Betta Fish Fin Loss: How To Protect Your Bettas

Betta Fish Fin Loss

Is fin loss in betta fish something to worry about? Should you immediately panic, as you begin to notice the most common signs of betta fish fin loss or rot? In many cases, yes, fin loss is something that should be treated very seriously. However, in other situations, it actually isn’t that big of a deal.

Betta Fish Fin Loss

What Does Fin Loss Really Mean For Bettas?

Also known by such names as tail rot, fin rot, or even fin melt, fin loss in betta fish is fairly easy to notice. You may one day suddenly notice that your betta’s fins appear frayed, or that it even appears as though the fin is missing pieces. You may just notice the color of the betta fin, one of their most beloved physical features, is starting to fade a little bit.

What does all of this mean? Diagnosing fin loss in bettas can be frustrating. This is due to the fairly long list of potential culprits. Further complicating the issue of fin loss diagnosis and treatment is the fact that fin rot and fin loss are NOT the same thing. While the names may be interchangeable to sum, it is key to remember that we are actually talking about two different things.

We’re going to cover these differences in this comprehensive look at betta fish fin loss. We will also be taking a look at common causes of fin loss, when betta fish fin loss requires treatment, and what you can do to keep your betta safe and happy.

What Causes Betta Fish To Experience Fin Loss?

If you notice that your betta fish is experiencing the signs of fin loss, remember that your first move should not be to look for treatment options. Until you know exactly what causes fin loss in betta fish, your treatment choice could prove to be decidedly hit or miss, with missing being the more likely of the two.

When it comes to the main causes of fin loss for bettas, there are a few common possibilities you need to keep in mind:

  • Tank decorations: Believe it or not, but something in your aquarium can be causing the damage, and you wouldn’t even necessarily know it! Obviously, we don’t mean to hurt our bettas. However, some decorations feature edges that are much too sharp. Given that bettas love to swim around, certain rocks and other items can have poking components that can get snagged on their tails. This can cause varying degrees of damage, particularly over time.
  • Biting its own tail: This may sound ridiculous, but it absolutely possible. Stress and/or boredom are the two most common causes for this behavior. If you notice your betta engaging in tail biting behavior, there are several potential causes you will need to explore.
  • Problems with other fish: While betta fish can indeed get along with other types of fish, even other bettas, they are still well-known for their potential to run into problems with tankmates. For example, fish who are both smaller and faster than your betta might be bullying it. This can lead to your betta experiencing damage across its fin, as the other fish might be nipping as they swim past.

These are the three most common causes of fin loss in betta fish.

It is also possible that your betta is suffering from fin rot, which in of itself can lead to fin loss. This is a good point to get into why it’s important to know the differences between fin loss and fin rot in betta fish.

What Are The Key Differences Between Betta Fin Loss And Fin Rot?

The biggest significance difference between fin loss and fin rot? One is an injury caused by one factor or another. The other is a bacterial infection that can give your betta a host of issues.

In other words:

  • Fin rot in betta fish can lead to fin loss.
  • The presence of fin loss does not mean your betta definitely has fin rot.

Fin loss comes with a list of potential treatments. The challenge on your end is to make sure the treatment matches the issue. For example, if the problem is simply that another fish is bothering your betta, you don’t need to explore the treatment choices associated with fin rot. You simply need to move the offending fish.

What Exactly Causes Betta Fish Fin Rot?

Fin loss involves physical tearing. Fin rot will be noticeable in your betta by several different symptoms:

  • The edges of the fins have changed color, resembling something that is more black or brown in appearance.
  • The edges of your betta’s fins are going to appear to be very frayed, worn-down.
  • Look to the base of the fin in your betta. Does it appear to be inflamed? This is one of the most common fin rot causes to watch out for.
  • The fin may begin to fall off, sometimes in very large pieces. This is where fin loss and fin rot intersect. Again, they are not the same thing.
  • In addition to damage to the fin, you should also look for the appearance of whiteish spots. This could mean your betta fish is dealing with a condition known as ICH.

As you can see, fin rot is definitely something that should be taken seriously. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, take steps to deal with fin rot as quickly and effectively as possible.

What Are The Best Ways To Treat Fin Rot In Bettas?

While we can’t take you through everything you need to do about fin rot and bettas (see above), we’ve covered some basic fin rot care tips for your betta fish below:

  • Make sure the water in the tank is consistently being changed.
  • You may want to add aquarium salt to the tank, in conjunction with keeping the water in the tank clean and filtered. This is going to depend on the severity of the fin rot.
  • In certain situations, particularly at the occasional advice of a vet, you can consider the notion of medication. Make sure to follow all directions associated with the prescription.

As important as betta fish fin rot is, it isn’t the main reason why we’re here. Let’s get back to fin loss specifically with a closer look at some of the different ways you can treat and prevent fin loss.

The Best Ways To Treat And Prevent Fin Loss In Betta Fish

At the end of the day, simply paying close attention to your betta fish will give you the ability to determine exactly how to best move forward.

For example, is your betta being bullied by another fish, even another betta? You’ll need to separate them in some form or fashion, or make it less likely for them to bump into each other. Understand that once the cause to the damage has been addressed, the fin loss should clear up all on its own. Bettas are fairly hardy fish. Don’t forget that their fin will almost certainly return to its former brilliance.

Is the culprit a particular tank decoration? Are you not sure which one? Unless you have a massive tank with tons and tons of trees, rock items, and other products, figuring out the cause of your betta’s fin loss isn’t going to be too difficult. After all, betta fish are pretty territorial. Furthermore, they tend to focus on a fairly specific area for that territory. Simply identify and remove the item.

If fin-biting is the culprit behind your betta fish’s fin loss, all you need to do is figure out what is causing the stress or aggravation. It could be any number of things. Just make it a point to keep an eye on your betta, over the course of their day. With a close watch, you should be able to find the issue.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Help Betta Fin Loss?

If the cause does not involve fin rot, or any other bacterial conditions that can lead to fin rot, then getting rid of the trigger will address the rest of the problem. However, if you want to optimize the healing time, while simultaneously preventing the more serious complaint of fin rot from ever occurring, there are several things to take to heart.

Maintaining the best possible water quality should be at the top of your betta fish care guide regardless. Maintaining ideal conditions for your bettas, which extends to making sure the water is being changed on a regular basis, means a betta that will be able to thrive and live for years to come. Some would even go so far as to suggest changing ten percent of the water in your betta aquarium every day, or at least every other day.

Whether you go that far or not, you should also make sure your betta is living in an ideal-sized tank. Anything less than 20-gallons for a betta fish is widely considered to be unacceptable. 10-15 gallons can be just “okay” for a betta, but you will definitely want more than that for any more. Furthermore, larger tanks, even a solo betta, create suitable conditions in which they can thrive.

