Knowing how to care for a betta fish means knowing what makes them happy and healthy. It also means knowing what causes stress and illness so that you can avoid it. In this article we would give a complete betta fish care guide, you will learn everything you need to be able to promote a healthy living environment for your betta fish. This includes the size of recommended tanks, water quality and care, feeding, and much more.
Betta fish (also known as Betta splendens or anti-Siamese fish) are a long-term favorite pet of both emerging and experienced fish keepers because of their jewel-bright colors and spectacular fins They have been called Siamese fighting fish because of their extreme betta’s rage towards other bettas.
They live in shallow ponds, small streams and even canals. The water is sluggish, very warm and often low in dissolved oxygen. As a result, nature has given them the ability to breathe air through a labyrinth organ, enabling them to survive in shallow water.
How to care for a betta fish – Housing
The first thing to consider about the betta fish is its environment. Because bettas are not really active species they don’t need a lot of space. However, larger tanks for them are more stable and easier to maintain. Since bettas are used to swimming from left to right in shallow water, a deep tank is not suitable for them.
You should also choose a standard square tank over the container. The rounded sides of the containers – and the small opening compared to the top – strictly limit the filter options. And since bettas are highly sensitive to bacterial infections, it is important that their habitat has an effective filtration system.
Size of Betta Fish Tank
They should be kept in a well-balanced aquarium. Bettas should be able to breathe on the surface of the water. They prefer water little current.
Male bettas are kept solitary and do best in habitats of one liter (about a quarter of a liter) or more. Male bettas can live in a tank that is free of aggressive fishes(such as tiger barbs) or fish that bettas can be aggressive (such as beautiful guppies). Stable water levels are very important for betta fish.
Decorating a betta fish tank
It can be fun to decorate a fish tank – there are so many different sizes, shapes and colors to decorate. However, it is important to keep betta fish in mind when choosing ornaments.
Tank decorations should not take too much tank, most ornaments also have sharp edges that can easily tear their fragile fins. Avoid this to keep the betta fins beautiful.
Decorate the tank with plants and gravel to make them feel at home. Also, remember that bettas are jumpers, so keep the lid on the tank secure.
How to care for a betta fish – Tank Temperature
It is best to keep the temperature for betta fish between 76 ° and 85 ° F with a pH between 6.8 and 7.5, they may appear to tolerate cooler temperatures, but this can make them susceptible to diseases, so it is best to keep the temperature between.
Do Bettas Need a Heater?
Bettas are also very sensitive to heat, so an aquarium heater is a necessity, not an option, for betta fish, where room temperature is usually between 67 ° F to 69 ° F, betta fish without a heater may become ill due to stress.
Buy a safe aquarium thermometer to record water temperature. The heaters can be adjusted and contain a built-in thermostat.
When changing temperature and humidity, do so slowly and systematically. Sudden changes can strain your fish and cause serious health consequences.
How to care for a betta fish – Water Requirements
The type of water used in the tank is also important. The water in the tank must be free of chlorine and other contaminants. Tap water contains harmful chemicals, such as chlorine and sometimes heavy metals. These chemicals can cause stress or make the fish very sick. Make sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other contaminants. This prevents any potential injury or death. Betta fish prefer their water pH to be slightly acidic. They perform very well at a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 (7 is neutral).
How to care for a betta fish – Filter
While filters are not mandatory, they are highly recommended for aquariums larger than 3 liters. They help to minimize harmful bacteria, they are your little helpers when it comes to maintenance of your fish tank. A low-flow filter is preferred in its tank to keep the environment clean of toxins.
Sponge filters are a nice choice for betta fish because they are very gentle, reliable, and easy to use.
How To Clean Your Tank And Decorations
Cleaning your tank and its ornaments is very important to the health of your betta fish. Use only approved ornaments materials that are safe for your fish. Use a magnetic cleaning brush or algae to remove algae every time the tank becomes cloudy.
Filters and their media should be cleaned by rinsing them in water. Never clean a tank or its contents with soap! It is very difficult to remove all the soap and can be harmful to your betta.
All existing and new decorations (including stones) should be thoroughly washed with hot, hot water to remove dust and other contaminants.
How Often Should You Clean a Fish Tank?
