Betta fish is one of the most popular fish in the world.
Whether for their vivid appearance or energetic demeanor, these little creatures never fail to impress. While it may seem easy to take care of them, unfortunately this is not true.
Contrary to popular belief, they require a lot of care but that shouldn’t scare you into giving up.
With our in-depth and comprehensive article, you will be fully equipped to handle the most intimidating maintenance tasks when it comes to Betta fish.
Read on and learn how to care for betta fish.
How to Care for a Betta Fish (Overview)
First and foremost, you need to fully understand the importance of the aquatic environment to your Betta’s well-being.
These fish are capable of surviving many different environments in the wild, but you should never underestimate the importance of keeping water parameters consistent.
Sudden or frequent changes in temperature can harm your health.
Another key factor for their health is nutrition. Just like any other fish, the diet alone can improve or completely deteriorate the health of the fish.
Other things you may not consider significant at first include the setup and position of the aquarium.
This may seem like a very basic thing, but don’t let it confuse you. By following these simple steps, you will be able to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for Bettas.
Let’s start by looking at how to properly configure the tank.
How to set up an aquarium for Betta
The most important part of any setup is the aquarium itself.
You will need to choose the right tank, but you will also need to choose the right equipment, prepare the aquarium and set it up.
Let’s start by choosing the right tank. This will depend on how many Betta fish you plan to keep.
The minimum tank size for a Betta fish is 19 liters (5 gallons), but you should research your specific breed for accuracy.
Once you have your aquarium the right size, you will need to set it up. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, such as near a window for example.
Too much noise will also stress your fish; therefore, the best place for your aquarium is a part where the sun doesn’t shine directly and it’s quiet in your house.
Once the tank is in position, you will need to consider the necessary equipment. Betta fish are very fond of light (this does not make it healthy to leave your aquarium in direct sunlight, the ideal is specific artificial lighting for aquariums) and, for this reason, the aquarium must be well lit.
However, intensive lighting can promote algae growth, so avoid this attempt using luminescent or LED lamps.
A filter will also be essential for your Betta fish aquarium. A normal adjustable filter is the ideal solution. You can easily adjust it by adjusting the flow intensity to make the tank comfortable.
Ideal temperature for Betta fish aquarium
Betta fish are used to living in tropical Asian waters, so depending on where you live, you will need to use a heater to heat the water as well. You can use a small fully submersible.
The best water temperature for Betta fish is between 24~27°C (75.2-80.5°F)
Ideal substrate for Betta fish
And the substrate? First, a universal rule of choosing the correct substrate applies. Wash it carefully and get rid of sharp granules, so it will be nice and smooth.
In terms of type, the better, the better. Coarse, sharp gravel can damage your fish, so it’s ideal to choose sand or fine gravel.
Aquarium decorations and plants should be chosen carefully. Remember that anything you put in the tank influences the health of your fish. All decorations must be decorations made especially for aquariums.
Now that you have all the components in place. It’s time to set up the aquarium.
Test your water over the next few weeks, and once the tank has completed a full cycle, it’s time to add your Betta.
Remembering that for pH and dGH the ideal parameters are: 6-8 pH (water acidity or alkalinity) and 5-35 dGH (water hardness).
How to care for Betta fish
Now the aquarium is set up, to give your Betta the best possible life you need to know:
- What to feed your betta fish
- When to change the water in the tank
- How to maintain the tank
- And how to choose the best tank mates
We will explain step by step how to do this.
What do betta fish eat
Betta is kind of amazing looking. Their bright colors and diverse appearance are their strong point and that’s what makes them so popular all over the world.
To keep them looking colorful and shiny, a healthy, consistent diet is necessary. To better understand what to feed them, it’s a good idea to examine their natural environment. Its natural habitats are diverse and warm basins in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
These waters are usually filled with invertebrates, insects and other small organisms. Bettas are carnivores and fulfill their role as predators well.
In the tank, you can easily recreate these conditions. Given the popularity of Bettas, finding suitable foods is not an issue.
