Caring for Bettas

Bettas, also known as Japanese fighting fish, are so beautiful that they don’t look quite real. You’ve probably seen these fish housed separately in tiny bowls at your local fish store. This is because male betas will fight with each other until there is only one male left. However, this is not a good way to care for your betta once you bring it home.

When purchasing bettas for your aquarium, you should only buy one male fish. You can add several female betas to the tank if it is on the large side. Male bettas are known for the way they constantly fight aggressively with each other, so putting more than one of them in the same aquarium is a bad idea. Female bettas also fight amongst themselves, but not as aggressively as male bettas.

Bettas are able to survive in small spaces because they can actually take oxygen out of the air to survive, but it is still not a good idea to put them in an aquarium that is extremely small. The larger an aquarium, the better the environment will be for your fish. If you are not planning on buying more than one betta and want to house your fish in a small aquarium, a vase or a bowl, you should be aware of a few things. When fish give off waste, this small container will be filled with ammonia, which can be dangerous to the health of fish. The ammonia is then broken down by bacteria to form nitrates, which are also dangerous to the health of the fish.

A vase or a bowl will probably not be large enough to allow for efficient biological filtration and is too small to allow for the amount of bacteria needed for the filter to work effectively. Therefore, you’ll need to replace up to fifty percent of the container’s water several times a week to prevent ammonia and nitrate levels from becoming too high. Make sure you use dechlorinated water. You should also put a lid that allows air to pass through it on top of the aquarium, so the fish will not be able to jump out. You will also need a mechanical filter, heater, substrates and the appropriate lighting for the container.

Bettas are carnivorous fish, so you’ll have to give them meat-based food. Foods you may feed betas include freeze dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia and food made specifically for bettas, which can be found online or in a pet store. Make sure you thaw out any frozen food so the bettas won’t have any problems digesting it. Give them food in small amounts at least twice a day. Avoid overfeeding because the remaining food will eventually rot at the bottom of the aquarium and cause the water quality to become toxic. This could lead to the betta becoming ill.

As with all fish, temperature fluctuations can be harmful. The temperature in the water should be around 78 to 80°F (26 to 27°C). Do not put the tank close to windows or vents or any area that allows for draft or sunlight or the betta may become ill and die.

You may want to add plants to the tank or bowl, as they can improve the water quality in the aquarium. Live plants will help with the nitrogen cycle diminishing the amount of ammonia and nitrates in the aquarium.

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10 Responses

  1. Kelly Wright
    | Reply

    Bettas are lovely vibrant creatures! I sometimes think they feel my presence in the house, especially when I’m passing along the tank ’cause they look more active at once.
    Remember that the tank’s cover should allow natural air ventilation since betta fish go to the surface to get some fresh air.

  2. HART (1-800-HART)
    | Reply

    Thanks Kelly for that added value advice!

  3. Anne
    | Reply

    ‘When purchasing bettas for your aquarium, you should only buy one male fish. You can add several female betas to the tank if it is on the large side. ‘

    I’d like to point out a flaw in this otherwise spectacular article. males & females should not be kept together unless you are spawning them- and even then, they must be closely watched so that they do not do irreversible damage to one’s another’s fins that could lead to deadly infections.

  4. Karry
    | Reply

    I am proud to say that I am an owner of one male Betta
    I could use some suggestions as to the care of them seeing how they are for OFFICE viewing. I have a decent size fish bowl, but am concerned on the quality of the water. The water looks hazy and I have already changed it. What can I do to ensure the happy life of Romeo???

  5. Ale
    | Reply

    Como se reproducen los Peces Bettas por que tengo un betta femenino y uno masculino y de hecho en la pecera de la pescadita tiene muchas boronitas blancas como dentro de un globito ultra pequeño.

  6. kenia
    | Reply

    hola como puedo saber cuando estan quierena una bettha

  7. maria
    | Reply

    hola mi nombre e es maria y yo escribo por que me tine prweocupada mi betta esta todo el timpo abajo del bowl y antes se pasaba paseando parese que se quiciera moris no se que hacer garcias nesecito ayuda maria

  8. T
    | Reply

    I just bought a beautiful blue betta yesterday and put him in a 10x7x10 one gallon aquarium. He is not eating. Should I worry?

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