Hello, my name’s Irena and I live on the island of Crete in Greece with my lovely mad and crazy dog, Sherlock and three cats, Hamlet, Dimitris and Ebony.
Today I’m going to talk about Betta fish which are also known as Siamese fighting fish. They are highly territorial fish and are prone to serious aggression, especially males.
They shouldn’t be put in the same aquarium as they will probably fight to the death. Females can be housed together as long as they are in a large tank. Males and females should only be put together for breeding purposes.
However, Bettas are compatible with some other species of aquarium fish and they will only be aggressive towards smaller and slower fish such as guppies.
Both male and female Bettas puff out their gills either as a sign of courtship or as a sign of aggression.
If stressed or frightened both males and females display horizontal bars, but Bettas who want to breed develop vertical stripes. When setting up a pecking order, females will flare at other females.
Bettas grow to about 2.6 inches in length so despite their aggressive nature they are quite small.
In the wild, they are generally dull colors like green, brown and grey, but in captivity, they are bred to be bright colors such as red, orange, yellow, blue and turquoise as well as black, pastel, opaque and white.
The colors come from different levels of pigmentation in their skin. Some Bettas will change colors throughout their lifetime.
Some More Info About Bettas!
Bettas were first discovered in Southeast Asia in rice paddies and the warm flood plains in the area. They adapted to flooding and droughts and they became a labyrinth fish.
Labyrinth fish are unusual in that they can breathe oxygen from the air. They can exist for a while out of the water and can inhale the air as long as they stay moist.
Bettas got their name from a clan of warriors called the Betta. In the 1800’s they were used in fighting with betting involved.
This sport became very popular and the King of Thailand had the sport regulated and taxed. The people betting on the sport placed bets on the bravery of the fish rather than the damage inflicted.
Perhaps you aren’t sure what to feed your Bettas. Well, they need a diet high in protein and fiber and of course, they need essential vitamins and minerals.
There are pellets specially produced for Bettas and they can be fed frozen foods such as brine shrimps and bloodworms. Just remember that they can’t survive only on vegetation.
If you are going to be away for a few days, you may want to check out this fish feeder for when you are on vacation.
What Conditions do Bettas Need?
Bettas are often kept in a vase or glass bowl with some vegetation, but this isn’t good for them. Just because they are small doesn’t mean that they don’t need lots of space to swim in.
They need a tank of at least 1 gallon, 5 gallons or more is even better. Bettas also need a temperature of around 74F.
They like to have a place to hide such as a cave or floating live plants so it’s a good idea to buy accessories like caves.
Feed your Bettas as much as they will eat in a couple of minutes. Twice a week, change the water to avoid fin rot.
When cleaning the tank, make sure that you only take a third of the water while replacing it with fresh water. This will allow your fish to adjust to the temperature and the ph of the water.
There could be too much chlorine in your tap water which will upset your fish so you may have to add a drop of declorinator to the water before putting it into the tank.
Don’t use soap or disinfectant to clean off ornaments as this isn’t good for your fish as it could be toxic for them.
You can use a baster to get rid of debris from the bottom of the tank. This helps to stop excessive ammonia and bacteria from building up in the tank.
What to Consider When Choosing a Betta Fish Tank
There are literally hundreds of tanks out there, both in the stores and online. Choosing the right one can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time fish owner so I’m here to give you some help.
The first thing to consider is the size of the Betta fish tank and I think that the bigger a tank you purchase the better.
You can get tanks of all different sizes from one gallon to over 30. Bettas need space to swim so get as big a tank as you have room for.
Bettas enjoy exercise and it is better for their health. In addition the bigger the tank you have, the higher the quality of water will be. Small tanks get dirty quicker than large tanks.
Really the size of the Betta fish tank is more important than the style. Yes, you will want your tank to suit your decor, but your fish won’t care what the tank looks.
They are just interested in how much room they have and you will want them to be happy in their environment. To be fair you can get some very attractive tanks which are pleasing to the eye.
Make sure that your tank has a filtering system. Filters remove excess food, decaying organic matter, chemicals and waste products, all of which makes the aquarium look cloudy.
More importantly, fish continually create waste and it if accumulates, they can even poison themselves.
