Betta fish are the most popular fish in the aquarium world. Every aquarist love to have a betta fish. Also, bettas are easy to take care of fish, making them the perfect choice for beginners.
However, there are some things that you have to consider in case of taking care of your betta fish. In this article, we will discuss all of taking care of a betta fish, making it simple for beginners and experts to make their betta fish thrive. So, How to take care of a betta fish? Let us find out.
Following all these things will help you take care of your betta fish:
- Provide your betta fish with ample space to live comfortably. (Minimum 5-Gallon)
- Perform a weekly water change of 35% to ensure clean water conditions.
- Always use a water conditioner to treat the water when performing a water change.
- Add a good filtration system to protect the water from harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.
- Add a heater to maintain the water temperature between 78-82 °F.
- Maintain the water pH level between 6.5 and 8.
- Keep ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, whereas nitrate is below 20 ppm.
- Feed your betta fish 2-3 pieces of betta pellets or any other food twice daily to ensure adequate feeding.
- Avoid keeping incompatible fish with a betta and two male betta fish together.
- Educate yourself about all the common betta diseases and their treatment so that you can identify if your betta fish is suffering from any and treat it asap.
This article will discuss all the requirements of a betta fish and how we can make our betta fish thrive in captivity. So, let us get into it.
- 1 How to take care of my betta fish?
- 2 What aquarium size do betta fish require?
- 3 How to cycle my betta tank?
- 4 How to acclimate your betta fish to a new tank?
- 5 What are the things that we will require in our betta tank?
- 6 What are the ideal water parameters of a betta fish?
- 7 What and how often should I feed my betta fish?
- 8 How to provide ideal living conditions for my betta fish?
- 9 What are the signs of a healthy betta fish?
- 10 What are the signs of a sick betta fish?
- 11 What are the common diseases in bettas, and how to prevent them?
- 12 Things to look for when having a betta fish?
- 13 Conclusion:
How to take care of my betta fish?
When we keep the fish in captivity, we must provide them with ideal living conditions and ensure their good health.
Betta fish thrives when provided with ideal living conditions.
To take good care of your betta fish, you must ensure many things, including water conditions, water parameters, tank size, food, tankmates, and medications.
Also, we must add many things to our betta fish tank to provide our betta fish with good living conditions, which we will discuss in the further article.
So, let’s first start with the tank size your betta fish require to live comfortably.
What aquarium size do betta fish require?
When we talk about keeping betta fish in captivity, we always go by assuming that bettas can live in a small tank or a bowl, as we see them living like this in pet stores.
Also, betta fish live in shallow places like rice paddies, slow-moving streams, and ponds.
However, you must know that betta fish require enough space to live comfortably in captivity.
A minimum of a 5-gallon tank is necessary to house a betta fish. However, a 10-gallon tank is recommendable.
One betta fish will thrive in a 10-gallon tank.
Also, the size of the tank will increase if you keep other fish in your betta tank.
We recommend using the one-inch one-gallon rule to house fish altogether in such cases.
The one-inch one-gallon rule means one inch of fish per gallon of water.
So, for example, if you want to add pleco in your betta tank that is 5 inches in size, you must have a 15-gallon tank to house them together.
This way, you will be able to prevent overcrowding your betta fish tank, and your betta fish will have enough space to live and swim comfortably.
Also read: How Many Betta Fish In 5-Gallon Tank?
How to cycle my betta tank?
There are three ways to cycle your betta fish tank:
- Add a used filter media to your betta tank.
- Treat your betta water with chemicals.
- Run a Fish filtration.
Add the used filter to your betta tank.
Using a used filter media is the easiest and most recommended way to cycle your betta tank.
Adding a used filter media (Sponges or media) from a used filter will cycle your betta tank super fast, as it already has beneficial bacteria.
Usually, it takes 4-6 weeks to cycle the fish tank with a new filter with new media, but using an old media will cut the duration from 4-6 weeks to 3 days – 1 week.
Treating betta water with chemicals
Treating betta water with chemicals that contain artificial bacteria will also do the work of cycling the tank.
