Siamese Fighting Fish or is more commonly known as Betta fish. Betta fish are a very popular freshwater tropical fish because of their vibrant, beautiful bright colors, and that they’re relatively easy to care for.
Remember that wild betta fish in a natural habitat usually live in small, even dirty puddles and pools so they’re a pretty hardy fish to start with. Looking after your Betta fish requires some effort and time on your part.
There are special considerations you should keep in mind. These considerations are uniquely special to Siamese Fighting Fish. This is especially so when it comes to the male Betta fish. Males need a bit more care so that they maintain a happy and healthy Betta pet.
Items you will need: It’s probably best for you to have a bowl of tank already setup before you bring your pet Betta home from the pet store. To start with your betta fish will be alright in a small tank or bowl, but keep in mind that the larger the bowl is, the more contented and happy your pet Betta will be.
There are a few different types of recommended setups for betta fish: (1) a separate smaller bowl or tank is mainly ideal for say just one betta fish. Make sure you use at least 1/2 gallon or so. (2) a tall or round clear glass bowl or an even modern clear plastic fish bowl also works well. But again it must contain at the very least about one and a half gallons of water. (3) an aquarium tank with a strong clear dividing sheet so that it holds a few of the males and/or females. And (4) a separate community bowl or tank for hold a single male or perhaps several females.
Type of setup you prefer:
- Some Betta Fish food.
- An aquarium tank or clear glass/plastic bowl.
- Some aquarium gravel.
- A few live natural plants or plastic plants.
- A plastic funnel, siphon, and a small net or scoop.
- A pH test kit for checking the water.
- A freshwater test kit. For example Ammonia test kit.
- An aquarium tank thermometer.
- A packet of aquarium freshwater rock salt.
- A separate bucket especially for water preparation.
- Correct Water Temperature
IMPORTANT: When your aquarium tank holds five gallons of water (or more) you’ll require an aquarium tank heater to maintain a correct tempature. You will also need a few bottles of “water conditioners”, and various medications to take care of you pet Betta in the unlikely event that he or she gets sick.
Choosing The Right Betta Tank
Choosing the right Betta Tank… is absolutely essential! Why? Because if you choose the wrong one it could easily make your Betta fish suffer, not to mention you’ll be out of pocket. Decisions such as the right size of your Betta fish tank… the right type of equipment for your Betta fish tank, and things like the heater and water filtration system shouldn’t be overlooked.
Most importantly you should read the chapters on precisely the kinds of equipment you should buy (and, use!) as well as how you should properly look after your Betta fish tank and Betta fish bowl.
Enjoy a happy and healthy pet Betta swimming in clear and clean water. Remember that choosing the right bowl or aquarium tank will definitely make all the difference. So, why not look around today for the right size fish bowl or aquarium tank? Don’t rush the buying of it, but give it some careful thought and consideration before you actually go ahead and buy it.
Water Filters Heaters
Aquarium filtration and heater systems are not required for aquarium tanks less than five gallons and in most instances should be left out altogether. This is especially the case when it comes to Betta fish. Generally speaking, the gravel that you place in your tank in most cases provides more than adequate biological filtration, and again when it comes to the tiny Betta fish this is the case.
Everything should be alright for your Betta fish providing that you change its water regularly, and rid the tank of any excess food particles and other debris material as soon as possible.
Vacuum The Container Gravel
Any tank or bowl size smaller than say a gallon, you will need to change all of the water once a day or at the very least three times per week.
For much bigger tanks, you should do a portion of water about twenty-five percent every week. Make sure that you completely siphon and/or vacuum the container gravel each time you decide to change the water. As you probably know already Bettas breathe really well at the surface of the tank water, and the water requires no form of aeration either.
In some cases, aerating (and, circulating) the water could easily produce too much water flow for your pet Betta. Bettas are not used to swimming against a hard current or flow of water. If you do decide to purchase a water heater for your aquarium tank, you should also purchase a thermometer too. Why?
