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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MeadeS29 hours ago

Bettas do not do well in large tanks.Ideally 1.5 gallon- 5 gallon is all you need. They actually prefer smaller spaces. Their origin is tiny rice patties and most people don't understand their need for smaller spaces. In some cases, putting in large than 5 gallon tank could cause it much distress. You can easily do well with live plants as filters. If you only have 1 small fish. Bettas put out much less waste than most fits. Large filters are unnecessary and even harmful in some cases.

Aquist197925 days ago
My 5 yo son got a Betta fish as a Christmas gift. It came with the fish, a tank with water pump, plastic plants, gravel and betta food. He named it Fire because of it's red fins. Fire likes to hide under the water pump. Doing this has caused him to lose quite a bit of fin. Fire doesn't seem quite active and only really comes out for food. I believe his whole tank setup is wrong and needs a complete do-over. In doing some research on Bettas, I think I'm going to clean out his tank, add some water conditioner, buy some silk plants and some medicine for his fins. I would hate for Fire to die as he was a gift for my son. I would appreciate any positive advice. Thanks!
I'm going to get you some more feedback, but some from myself would be to check the levels in the water; ph, ammonia, nitrate
You can get a masters test kit and it will have the appropriate tests!
What is the temperature of the water? And remove the plastic plants and buy silk plants (can be bought at a local petstore) to avoid the fish from getting harmed from the plants! Is there a bright object in the tank, opposite side from where he hides, that may be scaring him? And what size is your tank?
(If you need to, feel free to message me on Facebook) hope all goes well with the little baby <3
Very nicely organized points! And few things though just to make sure every Betta is a happy one :)
A Betta needs a minimum of a 5 gallon tank!
Make sure the temp is set at 75-80 degrees (have a thermometer!)
Do not feed freeze dried as it is bad for your Betta :(
Do water tests to check the nitrate, ammonia, ph, etc levels
And just highlighting a fact on this page, make sure plants and materials are silk and will not have a chance to scratch your fish.
And jointing a Betta fish group on a social media sight like Facebook is a good idea, because any questions you have can be answered immediately and if you know how to help someone else, there is a good place as well!
Enjoy your little babies <3

This is my betta he is in a bigger fish tank now but why is his fins like this is this normal?

I was never really sure of the proper burial type for a fish, I always wondered what the fish would want. I feel like burying them in the ground isn't what they woild want. Lol. I always flushed them. Lol
kandis.muth10 days ago
This says to use melafix but I've read in more the a couple places that melafix can harm your fishes organs and even kill them, I suggest beta fix, its less likely to harm your betta

Does the Seachem Prime Water Conditioner also cycle the water? Should I use both the Seachem Prime and the Cycle Biological Supplement? Or just the Prime by itself?

corrin.hovey5 months ago

Funny this says they need a heater but my fish store says they do not hmm

Actually my friend is sorta an expert at betas haha, and she said that you don't need a heater if your room is at 75 degrees

Ghost Wolf3 years ago
I got my betta fish recently and it spits the food out then takes it again is that normal?

This reply is probally wayyyy to late but the same thing happens with my fish. Try changing the food. Females aren't big fans of pellets.

Yeah she past last year

iGabe (author)  Ghost Wolf3 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
Freddy102341 month ago

I just got my betta fish and it isnt really eating i put food i got from the store designed for him and he eats it and spits it out then somtimes eats it again im really worried because he is my first fish and hes really pretty and can somone please tell me what to do so he will eat

Adam Prime2 months ago
Well I just bought 3 bettas...and uhmmm...should I get a separated tank or just put a divider?

Well It doesn't really matter The divider can NOT be clear so that the fish can see through. That will stress out the fish and it could kill the fish.

pfaulkner13 months ago

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?

If you decide to have 2 females together when you are putting the other female in have an extra tank/cup beside you in case they start fighting. If they do start fighting take out one and put it in the tank/cup. If they don't then they will be fine.

JayF2 pfaulkner12 months ago

Yes, females usually can be kept together however it isn't rare for one female to be aggressive and unable to be housed with another female. I find that vases are very cruel and they do not have enough space to thrive, as well as not having a heater which is essential for a healthy betta. They can survive but they will be very lethargic and in bad shape over time. They can be housed temporarily in vases but they can not live permanently in one especially not when the whether gets colder. I would say anything less than 2.5 gallons for a single betta is cruel and a half gallon tank is even more so. It'd most likely become incredibly bored and depressed. It's like you living in a closet for your entire life. If you don't have space for a big enough tank then I wouldn't buy a betta because it's unfair to them.

neetz3 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?

poppy8 neetz1 month ago

Yes, you can train it to jump by holding a piece of food above the water everyday, so it jumps.

They sometimes bite your finger, but it does not hurt, it tickles

iGabe (author)  neetz3 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.

Help! My betta keeps hanging at the bottom & then going to the top to get air. I have cleaned his tank properly & until today he was fine. He has gotten almost gray from being a deep red. How can I help him?

First, consider checking the aquariums temperature as well as PH as these can be affecting him. Mine died to day, exhibiting the same symptoms as you described. Be very watchful of him, look at his face and see if there are white holes on it, swollen eyes, torn fins and swollen bladder too, if so, it will be extremely difficult to save him. Chances are, he has a type of Velvet decease or a bacteria. Go to a pet store and ask for extra information, and if it turns out it is a bacteria, don't get your hopes up, these are very difficult to treat in fishes.

I used to have veiltail betta, murphy, but he died and I buried him in a popsicle stick coffin.

wow.... A Popsicle stick coffin. I'd expect someone to bury a dog, cat, guinea pig, rabbit, rat, hamester, any type of lizard/ gecko maybe. But a fish... WOW

if I get attach to a pet I will do this to.

Dont say that comment because my aunt's fish Queen Indie died like September 18 2014 i buried it bit not in a coffin. so that is just mean to say you can burry time caples and nothing is wrong about that. so dont be mean i will flag your comment!

bree01482 months ago
I was given a male half moon betta and his poor tail is all ripped is there anything i can do to make his tail pretty again or will he look feisty for the rest of his life?
JayF2 bree01482 months ago

If you just got him then that's usually normal for bettas to come in poor condition. The best thing to do is to keep his water really clean with all levels of ammonia and nitrite down. If it doesn't improve over a week or so then I'd go to the petstore and buy medicine for fin rot (I heard melafix might help, but personally I avoid melafix because it's been known to suffocate fish)

My Bettas finns are damaged

I have the most beautiful beta, his name is George and he acts like a dog. He is very social, gets his feeling hurt when i am gone for the weekend and has several "aunties" that spoil him rotten when im gone. He is quite adorable and i never thought betas would be this way. This site helped me discypher several myths on beta care.
monica62able made it!3 months ago

very informative...i have tropical fish but i felt like my Alphie needed to be rescued from WalMart...Ive only had him about 4 weeks and Im learning all I can...I also got a female, Missy, about a week ago..i love these fish and they see to love me too

srees54 months ago

i have one betta but his fins accideantally cutted by another betta. what can i do for to grow his fins

NICE INSTRUCTABLE! I had a betta that got some sort of fungus, and by the time I baught the meds, he was dead.

it's not instructables fault, it's yours. You shoulda bought the meds faster.


Not instructables fault your fish had fungus

iGabe (author)  PINKmonster3253 years ago
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