The first thing that you need to consider when caring for betta fish, is their diet. You might have to go somewhere that sells betta fish top quality food with expert advices. Betta fish are carnivorous animals and they mainly feed off zooplankton and larvae when they are in the wild, however they are not fed these in captivity.
What do betta fish eat?
The usual diet for a betta fish in captivity, would consist of daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp. A popular betta fish food, is combination betta pellets, which is basically just a mash up of all the normal food that you would normally feed a betta, except it also has some added vitamins, to boost your betta’s immune system and help it maintain it’s color. Personally, I believe that the combination betta pellets are the best type of food for your betta to have due to the fact that they have added vitamins that your betta would normally miss when just eating bloodworms, daphnia and brine shrimp alone. Some people swear by different types of betta food, but in my experience, I find that combination betta pellets work best.
I often find that varying my betta’s diet helps it to maintain it’s beautiful colors and helps it stay healthy. Varying your betta’s diet will lead to a more varied and balanced diet, which often increases the protein intake of your betta, which will help to repair your betta should it ever get injured.
From my personal experience I often find that giving my betta a set amount of food each day, can be quite harmful to the betta. One thing that I notice, is that when I put too much food in, some of it gets left over, causing bacteria to grow and this can often lead to your betta getting sick more often. I like to break up my betta’s feeding times to between 2-3 times a day. Some days I will give him 2 lots of his food and on others I will give him 3. I do this, because I find that it tends to reduce the amount of food left over after he is finished eating.
When you are choosing what food to give to your betta, keep in mind that betta fish usually eat from the surface of the water when they are in the wild and so they have a slightly upturned mouth, meaning that it is best if you can buy food that floats, as this will make it so much easier for your betta to eat.
I find that the best thing to do when you are learning about betta care, is to simply experiment within my guidelines and see what works best, because all betta fish are different and some may have a preference. That is just something that you will have to accept as part of the learning process.
What are the right tank conditions?
People who are new to betta fish care often ask me what the right tank conditions are for their betta. They often tell me that they hear a lot of contradictory advice. Hopefully I will iron out a few myths about caring for betta fish in the next few paragraphs.
The water in your betta fish’s tank does need to be changed often. Lots of people say every two weeks, however I find that changing it every week gives much better results and my betta seems a lot happier when I change the water weekly. You should avoid changing all of the water in your betta’s tank at once, because this will cause a big shock to your betta because the chemistry of the water will have changed so much. I always try to change about 10-15% of the water every week , so that the betta gets the best balance of a healthy tank, without having to go through a big change in conditions. Please note that you need to do this even if you have a filtering system, because the filtering system does not get rid of all of the bad chemicals.
The temperature of the tank needs to be maintained at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the betta comfortable. Make sure you measure the temperature when you change the water. The temperature needs to be so specific, because betta fish originate from Asia, where they were used to temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit plus.
Transporting your betta
The easiest way to transport your betta is to go to your local pet store and ask for betta transfer cups, but I would imagine that most places sell them. I don’t know the exact name for them, but I have used them a lot and they do a good job. It is basically like a plastic cup/tub thing that has a plastic sheet across the top. You need to put holes in the plastic sheet, so that the betta can get air.
Hopefully this has provided you with enough basic info to make you confident that you will be happy caring for betta fish, although don’t worry, because it can be hard to learn betta care from just a small article. I have put together a completely free betta care secrets email course, where I take you step by step through exactly how to care for your betta. If you would like to learn more about betta care then, I recommend that you sign up for it on the form below. Thanks for reading and good luck!