Betta fish care is a little bit trickier than caring for other sorts of pet fish. Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are a special breed. They can be finicky about their food supply sometimes. They are also quite aggressive. Keeping them in an aquarium with other fish is not recommended, especially if it’s a male betta fish. The male of species often attack and even kill other fish with which they share close quarters, female betta fish are not so intolerant.
Betta Fish Diseases And Illnesses
These fish are pretty tough but you should keep an eye on them anyway and observe them regularly for any signs of Betta fish diseases or illnesses. These maladies may arise from your feeding habits or the quality of the water. In some cases, fish just get sick and the best Betta fish care in the world will not prevent it. Some of the possible health problems your fish may experience are described below:
- Constipation – This is usually a result of overfeeding.
- Dropsy – If your Betta is bloated, it may suffer from dropsy. This is probably due to bacteria issues.
- Fin rot – A betta fish diseases where the fins will become tattered.
- Parasites – When your fish seems to itch itself against the side of the tank, it may have parasites.
- Ich – Small white spots appear on the body and on the fins.
- Septicimia – Lethargy, refusal to eat and red streaks on the body are signs of this serious Betta fish disease.
- Tuberculosis – If your fish’s color seems duller than usual and it swims with its fins held close and tight to its body, it may have tuberculosis.
Initial Betta Care
The first element in providing Betta fish care is the type of supplies you will need. Most of the supplies will be one-time purchases because these fish are fairly self-sufficient. Outside of providing regular meals, you will not have to actually do much for them as long as you follow a few simple rules about their care. Still, as with other fish you will need certain items:
- One aquarium
- One aquarium heater
- One aquarium filter
- One aquarium thermometer
- Several rocks to provide substrate at the bottom of the aquarium
- Food pellets or flakes
- Drops to de-chlorinate the water in the aquarium
Betta Fish Tanks
Some stores will sell tiny spaces as fish habitats, even for exotic fish such as Bettas. However, if you really want to provide good Betta fish care, you should provide an aquarium that holds at least 5 gallons of water. More would be better, especially if you are thinking about finding other companions to live in the tank with your Betta. They will need that space to avoid each other.
Once you have the aquarium, line the bottom with the rocks that you have purchased as substrate. Attach the filter to the side interior of the tank and attach the thermometer as well. Connect the heater. Pour water into the aquarium until the surface of the water is about two inches away from the rim of the aquarium. This should prevent the Betta from jumping out. Read the instructions on your de-chlorination bottle and add as many drops as recommended for your aquarium size. Do not put the Betta in yet. Instead, wait about an hour.
Water Temperature And Quality
One of the difficult aspects of Betta fish care is maintaining the right water temperature. Betta fish were originally bred in rice paddies on the Siamese Peninsula. Therefore, they need water of a higher temperature than other fish that you might have raised. Typically, these fish survive best in water that is kept between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 72 degrees will put your fish in serious danger of illness. Turn on the heater and wait until the water reaches at least 78 degrees. Then wait another half hour to ensure that the temperature is uniform throughout the tank. You can also use this opportunity to ensure that the heater is functioning correctly and will be able to maintain this temperature consistently.
Now you can add your fish to the aquarium. Proper betta fish care involves changing the water in the aquarium every week. When you change the water, do not clean the sides of the tank. Simply remove about a quarter of the water and pour in fresh, de-chlorinated water from the tap. Actual cleaning should occur more rarely, because the bacteria cultures growing on the glass are actually good for your fish. This method also causes less stress for your betta fish, which are sensitive to severe changes.
Betta Fish Food
Feed your Betta just once per day. Overfeeding is one of the most common mistakes made in Betta fish care. Pellets or flakes are both fine. If you properly feed this fish, it should reach a length of about 5cm. The Betta fish life span of a properly fed specimen is anywhere from two to five years.
This is actually not as intimidating as some of these lists might make it seem. As long as you feed it properly and keep the water at the right temperature, your tough little Betta will probably live a long and happy life. With a little bit of betta fish care your pet will live have a happy life.