Betta fish are beloved pets and for good reason. They’re fun to watch, carefree and utterly adorable. But Betta fish aren’t just for looks! Providing your Betta with the best possible care will ensure he or she lives a long, happy life. For many new Betta fish owners, this isn’t necessarily the case. While some may know exactly what they’re doing, others are making their Betta fish’s life too hard. If you’re one of the latter, click this link to get 5 ways you’re making your Betta fish’s life impossible.
The bathing habit that bowls you over
One of the most common mistakes Betta fish owners make is not giving their pets a bath. Pet stores often recommend that new Bettas are given a water change every few weeks, but many people don’t do this.
Worse, some people think they need to change their Betta’s water whenever they clean it. (This isn’t always the case!) This can lead to an over-chlorinated Betta bowl and an unhappy fish.
A small number of bacteria will occur naturally in your tank, but too much can be toxic for your pet. If there is too much chlorine in the water, your Betta may develop health problems such as fin rot or tail rot. Chlorine can also cause stress on the fish’s gills, leading to more frequent bouts of illness.
So how often should you change your Betta’s water? Well, if you have a filter or are adding ammonia remover to the water, it should only need changing every 1-2 weeks with up to 10% water changes in between those times. However, if you don’t have a filter and/or don’t add ammonia remover for each water change, it should be changed every 2-4 weeks with up to 10% changes in between those times.
Betta fish bowl hell
Betta fish bowls are an abomination. We’re not exaggerating when we say they’re the worst thing you could do to your Betta. The constant flow of oxygen from the water surface is useless because a Betta is a labyrinth fish and breathes through gills on its body. They also need room to swim, so their stressful situation can be improved by giving them a bigger home.
Some people may keep their Betta in a bowl because they don’t have an aquarium or tank for them, but this can be easily remedied by purchasing a small tank for just a few dollars or looking at someone’s used one on Craigslist. If you want to take it up another notch, get them something like an 8-gallon tank with live plants!
Crowding is the worst
The worst thing you can do for a Betta fish is to keep it in an overly crowded tank. If the tank is too small, then the water will stay cloudy and high levels of ammonia will build up. Crowding also increases the risk of diseases spreading because the immune system can’t keep up with fighting off everything. Betta fish are healthy when they have plenty of space to move around in their tank and when they have plenty of plants to help filter out wastes and make a natural habitat.
There is no set rule on how many gallons your Betta’s tank should be but if you’re not sure what size would be best, then try starting with 1 gallon per betta fish.
Don’t forget to feed them!
One of the most crucial aspects of Betta fish care is remembering to feed them. Betta fish are carnivores and need to eat meat or algae to survive. You may be thinking, “But they’re so small! It’s not like I can give them a whole steak!” That thought is absolutely correct. A good rule of thumb is that you should only feed your Betta 2-3 pellets at a time, twice a day.
It’s also important to take note that many Betta fish have sensitive stomachs, so it’s wise to do some research on what type of food your Betta likes before purchasing anything. This will ensure he or she eats the proper foods and doesn’t get sick from eating something they don’t prefer.
Add water changes
Betta fish love to live in water that is clean and free of toxins. To do this, you have to regularly change the water. Water changes are essential for Betta fish because of their short life span and susceptibility to toxins, so it’s important you do them on a regular basis. It’s easy! You just need to fill up a container with fresh water from the tap and add it to your aquarium or bowl. You should change the water every week and use a gravel cleaner during these changes as well. This will allow your Betta fish’s tank or bowl to be in an optimal condition at all times, which is what they deserve.