How to Properly Care for a Betta

Picture of How to Properly Care for a Betta
How to Properly Care for a Betta Fish

This instructable will teach you how to properly care for a betta, a beautiful and hardy fish ideal for the beginner. And unlike other ornamental fish-related instructables, this one will actually give you legitimate facts about bettas that will allow your betta to thrive.

Betta Breeding Setup:
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Step 1: The Betta Background

Bettas, aka Siamese Fighting Fish or Betta Splendens, originally came from the muddy ponds, streams and rice paddies of Thailand. The original betta splendens had dull coloring and short fins.

The bettas we know today have long flowing fins and come in all sorts of striking colors, due to genetic mutations while breeding. Their long flowing fins is a distinguishing characteristic that is only acquired by the male, female bettas are generally smaller and have short fins. Male betta's aggressiveness is another trait that sets them apart from female bettas. Male bettas are much more aggressive than female bettas, that is why male bettas cannot be kept together where they are in contact with each other. Once in contact, they will instinctively fight to the death, hence the name siamese fighting fish. It is very important that the owner understands to respect this animal's trait, rather than to use it as a form of entertainment.
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Lily pea3 months ago

My Betta, Bryan(Brain), keeps going around the filter

is there something wrong with him?


Joshua A4 months ago

Thank you my betta fish died so now I know how to take care of one

TinaO7 months ago
Ok. . . think I screwed up. . . I changed the bowl water for both my bettas yesterday and I used some Dawn dish detg on the gravel to try to clean it out. I did rinse it very thoroughly but above it says that it can still seep into the water and kill the fish. Is there a way to remedy that? Should I just throw away the gravel and buy new? What about the bowl itself. . . should I just rinse it each time rather than using any soap on it? Please help, I've only had the bettas for a short time and am still learning about proper care, but I love the fish. They are so colorful, and I love watching them. May even graduate to a full fish tank that I have always wanted if I can figure out how to keep the cats from getting to it!!!!
katrinadaigle9 months ago
I have a little tank that isn't even a gallon, is this bad for Mr. Barb? I also want to add a plant to it because I feel like it will make him more comfortable, and I change the water once a week at lesat because I don't want him to get sick or whatever so... yes. Which plant should I use though?
beeur10 months ago
Hi, I've had my betta for several months now. He has huge beautiful fins, always spread out except this morning... his fins are closed up and Ive never seen this. I just added a heater to his tank. It was cold in my house the other day. This is the only thing that is different. I changed 1/3 of his water this AM but Im worried. Please advise!
AshesJeyLynne11 months ago
Great guide :)
Was glad to see that I was, if fact, doing things completely right!
I have a betta, Armando, housed in a ten gallon aquarium and get bubble nests frequently. He had a weak dinosaur air pump which he rather enjoys, as well as live plants and ornaments to play around in/with :)
Lei_Kei1 year ago
Now I find this, after killing two of them in one week :/

poor little guys...
leok01 year ago
Betta fighter fish is one of the most fun fish to have. I have always loved this fish since my childhood. They come in almost all colors and varieties and it depends upon your choice, what kind you want to rear.
Here is the site where you can get some more better tips and personal expirience on how you can take good care of betta and increase its life span.

Ghost Wolf3 years ago
I got my betta fish recently and it spits the food out then takes it again is that normal?
iGabe (author)  Ghost Wolf2 years ago
Yes, it just means the food you are feeding him is too large for him to chew properply, so that is why he just spits it out.
it's probably to big for it
neetz2 years ago
i just have a question, i was going to buy a male Betta but i wanted to train it to eat from my finger, will they bite?also, do they jump?

iGabe (author)  neetz2 years ago
Just simply put a pellet or a freeze-dried bloodworm on a moistened fingertip, and place your finger about 1-3 inches from the surface so he can reach it.
NICE INSTRUCTABLE! I had a betta that got some sort of fungus, and by the time I baught the meds, he was dead.
iGabe (author)  PINKmonster3252 years ago
I used to have veiltail betta, murphy, but he died and I buried him in a popsicle stick coffin.
BECKBERRY4 years ago
Dont forget the tail rot medicine for when u clean the tank! ( So their tail dont rot!)
mzeft BECKBERRY2 years ago
BC-45 BECKBERRY4 years ago
melafix does all of it almost i used to cure my Betta that had fin rot and other the only thing that doesnt do is fungal infection dont know what that is but could be serous.
BC-454 years ago
is there a product that protects from all fungus and desiease??
Not so far as I know. After all, some diseases are parasitic, some are bacterial, and some are fungal. How could one product protect from all of them? The best thing to do is house them in a big enough tank, keep their water very clean, in the right temperature range, feed them the right kind of food, and provide them with stimulation so they don't get bored, without stressing them out. Aquarium salt in the riqht quantity can be helpful as a general tonic, and does have antibacterial properties, so it can help with things like fin rot.
Very good guide. One extra point is that if they get swim bladder and float to the top or are swimming wonky then boil a single frozen pea, peal and deposit it in the water for it to eat. Remove the remainder.

