Basic Betta Questions
- What do I feed my
- How much and often
do I feed my betta?
- What temperature
should they be kept at?
- What size tank should
they be in?
- What kind of
filter/water flow/air bubbler should I use?
- What if my new Betta
- How do I make sure
my water is safe?
- Can I use
- Do I need to cover
- What are
suitable tank mates for my betta in a community tank?
- How often should I
change their water?
- My betta has
these bubbles at the top of his bowl, what is it?
think my betta is sick . . .?
- What is the
average life span of a betta?
- How do I treat
my betta in a small tank when the meds are for 10 gallons?
- What kind of
plants should I use in my betta bowl?
- Can I keep a
male and female together?
There is no absolute on this subject. There are
MANY things you can feed your betta, and he will live just fine on. Some bettas
are finicky, but if they get hungry enough, they will eat anything you serve
them, including flake food. You can feed them anything from flake food, pellets
or freeze dried worms to frozen & live Brine Shrimp, bloodworms, black worms
& mosquito larvae. They will live quite happily on the common 'Betta Foods'
found in pet stores. If you are planning on breeding your bettas, click here
for more information on how and what to feed them. I have recently found a food
at our local Wal-Mart that I would recommend to all Betta pet owners, and
breeders as well. It is Aqua Culture's Bettas, distributed by HBH. If placed on
the water gently, it floats and usually will twirl around the surface of the
water. That usually grabs the bettas attention (as if any food doesn't). It is
in a small clear vial with a blue label and a picture of a Royal Blue betta with
Feed your betta daily, they are a pet just like any other. Feed him/her
just a small amount because a betta's stomach is only the size of their eye. You can also feed them twice daily if inclined. Just
make sure however often you feed him, that you take into consideration his waste
and clean his home accordingly ;)
Bettas are a tropical fish, and therefore
prefer warmer water. An ideal temperature is upper 70's(F), but can be kept in
the lower 70's(F) if needed, but it isn't recommended. For breeding, they should be kept at approximately
80°F. Many people will attempt to convince you that ALL bettas should be kept
with a heater to survive, this is simply not true. I have many happy bettas that
remain at room temperature, which at times can drop below 70°F. I do not recommend
constant temperatures below 70°F, but they are survivable. I suggest 76°F for
a happy, healthy betta.
This is a highly debated subject, and I will
answer it as I see fit. I personally do not like to keep bettas, male or female,
in bowls/tanks smaller than 1/2 gallon. Some people will argue that even 1/2
gallon is too small. Others keep their bettas in those small, pint sized Betta
Hex containers. They say that their bettas are quite happy. The important aspect
to keep in mind is that the smaller the container, the more often it needs to be
cleaned. If you choose to keep you betta in a Betta Hex, then be prepared to
change their water as often as every 2 days. I change my 1/2 gallon bowls once
every 5 days depending on how dirty they have become. You can also keep you
bettas in a tank up to any size. I have heard of people dedicating an entire 10
gallon tank to a male betta. You may also choose to have some tank mates with
them in the larger tanks. Click here for a list
of compatible tank mates.
This all depends on the size of the tank, of
course. If you are keeping him in a small bowl, then no filter is needed as they
will get their oxygen from the surface of the water. If you are going to give
him a luxurious home of 2 gallons or more, then a small box filter will do. When
choosing your filter, keep in mind that Bettas originate from the rice patties
in Asia, which are calm puddles with no water flow or currents. Most Bettas do
not like swift water flow. I have seen Bettas play in water currents, but they
also need a place to rest in the tank where the water stays calm.
This is a very common problem for new Betta
owners. In most cases, it is not serious. The Betta is simply adjusting to it's
new home and surroundings. It may also be that the new food you are offering him
does not sound appealing to him. I would suggest asking the pet store what they
feed them when you purchase your betta. If you have already brought him home and
already purchased food, then be patient. Bettas can go weeks with no food and
survive, so he will not die because he hasn't eaten in a few days. If after a
few days he still has not eaten, do not offer him any food for another few days.
The next time you offer him some, he may greedily gobble it up. If not, then I
would resort to buying him the food he was used to. Loss of appetite is also a
sign of illness. Although loss of appetite is very common with new bettas, it
does not rule out that your betta may be sick. Many pet store bettas are not in
the best health, so visit out illness page and rule out any illness he may have.
If you are not sure you water is safe, you can
usually take a sample to your local fish store and have it checked. If you live
in a city, then your water is most likely treated with Chlorine or Chloramines.
These are both deadly to fish. To make sure your water is safe for your betta, I
would suggest treating it with Prime, by Seachem. This will eliminate both
Chlorine as well as Chloramines. By using this product, your water should be safe as spring water. Some people are blessed
with perfect water that does not need to be treated and
others are cursed with water so bad, they are forced to buy water. Prime is a wonderful
product that will make most people's water 'Happy
Water' for their fish.
No, distilled water lacks elements and minerals
that are essential for a healthy betta. You can, however, use bottled spring
YES!! Bettas are well known for their jumping
ability! It is always good to keep some sort of cover or lid on your betta's
home. If you don't have a bowl with a lid, then a coffee filter with a rubber
band works well. You can also use a number of other items including the netting
that some produce is sold in such as onions and oranges.
It is called a bubble nest. When a male (and
sometimes female) betta is happy, healthy and feels ready to spawn, they will
build a bubble nest. It does not mean you have to spawn him, only that they are
happy, healthy and content :)
Approximately 3 years, but with proper care
(extreme pampering) they have been known to live up to 6 years. Keep in mind
that pet store bettas area already upwards of a year old by the time they find a
Mix up a one gallon container with your
medication. You have now formed a concentrated version of the medication. Treat
your betta's tank with 1 part medication and 9 parts water.
My favorite betta plant is sold as a dry bulb
and is called Betta Bulbs, appropriately. It requires low light and has nice
roots and leaves that bettas truly enjoy. You can also use a variety of other
plants, just make sure the plant you choose requires low light unless your betta
tank has a light. Java Moss is also a good choice. If you are going to use a
fake plant, I suggest silk plants so that your bettas delicate fins are not
ripped. When you change their water, remove the plant and gently rinse it in a
bowl of water (same temperature) to remove any debris from the roots.
This depends on the size of his tank/bowl. Here
is a quick list of suggestions: