Tanks & Equipment

What Do Betta Fish Need?

The general opinion is that Betta fish are easy to handle and that the fact that they are cheap and beautiful means that they are simple and do not require special living conditions.

However, that is far from the truth. Betta fish are an ornament of nature and are often considered a one-time decoration by people who keep them as pets. Many scientists who study the life and habits of these fish point to the fact that like any other pet, Betta fish require conditions that suit their specific needs. Not all fish are the same, and they all have different needs to live happily ever after. Here are the basics of what Betta fish need. 

Big Enough Aquarium

The aquarium must be large enough for any type of fish you decide to keep as a pet. It is not humane to keep them in a container slightly larger than the average glass. If you only have one Betta fish, with no company in the aquarium – it needs at least a 5-gallon fish tank. 

Big Enough Aquarium

If you keep female Betta fish and have the so-called sorority, also count 5 gallons of water on each fish. On the other hand, if your fish society contains mixed-species, first you must check that they are compatible in character and provide them with as large an aquarium as possible. Bettas are aggressive and territorially focused fish. Although the general opinion is that they can survive in a small aquarium – that does not mean that they are happy.

Don’t Overdo it With the Decoration

Too many decorations in the aquarium can disturb Bettas. Too much sand, various castles, rocks, and shells in most cases just bother the Betta fish. They can easily injure themselves or reduce their ability to swim easily. 

Betta fish love to swim and when they are happy and satisfied with their environment they will swim joyfully. They will not be bothered by plants and they are a favorite decoration of Betta fish. But be careful with them too. Make sure they not take up all the water space and do not come to the surface. Betta fish can take water from the air, thanks to the organ called labyrinth. Too many plants would further stress them and prevent the passage.

Water Temperature

One of the most important factors for the long and quality life of betta fish is the water temperature. Bettas are tropical fish and do not tolerate colder water well, nor too hot. The optimum temperature is 76°F to 81°F and any larger and longer-lasting deviation would endanger the life of the beta fish. 

They are very sensitive to temperature differences and therefore it is important to put a thermometer and heater in the aquarium with betta fish. They must work accurately and warn you when the water temperature is not at the optimal level. Do not forget about water quality. Betta does not suit fishermen with ordinary water from the city water supply because it is full of chlorine that harms them. You can buy special dechlorinated or bottled water, which does not contain heavy metals. Also, never pour distilled water into the aquarium, because it does not contain minerals necessary for the health of Betta fish.

Good Nutrition

Betta fish are carnivores and although they can occasionally eat something of plant origin – if they are denied biologically determined food, they will inevitably get sick.

They primarily eat insects and insect larvae. If you don’t know exactly what and how to feed them, ask in pet shops. Here you can also buy specialized food, i.e. palletized or flaky. They are fed daily in the amount they can eat in one meal. 

Otherwise, the excess feed will fall to the bottom of the aquarium and contaminate the water over time. There are even treats that are high protein meals from crab meat and bloodworms. As with any treat, you should not overdo it, and you can only give this type of food occasionally.

It is recommended that the daily diet be divided into two meals, morning and evening. It is best to feed them at the same time every day. Thus Bettas will acquire the habit and will avoid unnecessary stress from waiting for food. Betta fish can be overfed or starved. You don’t want that either. That is why it is important to feed them in a routine.

Good Company

If you’ve ever had a Betta fish for a pet you probably know about their combativeness and aggressiveness. In addition to the beauty of fins – they are also known for their slightly more complicated character, and they choose company accordingly. Specifically, you as the owners choose their company or keep only one male Betta fish as a pet.

Males are quite aggressive and attack almost any other species. There are, however, species that are more compatible and you have to choose them carefully, if you do not want a war in the aquarium. Also, the more fish you want, the larger the aquarium must be. 

That way, the fish will be calmer and each will have its territory and enough space. Betta male and female can only be together while mating, otherwise they will fight. Females are generally less aggressive and it is possible to keep them more in the aquarium. When there are more of them, they organize a hierarchy in the so-called sorority and if no one bothers them – they can live together long and happily.

Betta fish are complicated roommates and require special care if you put them in an aquarium with another species.

Love and Care

Betta fish are, strong, but also very sensitive. If their balance is disturbed or they are exposed to stress for too long, they will get sick and without adequate medication – they will die. So, you must first know how to create proper conditions for Betta fish to be happy and beautiful. 

If you like their character or think they are too demanding as pets – then don’t buy them. It is a much better option to choose another pet. If you like Betta fish then do everything in your power to provide them with everything they need for a long and happy fish