The 5 Things You'll Need to Care for a Betta Fish the Right Way
It's actually quite simple.
Betta fish are one of the most popular fish in the pet industry, and also one of the most ill taken care of. A consequence of popularity is that many buy this fish without the knowledge of how to take care of it properly. This happens with many of the more famous fish out there like bettas, goldfish, and clownfish.
So here are five of the most important things to know for taking care of a betta fish the RIGHT way.
1. No vases for these guys.
Nope, no vases. Bowls aren't all that great either unless you plan on cleaning out the water every day. Bettas need a home of at least two and a half gallons to be healthy. The good news is is that two and a half gallons really isn't all that much and won't take up too much space. Also, a betta can happily live it's whole life in a two and a half gallon tank so you won't have to buy any upgrades.
2. Bettas need warmer water.
Bettas are tropical fish, which means that the water in their tank needs to stay between 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Unless you live somewhere warm enough, room temperature just isn't going to be enough for a betta fish. There are so many different types of aquarium heaters out there at a range of prices, so you can definitely find something right for your tank.
3. Filtration, Filtration, Filtration
Fish need filtrated water because they eat and poop. Yes, okay, being totally honest here. If their water isn't filtered or changed out regularly, then all the nasty stuff builds up, turns into ammonia (nitrites and nitrates too), and hurts and eventually kills the fish. So, you have two options: Change out the water practically every day OR get a filter and only have to change the water once every week or two. Filters are easier to work with and are all around less stressful for fish. Remember though that bettas have long tails which makes them not like quick flowing water. Filters without a strong flow work best for betta fish.
There are so many different types of fish food out there and there is a lot made specifically for bettas. A good rule of thumb is to pick a pellet or flake food (pellet is usually nutritionally better, but some bettas will only take to flake) that will become their staple. Pick something that doesn't have wheat or potato or whatever as the main ingredient—fish don't even eat that stuff in the wild! Look for things like salmon or herring instead. You can always get fun treats like blood worms for your betta to have once in a while, too!
5. Water conditioners are a necessity.
Tap water has chlorine in it. Chlorine is used to kill bad bacteria in the water we drink, but is bad for fish and will kill them after a time, depending on the sensitivity of your fish. Water conditioners differ in price and formulation, so there's a lot to choose from.
So there you have it, the five most important things you'll need to care for a betta fish the right way. It's actually quite easy once you get the tank set up. Just remember that the goal is to provide the best life possible for your fishy friend, and you'll do great.