Freshwater betta fish, whose tails are gracefully seen gliding in tanks worldwide, is a popular species. Hailed as the Siamese fighting fish, they have long been a popular pet for both new and experienced fish enthusiasts because of their vibrant colors and spirited personality.
However, many myths exist concerning betta fish care. If you are thinking of starting to care for one, it’s easy to be misled and believe the first information that comes to you. Yet if you’d like to learn more about properly caring for your betta fish, continue reading this post.
When it comes to taking care of fish, especially bettas, the most important thing is keeping the tank’s settings and conditions correct. If you don’t follow these simple guidelines, you could jeopardize your betta’s health and immune system.
- Choose A Tank With Enough Room And Depth
One of the most common misconceptions about bettas is that they may thrive in a small bowl or vase. Consider this: if you were given food and water, would you be able to make it in a small wooden box? You could, but you’d be miserable and unhealthy. Bettas aren’t that big, but they like to have room to move around. Thus, if they stay in a tank that is too small for too long, it will shorten their lives.
So, choose a betta tank with a minimum water capacity of five gallons. As far as swimming goes, there is no such thing as having too much space. Even a 10-gallon tank would suffice. The tank should not be too deep, though. Bettas naturally swim left-to-right in shallow water, so a deep tank isn’t suitable for them. Standard square tanks are chosen over bowls for the same reasons.
- Know Ideal Conditions And Temperature
The ideal conditions for betta fish would be natural or artificial light during the day and total darkness at night. This daily pattern regulates their internal biological clock. Moreover, avoiding placing your tank in direct sunlight at all costs would be best. Doing this will increase the tank temperature, leading to the forming of unwanted algae. Keeping them in water with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 is acceptable, but they do best in neutral water (about 7.0).
It’s also essential to remember that betta fish are susceptible to temperature changes in their habitat. They need at least 75–80°F to feel at ease in their environment, so they’ll be happy and healthy.
- Toss In A Few Pieces Of Décor
Betta fish care includes making sure they’re not stressed. Hence, creating a replica of their native environment is the most effective approach. Bettas’ natural habitats are rice paddies, where they can hide and relax in peace. Fake plants, logs, and caves can all be used to mimic such habitats. However, you can’t just chuck anything into your water bowl. It’s best to stay away from the following types of decorations:
- Sharp ornaments that can damage fish fins
- Anything made of metal that will rust
- Hand-painted decorations
- Seashells or dried coral that affect the pH level of water
Since your betta fish will live in the tank, you would have to take steps to maintain it. Their health depends heavily on the water quality and the tank’s cleanliness.
- Give The Tank A Thorough Cleaning
To keep healthy bacteria alive, you should clean filters and their media by rinsing them in the water already in the tank. Other parts and decorations should also be cleaned and sanitized. Remember not to use soap to clean a tank or its features. A betta’s health can be put at risk if the tank is refilled with soap residue.
Feeding your betta fish is a crucial part of their care. A betta’s natural diet consists of the insects and larvae they catch from the water’s surface. If this is the case, feeding them a high-protein and well-balanced fish meal will be necessary. You can give them flakes, pellets, and even frozen food explicitly created for them.
- Stick To A Feeding Schedule
How much food you should give your betta can be challenging to estimate. Most food labels aren’t clear or consistent. Besides, their stomachs are about the size of their eyes, and pellets can grow after being eaten. If you feed them too much, they might get bloated, have problems with their swim bladders, and leave food in the tank that they don’t eat.
So, make sure you stick to a feeding schedule. You can start by keeping these feeding rules in mind: only feed your betta or Japanese fighting fish two to three pellets at once if you provide them twice a day. For once-a-day feeding, three to four pellets should be enough.
Are you now ready to get yourself a betta fish? There are several myths about how to care for them, and it’s easy to be fooled when you’re just getting started. However, if you follow the tips in this article, you’ll be able to keep your betta fish in peak condition.