You can add a heater to your tank, but make sure that you put a thermometer in the tank as well.
You don’t want the water to get too hot as it can kill your fish. The ideal temperature for a Betta fish tank is between 77F and 86F.
Bettas like to have light so they know when to wake up and they prefer it to be dark when they go to sleep.
Make sure that your aquarium has a light which you can switch on when you get up and switch off when you go to bed. Some lights even have timers.
You don’t need a powerful light; 1 watt per gallon is ideal or less for LED lights. If you want fluorescent lights, buy lamps of 1.5 watts.
The next thing to decide is where to put your Betta fish tank. Don’t place it near a window as the sun can cause a growth of algae.
In addition, don’t put it anywhere where the temperature fluctuates as for example, near radiators. This can cause temperature shock in your fish which can even prove fatal.
The best place to put your aquarium is in the middle of the room as this will reduce the effects of sunlight and drafts. In addition, put it somewhere where small children and other pets can’t get at it.
Make sure that your aquarium is made from high-quality material.
Flimsy tanks may not last as long as a good quality one and also don’t stand up well if you put a heater in it. Most tanks are made of glass which is perfect for your fish.
How to Set up Your Betta Aquarium
It is best to buy and set up your tank before you get your fish. The first thing you will need to do is wash it out with warm water to get rid of any contaminants in the tank.
Next comes the gravel for the bottom of the tank. Dust often settles on gravel so you will need to wash this as well.
You can do this by using a sieve or colander. Just pour the water over the gravel until it looks clean.
As well as gravel you should add plants and ornaments. Yes, this will make the aquarium look nice, but in addition, it will make your fish feel more at home.
Tall grass plants are a good addition as they provide places for your fish to hide. Caves are excellent as not only can your Bettas swim through them, but they are also a great place to hide.
However, don’t overfill your aquarium as Bettas, being labyrinth fish, need to have access to the surface of the water so that they can breathe.
Before actually putting the water into the tank, put it in another container and leave it for 24 hours. Use tap water.
Leaving it to rest for so many hours means that it will reach room temperature and in addition, helps to reduce the chlorine in the water.
Tap water usually has chemicals added to make it safe for people, but some are harmful to Bettas, like chlorine.
Also, use a water treatment especially for fish as this helps to remove harmful chemicals. Don’t use distilled water as some of the elements found in tap water are essential for Bettas.
Distilled water filters out the vitamins and minerals that your Bettas need. You can use bottled water which has vitamins and minerals added, but this of course is more expensive than tap water.
You will also need to make sure that the ph of the water is correct. Ph measures the acidity or alkalinity of the water.
Bettas need to have a ph of between 6.5 and 7.5. 7 is neutral. You can buy ph testing kits which allow you to test the water.
Once you’ve done all of this, you can get your Bettas and enjoy watching them. Now, however, I’m going to give you my 5 top choices of aquariums.
Top 7 Best Betta Fish Tank
1) Aqueon LED NeoGlow Aquarium Starter Kit
Although not the most important thing, it is visually appealing. It has a low black lid, fluorescent pink silicone along each corner and blue LED lights on the inside.
The backdrop is black which helps the colors stand out and also hides the filter cables from view.
The tank holds 5.5 gallons which is plenty for one fish. It is made out of glass which is much stronger than plastic and will withstand cleaning.
The kit includes a QuietFlow filter and cartridge, multi-colored gravel, 2 artificial plants, water conditioner and a set-up guide.
It also comes with a small packet of natural fish food, but it’s a good idea to check that it is suitable for Bettas.
2) Marina LED Aquarium Kit
There is LED lighting fitted to the canopy which has an on and off switch so you can turn it off at night. The kit comes with a clip-on filter and filter cartridges.
It takes no more than a minute to change the cartridge. Also included is Nutrafin AquaPlus water conditioner which makes tap water safe for fish.
In addition, you get Nutrafin Cycle biological supplement for a healthy environment, a fishnet and a guide telling you how to set up the tank and maintain it.
3) Corallife LED Bio Cube Aquarium Kit
It has an integrated 24-hour timer which can change the LED lighting from bright white to blue.
