Betta Fish Care

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It is often the same mistakes that (inexperienced) keepers of bettas make. And unfortunately, these mistakes are often repeated, since some people do not think about the demands of a fish before it is bought, but only after it is made for its future home.

So here is the no-go list for bettas. With 10 points to avoid when keeping bettas.
If you have any additions, please post them as a comment under this article. Part 2 of this list is definitely worth talking about ;).

Betta Fish: Never make these mistakes

Two males

The most important and well-known point when keeping bettas (Betta Splendens) is that you can never, should not and must not keep two males in one aquarium. The name “Fighting” fish says it all. Because two males would fight each other in an aquarium until one of them gives up. But that’s mostly because he’s about to die from his injuries from the fight. The size of the aquarium is irrelevant. ANY aquarium, no matter what size, is NOT SUITABLE for keeping two males!


In their natural environment, fighting fish (Betta Splendens) live almost exclusively in small still bodies of water, paddy fields or flooded meadows. So they are not used to living in water with currents and are not trained to do so. In short: bettas don’t like currents. Therefore, when setting up a fighting fish aquarium, you should always use filters that hardly generate any current (air lifting or nano filters, for example). Or on filters where the water flow can be regulated. With these models, the smallest possible level should be selected and the water flow should still be controlled in such a way that no current forms in the pool.

Aquarium too small

It’s frighteningly persistent. The rumor that bettas don’t like to swim and therefore only need a very small amount of space. While it is true that bettas (individually and alone) can be kept in aquariums as small as 12 liters. However, this is the absolute lower limit. Anyone who likes their fish should treat themselves to an aquarium of at least 20 liters. The fish will thank you. You can find more about this in the article “Keeping Betta Splendens – The Single Apartment“.

Too warm water

Betta splendens like it warm. That’s correct. But what very few people know is that bettas tend to age faster if the temperatures are too high. Which logically shortens their life expectancy. The optimum temperature for keeping bettas is around 24 degrees (+/- 2 degrees). However, temperatures above 28 degrees and below 22 should be avoided.

Too few plants

As already mentioned, bettas can be found in the natural environment in rice paddies, flooded meadows or in still waters. These are usually heavily overgrown and overgrown. This fact should make it a matter of course to design the fighting fish tank in a similar way. That means: As many plants as possible!

Normal flake food

Betta are carnivores. And those that cannot be re-educated to be vegetarians. When choosing the feed, care should be taken to ensure that the feed contains as few plant components as possible. For example, I don’t feed any food that contains plant-based ingredients. Instead, use fresh live food or freeze or sun-dried live food such as red mosquito larvae, daphnia (water fleas), krill or brine shrimp. So I have a varied and nutritious “meat menu”. There is also special flake food for Betta. This can of course also be used. By the way, by normal flake food I mean what you can buy in large cans in every hardware store. But I will also take up this topic again here in the blog and discuss it in more detail.

Colorful aquarium decor

How about blue, yellow, green for the new fighting fish aquarium. pink or red gravel? And why not add the cute, colorful Spongebob figures as well? Um, no thanks! Aquariums should bring a piece of nature into the living room and offer the animals living in them a natural environment. Have you ever seen a stream with colorful gravel and colorful houses? Rather not, right? But tastes are (fortunately) different. Nevertheless, animals have NO place in colorful children’s aquariums.

Propagation in blind flight

I have seen this scenario in many forums and I always find it pointless: I bought a betta, put it in the aquarium, two days later I bought a female and put it in the aquarium as well. Then felt the desire that you would like to become a successful breeder. But what is missing is the necessary knowledge. So quickly surfed the forum and hoped that someone would explain the breeding to you. The ones who suffer are the animals. For them, every mating means stress. Therefore, bettas should only be mated by people who are familiar with them and who have a clear goal in breeding them. For example, a specific color or a specific fin shape. But on propagation, only for the sake of propagation should be avoided in principle.

How often to change the water in a betta?

Most experts recommend a water change at least once a week. If your betta tank gets particularly dirty for some reason, you may need to change it more often.

How often do you have to feed a betta?

Fighting fish should be fed 3 times a week, otherwise they will become too lazy.

What water do fighting fish need?

