How To Take Care of Betta Fish: Betta is fresh water fish, they are small fish that has beautiful tails and fins; taking care of beta fish is easy and if you take care proper they can live up to 3 years. Before you own a betta fish you must know about every possible detail such as diet, environment condition, necessary equipment, good tank mates, disease and treatments and how to maintain hygiene.
Some Facts About Betta Fish
Betta is most beautiful fish due to their different kind of tails and fins they also comes in various colors and make your aquarium colorful and attractive. Read some facts about betta fish before you own them:
- Betta is fresh water fish and belongs to ospronemidae family and commonly 2.5 inches long.
- Betta fish comes in 65 types and most popular one is “betta splendens”. Betta fish lifespan is 18 to 30 months (depends on care) and betta fish comes in different shapes of tails such as comb, crown, double feather, half-moon, veil, spade, rose and more. They also comes in different combination of colors such as red & blue, opaque, white & black, purple, turquoise, green, orange & yellow, neon, silver & gold.
- Male betta fish has much larger fins and more elaborate colors than female betta fish; female betta fish has small fins and dull colors.
- Betta fish can breathe in water and also on the water’s surface, they have labyrinth organ which allows them to take breathe on water surface.
- Betta is quite intelligent fish and they can recognize their owner and you can train them to do some tricks such as swimming thru hoops, follow your finger or pushing a ball into a goal.
Betta Fish Diet
To make betta fish happy and healthy then it is necessary to feed them protein rich food. Here we have mentioned some point related to betta fish diet:
- Protein rich food: Betta fish are carnivorous; in natural habitat they eat insects and their larva. To keep betta healthy you must feed them food which is made by meat or shrimp, but keep in mind one thing that you can’t feed them other small tropical fish, betta fish need specific protein rich diet.
- Betta fish are picky to eat: Betta fish are very choosy about their food you need to feed different kind of food or mix different brand of fish food, most favorite food of betta is freeze dried blood-worms and brine shrimp.
- Feed betta fish 1 to 2 times in a day: To keep betta fish healthy you need to feed them in right proportion you can feed 1 to 2 times in a day. If you are going away for some days, never put extra food they will never eat and extra food will make fish tank dirty. Betta fish can live 14 days without food, so don’t worry they won’t die.
- Overfeeding: It really hard to know the perfect amount of food to feed betta fish their stomach size is about size of their eyes, so simply feed your betta fish 2 to 3 pellets or brine shrimp in a day. Overfeeding to betta fish can cause many health problems such as bloating, constipation and swim bladder issues.
Betta Fish Habitat Conditions
If you want to own a betta fish then it is important that you must know about betta fish living environment condition, here we have mentioned habitat conditions in which betta fish can live happily and healthy:
- Tank size: For healthy betta fish you will need minimum 2.5 gallon of tank size and it’s a myth that betta fish can live in a small bowl, small bowl can make betta fish sick because it is very hard to maintain nitrogen cycles and you need to change water more frequent than larger tank. Chose tank which comes with lid because betta fish like jumping and they may jump out from the tank.
- Water quantity: Fill tank with at-least 2.5 gallons of water and never fill tank till the top.
- Water quality: Keep in mind that water which use for betta fish must be free from chlorine, chloramines, ammonia and other heavy metals and don’t use distilled water because it’s free from all the essential minerals that betta fish needed. You can use spring water and add “betta fish water conditioner” which is easily available at any pet shop, you also need to maintain nitrogen cycle in the water tank; maintaining nitrogen cycle is most important thing if you want your fish stay healthy and happy. Fish waste has ammonia which mixes with the water and can kill the betta fish or make him sick if toxic level increases. To avoid such situation you need to change the water once in a week.
- Water temperature: Betta fish natural habitat climate is tropical so they can only live under warm water, water temperature must be between 78° F to 80° F, in this temperature betta fish can live healthy life and their lifespan can be increased.
