The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Betta Fish Happier and Healthier

Bettas are beautiful, graceful fish with a lot of personalities. They’re commonly called “fighting fish” because, for many years, that’s all people kept to fight them. Today, betta care has come a long way. People now recognize the stress-fighting put on these animals and the cruelty of forcing them to fight to the death. More importantly, people recognize how to care for betta fish beauty and specific needs as aquarium residents instead of livestock. This article covers everything you need to know about caring for your betta fish, including water conditions, appropriate housing, feeding habits, and more.

Betta Basics

Bettas are beautiful, long-finned tropical fish that come from the warm, shallow waters of Thailand, Vietnam, and other regions in Southeast Asia. They’re quite hardy and easy to care for. Many people keep bettas in tiny bowls, which is both cruel and extremely bad for the fish. Contrary to popular belief, bettas do not naturally live in tiny swamps, but rather in larger bodies of water with a lot of plants. A healthy betta lives for up to 5 years. Bettas are known for their long fins, which are called “flaming swords.” They also have long, flowing tails. Male bettas have larger, more vibrant coloring than females do.

Water Conditions for Happy Bettas

Bettas need warm, clean water and a lot of plants. Most people who keep their betta in an aquarium have the wrong idea about what the water should be like. Bettas are tropical fish and need warm, clean water. The temperature should be between 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is too cold, they will go into a state called “suspended animation” where they slow their metabolism down and don’t move around much. There are lots of aquatic plants that are suitable for bettas.

They love live plants, but you can also use fake ones. Bettas prefer fairly still water. They’re not strong swimmers, so they tend to hang out on the bottom of the tank. Placing a few plants to break up the current is a good idea not only will the plants look nice, but they’ll provide a place for your betta to rest. You don’t need to do any special water testing for bettas. The water should be crystal clear and smell slightly like chlorine. If you can’t see the bottom of the tank, then the water is cloudy and needs to be changed. If the water smells bad, then it’s time to clean the tank.

Housing for a Healthy Betta

Bettas need a lot of space. They’re very active fish, and they get bored easily if they don’t have anything to explore. At the bare minimum, a betta needs a 5-gallon tank. If you put two males in the same tank, they will fight. Males mark their territory by flaring their fins, chasing each other, and even sometimes biting each other. Females are not as aggressive. A betta tank needs to have a dense amount of plants.

You can use both live and plastic plants. Bettas love hiding in plants, so having a dense amount is very important. Bettas need hiding places. They’re very shy, and they like to have a quiet place to rest. A betta tank can be decorated with artificial plants or other decorations, but make sure there are places for the fish to hide.

Betta Food Options

Bettas need a lot of food since they’re active fish. They should be fed at least once per day. You can feed your betta regular fish food, but it’s best to feed them something specialized for bettas. Feeding the betta pellets or sinking wafers is a good idea, as this food will sink to the bottom and not pollute the water. Bettas have tiny mouths, and their teeth are not very strong.

They can’t eat anything bigger than their mouths; they’re basically like tiny little birds who can’t open their mouths and swallow. This is why bettas need a very soft, mushy food that they can just suck into their mouths. Betta food comes in many different flavors. There are even foods that have a little bit of glitter or a little toy inside. These are fun for your betta, but beware, too much of these toys can cause constipation.


Bettas are popular fish that have a beautiful, graceful appearance. They’re active, easy to care for, and come in many different color morphs. They need warm, clean water with a lot of plants. Bettas need a spacious tank with places to hide, and they need a special diet that they can suck through their mouths. If you know how to properly care for your betta, then you will have a happy, healthy fish.

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