Betta Fish Care Guide

History of Betta Fish

The Betta fish belongs to the tropical region of the world. It thrives in the steady waters mainly comprising of paddy rice fields, slow streams, and muddy waters. The origin of Betta fish traces to Thailand where they were first discovered. They are the most celebrated members of the Gourami family and thus get their behavioural name “The Siamese fighting fish”.

They have really bright and vibrant colors because of the multiple mutations they undergo during the process of their reproduction. This exquisite nature of these fishes makes them one of the most preferred pets all around the world. They inherit a large hue of colors which makes their pattern untraceable to recognise. But, the most common color of them is blue and its respective shades.

From ancient times of its discovery, Betta was known as warrior. They were aggressive and would die for their territory especially against a fish of their own species. Male Betta does not have a tendency of liking towards each other at all. If kept in the same fish tank, they would surely fight till one or both of them die. However, the compatibility of male Betta with the female ones is considerably good. Especially, during the season of breeding and reproduction both the genders take care of each other.

Betta fish has been since early times of its discovery been used for fight shows which started in Thailand initially leading to its fame all over the globe. But, these death sports are extremely deadly for the fishes even if the other one survives or wins. Their fins are torn out and body scarred which gradually kills them slowly or leaves them sick most of the time. But, it is not true that they are only bred for fighting purpose. People with pet fish tanks love Betta in the community because of the magnificent colors and features of this fish.

Characteristics

  • Betta fish are small in size.
  • They grow in height more than the length.
  • The average Betta fish can grow up to 3 inches in length and half an inch in diameter.
  • During their aggressive times, they spread their fins and tail such that they look nearly 1/4th times bigger than their original size.

Life Span

  • Betta fish are fighters both in nature in life span. The eldest Betta till now in the records lived up to 6 years.
  • The only thing to consider is taking care of your fish to make it survive longer.
  • Average Betta lives for about 2-3 years.
  • A well kept Betta can live up to 5 years.
  • Male Betta fish live longer than female thus, if you want a longer lasting relationship with your fish mates, it is preferred to get a male one.

Habitat

  • Betta fish live in slow stream fresh waters with moderately warm temperature.
  • The origin of theirs belongs to rice paddy fields in South Asia.
  • They can be found in the natural habitat thriving in steady ponds, rice paddy fields, stranded water streams and dark shallow lakes.
  • Betta is a tropical fish and requires minimum 75 degree Fahrenheit temperature to live well.
  • An aquarium heater is compulsory for a Betta fish tank where atmospheric temperature varies a lot from day to night.
  • Betta fish like to stay alone and have territorial standing of large areas. Thus, a fish tank of minimum 2 gallons is required to house a Betta.

The Anabantoid nature of Betta

  • Betta fish belong to the Labyrinth family as it also can be seen from its upturned mouth. It breathes directly from atmospheric oxygen.
  • Betta fish needs oxygen directly from the air more than from water.
  • A low level oxygen tank would not harm the health of a Betta. But, their nature of jumping out of the surface makes it necessary to keep a cap or lid on the fish tank.

The Anabantoid nature of Betta can be seen in all varieties of Betta but the endurance varies in every fish.

Different Types Of Beta Fish, Names And Tails

Veil TailPlakatCrown TailHalf MoonDeltas & Super DeltasDouble TailRose & Feather TailRound TailHalf Sun

Veil Tail

Veil Tails have a long tail, anal and dorsal fin. They are known for their bright colors and spectacular fins.vail tail bettafish

Plakat

These are short-tailed betta fish. They are larger and stronger and less prone to injury.plakat bettafish

Crown Tail

Crown tail Betas have striking tail. They have teardrop shape to its tail while the twin tail is split.crowntail bettafish

Half Moon

They are one of the prettiest species due to their often unusual coloring and 180 degree, fan-like tail.half moon betta fish

Deltas & Super Deltas

The Super Delta Tail Betta boasts a breathtaking color pattern in which the body coloration radiates partially into the fins.delta-tail-betta

Double Tail

Double tail Betta has a true double caudal fin, in which there are two distinct tails and not just a split in a single tail. Some varieties of double tail are also known as Full Moon Betta but its only a marketing term.double tail bettafish

