Fish - Betta Fish
The Betta fish (also commonly referred to as Siamese fighting fish) is a very popular type of freshwater fish. Betta fish are extremely common among aquarium hobbyists because of their beautiful color and easy-to-tend to nature. Betta fish come in a wide variety of beautiful colors including blue, turquoise, red, yellow, and orange. There are many different patterns, and breeders are continuing to experiment and develop new colors and combinations. Males are more commonly sold than females because of their colors.
Betta fish have upturned mouths and eat a diet consisting of meat and vegetables. They are carnivorous surface feeders, and in captivity should be fed a diet of commercial betta pellets complemented with frozen bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp. Commercial betta pellets are made up of mashed shrimp, wheat flour, fish meal, brine shrimp, and additional vitamins. Many people will feed their betta fish hatching brine shrimp. Brine shrimp is the easiest fish food to procure and cultivate. They are also very nutritious for your fish, especially during their early stages. They should be fed sparingly approximately three times per week.
Care and Handling for Your Pet
Betta fish usually grow to a length of three inches at adulthood, including fins. Male and female bettas flare out their gill covers in order to impress or intimidate during the act of courtship. Other reasons for this include being startled or aggressive. Males and females will also signal distress with horizontal color bars. The behavior of betta fish has been studied for years because of their aggressive nature. Male betta fish will commonly fight to the death of another male. Males even respond aggressively towards their own reflection. They are not the as interactive with humans as some other species of fish, but they can be trained to respond to feeding cues, like a hand being placed over the tank. If properly cared for, Betta fish can live up to four years in captivity, with some even living to nine years.
Male betta fish are best housed alone because of their aggressive nature. Housing males with other males will result in one or the other being killed during a fight. Female and male betta fish should also be housed separately because they will often be attacked as well. If you are breeding make sure to remove the female immediately after the process, because if left too long, they will most likely fight with the male. Betta fish can live with other fish, as long as they are smaller and have small fins so that the betta does not feel threatened.
A tank should be at least 10 gallons in order to provide enough living space for your new pet. The bigger the tank, the better for your new fish’s health. The temperature in the tank should be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The tank does not need to have a current, but they need to be able to breathe from the surface of the water. It is very important to closely monitor the water temperature and pH levels for the health of your new fish. The entire tank should be cleaned out at least every three weeks to prevent disease and bacteria from growing.
Most accessories required for your new betta fish will be to furnish its tank. Betta fish love to hide and dart so it is important to give them a landscape that will allow them to do so. They require a tropical temperature tank with plenty of gravel and plants to provide a habitat close to what they may find in the wild. Female betta fish can make a great addition to a tank, but make sure to house male bettas separately as they will become aggressive and fight.
Now that you have your betta’s habitat all set up make sure that the water is of similar temperature in order to prevent shock. Once your fish is in the tank let it become familiar with it and make it home. Initially you may notice some peculiar behavior from your fish as he may not be moving around too much, but don’t worry: he is just becoming acquainted with his new home.
Betta fish require minimal upkeep and can live for a long time. Make sure that you provide adequate amounts of food and clean your betta fish’s tank regularly to ensure that it remains healthy and happy. Now it is time to sit back and enjoy the beauty that a betta fish can bring to your home.