Acclimating Your Betta Fish
Your betta fish most likely will come from a water environment somewhat different from what you have waiting at home for it, so you see it is extremely crucial to gently ease him through the transition period without actually shocking him. If you follow these steps below closely you will avoid any discomfort and harm coming to your betta fish on his initial introduction to his new home:
Keep your betta away from direct hot sunlight (as well as cold air ducts and vehicle vents) on your way back from the pet shop. Take him directly home without delay, and don’t leave him to sit in your automobile for longer than it’s absolutely necessary.
Water Temperature Changes Gradually
You should float the bag or small container that your betta fish was put in the pet shop inside your aquarium and/or small fish bowl that you already have set up for him.
This will allow him to acclimatize much quicker and allow the water temperature to change gradually. You should allow it to float for several minutes before you release your betta fish.
Carefully slice open the shop bag and add a small amount of aquarium water to the bag. You should still keep the bag floating for a while in the aquarium say for about twenty minutes or so. A good idea is to use a clip or household clothespin to secure the bag to one side in order to prevent it from sinking. You should keep adding a little more of aquarium water to the bag so that your betta acclimatizes without shock.
Try and repeat this step enough times till the bag is filled with aquarium water. This method depends on the differences in the actual pH level between your aquarium water and the water used by the pet shop. This is a step that should be taken slow and take you several minutes to perform. After you complete this step you can release your fully acclimatized betta pet into his new environment.
Monitor The Water Temperature
Because it will allow you to monitor the water temperature more accurately. Keep in mind that extreme fluctuation of the water temperature can oftentimes kill or harm your Betta fish.
Aquarium Water Temperature
Larger size bowls and aquarium tanks are far better for your Bettas that say those smaller orange-sized fish bowls! They don’t really qualify at all. More clear and clean water equals far better quality aquarium water. The best environment for an adult male Betta fish is a clear glass container that holds at least one gallon of water, and that has a sufficient surface area.
One and a half to 2 gallons in total size is absolutely perfect. But be sure that it comes with a lid you can secure. Don’t forget Betta fish are great jumpers. Bettas that are constantly jumping will get through even the most minuscule of openings.
Betta Fish Love Clean Water
Try and replace your Bettas water with aged tap water that you’ve let stand for at least 24-hours so that any chlorine has time to dissipate.
Please, do not use distilled water as it can be harmful to your pet Betta because it won’t contain any necessary minerals and salts.
Probably the best water to use is cold tap water only. If you live in an area where you use tank water then you should make sure it is filtered before you pour it in the betta tank or vase.
Again, just let it sit for about 24-hours until it raises to room temperature. When it reaches room temperature add a little aquarium salt to the tank or bowl usually about a level teaspoon is good.
If you add one level teaspoon to roughly two gallons of water, and it will greatly reduce the chance of your pet Betta catching any type of disease. Even though your bowl or tank water reaches room temperature it’s best to make sure it’s between 75 to 80 degrees F. Any less and you’re pet Betta will become listless and sluggish. This is a good indicator that you may need to buy an aquarium heater.
Cleaning The Tank
One of the most crucial things you can do to maintain a healthy and happy pet Betta fish is to keep its tank… as clean as possible.
If you’re keeping your Betta fish in say a small bowl without any type of filtration system (or, you’ve put your Betta fish in a container or tank over one gallon) you should at the very least change 25 to 30 percent of its water at least once a week.
If your Betta is in a much smaller tank or bowl you should change all of its water 3 to 7 times a week! It’s practically impossible to change the Bettas water too often in a bowl of smaller size. Remove any debris, excrement or uneaten food particles after feedings.
How to Clean Your Tank or Bowl
Always allow the tap water (that you intend to use to refill the tank) to stand at least 24-hours before using it.
Use a net and carefully remove your Betta fish from its tank. and put him or her in a vase filled with the… old tank water.
Drain the complete tank, wiping down all sides of the tank so that you actually remove any harmful and unsightly build-up.
Wash the aquarium tank gravel thoroughly and carefully replace it. After refilling the tank you may slowly and gently reintroduce your pet Betta fish.
Always disinfect your fish net and store it in a place that it won’t get stained or damaged.
