Freshwater fish come in a variety of shapes and colors. Each one is beautiful and unique in its own way, but one species stands out from among the rest. That one is the Siamese Fighting Fish, also known as the Betta Fish. When healthy, these fish are very hardy and brightly colored. They enhance the look of any tank. Therefore, they are becoming very popular. However, many people do not know how to properly care for them.
The most important thing to know about these fish is that males do not like other males. If you put two males together, they will fight and eventually kill each other. However, a male Betta will live peacefully with several female Betta Fish at once. Secondly, because these fish can breathe air, they do not require a lot of space. They can successfully be kept in a smaller tank if the proper conditions are met. However, they will be happier and more brightly colored if they have more space to swim. It is also important to remember that Betta do not like temperature variations. They will be much healthy if their water temperature is kept at a steady temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although these fish can and do eat plants, plants do not contain the nutrition that they need. Betta Fish are carnivores and therefore have to eat meat. Small worms, such as blood worms, are a good food source. They can also eat brine shrimp and other crustaceans. Also remember that a Betta’s waste products, just like those of other fish, produce a lot of ammonia. If this builds up in their water, it can eventually kill them. Therefore, it is important to periodically remove old water and add new.
The most common misconception about Betta fish is that males will fight with all other fish. As mentioned earlier, males will fight with other males but they will not fight with all other fish. A single male Betta fish makes an excellent addition to a community tank. Many other community fish will co-exist peacefully with male Bettas. However there are some fish that should be avoided. Stay away from fin nipping fish like Tiger Barbs and Serpae Tetras. The long flowing fins of Bettas will only be targets for these fish. Also avoid other Gouramis, they are often territorial and could fight over territories in the fish tank.
Betta prefer large aquariums, and do much better there. However, if you do decide to keep your Betta Fish in a smaller tank, there are several things to remember. First, keep your tank out of direct sunlight and drafts, as these can change the water temperature. Second, treat the water and change a fourth of it several times a week. Third, cover your tank with a ventilated lid. This will keep your fish from escaping its tank while still allowing air flow. Lastly, think about putting some plants in your tank. These will help increase the quality of the water, as well as give your Betta some cover. If you follow these simple steps, you should be able to enjoy your Betta for a long time to come.
Dustin Williams is a hobbyist who has kept aquarium fish for several years. He has learned much about keeping freshwater aquarium fish from books, and personal experience. For more information on Betta Fish please visit www.bbayaquariums.com.