A BETTA STORY
A betta’s scientific name is “Betta Splendens.” The name “betta” originates from a legendary warrior tribe known as the “Bettah.” Other common nicknames are “Siamese Fighting Fish” and “Rumble Fish.” Interest started more than 150 years ago when the Siamese kept these fish for ornamentation. The most common type of betta (the Libby variety) has long flowing fins and come in a wide variety of colours.
Wild bettas are found in ponds, ditches, rice paddy fields and slow moving streams in Cambodia and Thailand.
The male betta is a solitary fish that quietly eats insects and prepares a bubble nest in case a roving female may by chance come along. They require little space to live in, because of their sedentary lifestyle.
To provide a healthy, happy atmosphere for your fish, Petland recommends the following necessary equipment and accessories. We have listed them as your fish’s four basic needs: Nutritional, Environmental, Maintenance and Behavioural. When you meet these needs, your hobby will be an enjoyable one!
For best results, you should start by filling your bowl with “aged” or conditioned water found in existing aquariums. Ask your pet counsellor for a bag of water from one of our aquariums. Typically, bettas come from a pH of 7.0 or neutral. Tap water is suitable for them; however, you must add a water conditioner to rid it of chlorine. Many conditioners also add a protective slime coating, which helps the betta in times of stress, such as moving to a new home.
Larger bowls and aquariums are easier to maintain and decorate. As a general rule, you should not keep more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) of fish per gallon (3.8 L) of water. For example, a 2 gallon (7.6 L) bowl is the best environment for housing a betta (2 inches (5 cm)).
Siamese Fighting fish have a specialized diet. Their preferred foods are bloodworms and tubifex worms, but their diet should be supplemented with a prepared betta diet or food pellets.
Be very careful when feeding your betta. Over feeding, especially in a small bowl, can cause the water to become cloudy and polluted from the accumulation of decaying food. This is very harmful to the fish. When feeding, remember that less is best. A safe recommendation is to feed two to three pieces of food at a time, per feeding. Feed your betta once daily.
A very important fact to remember when caring for your betta is how they differ from other community fish. They come from a very quiet setting. Being placed in an aquarium with active fish can be stressful and overwhelming for them. Bettas with their long flowing fins are irresistible targets to many fast, “fin nipping” tropical fish. They will survive, quite well, living alone.
Bettas are able to see outside their container. They can be frightened by any activity in the room. A plastic plant or decoration will provide a safe retreat when the fish should require it.
Gravel is needed to keep the waste from floating around the bowl and to provide an area to grow bacteria. It also looks great!
Every four – five days pour 2/3 of the bowl water into a clean plastic container.
Using a net, carefully transfer the betta into the plastic container.
Discard the remaining fish bowl water.
Rinse the bowl and gravel with lukewarm tap water.
Fill the bowl 1/3 full with fresh lukewarm tap water (approximately 75°F (24°C)).
Add a water conditioner to the bowl.
Using a net, put the betta back into the bowl.
Carefully pour the bowl water (in the plastic container) back into the fish bowl.
You are done! Don’t fill to the rim of the bowl. This will give your betta a greater surface area to breathe.
Bettas prefer a constant temperature in their environment. Any temperature between 75°F-82°F (24°C-28°C) is suitable as long as it changes less than 2° in 24 hours. Small heaters are available for aquariums in rooms that fluctuate in temperature.
Never use glass cleaner or other household chemicals to clean your bowl. They are toxic to your fish!
Water Filters – Fish bowls can be equipped with a small filter. Under gravel filters or sponge filters will greatly improve the quality of your fish’s environment and health. Filters will also reduce the frequency of the water changes required.
Please ask your pet counsellor what other items pertain to your particular pet’s needs.