Virtually all instructions on how much to feed a Betta fish focus on pellets. However, what's the proper amount and feeding schedule for flakes? I have not been able to find much information on that at all.
Serving size for betta food very much depends on the brand/type/size of food. It even varies for pellets, but generally is 3-5 pellets twice a day. It’s also recommended to do less than what is instructed on the food container. For flakes, really all you can say is “a pinch”. It’s a trial and error process - how much can your betta eat within a set amount of time? What is left over in the tank? There’s no one answer.
That being said, flake food is not recommended by itself for a variety of reasons:
- Messy: it’s hard to get an exact amount of flakes, they can dissolve much quicker, and smaller pieces may be ignored, resulting in waste. It’s more difficult to find and scoop up uneaten flakes, whereas a pellet is easy to identify and remove with a scoop or net.
- Dissolving Nutrients: Bettas are carnivores, and require a lot of protein. Relating to the messy point, once flakes hit the the water, they begin dissolving nutrients - the betta doesn’t get as much nutrient value from flakes. Pellets are typically made with higher nutrient content.
- Serving size: As mentioned above, pellets are easier to see and control how much they eat. It’s much more difficult to control with flakes. Bettas don’t know when to stop eating, and over feeding can cause a number of health issues.
- Picky: bettas can be picky. A flake is not like food they would find in the wild, and they may avoid it regardless. I have read a number of reports of bettas that just don’t like flakes. I had a betta that didn’t even like smaller sized pellets than what I started him off on.
However! It is recommended to give your betta a varied diet. It keeps things interesting for him, and also gives him a chance for a wider range of nutrients. So, if you can, primarily feed your betta some high quality pellets, and then substitute with other options like flakes, freeze dried blood worms, and other safe betta foods.
For further help, this site has great details explaining how to feed your betta and what to look for when buying food.