Soft to medium-hard water and a pH of 6-8 work well. Water conditioner renders heavy metals and similar pollutants in the aquarium water harmless and can also be used in fighting fish aquariums.

How much light does a betta need?

Since bettas like it a little darker, the lighting should not be too bright. As a first rough rule of thumb, you can aim for around 15 lumens per liter. This is then still sufficient light for the aquatic plants in the aquarium.

How do you tell if a fighting fish feels good?

Therefore, the maroon fighting fish is probably best kept in the aquarium. But here, too, it needs extremely acidic and soft water, which should be clear, clean and sterile. Temperatures between 23 and 27 °C and pH values of around 5 to a maximum of 6.5 are ideal.

How to employ a betta?

Place objects on the water surface that move with the water. Purchase a small floating toy or float from the fishing line. You must not cover the entire surface of the water as bettas come to the surface to breathe.

Can you pet bettas?

In addition, he can be stroked very gently everywhere and he also eats from my finger when I hang it in the water with food.

Can you keep a betta without a pump?

Without a filter –> yes, if you do regular water changes; Without heating –> yes, if the water gets warm enough from the lamp (you can google the temperature);

Which plants for Betta?

These plants are very suitable for the fighting fish aquarium:

  • Hydrocotyle tripartita.
  • Hydrocotyle leucocephala.
  • Rotala rotundifolia.
  • Limnophila sessiliflora.
  • Pistia stratiotes.
  • Limnobium laevigatum.

Why are my bettas jumping?

When reading about bettas, I often came across the remark that they like to jump and that a cover makes sense, as it also keeps the air above the water surface warm when the room is cooler than the water.

Can bettas bite?

In the aquarium it can therefore possibly drive other long-finned fish such as guppies out of “its territory” by threatening them with raised gills or even biting them. And the teeth of a betta are very sharp!

How big aquarium for Betta?

Basically, you should choose a tank with at least 54 liters and an edge length of around 60 cm for a fish of this size. Especially in the case of bettas, however, keeping them in much smaller nanos with a volume of around 30 liters is described. However, we advise against this.

How old does a Betta get?

The Siamese fighting fish is a labyrinth fish native to Thailand and Cambodia. The first appearance of this species of fish is dated to 1892 in Japan. However, it had been bred by local people for shows and competitions many years earlier, mainly because of the aggressiveness of the males towards each other.

Can you keep a betta in a jar?

The answer to this is basically quite short: No! Just because of the fact that fighting fish are animals and not room decorations, it should be an aquarium. Round decorative glasses in particular should be avoided.

Why should you keep bettas alone?

He will then want to mate and that means stress – stress shortens your Kafi’s life considerably. So keep your male alone, you will enjoy him more.

Can a betta drown?

Because Betta splendens belongs to the labyrinth fish: it can drown. Although it has gills, it constantly has to breathe air at the water’s surface. With this fighting technique, the one who can hold his breath longer wins.

How smart is a betta?

Betta fish are very intelligent. Although you may not have thought it possible to teach a fish a trick, you certainly can with your betta. One trick you can teach him is to follow your finger.

Can tetras and bettas be kept together?

Another topic that is often discussed is the correct socialization of fighting fish. Long-term themes are probably fighting fish – guppy and fighting fish – neon. With the guppies, it is their very lively nature and the large tail fin (which the Betta could mistake guppies for bettas and attack them) which makes them unsuitable for socialization. And with the neons, it is the swarming swarm that stresses the betta and can thus lead to a shortened lifespan. But I don’t want to go into too much detail on this topic at this point because it would go beyond the scope. Otherwise you can say you should make sure that the desired companion fish does not have too big fins. And perch should be avoided if possible. In the course of time I will also introduce some fish species that I think are suitable for socializing with bettas.

Which bettas are peaceful?

Betta imbellis belong to the peaceful representatives of the fighting fish. They are neither aggressive towards each other nor towards other ornamental fish species and can therefore be socialized well with similarly small fish.

What do bettas like?

Free-ranging bettas feed primarily on small mollusks and insects. These they eat directly from the water or from the surface of the water. When it comes to home breeding, it is important to remember that the Betta is a pure carnivore. Vegetable fish food is therefore in no case an option.

How much is the most expensive fighting fish in the world?

