Care Guide for Betta Fish – The Best Beginner Pet Fish
Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish or Betta splendens, are a favorite pet of both veteran and beginner fish keepers due to their vibrant finnage and lively personalities. If you’re brand new to the aquarium hobby, this care guide is for you! This guide will help you learn the essentials to keep your first betta fish.
Is It OK to Keep Betta Fish in a Bowl?
If you haven’t bought a small bowl yet, we highly recommend that you get a larger aquarium that holds at least 5 to 10 gallons of water. The more water you have, the more space your fish will have to play and it allows you to last longer between water changes before the water becomes too dirty. Also, it doesn’t cost a lot more to buy a bigger tank, especially if you take advantage of Petco’s “Dollar Per Gallon” aquarium sale (where a 10-gallon tank only costs $10). You can find our complete betta-fish checklist and instructions for tank setup in this blog post.
How Long Should Water Sit Before Adding Fish?
Chlorine in tap water is used to kill harmful pathogens. This chemical can also be fatal for betta fish. The chlorine will evaporate if the water is left to sit overnight. However, some cities have started using chlormine instead. To make sure your tap water is safe for your betta fish, you should always add water conditioner or dechlorinator.
Fritz Complete Water Conditioner is a great choice because it includes an easy to use pump head that can quickly remove chlorine and detoxify ammonia compounds.
Are Bettas in Need of a Heater?
Yes. Betta fish like temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and are more active when they are kept in warmer water. In the United States, where room temperatures are commonly between 67degF to 69degF, a betta fish without a heater is quite lethargic and may even become sick from the constant stress of being too cold. For recommendations on heaters, read our article How to Choose the Right Aquarium Heater.
Why Does My Betta Tank Get a Film on Top?
You need to filter enough water to prevent the formation of an oily film made up of proteins. However, since betta fish usually have long, beautiful fins, they cannot swim in strong currents that will whip them around the aquarium. Your betta will appreciate a gentle sponge filter, or a smaller filter with an adjustable flow speed. This is a detailed tutorial on how you can set up your first spongefilter.
Sponge filters have become a very popular choice for filtering betta fish. They are gentle, reliable, easy to use, and so gentle.
How often should I feed my fish?
You should feed your betta fish at least once a day. It’s very easy to overfeed betta fish, so make sure his belly does not become swollen with food or else he may get constipation and other health issues. Start by feeding two staple foods: a dedicated betta fish pellet and freeze-dried bloodworms. When you’re ready to add more variety to his diet, get some ideas from our list of 5 betta fish foods you should try.
These small floating pellets have been specially designed to give betta fish the nutrition they need.
How Often Should I Clean My Betta Tank?
If you followed our previous advice and got a 10-gallon tank for your betta fish, you may only need to clean the aquarium once or twice a month by changing out 30% of the water. You will have to clean your 1-gallon aquarium every two to three days, with 100% water changes. You can create a stressful environment for your betta fish by having to change the water every other day. You will eventually get too busy with holiday plans or deadlines and forget about cleaning the bowl. The fish will become sick from the waste he has created. You’ll need to spend money and time on medication to save him.
Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?
No, betta fish are actually territorial creatures (hence the nickname “Siamese fighting fish”) and should not be housed with other bettas. However, depending on their temperament, many betta fish can live with other peaceful nano fish, provided that you give them a larger aquarium (at least 10 to 20 gallons in size) with lots of cover and live aquarium plants. Some recommended roommates include smaller tetras, rasboras, and corydoras. Check out our complete list of ideal betta tank mates.
Our main advice is to make sure your betta fish gets the best care possible. You should get a larger tank and high-quality equipment and food for your betta fish. Also, continue to educate yourself by joining a betta fish group on Facebook or reading online articles. With more knowledge and experience you can help your Betta live a long and happy life.