Rose & Feather tail

They are half-moon Betta with extra branching in the fin rays.feathertail betta fish

Round Tail

They can be compared to a Plakat with a large tail, and mistaken for a Delta. The fin shape is round, rather than the straight edges of a Delta, but fuller and longer than that of a Plakat.roundtail bettafish

Half Sun

Half Sun Betta’s are usually produced with crossing a Veil Tail and a Crowntail.half sun bettafish

Betta Fish Bubble Nest

If you see any clusters of bubbles on the wall of your tank, do not freak out. Instead be happy. Why? Because it is an indication of your Betta fish being healthy and happy. This cluster of bubbles is known as Bubble Nest.

But why does it make The Bubble Nest?

It is a sign that your Betta fish is preparing for breeding. The process follows as such:

  • The male Betta fish will build the nest which can be up to 7.5cm in diameter.
  • Then, it will look for a female Betta fish for reproduction.
  • After finding and spawning with the female fish, the female fish will leave its eggs. It is the duty of the male fish to quickly catch the eggs in its mouth and place them safely in the bubble nest.
  • The female fish does not take any responsibility of the eggs thereafter. The male Betta fish takes care of the nest till the eggs hatch and grow enough to survive on their own.

What does the bubble nest do?

Betta fish due to its natural habitat being shallow waters are surrounded with dirt, small rocks and puddle. The bubble nest provides a natural habitat for the eggs to grow healthily. It prevents any dirt or external object from interacting with the eggs. The bubbles make sure that the eggs are always surrounded with rich oxygen and are moist.

Even in the fish tanks without a female fish, the male Betta will make the bubble nest because of its instincts. There is no specific time frame for them or period of cycle to observe. It is just known that they do it from time to time with their instincts that the atmosphere is compatible for breeding process.

Betta Fish Breeding Process

If you want to increase the count of Betta in your tank, you can usually breed them. Breeding is a good thing for both the Betta and its owner as it happens only if the health and atmospheric conditions are perfect and vice versa.

But, the breeding process is a very complicated and time taking one. So, you will have to possess enough patience along with regularity in checking the conditions of the tank. The complete process of breeding is given below step by step:

The Fish Tank

  • For any fish to breed, it needs to be healthy enough. So, setting up the fish tank and revising its condition before starting the breeding process is very crucial.
  • After setting the conditions of the tank you need to bring a female Betta and prepare another similar tank for it. The female fish needs to be of the same size and similar age as the male fish.

Note: A young breeding pair of approximately 14 months of age is best for breeding as this age is perfect for the process and the results are most optimum.

  • Do not place both the genders in the same tank. Betta fishes are territorial and will end up fighting to death for their territory. Even during the breeding time.
  • Wait for 2-3 months for the fishes to settle in the environment and then go further on the breeding process. After they have settled increase the temperature of the tank to 80 degrees Fahrenheit as this is the preferred temperature for the breeding.
  • Remove any gravel or similar substances and plastic plants from the tank as the eggs can get lost in them which will result in depressing the male fish and deteriorate the chances of healthy hatching of eggs.
  • The water level must be maintained at six inches from the lower surface of the tank. Try using an adjustable filter and heater to change the environment as required.

The Breeding Season

  • As the breeding period approaches start feeding the fishes live food and keep changing the water regularly to avoid any contamination. The two tanks need to be kept beside each other such that both the fishes could see each other.
  • The female Betta will show signs that it is ready to spawn. The belly will look swollen vertical stripes appear on the body of the female fish when it is ready to spawn.
  • Place the female in the tank of the male fish and observe the behavior of both. If there is any aggression in their behavior, remove the female fish and try again after a few days.
  • The signs that they are getting ready to spawn is that the male fish will spread its fins and flaunt its colors showing off its masculinity to attract the female.

Note: There may be slight bullying by the male fish as it snaps at the fins of the female Betta. As long as it appears to be harmless, do not try to interfere. This behavior may last for several hours or even days.

  • Then the male Betta will start building a bubble nest to attract the female to copulate. The female will then release the eggs and then try to stay away from the male.

