Care Guide for Betta Fish – The Best Beginner Pet Fish
Betta fish (also known as Betta splendens or the Siamese fighting fish) are a long-time favorite pet for both beginner and veteran fish keepers because of their colorful finnage and spirited personalities. If you’re brand new to the aquarium hobby, this care guide is for you! Learn the most important information to care for your first bettafish.
Is it OK to keep Betta Fish in a Bowl
If you haven’t bought a small bowl yet, we highly recommend that you get a larger aquarium that holds at least 5 to 10 gallons of water. The more water you have, the more space your fish will have to play and it allows you to last longer between water changes before the water becomes too dirty. Also, it doesn’t cost a lot more to buy a bigger tank, especially if you take advantage of Petco’s “Dollar Per Gallon” aquarium sale (where a 10-gallon tank only costs $10). Read this blog post to get our complete betta fish checklist and tank setup instructions.
How long does water need to sit before adding fish?
The chlorine in tap water can kill harmful pathogens. It is also fatal to betta fish. You might have heard that chlorine can evaporate by letting it sit for a few hours. But, many cities now use chlormine to treat their water. This does not evaporate. To make sure your tap water is safe for your betta fish, you should always add water conditioner or dechlorinator.
Fritz Complete Water Conditioner is a great choice because it includes an easy to use pump head that can quickly remove chlorine and detoxify ammonia compounds.
Are Bettas in Need of a Heater?
Yes, they do. They prefer temperatures between 80 and 69 degrees F, but they are more active in warm water. A heater can make a betta fish feel lethargic in the United States. They are often kept in rooms that range from 67 to 69 degrees F. For recommendations on heaters, read our article How to Choose the Right Aquarium Heater.
Why Does My Betta Tank Get a Film on Top?
You need to filter enough water to prevent the formation of an oily film made up of proteins. However, since betta fish usually have long, beautiful fins, they cannot swim in strong currents that will whip them around the aquarium. You will be a blessing to your betta fish by setting up a small filter with an adjustable flow rate or a gentle sponge filter. This tutorial will show you how to make your first sponge filter.
Sponge filters are a very popular choice of filtration for betta fish because they’re so gentle, reliable, and easy to use.
How often should I feed my fish?
Feed your betta fish once a day, as much as they can eat in one minute. It is easy to overfeed your betta fish. If he has constipation, he could become more bloated. Two staple foods for betta fish are a dedicated betta pellet and freeze dried bloodworms. You can add variety to your pet’s diet by using our 5 best betta fish foods.
These small floating pellets are specially formulated to provide the nutrition that betta fish need.
How Often Should I Clean my Betta Tank
If you followed our previous advice and got a 10-gallon tank for your betta fish, you may only need to clean the aquarium once or twice a month by changing out 30% of the water. You will have to clean your 1-gallon aquarium every two to three days, with 100% water changes. You can create a stressful environment for your betta fish by having to change the water every other day. Eventually, you will get busy with the holidays or project deadlines and forget to clean the bowl. Your fish will get sick from living in his own waste, and then you’ll have to spend time and money on medications to try to save him.
Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?
No, betta fish are actually territorial creatures (hence the nickname “Siamese fighting fish”) and should not be housed with other bettas. However, depending on their temperament, many betta fish can live with other peaceful nano fish, provided that you give them a larger aquarium (at least 10 to 20 gallons in size) with lots of cover and live aquarium plants. Corydoras, smaller tetras and rasboras are some of the recommended roommates. Our complete list of ideal roommates for betta tanks can be found here.
Our number one piece of advice is not to cut corners on the care of your betta fish. Get a bigger tank and buy good quality equipment and foods for him. You can also continue your education by joining a betta group on Facebook and reading online articles. With more knowledge and experience you can help your Betta live a long and happy life.