More than a Fish!
Known for their bright, beautiful coloration and elaborate fin displays, betta fish are a common household pet. These little beauties require specific care to ensure that they stay happy and healthy.
Housing Your Betta
The first thing to consider for a betta fish is its environment.
Betta fish are often seen living in bowls that are too small to allow for normal swimming and hiding. Ideally, they should ideally be in a 5-gallon glass or plastic tank or larger, not a bowl. Having an environment of this size allows betta fish to exhibit normal activity and have less buildup of toxins in their environment.
Water Quality and Temperature
Water quality is vital to the health of a fish. Toxins can build up over time from urine, feces, and break down of uneaten food in the water.
A filtration system that is low flow is preferred in their tank to keep the environment clean of toxins. A low-flow filter is vital to ensure that the fish’s delicate fins are not injured by the suction of a filter.
The type of water used in the tank matters too. Tap water contains harmful chemicals, such as chlorine and chloramine and sometimes heavy metals. These chemicals can cause immunosuppression or make the fish very sick.
Time to Eat!
Betta fish are carnivores that eat insects and insect larvae. They should be fed a balanced pelleted or flaked food daily.
Just like cats and dogs, betta fish can be overfed, leading to obesity and other health issues.
Do They Get Lonely?
Betta fish are naturally territorial and should not be housed with any other betta fish because they will fight and injure each other, often resulting in death. They are unlikely to get lonely in their tank; however, if they are in a small tank, they may get bored.
If you have further questions about betta fish, visit Bettafish.org or contact a veterinarian who treats zoological companion animals.