Necessary point: The female will look paralysed while releasing the eggs. It is perfectly normal. Immediately remove the female after it starts moving again or it may try to eat the eggs itself.

Taking care of the eggs

  • As soon as the female releases the eggs, the male fish will catch them with its mouth and place them in the bubble nest to grow.
  • Both the fishes need utter care during the courtship period as they are susceptible to infections. Treating the tanks with MarOxy or any other similar medication is good to avoid any fungal attack on the eggs.
  • Before the eggs hatch, keep a stock of live small insects to feed the new born. The new born are called fry. They will usually swim at the surface looking for the insects and live food.
  • Cover the tank with a plastic sheet to avoid cold wind from getting in as the fries may develop pneumonia when they swim around the surface and catch the cold wind.

Betta Fish food and Diet Procedures

Betta fish is carnivorous and requires a high protein diet to thrive. In their natural habitat, they usually feed on live insects, blood worms, mosquitoes. Feeding your Betta with commercial carnivorous pellets is enough for a good diet.

Betta fish do like snack from time to time. The best snacks for them are frozen worms, freeze dried fish and blood worms. Though a Betta fish can eat anything it should and even if it should not, they do not. They are very choosy in the food they eat. Here is a list of their favourite and most nutritious foods:

  • Fish Pellets Betta pellets are the best source of nutrition for the Betta fish on a daily basis. Feed your fish around 2-3 pellets twice a day and it will get enough protein to stay healthy.
  • Live Food – Live food for Betta includes insect larvae, mosquito larva, daphnia, brine shrimp and bloodworms. Live food is preferably fed to these fishes when they are in the healing process. When feeding live food, the tank needs to cleaned from the leftovers as they are likely to catch infection quickly.
  • Frozen FoodFrozen food is more expensive than other options but liked the most by the Betta. They are mostly fed as snacks once or twice a week. Frozen food is better as the freezing kills all the germs and makes it harmless. Unfreeze the amount you need to feed.
  • Freeze Dried FishThis one food when fed regularly will make the Betta ignore any other food for ever. They like this food so much that they get addicted to it. Freeze dried fish is best for medication and vitamin intake for your fish.

How Often to feed Betta Fish

  • Overfeeding is one of the main reasons for the Betta to get sick. They do not have a proper control over their appetite and in good tank conditions will eat any amount of pellets you feed them.
  • This leads to constipation in them which is a major killer. The best option to void overfeeding is to provide only the amounts your Betta takes 2 minutes to devour.
  • An overfed Betta will look swollen if it gets constipated and the eyes seem to be popping out of the head too. So, try not to get into that or the treatment will cost more than feeding it because of a slight negligence.