If you have only looked at bettas in pet shops, you will know prices between 5 and 10 euros, maybe even 15 euros. However, the latter would be the exception. As a rule, “normal” fighting fish cost 5 to 10 euros.

How long does a betta live in an aquarium?

And quite simply with: “Up to 3 years”. Because 3-4 years is considered the typical age for fighting fish. Of course, this only applies if you keep and care for your Betta properly and if it does not have any injuries or illnesses before you bought it.

Which shrimp go well with the fighting fish?

Since keeping fish is problematic, you may still want to keep something else in the tank. And now you’ve come up with the idea that dwarf shrimp such as red fire shrimp or bee shrimp are suitable as companion stock.

Which animals can you keep with a fighting fish?

Well suited for socialization are bottom dwellers, e.g. B. small armored catfish. Fighting fish can also be kept together with platies.

How long can a betta go without eating?

Mine goes almost exclusively to live food. I try to get him used to frozen food, but even after a few days of fasting he just nibbles at it with long teeth. And she doesn’t look emaciated, so I think a Betta can go six days without food.

Why is my Betta making a foam nest?

The foam nest is the nest built by some fish species, including labyrinth fish such as Siamese fighting fish, paradise fish, spotted threadfish and various catfish species, during the breeding season. It consists of air bubbles encased in secretion, giving it the appearance of foam.

Which dry food for fighting fish?

  • white mosquito larvae.
  • red mosquito larvae.
  • Artemia.
  • Cyclops.

How long can a fish go without eating?

In principle, it is not a problem for fish to go without food for a day. Over time, sufficient microorganisms collect in the aquarium, from which healthy and fully grown aquatic inhabitants can feed for two to three weeks.

Are Betta Aggressive?

Aggressive behavior helps the fish to assert themselves against conspecifics and foreign fish species by defending territories for foraging, nest building and brood rearing. Within a community, a hierarchy is built up and permanently consolidated through aggressive behavior.

Which decoration for fighting fish?

When decorating your fighting fish aquarium, please make sure that stones and wood are placed in the tank in such a way that they cannot tip over. Not only can this become a death trap for your betta, it can also be a real eye-catcher, for example if a stone tips over and hits your aquarium pane.

Are bettas intelligent?

Betta fish are intelligent, playful and have strong personalities. They love interacting with you. So, teach him a trick or two!

Does a betta become tame?

Many a fighting fish becomes downright tame, eats out of hand and even recognizes its keeper and comes straight to the pane. Since not only the males fight each other, only one Betta should be kept per aquarium, other fish are usually fought rigorously.

What food for Betta splendens?

Food: The highest quality food for adult bettas is by far live food. Live black, white or red mosquito larvae are best suited, but Tubifex and large Artemia are also excellent for a change. Water fleas such as daphnia are also a good alternative.

Are Bettas Solitary?

The Siamese fighting fish is a true loner. Under no circumstances should you keep two males of his species in one tank! Otherwise they would fight until the weaker animal dies – unfortunately this fish is therefore also misused for exhibition fights. Betta males should be alone or max.

Can males and females bettas be kept together?

One male can be kept with two females in a 60 cm tank. Betta fish do not form fixed pairs. The male sometimes spawns with one female, sometimes with the other.

Can a betta change color?

Normally, a kafi doesn’t change color unless it carries the “marble gene”. Recognizing it from the start is almost impossible. The breeder can pass these on.

Why is my Betta losing its colour?

A fish can also lose its color due to stress. How bad does he look? He’s just acting weak. He swims on the surface and doesn’t swim very much.

How long can bettas survive without water?

If a betta has been without water for more than 12 hours, its chances of survival are slim. The final major factor affecting a betta’s survival out of water is air quality. Bettas need access to fresh air to breathe, and if the air quality is poor, they will die.

Where do bettas live in nature?

The range of the fighting fish extends from the islands around Bali to Indonesia (including the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Java) across the Malay Peninsula to Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.

How long does it take for a betta to mature?

The little ones grow quite fast, so that they can already be fully grown by the age of 6 months. Animal Animals usually start showing off at around 3 months old. Here they are 2.5 – 3 cm tall. From there they have to be separated!

How often to change the water in a betta?

Most experts recommend a water change at least once a week. If your betta tank gets particularly dirty for some reason, you may need to change it more often.

How often do you have to feed a betta?

