Although they need less water than most other fish to survive, betta fish still like having plenty of space. Make sure that your tank is at least 2.5 gallons, preferably more. You also want to make sure you are taking care of your betta fish correctly since they need more than just space to be happy.
This article will go into further detail on how much space betta fish like and why. It will then describe the dos and don’ts of properly taking care of your betta fish.
Do Betta Fish Prefer Small or Large Spaces?
The bigger the better
Although they are capable of surviving in smaller spaces, they prefer a tank that is at least 2.5 gallons. And even then, larger tanks are more preferable. Just because betta fish can survive with less water than most other fish doesn’t mean they don’t still deserve and love lots of space to swim around.
Many people believe that since betta fish don’t need much water, they will be fine, or even prefer being kept in small spaces. This has led to a lot of mistreatment of betta fish found by PETA. Betta fish should never be forced into a small bowl.
What is the best type of tank for my betta fish?
Betta are freshwater fish, so they require a much easier aquarium system than saltwater fish do. Most common tanks you can find at a pet store will work well, as long as it is at least 2.5 gallons, but preferably 5 gallons or more. It is also best to get a tank that is long and not too deep because betta don’t really swim up and down.
More space also means you can include more rocks and plants in the tank. Betta fish need more than just open water and enjoy having little places they can hide in. Make sure you include various plants, and maybe some driftwood or a cave for your betta to play around.
If your betta fish seems lethargic or energetic, this could mean they are bored. Some people mistake this as laziness. If kept in too small spaces, betta fish cannot move around, so they seem boring or lazy when actually they just don’t have enough room.
Low water temperature can also lead to lethargic activity. You want to keep the tank heated. Betta fish can be quite playful and are very active, as long as they have enough space. You also don’t want to leave them in a boring, empty tank.
How Do I Care For My Betta Fish?
Many people believe betta fish can survive off plant roots, but they are actually carnivores. They eat insects and larvae in the wild. It is best if you feed your betta pellet or flake food made specifically for betta fish.
You can also give your betta little treats! Brine shrimp and bloodworms can help supplement some extra protein besides the normal fish food, and they’re extra enjoyable.
Just like any other animal, fish can be overfed. Dr. Keller, a teacher at the University of Illinois suggests giving them a daily dose of what they can eat within three to five minutes. This gives them enough, but also ensures extra food won’t sink to the bottom and contaminate the tank over time.
Betta are best left in a tank by themselves. Being confined with rival fish, or even just seeing them in another tank nearby, can stress betta. Male bettas are especially territorial and will fight each other or other brightly colored fish seen as threats.
Despite this, some fish or other aquatic creatures like ghost shrimp or American dwarf frogs are able to live peacefully with betta fish. It all depends on compatibility between the species. Always do some research before introducing a new species to the tank.
Betta fish are independent, so you don’t need to worry too much about them getting lonely. They can get bored, however, so just make sure they have lots of space to roam, places to hide, and objects to interact or play with.
Betta are tropical fish. They enjoy warmer waters, and the perfect range is 76 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit (or 24 to 27 degrees Celsius). Check the temperature daily, and if needed you can buy a simple water heater to keep the tank at that perfect temperature.
A lot of people think that since wild betta fish live in murky puddles, they don’t need a filtration system for their tank. This is not true. A water filter is important to clean up waste and uneaten food. If left in the tank too long, toxins can build up from these.
You should purchase a gentle or low flow water filter. Betta fish fins are delicate and can be damaged by the suction in higher flow filters. Their fins also do better in calmer water in general.
Do not use tap water in your fish’s tank. Tap water often contains harmful chemicals such as chlorine and even heavy metals. You shouldn’t use distilled water either because it doesn’t contain the minerals and vitamins important for fish health.
The best option is to use bottled water. If you have to use tap water, use a dechlorinating product as well and test for dangerous metals.