- Natural & artificial light in tank: Betta fish need either natural light or artificial light; betta awake during day time that is why they need light at day time and betta sleep during night so they need darkness at night time. Natural light such as sunlight is hard to control and direct sunlight may increase the water temperature. Artificial light is recommended because it is easy to control; you can “on” it at day time and “off” it at night time.
Necessary Equipment for Betta Fish
Betta is sensitive fish he can be easily got sick if he doesn’t get proper care and necessary equipment, so here we listed out some equipment which are essential for betta fish:
- Aquarium thermometer & heater: Betta fish are very sensitive and get stressed when there are changes in the temperature and sudden change in temperature may cause adverse health consequences. Betta fish get sick when temperature of water changes so you need to monitor water temperature and for that you will need an aquarium thermometer. If water temperature drop below by 78° F your betta fish will get sick or may be die and if water temperature go above by 80° F same thing will be happened, your betta fish will get sick or may be die. So it’s very important to have thermometer to monitor the temperature and to maintain the temperature in water tank you need an aquarium heater.
- Aquarium Filter: Filters are best equipment to maintain quality of tank water, it reduces harmful bacteria and promote healthy one and also clean dirt from water. You can buy sponge filters which protects the fins of betta fish.
- Aquarium artificial & live plants: To make betta fish happy and stress free then you need to make water tank environment as their natural habitat so that they can feel like home and stay happy. For making tank environment as natural you can use artificial & live plants, while buying artificial plants keep in mind that artificial plants must be soft and don’t have sharp edges otherwise betta fish can be hurt and live plants are best because it not only give the tank environment natural look but also oxygenate the water and keep the water cleaner by absorbing toxic elements such as “ammonia” which cause by betta fish waste.
- Aquarium hideouts place: Betta fish feel safe in small hide places especially while sleeping. In their natural habitat there are lots of hiding places so you need to copy that in the water tank to make betta fish feel safe and stress free, you can buy aquarium hideout places from any pet shop.
Good Tank Mates for Betta Fish
To make your aquarium beautiful you can add different type of fish but not every fish can live with betta, if you add big fishes they may harm betta and also you can’t add those fishes which live under different tank environment, so here we have mentioned some fish which can become good mates of betta:
- Corydora catfish: Corydora catfish live in same environment as betta fish they are 2.5 inches long and can live under 78° F to 80° F temperature. They are best tank mate for any species and they come in different patterns and colors which make your aquarium attractive.
- Kuhli loaches: Kuhli loaches are also best mate for betta as they prefer to live in group of three or more. They are about 4.5 inches long and can live under 78° F to 80° F temperature, and their diet is same as betta fish so you don’t need to buy different kind of food.
- Bristlenose plecos: Bristlenose plecos are good mate for betta and they also clean the tank by eating algae and uneaten food, they are about 6 inches long and can live under same temperature as betta fish.
- Neon tetras: Neon tetras are tiny fish they are about 1.5 inches long and can become good mate of betta fish, their diet and living environment are same as betta fish.
- Zebra snails: If you want more variety in your aquarium then you can add zebra snails, they are also good with betta fish. Zebra snails mostly like to eat algae and uneaten food which helps keep the tank clean.
Note: Never keep two male betta fish together otherwise they will fight and harm each other and also never put gouramis fish & goldfish with betta.
Betta Fish Health
Like other fish betta also suffers from health problems and you need to check whether your betta is healthy or sick, here we have mentioned some characteristics of healthy and sick betta fish:
- Check your betta fish activity level: If your betta fish playing and swim normally or reacts aggressively to outside stimulus or reacts when you tap on the tank this means fish is healthy but if activity level go down or betta hiding at the bottom of the tank more often than normal or betta fish movements slow down or betta doesn’t response when you tap on the tank this means fish is sick.
- Check your betta fish color (male only): If your betta fish has bright colors it indicates that he is healthy but if your betta fish color become dull or start fading out it means that he is getting sick.
