There are a lot of articles out there about how to take care of your betta fish. Unfortunately, they are quite conflicting. As a betta owner myself, I’m here to put some truth out there. This is what works for me and my betta, Neptune.
- The Tank- A lot of people say that a gallon bowl is too small. Well, let me just state that Neptune is in a gallon bowl and he is quite content. Happy even, if I may say so. I had one once in a 10-gallon tank, and you know what he did? He drowned himself. He was too lazy to swim to the top for air and ended up drowning himself. I even had one of those leaf beds that you stick to the side of the tank, near the top. Ya, still didn’t help. So the 1 gallon bowl seems to work just fine. Plenty of room to swim around.
- The Decoration – You need to put something in the bowl with him. A plant and some sort of structure. I have a hollow moon rock and a plant. Neptune enjoys both. He likes to sit in the rock, and he floats on the leaves of the plant. I wouldn’t advise a live plant because I knew someone who had their betta get tangled up in it and died. Plus, it makes the bowl harder to clean. But if you want to, go ahead, just be careful.
- The Water – The water is easy to care for in a bowl as well. I have a bottle of AquaSafe dechlorinater and conditioner. I put in about 10 drops mixed with tap water every time I clean the bowl, which is once a week. I also take the temperature each time. I make sure it’s between 23-25 degrees C. When changing the water, make sure there isn’t a big difference in the temperature before and after, since the change can shock the fish and that’s not good for him.
- The Food – I feed my little fella special pellets made especially for bettas. It’s made of 38% protein, which they need. Plus the pellets are small so his tiny mouth can eat them up easily. I also have some dried bloodworms. He loves those, but I only use them as treats, and he won’t eat supper after he tastes worms so be wise about when to treat yours. You want to feed your betta as much as he can eat in 3 minutes, and then remove any leftover food. I just feed him one pebble at a time, to avoid having to fish out any excess.
- Tricks – I’m sure you don’t think your betta can do tricks, but they are actually quite smart. One thing I taught Neptune was to jump up and grab food from my finger. I do this by moistening my finger, picking up a pebble with said finger, and hovering my finger over the bowl. Neptune swims up and circles my finger then leaps up and grabs the food from it. He seems to recognize my face and finger, as he no longer gets scared when I move close to the bowl. He also plays with me when I use a laser pointer. I’m in the process of teaching him to swim (maybe even jump!) through a hoop. So don’t be afraid to have fun with your betta.