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 a 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.

SHOP BETTA APPAREL: T-shirts, hoodies and more!

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Check out my betta and general aquarium-related videos on YouTube:


My Simple Betta Breeding Aquarium Setup:

SUPER DELTA BETTA | Quick Aquarium Vlog:




Upgrading my 3 Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium:


Step 1: 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.

Is it ok if i have a water filter in my tank with "fish head" (my betta)
<p>I have my betta for over a year now. I feed him a few small pellets once a daily, change the water every 2-3 weeks, I have a live moss ball in with him. I use tap water but first let it sit for a few days and use &quot;betta clear&quot; (I think thats what it is called). I have been pretty lucky with my bettas. I have have at least one for a few years. Some I have had were gorgeous! I have bought one or two from Walmart, they were pretty and lived a long time. I usually try to get them at Petsmart though. They have some gorgeous ones, a bit pricey though. I treated my self to a &quot;dumbo&quot; one last week. Was on sale for $14.99 But he is very pretty. I think they are pretty happy, they both have the &quot;happy bubbles&quot; on the top of the bowl in the corner.</p><p>The last two shots are the 2 I have now.</p>
<p>Beautfil bettas you got there! But I would suggest doing water changes a bit more often, that'll improve their quality of life a lot! Thanks for sharing these pics!</p>
Man my fish has been swimming around normal tap water and it's still going companies just want us to spend money on supplies and yes it's a better fish in regular warm tap water I don't even let it sit and I've done three water changes in three weeks
<p>So is your fish still alive?</p>
<p>Hello Raymond!</p><p>The tap water is toxic to the fish - I am telling you this for your own sake and for your fish's sake. If you are going to use tap water you need to apply tap water conditioner! Such as this:</p><p><a href="http://www.apifishcare.com/product.php?id=655#.Vk8_a3arSUk" rel="nofollow">http://www.apifishcare.com/product.php?id=655#.Vk8...</a></p><p> Please don't accidentally kill your fish :( Thank you and best wishes!</p>
<p>If you love your bettas like my family does, then I dont believe that spending a few bucks on a tank should be considered as &quot;wasting&quot; money. Just saying...</p>
Hmmm, my two betta fish have been living in a 1 gallon tank for four years now and they are doing just fine. Dont waste your money on a large and elaborate tank. Just saying.
<p>People can live in jail cells but it docent mean they are happy doing so. Upgrading your bettas home doesn't seem to me like a waste of money. Believe me you will see the diffrence in your fishes happiness, bettas respond well and are appreciative. If you do this it will make the whole experiance of owning a betta far more enjoyable </p>
Betta's thrive in larger tanks. They swim around back and forth, up and down. If you can afford to and have the space a 2.5 or 5 gallon is really great for one betta.
where can i get hoods for my 2.5gl tanks ?,
<p>I just bought a male Betta today at Walmart. I bought a Marina Betta EZ Care Aquarium Kit and TetraMin Tropical Flakes fish food. Will the tank and fish food be alright for my Betta? Do I need to get a different tank and food for him? What kind of water can I use if I don't have any water conditioner handy or just don't want to get any? Is bottled water that you can find at a grocery store or Walmart be alright? How many times do I have to feed him? I believe he got feed today before I bought him since he didn't eat any of the fish food I gave him. How many days do I need to give my Betta before he is fully acclimated to his new surroundings and is accustomed to me? Should I put paper over the lid of the tank so that he doesn't jump out at night? What temperature should I set the house when I am there and when I'm not there in order for my Betta to be comfortable? This is my first time owning a Betta so I could use all the help that I can get. I'm also looking for a suitable names for him as well.</p>
<p>I'm not sure if anything has changed since you asked 2 months ago, but I'll answer your question anyway. Your Betta's tank looks smaller than required for him to thrive, and I would recommend upgrading to a bigger tank, maybe 2.5 gallons in size at least. A heater is required depending on where you live, because Betta fish are most comfortable in temperatures ranging from 70-80 degrees fahrenheit. Also in my experience a filter is recommended, but optional if you are okay siphoning water out with a straw and performing frequent partial water changes. Pants such as Anarchis and/or Marimo Moss Balls help with water quality and aeration too.</p><p>Your Betta looks healthy! I wish you the very best with your new fishy friend!</p>
