Have you ever wondered: what it’s like to have a betta fish? Or why is the betta fish kept alone? Or how to keep your betta fish happy and healthy?
As a new aquarium hobbyist, you’d be able to take good care of your betta fish only if you have a complete understanding of your pet’s nature and characteristics.
So, in this complete care guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about petting bettas.
Setting Up Betta Fish Tank and Environment
You need to have a proper setup ready for betta fish before you bring in your new friend. Besides, here are a few things that you’d like to know.
● Tank size
We’d recommend you to go for proper betta fish tanks rather than fish bowls. Plus, your aquarium tank should at least contain 5 to 10 gallons of water, so that your fancy betta has ample room to swim. A larger fish tank will also allow you to go longer between the tank cleaning sessions.
However, make sure to buy the tank which features a filter and a heater.
Bettas produce waste, like all fish, and this can contaminate the water. Moreover, if your tank does not offer a filter, then you must replace a quarter to half of the water, after every few days, with fresh water.
Betta fish mostly prefer temperatures around 80°F and are more active in warmer environments. However, this doesn’t mean keeping your bettas in the direct sunlight or near windows. A tank with a heater would be enough to keep your fish cozy.
Be creative while setting up a home for your betta fish. You can make a comfortable home out of plastic plants, rocks, and marbles for him. Besides, your betta will love to swim and hide in such habitats, and you’ll also enjoy him too.
How and What to Feed Your Betta Fish?
Betta fish are carnivores and like meat, therefore you should feed them a balanced diet enriched with proteins. In the wild, they usually hunt insects and their larvae and eggs. So, what’s the best food you can provide for your pet at home?
You’d be glad to know that there are a lot of options when it comes to betta food. Popular ones include pellets, flakes, freeze-dried, and live blood worms. Moreover, 2 to 3 medium-sized pellets, twice a day, would be sufficient for him.
However, your betta can be a picky eater too. In this case, try changing the brand and try different blends until your betta approves it. Generally, bettas love live food, so you can treat them with live blood worms or with freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp.
As a betta keeper, you should take good care of their diet and feed them what’s nutritional for them.
How Often Should You Feed Your Betta Fish?
You should feed your betta fish once or twice per day, only as much as they can eat in a minute or two. It’s a good practice to feed them every day – once in the morning and once at night. In this way, it will keep them happy and stimulated all day long.
However, bettas never say no to food as they are not capable of sensing when they are full. So if you overfeed them, they’ll become bloated and this can lead to other health issues. Therefore, it’s your duty to feed your betta the right amount of food.
Also, some owners believe that keeping their betta fish hungry for a day, once every 10 to 14 days, can reduce the chance of constipation.
Would Your Betta Fish Like to Have Some Tank Mates?
There’s a reason why betta fish are known as Siamese fighting fish, so it may not be a good idea to keep other fish with your beta. These creatures are quite aggressive and can be a threat to other tank mates.
However, in the larger aquarium tanks, you can combine your betta with peaceful bottom-dwellers such as Kuhli loaches, Snails, or Corydoras. But, still, it depends on the personality of your betta whether it makes peace with them or not.
So, what about combining beta with other betta mates?
As much as your betta looks pleasant with its alluring bright colors, the same can’t be said about its nature. Betta fish are hostile to one another. Thus, never put two betta males or even a betta male and a female together, they’ll fight and nip at each other until one dies.
Some Health Concerns
It’s vital that you keep an eye on your betta and monitor it regularly. Besides, here are a few things to watch for.
The tailor fins appear frayed or shredded.
Eyes seem cloudy with reddened skin and open pores.
White spots appear on the fish’s body or fins, and it scratches itself on the objects in the tank.
White cloudy growth on betta’s body, or discoloration of its eyes.
Most of the betta diseases are caused due to poor water quality. Also, if your betta fish is suffering from any of these diseases, consult your veterinarian and seek his help.
How Do You Know If Your Betta Fish Is Happy?
That’s pretty easy to know when your betta fish is happy or when it’s stressed.
The following are some signs of healthy relaxed betta fish:
- Smooth and energetic swimming
- Strong bright colors
- Readily eats the meals
- Flare at you
The following are some signs of stressed or sick betta fish:
- Inactive and hiding frequently
- Faded dull coloring
- Loss of appetite
- Clamped or frayed fins
- Swimming awkwardly
Bettas are known for their spectacular fins and vibrant colors – one of the many reasons to pet such species. Moreover, they can be your companion for 4 years, or more if you take good care of them.
However, make sure to provide your betta fish with the right equipment and proper supervision so that it leads a cheerful, healthy an