To copy the natural day/night cycle, which Bettas like to have, the timer also has a 30-minute sunrise/sunset function and also a 60-minute moonrise/moonset function.
There is a built-in filter and a very quiet pump.
4) Tetra Playmobil Aquarium Kit
There are energy efficient LED lights fixed into the top of the tank. The lights create a beautiful shimmering effect and they also don’t cause any mercury which can be poisonous to fish.
The tank has a feeding port and a Tetra Whisper Power Filter which comes with a cartridge and has a three-step filtration system.
It will keep your fish healthy and the carbon contained in the filter will help to get rid of smells and discoloration.
A great advantage of this tank is that it actually comes with a 50-watt submersible heater, a water conditioner to make tap water safe and an activity book for your children.
There is also a guide book to help you set up the aquarium, but you don’t need a lot of help as it’s very straightforward.
There are also reversible backgrounds for the back of the tank so you can make it suit your decor.
5) Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit
This aquarium measures 20.5″ x 11.6″ x 7.5″ and holds 5 gallons of water so is ideal if you want to have one male Betta fish.
It is very attractive to look at with etched glass and an aluminum trim. Underneath the lid, there are 7500k LED lamps which will enhance the colors of your fish as well as the decor and the plants.
The lights can be switched off at night so that your fish will happily be able to go to sleep.
There is a 3-stage filter system which means that your tank will be kept clean although you do still have to change the water at least once a week.
The filter system has activated carbon which removes smells and impurities, Biomax bio rings and a porous foam block. The circulation pump is very powerful.
6) Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light
There is hinged lighting above the tank which is LED so saves energy. There are both white and blue lights which make your fish and the decor stand out.
The lighting has both daylight and moonlight settings so your Bettas will know when it is time to sleep and when to wake up.
There is a 3-stage filtration system. It comes with a cartridge which has activated carbon inside. The carbon removes odors and discoloration from the water.
The Bio-Foam biological filtration system cultivates good bacteria and gets rid of ammonia and nitrate, both of which can be toxic to your fish.
There is a glass lid on the top of the tanks. This slides back so that you can change the water and feed your fish, but stops your Bettas from jumping out when you aren't there to supervise.
7) Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit for Starters
It is 19" x 11.8" x 9.6" and is made of durable glass. The tank is convex which will widen your view of your fish and it does look very attractive.
The 3D background is a mountain scene and has plenty of spaces for your fish to hide as well as swim through. If you want you can even plant some greenery on the mountain.
The tank has an 18 watt LED light which is on extendable brackets. They will stretch from just on top of the tank to 19" above.
With the external controller, you can do a wide variety of things. You can set the lighting time at either 3, 6 or 12 hours.
You can also program the brightness of the lights from 10% to 100% in 5 stages. The lights can also be programmed to be different colors, white, white + blue + red and red + blue.
The aquarium comes with a 2-stage 7-watt filter which is quiet and sturdy. The pump pumps water upwards as long as the water depth is 2.5" or more which of course it will be if you fill the tank.
You will want to give your Bettas as much room to swim as possible. There is a groove in the rockery where you can place your filter.
Other Considerations When Getting Bettas
When you bring your fish home, the first thing to do is to put them in the tank with their original water.
This will bring the different waters up to the same temperature and your Bettas won't get a shock when placed in the new tank.
Then add the new tank water little by little to the original container. When most of the water is the tank is the new water, you can release your Bettas, although remember not to put in 2 males together.
I have said that Bettas need plant life, but you then have the choice between real plants and artificial ones.
Some people prefer plastic plants as they keep the tank cleaner. However, real plants add more oxygen to the tank.
Do not aerate your tank with air stones. They cause turbulence and this could stress out your fish. They are used to swimming in still water.
As can be seen, there is plenty of choice out there when you are looking for a Betta fish tank.
You can get all sorts of shapes and sizes, but personally, I think the bigger the better to give your fish plenty of room to swim.
In addition, don't forget to get some decor and plants to give your Bettas some fun.
Make sure that the tank has adjustable lighting and a filter to keep the Betta fish tank clean. However, don't forget to change the water at least once a week to prevent there being too much debris.