Bettas are fish seen in countless pet stores around the world. The beautiful male fish sit alone in their little glass bowls on shelf upon shelf, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings, and wait upon a hapless person to come along and succumb to their loveliness. Their enchanting qualities are only overcome by the fact that they seem easy to keep.
Many don’t understand the quality in a seemingly lowly fish. There is so much more to this colorful species than meets the eye.
Siamese fighting fish
The betta splendens is a fighter. Two males can never be kept in the same tank, hence why shops sadly keep them so close together on shelves, aside from the space issue on store shelves. They flare their fins and create a lovely display for customers, yet it stresses them. In nature, they fight sometimes to the death and putting them together on a shelf next door to each other isn’t good for their health.
Bigger is better
Despite what a pet store employee tells a customer, a betta is happiest in at least a one-gallon fish tank. Bettas love to swim just as much as other fish do. Aside from the fact that they go to the surface to breathe, an air stone will be much appreciated. You’d be surprised at how much your betta loves swimming in and out of their bubbling bubbler. Don’t forget to add a small heater for warmth and tank thermometer.
Keeping your betta happy will make them happy. Bettas are very dependent on their owners for socialization, as they are usually the lone fish in a tank. They adore interaction and will happily greet you anytime for some conversation. The one thing never to do as a betta owner is ignore them. They become depressed very easily, which can also be caused by illness.
Bettas love mosquito and gnat larvae. If you are adventurous, you can leave a small pail of water out during the summer days to collect larvae naturally or buy blood worms at your local pet store.
While feeding your betta live or packaged worms is integral to a healthy and happy fish, the mainstay of their diet should be betta pellets. Make sure to only offer three pellets twice a day. If overfed, their tank will become dirty and bettas become easily stressed with too many tank cleanings.
Although many assume that fish can be boring pets, the betta is one that is far from it. With the right treatment and interaction, your pet betta will live a long and happy life.