it in the water. It will be easier to feed your Betta pet. 

Final Thoughts

Providing a balanced diet for your Betta pet is essential for the health and happiness of your fish. The food for your Betta fish should be based on food rich in proteins. You can serve ants to your Betta but only from time to time and a certain number because they can seriously hurt your pet. Apart from ants, there are other choices of live food and we have listed some options for you.  Choosing anything from the list above will help you keep a healthy and happy Betta pet to enjoy. 

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