You may also want to consider feeding your betta a treat known as daphnia. While this shouldn’t be the only thing offered to your betta in their diet, it does contribute greatly to their general health. This doesn’t equal a proven and specific benefit with respect to fin loss, but given its long list of benefits, it really doesn’t hurt to keep some of this stuff around regardless.

Finally, both aquarium salt and API stress coats offer additional ways to keep your tank in the best possible shape for bettas any other life. Aquarium salt leaves your betta with a better slime coat, which protects them from all sorts of things, including fin rot. An API stress coat is quite frankly rather impressive. Not only does it work at conditioning the water in your tank, but it also provides your betta with a de-stressor.

Will My Betta’s Fin Definitely Grow Back?

Almost definitely. It really comes down to the attention you’re going to give them during the healing stage. If you’re doing everything we mentioned in the steps above, the fin of your betta fish is going to be restored in no time at all.

Just keep in mind that the fin of a betta is going to be highly fragile during the recovery stage. You want to keep an eye on your betta to be certain they are eating. You should also keep an eye out for any indications that something new is causing stress to your betta. You don’t want that under any circumstances, but it can be particularly problematic while they are on the mend.

How Will I Know If My Betta Fish’s Fin Is Growing Back?

More likely than not, you are going to be pretty impatient for signs your betta fish’s fin is coming back from fin loss. Regardless of tank conditions, you need to be aware that it is going to take a little while.

Under the best possible circumstances, the fin of your betta fish should begin to grow back in just a few weeks. However, even with everything covered up to this point, it can still take some time for the betta to heal as it should. In most extreme situations, the fin will be fully healed within a few months.

As long as you see some progress, and keep an eye on them, you really shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Look for a clear membrane along the fin of your betta. Do you see it? That means they are in the regrowth stage. They will almost certainly continue to get better from here.

Final Fin Loss Prevention Tips

Preventing fin loss is easier than you might think. Avoid adding aggressive fish to the aquarium, and make sure none of your decorations can potentially cause harm. You can also make sure your betta’s intelligence and playfulness are being met.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

The Best Goldfish Tanks 2020: Which One Is Right For You? [Reviews + Guide]

Goldfish Tanks

As we’ve discussed in the past, your goldfish need so much more than a small bowl and some fish food.

A fish known for its simplicity and hardiness, the goldfish in any form is unfortunately the victim of several dangerous misconceptions regarding its care. The assumption is that you can give your goldfish a bowl, some clean water, a bit of gravel, and nothing more. You feed them a few flakes every day. This goes on, until they pass away after a few months to a year.

This is considered the norm for goldfish care.

Goldfish Tanks

The So-Called Secret To Long Life In Goldfish

However, did you know that under the right care conditions, goldfish can live for at least twenty-five years? It’s true. The oldest goldfishes in the world top out at 40+ years of age.

There is no miraculous reason for this. A goldfish owner with a 20-year-old goldfish does not have to do anything remarkable to achieve this. They simply have to know what a goldfish needs to be healthy and happy. Feeding them a good diet is one example. Another would be making sure you are purchasing an aquarium which is going to be well-suited to their needs and lifestyle.

Again, you don’t have to go to any significant extremes here. With some basic research, you will be able to see clearly how to shop for and purchase a tank your goldfish, and whatever else you put in your aquarium, will love.

Why Your Goldfish Aquarium Is So Important

First of all, let’s just get rid of the notion of a fish bowl altogether. They are simply too small for goldfish in any form or fashion. Bowls are generally only available in sizes as large as five gallons. This is significantly less than what your goldfish will need.

Take the Common goldfish. They can grow as large as a full foot in size. They love to swim quickly throughout their environment. They also tend to leave behind more waste than many other types of fish. For all of these reasons, they need plenty of room in which to move around comfortably. Five gallons, particularly if we’re talking about a tank that doesn’t have any filtration, is not going to cut it by a long shot.

Keep in mind that the Common goldfish isn’t the largest goldfish type out there. Not by a long shot.

What Kind Of Tank Should I Get For My Goldfish?

Breeders and hobbyists all agree that you need a tank that is at least ten gallons. In fact, many suggest going up another size for the minimum to twenty gallons. Obviously, you will want to take the potential limitations of your own space into consideration. Having said that, anything less than ten gallons is really not going to make for a very happy life for any fish you put in it.

Keeping in mind these tank sizes, we can now take a closer look at some of the best specific tanks for goldfish that are currently available. If you want to start with the best possible environments for your aquarium dreams, these are the tanks you will want to check out first.

Which Factors Are Most Important When Choosing A Goldfish Tank?

Different people are going to have different needs when it comes to finding the best goldfish aquarium. If you are new to shopping for one, there are a number of factors that are going to help influence the one that will best suit whatever you have in mind:

Size

We have already made it clear that you want to start with at least twenty gallons in a fish tank. Before you start looking for something that will work for your needs, try to estimate how many fish you’re going to want at the start. It is usually best to start with one or two, but you may feel that you are capable of handling more than that. It also doesn’t hurt to purchase a tank with an eye towards getting more fish for it later on.

Material

Paying attention to which materials are used to make fish tanks is one of the most important things to keep in mind. You want materials that are built to resist breaks, leaking, and even scratches whenever possible. The two main options are glass and acrylic. While both are quite good, many find that glass offers better resistance to scratches and certain types of leaking, and a better overall shape for the goldfish to swim comfortably. Acrylic fish tanks do offer a more aesthetically-pleasing view to outsiders though.

Durability

We’ve touched on this before, but it is well worth repeating a second time. When researching companies that manufacture aquariums, it almost goes without saying that you want a company with a peerless reputation for quality in their products. One of the biggest strengths with acrylic fish tanks, for example, is the way they are generally considered to be stronger than glass tanks. They are also lighter than glass tanks, which means cleaning and carrying them is going to be a lot easier, as well.

Equipment

Decide now if you want a tank with or without the equipment you need for setup.

Filter 

Ideally, you’re going to find an aquarium with a filter that works flawlessly. However, you may have to go out and find one anyway.

Opening: There are different tanks with different types of lids, hoods, openings, or whatever the case may be. If you don’t have a whole lot of space, and every inch counts, you want to focus your search on tanks with low-profile hoods, or something else along similar lines.

Reviews For The Best Goldfish Tanks

1. Aqueon Aquarium 20 Gallon Long

While the height of your aquarium is important, what matters arguably more is the length of the tank. An ideal tank is going to give your goldfish plenty of room to swim around, without having to turn around as much. Goldfish generally like to swim from one end of the tank to the next.

To that end, the 20-gallon long aquarium from Aqueon is going to be a great choice for many hobbyists. Coming in at twenty gallons, the tank is longer, but shallower. Depth is important with any aquarium you might purchase, but it’s not the only thing you’re going to want to keep in mind.

