What is a Betta Fish?
We see all kinds of fish in pet stores or aquariums with different sizes and colors but one particular creature usually catches everyone’s attention – the Betta fish. Siamese fighting Fish is perhaps the most popular specie among betta fish known for its vibrant color and striking flippers.
Siamese fighting fish is originally referred as fighting betta fish due to the tendency of male betta exhibiting a hostile behavior towards other fish. Betta is a very territorial creature, so as a result, it is frequently kept in a fish bowl or tank alone.
Keeping a betta fish as pet is perhaps less stressful than taking care other types of pet because of its undemanding nature. However, keeping your pet fish happy, safe and comfortable is the most challenging task a pet owner must always put into a consideration. In this article, we are going to unravel the 5 secrets to a happy fish while learning facts about the betta fish.
What to Know about Betta Fish
This species’ origin can be traced back from Southeast Asia and was commonly seen in rice paddies and waterways in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. They were originally used as recreation animals for children in Thailand where they put 2 betta fish in a tank and spar them.
It eventually led to becoming a mainstream betting sport for adults in the said country, hence the name Siamese fighting fish. It has been confirmed last 2019 that Siamese fighting fish has become Thailand’s national fish. There are over 70 recognized species of betta fish but fighting betta fish is the most popular among pet owners with its wonderful wide arrays of colors and cosmic pairs of fin.
How Betta Fish Mate?
Since betta fish is territorial in nature, both male and female betta fish are only placed together in a tank during the mating season. The male betta fish usually uses bubbles to form a nest in the water surface to attract a female betta fish.
Appearance of visible signs such as vertical stripes in the female’s body will tell a pet owner or a breeder that a female betta fish is ready for mating. Once the elaborate mating ritual is completed, the female betta fish will lay eggs and the male betta fish will then collect the eggs and will deposit them in the makeshift nest until they all hatched.
5 Secrets to a Happy Fish
1. Give you betta fish a homely environment.
- The most important factor to consider is the preparation of a container where your betta fish can swim comfortably and safely. Betta fish does not require a huge amount space to swim but it would be dangerous for it to be contained in a tight area. It may turn inactive and may lose its vibrant color. Betta fish also needs to be able to breathe from the surface of the water from time to time so it may prefer a tank with a less water flow.
- Betta fish tank needs at least 3 gallons of water and a filter. It should be set a day prior to the arrival of your fish and it must be placed in an area away from direct sunlight and any possible suctions. It would be best suited if you lay some gravel around 1 – 2 inches while filling up the tank with chlorine free water. Since betta fish is a tropical fish, they are required to swim in 24 to 28 degrees celsius so a heater is needed.
2. Follow the betta fish feeding guide.
- Providing proper food for your pet fish is critical to the health of your fish because irresponsible feeding may lead to malnourishment or bloating. Betta fish are carnivorous animals. In the wild, it usually feed on insect and larvae so it is necessary that it should be fed with protein – based fish food. It must strictly contain meat and a minimum of 40% protein.
- Betta fish has a mounted pair of lips so it mostly eats food on the surface. Flakes, dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia and pellets are staple foods for betta fish which contains all the necessary ingredients. If fed properly, it will be able to maintain its vivid and beautiful color.
- Make sure that you only give food enough for your fish to finish in 3 to 5 minutes to avoid left over which usually contaminates the water. Left over food can accumulate at the bottom of the tank and may cause for bacteria to prevent this, it is advisable to drop a pellet one at a time. Keep the container clean by changing 1/3 of the old water to a new one once a week.
- Make sure not to overfeed it because it may cause a serious bladder problem which may disrupt their ability to feed your betta fish 3 to 4 times a day.
3. Keep your betta fish entertained.
Betta fish is innately intelligent and inquisitive animal.
- The fact that betta fish has to be put in a tank alone, it surely needs stimulation to keep it active and happy. You can put some aquarium plants to give your fish the idea of a natural habitat. Putting live plants may help in producing oxygen needed for your fish but usage of artificial plants or decorations is also possible just make sure there are no sharp and pointed tips.
- Placing hiding places for your fish in some areas in the tank is highly advisable. Your betta fish may find it intimidating to be transferred in a new tank, so giving hiding spots for your new pet is letting it be familiarized with its new surrounding. Installing a floating log will suffice the curiosity of your pet since betta fish find enjoyment in darting and hiding behind log holes.
- You can put some leaves or foliage on the surface of your tank. Your betta fish can use these as a resting place whenever it needs to breathe or simply to recharge.
4. Choose your betta fish roommate wisely.
It is best to choose your fish roommates as carefully as possible because the safety of your pets depends on this.
- It is a well – known fact that betta fish is extremely agressive towards protecting its territory. Too agressive that putting an unwanted tankmate may lead to a bloodbath.
- For betta fish, tankmates such as apple snail, cory catfish, dwarf frog and neon tetras (small colorful fish) are ideal partners because of their passive and non-threatening behaviors which allow them to coexist with betta fish.
5. Understand your betta fish characteristics and behaviors.
Understanding your pet’s behaviours as well as its physical changes will greatly help you provide a safer and more comfortable habitat for you pet fish.
- Flashing of fins for betta fish means it is threatened and it will likely show agression. Keep out any possible causes of this disturbance.
- Betta fish is likely to attack fish that has similar appearance to male betta fish. Do not put a betta fish and any fish with long fins in 1 tank.
- Vibrant colors, open fins and smooth swimming movements mean your betta fish is happy.
- Faded and muted colors, close fins, inactivity, and poor appetite imply poor condition to you betta fish. It could be stressed or sick.
If you want to be a responsible betta fish owner, all you have to do is follow the guidelines. How to keep your betta fish happy is no loner a secret.