Go ahead and thoroughly rinse the tank out after using mild soap and household cleaners.
Don’t Keep Betta Fish In Vases
No doubt you have seen people keep their betta fish in a small vase. Usually it’s in an ordinary vase used for flowers. It may have a peace lily oftentimes with no dirt usually floating in the vase itself.
People think just because a small betta fish thrives in a rice paddie, then it can live comfortably in the just stagnant water of a flower vase. You will even read silly instructions saying not to change the water that often. I guess the thinking behind that is… a betta fish can easily live off of the plants roots and the plant can live off the betta fish waste.
Simply put, it’s all hogwash, and certaintly none of it is the truth. Although betta’s can sometimes live in stagnant water, they mostly live in more larger ponds and certainly cannot survive in a small vase. But if you do intend to use a flower vase or something similar then it is really crucial that you change the water as often as possible if you want to have a healthy and happy pet.
Changing the water in your tank
Firstly, vacuum the gravel to remove all types of leftover food particles which is probably decaying and causing pollutants like phosphates, and harmful ammonia. Remove all decoration rock, and vacuum underneath them as well.
Be extra careful as not to suck-up your fish hiding in these areas. If you have put a filter under the gravel, then you should always vacuum more often to stop the formation of harmful nitrates. In addition, you should scrape off any excessive algae you see on the glass, and also from assorted tank decorations. It’s vital that you thoroughly wash-out the aquarium tank using a clean, non-abrasive sponge and/or a soap-free brush.
Make sure it’s kept specially for the purpose of cleaning your tank ONLY! Keep in mind just how much water you wish to change during the cleaning process, and measure out the required amount of water conditioner exactly. You should always keep the water conditioner closeby and handy. Also, make sure that you unplug the heater, filter system, and tank lights.
Then as you siphon the tank water, and store it in a measuring bucket or clean container. After you’ve siphoned the water off, go about replacing it along with the rocks and tank decorations that you removed during the cleaning period.
Betta Feeding Time
Betta fish are strickly carnivores.
They’ll totally thrive on a regulated diet of live Betta fish food (e.g. mosquito larva, brine shrimp, daphnia, snails) and all sorts of live worms. The thing to remember is: don’t overfeed them. You should try and limit their feeding time to a portion which they can digest in less than say one minute.
Another good idea is to let your Betta pet go on a fast for say one day a week. This provides your Betta an opportunity to clean out its digestive tract and internal organs.
While gravel can effective and attractive it can harbor deadly bacteria. Plus worms tend to hide in the gravel. Remember that your pet Betta can’t eat the worms if he or she can’t locate them.
Worms and Gravel
So too is any uneaten fish food pellets which can get mixed in with the gravel and is hard for your Betta pet to find. Not to mention that this uneaten food can’t be easily removed from the Bettas tank, therefore, it has a tendency to pollute the water over time.
This, of course, will result in a cloudy unhealthy water environment. Plus, gravel can add extra time and maintenance (and, cleaning!) to your “Must Do” list.
You need healthy live plants. Why? Because they not only look good but… they will give your pet Betta fish places to hide. Plants that are dead and sick plants create serious water problems another thing you should watch out for.
A Word About Plants
If you decide to use artificial plants (in lue of natural living plants) consider using silk not plastic, because plastic plants tend to have sharp edges and can damage your betta’s glorious fins.
Top 5 Important Betta Fish Care Tips for Beginners
Keeping your fish is a relatively simple and easy household pet to look after and maintain.
However, to keep a happy fish, you must do specific things to ensure its survival and to keep it safe, comfortable, and healthy. Here are some things you need to do before you buy a pet betta. First of all, did you know that the betta’s official name is “Betta Splendens”? In the wild (and, it’s original and natural environment) the fish is somewhat drab looking and does not tend to display the more vivid and brighter colurs that we see today in most pet stores. This fish usually has much shorter fins than they do in captivity.
Keep Your Fish In a Large Tank
These fish mainly live and survive in hot, oftentimes very humid rice paddies of central Asia. They are among a small group of fish that have developed a ingenious way to breathe oxygen straight from the air by using a lung-like incredible “labyrinth” like organ.
