Betta Fish Care – How to Care for Bettas?

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Most fish keepers raise their heads when they hear about this fish species because the Betta Fish is one of the most popular aquarium fish out there. If you are looking for a colorful and energetic fish that livens up your tank, then this is the one you should go for.

High popularity usually means that the fish in question is easy to care for. Unfortunately, this is not the case when it comes to the Betta Fish. I’m not saying that it’s going to be hard but this breed will certainly require some of your attention.

Also Read: How to Start Your First Betta Tank

It is worth taking care of them by all means because Bettas are beautiful and a delight to look at. In this article, we are going to talk about everything you need to know about the species before buying it.

I’m going to share all the ins and outs, turning you into an outstanding Betta Fish owner!

Aquarium Size for Betta Fish

For starters, let’s see how much space does a Betta Fish need. Buying an aquarium of the right size is the very first step you should make. The question is: How many Bettas do you want to keep? For a single species, you will need a 5-gallon tank. The bare minimum is 2,5 gallons but bigger is obviously better.

The Betta Fish, just like any other fish, needs a large enough area to swim around. Therefore, those bowl-shaped aquariums that you typically see in cartoons are not an option. If you opt for something bigger, then it will keep your Betta happy and will be easy to clean.

The cleaning part is very important because of the ammonia and toxins that are being released. Those harmful substances accumulate faster in small tanks. It is much less difficult to keep a bigger aquarium neat and clean. By buying one, you do a favor not only for your Bettas but for yourself too.

Water Parameters for Betta Fish

Check the water parameters every few days and make sure they are consistent. This is not only a great tip for the Betta Fish but pretty much for all aquarium species. Now we are going to talk about the certain ranges your water parameters should be kept within.

The acidity should be between 6 and 8 pH, whereas the water hardness should be kept between the 5-35 dGH range. Also don’t forget about the temperature which should be 75-80°F. The reason why these ranges are important is because if you don’t take them seriously, your Bettas can get sick.

If a fish gets sick, it is often times not easy to cure. It is best to prevent these situations and put that little effort into monitoring the water parameters. Take a close look at your fish every day to see if there are any changes in their appearance or behavior.

The temperature is also one of those things that should be checked daily.

Changing Water in Betta Fish Aquarium

A frequent mistake that fish keepers usually make is that they don’t change the water. In a closed system like that one, the contaminants can quickly accumulate. Also, your fish will have less and less ”air to breathe” because of the lack of fresh, oxygen-rich water.

Therefore, a lot depends on proper water circulation with the Betta Fish. What we recommend you to do is to make sure at least 25% of the water is changed every week. This will keep your water parameters stable and your fish healthy.

The gravel should be cleaned every few days as well. You can use a gravel siphon for this purpose. Preventing the algae from accumulating in your tank is also important. You can either use an algae magnet or include an algae eater kind of fish in your aquarium.

Of course, you will need a fish tank big enough for keeping multiple species for that.

Feeding Your Betta Fish

One way to keep a Betta Fish colorful and lively is to provide them with proper nutrition. They flourish in wonderful colors, especially if they are healthy. Finding out more about their natural habitat is a great way to determine what to give them to eat.

This species can be found in the warm basins of Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia out in the wild. These are waters full of various organisms, including insects, tiny organisms and invertebrates. Since Bettas are carnivores, they live solely on meat-based foods.

It won’t be much of an issue to find the right food for them. There are many products to choose from in any fish store. The rule of thumb with Bettas is to start buying flakes that are made for carnivores. This is what most experienced aquarists do feed them.

You can go for live foods as well but flakes will definitely save you a significant amount of time. Live foods usually require preparation whereas flakes are basically healthy fast food for fish. If you buy them dry or frozen foods, they will be more than eager to consume those too.

We already mentioned that Betta Fish are energetic and lively. They love to swim around, to act playful and they also love to eat. They will consume all the food you give them; therefore, it is important not to overfeed them.

When this happens, you can easily notice it by their sloppy movement and seemingly exhausted behavior. This means that you should not feed them anymore for the day. Make sure to only give them the amount of food that they can eat within 5 minutes.

Water Filtration for Betta Fish Tank

For the Betta Fish, installing an aquarium filter is just as essential as installing a heater. What you should look for in the fish store is an internal filter that is also adjustable. A filter of this type allows you to change the intensity in which the water flows through it.

