Betta Care 101

Dec_2013_4

Their spectacular display of color and style make bettas (or Siamese fighting fish) a favorite of fish keepers. Being a hardy fish, they’re also good for beginners. But whether you want to get a betta or already have one, here are a few tips to keep in mind…

  • Tanks: Although they’re often seen in fish bowls, bettas do best when they’re kept in heated aquariums with filtration, tight-fitting covers (to prevent jumping) and little surface disruption (from filter discharges near the surface).
  • Filters: You may periodically see a betta (Betta splendens) gulp air from the surface. This species has a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air and live in low-oxygenated water. But this doesn’t mean they don’t need a filter—a common misconception. Get a filter that doesn’t produce too much current, which makes it harder for them to swim.
  • Water: They’re tolerant of varied water conditions, but prefer warmer temperatures. Remember, their natural habitat is in the waters of Malaysia and Thailand, with temps ranging from 75 to 85 degrees. Keep water at a consistent temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Tankmates: Since male bettas are very aggressive with their own species, only one male should be kept in a tank. But they can get along with other community fish such as Angelfish, small gouramis, swordtails, mollies, and platies.
  • Nutrition: Bettas can be picky eaters, especially when eating new food, so take care to provide adequate nutrition. They need a high-protein diet and eat pellet and flake food, as well as live or frozen food (small worms, brine shrimp and larvae or bloodworms).
  • Feeding: Bettas tend to eat slowly and may have their food eaten by other fish in the tank. To prevent this, feed the other fish first and draw them away from the betta or sequester the betta during feeding time.

Beautiful bettas are a joy to watch. With these tips, you can keep your betta in top shape and enhance your enjoyment as an aquarist. For more information and proper fish supplies, visit Pet Supermarket.

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