It allows them to survive in the smallest amount of water even when there is a bad drought which dramatically effects most rice paddies where they normally live. By using this very unique way of breathing these fish can live and survive in murky and muddy small water holes until the tropical the rains return. It’s not really nice to keep Betta fish in a smaller glass or plastic containers.
Why? Because although they can survive harsh living conditions in their natural environment, their survival ability in the wild was developed more as a means of survival not one that they chose.
It’s a much nicer thing to do for betta fish care is to keep your pet fish in a container or tank that holds about two and a half gallons of water. It isn’t really necessary for you to keep your fish in a large tank which hold ten gallons or more, but it is more humane and will guarantee a much better survival rate for these type of fish. A much larger fish tank will “ensure better care”, along with providing a fun way of displaying your much prized pet. Also, adding the right plants will give your tank a nicer look, and make your pet fish happier in its environment.
Never Put 2 Males In The Same Bowl
Keep in mind that these fish originally came from a warmer climate and they do not enjoy being housed or contained in a cold water climate. Generally, they will consider a home room environment much too cold. With this in mind, you should buy an aquarium thermometer from your local pet shop. This way it will ensure better care and a happier and healthier fish. An inexpensive stick-on type thermometer will do nicely.
You may also wish to consider placing a special heater in your tank and/or in your Betta fish bowl. Perhaps even sourcing a warm area of your home to place your fish tank or bowl. Sitepoint: Most bettas will lie lifeless and appear in a frozen state or even in a huddle near the bottom of the tank when the water temperature is too cold. These fish mostly enjoy water temperature around the 70 degree mark.
Interestingly, they are commonly referred to as “Samurai Fighting Fish” mainly due to the fact that male Betta will almost always attack each other and even fight to the death in some cases.
Long Beautiful Fins
For betta fish care you should never put two males in the same tank or bowl. It’s also not a good idea to place a female fish either in with your male. In many cases, the male will even attack the female too or continually annoy her.
Another very important thing to remember is they should not be placed in community tropical tanks. Why not? Because almost always other fish will nip at their long “beautiful fins” and even injure the fish itself.
If you want to add a companion fish along with your Beta see our betta fish with another fish article to find out which species will coexist with your pet fish peacefully before you go ahead and place the other fish in the tank or bowl. Check that there should be no type of discoloration, body tears or “noticeable holes” when its fins are fully extended.
Check For No Type Of Discoloration
Sometimes it can be hard to check properly because the tiny plastic bag used by pet stores makes it hard for a Halfmoon, Crowntail, and Splenden to extend its fins. Nevertheless, fins can get broken or torn because they are mostly kept for long periods of time in jars usually too small for there needs. When it swims about their protruding fins can brush-up against the container walls and can break. You should look carefully at the gills that they look smooth and flat in appearance with no signs of splitting and peeling. Make sure there’s no unsightly lumps or body discoloration.
Never Overfeed Your Fish
You should never overfeed your fish. It really only requires about three to four tiny grains of fish food every day. It’s probably best if you feed your betta fish 1 grain of fish food at a time, and at least two to three times a day.
The stomach of a fish is about the size of their tiny eyeballs. Giving your pet too much food will only make its stomach swell and cause it bloating pains, fish constipation and even a more serious swim bladder problem which oftentimes can even end-up killing the fish. You should only feed your fish small portions of food especially if you’re not sure as to the size and quantity of fish food you should feed it. In conclusion, these fish are extremely beautiful, vibrant and very interesting fish to watch and own. You will soon discover that they are intelligent and oftentimes will quickly learn who their owner and caregiver is. These little fish tend to get really excited when you approach the tank and bowl as they know you are the one that feeds and looks after them. If you really strive for betta fish care then your pet fish will reward you with years of fun and pleasure.
Betta Fish With Other Fish
What other types of tropical fish are really compatible with Siamese fighting fish? Actually, there are two sides to looking at this (1) Looking at it from the Bettas point of view.