With this option, keep in mind that all you’re getting is the tank. This can be very freeing for those who want to be able to choose their own equipment. At the same time, it may not be a great idea for anyone who is new to keeping goldfish, and may not want to be left to figure out every single thing they are going to need.

The choice is yours to make. However, keep in mind that at the end of the day, building your goldfish aquarium piece by piece is not too terribly difficult.

Aqueon Aquarium 20 Gallon Long
  • High quality glass construction with dimensions 30.25" x 12.5" x 12.75"

2. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

Available in a fantastically-diverse array of sizes and shapes, this is a good example of why quality is so important in the aquarium you choose. You want something that will ideally stand the test of time. Don’t forget that your goldfish can live a quarter of a century with good care. It stands to reason that you will want them in something they can enjoy for years to come.

Another component to this aquarium that we absolutely love is the view it provides. Thanks to careful attention and exceptional materials in the production phase, this aquarium set for goldfish offers a degree of clarity that will make it wonderfully easy to appreciate your goldfish in their daily routine.

You will also appreciate the fact that this tank is made from acrylic. This means an aquarium that is extremely durable, and highly unlikely to leak or ever break. Many goldfish owners who choose this tank, which starts in the 20-gallon tank, do so because it is a good aquarium for homes with kids and pets. It also comes with at least a few of the things you’re going to need to get started.

Just keep in mind that acrylic tanks are a little less resistant to scratches than some choices. Also, the florescent light doesn’t seem to be very popular with some customers.

SeaClear 20 gal Acrylic...
  • Combo includes aquarium, reflector and electrical 15" light fixture

3. Tetra Complete Aquarium Kit

If you’re looking for something that will give you everything you need to get started with a basic aquarium setup, the Tetra Complete Aquarium Kit is going to be a fantastic choice. While perhaps not ideal for those who want to keep a lot of fish, it is perfect for those who are just starting out with one or two fish.

Unpacking everything in this kit, you’re going to find that the name lives up to what it promises. Not only do you have everything you need to get set up with a basic aquarium, but the Complete Aquarium Kit from Tetra is also ridiculously easy to set up. This kit is a very popular choice for parents who want to give their children a start in keeping fish.

The filter is also pretty impressive. Not only does it do the job as advertised, but it is also exceptionally quiet. We also appreciate the fact that despite how much stuff it comes with, you will find yourself still with plenty of room for additional plants and decorations. The LED light associated with this kit is also one of the better selections we have found.

Sale
Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish...
  • Tetra Glass Aquariums are made in the USA and are built to last with scratch resistant glass

4. Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Looking for something a bit bigger than the choices we’ve covered? If you know for a fact that you’re going to want a number of fish in your aquarium right from the start, you’re not going to want to settle for 20 gallons. You probably won’t want to waste your time on a 40-gallon option either.

While the price tag for this second entry on our list for Tetra can strike some as a bit on the steep side, it is hard to argue with the quality, the size of the tank, and what those things will mean to your efforts at keeping goldfish. Much like the entry above, you’re going to find that you’re getting everything you need for an aquarium setup right out of the box. You shouldn’t have to buy anything else, unless you want more plants and decorations.

Also, as is also the case with the above Tetra kit, we would say everything included functions exactly as it should. This is not always the case with aquariums. Some kits are a little lacking in certain areas. Filtration can be one example, which leads to the need for an additional purchase. You shouldn’t have to worry about that here.

Remember that this is a very large tank, with measurements of 51.90″ L x 24.40″ W x 16.40″ H. The tank in of itself weighs nearly eighty pounds. Once you’ve added your water, fish, material for the bottom, and everything else, the weight is over 500 pounds. Keeping all of this in mind, it is something that will occupy a significant amount of time in your space. Make sure you’re going to have plenty of room for not only the aquarium itself, but in terms of being able to comfortably maintain it, change the filter, and so forth.

Sale
Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit...
  • LARGE ENVIRONMENT: Larger environments can house more fish or a greater variety of fish. Maintains water temperature. Essential for tropical fishkeeping

5. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

While available in several other sizes, you are obviously going to want to at least start with the 20-gallon option. This is considered by many to be one of the top aquariums for beginners. There are several reasons as to why this is the case. All of them point to an aquarium that is well suited for those just starting out, as well as those who many not have as much space as they might like.

This is another good kit for those who want to have everything they’re going to need right there in one place. Because this is such a solid starter aquarium kit, you’re also going to appreciate the fact that everything is extremely easy to set up. The instructions are very good indeed at laying everything out in the simplest terms possible.

Again, while compact, the 20-gallon tank itself will be just fine for one or two goldfish. Even maintenance for the tank is refreshingly straightforward. All you need to do is make sure the filter is changed out every month. Aquarium maintenance instructions are included, as well. You won’t have to worry about a thing.

However, some users have complained that the filter is not as strong as it needs to be. While this is something that you can obviously decide for yourself, it can be helpful to keep in mind that goldfish leave behind more waste than many other types of fish.

At the end of the day, this is a quiet, compact, and very affordable aquarium for those who are looking to get started on the right foot.

Marina Aquarium Kit - 20...
  • 20 U.S. gallon glass aquarium

6. Skroutz Aquarium Starter Kit

Our look at the best aquarium starter kits for goldfish continues with this worthwhile entry from Skroutz. While the name may strike you as unusual, note that this is a well-reviewed, widely respected manufacturer of aquarium kits and similar products for enthusiasts of all ages.

One of the more interesting things about this tank is the fact that it clocks in at 29-gallons. This makes it a good option for anyone who wants something a little bigger than a 20-gallon tank, but doesn’t want to go all the way up forty gallons. The Skroutz Aquarium Starter Kit is a nice compromise between those sizes.

The tank includes a hood that is designed for the aquarium to function well in small spaces. Everything about this aquarium is designed to be as compact as possible. At the same time, we would venture to say that everything included in the box is going to work exactly as it should. You may want to supplement or replace the filter, as a small number of people have complained about it, but most find it to be just fine for 1-3 goldfish.

The only thing we would suggest replacing, or at least supplementing, would be the fish food that is included with the kit. While the food is fine for goldfish, you want to give them a reasonably varied diet. What you want to be doing is getting as close as possible to the things they would like to eat in the wild. As far as the best food for goldfish is concerned, you have some great choices available.

Skroutz Aquarium Starter Kit...
  • 29-gallon angle aquarium pack with low-profile hood - Normal light sparkle

Conclusion

Getting the right aquarium is clearly one of the most important decisions you will make as a goldfish owner. With so many different tanks and kits on the market, it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed by just how much is out there.

Don’t worry. Using our guide as your frame of reference, it shouldn’t be at all difficult to find an aquarium that is going to meet your goldfish and other sea creatures’ needs for as long as you have them.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

How To Breed Goldfish The Right Way – A Step By Step Guide (2020)

Breed Goldfish

While owning goldfish can be lighthearted, pleasurable, and a lot of fun, learning how to breed goldfish is something else altogether. Indeed, when it comes to breeding any sort of fish, the challenges and demands are numerous. This is particularly true, when it comes to breeding goldfish.

