Welcome to the wonderful world of Bettas! If you’re a new aquarium owner, you may be wondering if Betta fish are the right choice for you. Well, let us tell you why they make great additions to many aquariums!
Bettas are small tropical fish that can have a variety of colors and fin types. They are native to Southeast Asia (Thailand), and were brought to the United States in 1910. They’re sometimes also called Siamese fighting fish because Siam was what Thailand was called back then. They are very hardy, and can survive in temperatures ranging from 76°F to 81°F. They are carnivores, meaning they eat animal protein.
Bettas come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can find one that fits your style. They’re also relatively easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for newer aquarium owners.
While beautiful to look at, these fish need specific care to keep them healthy and thriving. They need a large tank that has a low-flow filter system and warm water. While these fish are territorial by nature, they do get bored unless they are kept with other sea life for interactions.
Bettas are very adaptable, and will thrive in a wide variety of environments. They are also relatively inexpensive to purchase, and can be found at most local pet stores.
Bettas are very easy going and calm, making them a great option for first time pet owners. They are very easy to maintain, and will only need minimal cleaning. They are very attractive, and will look great in any aquarium.
Overall, Bettas make great family pets. They’re easy to care for and can provide hours of entertainment. Plus, they come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can find one that fits your style. So if you’re looking for a pet that’s easy to care for, consider getting a Betta. You won’t regret it!
- Average Length: 2.25 – 3 inches
- Average Weight: 0.58 – 1.0 ounces
- Colors: Red, black, blue, yellow, turquoise, white, orange, copper
- Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
- Good Pet: Yes!
- Good with Other Bettas: No
- Good with Other species: Moderate
- Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
- Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
- Weight Gain: Normal
- Health Concerns: Fin Rot and Ich
- Average Life Span: 3 to 5 years
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Physical Appearance of Bettas
The physical appearance of a Betta depends on the type of fins they have as well as their color. It’s also worth noting that the male Bettas have more vibrant colors compared to the female ones. Let’s go over the most common physical appearances of a Betta.
Fin Types for the Bettas
The veil tailed Bettas have very long tail fins in addition to dorsal and anal fins creating a veil shape. The Veil Tail Bettas are the most common Bettas in the pet stores because they tend to be healthier and have more vibrant colors.
The tail fins of these types of Bettas flare out in a way that looks like a half moon shape. A good example of a Betta in this category is the Mustard Gas Betta.
The fish have tail fins that appear as two separate fins and very long dorsal and anal fins. Their fins appear fairly similar to the Half Moon Betta, except for the double tail. The Double Tail Bettas can have many colors but aren’t common among aquarists due to their high susceptibility to illness. This type of Betta are prone to excessive fin rot, obesity, and swim bladder disorders. Fish with this fin type usually have a much shorter lifespan.
The Delta Bettas have eye-catching fin types that spread out similar to those of the Half Moon. They have almost as much fin as the Half Moon, but their fins are spread out less than 180 degrees.
The Bettas in this category have long droopy fins that look like streamers behind the fish. The Crown Tail Betta’s bodies have a rectangular look.
The Rose Tail Bettas are also common and have long fins that overlap each other creating the appearance of a flower petal. These varieties of Bettas also have many color variations and look breath-taking in the water.
Plakat Bettas are also very common in pet stores and you can identify them by their short fins. All of their fins are noticeably shorter than the other types of Bettas
Temperament of Bettas
Bettas are peaceful if placed with compatible tank mates. Male Bettas can’t live with another male in one habitat because they can fight each other to death. One male placed with females can live without any problems.
If many female Bettas are put together in a tank, one of the females will become dominant over the others. You may notice some issues until it is sorted out, but after one asserts dominance there shouldn’t be any problems.
Bettas become aggressive if they see other large finned fish in their tank or nearby tanks. Fish such as Guppies should not live with the Bettas.
Best Habitat for Bettas
The minimum tank size recommended for Bettas is a 10 gallon tank. If you have more than one Betta, the size of the tank should be much larger. They are active swimmers and need lots of room to move around.
They also need several places to hide. We recommend adding living plants. If you get artificial plants make sure that they are made of silk and not plastic. A gravel or sand substrate should be used and it should be deep enough to support the plants in the tank.
