Why Betta Fish Spits Out Food: 8 Most Common Reasons

Betta fish are omnivorous and will eat just about anything small enough to fit in their mouths, including live and frozen food. Betta fish need a balanced diet that includes both plant and animal-based proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Betta fish spitting out food is a common behavior. This is most likely because they are spitting out food that is too big for their mouth. In addition, sometimes the food has not been adequately digested and may remain in their digestive system for a short time.

Is It Normal for Bettas to Spit Out Food?

Spitting out food is considered normal behavior for betta fish. Some Bettas may spit out food occasionally, while others may do so more frequently. It is also possible for a particular type of food to cause this behavior in different individuals.

Red betta is swimming with beautiful gestures in black background.

Reasons Bettas Spit Out Their Food

There are a few reasons why bettas may spit out their food. One reason is that they may spit out their food if they are not feeling well and need to clear their throat. If you see your betta fish spitting out food, it is not necessarily a sign of aggression. Bettas usually spit only when they are feeling threatened or when they are cleaning their mouth. If the spitting is happening frequently or if it seems to be affecting the health of your betta fish, then you may want to take him to the vet for an examination. Other reasons why betta fish spit out food are:

Food Proportion

Betta fish spitting out food is a common problem. This may be due to the fish not getting the proper nutrition but the most common reason why bettas spit their food is due to a problem with the size of the food they are eating. It is important to check the size of the food being given to the fish and make sure it is fit for their size. If the food is too large, the fish may spit it out.

Digestive Issue

If your betta fish is spitting out food, it may be due to an issue with his digestive system. This can include anything from a problem with the teeth or gills to a lack of stomach acid. This could also be due to a lack of nutrients in their diet, or a problem with their intestines.  If you notice this behavior happening more often or if your betta fish is not feeling well after eating, you should take him to the vet for an examination.

Young Betta

Young bettas often spit out food because their mouths are still growing and they are not getting enough nutrition. Over time, they will learn to eat better, and spitting may stop. In addition, you should also provide extra supplements to your young betta as they need more protein and fat in their diet than other kinds of fish. Maintaining a healthy happy equilibrium with your juvenile betta fish is important not only for his well-being but also for the wellbeing of others living with him.

Presence of Parasite

If your betta is spitting food out, it might be due to the presence of a parasite. Parasites can come in many different shapes and sizes and may be lodged in any part of the body. They often start as small bumps or lumps on the skin but can grow larger if left untreated. If you notice your betta has to spit out food more than usual or is not eating or showing any other signs of illness, you should treat him for any parasites. Betta fish tend to spit out food to ward off parasites. Parasites can attach themselves to the fish’s body and cause harm or even death. By spitting out food, the betta can avoid these parasites and stay healthy.


Constipation or improper diet and nutrition is also very common factor that can cause your betta fish to spit out food. If you notice this, try feeding him more brine shrimp (for example), at minimum once every other day, until he has recovered enough to go back on his regular schedule of wild-caught frozen & live foods which include Mysis Shrimp and Brine Shrimp.

Unaware Bettas

Some betta fish spit out their food because they are not aware of what they are eating. Your betta may accidentally eat parasites or other harmful materials, which could cause him to spit out his food. If this is the case, you should take your betta to a vet for examination and treatment.

Injury or Sickness

If your betta fish is spitting out food, it might be a sign that he is sick or injured. Spit may also be coming from an injury to the mouth or throat. If you are concerned about your betta’s health, you should take him to the vet for an examination.

Loss of Appetite

In some cases, a betta fish’s loss of appetite may be due to parasites. If your betta is not eating or is spitting out his food, you should take him to the vet for an examination and treatment.

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What Happens If a Betta Spits Out Food Constantly?

If a betta fish is not getting enough food, it may start to show signs of illness, such as not eating or having a loss in weight. If the spitting out problem continues, it can also lead to a decrease in the fish’s energy level, swimming speed, and skin quality. If a betta fish starts spitting out food, it is important to feed it more often and make sure it has plenty of water to drink.

How to Choose Appropriate Food for Bettas?

There are a few things to consider when choosing good food for your betta fish. The first is the size of the fish. Bettas prefer smaller food items that they can easily swallow. Some good options are small live worms, small pieces of meat, or small pieces of vegetables. The second thing to consider is the type of food. Bettas prefer foods that are high in protein. Some good options include bloodworms, brine shrimp, or small pieces of meat. The last thing to consider is the flavor of the food. Bettas do not like foods that have strong flavors, so it is important to choose foods that have a mild flavor.

When to Worry About Bettas Spitting Out Food?

When a betta fish loses its appetite, it is important to take note and determine the cause. There are a few things that can cause a betta fish to lose its appetite, and each requires a different approach. If the betta fish is losing weight, the first step is to check its water quality. Make sure that the water is clean and that there are no parasites or other issues that could be causing the fish to lose weight. If the water quality is good and the fish is still losing weight, it may be a sign that there is a problem with its diet.