Siamese Fighter fish are often kept in tiny containers, implying that they are perfectly happy in such confined spaces. While they may survive, they will not thrive. In the wild, Bettas live in rice paddies in Thailand and other parts of Asia. Although these rice paddies may dry up to just a few inches deep, they are a part of a large body of water that consists of a complete natural ecosystem. Experts recommend a minimum of 3 gallon tank and 5-10 gallon tank as an ideal size to give a Betta plenty of space to swim and explore, contributing to their overall well being.
If you would like to add a few others to the fray, 7-10 gallons are what you need at the minimum. The tank will need a lid since Bettas have been known to jump out of their tanks. Lighting for a tank is not a requirement but it does make a nice addition to bring out the natural beauty of the Betta fish.
Decorations and Substrate
Who doesn’t like to make their pet’s home look nice? One effective way to decorate your tank is to use substrate. There are many different types of substrate to choose from to improve the look of your tank. Most types of substrate are suitable for Bettas. The most popular and probably the easiest to use is gravel, coming in all sorts of colors ranging from a naturally colored stone to bright, flashy neon colors.
If you are would like to use live plants in the tank, then a dirt substrate will be more suitable because it has the required nutrients that will help the plants grow. This will require a little more care when cleaning the tank but the plants will thank you for your effort. Sand is another substrate that looks very attractive. The use of sand substrate combined with decorative smooth rocks creates a very natural look.
It does require more care when cleaning the tank but it provides a very natural look. Fish decorations are another way to make your tank look beautiful. There are many kinds of decorations on the market, but not all are suitable for a Betta fish. When choosing decorations, you first need to take into account the size of the tank.
You don’t want to fill it full of cute decorations, making the tank look pretty, only to end up leaving no swimming room for your fish. Be sure the decorations don’t have rough edges and that any fake plants are soft, so that the fish isn’t injured. Bettas have very delicate fins that can be easily torn by rough surfaces, leading to infection and, if not treated, possible death.
Water Quality and Temperature
Once the decorations are in the new tank, water needs to be added. Bettas are not particularly sensitive to water, hence tap water, treated for chlorine would usually be good enough. If you want to use RO, it would help to keep water quality more consistent. There has been a widespread debate as to whether Betta fish even need a heater, but they are tropical fish and need a stable temperature of 78 – 86 F.
Depending on where you stay, you need to evaluate the requirement of a heater in the tank. Do note that smaller your tank, the better you would do with a heater to maintain a more consistent temperature.
Choosing a Filter and Tank Aeration
Bettas are not found in fast flowing waters, hence whatever the filter, water flow speed needs to be slow to moderate. Sponge filters are a very good option for Betta tanks, but generally speaking all filters will do. Bettas are labyrinth fish, meaning that, unlike most fish, they can take in oxygen from the air itself.
They do however also take oxygen from the water. This means that they do not really need an air stone or a filter to help aerate the tank. This is also one of the reasons why the Betta can manage to survive in a poorly kept tank and small tank volumes.
Bettas are carnivores and do not require a lot of food. On the whole, they are not very picky eaters. Betta pellets are a very popular food and we recommend starting out with those. Bettas enjoy a variety of food including bloodworm (better frozen to avoid infections) and brine shrimp to name, and its always good practice to feed your fish varied diet. Make sure not to overfeed your fish. Just 3-5 pellets per helping is more than adequate for your fish.
Adding a Betta Fish to the Tank
Make sure the tank is cycled before adding the fish. This process typically takes 4-5 weeks. Once you have chosen your Betta and brought it home, you should add it to the tank as soon as possible. Most Bettas are sold in little plastic cups that are full of dirty water. The cup can be used for acclimating your Betta as you can just float it in the top of the tank for 20- 30 minutes in order to adjust the water temperature in the cup to match the water temperature of the tank.
Once the water is acclimated, take a net and gently transfer the fish to the new tank. Do not tip the fish into the water from the cup because you will be adding the ammonia and dirty water from the cup. This will not get your tank’s ecosystem off to a good start and may introduce contaminates into the water.
Betta fish are happy fish and always enjoy interacting with their human, whether by coming to greet you when you approach the tank, or lapping the tank near the top in the hope of getting food. Giving them the correct environment will provide them with a happy and healthy home, allowing them to live a long and fulfilled life. It is highly recommend that you use a filter in a betta fish tank however should you choose not to, be aware that you will need to do a lot more water changes to keep your fish healthy and happy.