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Caring for Betta Fish

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: October 18, 2017
Caring for Betta Fish

The Siamese fighting fish, also known as a Betta fish, is a very popular pet due to its colors and ornate appearance. They are also relatively easy to maintain though we must follow some guidelines to keep it healthy.

This fighting fish adapts easily to different environments and amazes us every day with its spectacular forms and movements.

If you want to know all about Betta fish care then read this AnimalWised article.

You may also be interested in: Caring for Discus Fish

A proper fish tank

If you want to provide an environment similar to that where this fish is naturally found then you should know that the Betta fish is native to Thailand and lives in shallow waters such as rice paddies. They come out with a certain regularity to take air and for that reason you will not need to use a filter or aerated system.

The size of the tank will depend on the number of specimens that you want to keep in it:

  • One specimen only, male or female: In this case it is enough to have a 20 liter tank that is moderately decorated.
  • Breeding fish bowls: They are specific environments for Betta fish breeding. They are of a small size and for this reason they are only used in the breeding season.
  • Several females: You can try to gather several females in the same tank but there should be at least three to establish a hierarchy. Although less likely than in the case of males, females may attack each other, in this case you will have to have an extra tank to separate them. To improve the odds of successfully living together you can adopt different females simultaneously (sisters) who have lived together since they were small. Use an aquarium of at least 30 or 40 liters.
  • One male and three females: In this case you must be careful with females attacking each other, follow the tips discussed in the previous section. Use a 40 liter tank to prevent attacks as well as providing them with different hideouts in case they need some refuge.
  • Betta fish community: We remind you that the Siamese fighting fish is by nature an aggressive fish, for that reason and unless you have an aquarium of at least 100 liters full of hideouts we do not recommend that you create a community.
  • Community of different fish: You should inform yourself about the different types of cold water fish before you put them together in order to prevent attacks and assaults. It is important that the tank has a capacity of at least 100 liters and includes various hideouts. Pearl gouramis are a good choice.

Also useful to know...

You must never put two or more males in a single tank as they are very aggressive with each other and will end up hurting each other.

It is important that the tank is covered on top as they tend to jump.

Try to use water without chlorine or limescale and renew it every 7 days, changing half the water will be sufficient.

The temperature should be around between 22 ° C (71.6°F) and 32 ° C (37.4°F).

Caring for Betta Fish - A proper fish tank

Fish tank elements

You must provide your Betta fish with in-tank elements, use original resources so that your tank is unique:

  • Sand or gravel: Those with a soft and fine texture are preferred so it does not annoy your fish if it gets between the fins. In addition, it must have a minimum thickness of at least 2 centimeters (0.8 inches approx.).
  • Plants: Always use natural ones to avoid tears in our pet's tail. We recommend dense elodea, duckweed, Amazon sword or Bamboo. Ask at the store where you purchased the Betta fish which of these are available and select one depending on your tastes. You will be amazed at how great it can look.
  • Rocks: We will try to minimize the use of rocks and other elements that can damage the fins of our Siamese fighting fish. Two or three items of this type will suffice. Available on the market you will find all sorts of items, from small pirate boats to Buddhas or dragons.
  • Lighting: A trick for beautifying the environment of our fish tank is to include LED lighting for fish tanks, this is available in specialized stores. Use a blue, green or lilac tone to highlight the décor or the color of your Siamese fighting fish as this will also look very good.
  • Hiding places: If you use lighting or you have multiple Betta fish specimens together it is essential that you create all kinds of hiding places within the fish tank. You can bury bowls, make a nest with plants, coconuts, twigs, castles...

Also useful to know...

It is important to regularly observe our Betta fish to check that it is physically well and has not suffered injuries to its body from elements within the tank or other fish.

Caring for Betta Fish - Fish tank elements

Feeing a Betta fish

In its natural environment, the Siamese fighting fish feeds off small insects that live among the plants or on the river bed and, although this fish species is an omnivore, the Siamese fighting fish prefers to feed as if it were a carnivore. Zoo plankton, mosquitoes larvae and various insects are its weakness.

  • On the market you will find specific food for Betta fish in the form of flakes or pellets. You must supply it with a pinch two or three times a day.
  • You can also offer it an alternative and varied amount of food including mosquito larvae, tubiflex worms, grindal, artemia etc. these are live food sources but you can also find frozen versions in frozen food stores.

Food has a direct impact on the health and appearance of Siamese fighting fish that will be more beautiful, active and vibrant after receiving food supplements.

Caring for Betta Fish - Feeing a Betta fish

Extra

Finally, as we have said it is important to observe the daily behavior and physical state of your Siamese fighting fish to check that it is healthy and stable. With good care they can live up to 5 years, an unthinkable age in nature.

We hope you found this article informative. If you did, you might be interested in the best clean up animals for your aquarium and step by step guide to preparing a cold water aquarium.

If you want to read similar articles to Caring for Betta Fish, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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