Once you set up your fish tank and place the substrate (gravel) on the bottom along with most of your decorations, it’s time to add water. The water must be a certain temperature, pH value, dH level, etc. to ensure that your Betta fish is in the environment that will help him thrive.
A Betta’s natural habitat consists of very warm, stagnant water. It is important that you try to mimic this environment as much as possible. Therefore, the aquarium water temperature should always be between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If it falls below that temperature, your Betta will respond by becoming inactive and losing his appetite. If you do not remedy the condition, your Betta will become ill and could even die.
Vitally important is the proper filtration of the water, which helps maintain the ideal temperature for your Betta. This ensures that cold pockets don’t exist within the tank. When temperature conditions are perfect, your Betta will be playful, eat voraciously and show brilliant color on its body.
Although many water supplies are infiltrated with chlorine to eradicate bacteria that is harmful to human beings, chlorine can be a deadly substance for your Betta. Before you add your fish to your aquarium, it is absolutely necessary that you treat the tap water with a bottled chlorine remover which is available for purchase at any aquarium supply store or pet shop that sells fish. It’s a simple process if you follow the instructions.
Testing for your pH value refers to measuring the acidity and alkalinity in your aquarium water. It’s imperative that you initially test for pH before adding your Betta to the aquarium.
The pH value can range from 0 to 14 with the lower numbers reflecting a more acidic environment and the higher numbers reflecting a more alkaline environment. A perfect or neutral pH is a value of 7. The Betta’s ideal pH is slightly acidic at 6.5 although a value of 7 is acceptable as well. When adding other fish to the tank, learn about those that enjoy the same pH levels so they can remain healthy also.
You can measure the pH easily with an inexpensive kit. Just be sure to check the levels of the water every week or two because it can fluctuate fairly rapidly. If you maintain all aspects of your aquarium, keeping a normal to slightly acidic pH level should be fairly easy.
The degree of hardness (the dH) of your water is the measurement of the mineral salts of the water in your fish tank. There are inexpensive, accurate aquarium test kits that can determine the dH of the water. Bettas prefer softer water, so keep the dH less than 25. If you discover that your dH rises above 25, a simple solution is to add distilled water, which is found in any grocery store. Adding a little at a time and rechecking as you go, will easily bring the dH to 25.
Clean aquarium water that has the perfect pH and dH is vital for your Betta. When all is well in the aquarium regarding every aspect of the water, your fish will thrive, be very active and have a good appetite.