Temperature, food, and habitat are the three most important things that a newbie owner like you has to learn on how to properly care for a betta fish (Siamese fighting fish).
If you think a bacterial infection is the most common reason for the sudden death of a betta fish, you are mistaken. Poor water condition is the leading cause, a mistake most beginners make.
Without appropriate water conditions, the once lively and colorful betta fish that you bought will become lethargic and dull with its fins clumped up. It is known as ‘failure to thrive’ and the common reason is because of water temperatures that are either too low or water hardness that is too high.
In the same manner that food is vital for your fish survival. Read on so you will find out more about betta fish care tips.
1. How Do You Set-Up Your Betta’s Habitat?
In the wild, betta fish live in Thai rice paddies, hence, they thrive well in shallow water but in a spacious environment.
It is a good idea to set-up the fish habitat at least one day before you will bring it home.
- We recommend that you choose a large-sized betta fish tank, a minimum of 5 gallons. You may think that the size may be too big but your fish betta deserves nothing less from you. Place the fish tank near a power source but far from direct sunlight and drafts.
We do not recommend that you use a vase or a small bowl because your fish needs ample space to swim and be merry.
- Add in the dechlorinated water. If the fish tank comes with a cover, do not fill it with more than 80% of water capacity because your betta fish might accidentally leap out.
- Add in the essentials. The first is the water heater that comes with a thermostat. Your betta fish will be comfortable to swim if the water temperature is between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you come from a temperate country, it is recommended that you place the fish tank in a room with a heater during the cold months.
- The second essential that your betta fish needs are filters in order to prevent water quality from declining. Any uneaten food and feces will lead to ammonia, nitrate and nitrite buildup. In large quantities, these three factors can lead to stress and eventually death.
- Do you want to add an under-gravel filter? If yes, layer 1 to 2 inches on the bottom of the fish tank. Be sure to wash the gravel before you place these on the fish tank.
- After you have placed all the essentials, it is time to beautify the betta’s home. You can place in live plants, rocks but avoid the ones with sharp edges, fish toys, just to name a few.
2. How Do You Transfer Betta to Its Fish Tank?
- Bring your betta home as soon as you buy it. Do not remove the fish from the pet store bag but rather place the bag inside the fish tank for about 15 minutes in order for it to get used to the new water temperature.
- Next, use a small cup so you can transfer/scoop the fish from the pet store bag into the fish tank. Try your best not to bring in too much of the old water with it.
3. What to Feed Your Betta?
You can feed your fish with fish flakes or pellets that are specific for betta fish. Bettas are carnivores, meaning you have to supplement the diet plan with freeze-dried brine shrimp and tubifex worms.
Feed your betta twice a day only. Refrain from overfeeding your betta because it will continue to eat for as long as you introduce food. A good feeding plan is 3 pellets in the morning and another 3 at night time.
If you see some leftovers, clean these up right away. It is either your pet is a picky eater or the pellets might be too big that it does not fit into its mouth. Our tip is for you to cut the pellets into smaller pieces. If your pet still does not want to eat, try shifting to another brand.
4. How Many Bettas Can Live Together?
The number of bettas that can swim together depends on gender. No males must live together because they will end up fighting until one of them dies.
On the other hand, females are friendlier with each other unless the area gets too crowded.
5. How Do You Maintain Its Habitat?
- Daily: Check the filter and the water temperature
- Weekly: Check the quality of water by using the master freshwater test kit. One of the symptoms of dirty water is rotting of the fin. Our recommendation is to change 25% of the total water volume of the fish tank every 2 to 4 weeks.
Use a sponge to clean the sides of the fish tank. Then use a fish tank vacuum to clean the accessories. Do not use soap when cleaning. Plain water suffices for cleaning. Once clean, add water into the betta fish tank. Be sure to add a water conditioner or dechlorinator to tap water.
6. Can You ‘Play’ with Your Betta Fish?
Definitely! Glide your fingers slowly back and forth across its tank and see it follow your fingers as you move. You can also train your fish to jump and swim through a hoop.
7. What Are the Signs of a Happy Betta?
- Eats regularly
- Males have vibrant colors
- Reacts to outside stimulus
8. How Do You Know If Your Betta Is Sick?
- Loss of appetite and pale color
- Elevated scales
- Cloudy eyes
- Erratic swimming
A betta fish is a nice addition to the family. It will live for an average of three years or even longer for as long as you provide it with clean water with the right temperature, then you can expect your betta fish to add vibrant colors to your home.