<p>*Siphoning visible waste out with a straw</p>
<p>I own a very vicious betta named buddy. He's bit me twice, he has kills a whole tank full of fish, he flares at me, ect. To sum it all up he's a jerk and now lives in a 5 gal tank with no other fish except an algae eater. I did manage to train him a few tricks. He also knows his name. He also knows when I yell at him for flaring at me. He is a Wal-Mart rescue. I was buying supplies and saw him and fell in love. I don't support walmart in how they care for fish but it was love at first sight. I believe he thinks he is a dog.</p>
How can a beta bite you with that little mouth?
Hello. I am from the Philippines. I fell inlove with the fish because of the simple reason that it is beautiful and it is less stressful to maintain it, plus the fact it wont need air pumps as it will use electricity (an issue in our office). I just want to ask if my bettas are all male? For now, I am using mineral water. Will it harm them? How about the tank? It is the only thing I can afford for now.<br><br>Thanks for the comments and help.
<p>I really hope your not keeping bettas in these tiny tanks. That's like a jail cell for your fish. Especially without a heater or anything to play with. Please tell me you got them a decent sized tank!</p>
<p>These fish are all male. Do you know the temperature of their water? Bettas are tropical fish and need a steady temp between 75-81 to thrive. Keeping fish long term in containers that size is the equivalent of spending your whole life in a closet. Since these &quot;tanks&quot; have no filtration, you should be doing DAILY 90-100% water changes to remove the toxic ammonia the fish are constantly producing. Hope this is helpful. </p>
The all blue one is a female
I usually buy spring water for my betta and treat it still and he loves it
<p>I just bought my beta from Pet Smart about an hour ago, I have put him in a 2 gal tank with a plastic plant and cave. My last beta was very active after I bought him, but this one seems to be just hovering near the top, he is also much smaller than my other one. I used Aquarium salt, water conditioner and Nutrafin biological aquarium supplement 3 days before I got him. I turned off my filter because he seemed to be struggling a little bit, but I will probably turn it back on later once he's adjusted. I also hope he's not sick but he seems to be doing fine. Thanks!!</p><p>(I'm also looking for name suggestions!!)</p>
<p>Arnold, Caspar.</p>
<p>Thanks! I am getting a betta soon, I need to know all the stuff! Thanks Again!!</p>
<p>I really love this article about Types of betta fish, I use several part of this site for my article: </p><p>http://allpicts.in/halfmoon-betta-wallpaper-1-7-blue-halfmoon-betta-fish-facts/</p>
<p>Check this girls Betta experience! </p><p><a href="http://www.theglaurydays.com/2016/04/01/a-fish-named-feesh/" rel="nofollow">http://www.theglaurydays.com/2016/04/01/a-fish-nam...</a> </p>
<p>I have a male Betta and have been changing the water every two days, using the correct salt. I feed him the very small pellets but do not know the correct amount of food to give him. The bottle says to feed 3 times a day, the pet shop said once a day with just 3 or 4 little pellets. Would appreciate any advice pertaining to this. Thanks.</p>
<p>Alexis hunter--Are you serious about training your Betta to do tricks? I enjoyed your post but am still laughing over it. I bought a Betta today and am beginning to think that I am in over my head as to their care. </p>
<p>my fish won't eat its flaky food. I didn't have food a first so I fed him mosquitoes. His name is Freddy. </p>
<p>Good for you, mosquitoes are ideal! :) </p>
Flexo is sick and I don't know what to do! I have changed his filter as I do every month! I added salt to the tank, even though I have live plants and after a change in the tank I never added it. I have been doing water changes and with no luck! I think he has Popeye;as he has white rings around both of his eyes. And even though he is eating he has become very lethargic and is not his usual playful self ?! any advice on how to treat this disease? Or tips?
<p>Hi bluecaban13,</p><p>Hope your fish is doing okay!!</p><p>Your filter media (sponge, pad etc) is where your beneficial bacterial live. These bacteria convert the harmful waste chemicals your fish constantly produces (ammonia) into a harmless substance (nitrate) that you remove when you do water changes. For this reason, you don't want to change out the filter media on a monthly basis - you only need to shake it gently in a little tank water to clear out some of the muck. Every time you toss your &quot;old&quot; filter media, your aquarium has to start from scratch building up a new colony of bacteria, and this process is toxic to your fish! </p><p>To see if this is what's affecting your buddy, you can buy an API master test kit or take a sample to a local aquarium store and ask them to test it for you (free). If the test shows ANY amount of Ammonia or Nitrite, buy a water conditioner called Prime and add four drops per gallon every other day until the Ammonia and Nitrite readings are zero. The Prime will detoxify these substances while still allowing the bacteria to consume them so your tank will &quot;cycle&quot;. </p><p>Best of luck, and I hope your little guy recovers!</p>
