BETTA CARE SHEET
Bettas (also known as Siamese Fighting ﬁsh) are an ornamental species that have been bred to achieve many different colour and ﬁn shapes. Bettas are very easy to care for and we have listed instructions below to help you keep these wonderful ﬁsh.
The Betta is native to the South-East Asian region of Thailand (formerly Siam), Cambodia and Vietnam. They live in shallow bodies of water like rice paddies. Bettas are excellent jumpers and will jump from bodies of water to ﬁnd new territories, cleaner water or richer food sources.
The species attracted the nickname “Siamese Fighting ﬁsh,” because of their aggressive nature. Males will ﬁght to protect their territory or lose their breeding ground to stronger males.
Bettas have been bred for over 1,000 years for both ornamental and ﬁghting purposes, although in Australia allowing these ﬁsh to ﬁght is illegal and considered cruel.
SETTING UP HIS HOME
When considering a home for your Betta, a glass container is best as it can be easily kept clean and sterilised. You can use a bowl, vase or large jar etc, just be sure that it holds at least 3-4 litres of water. Containers smaller than this tend to stress the ﬁsh, leaving them vulnerable to illnesses like ﬁn rot or bloat.
Make sure your container is clean and does not smell of toxic chemicals. You can use vinegar to clean the container, then rinse with fresh water. Do not wipe with any kitchen sponges or cloths that contain anti-bacterial chemicals.
Add 1 drop of water conditioner (or as per instructions on the bottle) and ﬁll the tank with tap water.
Check with your thermometer that the water is about 24-27ºc (closer to 26ºc the better) then place the Betta into the aquarium. Do not feed for him for 12 hours.
Pellets tend to be easier to feed to Bettas and make less mess, however they will accept most ﬁsh food. Your Betta will eat about 6-10, 2mm sized pellets once a day. You can split this into two feedings if your wish. Bettas also enjoy live foods like mosquito wrigglers and bloodworms, they will thoroughly enjoy frozen bloodworms too!
CLEANING THE AQUARIUM
In an aquarium that holds 4 litres of water, you’ll need to take 50% of the water out and replace it with fresh water once a week. Every second cleaning, it’s recommended to rinse the gravel and change 100% of the water.
Performing a Partial (50%) Water Change
Take out 50% of the water using a cup or siphon.
Fill a clean jug with tap water as close to the temperature of your Bettas aquarium as possible.
Add the water conditioner to the jug of water then gently pour the water into the aquarium
Performing a 100% Water Change
Take note of the temperature of your aquarium.
Take your ﬁsh out of the aquarium and keep in a clean cup or container of aquarium water.
Take out all the plants and ornaments.
Using a dedicated aquarium sponge, wipe down the sides of the aquarium.
Stir the gravel around with your hand to suspend the dirt in the water then pour out the dirty water.
Add water conditioner to the empty aquarium and ﬁll with tap water close to the temperature you were keeping your ﬁsh at (the initial reading you made).
Return your Betta to the aquarium.
Bettas can jump, so it is a good idea to keep a lid on your aquarium. Make sure that air can still get in so the ﬁsh can breathe. If your ﬁsh does jump out, wet your hands before picking him up.
Being a tropical ﬁsh, your Betta will thrive and be most active in warm water about 24-27ºC. If possible, put a small heater in the aquarium or ﬁnd a warm spot in the house that gets an even temperature throughout the day (like on top of a fridge). Keep your Betta away from windows and direct sunlight as the water temperature will ﬂuctuate. Bettas can get sick if the temperature
swings from hot to cold too much. They will sit in the corner and sulk if the tank is too cold.
Like any living creature, your Betta may one day get sick and die. Don’t be too sad if this happens, it’s not always your fault and it is all part of keeping pets. Learn from any mistakes and give it another go.
Minimum Tank Size: 3-4 litres
Filter: Optional. Must have a very gentle water ﬂow
Compatibility: Best kept on their own
Care Level: Easy
Life span: 1-4 years
Max. Size: up to 7cm or 3”
Water Temp: 76-82ºF / 24-27ºC
Water Conditions: 75-86° F, KH 0-25, pH 6.0-7.5