Bestseller No. 1
Tetra Betta Small Pellets 1.02 Ounce, Complete Nutrition Plus Color Boost
  • BETTA FORMULATION Nutritionally complete daily diet for your Siamese fighting fish (betta splendens)
  • COLOR-ENHANCING Includes carotenoids to enhance your betta’s naturally brilliant colors
  • FLOATING PELLETS Ideally sized for top-feeding bettas
  • PROCARE FORMULA Helps support fish’s immune system for optimal health and long life
  • FOR DAILY FEEDING Feed 2 to 3 times daily only as much as your fish can consume within several minutes
Bestseller No. 2
Tetra BloodWorms 0.25 Oz, Freeze-Dried Food for Freshwater and Saltwater Fish
  • Tetra BloodWorms 0.25 Oz, Freeze-Dried Food For Freshwater and Saltwater Fish
  • Nutritious, freeze-dried food
  • Ideal supplement for bettas and fancy guppies
  • Can also be used to reward small and medium-size tropical and marine fish
  • Age range description: All Life Stages
Bestseller No. 3
Ultra Fresh - Betta Pro Shrimp Patties, 50% Sword Prawns + Akiami Paste Shrimps, All Natural Protein, Rich in Calcium, for Betta's Healthy Development and Cleaner Water, Betta Food
  • ✅ All Natural Protein Blending together premium wild sword prawns and Akiami paste shrimps (up to 50% of total content), this formulation is abounds with natural calcium and energized with a wealth of carefully selected ingredients like organic spinach, fresh squid, fresh-pick garlic, natural spirulina and seaweed. It's sure to help those picky show-grade fighting fish to develop the perfect body and natural colors.
  • ✅ Premium Wild Sword Prawns Sword Prawns features a strong and unique taste that tops all other shrimps, making them the top choice by Michelin Restaurants. This food is simply irresistible to picky bettas.
  • ✅ Great Granule Size for Bettas With the 1.5mm Granule, it is very for betta fish to consume and leaves the water clear for easier maintenance.
  • ✅ Super Betta Food It's not only tasty, but it also keeps betta fish healthy! Our food is jam-packed with vitamins (A, C, D3, E, B1, B2, B6, B12) great for reaching full potential in size, color, fins, and A+ immunity!
  • ✅ 3 Million CFUs/g Probiotics 3 million CFUs/g probiotics are within our food to automatically help dissolve fish excrements, residuals and keeps water clean. Other than that it helps fish to fully absorb nutrition, help to excretion, enhance the immune system and lower the risk of digestive problems.
Bestseller No. 4
TetraBetta Floating Mini Pellets (1 Bag), 0.15 oz
  • BETTA FORMULATION Nutritionally complete daily diet for your Siamese fighting fish (betta splendens)
  • COLOR-ENHANCING Includes carotenoids to enhance your betta’s naturally brilliant colors
  • EASY-SLIDE FEEDER Includes a sliding feeder that makes it simple to dispense the mini pellets – just slide the handle
  • PROCARE FORMULA Helps support fish’s immune system for optimal health and long life
  • FOR DAILY FEEDING Feed 2 to 3 times daily only as much as your fish can consume within several minutes
Bestseller No. 5
Fluval Bug Bites Color Enhancing Fish Food for Betta Fish, Flakes for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 0.63 oz., A7366, Brown
  • Betta fish food that contains up to 40%, nutrient-rich Black Soldier Fly Larvae, the first ingredient
  • High in multiple proteins like whole salmon – rich in Omega 3 and 6 for healthy skin, scales and fins
  • Fortified with essential vitamins, amino acids and minerals for a balanced daily diet
  • Feed as much as fish can eat in two minutes, two or three times daily
  • Sustainably processed in small batches for quality control and maximum freshness

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Long Can Betta Go Without Eating?

Betta fish have a lot of endurance to starvation. So, if you plan to go out of town for a few days do not worry about your Betta as it will survive without eating.

Though, there are auto food devices which can be set at a particular time to feed to fish. They drop pellets into the water at the set times of the day which can help you in extending the vacation period without worrying about the tank either.

Betta fish Diseases

Betta fish are quite prone to diseases, so making it sure that the tank is safe from any external health deterioration is necessary. The best way is to keep the tank clean, the devices running and keeping a regular check on them.

But diseases come in a lot of varieties too and can hit your Betta even after it is kept in a very safe environment. The most common disease is constipation for Betta as they do not have a diet control. The other diseases that occur to Betta are fin rot, dropsy, tail rot, Ick, Gills mites, fungus and many more.

Beta Fish Names

It might sound weird to name your Betta fish but it is somehow a very important part of Betta fish care. Giving your fish a name not only lets you feel comfortable with them, it helps you distinguish between each fish and take care of them better.

You can look over at complete list of Betta fish names or just select one of our own.

Betta Fish Tank Mates

Betta fish prefer to stay alone but if you want to populate the tank with some friends, there is not much to choose from. Betta fish are territorial, egoistic and aggressive. They would get into a fight with any fish that seems to be territorial, more vibrant in colors, attractive, or bigger in size.

To select a good Betta fish tank mate you can opt from these fishes:  African Dwarf FrogsApple SnailsNeon Tetras & Ghost/Red Cherry Shrimp.

