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Betta Feeding Question

Tami Harris

Registered Member
Hi there. New to group and have a few things I need to learn from you guys about in different areas of the forum. For one though, I have a male veiltail in a 10 gallon tank along with a dwarf sucker, panda catfish, and an amano shrimp (hoping to get more shrimp soon). I've had all in the tank about a month now. I am worried about the betta's feeding. When I drop a couple of sinking pellets in for the catfish my betta will follow it to the bottom, or smell it (?) and head down to find it and devour a holy ton of it with the panda while he is eating. He Swallows huge wads, spits it back out, and eats it again, over and over, etc. Even if he has had brine shrimp or betta floating pellets already that day. I'm obviously concerned about him overeating constantly. He is currently healing fins from a Tetra nipping at him (I separated them as soon as I saw what was happening), so I'm worried his health will be compromised and hinder his healing, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to keep my other guys fed and not overfeed the betta? Or am I going to be forced to have him in a tank alone? Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.


AC Members
You might try feeding the catfish when the tank lights are out but the room lights still on. Bettas can overeat sometimes. Does he poop normally? Does he spit out the other foods too?

"Wads" of food sounds like a lot to me...it the dwarf sucker an otocinclus (oto)? Does it eat the catfish food or what?

You may be overfeeding in general. Have you tested your water for ammonia, nitrate & nitrite? How often do you change some water & how much?

Tami Harris

Registered Member
Thanks for the response. He seems to be pooping normally. I say that because as of now he has never looked swelled up or anything like he is constipated.

I usually drop 2 sinking pellets in once a day for the other guys in the tank. What I meant by "wads" of food is this... when the sinking pellet drops, it stays formed in a ball until he or the cat bite into it a bit and it starts breaking down. At that point he'll take in a BIG bite, spit a decent amount back out and then take in more, spit some back out, take in more, etc. So I'm sure what he actually consumes is not as much as it might seem since he spits a lot back out, but I know it's still too much, whatever he keeps down.

Rarely I will see the dwarf sucker go to town in an area where a pellet has recently been eaten, I assume going after the remnants. But he normally stays busy on all the surfaces as he should. I'm sure you guys get tired of reading this statement (lol), but... "the guy at Petco told me the sinking pellets would be good for both cats and the shrimp". I'm a busy, homeschooling, Mom of two littles. But as I get 10 minutes here and there, I'm trying to heavily research as much as as I can on all the fish we have so I don't have to trust Petco employees for my info. I haven't gotten to do that for the Dwarf Sucker much yet. But I had noticed he rarely leaves the walls or live plants/ornaments in the aquarium and seems more than content.

Sidenote: The employee at Petco also told me Tetras were good tank mates for Bettas. Once the tail biting was noticed I read they are notorious nippers. Another lesson learned (at my Betta's expense). : (

I ordered the API Fresh Water Master Test Kit yesterday from Amazon and it should be here by Wednesday. Until I could do that, I took some whatever into Petco last week and was told everything looked great and within normal limits. I'm anxious to be able to check all the numbers myself from now on. I knew well enough to stay away from test strips after maintaining swimming pool water a lot in the past.

The tank has only been set up since Sept 14th, but I changed 30% of the water 2 weeks in. And did another 30-40% change yesterday because at this point I'm starting to research how much more often I need to change out the water while my Betta's tail heals. But I'm nervous to do too much of that until my test kit arrives. My tank filter will be a month old on the 14th. I had read that you should wait at least 3 days between doing a partial water change and changing the filter. So I feel like this is going to be tricky while needing to do more water changes for his tail. I planned on posting another thread regarding this.

Do you think I should go down to 1 pellet a day for the Panda? I've also wondered if I might should try feeding my betta some frozen brine shrimp at the same time the Panda gets his pellet if he would stand a bigger chance of sticking to the top until the cat can eat up most of it.

Thanks again for taking the time to help!
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AC Members
Well, I'm going to need some time to digest all your info, lol. (along with cooking my dinner ;))…

Can you say what brand of pellet food you feed? Some are larger than others...& is your "sucker" an oto or maybe a BN pleco? If you don't know, post a pic & we'll help.

Many of us "old timers" change close to 50% (or more!) water every week. You don't have to always, it's just kind of a good goal.

I'll reread in the morning & likely have many more comments! Really, just trying to understand & help. I almost always have comments, lol...

Oh, & I forgot to say welcome to AC!


AC Members
So, how is everything going now? Lots of water changes should help your betta's tail. & at least for now, less food sounds good.

I understand a lack of time even though we're "retired", it can be hard sometimes. But on a 10g tank it should only take 10 minutes or so to change some water. The more often you can it, the better. You should see good results in a short time.

Oh, & we love pics! Show & tell!


Global Moderator
Staff member

Like said and what I've experienced is bettas can/will overeat, which makes keeping them with fish with different feeding needs difficult.

For me, bettas do best fed lightly with a high protein flake or small pellet.Read the ingredient list carefully for any of your fish foods. The first 3-4 items on the list should be whole fish products, not corn, wheat or "meal" products. I like Omega one for an easy to get, high quality product.


AC Members
I would try to use tablet foods for your bottom dwellers. Maybe they are big enough to discourage your betta from eating them.