If you are considering setting up a Betta aquarium then congratulations, you have chosen a beautiful and very popular aquarium fish that originally came from the tropical waters of Thailand, Borneo and Malaysia. The betta fish holds the scientific name of betta Splendens and it is also known as the Siamese fighting fish. This is because males are territorial and will fight for domination. In the wild this is not usually a huge problem, as the "loser" will escape to safety. However, in the betta fish tank, this of course is not possible and often males will fight to the death.
Here we hope to provide you with valuable information about maintaining and caring for betta aquariums and which will help you to provide a stress free environment or your bettas to thrive and maybe even multiply in.
There are of course many aspects of betta and aquarium care. These are some that we want to cover here:
1. Various different types of equipment and supplies for your betta tank.
2. Proper maintenance of your betta fish tank which will help to maintain the health of your fish.
3. How to breed bettas and care for the fry.
4. Feeding, filtration and water conditions help to keep your fish healthy so they live longer.
SIZE OF THE TANK
As a rough guide a tank of around 10 to 12 gallons, should be ideal for the single fish. You may of course choose a bowl or jar and your fish, although some think this is unacceptable. An important part of the betta aquariums is a lid that is tight fitting, as the fish are well known for their ability to jump out of the water.
TEMPERATURE AND FILTRATION
Water temperature is one of the most important factors to good betta fish care, so try to maintain water temperature between 24 C to 29 C / 75F and 84 F. When considering a filter bear in mind that this fish is not one of the strongest swimmers, so any current generated by your filtration system should be minimal if you want to avoid stressing your fish.
PLANTING THE AQUARIUM
As in their natural habitat, plants should be included in the betta aquarium. They provide a place for your fish to hide and rest in. You may want to consider providing your fish with some floating plants. Should you decide you want to breed bettas these can be used as homes for the bubble nests that your male fish will create when mating.
It is possible to keep Betta fish with tank mates. The Corydora catfish, which is a "bottom tank hugger", makes a great companion for instance. Females and males can live happily on their own and never put two males together. Females can be grouped together, however if doing so group at least 6 together so that aggression is evened out in the betta aquarium.
Common Betta Diseases And Symptoms
You can help to prevent sickness and disease within your aquarium community by performing proper tank maintenance, doing water tests and changing the water etc… these things will help to reduce stress on your fish and they will be better able to stay healthy. However at times your Bettas may still fall sick. Here are some of the common Betta diseases and the symptoms you may see.
Fungal infections – Cotton wool like patches or spots on the head or body of your fish. The color of your fish may have paled and they may stop eating. Your fish may also be less active. Fungal infections are contagious so diseased fish should be quarantined so they don’t infect tank mates.
Tail/fin rot – The fins or tail of your Betta seem to be getting shorter and they take on a frayed appearance. This unfortunately is usually a symptom of poor water conditions. However with treatment the fins or tail will grow back, but their fins might not return to the prime ones your fish once displayed.
Ick – If your Betta fish has developed Ick, a parasite, then they will look like they have been sprinkled with salt. Ick shows as tiny white dots all over the fish, including the eyes. A good sign of Ick is if you see your fish darting/rubbing themselves on rocks and plants in the tank, this means he is scratching and trying to remove the irritation.
Popeye – Popeye is a bacteria that affects the eyes of your fish and makes it appear that the eye is popping out of the fishes head. Popeye is usually a bacterial infection brought on by poor water conditions. However, there are cases when Popeye in your fish can be a sign of something more sinister, for example, tuberculosis.
Dropsy – Unfortunately, dropsy is one of the most common Betta diseases and is also one of the most deadly. This disease however is relatively easy to diagnose, as your fish will bloat around the stomach area. In fact, it may appear to blow up like a balloon and the scales will be raised from the body. These are more apparent when viewed from the top of the tank. There is no known cure for dropsy and if your fish shows signs of this illness you may want to euthanize him/her or isolate the fish while nature takes its course.
Swim bladder – This is another of the common Betta diseases but this one can be cured and in some cases, the disease will go away of its own accord. Usually it is a sign of over feeding the fish or one fish being greedy. Your fish may have difficulty in swimming and may rest on the bottom of the tank
These are just some of the many Betta diseases that you may come across while keeping these beautiful fish. The good health of your aquarium inhabitants is much easier to ensure when proper tank maintenance is performed. Prevention of these common diseases is easier than treatment. Of course there are many more diseases that can harm your fish so a good book on diseases and cures can be invaluable during times of crises. Looking for more resource information about betta fish keeping? Check out Aquariumfishcity.com. Happy fish keeping!