Betta fish are such fascinating creatures and can make really cool pets. There are so many misconceptions about what it takes to raise a betta fish, and sadly the results of incorrect care lead to the premature deaths of many pet betta fish. In this article, we will explain the most common misconceptions about raising a betta fish, and give advice about the best practices for successfully raising a healthy, happy betta.
1. Betta fish only need a small tank
The first common misconception that people have about raising a betta fish it that they only need a small tank. This is really not true and betta fish absolutely need a proper sized tank. Just because when you bought your betta fish at a pet store it came in a little cup, that doesn’t mean that a cup or jar is an ideal home for a betta fish. The bare minimum size tank for a betta fish is 2.5 gallons, however, it is unanimously agreed that the bigger the tank the better, and that you should really be looking to buy a tank that is at least 5 gallons. There is no such thing as too large a tank when it comes to a betta fish, as like all creatures they prefer more space to move around freely.
2. Betta fish don’t need a filter
Many people believe that betta fish do not need a filter because they go up to the surface and breathe air. Whilst this is certainly true, betta fish live, eat and poop in the water, so they need a filter in the tank to keep their water clean. A quality filter is so important when caring for bettas, because without a filter, the water in a betta’s tank can get very nasty and this will be very unhealthy for the fish. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a filter for your betta fish. First of all, betta fish are actually not very good swimmers and so you need a filter that has either a low current or an adjustable current. Sponge filters are a great choice because they produce a very small amount of current.
3. Betta fish can survive in any temperature
So many people have the misconception that because betta fish can breathe air, they can survive in any temperature. In fact, the ideal temperature range for a betta fish is between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 25.5 to 26.5 degrees Celsius. Bettas are a tropical fish that come from a tropical climate where it’s always warm. They can survive in water as low as 72 degrees or as hot as 86 degrees but those extreme temperatures are far from ideal. If the temperature of the tank water gets any higher than 86 degrees then you’re going to cook the fish and it’s going to die. Likewise, if the water drops any lower than 72 degrees, it will be way too cold for the fish to survive. If you notice that your betta fish is lethargic or lazy, then that may be a symptom of the water being too cold. You also do not want water that is too hot because this will speed up the betta fish’s metabolism and shorten its life.
4. Betta fish can just eat the same thing every day
The fourth thing that a betta fish needs, despite many people’s misconceptions, is a varied diet. Feeding your betta fish the same thing every single day will be boring for your fish and will also not provide for all of your betta’s fish’s nutritional needs. It’s very important to switch up their food as often as you can to keep them interested in it. There are many different food options for your betta fish that are easily accessible and that are interesting and nutritious. These include processed foods, flakes and frozen foods including bloodworms and brine shrimp. You can even feed your betta fish live food such as daphnia or live baby brine shrimp. One thing to keep in mind when feeding your betta fish is to not overfeed them. They are ferocious eaters and they will eat until they pop. They will literally eat every single bite of food you put in their tank and if they overeat they can become bloated, constipated and they can actually get sick and die. It’s best to feed your betta fish once per day and to skip a day every single week to give them a chance to fully digest and process their food.
Raising a betta fish can be so rewarding but it takes a lot of knowledge and conscientious care. It is so important to dispel common misconceptions around raising a betta fish to ensure that betta owners practice the correct care. Follow this guide to provide your betta fish with a healthy, happy life.