Bettas are very popular aquarium fish. They are small fish, but they have great appetite and love to swim around in the water. Bettas live in tropical waters and prefer calm waters. There are many types of bettas: rainbow, silver, blue, red, yellow and white varieties. Some species grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) long while others reach only 1 inch (2 cm). All kinds of bettas enjoy a variety of habitats including rocky shores, sandy bottoms, soft mud flats and muddy swamps.
Best Betta Tank Setup
The most common type of betta tanks are freshwater setups. These usually consist of a large shallow bowl or sink with gravel bottom and a layer of sand or pebbles placed over it. A few other types include saltwater tanks which contain brackish water; and marine setups which contain fresh water.
A good betta tank needs to be kept at a temperature between 72°F (22°C) and 82°F (28°C), with pH levels between 7.0 and 8.0. Water changes are recommended every two weeks or so, depending on the water conditions in your home.
In addition to keeping the water clean, it’s also important to provide plenty of hiding places for your betta fish. Bettas are very shy creatures, so providing them with hiding spots will make them happier and more comfortable.
There are many ways to give your betta fish places to hide:
You can place live plants inside the tank. This is probably the best way since it gives your betta fish somewhere to hide AND it helps keep the tank clean.
You can also buy fake plants for your betta tank. These often look more natural than plastic ones.
You can add rocks and driftwood to your tank. Be sure to choose these carefully as they could damage your betta if they are rough or sharp.
You can also get a betta bowl rather than a fish tank. These are very small and often come with a built in filter and light.
Betta Fish Bowl Setup
Betta bowls are very small fish tanks with a capacity of only 0.5 gallons (1.9 liters). Although some people believe these bowls are cruel for the betta fish, they can be a good choice for people who don’t want to clean a large tank or who live in small spaces and can’t keep a large tank.
Bowls come in two varieties: those with filters and those without. The ones with filters suck up the water into the filter and release it back into the bowl after cleaning. The ones without filters require more maintenance since you have to clean the bowl yourself.
Keeping a betta in a bowl is not recommended unless you have no other choice, such as in a small space where a larger tank won’t fit. If you have the space, it is much better to keep your betta fish in a larger tank with other fish or even by themselves.
Betta Fish Tank Mates
Betta fish are often called “pretty” or “fighting” fish. This is because they are often kept by themselves in a tank and admired for their beauty.
However, if you want your betta to be happy, it’s best to get tank mates for him. This can be another fish or even some snails or shrimp. If you want more than one fish, try to keep it under four to prevent overpopulation and the associated health issues this causes.
Betta Colors and Genetics
The bright colors of a betta are caused by pigments in their cells called “chromatophores.” Each cell has a layer of these pigments which can be stacked on top of each other. The more layers, the brighter the color. For example, red has two layers while blue has seven.
There are also black pigment cells, called “melanophores.” These cells can stack as well to darken the color.
Betta Fish Lifespan
The average lifespan of a betta fish is about 2 to 4 years, with some living up to six years. The oldest bettas can get to seven or eight.
As your fish ages, you may notice his colors fading and the fish growing duller. This is normal and does not mean your fish is sick.
Why Do Betta Fish Turn White?
If you’ve had your betta fish for a long time, you might notice him slowly turning white. This is a natural process of aging called “caudal fin burn,” which means the caudal fin, or tail, begins to fade. This happens because as the fish ages, pigment cells begin dying off. While it may be disconcerting to see your bright blue and red betta slowly turn white, it’s just a sign that your fish is getting older.
Sources & references used in this article:
Betta Fish Protectors for Aquariums by K Trisel – US Patent App. 13/160,582, 2012 – Google Patents
Siamese fighting fish aquarium by F Suerth, J Levin – US Patent 6,536,374, 2003 – Google Patents
Effect of culture density on the performance of Betta fish (Betta splendens). by GS Ferreira, LRR Arauco, AM Maia… – … , 27 a 30 de agosto de …, 2018 – cabdirect.org
Facts to Know About-Fighter Fish by M Palanivelrajan – researchgate.net
Top 10 Fish for Kids by DM Rau – 2008 – books.google.com