Betta fish or Siamese Fighting Fish are highly popular pets. Not only are the gorgeous with their long-flowing tails, but they have cool personalities. Bettas are often referred to as underwater “cats and dogs with scales.” Although they have great personalities, they tend to be aggressive towards other bettas (male and female alike), so often they live in solitude. In some instances, they may be suitable for tank mates. Still, this situation’s success depends primarily on the betta’s temperament, the size of the tank, and other factors as well. If you are interested in becoming a betta fish keeper and often ask how to take care of betta fish, there are certain things you must know to extend the life of your fish and keep it healthy and happy. So, here’s your how to take care of betta fish guide:
How to Take Care of Betta – Set Up Your Tank Properly
If you really want to successfully care for a betta, you must take some time when setting up your betta’s aquarium. For instance, your fish needs to have plenty of room to move around. For this, you will need at least a 3-gallon fish tank, preferably larger. Whichever tank you choose needs to have a filter and adjustable heater. Make sure that you choose one based on your tank’s exact size so that your fish don’t overheat. The recommended temperature for bettas is 78 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Make sure you properly cycle your new tank so that your aquarium has a healthy filtration system whose job is to establish a healthy bacteria colony that eliminates toxic waste. Cycling your tank ensures that your fish stay healthy.
• Use dechlorinated water and do a 25% water change every week and a full water change once a month. During your total water change, you’ll need to remove your fish and clean any gravel, sand, or substrate with a siphon.
• Choose the right location for your aquarium. Your fish tank needs to be kept in an area where your fish won’t be isolated and can interact with you. Bettas are very intelligent and seem to recognize their pet owners. When choosing a location for your tank, make sure that it is free from cold drafts or excessive heat. For instance, you should never keep your tank near the window or too close to a radiator, since your fish may get too hot or cold. Additionally, direct sunlight can cause an algae overgrowth issue. Of course, if you have an algae-eating tank mate for your betta then this won’t be an issue, and you likely welcome a bit of algae growth to feed your algae-eater.
• Place your betta’s aquarium on a flat, stable surface which will not get knocked off its location. You may even want to keep your fish on your desk or a table against a wall. Either way, find a place that won’t be easily jostled.
How to Take Care of Betta Fish – Choose Safe Tank Décor
Provide adequate and safe décor. At times, your fish may prefer to hide. Hence, you should provide a great variety of silk or live plants. You can also offer caves and other hiding places. Whatever décor you choose, make sure that it is safe for delicate fins. One way to test this is to run a pair of pantyhose over the décor, and if it tears the pantyhose it is much too rough for your fish.
How to Take Care of Betta Fish – Implement Proper Feeding Strategies
Bettas tend to overeat, and this can cause weight gain, constipation, obstruction, bloating, and even death. Therefore, it is essential that you do the following:
• Give your betta the correct amount of food: Your betta should only eat as much food as her eyeball is. That is, 3-4 pellets or 1-2 blood words is often enough. You should also feed your fish one or two pellets or live food at a time. This will ensure she eats it and that too much food doesn’t go to the bottom of the tank before she can grab it. If she does not consume the given food within 5 minutes, scoop it out, so you don’t contaminate her tank water.
• Feed Your Betta Regularly: Feed your fish every day. Some people skip one day, and most people feed small amounts twice a day. If you need to go on vacation, steer clear of those weekend feeders as they can contaminate the water and cause bacterial growth and fin rot. Instead, get someone you trust to come over and feed your fish every day or every alternate day. Make sure that they don’t overfeed your fish while you’re away.
• Vary Your Betta’s Food Choices: Like you, bettas do not like to eat the same type of food daily. Therefore, you should offer them a variety of foods to make it enjoyable. Some great choices are premium pellets or flake, frozen. live or dried bloodworms, fruit fly larvae or fruit flies devoid of wings, and brine shrimp.
In conclusion, hopefully, you can stop searching for how to take care of betta fish and get out there and get one – either through adoption or purchasing one. However, to keep your fish healthy and happy, you must follow the tips mentioned above. Good luck with your new scaled betta fish friend.