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The Truth About How Many Days a Betta Fish Can Live Without Food

Bettas are popular for their beautifully colored tails, and because they are so easy to take care of. These fish are often marketed as “self-sustaining” pets that don’t need much attention once you set up their tank. But if you keep a betta fish, you will quickly discover that it does need quite a bit of attention. If you buy one of these fish, you should also know how many days a betta can live without betta food. A healthy betta can fast for several days because its digestive system has special enzymes that help it store sugars and its liver helps store fats so they can be broken down later as energy. This is why keeping a bowl of green algae or another fast-growing plant in its tank at all times is important as well.

What Happens When a Betta Doesn’t Eat?

Bettas can fast for about two or three weeks without any issues, but if you push that time frame out even further, your betta will suffer from a few effects. First, your fish’s immunity will decrease dramatically, making it more likely to contract an infection. A betta that has not been eating will also have a harder time fighting off disease, so its fins will likely become more ragged and torn. Bettas are also more susceptible to being picked on by other fish, so if you have more than one betta in the same tank, there is a higher chance that the healthier fish will attack the weaker one. Betta fish that go even longer without eating can undergo organ degeneration and even death.

How Long Can a Betta Fish Go Without Food?

If you are wondering how many days a betta can go without food, the answer is about two weeks. However, if you want to keep your fish alive, you should try to feed it as soon as possible. If you buy a betta fish and don’t have algae or plants for it to eat, you should try to feed it one sinking pellet a day. While fish like bettas can survive without food for an extended period, they are not “survivors.” In other words, if you don’t feed your betta, it won’t last forever. Instead, it will weaken until it dies. Bettas typically get hungry when the temperature in the tank drops or when they are going into reproductive mode. If you notice your betta’s behavior change and it becomes more aggressive, try to feed it.

How to Tell if Your Betta is Not Eating

Bettas are notoriously difficult to tell if they aren’t eating. This is because they hold their food in their bellies for hours or days at a time before bringing it back up, so you may not see any pellets. However, there are a few ways to tell if your fish isn’t eating:


– Behavior – The easiest way to tell if your betta isn’t eating is by observing its behavior. If your fish is swimming around its tank but not eating, it could be because the water is too cold. If the temperature is too low, your betta will slow down and may go days without eating. If your betta is behaving normally but not eating, it might not have enough room in its tank to swim around. If your fish is swimming in circles, it could mean that its water is too dirty and it is trying to find a way out.


– Weight – You can also use scales to determine how many days a betta can go without food. If you put a small plate on one side of a scale and then a bowl of water with your fish in it, you should be able to see how much the bowl weighs. Bettas typically weigh between 14 and 19 grams. If your bowl weighs less than that, your fish might not be eating much.

Reasons Why Bettas Stop Eating

If you notice that your betta is not eating, there are a few reasons why it could be happening. Bettas are finicky eaters, so the first thing you should do is make sure your tank has the right temperature and that its water is clean. If you keep yours in a bowl, you will also need to change the water every few days because they produce more waste than other types of fish. If you still can’t get your betta to eat, you should take it to a vet. That way, you can make sure your fish doesn’t have an infection or other internal issues. Bettas can also stop eating if they are going through a “betta phase” or if there is a female in the tank.


Bettas are highly-adaptable fish that can go a long time without food. However, it’s important to make sure that your fish has enough nutrition to survive. You can do this by feeding it a balanced diet, cleaning its tank regularly, and changing the water every few days. If you want to keep your betta happy and healthy, you need to make sure it gets the right amount of food.


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Carly Blair

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