Which goldfish breeding method is the best? What are you going to need to be successful? How long does it take to begin to see results? We’re going to tackle these questions, as well as others, in this overview guide to breeding goldfish.

Whether you plan to do it for profit or for pleasure, there are several things you’re going to want to keep in mind.

From controlling your spawn, to raising your fry, here is everything you need to get going.

Breed Goldfish

Getting Started With The Right Equipment

There are two notable breeding methods that we’re going to touch on. One is known as the natural method of goldfish breeding, while the other is known as hand-breeding. Each method has their own particulars and challenges.

Before we break down what you need to know about these methods, let’s take a look at the essential equipment every goldfish breeder needs to begin:

  • The main space: This should be a large tank. We would suggest starting in the 50-gallon range, but you may want to consider something even larger. You will also want to make sure this tank includes a good filtration system, the proper decorations, and everything else a standard tank needs to be functional and comfortable.
  • A secondary tank: The main aquarium is only the beginning. You’re also going to need a nice, comfortable tank in which to raise your fry. This tank should be around 10 gallons or 20 gallons. Nothing larger than that should be necessary, particularly for a beginner.
  • A heater: There are a number of different options available to you on this front.
  • Plants: We touched on this above, but it is worth emphasizing. An emphasis on live plants is best. Hornwort is a good example. Silk plants and plastic plants are other options that you can explore.
  • Sponge filter: There are several possibilities for both the 10 and 20-gallon tanks we discussed. You’re going to need this for the fry tank.
  • Air pump: This is another essential component for the fry tank. Research and choose one that you think will suit your needs.
  • Spawning mop: This is entirely optional. This DIY goldfish spawning device is designed to fulfill the role of plants, in terms of catching and keeping the eggs safely. You will want to decide for yourself if one of these is necessary.

Finally, of course, you’re going to want male and female goldfish, as well. You want goldfish who have reached their sexual maturity, which is around one year old. You also want to know how to sex goldfish for breeding correctly. This is one of the aspects of goldfish breeding where things can get a little bit tricky.

How To Sex Goldfish For Breeding Purposes

If you only have room enough in the tank for a single pair of male and female goldfish, that is fine. Some like to hedge their bets with a few males and females. This is fine, as well, provided you have a large enough tank to accommodate all of them comfortably. You should also try to keep more males than females, as this will increase the odds of successful mating.

The challenge on your end is to sex your goldfish correctly. Otherwise, obviously, you aren’t going to get very far.

Sexing is difficult, but generally not beyond these simple measures:

  • Body Shape: While not reliable solely on its own, this measure can nonetheless move you in the right direction. Female goldfish generally enter their breeding age, their bodies become heavier, plumper in appearance. Males as a rule do not gain weight in this fashion. They are more often than not on the slimmer side. Females also can look from asymmetrical than males when viewed from the top of the aquarium or pond.
  • Breeding Stars: Made from very small tubercles, which are small, roundish growths that appear on both plants and animals, these little white dots are well worth seeking out on your goldfish. These growths are made from the same materials as what makes fingernails and hair. When a male is ready for spawning, these dots are going to be easy enough to spot on the scales, pectoral rays, and gill covers. Females can have these spots, but this is considered to be an exceptionally rare event.
  • Vent: Also known as the anus, the vent of the female will start sticking out a little bit, as opposed to the male, when it is ready for spawning. The appearance will be similar to comparing two different belly buttons.

Mood: This is perhaps the most important, or at least easiest, indicator of whether or not your goldfish are ready for breeding. The males will start chasing the females around the tank. You will notice this when they start shoving their heads inside the tails of the female to shove them all around the aquarium. It is not uncommon to see multiple males in pursuit of a single female.

How Do I Get My Goldfish Ready For Breeding?

Once you know for certain that they are in the breeding period, and once you are confident of their respective genders, you can get them ready for the actual breeding process.

Females must exert a massive amount of emergency for spawning. Males do, too, but the demands are particularly substantial fore the females. They are going to need to bulk up to build enough in the way of fat reserves to be able to withstand producing eggs and milting. Before you actually begin to initiate spawning, you will need to spend approximately six months on the conditioning stage.

The transition from winter to spring in nature is what triggers the spawning behavior. If you keep them in a pond, you will want to keep an eye out for some of the indicators we mentioned above. If you are keeping them in your aquarium, you are going to want to start recreating the winter/spring transition. This is where the heater becomes handy. You’ll want to get the temperature in their tank up to around seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit.

When It’s Time To Actually Breed Your Goldfish

At this point, you are now ready for the actual breeding. This is where things can get particularly challenging. It is very easy for the whole thing to go south, and to find yourself being made to begin the work all over again. Any goldfish breeding expert will tell you that this is a trial and error process. Sometimes, it simply doesn’t work out.

Having said that, you are now at the point in which you can determine which breeding method is going to suit your purposes best.

We’re going to cover the basics of each. As you decide the pros and cons of each, make it a point to do additional research that breaks these methods down step by step.

The Two Breeding Methods Explained And Reviewed

First things first: Make sure you have the additional tank on hand to keep the fry in.

The two methods, as we discussed earlier, are known as the Natural Method and the Hand-Breeding Method. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Natural Method is going to rely on expected behaviors to a significant degree. It is perhaps the easiest of the two methods, but it stil requires a great deal of concentration.

You have to keep a close eye on breeding behaviors, as well as anything that may go wrong. You will also need to be ready to have the fry transported to your secondary tank. This is also the point in which you will need to make your own spawning mop. We highlighted this above, and it is not difficult to make by any means.

Then we have the Hand-Breeding Method. This method gives you considerably more control over the breeding process. However, as the name of the method implies, you are going to be required to take things into your own hands. This creates unique challenges that you do not find with the Natural Method. As you also may imagine, there are some similarities between these methods. Up to a certain point, there is only but so much you can do.

Here are some examples of when you may need to pursue the Hand-Breeding Method:

  • You only have one male, who is finding it difficult to locate your female.
  • Your window of time for breeding is a very, very limited.
  • The male is not as active as the Natural Method requires him to be.

These are all good reasons for hand-breeding. Furthermore, some simply like the ability to be in more control of the effort. Just keep in mind that all of this requires a delicate touch in the extreme. The same degree of impressive patience is also demanded. Perhaps, even more so.

Regardless of the breeding method you choose, your eventual goal is to find yourself with a 10 or 20-gallon tank full of fry. Caring for them and then culling them are your final two steps in this arduous, thrilling venture.

When It Is Time To Raise Your Fry

The eggs should be hatched in water no deeper than six inches or fifteen centimeters. Extremely gentle aeration is required, and the water should be maintained in the 70-75F range. Your eggs should begin hatching within two to four days. When this happens, keep in mind that you will not need to feed them for several days. This is because they can live off the yolk of the egg sacs.

