I noticed that there has been some confusion in the department of betta care with some beginners on the forum. I thought that I would make a post that has all of the info, but in normal terms.
-2.5gal is was most consider the minimum
, but you can keep in 1 gallon bowls as long as it is a stable temperature.
-Bettas are tropical fish, and like their water to be a temperature of 76F-82F
, with 78-80 being the sweet spot. In most climates this requires the use of a heater
-The general rule with heaters is 5W of power per gallon of water
, but 10W per gallon is OK too. In some of the lower quality brands it is neccessary to use 10W per gallon
. I use 10W per gallon personally.
-eg. 3 gallon tank = 15W heater, 10 gallon tank = 50W heater <--- Using 5W per gallon rule
-Filters are optional.
Many long finned bettas find it hard to get around in the current of filters. You can build a filter "baffle" out of a plastic water bottle to make the current less strong.
-Gravel, or Sand, it doesn't matter.
-With bettas you can use either fake or live plants
. Make sure that if you use fake, to do the pantyhose test. If they snag on a pantyhose they will snag on your bettas fins
. I use silk plants, personally.
-Make sure you have at least one place for your fish to hide
. Mugs and terracotta pots make good hiding places. Male sure that any holes in the hide are at least the size of a quarter,
as they will get stuck in anything smaller.
-Make sure that you betta tank has a hood
. They can and will jump.
-Keep the lights on in your tank for around 8-12 hours a day
, they have a day and night cycle just like us
. If you keep the lights on near or over 12 hours algae will start to grow
-For cleaning schedule use this guide by OldFishLady ---> http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758
Some of the terms used in the guide: gravel vacuum:
a tool used to help make cleaning tanks easier, a must have, work using airline tubing, and creates suction, so while taking water out of the tank, you are getting poo/uneaten food out of the gravel filter media:
cartridges that go in filters include cartridges, sponges, and ceramic balls that go in filters.
-All tanks larger than 5 gallon should be cycled
. It is explained in this guide by Olympia ---> http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=111960
-Make sure that you acclimatize your fish properly
when you buy it. You can do this by floating the cup/bag in your tank for around 15-30 mins, while periodically adding spoons of tank water the the cup.
-Male bettas typically have longer fins. Females have an 'egg spot', a little white dot on her belly
. Very young males can have this too.
-Two Males can not be kept together
. However, females can be kept in 'sororities', a group of 5+ females in a 10 gallon or larger tank. Many females are not suited for sorority life
. Do not keep males and females in the same tank under ANY circumstances
-You can keep betta fish with other tankmates
. In tanks under 10 gallons you are limited to shrimp and snails
. Be cautious with shrimp as any bettas think of them as a tasty snack
. In tanks over 10 gallons you can keep them with peaceful fish, as long as they are not colourful and long finned, nippy, or aggressive
. Good tankmates include corydoras catfish, neon tetras, platies, and harlequin rasboras. Bad tankmates include gouramis (related to betta family), cichlids (aggressive), guppies (can be mistaken for another betta fish and attacked), and serpae tetras (nippy). Not all bettas will tolerate
other living things, so be careful.
-Try and put your betta in a place where there is a lot of activity
. They like the attention believe it or not!
-You can buy your betta from 3 places. A pet store, online from breeders, and from local breeders. I will list the pros and cons below.
Pet Store ~
Pros: Close to home, easy to get refund if it dies, cheap, in local water
Cons: Often not cared for well so can be sick, not good to support that buisness if they are taking proper care
Breeder Online ~
Pros: Quality fish, well looked after, often a family tree of fish, can get refund
Cons: expensive for fish and shipping, risking it being dead on arrival, some have trouble getting used to local water conditions, language barrier, transhippers
Local Breeder ~
Pros: Quality fish, well looked after, family tree of fish, used to local water, close to home,
I hope you enjoyed this guide! :)