Bettas, also known as the Siamese Fighting fish, are native to Thailand and can be found in enormous rice patties. In captivity with proper care they can live up to 6 years!
Behavior: Male bettas should never be housed together or with females. Females can be kept in groups called “sororities” in a tank of at least ten gallons and plenty of hiding spots and cover. Bettas have a special organ called a labyrinth lung that allows them to breathe from the surface of the water, making them one of the only fish who can live in an unfiltered environment.
Feeding: Bettas are carnivores and eat special pellets formulated to meet all their dietary needs. Make sure not to over feed your betta. 2-3 pellets once a day is plenty. Your betta may act like it is begging for food, but overfeeding can actually hurt your betta. Your bettas stomach is about the size of his eyeballs, so he really doesn’t need much food! Make sure to remove any uneaten food after a couple minutes so that it doesn’t go bad.
Housing: Bettas can be kept in bowls (a minimum of one gallon is preferred), but do best in 2.5 gallons or more. Bettas do not need a filter, but adding one is always a good idea. A filter helps keep the tank or bowl clean and healthy and extends the time between cleanings, making it easier for you! Just make sure that the filter is not to strong, bettas prefer calmer waters. Bettas are tropical and do best in waters of around 76 to 80 degrees, and a heater can help you achieve that. If you choose not to use a heater, make sure to keep your betta away from direct sunlight and drafts.
Bettas are intelligent little fish and do best with some stimulation in their environment. Live or silk plants give them a place to rest and hide, while betta toys like the Betta Hammock and the Betta Exercise Mirror give them something to do and you something fun to watch!
If you keep your betta in a filtered environment, we recommend a 25% water change (using a gravel vacuum) once a month. If you keep your betta in a bowl or unfiltered tank, its best to do a complete water change every 7-14 days depending on the volume of water. Always make sure that the new water is around the same temperature as the old water, and that it has been treated with a betta safe water conditioner.