However, this way of cycling the tank is not liked by many of the aquarists as the tank doesn’t get appropriately cycled or not at all most of the time.
Run In-fish filtration
In-fish filtration means cycling the fish tank with fish in it.
The fish poop produces ammonia in the tank, which then gets broken up by the beneficial bacteria into nitrite into nitrate, and this way, your tank gets cycled.
Guppy fish is the most common choice for cycling the tank with fish in it because guppies are the most hardy fish.
Cycling the tank with a betta can cause ammonia burn to your betta fish.
So, using old media remains the best way to cycle your betta tank.
You can also cycle the fish tank without fish in it and without using the used media, and to know how we can do it, you can reach out to our article How To Cycle Fish Tank?
How to acclimate your betta fish to a new tank?
Follow these steps to acclimate your betta fish to a new tank:
- Float the plastic bag containing fish shop water and a betta fish in your tank for 15-20 minutes.
- Doing this will help your betta fish adapt to the water temperature.
- After that, cut the edges of the bag and add half a cup of aquarium water into the bag.
- Add half a cup of aquarium water to the bag every 4-5 minutes until the bag is full.
- When the bag is full, discard half of the water and again let the bag float.
- Again, add the aquarium water, taking a 4-5 minute gap until the bag is full.
- Use a fish net to place the betta fish into the aquarium.
While running this process, make sure that the bag is floating.
Also, keep the aquarium lights off during the acclimation process to comfort your betta fish.
What are the things that we will require in our betta tank?
These are all the supplies you need to add to your betta tank to make your betta fish thrive and live happily:
- A filter
- A heater
- A thermometer
- An aquarium light
- An aquarium lid
- Live aquatic plants
- Hiding spots
- A substrate
Many betta keepers think that betta can live in a small size tank without a filter.
However, it is untrue, and betta fish require a well-filtered tank to thrive.
A filter keeps the tank clean from excessive waste and breaks down harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.
A good filtration system with a bioload will help keep the water clean and protected from harmful toxins.
Now, varieties of filters are available for your fish tank, and choosing the right filter for your betta fish is necessary.
Betta fish are not strong swimmers, and strong water currents will make them suffer from issues as they cannot swim against strong water currents.
Always go for the filter whose water current flow can be adjusted or is recommendable for your betta tank.
To reduce the flow, you can also use the baffle intake tubes or exits with pre-filters.
Also read: Do Betta Fish Need A Filter?
Betta fish are warm water fish and require a well-heated tank to thrive.
Also, when we keep our fish in a tank with unstable water temperature, it comes under stress and becomes prone to various diseases and parasites.
Adding a heater will help you stabilize the water temperature and provide your betta fish with adequate and stable water temperature.
Water temperature plays a vital role in keeping your betta fish healthy and happy.
So, always make sure to provide your betta fish with their ideal water temperature.
Also read: Do Betta Fish Need A Heater?
A thermometer is also a necessary thing to consider when setting up a betta fish tank.
A thermometer allows you to monitor the water temperature so that you can adjust it whenever it falls from the required water temperature level.
So, it is necessary to add a thermometer to your betta tank to keep an eye on the water temperature every time.
Adding an aquarium light to your betta tank will help keep your betta fish active.
Betta fish remains active during the daytime when there is light and prefer to sleep at night in the dark.
So, adding an aquarium light will help you maintain the day-to-night cycle.
Your betta will remain active when the light is on during the daytime and sleep at night when the lights get off, and there will be dark.
Also, if you add live aquatic plants to your betta tank, you must add light to keep the plants alive.
Also read: Do Betta Fish Require Light?
You must know that bettas are good jumpers, and there will be an anytime risk of betta fish jumping out from the tank.
This usually happens when we keep betta fish in a small tank (2-3 gallons) or a bowl.
However, adding an aquarium lid to your betta tank is necessary to ensure that your betta doesn’t jump out.
Live aquatic plants
Adding live aquatic plants to your betta tank is a good option.