I have had blueberry *my betta fish* for about three years now!! He's an adorable little guy but he recently developed pop eye.. He has a heater and also a filter that I just bought today he is in a 10 gallon tank and I'm using distilled water always have and he's been alive for three years which a bettas life span is to about four years hes still very active but his eye is bulged out and its making him hurt and just lay around he does swim around still and eats.. I purchased some fish mox and do daily 50% water changes.. This is the first day of treatment.. But I had to take him out to do the water change and the filter I bought today requires you to run it for 24 hrs before inserting fish.. So I filled the container with the water in his tank and put him in.. Will he be OK overnight?? Also I wasn't able to run his previous filter due to it being too big and powerful it was for 15-20 tank!! But anyways will he be OK overnight?? Should I run the filter while doing treatments?? And if so what can I do to make sure he doesn't struggle when he goes back into the tank after the filter runs for 24hrs.. The previous filter I left off most of the time until I cleaned his tank which I do every week and water changes.. But still distilled water and he seems to love it he's even still the colors he was when I got him he's a happy lil guy but I'm worried I'm not treating him right. Please let me know and thank you
<p>DO NOT use Melafix on a Betta, the tea tree oil in it is toxic to them and damages their labyrinth organ (which allows them to breathe the air above the water). If you use it for long enough, they won't be able to breathe and drown. </p>
thanks for sharing bought one the other day and double tail male back and blue very nice color scheme but I want to enhance the blue any suggestions?
<p>well first off if you go to store there are foods that are color enhancing thats the best and healthiest option in my opinion</p>
<p>thanks for information . verry good http://www.betta-fish.com/</p>
Oh a list of what I use is just stress coat &amp; water conditioner <br>And I have a real plant in the 2L tank as well and I use pellets give him 5 pellets once a day except for Sunday and Wednesday for fasting
<p>I only use stress coat the day before I change the water to stop him stressing over a maybe tiny change in water chemistry.</p><p>2L is not so great. 1gallon of water = 2.5litres, so these guys NEED a tank.</p>
<p>that is so funny, and kool!!!!!</p>
So I just bought my beta yesterday. He's living in a 2.5 gallon tank. I didn't know it was necessary to have a heater or a filter. I'm definitely going to get the heater this weekend but not the filter. I don't really see why I need one when I can just clean the tank. Anyway earlier I took a cup of the tank water out and put in a warm cup of new water, the fish was not in the tank, because when I put my fingers in the tank it seemed really cold.Again anyway should I not have done this? My fish is like really scared now. He was swimming around the whole tank and his head seemed to be twitching and he was at the bottom of the tank in the corner. Right now he's at the very top of the tank just hovering. Is he going to die? I'm really concerned.
<p>I hope your betta is ok!!! You need to have a heater, thermometer, and water conditioner for your betta. The ideal water temperature for your betta is 75F - 82F. Please do Not put your fish in a warm cup of tap water to warm it up. Warm tap water can be over 90F which can harm or kill your fish. Remove your fish along with some of his tank water in a large cup at least the size of the container you bought him in. Clean the tank, put the heater in the clean water and put the conditioner drops in which help remove the chlorine from tap water which can harm your fish. Follow the instructions on the betta water conditioner so you know how many drops to put in for your size tank, Make sure the thermometer says between 75F - 82F before you put your fish back in his tank. You can just add the water from his cup to the tank as well. Keeping the same water temperature after cleaning is very important. The heater will keep it consistent, and the thermometer will let you know for sure. Good luck!!! </p>
