- Scientific Name
- Betta splendens
- 2-3 years
- 7-8 cm (3") long
- Tropical, fresh water
Betta fish are beautiful and calming to watch. Unlike most tropical fish, Bettas breathe by gulping air from the surface of the water. This allows them to live in non-aerated bowls and aquariums. Male Bettas will fight if kept together, but females can cohabitate in a large aquarium.
Betta fish are best kept individually, either in Betta bowls or in fish tanks smaller than five gallons. Community aquariums with other small, non-aggressive tropical fish are fine too, as long as there is only one Betta per tank. Keep the fish tank out of direct sunlight, and decorate with colourful gravel, rocks and plants.
Eight to twelve hours of light each day is recommended. Turn the light on when you feed your fish in the morning, and turn it off again at night, or use an automatic timer. An aquarium hood with built-in light fixtures will reduce water evaporation and splashing and keep your fish safe.
Keep your Betta’s water between 23 and 28 °C (74 and 82 °F). Buy a heater with five watts of power per gallon of water in your aquarium. Prevent hot spots and temperature variations in large aquariums by using two smaller heaters, one on each side of the aquarium, instead of a single, more powerful one.
If your Betta is in a bowl, completely change the water each week. In aquariums, replace 10% of the water with dechlorinated water each week. Every month, vacuum gravel, check filters, and replace 25% of the water. Always dechlorinate tap water before adding it to the tank, and avoid soaps and detergents, as these can be toxic to fish.
Adult Bettas should be fed as much as they will eat in two minutes, once each day. In addition to flaked or pelleted fish food, vary your Betta’s diet with frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex worms and more. Bettas are curious and will interact with people, so feeding time can also be playtime.