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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Caring for your Betta

Caring for a betta at home or office

By Evelyn Buchmann
Evelyn Buchmann female Bettas
A Betta fish has certain needs to be healthy and happy just as any other fish you would care for. Just because you can buy them in these tiny cups, doesn’t mean that he really likes it to be in such a tight space where he can hardly even turn around.

Please read here the myth about a betta in a vase The Betta Myth

I have had my betta in a 1 gallon bowl for about 2 weeks when I purchased him, but he was so inactive that I decided to upgrade and got him a 5 gallon tank with filter, heater and live plants.

You should have seen the difference, he started to swim around and his colors started to thrive due to the regulated temperature and he shows of his beautiful fins as soon as somebody approaches the tank.

They don’t live in tiny rice paddles like everybody seems to believe, their natural habitat is huge as you will see in the following pic.

For further reading about Betta Habitat, please see this article: Aquarium Answers; Betta Habitat

What you will need:

1 male or 1 female betta

*2.5 gallon tank with filter and heater is the bare minimum for 1 betta (a 5 gallon tank is of course even better)
*Gravel for the bottom (fine #1 sand if live plants will be kept, see the link below for plant care, substrates)
*Live plants (They love to rest on them)
*Test Kit

-Set up your tank with conditioned water and everything else.
-The filter and heater need to be plugged in 24/7.
-You should have a temp of 78-82 degrees, since that’s where your betta will start to thrive and they will be comfortable.

Once your tanks have cycled, that means no ammonia or nitrite present; you can add your betta.
But don’t forget to acclimate him properly, by taking water out of the tank and filling it into the cup or bag, whichever he/she came in, put in about ¼ cup of tank water every 15 minutes, until you have reached double capacity of water in the cup then it was before, this will take care of the pH difference from your tank water to the pet store water.

Make sure you do weekly partial water changes of 25% with a small gravel siphon, and refill it with aged and conditioned water, at the same temperature.

3-5 female Bettas’

*10 gallon tank
*Gravel for the bottom (fine #1 sand if live plants will be kept, see the link below for plant care, substrates)
*Lots of live plants
*Decorations without any sharp edges

Do the same thing as you would do it with the 2.5 gallon tank (setting up, cycling, floating the bag with fish, etc.) You will need to get at least 3 females thought (if you only get 2, one will dominate the other) they will choose a so called pecking order amongst them and will look like they’re fighting, but they don’t. Once they have chosen the rang order, the fighting will stop. You can also add 2-3 Cory cats into that setup, since they’re bottom dwellers, and you can have up to 5 females together in a 10 gallon tank.

1 male OR 1 female betta with tropical’s

Same setup and maintenance as the above 2.

Example setup in a 15 gallon tank:,

1 male or 1 female betta
2-3 Cory cats (bottom dwellers)
5 neon tetras (schooling fish)
3 platy’s (males only if you don’t want any fry)
5 rasboras (also schooling fish)


You can’t keep male/female together unless they were properly conditioned for spawning

You can’t keep male/male together, or they will kill each other

But you can put females together with a minimum of 3 in at least a 10 gallon tank

And you also can put a female or a male with other tropicals, as long as the others don’t have long fins like a male guppy or a serpae tetra.

You can keep males/females together however if you have at least a 55 gallon tank, which is heavily planted and you have at least some experience on keeping fish

Feeding them;

You should feed your betta twice a day 3-4 pellets at each feeding, but change their diet up with frozen blood worms, Baby Brine Shrimp, Pellets and live Baby Brine shrimp, and also a thawed pea about once a week. Also fast your betta one day out of the week, which will keep constipation at bay

For further information about Betta Feeding and Fish Nutrition in general, please see this article: “Aquarium Fish Nutrition, all about”

Final Thoughts:

Please do yourself and your betta a big favor and get a tank instead of a stupid bowl. With proper care they can live up to 8 years.

Sure they can survive in a bowl, but let’s face it, are you willing to do partials every day, when you only need to do it once a week on a tank with a gravel siphon???? Well what ever you decide, happy fish keeping and have fun with your hobby. It gives lots of joy in ones life!


“Aquarium Size and Stunting, beginner to advanced aquarists”
“Over a Copper Moon Betta”
“Freshwater Aquarium Basics and Care”
Betta Profiles
Or for UV Bulb replacements for large scale breeders with their Bettas placed in systems with centralized filters with UV Sterilizers

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  • At September 3, 2014 at 9:17 PM , Blogger seapetal111 said...

    Great article!

    I love the clear and no-nonsense DO's and DON'T's approach used, and that it's concise yet covers all the bases. The writer clearly has considerable experience with bettas and sound knowledge. Very nice when there's so much misunderstanding and misinformation out there on bettas.

    Thank you also for that wonderful pic of the rice paddy and dispelling that persisting myth about bettas.


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