- Diet of betta fish: Keep eye on betta diet, if your betta fish eats regularly and normal it means that he is healthy but if betta stops eating or eat less it indicates that betta may be sick.
- Tattered fins: Healthy betta fish always having unharmed fins and if betta fish sick then their fins start tattered or holes in their fins.
- Breathing problems: If your betta fish stays more on top of the tank and struggle to breathe it means that he is sick.
- Look for physical changes: If your betta fish physical appearance starts changing such as bulging eyes, raised scales, swollen gills or stomach, lumps or bumps on the fish body or white dots on the fish then it means that he is sick.
- Notice if your betta fish scratches the tank: Betta fish is healthy if he plays and swims normally but if he scratches the tank, plants or other objects it means that he is sick.
Treatment of Sick Betta Fish
As you know betta fish are sensitive they can suffer from many health problems but with proper care and attention those health problems can be prevented & treated. Here we listed out some common health problems which betta fish may face:
- White dots on the fish: If you see white dots on your betta fish it means your fish is suffering from “columnaris disease” and this disease caused by stress & poor water quality. To treat this disease you need to clean the water and add “anti-fungal medication”.
- Holes in head: If you see visible holes above the betta eyes, it caused by poor nutrition and poor water quality. To treat this you need to clean the water and feed nutritious food to your betta fish.
- Tattered fins & tail: It is very common disease of betta fish in which fins and tail gets tattered, it causes by poor water quality. To treat this you need to clean the water and add aquarium salt or you can use “Maracyn II antibiotics” or “Kanaplex” which helps to treat internal infections of the fish.
- Bulging eyes: If you see bulging eyes or white eyes of betta it means betta is suffering from “popeye disease” and it caused by poor water quality. To treat this disease you need to clean the water and use “Maracyn II antibiotics” or “Kanaplex”.
- Lump or bump: If you see any bump on betta it means betta has “tumor” and this disease can’t be cure.
- Lethargic: If betta is looking dull and inactive then it means your betta is suffering from disease which caused by cold water, high ph level in water and stress. To treat this, maintain water temperature between 78° F to 80° F and water ph level between 6.5 to 7.5.
- No appetite: If betta fish is not eating it means betta is sick and it caused by cold water, old age and stress. To treat this, maintain the prescribed water temperature and place some hiding object in the water tank.
- Velvet: If betta has yellow or gold like dust on his body it means he is suffering from “velvet disease” and it caused by stress, cold water and poor water quality. To treat this disease you need to clean the water & maintain the prescribed water temperature and also use “Mardel copper safe” which kills the parasites.
How To Clean Fish Aquarium
Cleaning fish aquarium tank is important to keep betta fish away from getting sick, as many diseases caused by dirty water tank. Here we have mentioned easy and simple steps to clean the aquarium:
- Remove tank lid and unplug all equipment: First remove the water tank lid and unplug all equipment such as heater, filter, lights now keep them somewhere safe.
- Remove betta fish: To clean water tank you need to remove betta fish and to remove betta fish you can use a cup or bowl, take your time & go slowly while removing betta and be careful with fins of betta.
- Empty the water tank: Now scoop out water with cup or python siphon.
- Wash the tank & all decoration: Remove all decoration such as plants, gravel or any other decor. Scrub the tank well with soft scrubber now wash the tank with warm water and also clean all the decoration with warm water, keep in mind that while cleaning tank and decor don’t use any kind of soap or detergent.
- Put back all decoration in tank: After cleaning tank and decor put back all decoration in the tank, firstly place gravel on bottom of the tank and then place all decoration and accessories.
- Refill the tank: Now pour new water into the tank and add “betta fish water conditioner” and mix well by using toxic free plastic spoon.
- Put back & plug all equipment: Now place all the equipment into the tank and turn on the same especially the heater so that water can attain the required temperature which is between 78° F to 80° F.
- Put back betta fish into tank: If water temperature is between 78° F to 80° F so now put back betta fish into tank and close the tank lid.