All these are the benefits that your betta fish gets in a planted tank:
- A betta tank with a dense plantation helps in mimicking their natural habitat.
- A betta tank with plenty of live aquatic plants provides a great hiding spot for your betta fish.
- Live aquatic plants ensure enough oxygen in your betta tank.
- Aquatic plants also help in keeping the water clean.
All these are the plants you can consider adding to your betta tank:
- Java fern
- Sword plant
- Betta bulb
- Water sprite
You must know that betta fish require plenty of hiding spots to hide and relax.
Hiding spots also prevent stress in your bettas as you bettas can relax in a hiding spot whenever they are stressed and are vulnerable to other fish.
Also, they prefer to find a good hiding spot to sleep when other fish are in their tank.
So, a hiding spot makes your betta fish confident and calm as they know there is a place where they can hide whenever needed.
There are varieties of options when it comes to creating a hiding spot for your betta fish:
- Live plants
- Sunken ships
- Terra cotta pots
Caves and live plants are best for creating betta fish hiding spots.
We always give little attention to our betta’s substrate and go for the cheaper one that looks beautiful.
However, choosing the right substrate for your betta tank is necessary.
Betta fish prefers soft and neutral or slightly acidic water to thrive.
Avoid adding the substrate that increases the water chemistry by raising the water mineral content.
We recommend adding Seachem Flourite Premium Natural Substrate.
Seachem Flourite is the best pick for your planted aquarium. Also, the pH is neutral, which means it will not alter the water chemistry.
Note: Rinse the substrate again and again until it becomes clean from the mud.
What are the ideal water parameters of a betta fish?
Providing your betta fish with ideal water parameters is necessary to ensure their good health and longer lifespan.
Betta fish are tropical freshwater fish and require warm water conditions to thrive.
|Particular||Betta Fish Requirement|
|Water temperature||78-82 °F|
|Water pH level||Between 6 and 8.5|
|Water hardness (GH)||90-100 ppm|
|Nitrate||Below 20 ppm|
Betta requires a water temperature between 78-82 °F.
The water pH level of your betta fish tank should be between 6 and 8.5.
Betta fish prefer soft water, requiring a water GH level between 90-100 ppm.
The water ammonia and nitrite level should be at 0 ppm, whereas the nitrate level should be below 20 ppm.
What and how often should I feed my betta fish?
Bettas are carnivores and require meat-based food in their daily diet.
These are the foods you can consider feeding your betta fish:
- Betta pellets
- Mosquito larvae
- Tubifex worms
You can feed your betta fish with live, freeze-dried, and frozen food.
However, make sure to feed your betta fish such food only once a week as a treat.
|Monday||2-3 pellets twice a day|
|Tuesday||Live, freeze-dried, or frozen food 2-3 pieces twice a day|
|Wednesday||2-3 pellets twice a day|
|Thursday||2-3 pellets twice a day|
|Friday||Live, freeze-dried, or frozen food 2-3 pieces twice a day|
|Saturday||2-3 pellets twice a day|
|Sunday||Let your betta fish have a fast on Sunday to maintain their appetite.|
The major part of your betta fish’s everyday diet will be pellets specially made for bettas.
Betta-specific pellets and flakes contain the correct level of nutrients that your betta fish require to thrive.
Betta fish have a stomach size similar to their eyes, which means they cannot eat much at a time.
So, feed your betta fish two to three pellets or any other food at a time to ensure adequate feeding and prevent overfeeding.
You should feed your betta fish twice a day as betta will not be able to eat much at a time.
How to provide ideal living conditions for my betta fish?
To provide ideal living conditions for your betta fish, ensure all these things:
- Provide your betta fish with ample space to live. (A minimum of 5 gallons per betta fish we recommend)
- Perform a weekly water change of 35% to keep the water clean.
- Provide your betta fish with conditioned water. (Use API tap water conditioner to eliminate chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrite, and heavy metals from the water)
- Add a good filtration system with bio media to keep the water clean and protected from harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.
- Add a heater to your betta tank to ensure a warm and stable water temperature. (Betta prefers living in a water temperature between 78-82 °F.
