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! These are the top tips to help you keep 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). To learn more about betta fish and how to set up your tank, read this blog post.
How long should water be allowed to stand before adding fish?
Tap water contains chlorine to kill pathogens. Betta fish can also die from this chemical. It is believed that chlorine can be evaporated by letting water sit for a few hours. However, many cities now use chlormine to treat their water. Therefore, always add some water conditioner or dechlorinator to make your tap water safe before pouring it into your betta fish’s tank.
Fritz Complete Water Conditioner is our favorite because it has an easy-to use pump head to quickly remove chlorine and detoxify any ammonia compounds.
Are Bettas in Need of a Heater?
Yes. Betta fish like temperatures between 80°F and 90°F, and are more active in warmer water. Without a heater, bettas can become very lethargic in the United States. The room temperature is usually between 67 and 69 degrees. For recommendations on heaters, read our article How to Choose the Right Aquarium Heater.
Why Does My Betta Tank Get a Film on Top?
A good filtration system is necessary to ensure that an oily layer of proteins does not form. It should provide adequate surface agitation and clean water. However, since betta fish usually have long, beautiful fins, they cannot swim in strong currents that will whip them around the aquarium. Get a gentle sponge filter or smaller filter with an adjustable flow rate, and your betta will thank you for it. Here is a detailed tutorial on how you can set up your first spongefilter.
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 Betta Fish?
Your betta fish should be fed once per day. They should eat as much as possible in a single minute. It is easy to overfeed your betta fish. If he has constipation, he could become more bloated. Begin by giving two main foods to your betta fish: a dedicated bettafish pellet and freeze-dried worms. Our list of 5 betta food options you should consider for your pet will help you to expand his variety.
These tiny floating pellets are specifically formulated to provide the nutrition your betta fish require.
How Often Do I Need to 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. This schedule of maintenance creates a volatile environment, which can be very stressful for your fish. You’ll eventually forget to clean the bowl because you are too busy with holidays and deadlines. 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?
Betta fish are territorial and should not be kept 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. Some recommended roommates include smaller tetras, rasboras, and corydoras. You can see our complete list here of ideal betta tank friends.
Our top tip is to ensure your fish stays healthy and happy. Purchase high quality food and equipment for your fish. Keep learning by joining a Facebook betta fish group or reading online articles. With more knowledge and experience you can help your Betta live a long and happy life.