The beautiful betta or Siamese fighting fish is one of the most misunderstood fish. While their beauty and hardy natures have made them popular, there is some confusion about betta care, especially among beginners. Read on for a list of the top myths.Myth: Bettas were born in small puddles and prefer small spaces.
Fact: Originally from Asia, bettas live in rice paddies, ponds and streams, not puddles. Like any fish, bettas need room to swim and move freely, especially with their long fins. We recommend at least 1 gallon per fish, with a 5-gallon tank as a minimum.
Myth: Bettas eat plant roots and can live in plant vases filled with water.
Fact: Bettas are carnivores and need protein to survive. They also need to occasionally breathe from the surface—something they can’t do if the surface is covered by a plant. Also, contrary to popular belief, the plant roots don’t create enough oxygen or keep the water clean.
Myth: Bettas don’t need heaters and can survive in room-temperature water.
Fact: Bettas are tropical fish that live in water from 72 to 85 degrees (with 78 to 85 being ideal). A heater may be needed, depending on the size of the tank.
Myth: Bettas can breathe air and therefore don’t need a filter.
Fact: The confusion comes from the fact that bettas have an organ that lets them breathe air from the surface. This allows them to survive in low-oxygenated water, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need a filter. Sponge filters work well as they don’t create too strong a current for the betta’s long, flowing fins.
To keep a betta in healthy condition focus on the best practices of fish keeping and your betta will thrive.