Recently adopted a Betta? Congrats! You’re in for a colourful treat and a pretty easy pet to take care of!
Some Information Before You Start
- Bettas live from 1-5 years (the better you care for them, the longer they live!)
- Bettas are territorial and do not like living with other Bettas!
- If you want multiple some stores sell sororities and some tanks come with Betta Dividers
- Bettas can live with other breeds of fish, but I would definitely recommend doing your research or asking a professional before putting two fish together!
- Bettas are surface breathers, so they do not need an aerated fish tank
Buying the Perfect Tank
|Small Betta Cubes are the most popular tanks for Bettas, but they are not the greatest for your pet fish. Although they are convenient and small, this also means that there’s not a lot of space for your little one to swim. Remember: the smaller the tank, the faster it gets dirty. You will have to change the water in this tank at least once a week at a full 100% change. This is not ideal, especially for a fish that is sensitive to temperature as well as chlorination.|
|Larger Betta Cubes are your best bet. They aren’t that much more expensive and they will definitely give your fish more space to swim and hide. The one I’ve linked to is 3-Gallons, which is a very good amount for your Betta. (You’re looking for something over 1 Gallon, but preferably in the 2-5+ Gallon Range)|
|Minibow 2.5 for our fish Blub. We actually love this tank. It’s very easy to clean. It features a waterfall to help regulate and filter the water and it’s almost fully squared off. Plastic tanks are usually easier to damage, but the Minibow 2.5 is actually very thick and is built to last!We actually have a|
|Half Moon Bubbler for a few reasons. Half Moon tanks have a bad rep as studies have proven that they cause a lot of stress to fish as they skew their vision. I’ll admit, we bought one for Flub right after we decided to get rid of the Aqua Farm. When we bought the tank we didn’t know about the stress it could cause, but Flub hasn’t seemed to have any stress issues so far. (Our tank is in a very low-traffic room and there isn’t much for Flub to look out at.)I’m including the|
*Note: If you’re interested in our top and bottom fish tanks check out this article!
How to Get Your Tank Prepped
Clean Decorations & Gravel
Start by rinsing off your gravel in a colander of sifter that is going to be designated specifically for your fish. Again, Bettas are pretty sensitive! If your gravel is dirty or you are using gravel from someone else’s tank, I recommend first washing the gravel in very hot water and vinegar. This will help clean the gravel safely and will ensure that your fish doesn’t get sick (in case the other fish had something you don’t know of!) Wash all of your toys as well. You never know how long they have been sitting on the sales floor or how many children have touched them with their sticky lollipop licking fingers! (I just really wanted to say that…) Again make sure that you are washing everything with vinegar and not soap
Choose the Home for your Tank & Decorate!
You’d be surprised how heavy your tank can get when you put in gravel, water and other little knick-knacks. I advise you to place your tank before filling in the gravel, water and decorations. Honestly, a 2.5-gallon tank is heavy even for me! Please place your tank out of direct sunlight and windows. (This way you can make sure that the water temperature doesn’t rise or fall during the day.)When you’ve found a place for your tank you can start pouring your gravel. Make sure that your gravel is about 1 to 2 inches high (depending on how big your tank is.) At the end of the day, gravel is the only thing that is going to keep the dirt down, so don’t be stingy with the gravel! Feel free to also place some smoothed out pebbles. This helps give lower hiding spots for your Betta and they also look really awesome with gravel!
When selecting toys make sure that there are no jagged edges on them as Bettas’ fins are very fragile and may tear upon contact. Also, make sure to buy decorations that have lots of hiding spots! Bettas like to hide, especially while they sleep. (If you’re a multi-pet household this is going to be especially necessary as your fish will want to hide most of the time!) Here’s a great time to say… remember to clean your decorations every so often!
Add Water, Filtration System & Heater
So here’s where things need to get pretty specific. Bettas can’t live in regular tap water and you are going to need to add water conditioner or buy preconditioned water. The one I just linked to removes chlorine, hloramine, ammonia and heavy metals and adds electrolytes. This makes sure that the Betta doesn’t get shocked and allows the Betta to live a long and healthy life.I would also strongly recommend adding some bacteria and aquarium salt to the tank as they will both help the tank cycle before you put your Betta in. Bettas are also sensitive to water temperature. Please make sure that the water is between 76-82°F (24-28°C).If you have a tank about 2-Gallons or more I would recommend investing in a heater. That way you can make sure the water is always around the same temperature (as the more water, the harder it is to maintain temperature.) I honestly don’t recommend heaters in the smaller tanks as they can accidentally overheat the water, causing the fish to fry! (Trust me, a Betta isn’t the right fish to fry!) Heaters should be placed near the filter (this makes sure that the heated water gets a chance to travel.) Heaters should be about 5 watts per gallon and should be turned on about 10-15 minutes after the water has been added to the tank. (That way the water has a chance to go through the filter at least one time.)
(Optional) Add Plants to your Tank
Plants are a great way to keep the water clean in your tank. My recommendation is to get a Marimo Moss Ball. They are easy to take care of and help regulate the oxygen, remove excess ammonia, prevent algae, and are great for multi-fish households. We currently have one in Blub’s tank and are looking into getting one for Flub’s (now that he no longer has oats and cat grass to filter his water!) Other plants that are great for Bettas are (but are not limited to) Java Fern and Hornwort, Always make sure to ask the google machine if a plant is fine to place in a tank before putting it in! The internet is full of answers to questions you may have!
Add Your Betta & Plants to the Tank
This is the part of the operation that most people don’t stick to. Honestly… I didn’t even stick to it when I got my Betta… So… I’ll tell you the proper way to put your Betta into the tank… and then I’ll tell you what I did. It’s recommended that you place your Betta (in a plastic bag) into the tank for at least 15 minutes so the temperature can moderate and the fish can get used to the new temperature. Since the store I work at doesn’t actually sell Bettas in bags (instead it sells them in little Betta cups that have holes at the top) I couldn’t be bothered by this step. Instead I left both the tank and the cup in the same room and waited for the tank’s temperature to normalize. When the tank and cup were close enough in temperature I poured the cup into the tank. Why I did this: Bettas can get stressed when all of the nitrogen is taken out of their water, so having some old water mixed in with the new can actually help the Betta from getting stressed and since both containments were the same temperature the bag really seems unneccesary. (Please note: If the water in the container is dirty, that’s a whole different story. Instead use a soft net to remove your Betta and place it in your tank.)
Feed your Betta
Bettas actually have very little stomachs and are prone to bloat if overfed. If you are going to feed pellets, I honestly recommend 3 standard sized pellets, once a day, and to “starve” your Betta one day a week to ensure bladder health. Bettas can actually survive on 3 pellets a week, so there’s no need to be worried about a “once-a-week cleanse.” Also note: each Betta is going to be different, so start with the 3 pellets and increase if you need to! Other supplements include, but are not limited to: bloodworms, brine shrimp or tubifex worms, but pellets and flakes will have enough nutrients in them so you won’t have to supplement!
With that you’re done! Now go enjoy your new Betta! Oh and remember… if you have a male Betta and you find bubbles at the top of your tank, know that he is happy, healthy and ready to breed 😉
Did you find this article helpful? Have other questions or suggestions? Let me know below!