For a 10 liter tank with your betta fish, you may only need to clean the aquarium once or twice a month by by 30% of the water. However, if you have a small 1-gallon container, you should clean the tank every two to three days with 100% water changes.
A filtered 5 liter tank will require only 1-2 cycles of water per week for about 25% of total volume and 100% water changes once a month depending on water quality while for a non-filtered tank requires 1-2 water cycling of about 25% and a 100% water change each week.
Remember to add live plants as this can help lower ammonia levels in water naturally.
If you are cycling only water, do not remove your betta. Unnecessary removal can lead to stress and potential injury. Only remove your betta during the 100% water changes.
Betta fish are accustomed to their environment and do not like sudden changes in it. Because of this, you should cycle more than you do a complete change. Removing excess water from the tank and adding fresh water can cause your fish to panic due to the changes in the water temperature.
Removing 25-50% of water tanks and filling them with the same temperature levels and pH is the safest way. Whenever you add fresh tap water, be sure to use dichlorination drops or spring water that does not include chlorine.
Behavior / Compatibility with Betta Fish
Male bettas are the very territorial towards each other that’s why they are very popularly called “Siamese fighting fish”. They are very aggressive to each other. The males also show aggressive behavior towards the females as well. The females, however, can live together in groups of five or more, but the size of the tanks should be a larger one at least 10 gallons or bigger in size.
They should be kept alone or in a separate container. They can be kept with other fishes in an aquarium of 15 liters or more, as long as you provide them with a large aquarium (at least 10 to 20 liters in size) with abundant cover and live plants.
There are a variety of other types of tank mates that can be safely added to the betta tank, such as snails, ghost shrimp, tetra, calm barbs, rasboras, Corydoras catfish and other less aggressive fish.
What does Betta Fish eat?
Betta fish need certain foods because they like meat. In the wild, betta eat insects and their larvae on the surface of the water. Replicating their feeding habits will keep them happy and healthy.
Betta food comes in a variety of flavors including pellets, flakes, live, and dried options. The most common are meat, fish, and shrimp, so you will need to feed them balanced diet that is high in protein.
They should not eat the same food every day. At least once a week, give them something different from their normal diet.
How Often Should I Feed My Betta Fish?
Betta fish can’t feel when they’re full. In the wild, they are always looking for their next meal, so it is up to you to feed your betta fish the right amount of food. You should not feed your betta fish no more than twice a day.
There are two general rules for feeding betta fish:
- Give them enough food to eat for 2 minutes. You will want to feed them every day, but if you skip a day here and there, that’s fine. If you go on vacation all week, you will definitely need someone to come in and feed your fish every other day anyway, but if you won’t home all night, they will be fine without food until you return. Stick to the same amount even if you miss a day.
- The portion of the food given to them should be the same as the size of a betta’s eye. Therefore, give her a small amount of food equal to the size of her eyes. If she does not eat everything within five minutes, remove excess food and feed her a little later.
It is difficult to estimate how much food a betta fish should eat. Overfeeding them can lead to constipation, bloating and waste from uneaten food in the tank.
Many betta owners are concerned when their fish won’t eat, but in reality, it is usually from over-feeding. Betta fish can also refuse food in times of stress, especially when you bring them home first.
How to Tell If Your Betta Fish is Happy or Sick
You should be able to identify when your betta fish is healthy or sick. This affects the type of care you will need to provide over time. Even when purchasing one for a first time, it is important to choose a healthy one.
Signs of Healthy betta Fish
- Active and alert
- increased appetite
- Vibrant colors
- Responds aggressively to external stimuli
Signs of a sick betta fish
If your bettas show any of these signs of illness or depression, talk to a veterinarian who specializes in fish health:
- loss of color or appetite
- spots or fungus on the body or mouth
- Cloudy eyes
- high scales
- Poor swimming
- weight loss
- low appetite
What is the life expectancy of a betta fish?
With proper care, your betta fish will probably live for two to three years or more.
Bettas are lovely and adorable. There are many good reasons for wanting to get one as a pet. However, they need the same care and equipment as other fish. They should not be seen as low-level care options. Betta fish are a beautiful and intelligent species and deserve proper care.