Betta fish are unfortunately known to be aggressive fighting fish. However, if kept properly, they’re incredibly docile and lovely pets. Female Bettas are known to get along well in groups—the opposite of their male counterparts. Male Bettas tend to become aggressive with one another but fare well when in what’s known as a “harem.”
To better understand this vibrant species, here are five simple tips on properly caring for your Betta fish.
A single Betta fish needs a 5-gallon tank at a minimum in order to thrive. If you decide on a community, which we will discuss later, a larger tank will mitigate the chances of aggression. In addition, you should use low-flow filters, like sponge filters, in your tank so your fish don’t struggle to swim.
Just like most fish, Bettas need light for day and night cycles. Just be sure to watch how the lighting affects the temperature of your tank, as Bettas need to be kept at 70°F to 85°F.
Male Betta fish are best kept in their own tanks rather than in community tanks. While you can add shrimp and snails as tank mates, Bettas may eat small snails and shrimp, so make sure they can’t fit their tank mates in their mouths. However, male Betta fish can thrive alone if given the proper tank.
Female Betta fish do well in what’s known as “harems” or “sororities” and will get along well with other tank mates if provided a large enough tank. Just make sure to keep an eye on them and watch out for missing scales or ripped fins on their neighbors.
Tank maintenance for Betta fish tanks follows very similar rules as any other form of tank maintenance. Just like any other tank, you should change the water when it looks soiled, keep an eye on nitrates, and use test kits to monitor the aquarium’s pH. Ideally, you’ll only clean 30 percent of your tank’s media or substrate to avoid stripping the tank of healthy bacteria.
Because Bettas are so small, ideally, you should only remove 10 to 20 percent of their water at a time to avoid unnecessary stress and rapid changes in the water. Just like any other water change, you should dechlorinate your water and monitor its parameters, such as the temperature, nitrate level, pH level, etc. You want the water you add to be as similar to the existing water as possible.
Food Schedules and Diet
Again, similar to other fish, your Bettas should be fed on a consistent schedule to mitigate any fighting for resources. However, Bettas need to be strictly fed animal protein. While nutrient-dense pellets or flakes should be the basis of their diet, brine shrimp and bloodworms can be an extra boost of protein and ensure enrichment. Just avoid bringing outdoor insects as you may be unaware of parasites or bacteria they bring in.
With these five simple tips on properly caring for your Betta fish, you’re sure to keep your Betta thriving. If you’ve yet to obtain one of these elegant beauties, there are freshwater fish for sale online, so you never have to leave the comfort of your home to find your new friend!