Betta fish is known for its aggressive nature and loves to interact.
But the best thing is you don’t have to spend a bunch in the process of caring and nurturing them. Moreover, betta fish can become your best friend for up to four years.
Refer to the following tips for beginners about how to care for a betta fish to ensure they have a healthy and happy life.
Prepare A New, Good House
With proper care, a Betta fish can live up to 10 years. And, what does “proper care” mean in this case?
It’s the living environment of your fish – the tank must be at least 10 liters (equivalent to 2.64 gallons) in size. Depending on the climate in your area as well as your indoor conditions, consider buying a filter and heater as well.
Avoid keeping them in a bowl because that’s too small and a terrible environment for their health.
This preparation step should be done before you bring any new buddy home. You can keep one or more Betta fishes due to your budget and preference.
It’s okay to keep some female fishes together as long as their nature is gentle. Most people love to keep 5 or more baby Betta fishes at a time; if you’re one of them, pay attention to your tank size.
Though the sufficient size is 38 liters, I still highly recommend choosing a tank sizing from 38 to 57 liters for fishes to have enough space to hide.
REMEMBER: Never keep two male Betta fishes in the same tank. They’ll fight with each other until one of them dies, in most cases.
If you plan to keep Betta fishes with others, select one without a long tail (like guppies). It’s a must to pick a fish about the same size as your Betta to avoid “big fish eat small fish”. Some suggestions for beginners are Cherry Shrimps and White Cloud fish.
Choose The Right Environment
Bettas live in wet rice fields in Thailand, in the wild, which means the right living environment for them should be relatively spacious and shallow.
From that point, I recommend choosing a specialized tank for Betta with a larger size (at least 10 liters; ideally 19 liters or bigger).
Supplement The Necessary Equipment
Keeping a Betta fish is not a simple hobby because you will need a lot of equipment:
Stabilize Water Temperature With A Thermostat
As Bettas are tropical fish that prefers warm water (temperature ranges between 24 and 27ºC), you need to invest in a heater.
A heater is nearly a must for those who live in a cold climate or their aquarium water temperature is colder than room temp. A mini heater is generally sufficient for a 4- to 11-liter tank.
During the winter, if the weather in your area drops to freezing temperature, you will have to add a mini heater or place your aquarium near a heater (about 1 meter away) to prevent Betta fish from getting cold.
A filter is an indispensable tool.
However, make sure that the water current created by the filter is not too strong for the fish. Remember that long-fin breeds do best in those environments with as light currents as possible. A foam filter, in this case, is a nice choice.
Avoid the use of sharp, serrated stones or decorations, or hard plastic bonsai as they will tear the fins of your Betta fish.
How To Know If A Decoration/stone/artificial Plant Is Betta-friendly?
Rub the item to your sock; if it can puncture the sock, it’s also able to damage the fins of your Betta. In this case, buy silky plants or aquatic live plants instead of their safety. Not to say that Betta fishes really love to swim through the leaves and hide there to sleep.
What To Do If You Find A Tear In Their Fins?
If there are no sharp items in the tank, check the water quality as poor water conditions are a common cause of torn fins.
Prepare The Water
Before leading tap water into your Betta fish tank, run it through a water stabilizer (Prime, for example). The reason is chlorine in your tap water might adversely affect the fish as well as kill beneficial bacteria.
While some experts advise to settle the water for at least overnight (to let chlorine evaporate), this method doesn’t remove heavy metals in the water.
The best way is still using a water stabilizer.
To know the number of heavy metals in your tap water, utilize an aquarium water test kit. Now, some readers might wonder if using bottled water was a good idea. The answer is “No!” because it contains no essential minerals to Betta fish, which is unsafe for them.
Treated tap water is the most appropriate choice, plus, it’s economical.
Betta fish is a carnivore.
Its diet should consist of pellets made specifically for the Betta fish, along with a variety of other fresh foods. Frozen saltwater shrimp or worms are good options.
Check the ingredients of the pellets and tablets. The first three ingredients should be the protein content that should not be less than 40%.
Be careful not to overfeed them as Betta fish doesn’t stop eating once you still feed them, which can be fatal.
Betta fish, like many others, will require some specific care but they generally aren’t difficult to keep. In fact, it’s ideal for beginners. I hope that through this article, you’ll know more about how to care for a betta fish. Thanks for reading!