When purchasing a new pet, is your goal just to keep them alive or would you rather them have a happy life with you where they thrive in their new home? There are many myths you will hear about Betta Fish, such as:
- You don’t have to get them a heater or a filter
- They are fine living in bowls
- You can house all Bettas together
These are false!! Yes, your Betta CAN survive without a heater, filter and can live in a bowl. ‘Survive’ is the key word here! They will survive for an indefinite amount of time but will they be thriving? No, they won’t. Betta Fish can become depressed and sick without the proper necessities. While they are still considered an easy pet to have, it is important to note that they require more in their enclosure than once thought.
I hope you enjoy and learn from this introductory Betta Fish care guide that strives to ensure your new pet lives the best life possible!
Bettas in the Wild
Betta Fish in their natural habitats live in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia, most frequently in rice paddies, small streams, river basins and drainage ditches. This causes potential Betta owners to believe that their new pet will not require a large habitat and can be kept in a small bowl. After all, commercial pet stores encourage this behaviour and believe it is acceptable to give these fish less than they require. It doesn’t help that they are kept in small plastic containers in pet stores either. It is ideal to get your new friend a 5 gallon tank or bigger for optimal swimming space.
They are tropical fish who are used to 78-82 degree Fahrenheit water temperature, so this is also important to keep in mind.
How to Care for Them
Betta Fish are beautiful creatures with long colourful fins who typically live for up to three years. Many owners don’t realize they do in fact need filtration systems in their tank to keep everything nice and clean for them. In addition, they will need the occasional clean where you will remove half of the water in their tank and replace it with water that is of the same temperature so as not to shock them.
They will also require a heater in their tank due to the temperatures they are accustomed to in the wild. Filters and heaters are two pieces of equipment that most people will hear these fish do not need. And again, are you hoping for your new pet to just survive or to actually thrive in their new home? Most pet owners will wish for their pets to thrive, therefore it is best to give them the proper equipment that will contribute to that.
A common problem with Bettas to note is overfeeding. It is best to give them just enough food that they can eat all of in 1 to 2 minutes a day. Overfeeding leads to rotting food in their enclosures, which can contribute to malady among your fish.
Bettas Don’t Really Need Friends
Fun fact: Another name for the Betta Fish is the Siamese or Japanese Fighting Fish. These fish are known for being quite aggressive and will kill other fish of their kind or other fish in general. Male fish are typically more aggressive than females and should not be houses together. Female Bettas can live together dependent on tank size and personality, so if you would like your fish to live together, please invest in a larger tank and ensure you have two females.
Female Bettas can live with other fish in bigger enclosures as well, as long as they are not aggressive fish because this will cause fighting. Some types of fish are very nippy and should not be in with Bettas because they will nip at their beautiful fins.
Bettas Do Make Great Pets
It’s true! They are great pets due to their tendency to be low maintenance, as long as you ensure they have enough space, have a filter and a heater in their enclosure and keep in mind their aggressive behaviour towards other fish.
They really are such beautiful fish and come in a variety of different colours. It is nice just to watch them swim and explore in their habitat.
I hope this information helped to debunk some common Betta myths and to ensure the best home for your pet. Always think to yourself, “I am responsible for this pet. I must strive to create the best life for this animal in my care”. I know people say that it’s just a fish, but they are living beings as well and deserve a great life.
If you have any questions leave me a comment! Thanks.