Care Sheet - Betta or Fighting Fish

Halfmoon Betta
February 2012
Posted by admin. 63343 Views.

All you need to know about keeping bettas

All You Need to Know about Keeping Bettas

by Aquaristic Team

Betta or more commonly known as fighting fish is very easy to care for provided that you provide their needs. Originated from Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, bettas are used live in stagnant, still waters, sometimes even very little puddles of dirty water amongst rice paddies. They survive living in such condition because of their labyrinth which enables them to breathe atmospheric air.  Regardless of their wild living habit, if you want them to live happy and healthy in confinement, please always try to provide them with clean environment.

Keep your bettas in at least 4L aquarium as it will provide enough space for your betta to swim around and display their beautiful fins.  Smaller body of water can get polluted far too quickly and it is easier to maintain more stable temperature in a larger body of water.  Filter is not needed for such a small tank as bettas are not fond of strong current.

Bettas are quite aggressive fish especially towards its own kind. Do not try to keep more than one betta in the same tank even if it is a female. They may be able to live in a community set up provided there are no strong current, the tank is large enough (20L tank minimum), and there are no fin-nippy fish who will find their fins tempting to nibble.

There are many varieties of bettas that you can choose from. The most common ones that you find in shops are the veiltail. Plakat is characterised by its short fin. Crowntail has fins that looks jaggered and spiky. True halfmoon is probably the most sought after as they have a very nice long flowy fins that when extended will cover more than half of his body size. Veiltails are commonly priced at $10, crowntail are $15-35, plakats and halfmoons are priced according to grade and color which normally range between $35-$120.

Once you choose the fighter that you like, you are now ready to introduce him into his new home.

Step by step instructions are as follows:

*  Wash the gravel if using one and spread them on the bottom of the tank.
*  Fill the tank with tap water and add the water conditioner as recommended, stir and let it sit for half an hour.
*  Place ornaments, plastic plant or live plant in the tank. Java moss, anubias nana, java fern are good choice if using live
   plants as they are reasonably hardy and will tolerate low light. Keeping live plants is a great idea as they provide resting
   place for your betta and they will help reduce ammonia that the fish excrete when they photosynthesis.

*  You can begin floating the plastic bag the betta is in onto the tank to acclimatize the temperature for 10-15 minutes.
*  It is now safe to release your new pet into his new home.
*  Once or twice a day feeding is recommended to keep your betta healthy.

Weekly Maintainance Routine:
*  Prepare the new water to use to change the water in the tank. Add water conditioner to the tap water in a clean bucket and
    let it sit to room temperature.

*  In a tank without a filter, we would recommend to change 75-90% of water. A small hose is handy to siphon dirt and fish
    waster from the bottom of the tank without having to disturb your fish too much. Exercise extreme care to not such your
    betta. If your tank has a filter, 20% water change is all that is needed.

*  If using gravel at the bottom of the tank, give it a stir to let lose the dirt trapped underneath.
*  Pour in the new clean water and the housekeeping is done! Do this at the same time every week and you will have a
    healthy looking tank and one very happy fish!

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