The biggest aspect of Betta fish care is management of the water. Bettas are naturally found in stagnant water puddles in the rice paddies of South East Asia. Though the Bettas we buy at the pet store are only related to their wild counterparts, they do still prefer the same type of environment. They need a stable and consistently warm water temperature – it is best when the temperature can be kept between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the need to keep the water temperature stable, it is best to keep Betta fish tanks or vases out of direct sunlight as this will cause temperature fluctuations.
Basics of Tank Care and Management
Siamese fighting fish are very sensitive to chemicals that are often added to city tap water, chlorine in particular. There are two ways to manage removing the chlorine from water if you live in a city and want to own a Betta. There are drops you can purchase from pet stores which will act to remove the chlorine from your tap water, however there is also a free way to do it, which is to leave water out, uncovered, for 48 hours to allow all the chlorine and other trace chemicals to evaporate from the water. It is never advised to use distilled water, as all nutrients and trace elements have been removed from the water during the distillation process.
Doing a partial change of your Bettas water (1/3 of the water per change) every other week is another excellent way to keep the optimal environment for your Betta. Bettas are also very active fish, and thus stimulation is required for a health environment. It is recommended that the tank your Betta is kept in be lined with rocks or pebbles, as well as the inclusion of live plants or decorative aquatic ornaments that provide hiding spaces and tight spaces for your Betta to enjoy.
Though Bettas can live in very small environments, the best Betta fish environment will provide as much space to your Betta as possible. This will allow them to swim to release their energy, and if plant life or other accessories are added, your Betta will certainly make use of these additions.
Betta fish can very easily be overfed, which will cause their food to sink to the bottom of the tank and pollute their environment. It also is not at all unheard of for Bettas to overeat. To provide the best Betta fish environment for your fish, proper feeding is also vitally important. Bettas are carnivores and thus can only eat specially formulated Betta fish food. They also like live foods like mosquito larvae and blood worms. These treats are also available dried for those without access, or the stomach for, truly live food.
While it might seem complicated at first, creating an optimal Betta fish environment is not all that hard. It just requires planning, foresight, and continued oversight to ensure that the environment is kept clean and healthy for your fish. If you follow the tips laid out above, your Betta should have a healthy and stimulating environment to spend its days in.