Betta fish are common household pets. They are known for their variety of colors and elaborate fin displays.
These fishes are highly territorial. Two male bettas are incompatible as they will fight to the death of one or both bettas.
If you plan on keeping bettas for the first time, get some information on how to care for them, as well as their preferences and needs.
And if you are sure that you can care for a betta, you can go ahead and get one.
Bettas are unique, with different temperaments and preferences. Observe the betta so that you can adjust its environment and food according to its need. After all, all bettas deserve a high level of care and treatment.
Bettas deserve more than a bowl
It is not is enough to house bettas in a bowl. Most pet stores sell bettas in small plastic containers. Bettas, or any living creature, do not deserve that.
Aquarium: creating a home
Betta tanks should be 3-5 gallons at the very least. A tank that is at least 5 gallons is the most recommended size for a betta. If you want to house your betta with other compatible fish in a community tank, the tank has to be bigger.
Sorority aquariums are bigger with a recommended size of 20-30 gallons.
These tanks can hold up to 4-5 betta females with other compatible companions.
If you are using tap water to fill the tank, condition the tap water to remove chlorine and chloramine to kill your fish.
Bettas prefer a water temperature of around 75-82°C (24-28°F). It is essential to maintain the same temperature in your tank, read the full guide from AquariumFishCity.
The pH of the water is suitably between 6.8-7.4. The natural habitat has soft, slightly acidic water.
Cycle water for several weeks before you introduce a betta to the aquarium.
This encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria are essential to break down toxic ammonia produced by a fish once you introduce your betta to the aquarium.
Bettas prefer slow-moving water. Set your filter in low flow mode.
Remove and replace 10% of the water once every week. This will help to take care of the nitrate content in the water.
You can also use a gravel vacuum to remove bits of food and waste from the tank bottom.
Never use soap or harsh chemicals to clean the tank as the chemicals are deadly for bettas.
The natural habitat of wild betta includes silt and mud with leaf litters. This isn’t easy to recreate. Instead, you can add gravel and inert sand to the aquarium. Gravels come in a variety of colors. You can pick your choice to beautify the aquarium.
Live plants are a suitable addition to aquariums. There is a variety to choose from, like, they not only serve as hiding places and napping spots. They provide the surface for and promote the growth of essential bacteria.
Here’s a few for starters:
Java Fern and Anubias Nana are slow-growing plants that can be attached to a rock, driftwood, or the tank substrate. With broad leaves, they provide an area for the fish to rest.
Amazon sword has broad leaves and can grow to 3 feet. It is suitable for tanks that are more than 10 gallons. You can easily trim its leaves and extra growth if it becomes too big.
Marimo moss balls are round algae. They are great play-plants for bettas to roll or rest on.
Water sprites are floating plants. They can be added to betta tanks to provide shade and encourage the betta to build bubble nests.
Substrates and vegetation can also prevent reflection. A betta in a substrate-free tank can become stressed with its reflection.
Bettas are also called labyrinth fish because of their ability to use atmospheric oxygen. The surface of a betta tank is best not restricted by a cover plant.
There are instances where there is a neglect of water maintenance. This is because of the assumption that labyrinth fish can survive in poor quality water. You have to rethink that assumption if you want healthy bettas that can live to a ripe age. Besides, an unmaintained water plant results in fin rot.
Speaking of ripe age, bettas in captivity live 3-5 years.
Who knows, it may reach a rare extra life span with your care and attention. And the right food!