artemia_saline19, originally uploaded by Hopping rabbit.


Hey guys n’ gals. Just wanted to let you all know that I was having some issues with access to my email last night so I haven’t been able to read any emails from March 4th or 5th. Hopefully, it’ll be back up and running tonight and I will try and get back to people. Thanks for your patience.

Q: T wrote,

Where can you buy “live” food? I keep reading that our pal Ruby needs a varied diet and that live food is preferred but where do I buy it and how do I store it and how long does it last? I am sorry to keep pestering you, but I am so interested in treating our little guy right.

A: You’re not pestering at all. In fact you gave me the idea for Live Food Week. I’m going to see about putting together a post-per-day for a week each about a type of live food, how to culture/keep/grow it, etc. It’s going to take a little time to put together so I will announce later when Live Food Week will actually occur. Thanks for the idea!

This, of course, leads to answering your question. There are a variety of live foods appropriate for Bettas but they don’t need live food per se. The benefit to live food is that they are what Bettas eat naturally and the fish seem to love it. They also have a higher moisture content and appear to be easier to digest. Conversely, any one live food does not equal a balanced and nutritious diet. Betta pellets or flake food have been designed to contain all the nutrients a Betta needs but in order to achieve this balance a variety of live foods need to be fed regularly or in conjunction with other fish foods. Depending on the type of live food you are interested in, some are purchases at your local fish store (black worms, brine shrimp) some are purchased online or through other hobbyists and cultured at home (white worms) and yet others are harvested from your back yard (bloodworms).

To find out more on the Pros & Cons of fish foods, visit this former article from NABB. – Choosing Food for Bettas
Here’s more on Betta feeding at – Feeding
Here’s an article on Black worms from NABB – Black Worms: Better for Bettas?

Black worms are the easiest to find next to BBS (baby brine shrimp) and are commonly sold at Ma ‘n Pa fish stores. Large chains don’t tend to have them. I find it best to call ahead.

Here’s a quick list of some Betta food options.

– Frozen or live bloodworms or bloodworms in gel
– Frozen or live brine shrimp or brine shrimp in gel
– Frozen or live daphnia
– Frozen glass worms
– Frozen beef heart (can be purchased at your supermarket or butcher)
– Frozen tubifex worms (live tubifex often carry parasites or bacteria and is better avoided)
– Frozen mysis shrimp
– Live white worms
– Live grindal worms
– Live flightless or wingless fruit flies
– Live black worms.

Check back for more information on Live Food Week. 🙂

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Reader Interactions


  1. Tracey says:

    Wow! Thanks a bunch! We just picked up some frozen blood worms and brine shrimp today (the hubby is now a little nervous about that ziploc baggie next to the ice cream). My first thought upon seeing these little frozen blocks was…ewww. Ruby LOVES them! Can’t wait for live food week. We saw brine shrimp starter there, but we will be waiting for your article before opening that can of worms.

  2. James says:

    Caesar, my Betta Fish absolutely loves frozen blood worms. He has lost all interst in Betta Pellets, Dried Shrimp, and Dried Worms. I have not yet had the chance to buy him Frozen Shrimp to see if he would consider adding that to his menu. Frozen Blood Worms is where its at for Caesar. I did try live Baby Guppies. That didnt work. He chased that around his 1g tank for the longest time. Then Caesar looked at me as if to say, “get this thing out of my tank and give me my blood worms.” So I did.

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