Once they begin moving on their own, your fry are going to be absolutely starving. You will want to have fresh brine shrimp handy to keep them fed and happy.

Culling Your Fry

Understand that culling your fry, which is to eliminate the ones with undesirable traits, is NOT something that you are required to do. This is something that is done by those who are breeding for profit, simply because it is not cost effective to care for goldfish that no one is likely to buy.

Even so, particularly among those who breed goldfish for pleasure, some opt to keep whatever they wind up with. For many who go through the long journey of breeding goldfish, the idea of intentionally disposing of any of them seems unfathomable. The choice is ultimately yours to make.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

15 Most Popular Types of Goldfish + Images

Bubble Eye Goldfish

Don’t make the mistake of assuming every type of goldfish is basically the same. While the different goldfish types certainly share a number of similarities, there are in fact some key differences that are well worth keeping in mind. Knowing the specific type of goldfish that you plan to have in your aquarium can ensure you give them the very best of care.

The Benefits Of Owning Goldfish

The Benefits Of Owning Goldfish

If you are just starting to gather your resources to set up your aquarium, goldish are likely to be the first possibility you hear about. Their popularity at this point is iconic. While you may think of them as plain, and not terribly exciting, the truth of the matter is that they have so much to offer your aquarium.

For starters, goldfish, which belong to the Cyprinidae family (which includes carps), come in far more colors than many people realize. Beyond the yellows and oranges that everyone is already familiar with, you will find a range of fish that come in an equally dazzling assortment of colors. Furthermore, goldfish are not some tiny animal, growing to just a few inches. The largest known examples grow to a full foot.

They are bright, intelligent, and very attractive additions to any aquarium. As we discuss the many different types of goldfish out there, you are going to discover that for yourself.

Remember: With proper care, your goldfish, depending on the type, can live anywhere from a full decade to 25+ years. Yes, you read that correctly.

Breaking Down The Different Types Of Goldfish

There are essentially two different categories of goldfish. Those are the ones we’re going to be focusing on here today.

Let’s get to our list of the major types of goldfish. Keep in mind there are approximately 200 different breeds of goldfish out there. We don’t have time to cover them all!

Single-Tailed Goldfish

This classification includes some of the most popular types of goldfish found in pet stores. The list extends to Common goldfish, Comet goldfish, Wakin goldfish, and Watonai goldfish. Each have their own unique characteristics and considerations.

Common Goldfish

Common Goldfish

As the name implies, this is the most common and perhaps popular goldfish type on the planet. You can certainly find hundreds of them in just about every pet store in the world. They are defined by their mix of orange and yellow in their coloring.

While they may lack the intricate, bright patterns of other types of goldfish, there is something understated and simple to their build that remains quite lovely in its own singular way.

They have what could be defined as a normal body, yet also one that is very long. Their fins are fairly straightforward, and not as flashy as some of the other types we will cover. They are the most affordable goldfish type, and they are widely considered to be the hardiest example you are going to find.

In other words, they are basically the perfect beginner’s fish. However, they still require the very best of attention and care.

Comets Goldfish

Comet Goldfish

Despite having similar shapes, sizes, and even coloration similar to that of the Common goldfish, there are some elements to Comet goldfish which set them apart from Common.

This is particularly true when we talk about their caudal fin. You can always tell you’re looking at a Comet goldfish because the caudal fin is going to be just about as large as the rest of their body. Also, the similar coloration to Common differs sharply when we look at the blotches of color which can be found at different points on their body.

Because of their love of swimming, some experts suggest Comet goldfish, which have been popular pets for well over a century, do best in ponds. If nothing else, make sure you are putting these guys in a large tank. You may have to go to the 50-gallon range.

Credit: Juan Carlos Palau Díaz

Shubunkin Goldfish

This is the point in which it becomes clear that goldfish are far more colorful and diverse than they sometimes get credit for. These are utterly gorgeous goldfish. They offer some of the most unique patterns and colors to be found anywhere in the wide world of this fish type.

Available in such varieties as Blue, London, American, and Bristol, Shubunkin goldfish are celebrated for their singular patterns and coloration. Their clear, shining scales are quite something to behold. In fact, if you look closely, you will realize their distinctive dark spots are actually beneath the scales themselves!

Wakin Goldfish

This is another profoundly fascinating example of different goldfish types. Despite some marked similarities to Koi, to the point where Wakins are sometimes mistaken for them, this is in fact one of the most characteristic goldfishes we’re going to cover here.

Why do people love the Wakin? Perhaps, it is because they are the only single-tailed goldfish to spotlight two caudal fins, in addition to a pair of anal fins. This gives them an appearance that truly sets them apart from the seemingly endless array of types and breeds.

In fact, some dispute whether or not the Wakin is single-tailed or fancy. Due to the build and other features, it makes more sense to us that they should be seen as a single-tailed example.

Jikin Goldfish

Jikin Goldfish

Here we find another example of a single-tailed goldfish with an almost overwhelming aesthetic appeal. Purely on the basis of their looks, they are another very popular, sought-after goldfish example.

The body type is very similar to that of the Wakin. Both are quite long, and both are notable for the presence of the double fin. However, the Jikin differs sharply on the color side of things. The white body with red fins can make for a very compelling addition to any aquarium. You’ll love the way they “flicker” while swimming about the tank or pond!

Fancy Goldfish

In the other corner, we have double-tailed goldfish. These are generally referred to as “fancy” goldfish. The only reason why anyone really calls them fancy in the first place is because of the presence of that extra fin. Other than that, they really aren’t all that different from single-tailed examples.

Fantail goldfish

Fantail Goldfish

At last, we come to some of the most impressive examples of fancy/double-tailed goldfish you are going to find. It makes sense to that end to start at the top of the list for most people with what is known as the Fantail goldfish.

While looking fairly similar to the Common goldfish, the fancy part comes when you see that they have two tails. This gives them an added flourish which makes them perhaps the most popular fancy goldfish available in pet stores and from breeders.

Much like Common goldfish, they can grow up to a foot in length. They are also among the hardiest examples of fancy goldfish. Nonetheless, to reiterate an earlier point, they still need optimal tank conditions, good food, and so forth.

Telescope Eye Goldfish

Telescope Eye Goldfish

Whether or not the eyes really are the windows to the soul, there is something about a distinctive pair of peepers that can captivate our attention. It is this thought which can be used to perhaps explain the popularity of the Telescope Eye goldfish.

Of all the different breeds and types we can discuss, the Telescope Eye goldfish is perhaps the most unique-looking of them all. Featuring a pair of huge, decidedly round eyes, which stick right out of their head, combined with their small mouths, Telescope Eyes have a look that is memorable, to say the least.