Fighting fish should be fed 3 times a week, otherwise they will become too lazy.

How much does a betta eat?

Feeding the right amount. Measure out an amount about the size of the fish’s eye. A betta’s stomach is about the same size as its eyeball, and it should never be given more than that amount at a time. This corresponds to about three bloodworms or Artemia (brine shrimp) per feeding.

How much light does a betta need?

Since bettas like it a little darker, the lighting should not be too bright. As a first rough rule of thumb, you can aim for around 15 lumens per liter. This is then still sufficient light for the aquatic plants in the aquarium.

When is a betta sexually mature?

They are sexually mature when they are 4 to 6 months old. MEYER, R. (1989): Aquarium fish – Bibliographic Institute Leipzig, 415 p.

How do you recognize female bettas?

Males and females can only be clearly distinguished from a size of 3 to 4 centimeters based on the pelvic fin. Males have a sail extended to the tips of their ventral fins. The females have a sharp, almost right-angled triangle for their sails.

Do betta fish get lonely?

Betta fish are naturally territorial and should not be housed with any other betta fish because they will fight and injure each other, often resulting in death. They are unlikely to get lonely in their tank; however, if they are in a small tank, they may get bored.

How long do betta fish live?

2 – 5 years

What do betta fish eat?

Betta fish are natural carnivores, and in the wild would be found subsisting on a diet of insects and insect larvae.

How to take care of a betta fish

Do betta fish need a filter?

So, betta fish can live without a filter, but having using a filter for your betta, like a sponge filter, will help maintain healthier water conditions and disaster. The most ideal environment for a betta fish in captivity is a planted tank of 3+ gallons with a filter and heater.

Where to buy betta fish near me?

Buy Betta Fish Online – The 7 Best Stores

  • Editor’s Choice.
  • Best For Bettas & Goldfish!
  • Coast Gem USA. Based in San Diego, CA, this store sells both male and female bettas.
  • Check Out Driver’s Den!
  • Bettas and Art.
  • Seven Sea Supply (Via Amazon)
  • eBay.

Can betta fish live with other fish?

Yes, it is possible to keep bettas with other fish. However, it won’t work in every scenario, and in some circumstances, your betta will prefer to live on their own. Unfortunately, there’s no way you’re going to know for sure until you give it a try.

How long can a betta fish go without food?

As we’ve just mentioned, betta fish can survive between 10-14 days without food. However, there are some major factors you should consider before leaving your betta fish unattended for such a long period of time.

Where do betta fish come from?

Betta fish originated from Thailand but can be found in nearby countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Wild bettas live in shallow, freshwater areas such as rice paddies, stagnant ponds, marshes, and slow-moving streams.

How much to feed betta fish?

It is recommended to feed your betta fish two to four pellets, once or twice per day. Pellets expand when placed in water and are very filling for your betta fish. Freeze-dried or fresh food can be substituted for their pellet feeding 1 to 2 days per week.

How do you know when a betta fish is going to die?

The usual signs that you’ll see in Betta fish before they die are lethargic behavior, can barely swim, loss of appetite, fading colors, etc.

How big do betta fish get?

Betta fish grow to be no longer than 3 inches, typically. Their usual lifespan is 2-5 years. They have brilliantly colored fins, and various tail types. Common colors include red, blue, black, white and orange.

Do betta fish need a heater?

Yes, Betta fish need an aquarium heater to keep the water warm and temperature maintained.

Can female betta fish live together?

Unlike male betta fish, female betta fish can live together comfortably in the same tank. When they live together, the cohort is called a ‘sorority’. Generally, a good number to keep together is 4-6 female betta fish.

What fish can live with bettas?

  • Kuhli Loaches. These eel-like oddball fish grow to about 3.5 inches long and are great scavengers for picking up any excess food your betta drops.
  • Ember Tetras.
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails.
  • Harlequin Rasboras.
  • Cory Catfish.

How to breed betta fish

  • Set up a breeding tank with five inches of water and no substrate;
  • Ensure that the tank is fully cycled and at the correct temperature;
  • Select a healthy breeding pair;
  • Keep the female betta separated by using a divider until both fish are ready to breed;
  • Wait for the male to build the bubble nest;
  • Carefully observe the pair after the female has been released and as they breed;
  • Remove the female after the eggs have been laid;
  • Remove the male after the fry become free-swimming.

