Have you ever gone to a pet store and seen those fish stacked 3 high in little cups at the front of the register? These are what are known as betta splendens or Siamese fighting fish. Their origins can be traced to Southeast Asia from Thailand to Borneo, to Malaysia, and Cambodia, but today many are bred overseas in fish farms and locally by various breeders. Unfortunately, the needs of these fish are misunderstood, and they are not given the proper care requirements in order for them to reach their full potential. In the following article I will give five simple secrets that are needed to successfully keep betta fish.
The following five secrets are secrets that are okay to be shared amongst friends, neighbors, and anyone else that is interested in keeping betta fish.
1. Betta fish should be kept in tanks that are at LEAST 2 gallons in size. Some use a 5 gallon minimum, but I would recommend anything in the 2-5 gallon range. A one gallon tank could also work, but it is a little more challenging to keep the water requirements stable.
2. Betta fish need a heater in their tanks to keep the water warm. A temperature no less than 76 degrees Fahrenheit is what they need to thrive. Some think a heater is for the “advanced” aquarist, but in reality a heater is like an oven. Just set the temperature dial on the heater to 76, submerge the heater in the water, and plug it into the wall. That is all that is required to “install” a heater for a fish tank.
3. Betta fish do not thrive on flake food. They require a diet with a lot of protein or meat, and they do not like a lot of vegetable matter. They do well on specialty betta pellets, brine shrimp, daphnia, cyclopeeze, live black worms, or any other meaty food.
4. Betta fish should be fed once per day and should be able to finish all food within 1-2 minutes. Do not feed them more if “they look hungry” because all fish look hungry. The leftover food cannot be kept until the next day in the tank. Rather it will settle on the bottom and begin to rot. This will throw off the water chemistry and your betta will start floating listless at the top of the tank, or perpetually hide at the bottom of the tank.
5. Betta fish tanks need to be cleaned weekly especially if there is no filter on the tank, but 100% of the water should NEVER be changed at one time. Every water change should consist of a 30-50% change. For example, in a 3 gallon tank, change about 1-1.5 gallons of water at a time.
These are only five basic guidelines that are required for proper betta fish care. Nevertheless betta fish will survive in much worse conditions such as a small, unheated cup, but you will never see the full potential of your fish in an environment like that. Records show that the average life of a betta fish is about 3-6 years, but if kept in the cup it came in from the pet shop you’ll be lucky to get 3-6 months of survival.
If you’d like more information please visit my website at [http://www.aqfed.com]
Aquatic Life Federation is a full service pond and aquarium care/installation business. We work closely with our customers to ensure that they are fully satisfied with their fish. With so many variables that go into keeping saltwater, tropical, and pond fish healthy and happy, let us partner with you in this journey providing you with the knowledge and guidance necessary to allow you to Love Your Fish.