Unfortunately, those noteworthy eyes make them more susceptible to injury. If you aren’t carefully in how you set up their surroundings, your Telescope Eye is very likely to bump into something, damaging those eyes. This creates a higher risk of infection than other types of goldfish. They also have tremendously bad eyesight.

While they can make for a wonderful addition to any aquarium, they do require a relatively more intense approach to their care.

Oranda Goldfish

Oranda Goldfish

For many enthusiasts and goldfish lovers, the Oranda goldfish is one of the most delightful looking in the bunch. They have an expressive face that many seem to fall in love with.

Yet this is not why so many people consider them to be one of the best Fancy goldfish types on the planet. To understand this, you simply have to look at the top of their head. That is where you’re going to find a large, orange hump on the top of its head. Some people like to pretend it’s a little hat.

Regardless of whether or not you do that, there is no question that Orandas are just gorgeous and singular in that beauty. Many recognize the look of the Oranda, if not the actual name.

Available in several colors, the orange hump is just a decorative collection of skin folds.

Pearlscale goldfish

Pearlscale Goldfish

One of the first things you’re going to notice about the Pearlscale goldfish is that they have a hump on the head that is similar to the Oranda. That is really their only similarity. In fact, you’re going to find that a number of different goldfish feature this hump on top of their heads in one form or another.

What makes the Pearlscale goldfish so different are their round bodies, combined with shortish white fins. The large scales you’ll notice have an aesthetic quality that is often compared to jewels. For this reason in particular, they are regarded as some of the prettiest goldfish you can add to your aquarium.

One interesting tidbit: Compared to other types of goldfish you can find, Pearlscale goldfish swim much more slowly than many of the others we’ve covered here.

Bubble Eye Goldfish
Credit: Jonathan Leung

Bubble Eye Goldfish

If you thought the Telescope Eye goldfish was a strange-looking customer, then we would venture to say that you haven’t seen anything yet!

The Bubble Eye goldfish is perhaps just too unusual for some newcomers to keeping and caring for goldfish. There is something decidedly comical about the appearance of the massive water sacs which protrude impressively beneath their wide-open eyes. Their coloring is an understated orange, but when you look at pictures of them, you can see why their owners aren’t really concerned about that.

However, as you may have perhaps guessed from looking at them, their distinctiveness comes at a fairly high price. Because of the sheer size of these sacks, Bubble Eye goldfish consistently run the risk of seriously damaging them by running into something. This also means they are more susceptible to infection, which is a possibility we also mentioned with the Telescope Eye.

For this reason alone, they are not considered a good goldfish choice for beginners. Furthermore, for those who do decide to put these in their tank, you will want to make certain to avoid overcrowding accessories and other features. You will also want to keep in mind that their vision is severely impaired, perhaps more than any other example of a goldfish. They also possess mobility issues, when compared to other types.

Many feel that it is simply not fair to these fish to breed them in the first place.

Moor Goldfish

This is a good reminder that despite the name, not all goldfish are actually gold. It just happens to be that a lot of them are. What makes the Moor goldfish so completely fascinating to us is the fact that they do indeed live up to that name. They are completely black in appearance, with the exception of a space under their stomachs.

Specifically bred for this unusual color, the Moor goldfish offers one of the most striking contrasts to the water, and indeed, to everything else in the tank. They are nimble, yet very slow and methodical in how they swim throughout their environment.

You will also want to note that their trailing fins are the same as that of the Telescope goldfish. There is a reason for that. To create the color in the first place, a Moor will often be bred with red Telescopes. This creates a breed that is highly sought after among enthusiasts.

Celestial Eye Goldfish

Celestial Eye Goldfish

With the Celestial Eye goldfish, we once again look to a type of goldfish that has been specifically bred to look a certain way. While these fish are beautiful and unique in appearance, with large, rounded eyes, they also go through many of the same issues as other goldfish with large eyes and/or protruding features.

Their most differing feature from any other goldfish would have to be that their eyes face upwards, rather than sideways (as is the case with Telescope goldfish).

While the large eyes do give them a very satisfying cartoon-like appearance, this look does come with the same price as the other large-eye examples we’ve discussed. This means you’re going to need to take special care with their surroundings. Physical damage can also result in being more prone to various infections and diseases. They are generally orange-red in appearance.

Lionhead Goldfish

We haven’t come even close to exhausting the full assortment of goldfish types that you can find. At this point, we can only hope you appreciate their diversity and other unique characteristics as much as we do.

The Lionhead fancy goldfish is so wild looking to some, they don’t even realize they are indeed looking at another example of a goldfish. They are proof that we still haven’t even run out of the goldfish examples that can completely change the way you think about them.

No dorsal fin. That is one of the first things you will notice. You will also want to pay attention to the impressive growth that can be found around the eyes and face. From a distance, they look like something of a blob. You may not even be able to see the eyes up close.

They don’t move particularly well, due to their odd appearance. To counter this, make sure they always get enough food. This is even more important, if you decide to keep them in the tank with other, different fish.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the most well-known types of goldfish. If you want to start with some great ideas for your tank, we suggest beginning here!

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Can Betta Fish See Colors? We’ve Got Answers!

Can Betta Fish See Colors
Can Betta Fish See Colors

To be sure, one of the most common questions we receive asks the question: Can bettas see color?

While this is a fairly fascinating subject, when explored in greater depth, you’re going to want to understand that the answer probably won’t surprise you. That is to say, if you already know some basic facts about fish, you probably know which direction this topic is headed in.

Yes, betta fish can indeed see color! This is a fundamental component to their relationships with the other fish you may be keeping in your aquarium. In particular, their ability to see color highly influences how they interact with other bettas.

You already know that male bettas will perceive other male bettas to be a threat. This is true of any fish that run to a colorful design. In other words, in order for your betta to react in the first place, they obviously have to be able to see the bright colors of the fish that makes them feel in danger.

As it turns out, where this subject begins to get interesting comes down to the various factors which influence how they see and absorb color. For example, light can dramatically impact the ability of your betta to see color. This is just one outside influence to consider.

Which Conditions Influence Bettas Seeing Color?

In the same way that one factor or another can influence how we see the world around us, bettas can have both vision and color perception altered by the circumstances around them. We mentioned light, which is worth a closer look, as there is a bit more to it than that.

How much light is inside your tank? This is one of the most significant factors influencing whether or not your betta is going to be able to see color. For example, if you turn the light in the tank off at night, as this simulates their natural environment, then your betta isn’t going to be able to see color as well as it would with the lights on.

How clear is your water? If we find ourselves surrounded by something that muddles our vision, then our perception of color is going to be chaotic at best. The same holds true once again for bettas. If the tank is murky or dirty, these things are going to make it harder for the betta to see color properly. This is just one of the reasons why it is important to keep the tank as clean as possible.

Now, let’s discuss the specific colors that bettas can see. This is another interesting component to the larger question.