There are many different Betta specific food options to choose from. One of the most popular choices is flake foods.
These types of foods can save you a lot of time. If you’re just starting out, prepared foods can help you avoid all the work associated with preparing live foods.
If you want to improve more, your diet can also include frozen and dry foods. They can be fed with small Cameroon or small larvae – by far the most popular choices for Bettas.
Because these fish are so small and active, they often end up eating more than they digest.
If you notice that your fish looks exhausted or starts swimming in a strange way, don’t feed it for a day.
To avoid overfeeding, pay close attention to how much you feed your Bettas. Normally, adults should be fed twice a day.
If you are using pre-prepared foods, the portion should be approximately a pinch, or enough to fit the tip of a knife. They should be able to eat their entire food in a maximum of 5 minutes.
Due to its combative nature, it is recommended to keep only one male in a tank.
Alternatively, you can have two female Bettas and one male.
It’s much easier to say which fish to avoid, rather than naming the ones they can be kept with. First, face to face, immediately remove all small, peaceful fish from the list.
Fish with large tails should also be avoided like guppies. Other fish that should be avoided are Oscar, Parrotfish, Killifish or Acaras, to name just a few.
Among the few compatible fish are tetras Small Catfishes, and Rasboras.
You need to be very careful when choosing tank mates to ensure the best possible conditions for all fish.
In addition to simple compatibility, also check the necessary conditions for each fish in advance.
Some of them may require a specific volume or different water conditions than the Bettas needs.
Consistent water parameters are the cornerstone of any successful aquarium. You need to ensure that they are all kept within a proper range (at all times).
Any sudden or prolonged change can lead to illness. Therefore, it is in your best interest to maintain stable and healthy water conditions.
This can be done in different ways. One of the best habits you can develop is to measure your water parameters every few weeks.
It’s also a good habit to do daily health checks every time you feed your fish.
Make sure the equipment is working, the water temperature is correct and the fish are ok.
Water renovations are another very important aspect of maintenance. Imagine being in a room with the windows closed and breathing the same air for a week or two.
This is how fish feel when you let your aquarium live its own life.
In their habitat, fish depend on natural circulation to take care of this. In the aquarium, you take on the role of nature. About 25% of the water in the tank must be renewed weekly to ensure conditions are stable.
Use a gravel siphon to clean the gravel once every fortnight and remove any algae buildup.
Every few months you will also need to change the filter media.
Common diseases of betta fish
Although Bettas are true warriors, they are not invincible. They can get sick from time to time, but caring for the tank helps to minimize the risk.
The most common problem is an infection that starts to develop after a cut. With Bettas this is very common as these little ones often have combat scars that can lead to all sorts of nasty infections.
It’s usually a sharp substrate or a fight that causes it; so make sure it’s gentle and safe for the fish. The same goes for any decor you put on the tank.
Most other diseases develop when the water is not kept clean. For example, fin infections are common in these fish.
A fin infection can also be caused by the introduction of bacteria into the tank. A colony of bacteria can end up in the aquarium from new aquarium equipment you bought from someone else or from a poorly cleaned substrate.
If this happens to your fish, you should treat it as soon as possible. The sooner you start the recovery process and medication, the better. For that, ALWAYS consult a vet or the professionals at your aquarium shop.
Another disease, although you may not initially consider it, is overfeeding. If left undetected, it can lead to problems in the digestive system that can lead to the death of the fish.
If you think your fish is eating too much, wait a day to process all the food. However, if that doesn’t help, it could be the diet itself. Take a look at their food and make sure everything they eat is of good quality and appropriate.
The Betta fish is a very exciting fish to keep and will bring life to almost any tank. Its appearance will impress anyone and in good condition its lifespan is 3 years.
These fish are not the most demanding, but they are definitely among the most beautiful.
Aside from frequently renewing the water in the tank, you don’t have to do much to keep them happy.
A basic understanding of betta fish care and water composition is critical to maintaining their shiny appearance.
Also, remember to pay close attention to their diet to keep them healthy.