This is what I plan on giving to my sister and mom for refererence. Am I missing anything major?
Bettas are tropical fish. They require temps between 76-84 to thrive. They can survive in slightly lower temps but that is when they tend to get lethargic and if they are too cold it is painful, stressful and uncomfortable for them. They breathe through their labyrinth organ. They periodically go to the surface for air. Without air they will drown.
Bettas can live up to 7 years. A healthy betta most likely will live 3-5 years, in most cases.
Bettas sleep. Usually they will sleep at night and explore during the day. It’s good to have plants and places for them to hide since they don’t have eyelids. They feel more secure with places to hide.
It’s generally recommended to keep betta in tanks no smaller than 1.5 gallons for several reasons –
Ease of care of the tank. Tanks smaller than this require many water changes to keep the water clean for optimum health of the fish. Bettas like to explore and they are less bored with room to swim. It’s also easier to heat tanks larger than a gallon since most heaters are designed for at least 2 gallons.
2.5 Gallon tank & water changes
If the tank is filtered, it requires less water changes. A 50% change once a week works. Without the filter, I would do a 50% change at least twice a week. I would keep at least a gallon jug with treated water ready to go – although the water temperature will be different. The flow of a filter can sometimes be too strong for a betta. But you can baffle it with aquarium sponge.
I would recommend a 100% water change about once a month, where you rinse the gravel/stones and decorations with hot water. Never use soap. Hot water will do fine but the soap residue can kill the fish.
Bettas are pigs. If overfed they can get very bloated and lethargic (but yet they’ll keep eating!). Overfeeding on a regular basis can lead to disease.
Best food is pellets with lots of vitamins and protein. I use New Life Spectrum pellets (as recommended by experience betta keepers). They are color enhancing pellets. All my fish are bright and beautiful and a few of them are developing color on their fins that wasn’t there when I bought them! 4-6 pellets per day is good. Spread out between 2-3 feedings. I usually do 3 pellets in the morning and 3 at night.
I also occasionally treat them with frozen blood worms (thawed of course!). They all love them but again, if overfed they will get too big. 1 bloodworm as a treat is best, I’ve discovered. Only reason I suggest that is because bettas love variety in their diet. Freeze dried foods are good for occasional snacks as well but not as regular meals. Other people even feed their bettas mosquito larvae or flies. But I’m ok with the prepared food from the pet store J
Water conditioner is a must – it removes chlorine and other harsh chemicals that are in tap water that will kill fish.As far as water conditioner (treater) goes – I have gotten to where I only use API’s Stress Coat now. It conditions the water and keeps the betta’s stress level down. But any water conditioner works fine.
My bettas: 6 boys and 8 sorority girls
Making it my mission to have all natural planted tanks!