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Caring for Betta Fish

Category Fish
A blue betta or Siamese fighting Fish.
Some of the prettiest fresh water fish, Bettas don't require as much special treatment as you may think. This guide is about caring for betta fish.

Solutions

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February 27, 2009

I have to mention what good pets Bettas make. They are the fighting fish you buy in the little jars at the pet store. Of course, they need bigger bowls to be happy, like a goldfish bowl or a little bitty tank you can buy for a couple of bucks at Walmart, about the size of a margarine container.


Here is how to care for them:

They love to eat dried bloodworms. Mine eat about 5 times a day, about six worms at a time. I supplement the food with other fish food too, but they love the worms the most.

This is so funny, they wag their fins when they see you coming to feed them. They like you to talk to them and they love to be in the center of activity so they can watch what is going on. I taped a mirror on the side of the tank, and it makes the fish feel he is not alone. He doesn't fight it, he loves it. He has learned to not jump into the tank after I have cleaned it. He goes right up to the edge of the bowl and looks but won't jump.

They have emotions, believe it or not. Sometimes I have to move the tank out of the kitchen because it is so cold in there. He sulks the whole time he is in the living room. He loves the kitchen on the stove, that is his favorite place.

One thing, they jump, so be careful. I learned this the hard way and lost one to this bad habit they have of being jumpers or going after a fly on the top of the bowl or tank.

Changing the water: Mine has grown so large that I have to change the water every day. I pour a mixing bowl full of water and put the amount of water conditioner to get rid of chlorine in the bowl. It is just a normal size mixing bowl and I put two drops of dechlorinator in there. I make sure the water is room temp, better to be warm than cold.

Then I scoop up the fish and water in the cup, careful of not touching it at all. Nets can hurt the fish by making sores from contacting the fins and scales. Put him in the new water. I then pour out the old water and then pour a little of the new water in the now clean tank and then scoop the fish out of the bowl with the cup, and then pour the rest in.

The fish has come to love this routine. He is a doll. When I go to wash my hair in the kitchen sink, he loves it and gets all waggly and wiggles all over the tank. I have had this one for about a year, he is so beautiful.


Rabbits make sweet pets too. Lop ears are great and Florida Whites, that is all I have experience with.

I had a Japanese hooded rat that was aggressive, we rescued it from the shelter, but couldn't handle it, it had been abused and hated people. He bit me so badly, I had to soak the finger in Betadine over a period of four weeks before it ever healed and then had to get a tetanus booster. Rabbits don't seem to bite and guinea pigs don't seem to bite either, although I am sure there are exceptions. I have never had a hamster that did not bite, and gerbils are so fast you cannot really handle them to get bit in the first place, but I love them just the same.

Crickets are fun pets to get, they are so nice and easy. They shed their skins like snakes and the males sing.

Ferrets are cute and sweet but they bite habitually until you train them out of it and they are so smart they require a lot of care and attention. Mine used to hear the door open and run next door to scare the lady who lived there. I never got mine housetrained to a litter box, but they got sick a lot it seems like. My vet told me you cannot put lots of little ones together because of the "slime", an infection they can pass to one another. I love ferrets though, they are hilarious.

I hope this helps anyone thinking of a small pet and wondering about how they act and react to children and other caregivers.

Remember, until all animals have a home, adopt a friend from the local shelter. Please have your dog or cat spayed or neutered for it's own health and safety. And for all the dogs and cats out there who did not ever find a home, who are waiting for a home over the rainbow bridge. Please consider adoption! :)

By Robyn from Hampton, TN

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 1 found this helpful
March 10, 2016

We love animals at our house. We have one betta, lovingly named Mr. Red, who lives in our bathroom. We recently decided to buy two more bettas, and keep them in the kitchen. They are interesting fish, and very easy to to take care of. They need water which is not cool, but lukewarm, or as I call it, neither hot or cold, in these tanks. They like to be talked to and interacted with. Here is how we take care of and house our bettas in our home.

Total Time: 15 minutes

Supplies:

  • 1 Bottle dechlorinator like AquaSafe ($3.00)
  • plastic shoe box
  • fish food
  • 1 betta and the small bowl they come in

Steps:

  1. Rinse with water (no soap) and fill plastic shoebox with water leaving about 2 or 3 inches for air space.
  2. Put 10 drops of AquaSafe dechlorinator into water. Wait a few seconds.
  3. Take Betta container lid off of small bowl, carefully pour a little water out, and submerge bowl in water, letting the betta swim out. There is no fish in this photo.
  4. Put 2 or three food pellets in the tank and see if the Betta eats them. I don't feed more than 2 to 4 pellets a day, because my Bettas let any more than that fall to the floor of the tank and pollute the water.
  5. Bettas like to feel they can get away and hide, but don't buy just any decoration. Any item in their tank needs to be soft and smooth, in order to keep from harming their beautiful fins. I bought a little smooth rock with about three or four holes where he can swim in and out of. I keep my tanks covered with anything that does the trick, of giving them a feeling of being hidden.
  6. I change the water about every three or so days or when I feel they need it. When changing the water, scoop the betta carefully up in its original container, it can be tricky at first, but the suction of water filling the tiny Betta bowl will smoothly bring him into the bowl. Set in a safe place.
  7. Empty old water out, fill with water that is not hot, but has no coolness to it, or as I do, touch the old water and try to match that temperature.
  8. Add 10 drops of dechlorinator, and in a few seconds, submerge the Betta bowl in the water on its side and let the Betta swim out.
  9. Your Betta is now in his new home. Take photos and share your beautiful Betta with other ThriftyFun readers, like me!
Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 1 found this helpful
June 6, 2011

For many years I thought that Bettas had to be kept in a tank all by themselves, because they would fight with any other fish that was in there with them. I want to clear that up.

