As Betta fish as pets have become more and more popular in the past few decades, there has been a growing need for proper care information, and unfortunately the market hasn’t quite grown to meet that need. That’s not to say that there aren’t many wonderful people and resources out there that can help you learn how to take care of your fish properly, but the vast majority of information is not just false but also dangerous to your fish. Luckily, you’ve stumbled upon this article and so at the very least are going to get a good basic Betta fish care education under your belt!
1. Shortcuts Are Dangerous
In the Betta world, many people have complications with their pets because they try to cut corners. This isn’t necessarily their fault, in fact much of the time someone else has given them bad info in the first place. But when it comes to processes like cycling your tank, treating water, and general maintenance, just remember doing something the right way will go a long ways!
2. Test Your Water
Nearly EVERY Betta disease and life-shortening condition is brought about by some deficiency in the water quality. If something seems amiss, or even just as a regular precaution, test your water to make sure everything is safe for your Betta.
3. Cycle Your Tank Before Adding New Fish
Surprisingly, this step is skipped by many new Betta owners because it seems cumbersome, complicated, and ultimately is not even mentioned by many care guides. In any event, you would be doing your finned a friend a great disservice by not cycling your tank, as he will not survive (plus cycling is not as hard as it seems!).
4. Feed Sparingly
This is probably one of the best pieces of advice you will get because the only thing that harms more fish than water related issues is overfeeding. A Betta fish has a stomach roughly the size of one of his eyeballs, meaning that even if you are only feeding your pet the small pellets or flakes that come from a pet store, a couple at a time is plenty. Usually two pellets one to two times per day is a perfect feeding amount.
5. First Aid Comes First
If your Betta is overfed, give him the inside of a microwaved frozen pea to help things move along. If your pet has parasites, treat his water accordingly. Quick response to a situation is key to ensuring your Betta’s well being.
6. Temperature Wars
One problem many pet owners face is that Bettas are used to a warmer climate than would be provided by just plopping down a new tank in their room. Make sure a thermometer and a heater are in your tank long before a fish ever is. Temperature should be between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, anything lower and your fish will become sluggish and slow down, likewise if the temperature becomes too hot oxygen will evaporate out of your water rendering it unlivable.
7. Consistency Is Key
Despite the paragraph above, it would be preferable to keep a tank at a consistent 75 degrees than to have to move it up and down constantly to keep things in the ideal range. That is because few things are more stressful to a Betta than rapid change. Temperature fluctuations, new scenery, a new home, etc., all of these things must be introduced slowly to avoid unneeded stress to your pet.
Now, there are definitely more than seven things you need to know to properly take care of a Betta fish, but these should get you started off on the right foot. Be sure to always consult references if you need any help, like our other articles on this site.