Basically when they have swim bladder they get constipated and this can help them become regular within there bowel movements. I wish I could still have a beta in my new place but I'm in a rented place with no pets allowed.

If you are going to keep him in a bigger tank you can give him a few females, they recommend a small shoal of three as he is picky and they socialise with other females. You should give him a place to hide as he is aggressive and sometimes they gang up on him and nip his fins. I made a coconut house that had been properly boiled to remove the tannins with some live soft plants growing from the top through the three holes.

I hope this also helps. (It is my first reply.)

I'm sorry, but you are wrong about keeping females with a male betta. Male and female bettas will fight each other and can kill each other. Even when they are ready to breed and put together briefly for mating one or both can end up dead.

You can, with caution, keep a sorority tank of female bettas so long as they have plenty of room, plenty of places to get away from each other (plants, caves, etc), plenty of surface space so that they can get to the surface to breathe and to eat without crowding each other.
fishyDIY5 years ago
and also if u want to keep a male betta with other fish u can because the males just go after other males.
Not always true. Depends on the betta - some are more aggressive than others; and on the other fish - some other fish are notoriuous fin nippers, like some types of tetras, and the betta will not fare well. Also fish with colorful, long fins, such as fancy male guppies, can be perceived as young male bettas and be attacked by the betta. For the sake of your betta and any other fish you might wish to combine, be sure you know wnat to expect, and keep a close eye on the tank. If you notice any evidence of harrassment, nipped/ripped fins, behavioral changes in your betta, etc., pull him out and put him in a tank by himself.
Actually.... if you have a WELL PLANTED aquarium you can put multiple male bettas together.

*** Must be WELL planted! You have been warned.
Not true. There have been experiments where two bettas have been placed even on opposite ends of a shallow LAKE and they still found each other and fought. I would never, under any circumstances, keep a male with another male. It is playing with fire.
your wrong man
iGabe (author)  darwinmach5 years ago
True, have tried it, but don't reccomend it.
That hasn’t been my experience. My betas will attack other fish that have flowing fins and many fish, like barbs, will nip at his fins constantly. My betas do not play well with female betas either. When I try to mate them, the females usually need quite a while to recover. I've seen betas with other fish, but I haven't had any luck. Think mine are just thugs?
well u only put a fmale beta in with a male if the male is blowing bubbles this means he wants to mate
It's true... you can't keep bettas with other fish that are a lot faster and/or have big flowing fins.
HanyouKit3 years ago
Melafix and Bettafix are the same drug, only bettafix is watered down. it is not recommended to use these for bettas as they have been known to damage a betta's labyrinth organ and suffocate it.
Doing research for my betta fish care website, and I've heard mixed reviews about Melafix and Bettafix. You would never advise using bettafix? I've read some reviews that said it's really helped their bettas.
siam is the old name of thailand but great instructable though
manlyfish4 years ago
i like how you inform people about bettas most people abuse them and believe that their betta likes that type of conditions i didnt read all of it but heres some stuff just in case you missed something
-bettas need room atleast 10 gall
-theyre peacefull bettas that wont harm one another

JohnJY4 years ago
Betta's are some of the coolest fish, because they're fun to look at, and require very little care. Very nice Instructable, very well made. Sadly, Petsmart only sells "normal" bettas, and some crowtailed. I have a single female betta, named Clive. She had a room mate, a small female betta, how would pick on her, but she did because of some silk fungus in the tank. Where'd that even come from!?!
johnhutch4 years ago
Lovely guide, I'm so glad to find something that is actually beneficial to keeping a healthy fish rather than some container that it will "survive" in. Your analogy of a 3x4 foot room is excellent, people could be 'kept alive' in such conditions but would probably live longer and happier in better accommodation such as that described in this article.

One think to note regarding MelaFix (and I can't find the reference now, drat) but it isn't actually Antibacterial despite what the bottle says. So if you have a true bacterial problem Melafix may/may not help. That said MelaFix is (from experience), very good at helping sick fish recover so I don't know how it works but it does.

Excellent guide 5 stars
afby4 years ago
like my betta..i miss em 
You split an infinitive in the title.
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