Can Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Food? & What Happens If They Do!

Estimated read time 7 min read

Knowing what to feed your Betta Fish can be confusing, and I often see this question all over the help forums:

Can You Feed A Betta Fish Goldfish Food?

I’m not sure what the confusion is. Yes, both the Goldfish and Betta are Fish. But the similarities stop there. They have completely different diets and nutritional requirements.

Below you will find a general explanation of what both Fish require in their diets.

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What Can Betta Fish Eat?

So the food for betta fish should be protein-rich meaty foods.

Betta’s also tend to eat a large variety of foods. Here are a few typical betta fish food options;

  • Betta Pellets
  • Betta Flakes
  • Frozen or live bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.
  • Freeze Dried Bloodworms and shrimp (used mainly as treats)

Betta’s are Carnivores/Insectivores:

“Wild Betta fish are hardy and can eat almost anything in their environments, including worms, larvae of mosquitoes or other insects, and even smaller Fish. Their natural environment is often resource-limited, so many Betta species have little food choice.” Wikipedia

The digestive system of the betta fish is specifically designed to handle a high protein diet. Therefore, Betta’s food should be at least 50% protein. Most betta food (pellets) will have at least 50%; look for at least 32% crude protein.

The Betta fish naturally feeds from the water’s surface and has a mouth explicitly designed for that. In the wild, the betta fish eat insect larvae right off the water’s surface.

Keeping this in mind, a floating betta pellet would most mimic its natural environment. Most pet stores offer Betta-specific pellets.

Betta Fish only need to be fed 2-3 pellets per feeding, so one container will last a very long time.

With that out of the way, let’s answer some particular questions about this.

Is Goldfish Food okay For Betta Fish?

Goldfish food is “Okay” for Betta Fish, but it’s not the best. As noted above, Beta Fish have entirely different nutrient requirements than Goldfish.

And to be honest, Goldfish food doesn’t have what a Betta fish needs to be healthy.

Is Goldfish Food Safe For Betta Fish?

Goldfish food is safe for Betta Fish and won’t cause any immediate issues if you happen to feed your Betta fish some Goldfish flakes. However, as mentioned above, this should only be a short-term solution if you are out of food, as the health benefits of your Fish could be impacted.

Can You Feed Betta Fish Goldfish Flakes?

Yes, you can feed Betta fish Goldfish flakes. However, the long-term effects on your Betta fish could be deadly. Bettas need particular requirements; without the proper diet, your Betta could fall into disease or illness.

Can Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Pellets?

Yes, Betta Fish can eat Goldfish Pellets. However, Goldfish pellets won’t provide what your Betta fish needs to thrive and be healthy.

So Is It Okay For Betta Fish To Eat Goldfish Food?

It is okay for your Betta to eat Goldfish but only for short periods if you’ve run out of your staple Betta foods.

Use our detailed step-by-step betta fish feeding tips at the end of our post, “Can Betta Fish Eat Tropical Fish Food,” for a healthy, happy betta. Good luck!

The Top Betta Fish Food

Don’t feed your Betta’s goldfish food. Instead, try my top recommendations below explicitly made to keep your Betta happy and healthy!

What Do Goldfish Eat?

Goldfish are omnivores:

“An omnivore is an animal that can derive its energy and nutrients from a diet consisting of a variety of food sources that may include plants, animals, algae, fungi, and bacteria.” Wikipedia

The flake food produced for Goldfish is low protein and high fiber; most goldfish food can have lower protein levels than most tropical fish foods.

Goldfish food does not have the essential nutrients that a betta would require.

Is Betta Fish Food Good For Goldfish?

Betta Fish isn’t good for your Goldfish. Betta food is typically high in proteins and not made for Goldfish. If your Goldfish overeats Betta food, they could develop health issues down the road. So it’s best to stick with foods explicitly made for Goldfish.

Is Betta Fish Food Safe For Goldfish?

Betta fish food is safe for Goldfish and won’t cause any immediate issues if you happen to feed your Goldfish some Betta flakes. However, as mentioned above, this should only be a short-term solution if you are out of food, as the health benefits of your Fish could be impacted.

So, Can Goldfish Eat Betta Food?

Yes, your Goldfish can eat Betta food, but just like your Betta, the food composition is very different, and your Goldfish won’t get the nutrients it needs to thrive.

To drive this point home, we’ve created a comparison of the ingredients and nutrients you would find in your typical Betta and Goldfish food and match them up side by side.

Betta Fish Food vs. Goldfish Food (A comparison)

Let’s look at some differences and ingredients between Betta food and Goldfish food.

To keep things fair, I’ve taken a top-rated fish food manufacturer and used the same brand for each food type. I’ll keep the brand name to myself, but we’ll call it Fin’s Food for this comparison.

Betta Flakes vs. Goldfish Flakes

Let’s look at the ingredients first; I’ve highlighted the differences between the two flakes in yellow.


Fin’s Goldfish flakes:

Fish Meal, Dried Yeast, Ground Brown Rice, Shrimp Meal, Wheat Gluten, Dried Fish Protein Digest, Spirulina, Feeding Oat Meal, Potato Protein, Soybean Oil, Fish Oil, Sorbitol, Lecithin, Algae Meal, Inulin, Sorbitol, Lecithin,

Fin’s Betta Flakes

Fish Meal, Dried Yeast, Shrimp Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Dried Fish Protein Digest, Wheat Gluten, Fish Oil, Feeding Oat Meal, Brine Shrimp, Krill, Potato Protein, Soybean Oil, Sorbitol, Algae Meal, Lecithin, Paprika Oleoresin, Beta-Carotene, Monocalcium Phosphate,

Next, let’s look at the nutrient Analysis.

Guaranteed Analysis

Goldfish FlakesBetta Flakes
Crude Protein42%48%
Crude Fat11%11.5%
Crude Fiber2%3%
Ascorbic Acid256mg520mg

Betta Pellets vs. Goldfish Pellets

Just like the comparison above, we’ve highlighted the differences in the pellet ingredients below in yellow.


Fin’s Betta Pellets

Salmon, Wheat Flour, Whole Herring, Pea Protein, Whole Shrimp, Wheat Gluten, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Marigold Extract, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Fin’s Goldfish Pellets:

Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Kelp, Herring Oil, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Marigold Extract, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

Goldfish PelletsBetta Pellets
Crude Protein35%42%
Crude Fat10%8%
Crude Fiber3%2%
Crude Ash8%8%

So what does this tell us?

In both cases, you can see that Betta food tends to have a higher protein, fat, and fiber component and the ingredients are more focused on meaty proteins like brine shrimp and krill.

Goldfish food has a lower make-up of proteins but includes ingredients like kelp, spirulina, and algae meal.

While the % guaranteed analysis only seems like minor differences, the impact on your fish health is essential.


Can A Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Food? Final Thoughts

Sure, Betta may eat goldfish food. But is it the best food to provide the nutrients for a healthy betta fish?


Use some of the betta fish food options above, or check out this short video for tips on feeding.

Here is a great video, “Tips For Feeding Betta Fish,” detailing the types of food betta fish enjoy and how to feed your betta fish.

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