And (2) looking at it from the other fish’s point of view. Let’s start with the Betta fish. Because if you do not wish for your pet Betta to wind-up with shredded fins you must consider carefully the nature of the other fish you would like to add to the tank.
Right? Plus… it also works in the other way as well. If male guppies are compatible with Siamese fighting fish it doesn’t a genius to figure the outcome of putting these two different types of fish together in the same location and environment.
Choosing the right tank companion
Guppies also have flowing tales and could be easily mistaken for another male Betta fish. This could be disastrous for the guppy fish. So, you’ve really got to think twice before you pick a tank companion!
Compatible Fish Types With Bettas. You may be somewhat surprised to learn just how gentle some species can be when placed with Bettas.
Choosing the right type will make them a good tank companion with your Bettas.
However, there’s always the chance of a bit of aggression occurring every now and then toward the breeds. Siamese fighting fish (e.g. Betta fish) could also include the much slower neon or “cardinals tetras”. Such as platies, mollies and swords. But be careful as these varieties love to dine on their very young. You may wish to consider a small number of the smaller “zebra danios” as excellent companions. These are some of the fish that’s truly compatible with siamese fighting fish.
Not Compatible Fish With Bettas
Bettas are typically a shy fish and can sometimes be an inviting target, and for getting picked on by other variety of fish. Something you should also consider when making your choice.
So, with this in mind, forget about… fin nippers like tigers, rosy barbs or some angle fish should always be avoided completely. Aggressive Types Of Fish Another fish to exclude is the “dwarf gouramis”. These fish will constantly chase Bettas almost relentlessly, so you need to strike them off your list. Important: You should always keep in mind the size of your aquarium when thinking about choosing a tank companion because of matters as well. So, it is when it comes to the types of plants you choose along with other items such as… aquarium rocks, type of gravel, and ornaments you have used for decoration. All of these things are hiding places. Aggressive fish varieties will always attack Bettas from their hiding places.
Betta Fish Diseases And Cures
The most common of betta diseases are fungus, fin rot, velvet, and ick. These diseases are more often than not directly related to the poor quality of the tank or bowl water.
Stale water is a haven for all types of diseases and organisms. Fluctuating water temperatures will also cause Bettas much stress. This inturn makes a Betta fish a lot more susceptible and prone to all types of terrible diseases. The good thing is most diseases can quickly and easily be treated with a few simple remedies.
Medicating a Betta fish should be your last resort. Why? Because some medications can have an adverse effect on Bettas, and will sometimes even kill them. More importantly, you really don’t want to introduce medication until you’re absolutely sure what the problem really is, and… how it’s effecting your pet Betta.
The Best Cures for Your Fish
It should be no surprise that given those long flowing fins Betta fish are prone to damage and disease. Look carefully at the edges of the fins, and see if they look unsightly and a little ragged in appearance. Even a bit shredded in appearance as well.
Another horrible disease to watch out for is “velvet”. What is velvet? It’s a “velvety Coating” look–a “powdery layer” of yellow looking dust on the Betta scales. Grab a flashlight and shine it on your Betta and see if illuminates it. That’s a good test to see if it’s really velvet.
“Ich” is a common parasite that attacks fish. If your Betta fish has ich it will have “white spots” on its body about the size of a small grain of salt. Also, Bettas with “Ich” tend to be rather slow swimming and quite listless. Another sign to watch for is the Betta fish constantly rubs itself against the tank sides or rock ornaments trying to rid themselves of the nasty parasites. Proper diagnosis and a close examination of your Betta fish is the key to curing the Betta fish of diseases. Again, do not be in a hurry to medicate until your absolutely positive of what wrong with your Betta pet.
How to treat betta diseases
Here are the most successful ways to treat Betta fish diseases:
- Regular change of the water.
- Never forget to add proper amounts of aquarium salt.
- Keep the water temperature constant
Here’s why you must take those first 3 steps for two valid reasons.
- You need to totally eliminate any chance of harmful organisms from generating.
- You need to create a sterile environment that harmful organisms can’t populate in.
- Adding aquarium salt has a great therapeutic effect on Betta fish. If your Betta pet is sick it will have a much better chance of recovering.