How to Properly Care For Your Betta Fish
Being able to take care of any pet properly, and in this case, a betta fish means knowing what can keep them healthy and happy. It also means being aware of what might cause them to get stressed and sick, so you can avoid it from happening.
Whether you already have your betta or just planning to buy one, knowing the do’s and don’ts of having them can make things a lot easier–especially when purchasing a fish tank and other accessories for the first time.
Before anything else, here are five facts about bettas that you should know.
- Bettas live at an average of 3 years, but if taken care of properly, they can live up to 10 years.
- An average adult betta fish can grow up to 3 inches long.
- They are carnivores.
- A betta fish can gulp air from the surface of their tank, so you need not put them in aerated aquariums.
- They are the peaceful kind and can live with other community fish.
Now that that’s established, let’s move on to the basics of taking care of your betta fish!
Setting up the tank
Betta fish can live in either bowls or aquariums, so that leaves you with choosing on your own. Consider setting up their new home at least a day before they arrive.
If you choose an aquarium, take note of the following:
- The size of your tank depends on the number of fish you have. If you have one betta and a few community fish, the aquarium should be at a minimum of 3-5 gallons.
- The aquarium should be away from direct sunlight, near a power source, and in a low-traffic area.
- If you want to have a lot of community fish, use this formula to find out if you’ll need a bigger tank: one gallon of water is for an inch of fully-grown fish.
- Water averagely weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, therefore pick a stable, sturdy base for your tank then fill with water.
If you go for a bowl, remember these points:
- Have just one betta in a bowl.
- The temperature of the room should stay above 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The bowl should be at least one quart in volume.
Decorating your tank
You wouldn’t want your betta to swim around a bare place, right? So here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out:
- Add an under-gravel filter first, if you will be using one. Remember to wash them first.
- Place a layer of about one to two inches of gravel on the bottom of the aquarium.
- Fill the aquarium halfway up with dechlorinated water.
- Add plants, fish decor, and other objects.
- Finish up by filling the tank with the same water.
Heat & lights
- Betta fish are classified as tropical and need to swim in water having a temperature of 74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pick an aquarium heater with a power of five watts per gallon in the tank.
- Wait for about 15 minutes after filling the tank with water before turning the heater on.
- To distribute warm water evenly, place the heater close enough.
- Now, run the tank’s filter and hood light for a day, check the water’s temperature and make adjustments if necessary.
Buy an aquarium filter that can process all the tank’s water three to five times per hour. If for example, you have a 20-gallon tank, the filter should push through at least 60 gallons of water every hour. Remember to follow the instructions for choosing and setting it up.
Food and feeding
- Betta fish need protein-rich food since they are carnivores. Try a frozen or freeze-dried shrimp brine or some tubifex worms.
- They tend to be picky eaters, so try different brands or blends.
- Bettas are surface feeders–remember to keep the surface unobstructed.
- Do not overfeed them.
- Feed only 2-4 pellets, once or twice every day.
- Know that a varied diet is always the best diet.
Tank cleaning, care, and maintenance
For maintaining your betta’s fish tank, keep these pointers in mind:
- Do not clean the aquarium with decoration soap as it is toxic to them.
- Non-filtered and smaller tanks need frequent cleaning.
- Only remove your bettas during a hundred percent water changes.
- You can use regular bleach and white vinegar as cleaning agents.