It seems like everyone wants to have fish at some point in their lives, and betta fish are great starter pets for first-timers. These fish are beautiful, available in various exciting colours, and sold in almost every pet store— they’re one of the easiest fish to care for!

It’s true, bettas are low maintenance, but often the bare minimum fish tank space is recommended for them, and that’s not great. While your betta will survive in a plain small fishbowl, it’ll be much happier and live longer if you give it plenty of room to move, a filter, and a heater.

betta fish tank moth nature Powell river

Why Bettas are Great Pets

Betta’s are great pets for many reasons:

  • They’re beautiful.
  • They don’t need a gigantic fish tank. 
  • They are relatively low-maintenance. 
  • They can be kept alone. 
  • Their setup cost is lower than other pets.

In the wild, betta fish live in marginal situations. They’re native to Thailand and Cambodia, where they usually live in streams, marshy areas, or rice paddies. In most other parts of the world, they would be considered an invasive species in the wild, so it’s important to never release them (or any other pet fish) into waterways. In the wild, their average lifespan is 2 years. As pets, they can live for 3-5 years. 

They aren’t called Siamese Fighting Fish for nothing. The males, with the long colourful fins, are very aggressive to other fish, so they should be kept alone. Betta fish are magnificent and make a beautiful addition to your home decor with exotic colours and long fins. 

As fish go, bettas are low-maintenance. They do need water changes regularly, but they tend to be a pretty clean fish, and feeding them and changing the water doesn’t take too long. If you are a houseplant lover, having a betta fish will give you an excuse to expand your collection to include aquatic plants!

betta fish tank moth nature Powell river

What You Need for a Happy Betta

Many pet stores recommend all you need is a small fish bowl of water instead of a tank. While they can survive in that, it won’t be an enjoyable existence for them. If they’re unhappy or have too small of a space, they may jump out of their container. You don’t want to come home to a dead betta on the floor, so invest a little bit upfront to make sure they’re set up in a positive environment.

Here are the basics for a happy betta:

  • 10-20 litre tank with filter, light, and heater
  • Gravel or sand substrate
  • Fishnet 
  • Tank ornaments and plants
  • Fish food
  • Water conditioner treatment 

 

How to Take Care of a Betta

It’s best to have your fish tank set up, conditioned, and running for a few days before you bring your betta fish home. The water conditioner removes chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, and ammonia from the water. It’s critical for keeping your betta in good health. Whenever you change or add water, it should be treated. 

Once the tank is running and has some plants and decor for your betta to hide in, it’s time to acclimate your fish to the new tank. Acclimation needs to be done slowly by floating the container or bag in the tank and adding a little bit of the new tank water to the bag every 15 minutes; this will allow your fish to adjust to the pH and temperature without too much stress.

betta fish tank moth nature Powell river

After half an hour, you can release the fish into the tank; do this with a net or by tipping the bag or container just enough so it can swim out. It’s best to pour the extra water from the bag or container down the sink instead of into the tank, but sometimes that’s not possible if they’re reluctant to swim out. 

Feed your betta the following day. Usually, they’ll be too stressed to eat the first day they move in. In terms of food, there’s dry food in flakes or pellets. Since they are small fish and eat so little, it can be hard to get the right amount of flakes. The pellets are a little easier to control since they only need a few every day. Betta also love a treat of frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Clean your betta tank, changing a portion (25-35%) of the water every 1-2 weeks. Set out the right amount 24 hours before, and treat it with conditioner. When you’re ready to add the new water, scoop out the same amount of old water before gently pouring the fresh in. Occasionally you’ll need to do a complete water change and clean the tank.

If you’d like to add a betta fish to your family, stop by Mother Nature, we’ve got everything you need to get started, and we can answer any questions that come up.