How to clean a betta fish tank

How much do betta fish cost?

Types of Betta Fish Average Cost
Female Veiltail Bettas $2-3
Male Veiltail Betta $2.50-$5
Female Crowntail Betta $3-$5.50
Male Crowntail Betta $3.50-4.50
Male Deltatail Betta $6.50-$8
Male Doubletail (Halfmoon) Betta $6.50-$16
Female Halfmoon Betta $10.50-$13
Male King Betta $10.50-$13
Female Elephant Ear Betta $10.50-$13
Dragonscale Betta $10.50-$13
Butterfly Betta $12-15
Female Koi Betta $12-15
Paradise Betta $15-20
Man Koi Betta $16-20
Bubblebee Betta $16-20
Elephant Ear Betta $24.50-30

How often should you feed a betta fish?

It is recommended to feed your betta fish two to four pellets, once or twice per day. Pellets expand when placed in water and are very filling for your betta fish. Freeze-dried or fresh food can be substituted for their pellet feeding 1 to 2 days per week.

How long do betta fish sleep?

around 12 to 14 hours

How to identify baby betta fish

Is it normal for betta fish to lay on the bottom of the tank?

If you’re not seeing other signs of stress, a Betta may be listless and laying at the bottom all the time because it lives in too small of an aquarium and/or is being kept in poor water conditions.

How do betta fish sleep?

“When sleeping, they become still, with their eyes open because of their absence of eyelids. Betta fish may lose their color while sleeping (it’s their natural form of self-defense), and they can sleep in different positions: curled up like a cat, on one side, or even vertically, with the head down.

What color gravel is best for betta fish?

Black gravel can really make your Betta stand out. I really love the contrast between the super dark substrate and the brightly colored fish. This is sort of a big bag, so depending on your tank size, you might have some left over.

Does betta fish play with toys?

Betta fish do like to explore and interact with toys in their environment. Bettas can be taught tricks using toys such as ping pong balls and hoops or a using a fish training kit.

How to treat dropsy in betta fish

Salt: A bit of salt in the tank water can aid in the osmotic balance of the fish by making the water salinity closer to the fish’s blood salinity. That helps the fish expel accumulated water. A safe level of salt for most pet fish is 1-2 ppt.

Do betta fish die easily?

Betta fish don’t die easily, but they require certain water parameters and particular foods to stay healthy and live a full, comfortable life. They are hardy fish and should live for between three and five years when given the proper care.

Do betta fish like light?

Yes, they won’t like anything too intense, but a standard aquarium light is perfect. Bettas also love aquarium plants, which need an aquarium light to grow and survive.

What is a betta fish?

Bettas are well known for being highly territorial, with males prone to attacking each other if housed in the same tank; without a means of escape, this will usually result in the death of one or both fish. Female bettas can also become territorial towards one another in confined spaces.

How to tell if a betta fish is dying of old age

  • Has Fading Colors. Our hair color fades with old age, and so do scales.
  • Stops Making Bubble Nests (If He Ever Did)
  • Takes Frequent Naps.
  • Has Ragged/Curling Fins.
  • Has an Appearing and Disappearing White Dot.
  • Misses Food.
  • Slims Down.
  • Lower the Water.

How to help a stressed betta fish

  • Change water frequently to keep nitrate and ammonia levels low.
  • Check water temperature for consistency regularly to prevent stressful fluctuations.
  • Provide an optimal filtration system like the Fluval Underwater Filter that captures debris and bacteria while ensuring proper oxygenation.
  • Provide hiding places, like the Marina Mangrove Root Aquarium Decor, but be careful not to overcrowd your tank, which can interfere with proper oxygen flow.
  • Before you add fish to your community, ensure they are compatible with your current fish to prevent stress from harassment or fighting.
  • Introduce new fish properly, preferably by immersing them in the tank while still in their plastic bag, to help them adjust to the water temperature, and for your current fish to get used to their new tank mate.
  • If you notice harassing behavior, remove the aggressive fish and place in a separate tank.
  • Give your fish adequate space; the general rule is a fish of 1 inch length needs 1 gallon of water.
  • Feed them proper amounts of food regularly, and if possible, at the same time of day.
Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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