Betta Fish Tank/Bowl

Bestseller No. 1
Coralife Size 16 LED BioCube Aquarium & Stand Combo
  • This package combines the Coralife Size 16 LED BioCube Aquarium and the attractive new BioCube NEW & IMPROVED Size 16 Stand
  • The BioCube features LED lighting and timer capabilities–taking it to the next level of all-inclusive aquariums
  • Just like older BioCubes, it has a compact and customizable filtration chamber, hinge-top canopy design, quiet submersible pump, dual intakes, adjustable return nozzle and clear glass back panel for easy refugium set-up. Compatible with all existing BioCube accessories.
  • While appropriate for freshwater planted tanks, using this tank as a freshwater planted tank may require the you to restrict the flow of the return pump and stock only fish a minimum of 1” in length.
  • The Stand dimensions are L 15.25" x W 15.75" x H 28". Tank dimensions: 15" long X 16.75" Wide X 17.5" High .
Bestseller No. 2
Betta Fish Mom, Dad | Funny Fight Me Fish Tank Funny Gift T-Shirt
  • Do you love Betta Fish? Grab this funny Betta Fish Outfit for women, Men . Complete your collection of Betta Fish accessories items like backpack, socks, keychain, earrings, necklace, costume, pajamas, jewelry, pin, ring, dress, onesie & bracelet.
  • This Betta Fish Clothing is a funny birthday and Christmas gift for Betta Fish lovers, fishing enthusiastic, aquarium owner, scuba diver, snorkelling lover, environmentalists and underwater explorer.
  • Lightweight, Classic fit, Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
Bestseller No. 3
Aquadock 35.4x17.7x17.7 inch Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank, Glass Fish Tank with Tool Kit, Fish Tank for Home&Office, Betta Fish Tank Aquatic Plants Tank with Fish Net, Scissors, Tweezers and Shovel
  • ❤SUITABLE SIZE : 35.4x" D x 17.7"W x 17.7"H,10mm thick crystal clear low iron glass fish tank.The capacity of the fish tank is 48 gallons.It is perfect for decorating delicate fish tanks for living rooms and offices.
  • ❤FREE FISH TANK ACCESSORIES : Aquarium fish tank kit includes fishing net, scissors, tweezers, shovel. These tools exist for your convenience to decorate and clean the fish tank. Accessories included with the tank, fishing net color random.
  • ❤PREMIUM QUALITY : The fish tank is made of professional material with high transparency, which can provide an ideal environment for small fish and enhance the ornamental effect.The seams are tightly connected, so the fish tank will not leak water.
  • ❤EASY TO CLEAN : The glass fish tank is very easy to clean, you just need to use a clean sponge and rag to gently wipe, dust can be cleaned. Please don't use rough or sharp cleaning tools, it will affect the surface of the glass.
  • ❤AFTER-SALES SERVICE : We are committed to providing first-class products and after-sales service. If you are not satisfied for any reason, simply contact us by email and we will genuinely answer any questions you may have.
Bestseller No. 4
Vepotek Aqualic 360 Acrylic Aquarium Cylinder Fish Tank 70 Gallons w/LED Light & Sump Tank for Tropical Fresh Water Or Salt Walter (Glossy White)
  • 78-gallon large 360-degree acrylic sump tank (70-gallon tank + 8-gallon Sump tank water capacity)
  • Two high power LED lights w/ 3 different colors (Blue, Purple and White) mounted inside the canopy with a built-in feeding hole
  • Easy draining system that allows the tank to drain water quickly and efficiently
  • Sump Tank Design to allows both fresh & salt water applications, provide better filtration power and allows installation of additional accessories such as UV light, etc.
  • The tank stand and lid are made from glossy ABS plastic to prevent corrosion. The tank stand contains built-in internal steel structural frame
SaleBestseller No. 5
Aqueon Betta Falls Kit Black One Size
  • Waterfall provides a constant flow of filtered water
  • Three separate compartments house up to three betta, small fish, or crustaceans
  • Frosted panels prevent fish from seeing one another
  • Fill indicator window shows internal water level at a glance
  • Uses Aqueon QuietFlow Filtration; cartridge, food, and water care samples are inside

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The first thing to organise and take care of if you are wishing to keep a Betta in your aquarium is setting up your tank according to its conditions. Bettas are tropical fishes and need a moderately warm temperature to live happily. Not only this, they require regular observation and selective in some accessories too. For a complete guide on how to take care of aquarium and bowl read along to know more.

 

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Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts