Betta Fish Care - Tips For Keeping A Happy And Healthy Betta
by George Best
Although part of the appeal of betta fish is that they can be kept without the need for a large aquarium or with a complicated filtration system, betta fish care does require some effort. Betta fish are beautiful when kept healthy and happy, and this article will give you the basics on how to achieve just that.
One important factor in betta fish care is to use a container that allows the fish to swim around a bit. Bettas can of course survive in the little jars they are often sold in, but this is far from a healthy environment and bettas in such tight quarters may fade in color and become sluggish. Bettas don't need a huge amount of space, but a little room to swim, and a decent amount of surface area for the fish to get gulps of air in are recommended. As a suggestion, a 1 to 2 gallon fish bowl is a good option.
Betta fish can and will jump, so whatever container you are using, be sure that it can be covered (dont use an airtight cover!) to prevent your fish from jumping out.
The next part of betta fish care that is critical to the health of the fish is to keep the container and water very clean. Part of keeping the container clean is to use care when feeding your fish. Excess food will accumulate at the bottom and cause bacterial growth and cloud the water. I suggest feeding your fish with the standard betta food pellets by dropping in just one pellet at a time, perhaps 3 or 4 times per day. Not only will this help keep the container clean, it will also prevent overfeeding which can cause swim bladder problems which can kill betta fish.
Another way to make sure the water is clean is to change part it on a frequent basis. How much water to replace and how often is largely dependent on the size of the container, as waste products build up much more quickly in small containers than in larger ones. If your fish is in a container with half a gallon of water or less, it is a good idea to change at least a third of the water every 3 days or so. For larger containers of one to two gallons or more, a once per week schedule changing out a third to half the water should work just fine.
When changing the water, there are various test kits, water treatment chemicals, aging techniques, etc. that can be used to remove toxic substances like chlorine and to establish the preferred neutral pH of the water. There is a much simpler trick to betta fish care with regards to water though. You can buy ordinary distilled water and not have to test or treat it at all. Distilled water is free of contaminants and has a neutral pH - perfect for your betta fish, and much simpler than trying to get your tap water to the right chemical balance! Just be sure to get DISTILLED water instead of spring water, drinking water, etc., in order to ensure purity and the correct pH.
Another important aspect of betta fish care is to keep the water relatively warm. Bettas come from tropical regions and are happiest at temperatures at about the 75 to 80 degree (Farenheit) range.
Betta fish prefer to rest on objects off of the bottom of the container, so some decorations are a good idea. It is important to use objects that are smooth and don't have any sharp edges, because the betta's fins are very delicate and can be easily damaged. Even artificial plants can damage a betta if the material is too hard.
Using the tips you have just learned, you will be well on your way to keeping a healthy, happy betta fish. The show of brilliant color on your fish will be your reward for your excellent betta fish care.
George Best is a betta fish enthusiast from San Antonio, Texas. To learn advanced secrets to caring for bettas from an expert who has learned from master breeders in Asia, please visit betta fish care.