Caring for Betta Fish
To be able to take proper care of a betta fish, firstly you have to know what makes them healthy and happy, but also what causes diseases and what makes them stressed, so you can easily avoid it.
If you take proper care of your betta fish, it can live up to 10 years, despite their average life of 3 years.
However, caring for a betta fish requires responsibility and a bit of education, so keep on reading and find out the best ways to take care of your beautiful betta.
Betta Environment and Tank
The minimum recommended size for a betta is 5 gallons but we recommend more, but they can survive and remain healthy in 2.5 gallons. Ensure that you don’t fill your tank to the maximum because betta fish need access to the surface to gulp air. They have a unique labyrinth organ that lets them extract oxygen from the air. And because of that, bettas don’t require air pumps. Also, bettas are great jumpers, so make sure that you have a lid on your tank.
Because betta fish come from a tropical climate, they need warm water in their tanks. You should keep it in a range of 76 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit and never let the water drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit or go above 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Betta fish also require natural light during the day when they are awake and darkness when they sleep. So you should put some decorations in the tank that will provide them shade if they want to get out from direct lighting. However, you should avoid putting the tank in direct sunlight because it can raise the water temperature.
Adding other fish to betta’s tank is never a good idea. They are too aggressive to live with other inhabitants, although they can sometimes play nice with some non-aggressive fish that don’t have long fins and bright colors. And for that, you will need a 10-gallon tank, so they have plenty of space to hide. But never put two males in the same tank because they will fight until one of them is dead. Also, males should be put with females only during a breeding period and then separated, but females can live together in groups of five. Of course, in a big enough tank.
And when it comes to decorations in the tank, bettas love to hide, especially when they are sleeping, because that makes them feel safe. So make sure to put lots of rocks, plants, and sticks. And if you decide to put artificial plants, get some that are as silk as possible, so they don’t damage your fish.
Having a filter in your tank isn’t mandatory, but it is recommended for tanks larger than 3 gallons. However, betta fish are not very good swimmers, and a filter can cause them stress, so if you want a filter, look for some that are recommended for betta fish. But if you don’t put a filter, you should do 1-2 water cycles of around 25% of the water daily and a full 100% water change weekly. Also, you should regularly clean the decorations with hot water or even with bleach or vinegar.
Food and Feeding
Betta fish require specific food because they are carnivorous. You can find the food in various forms, like flakes, pallets, live and freeze-dried options. The most used ones are fish, shrimp, and meat. Bettas can also be picky, so you’ll need to try different kinds and see which ones they love.
It can be hard to know how much you should feed a betta because food labels are often inexact. To make sure that you don’t overfeed your betta, get a well-organized feeding schedule and follow that every day. If you feed it twice a day, then feed it 2-3 pellets max, and if you feed it once per day, you should feed 3-4 pellets. In some cases, bettas refuse to eat, which can be caused by stress. However, they can go 14 days without food and survive. So if you are going away for 3-4 days, don’t add extra food to the tank. They will be just fine without food.
How to take Care of Different Betta Fish?
There are not many differences in the routine care between a male and a female betta fish. They only require extra care before, after, and during breeding. However, betta fish babies require special care because they can easily die prematurely. They need a special diet because they can’t fit most of the betta fish pallets in their mouth, and that is why they should only be reserved for experienced breeders and caretakers.
You should be able to identify if your betta fish is healthy or sick. This will give you a better idea of what type of care it needs.
The following are some common characteristics of sick and healthy bettas.
Healthy Betta Fish
- Swim-up when you are close to their tank.
- Are hungry and eat regularly.
- Are aggressive and may flare at you
- Have bright colors, especially the males.
- Undamaged fins.
Sick Betta Fish
- Loss of appetite for an extended period.
- Dull coloring, especially in males.
- Lethargic and hiding frequently.
- White growths on body or mouth.
- Abnormal swimming.
- Clamped Fins.
- Tattered fins with black edges.
Caring for a betta fish is not as hard as it looks once you’ve established a routine. As a betta owner, you should always pay close attention to your fish’s health and watch out for any concerns. Most issues can be caused by poor feeding patterns and tank maintenance.
Betta fish are intelligent and beautiful species of fish, and they deserve the right care method.