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Read More...

By 2 found this helpful
October 23, 2016

I have a pet betTa fish, named Nemo, who loves to look at colorful things. His food jar has a picture of a betta fish which he loves. He will get mad and swim frantically if the fish food jar is not put back just right. Just recently I put a frozen dinner cardboard empty container where he could see it.

Colorful Environment for Betta Fish

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 2

Videos

April 17, 2012

I found this video on youtube.com and it was great. I wanted to share it with all of you who are interested in Bettas. This video goes over how not to house them in those "death bowls", what kind of plants and fish not to use with them, and other important things, like water conditioner and such.

By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 23, 20060 found this helpful

Do beta fight other fish?

Kara from Lexington

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 24, 20060 found this helpful

Yes Beta fish are extremely territorial. Don't put them in the same tank! They are also cannibals and will eat their own kind. In the wild they live in separate pockets in corals their whole life seldom coming into contact with any other Beta fish. The way they multiply is like this the female lays the eggs in one place the Beta males all fight for the right to contribute to the eggs. The one left standing and alive is the one that spawns the future fish. Another pocket is set aside for the mother fish. The eggs mature on their own and never come into contact with the mother fish ever again in their life. One fish per tank sorry!

Good luck.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 24, 20060 found this helpful

yes, beta fish will attack, fight and kill even larger fish. they should not be placed in a tank with slower moving fish or the slower swimming fish will starve b/c the beta will be too quick and eat all the food. they should also be the only beta in a tank as they will fight each other. they're in the goldfish catagory, very hearty, but very dirty. they like cooler temperatures than tropicals. they also will jump right out of the tank if you don't have a lid. i lost one that way. very pretty though. if you hold up a mirror they'll get all agitated at their reflection b/c they think it's another beta.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 25, 20060 found this helpful

When we were at the pet store they had two glass fish bowls sitting side by side each with a beta in it. They were fighting , charging to the glass at each other. They weren't even in the same tank but were still trying to get to the other one. They like a hermit life style. lol

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 25, 20060 found this helpful

Male Beta fish will fight and kill other male Beta fish and will do so wih female Beta fish after they are done breeding with them BUT they are fine with other fish that are NOT agressive. If a Beta fish is placed with another type of fish with aggressive tendencies (such as a gourami) they will actually attack the Beta! They will tear at the Beta's fins, chase him and ultimately kill him.

I had Beta's off and on for years and have had them both solitary and also in an aquarium with other docile fish....both scenarios worked fine.

Good luck!!!

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 25, 20060 found this helpful

I have one female beta (red) in with fancy guppys and they all seem to get along fine.

I was trying to find out out guppys breed, but they don't seem to need instructions, I noticed there are several strings with eyes lol

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 1, 20070 found this helpful

I have two in one tank, purchased them for my kids. We noticed that the dark female is kicking fin on the pale female. The pale female is hiding and cannot get any food. Obviously we have to remove them but why the heck did the pet store tell me that two females in one tank is simply not a problem?

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

To debbi in sc: beta hate cooler temperatures actually... because they ARE tropical fish. They flourish in warm water. They're fairly clean fish. There aren't any fish who compare as far as filth when you're talking about goldfish. And to the dad who had two female betas: The petstore told me that too. But I only purchased one beta female. I put a mirror up to the glass and at first I got no response- but then her little gill flaps fanned out and she was ready to attack. I think it just depends on the fish. A woman I know had a beta for years in a tank with several goldfish mollies. Apparently he knew he was the prettiest in the tank. Lol. This is winter- she makes a terrific roommate at school.

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 12, 20070 found this helpful

I thought my blue beta was aggressive until i got a purple one. The color doesn't seem to contribute to the agrressiveness at all. It was funny though - they fan their tails up every time they see each other in separate tanks. The purple one actually chases my large white goldfish during water changes (they are not kept together) - because both fish are very aggressive. The white goldish use to boss everyone around until he met purple beta. Now, Tanker (my large white golfish) runs away from Hunter (purple beta) - it's so cool! I think Beta's are fascinating and very beautiful for fresh water fish. They also seem to have a sarcastic personality - like - my owner is such an idiot and they just stare at you. I really think they are a great fish.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 17, 20080 found this helpful

I have a plecostmus (catfish/tank cleaner). My BETA has killed two (2) plecostmus? Can anyone help because I do need a tank cleaner. Thanks

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Photos

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By 2 found this helpful
March 24, 2016

Your Pet's Age
This male Betta fish is smaller than most, but I don't know the age.

Your Pet's Breed
Betta

How and when did you get your pet?
He looked like he could use a helping hand, so I brought him home.

What does your pet like to do for fun?
For the first few weeks, he tried to hide away from everyone. I bought him this little fish house from Walmart, and now he is happier and comes out more.

Do you have anything else to share about your pet?
He is probably going to be much more relaxed after a couple more weeks go by. He is adorable, but doesn't like posing for pictures ;)

Comment Like this photo? 2
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