- Keep a stable water pH level between 6 and 8.5.
- Create lots of hiding spots for your betta fish.
- Add live aquatic plants to your betta tank.
- Avoid keeping two male betta fish together in the same tank.
- Avoid keeping fish in your betta tank, which are incompatible with your betta fish.
- Ensure the ammonia and nitrite level is maintained at 0 ppm, whereas nitrate should be below 20 ppm.
What are the signs of a healthy betta fish?
All these are the signs of a healthy betta fish:
- A healthy betta fish will have a good appetite
- A healthy betta fish will be active.
- A healthy betta fish will be coloured with shades of bright blue, purple, red, and many more.
- A healthy betta fish will have good fin movement.
- A healthy betta fish will get along with its tankmates and will appear happy.
It is easy to detect if your betta fish is healthy or not.
If your betta fish is eating every time you serve food, being active in the daytime, swimming with great fin movement, and having a vibrant colour, your betta fish is fit and healthy.
What are the signs of a sick betta fish?
All these are the signs that indicate that your betta fish is sick:
- Your betta fish will lose its appetite and will stop eating.
- Your betta fish will remain inactive most of the time.
- Your betta fish will stay in one spot most of the time.
- Your betta fish colour will start fading.
- You will notice damaged and clamped fins of your betta fish.
- Your betta fish will show strange swimming patterns.
- Your betta fish will stay at the top of the tank, gulping air.
- Your betta fish will appear skinny.
- Your betta fish will hide most of the time.
- Your betta fish will rub against the objects.
If you find any of these signs in your betta fish, they may be suffering from issues.
However, to prevent such issues, you should provide your betta fish with ideal water conditions, adequate and stable water parameters, a stress-free environment, and high-quality food.
What are the common diseases in bettas, and how to prevent them?
Betta fish are easy to take care fish as they are hardy and don’t demand much.
However, if you keep your betta fish in inadequate living conditions, then your betta fish can suffer from illness and diseases.
These are some of the common diseases in bettas:
- Swim bladder disorder
- Fin rot
We can prevent most diseases by providing our betta fish with clean water conditions, adequate water parameters, and a proper diet.
When living in inadequate water conditions, our betta fish becomes weak and vulnerable to diseases and parasites.
To know all about the common diseases in betta fish and their treatment and prevention, read our article How To Know If My Betta Fish Is Sick.
Things to look for when having a betta fish?
We have discussed all the major things to consider when having a betta fish in the above article.
These are some more things you should consider to provide your betta fish with perfect living conditions:
- Your betta fish will love to have a cave in their tank where they can hide and live in aquatic plants to mimic their natural habitat.
- Betta fish love to sleep on the flat leaves of live aquatic plants
- Ensure you are not adding two male bettas together, as doing this will result in them fighting until one goes down.
- You can keep multiple female betta fish and make a sorority.
- Always check the filter regularly and make sure that it is working fine.
- Run monthly maintenance of your betta tank by cleaning the filter, decors, glass, and substrate.
- Keep a proper check on water ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH level by using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit.
- If your betta fish is not getting along with other tankmates or you detect any nipping happening in your betta tank, immediately separate the fish.
- Be well educated about the betta common diseases and their treatment so that you can identify the signs of the disease at early stages and treat it accordingly.
Betta fish only demands a little. You just have to take care of some things, and your betta fish will do great.
When talking about the water parameters, betta requires a water temperature between 78-82 °F, pH between 6.5-8, ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, nitrate below 20 ppm, and water GH between 90-100 ppm.
Bettas are tropical freshwater fish and require clean water conditions to thrive. Performing a weekly water change of 30-35% and adding a good filtration system will do the work.
There is food specially made for bettas, such as betta pellets and flakes. Feed them with betta pellets most of the time and live, frozen, and freeze-dried food like bloodworms should be fed once a week as a treat.
Betta requires ample space to live. A minimum of a 5-gallon fish tank is recommended for your betta fish. (10 gallons will do great)