Betta fish care – Definitive Guide
You’re overwhelmed being the owner of a Betta fish or several, and can’t wait to get your new pet to your home and watch it settled into its new environment!
Betta Fish is, however, one of the most beautiful fish to keep in the aquarium. I know as a fish lover, you want to keep a betta in the aquarium to beautify your home, watch them unimpededly gliding in the water and observe the behavior of this amazing aquatic creatures.
But when you keeping them as a pet in your home, you should ensure this animal live a long, happy life, choosing the best tank with proper regular care.Before you get carried away, here are a few things you need to know about Betta fish.
Some Cool Facts of Betta
- The family of betta actually includes dozens of different fish species
- Bettas are tropical and Aggressive Fish
- Bettas are omnivorous fish
- Different species have different colors and tail shapes
- Male and females are easily distinguishable
- Bettas have an exceptional structure named the labyrinth, which lets them breathe air out of water
- Male betta nourishes their offspring
- They are intelligent which can be trained to identify the caretaker
- Bettas are intelligent and can feel pain
So, when you decide to cherish them as pet here are some Essentials
Aquarium- At least 5 gallon is preferred and suggested by expert
Lighting- Try to put on light minimum 8 to 10 hours every day
Temperature- Bettas love the warm environment. Keep the temperature between 74-80 degree Fahrenheit.
Food- Adult betta normally should be treated as like what they will eat in two minutes.Ideal food for betta flaked or pelleted fish. Moreover, they also like some frozen foods and dried foods as well.
Filter- To thrive, Betta requires tidy water. So you have to select a good filter and adjust it with the aquarium to maintain a healthy environment for your fish.
PH- Bettas normally like acidic water. The PH between 6.5 to 7 should be ideal.
Dechlorinate Water- Always dechlorinate tap water when supplied in the aquarium. Don’t use any soaps or detergents, which can be added serious toxic to the bettas.
Fish Nets- Use lightweight and ductile so that it won’t shock the fish.
Tank Plants- In the aquatic environment betta live in a shady place where they can hide themselves. So in your tanks or aquarium keep some live plants such as; Anacharis, Hornwort, Anubis etc.
Selecting The Betta
Look at the Color- Before you buy, check the color of your fish. Does it seem pale or is it bright and shiny? Betta fish come in much vivid appearance and the most common you’ll find are darker colors in red or blue. Sometimes you might find Bettas with pink, blue or white tint.
Does it swim? Is the Betta swimming around when you’re near? Check for this by moving your finger from side to side while standing in front of it. Avoid tapping the container to get its attention as you will frighten or excite the fish.
Check the fins- Are they torn or damaged? Bear in mind that some breeds of Betta have delicate looking fins that might seem a little torn. .. So, make sure the fins are in good condition.
Look at the eyes as well- They should be clear and bright. The eyes also should be well shaped.
Body condition- Any weird lumps on its body might be parasites. If you notice anything out of the ordinary about the Betta you’re about to select, speak to the pet store employee or go for another Betta.
Learn all you can about the Betta before you buy. Do your research so that you know what size tank is best for your Betta.
Any aquarium smaller than 2.5 gallons is not suitable! Bettas hate fish bowls so don’t even think about one.Also, ensure that you get a filter and heater for your aquarium – remember Bettas are tropical fish that appreciate these comforts.With good care, your Betta can be around for up to ten years.
Preparing Suitable Home- Betta Fish Care
To avoid any embarrassing or harmful situations with your new Betta, make sure you prepared a suitable home for it.Bettas prefer being alone and may kill other fish added to your aquarium.If however, you must mix your fish, here are some rules of thumb when setting up your aquarium.
- Two male Bettas cannot go together – they will kill each other! That’s why they’re also known as the Siamese fighting fish.
- Female Bettas will fight males (and the other way around) so they cannot be placed together without a partition.
- If you must put females together, make sure they’re five or more. Somehow females behave badly when they’re less than five. Of course, that means an aquarium large enough to accept them.
- Ideally, you could go for a 15 – 20-gallon aquarium, but if you can only manage a 10 gallon, make sure you provide enough places for your Bettas to hide. They love hiding places.
- You may put other fish in with Bettas but make sure they don’t have long fins – so no Guppies!
- Avoid placing larger fish with a Betta as it will be eaten.
- Also, no fish smaller than a Betta’s mouth should be in your aquarium, or they’ll become Betta food. Creatures that may go well with your Betta include White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Red Cherry Shrimp.
Oh, by the way, don’t use mirrors in your aquarium. Your Betta might get agitated that another Betta is in its space. This is stressful for your fish!
Choose the right equipment for your aquarium
You’ll need a number of items for your aquarium to keep your Betta happy.
