Can Betta Fish Eat Ants? (Some of Them Are Dangerous!)

Have you ever wondered if you can give ants to your betta fish (or should I say Siamese fighting fish for the EU readers)? Is it safe for them? Let’s take a look at it!

Can betta fish eat ants? Yes, betta fish can eat ants. The only condition is that they must not be poisoned with pesticides, as then your betta fish would also get sick. In general, we can say that betta fish can eat almost any insect.

If you want to know more about how many ants to give your betta fish, or what nutritional values ants have, read on.

Can Betta Fish Eat Ants

Can You Feed Betta Fish Ants?

Yes, definitely. You just need to pay attention to what kind of ants you give to your betta. The ants shouldn’t be giant ones or fire ants.

Ants are very nutritious for betta fish, especially in terms of protein, fat, and vitamins.

For example, ants are full of magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.

They also contain several other minerals vital for the fish’s health, such as potassium, zinc, and sodium.

Regarding protein and fat, the ant’s body is made up of approximately 42% protein and 45% fat. So considering that, ants can be a great source of protein and fat.

Ants also contain many fatty acids, which are essential for cell membranes and other components within the cells.

These fatty acids are primarily unsaturated, meaning they are good for fish health. Some of these essential fatty acids have also been found in ant larvae. In addition to this, larvae have a lot of glycogen and chitin protein, which is good for developing betta fish’s immunity system.

Author Note: Just because betta fish can eat ants doesn’t mean you should overdo it. The important thing is that your fish has a sufficiently varied diet.

Can Betta Fish Eat Ant Larvae?

Ant larvae are also very nutritious for fish, so it is possible to give your betta a whole lot of ant larvae.

However, while larvae contain more protein and fat than ants, the latter contains a higher amount of vitamins and minerals.

The only thing is that the level of nutrition in larvae depends on how long they live (and thus what they have been eating).

Can Betta Fish Eat Ant Eggs?

Another great source of protein for your fish is ant eggs. They’re probably also easier to get and store when you have anthill nearby.

Besides that, you can feed them even red ant eggs as their eggs aren’t dangerous yet.

Can Betta Fish Eat Red Ants?

Yes, they can. However, it is better to avoid feeding your betta fire ants or giant carpenter ants as they might be poisonous to your fish.

Nothing has to happen, but it’s better to avoid it altogether. It’s pointless to risk the health of your betta fish, right.

Are Ants Poisonous to Betta Fish?

Normal ants aren’t poisonous for bettas, but you should avoid feeding your betta fish with giant carpenter ants or fire ants, as they might be poisonous to them.

You can find out whether the ants are toxic for your fish by letting a couple of them swim in a bowl of water that your fish are in. If nothing happens after a while, then it is safe to assume that the ants won’t poison your fish.

However, if you have any suspicions about the toxicity of the ants, it is always better to remove them from your aquarium and don’t give them to your betta altogether.

How Many Ants Should You Give to Your Betta?

You should only ever give your fish as much food as it can eat in five minutes. For ants, this means four to five ants per betta fish.

If you’re not sure whether your fish have eaten enough, you can try to see if they are bloated or look like a fat ball. If they’re bloated, then they’ve had more than enough to eat. If they don’t have a chubby belly, then it’s a good idea to give them some more food.

What Other Insects Can Betta Fish Eat?

Betta fish can eat many different types of insects. For example:

And more.

However, you should stick to the rule that insects that are brightly colored are usually poisonous, so you should not give them to your fish.


Betta fish can eat ants as long as they aren’t poisoned by pesticides or if they’re not fire ants or giant carpenter ants.

In fact, it’s a good idea to feed ants to your fish because they contain a lot of protein and vitamins. However, please do not feed them more than 4 to 5 ants per fish at once.


Image credits – Canva

[1] Nutritional Value and Consumption of Black Ants (Carebara vidua Smith)

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