Did you know that Betta fish can breathe oxygen from the air and from their gills? Betta fish evolved this way because of living through extreme environmental changes. This characteristic makes people believe that betta fish can survive in nearly any condition, but excellent betta fish care is needed to keep your betta healthy.
Betta fish are a colorful species. There are also many different types of bettas to choose from. And, to keep any type of betta’s color vibrant, they have specific dietary and environmental needs.
Betta fish can also recognize their owners. Some bettas have even learned how to do tricks.
Betta fish are known as Siamese Fighting Fish. They received this name because they are an aggressive species. Male Bettas are especially aggressive towards other male bettas.
Their name also comes from their place of origin which is in Southeast Asia.
Betta fish can cohabitate with some other fish species, but it may take time for them to become less aggressive. However, they typically prefer to live alone. Some species that pair well with bettas include African dwarf frogs, black tetras, and ghost shrimp.
Read on to find out more about betta fish care.
Creating a Happy Home: Betta Fish Care 101
Betta fish can be found at nearly any pet store. They are typically stored in individual plastic containers so they remain separated. It’s important to find a high-quality pet store to purchase your betta from so you know it’s as healthy as possible from the beginning.
Explore the following ultimate betta fish care guide to learn what products to purchase and how to take care of your betta.
1. Tank and Equipment Needs
It’s a common misconception that betta fish thrive in small tanks. Betta fish can survive in these conditions, but they are much happier in larger tanks. Opt for at least a two to five-gallon tank for your betta fish.
You should also make sure that your tank has a lid with at least one hole in it to allow in oxygen. Betta fish can jump, and may jump outside of the tank if no lid is present.
Betta fish are tropical fish, which means that they need warmer water to survive. In order to keep the water at the ideal temperature, you’ll need to purchase a fish tank water heater. You can also purchase a thermometer to ensure the temperature stays between 77 and 82 degrees.
Betta fish can survive in poorer water quality but it’s recommended to purchase a filter for your tank or to clean it on a regular basis.
If you’re going to add decorations, rinse them in warm water first. Great decorations for bettas include a betta leaf for them to rest on and a cave for them to hide in.
Make sure to not purchase decorations or pebbles with sharp edges, however. These types of decorations can harm your betta’s fins. If your betta does get cut by decorations or other items in the tank, then they will become more susceptible to diseases.
2. Water Needs
Chlorine in tap water isn’t healthy for fish. To remove the chlorine, you can either fill up jugs of water and allow it to sit for a day with the top off or add in de-chlorinating drops. These drops can be found at your local pet store.
It’s also a good idea to get the water at the proper temperature before placing your betta inside. You should also slowly acclimate your betta to its new tank by using a mixture of the water they were purchased in and de-chlorinated water.
3. Finding the Best Location
Finding the right location in your home is essential to keeping your betta happy. Avoid placing your betta fish tank near a window. This can make the water get too hot and can make the water dirtier over time.
You should also choose a safe location where your betta tank won’t easily get bumped into by a pet or small child. Noise can also cause stress for bettas, so a quiet room in your home is best.
4. Betta Fish Dietary Needs
Bettas are omnivorous fish. They eat special betta fish food, small insects, and can eat plant roots. As for treats, you can also feed your betta blood worms, blackworms, or freeze-dried brine shrimp.
Your betta fish doesn’t eat much, however. In fact, they typically eat an amount of food the size of their eye. This equates to one to two pellets per day or a very small pinch of dried flakes.
If your betta doesn’t eat all the food after 5 minutes, then remove it from the tank. Also, if your betta is swimming oddly, then you should not feed them for a day. This could be a sign that they are having trouble digesting their food or ate too much.
5. Cleaning Your Betta’s Tank
One part of cleaning your betta’s tank is changing the water incrementally. You should only replace about 1/5 of the tank’s water during each cleaning.
To clean the pebbles and sides of the tank, you’ll need some supplies. To start, you’ll need to purchase a siphon and an algae pad to scrub the sides of the tank.
Change your betta’s water every few days and clean the tank and gravel one to two times per week.
6. Knowing When Your Betta is Ill
If you have children in your home, make sure to teach them about betta fish care as well. This will help them to know how much to feed them, so the betta fish doesn’t get sick. If your betta fish does get sick, then head over to your local pet store where you purchased your fish.
At the pet store, they should have medicinal drops to help heal your betta fish. While there are no guarantees that these drops will cure your betta fish, they should aid in the healing process.
You can tell if your betta fish is sick if it’s color begins to become bland. Your betta fish will also be more lethargic and may spend its time at the bottom of the tank. Another sign that your betta fish is sick is if it has spots on its body and fins.
This could be a sign of what’s called “ick.” Ick is a parasite that causes white dots to appear on your betta fish.
Speak with your local pet store or a veterinarian if you notice that your betta is less active or experiencing any of these symptoms.
Betta Fish Care and Enjoying Your New Pet
Once you have betta fish care mastered, you can expect them to live long and healthy lives. Betta fish live on average for 2 to 3 years, but some live even longer. Make betta fish care a top priority in your home to ensure your betta receives the best chance at living a long life.
Have an upcoming vacation? Need to know how long bettas can survive without food? Check out our blog post to learn more.