Which Colors Can Bettas See?

Knowing which colors bettas can actually see under ideal conditions can prove fascinating. This is partially due to the fact that it is widely believed bettas can see not only as many colors as we humans can, but that they can also see these colors as well as we humans can.

In fact, they may even see color BETTER than we can! Human beings utilize a trio of cones in their eyes, when it comes to seeing color. These cones allow us to see green, red, and blue. Damage to one or several of these cones can cause an individual to become colorblind.

With bettas, it is believed that they have more than the three cones found in humans. We can see approximately three hundred colors. Bettas can see these, but additional cones give them the ability to see ultraviolet colors, as well. This is something humans cannot do.

You might also be interested in: Betta Fish Tanks: The 7 Best Options in 2020

How Bettas May Perceive Certain Colors

At the end of the day, there is only but so much that we know about the way bettas see color. However, what we basically understand to be true give sus some interesting questions and possibilities. Different colors have different wavelengths of light, with red having the longest wavelengths. The longer a wavelength is, the more quickly it becomes absorbed in the water. In other words, depending on the depth of the water, it can be very difficult, or even impossible, for your betta to see red.

All of this suggests that bettas respond more aggressively to red-colored fish than to other colors. However, there are many exceptions to the rule. We also have to remember that light gets scattered, as it comes into contact with the water. This is yet another factor that can influence how your betta perceives color. How far an object is from the betta can also play a determining factor in not only how/ir they see the color, but whether or not they perceive it to be a threat.

Given that distance is a factor, it makes sense then to give your betta plenty of room to be alone in your aquarium.

As time goes on, we would love to learn more about bettas and their relationship to color.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Otocinclus Care 101: Complete Guide For Aquarium Hobbyists

Besides being aesthetically-pleasing, the Otocinclus is also celebrated for its ability to eat algae. In fact, these delightful fish, also known as otto catfish, are considered to be some of the best around for eating algae in your aquarium. Combine this with their friendliness, and it becomes easy to understand why so many consider these fish to be an essential part of any thriving tank.

Otocinclus catfish
Credit: Mário Gomes

Why Do People Love Otocinclus?

The fact that Otocinclus are so easy to care for is another reason why people are so fond of them. They are an exceptional choice for those who are just beginning to build their very first fish tank.

At the same time, it is also easy to neglect them. Many lose their Otocinclus in the first month, and there is certainly no reason for this. Caring for them is extremely simple, but there are still a number of things you are going to want to keep in mind. This includes getting the best tank, ideal aquarium roommates, the best plant life for otto catfish, and much more.

If you are new to the world of Otocinclus care, not to worry! We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about these freshwater beauties. From there, we can also discuss the basics of bringing them home for the first time.

What Exactly Are The Otocinclus?

First, let’s start with an overview of exactly what we’re talking about, when we talk about the otto catfish.

Belonging to the Loricariidae fish family, the Otocinclus represents a genus of catfish with a freshwater background. It is estimated that there are nineteen different species of the otto catfish. They are noted for their easygoing demeanor, relative hardiness, and for coming in a wide variety of styles and colors. For these reasons, as well as many others, they are widely considered to be one of the top fish choices for a beginner aquarium.

They have a lifespan of roughly three to five years, rarely measure more than one to two inches, and can often be identified by the presence of a brown stripe. Most otto catfishes are going to have that stripe somewhere along the body.

Suitable for a peaceful family aquarium situation, these fish are herbivores. This means you’re going to have a lot of different options for feeding them. That is yet another feature to the Otocinclus that people seem to appreciate.

Some also like to call them dwarf suckers. They can be found throughout freshwater sources in South America. This extends to Venezuela and North Argentina.

Everything Else You Need To Know About Otocinclus Appearance

We’ve mentioned the brown stripe that can be found along many examples of the otto catfish. However, there are a few more pieces of information on their appearance that is worth covering in greater detail.

While you want a tank large enough to keep them comfortable and happy, one of the main things to remember with these fish is that they are very small. They rarely grow to exceed three inches in size. You might be interested in learning that they have distinctly strong mouths. This makes latching on to things a good deal easier for them. It also partially explains why otto catfish are so good at eating algae. Their bodies are generally cylindrical in shape, and you can also always spot this catfish example by the presence of armor plating all over their bodies.

With a limited ability towards breathing air, telling the difference between males and females can be a little tricky. As a general rule, females are usually broader in their sizing.

Credit: Gary Kinghorn

What About The Different Types Of Otocinclus?

Another nice thing about this type of fish would be the fact that there are so many different colors and types to choose from. In terms of things like size and behavior, you’re not going to see too many differences from one type to the next. One example of an exception to this would be the Otocinclus flexilis. This particular offering is on average the largest of the different types, with an average of roughly 2.2 inches.

Here are a few examples of different types of otto catfish:

  • Common: Noted for being a prominent member of the Amazon River, the Common Otocinclus, as the name implies, is the most common of all the different types. Speckled brown in appearance along the top, and then white along the bottom, you will also want to keep in mind that their fins are almost completely transparent.
  • Golden: If the brown looks more like a golden color, you probably have a Golden Otocinclus.
  • Zebra: You can probably picture exactly what the Zebra Otocinclus looks like, just from the name alone!
  • Silver: The brown stripe here is very interesting, as it tends to be silverer in appearance.
  • Dwarf: The best way to distinguish these from Common Otocinclus comes down to the caudal fins. The design will be very different on the Dwarf Otocinclus.

A Few More Notes On Important Examples Of Otocinclus Behavior

In terms of Otocinclus behavior traits, the key phrase to remember is the following: Lowkey.

By their nature, Otocinclus prefer to avoid trouble. They are not aggressive in any form or fashion. Their preference will always be to stay out of the way of anything else you may keep in your tank. This is another reason why people like them for aquariums of all experience levels.

At the same time, their avoidance behavior can create its own potential problems. This is really only the case if your tank is too small. Chances are, you are going to have more than just a single otto catfish in your tank. The recommended size for any aquarium that is going to include these fish is at least ten gallons.

For a variety of reasons, particularly in terms of comfort, as well as room to grow your tank, many experts suggest instead opting for something in the 20-gallon range. The choice is ultimately yours to make, but stay away from anything smaller than ten.

Otocinclus tend to be very skittish around larger fish. There is a reason for this, owing to the fact that many other fish see them as a potential snack. While this is something to keep in mind with regards to otto catfish tankmates, it also goes a long way towards explaining their behavior. If something scares them, they will almost certainly swim away very, very quickly. This is good for avoiding predators, but it can make catching them a pain!

They tend to hang out along the bottom of your tank. You can also find them along the surface of any plants or decorative items you may have in the tank. Remember that above all else, their favorite thing to do in the whole world is eat algae. They prefer to do this in groups, grazing casually throughout the day. If there is no algae to be found, they will simply move on to seek out another surface. Take note that groups of Otocinclus get along just fine with one another.