<p>You should Not put your betta in a cup of warm tap water because it can kill your fish. They do like warm water but the water temperature needs to be specific. Between 75F - 82F is ideal. You need a water heater and a thermometer. Both are inexpensive. Putting your betta in what feels like warm water out of the tap can kill it because it could easily be over 90F which is way too hot! Also, you need to get a water conditioner for bettas which takes the chlorine out of the tap water among other things that are harmful for your betta. This is easy to use. Just follow the directions at it will tell you how many drops to use for your size tank. Get your tank ready for your fish before you but him in. Just make sure that when cleaning the tank the new water is the same temperature as the old water. This will prevent him from getting hurt. The water heater stays in the tank all the time and keeps the water a steady temperature at about 80F which your better will love. </p>
<p>You should Not put your betta in a cup of warm tap water because it can kill your fish. They do like warm water but the water temperature needs to be specific. Between 75F - 82F is ideal. You need a water heater and a thermometer. Both are inexpensive. Putting your betta in what feels like warm water out of the tap can kill it because it could easily be over 90F which is way too hot! Also, you need to get a water conditioner for bettas which takes the chlorine out of the tap water among other things that are harmful for your betta. This is easy to use. Just follow the directions at it will tell you how many drops to use for your size tank. Get your tank ready for your fish before you but him in. Just make sure that when cleaning the tank the new water is the same temperature as the old water. This will prevent him from getting hurt. The water heater stays in the tank all the time and keeps the water a steady temperature at about 80F which your better will love. </p>
<p>Oscar, my two year old betta was treated for tail rot about three months ago and again about a month later. Since being treated I started to notice that he didn't look right. He developed a lump on one side, his top fin lies to the side and his body is now curved. According to the pet store I bought him from he has scoliosis. I've talked to so many different employees and given so much different advice, I don't know what to do. One employee told me he could live happily another year or two with this condition, another told me he'll only last a month or two. His home is a 3 gallon bowl with a heater he likes to lie against and plant leaves he rests on. I've been told to keep his temperature around 74 degrees and by a different employee to keep it around 80 degrees. I do a complete water change once a week and add about a tsp of aquarium salt and tap water conditioner. His condition seems to change day by day. Today he seems worse. He hasn't eaten, if he moves off a resting leaf he sinks to the bottom and lies there on his side until he seems to get the strength to swim to the top of the bowl. I've removed water and lowered his heater so he's closer to the top when he need air. At times he seems to be struggling to breath or panting through his mouth. It's heartbreaking to watch him go through this, I'm doing what I can to make him comfortable. The pet store has a &quot;matter of fact, he's going to die&quot; attitude. Can you please give me any advice or is there anything more I can do for him? I would appreciate anything you can tell me.</p>
Well what I want to know is when you are cleaning the tank or moving decorations,what is the best way of making it as lease stressful for your fish as possible
<p>I use tongs designed for feeding reptiles. They are usually made of wood, have good tactile strength, and my betta doesn't seem to mind it much. They come in different sizes too so you can use them in any size tank.</p>
<p>Good article! You seem to pretty much have it covered, but if you want any more info then this article is worth checking out too: <a href="http://bettafishcare.com/betta-fish-care/betta-fish-care-guide/" rel="nofollow">http://bettafishcare.com/betta-fish-care/betta-fish-care-guide/</a></p>
<p>I'm interested in getting one or more Betta fish. Now is it true that you can have multiple females in one tank without them killing each other? Also, I've seen bettas being kept in flower vases - is that even good for them? I'm also having the problem that I can't fit a two gallon tank anywhere at my place (too small and crowded), but a gallon or better half gallon would fit. Now I know that ideally, the tank should be 2gal, but do you think that a single Betta would do fine in a half gallon tank with say a small plant in it? </p>

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More by iGabe:How to Breed Bettas: Betta Breeding 101 How to Properly Care for a Betta 
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