In the wild, the Bettas are found in the shallow waters of marshes, rice paddies and slow-moving streams that have tropical climates. The temperature should be kept between 76 and 81F. The water’s pH should be between 6.6 and 8.
The level of ammonia and nitrites in the water should be 0 and nitrate must be less than 40 ppm. Bettas need a natural day and night cycles. Using a timer with your aquarium lights will make it easy to create a day and night cycle that’s fully automated. Avoid keeping their tank in direct sunlight.
These fish are not strong swimmers. To make it easier for them to swim inside their tank, a filter that doesn’t create strong current should be used. Using a sponge filter is a good idea. These filters use a sponge inside the filtration unit and have an adjustable setting so that they can be turned up or down depending on your needs.
Keeping the water quality high will allow your Betta to live up to 10 years. Check the levels of ammonia and nitrates in the water regularly using a water testing kit. A thermometer in the tank will allow you to regularly monitor the temperature of the water.
A 25% water change should be done each week. If you are adding tap water make sure you dechlorinate it before you mix it with tank water. A larger tank or a tank with more fish may require larger water changes.
Best Tank Mates for Bettas
Male and female should not be kept together in one tank. This is because the male will try mating with the females. It can cause females to stress out and become lethargic. Multiple female Bettas can be kept together but only one male Betta should be kept in a tank.
These are territorial fish and often act aggressively towards other species. The female Bettas are more open to living in a community tank than males but they are less popular than males. Male Bettas are more popular because they are brighter and have more vibrant colors than females. Fish that are larger than Bettas or have a similar fin should be avoided.
The best tank mates for Bettas are:
- Ember Tetra
- Neon Tetra
- Ghost shrimp
- Cory fish
- African dwarf frog
- Kuhli loaches
Bettas aren’t usually susceptible to illnesses but in some cases, they can contract fin rot, Betta tumors, and problems due to overfeeding.
Fin rots are especially common with long finned Bettas because the fins can easily get caught up by tank decorations or substrate. If a Betta is nipped by another fish, it’s likely to develop a fin rot from the injury. The illness can also occur as a result of bacterial infection emanating from poor water conditions.
The disease shows signs of lumps and cysts on the skin of the fin and is caused by a viral infection. The fish can also appear weak and with poorly formed fins. It’s possible to avoid the disease by feeding your pet on high quality feeds as well as maintaining clean water in its tank.
Bettas don’t stop feeding unless you stop offering them food. These fish, just like other fish species, have small stomachs. If they overfeed, problems with constipation could follow. A constipated fish floats on the water and may die if the overfeeding continues. To help them if they’ve overfed, stop feeding your fish for a few days to allow digestion of the already eaten food.
The Attention Needs of Bettas
Bettas don’t need much attention because they aren’t messy. With a 25% water change each week, your fish can have a long healthy life. Filtration media in the Betta fish tanks should be changed every few months.
Although Bettas don’t require a lot of attention, regular tank cleanings are necessary using algae magnets and substrate vacuum cleaners. It is very important to make sure the temperature remains constant at all times in your fish tank. You can monitor this quickly with a thermometer placed inside their tank.
Did you know that Bettas’ mouths face upwards? It’s the reason that they feed from the surface of the tank. The fish should be fed a diet mostly of proteins and fiber. Fish flakes make the best food for Bettas because they combine the necessary nutrients and vitamins in easy to feed flakes. They also love eating brine shrimp and dried bloodworms. Bettas are carnivorous and should be fed foods rich in animal proteins.
Can I Keep my Betta in a Bowl?
No, because a bowl won’t give your fish enough space to swim. It’s also worth noting that Bettas do well in warm clean water which requires an aquarium fitted with a heater.
Can Bettas Recognize Their Owner?
Just like Goldfish, Bettas will remember their caregivers over time, especially the ones that feed them. It’s common for Bettas to seem excited and swim towards the surface of the tank when their owner approaches it.
Why do Bettas Spit Out Food?
Betta fish pets are picky eaters and can sometimes spit out what they don’t like. Spitting mainly occurs if you feed your pet on a certain food and then you decide to change their diet. You can also see your fish spit their food out, especially the pellets as a way of softening them for easier digestion. If your fish is trying to soften their food, they will eat it again.