- Buy a heater with a thermostat. That way you can monitor the water temperature. Bettas prefer water temperatures between 75-82ºF/24-27ºC since they are tropical fish. Your heater, therefore, should be in good working order at all times. This also means your heater should also be working during cold winter months.
- You’ll always need a filter in your aquarium. Ensure that the current is not too powerful for your fish. Remember that Bettas with long fins get along well with very little current. Experts recommend sponge filters to keep fins intact.
- Also, don’t put sharp and jagged decorations or rocks in your Betta’s aquarium. These can rip their fins.
- Check at least once daily for any damage to your Betta’s fins. If you notice any tear, examine the water quality as fin damage is also caused by improper water maintenance.
- Tough plastic or artificial plants can also damage your Betta’s fins. Using pantyhose to test your decorative plant is a neat trick you can try. If the pantyhose snags when brushed against the plastic plant, your Betta’s fin will also be damaged the same way. Go for silk material or natural plants instead.
Condition your water with Prime before putting tap water into your aquarium. Remember that the chloramines and chlorine in tap water can hurt your Betta and destroy the good bacteria inside your tank.
Avoid using bottled water as it is unsafe for your Betta.
Fill up your aquarium to about 80% to the top.
Cover your tank to keep your Betta in. These fish are known to leap more than 7.5 cm or 3 inches if it wants to.
While there is no real danger of this happening often, it’s a good idea to keep your Betta happy so that it won’t try to leave that way.
Your Betta’s diet
Yes, you need to pay attention to your Betta’s diet, just as you pay attention to yours. Bettas prefer pellets that are made especially for them. You may also choose bloodworms or frozen brine shrimp. Although using live food might bring excitement – to you watching – it’s safer to use frozen or dried treats like bloodworms to avoid parasites.
Keep Protein- Take note of the pellets ingredients to ensure that the first three contain protein. Experts recommend that pellets should not contain less than 40% protein. Remember to feed your Betta often!
Maintain Routine- You may not be sure how much your Betta eats as there are differences among each type. Test various routines until you hit on the right feeding schedule. When you follow a set feeding routine, your Betta will be trained to expect food at set times.
Avoid Overfeeding- At the same time, avoid overfeeding your Betta! That can cause problems as they will eat whenever you feed them and overfeeding can kill them. A set routine with a measured amount of pellets is best.
Clean the Plate- Whatever your Betta doesn’t eat, clean it up. Check to see whether your Betta spits out food because it’s too big. Fish food makers forget that a Betta’s mouth is not big enough to eat the standard pellet, or its mouth is smaller a goldfish.
Cut pallet- If your Betta refuses its food, this may be a signal that it is choosy about what it eats. You’ll then either have to cut the pellet smaller or test different pellets until you find the right one. Or ask your pet store.
Cleaning your aquarium
When cleaning your aquarium, you’ll need to move your Betta into a temporary container with used water. Avoid using soaps to wash your tank, instead use warm water.
Take care to leave at least a quarter of the old water in the aquarium while you fill with fresh water.
But first, carefully place the Betta back into your aquarium.It’s important to clean your aquarium periodically as dirty water can harm your Betta.
Fin rot is one sure sign that your Betta is in trouble but once you clean your tank and treat your Betta, things will be OK again.
Treating your water with dechlorinates, which conditions the water, will take care of any dangerous chlorinates or chlorine found in tap water. This will also act as filtration for bacteria.
Make sure that when changing water that the temperature is the same in both the old and the new water. This avoids your Betta going into temperature shock.
A thermometer inside your aquarium can be used to keep tabs on your water’s temperature.
Having fun with your Betta
You’ll be glad to know that Betta fish are quite curious and will interact with their owners. So, don’t be shy to play with them and get them to recognize you as their owner. Bettas will actually come to know your face and recognize you easily.
Talk to them. Say “hi”.
They like it when you move your finger back and forth outside the aquarium.
Remember, no banging the tank or poking the water!
It’s fun to watch your Bettas swimming around and being themselves.
Here are a few fun facts about Bettas:
- If you see bubbles inside a male Betta’s tank, it’s because they are happy. You should be too.
- You know a male Betta likes a female when his gills flare, his fins are spread, and his body twists. The female signals that she likes the male by wriggling back and forth.
- Male Betta fish are usually larger than the female and has more colorful fins. Females can be feisty! That’s one reason to keep them separate to prevent the female from latching on to the male’s fins and tearing them.
- Betta fish are part of the Anabantid breed and can actually breathe surface air. They, however, need filtering water in their aquarium.
There you have it! A definitive Tips on how to care your Betta fish for a long and happy relationship.