The filter doesn’t have to be a strong one. It it’s too strong, the water flow it creates might become a problem for your Betta Fish. On the other hand, there are plenty of strong water filters that can be adjusted.

This is something you should test out at the beginning and then stick to a water flow level that your Bettas find comfortable.

Water Heater for Bettas

When it comes to the Betta Fish, it is highly important to install a water heater. This species lives in Asia in tropical waters in its natural habitat. The water in your tank should imitate that warm environment.

The type of heater you should look for is a submersive one. It should be big enough so that it easily heats the water up according to the size of your tank. Set it to any value between 75-80 °F and it will be ideal for your Bettas.

Artificial Lighting for Bettas

What the Betta Fish needs is a quiet place with dim light. Avoid putting your aquarium to a window where the sunlight can directly hit your fish. It is not that Bettas don’t enjoy light but direct sunlight is simply not for them. You should rather install artificial lights to your tank.

The whole tank should be evenly lit. This is something you need to be smart about because if the lighting is too strong, it only enhances the growth of algae. Therefore, what we recommend you is to buy LED or luminescent lights in the shop.

Can You Keep Multiple Bettas in One Tank?

You certainly can. However, the bright colors of the Betta Fish males can be quite aggressive. Two males are definitely not going to get along with each other in a closed environment like your fish tank. First, they get territorial, then they will eventually fight each other.

This is certainly not something you want to see in an aquarium. The solution to this is to add only one Betta Fish male to your tank and one or two females. A 15-gallon aquarium with 3 Bettas makes quite a decorative and exciting aquarium.

The male will have no reason to switch to its combative nature and they will get along well.

Do Bettas Jump Out from Tank?

Bettas indeed can jump out from the aquarium and we are going to explain you why. There are various reasons and we are going to go through each of them. One of the reasons why a Betta Fish jumps out is poor water conditions.

This usually means that you have not cleaned your fish tank for a while and the contaminants were accumulated, especially ammonia. This causes your fish to go and look for clean water and since it has no other choice, it will jump out in hope of finding it there.

The same happens if there are drastic changes in temperature or acidity. The other reason why Bettas jump out is that they don’t have enough space. You need to make sure the tank is big enough for them to comfortably swim around.

Not to mention that in lower amounts of water the ammonia levels get high quickly, which brings us back to our first point. Also add some plants so that your Betta doesn’t get bored with the environment it lives in.

Lastly, your Betta fish might just simply like to jump or try to catch something outside the aquarium. Either way, you should cover the top of the tank and everything will be fine.

Are Betta Fish Easy to Care For?

The only reason why we can’t say that the Betta Fish is for beginners is that they are quite sensitive to water conditions. If you can consistently maintain the water parameters that we talked about in this guide, then it won’t be much of an issue for you to keep them healthy.

They need clean water, so frequent water changes are really important. The conditions in the aquarium should imitate the natural habitat of the Betta Fish. They live in warm, tropical waters with certain temperature and acidity.

Other than that, you don’t need to feed them any specific food. As long as it’s meat based, they can eat anything that fits in their mouth. The water flow shouldn’t be too high, otherwise they can get frustrated. Another thing that can irritate them is direct sunlight.

All in all, we can say that they are not hard to take care of. You just need to read a couple short guides about it and you’ll be fine with little effort.

How Long do Betta Fish Live?

When kept in an aquarium, Bettas can live for 3 to 5 years. This depends on the size of the tank, their diet, but mostly on the water conditions. If the water parameters consistently imitate the tropical waters of India, Vietnam or Thailand, then your fish will surely thrive for a long time.

Simply put, there are many factors that determine the lifespan of a Betta Fish. If your Betta is quick to respond to your hand, has bright colors and clear eyes, then it’s perfectly healthy. With a filter and heater installed and some plants that provide oxygen, you can only increase their lifespan.

Conclusion

We can conclude that it can be lots of fun to care for Betta Fish if you do it properly. Although they are certainly not the most undemanding species out there, you don’t have to be a highly experienced fish keeper for them. You can easily get along by reading a couple of guides like this one.

They are colorful and they are exciting to watch thanks to their interesting personality. The Betta Fish will certainly impress any guest that enters your house. On top of that, it is not hard at all to get Bettas. There is a high chance you can get one at any time by visiting the nearest fish store.

What is most important for this species is fresh water and, of course, enough space to thrive. You can keep them happy just by properly maintaining the water parameters. If they are energetic and flourish in bright colors, then it means you have some really healthy Bettas in your tank.

avatar I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.

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