At this point, we can really start to dig into everything you need to remember, if you are planning to buy Otocinclus for the first time.

Otocinclus Affinis

How To Build The Perfect Aquarium For Otocinclus

Because of their hardiness to tank conditions, as well as their fairly simple needs, shopping for a suitable tank for Otocinclus is fairly straightforward. Because they come from South American, their needs are going to be mostly the same as what you’d suspect from freshwater fish. They need something for the bottom of the tank, appropriate roommates, access to light, some plant life and other decorative accessories, and lots of room.

We’ve already covered the importance, but let’s keep a few more things in mind.

For instance, the finer the grain, the better, when it comes to what to put on the bottom of the tank. A coarse grain may cause harm to their bodies, remembering how much time they tend to spend along the bottom of the tank. You’re also going to want to be sure they have things like rocks, bits of wood, and other plants that offer hiding spots and lots of yummy algae. You’re going to want a temperature somewhere in the range of seventy-two to seventy-nine degrees Fahrenheit. The most comfortable pH level for the Otocinclus is going to be somewhere between 6.8 and 7.5. You’re going to want to keep soft water in your tank, with the levels never getting any higher than 15dH.

Also, in case you were wondering, a 10-gallon tank can comfortably hold anywhere between four and six of these fish. Again, if you’re planning to add some other fish to the aquarium, you’re going to want to go bigger than ten gallons. Twenty gallons will give you room to grow, while also letting you get a nice collection of fish right from the start.

Which Fish make The Best Tankmates For Otocinclus?

Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering if it’s a good idea to shop for other fish to keep your Otocinclus company. While the otto catfish doesn’t really care one way or the other, there are in fact several different fish that can work well in the tank with them.

As a good general rule, we would suggest avoiding large fish, or any fish with a notable trait of being aggressive. So, for example, betta fish are probably not going to be good tankmates for your Otocinclus. Many examples of cichlids are not going to be appropriate for sharing quarters with your Otocinclus either.

So, which ones are going to be okay? Beyond invertebrates like snails and shrimp, guppies, mollies, tetras, cherry barbs, and Corydoras catfish are all great options that are worth exploring in greater detail.

Also, remember that otto catfish do very well indeed together. If you’re planning to have more than one, and you really should, the accepted minimum is considered to be four.

Resting on Java

What Are The Best Things To Feed My Otocinclus?

Thanks to the fact that they are herbivores, you’re going to find yourself with a variety of appealing options for what you can feed them.

As we’ve touched on a few times, Otocinclus love to eat algae. This makes them ideal for keeping the stuff out of your tank, but it also means you’re giving them a ready-made food source. However, while they do love to eat algae, something they do in the wild, you do not want to only feed them this. They are going to need a rounded diet, and you need to make sure that diet will meet all of their herbivore nutritional needs. No live animals, or indeed anything that comes from something that was once living.

In terms of things you can feed them besides algae, you might be surprised by just how many options are really out there. Click here to check out a complete guide to feeding your Otocinclus. A varied diet will keep them healthy and happy for the entirety of their average lifespans.

A Few Final Otocinclus Care Tips

Before we wrap things up, we wanted to leave you with a few more tips and suggestions for ensuring your otto catfish are receiving the very best of care:

  • You don’t want to just leave the algae in your tank unchecked either. You will need to make sure it isn’t overwhelming the tank. This is particularly important with regards to other fish in the aquarium.
  • Disease is not a significantly big deal with this type of fish. Ich is one possible disease they can get, if the tank is not properly maintained at all times. If you notice sluggishness, combined with a decrease in their overall appetite, then there is a good chance that they need to be treated. Quarantine and keep a close eye.
  • Breeding. If the conditions are ideal, males will begin the process by chasing the female around. If they are successful, you should have fry in a couple of days.
  • Make sure to keep their diet nice and varied. This will ensure the best possible health.
Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Can Ghost Shrimps And Bettas Really Live Together Peacefully?

Ghost Shrimps

Is the ghost shrimp a good idea in a tank that includes betta fish? Can betta fish and ghost shrimps get along? If you are considering the possibility of bringing them together in your aquarium, there are several things you are going to want to keep in mind.

Ghost Shrimps

The Subject Of Tankmates For Betta Fish

Some argue that bettas are best left to live alone. After all, they are highly territorial. However, realistically, most aquarium owners don’t want to do this. The idea is often to create a beautiful, harmonious tank of different fish, plants, and more. This means looking for the best betta fish tankmates. Of the many different options to come across, ghost shrimp are going to be among the most popular. On their own, this type of shrimp can make for an absolutely stunning addition to any tank. The question comes down to whether or not ghost shrimps and bettas can live together.

The short answer is yes, ghost shrimps can live in the same tank as betta fish. Also known by the moniker of feeder shrimp, it is entirely possible for both to live without issue.

However, the matter is not entirely that simple. While possible, there are several factors to weigh when deciding whether or not to add bettas to a tank with ghost shrimp, or vice-versa.

For example, let’s talk about why ghost shrimp are also sometimes called feeder shrimp in the first place.

Will Betta Fish Eat Ghost Shrimp?

Can betta fish occupy the same space as ghost shrimp? Yes. Is there a distinct possibility that the betta fish will eat the ghost shrimp? In a word, the answer is also yes. This is something you are just going to have to learn to live with. There is no guarantee that this is absolutely going to occur. At the same time, it is possible enough that it should be understood and accepted, long before you go out and buy ghost shrimp online, or wherever the case may be.

Yet there is still a very good reason why you should consider bringing ghost shrimp together with betta fish.

Actually, there are a few good reasons to consider:

  • Ghost shrimp pose zero threat to betta fish. None. They are completely non-aggressive.
  • Ghost shrimp are extremely cheap. Do some research, and you will be able to see exactly what we are talking about. While no one wants to actively harm these delightful creatures, they do come with the assurance of knowing that if something does happen, you haven’t wasted too much time or money. How your bettas and ghost shrimp get along is indeed very, very important.
  • Ghost shrimp offer the perfect tankmate litmus. What do you mean by this? Given that ghost shrimp offer no threat to bettas, and given that bettas may or may not see the ghost shrimp as a potential food source, we can consider how cheap they are, and see how the ghost shrimp can be used to determine the compatibility of your betta for other tankmates. Because if your betta does NOT eat the ghost shrimp, the odds are extremely high that they are not going to trouble any other (appropriate) mates you may want to add to the tank. This is what we mean about bettas being the very best litmus for tankmates for your betta fish.

Now, while there is only but so much to be done to keep bettas from eating ghost shrimp, there is in fact a lot you can do to increase the odds of a successful venture. You don’t want to simply dump them both in the same tank, and then hope for the best. The more work you do ahead of time, the greater your chances of getting everyone to get along. That can be your go-ahead to incorporate other examples of fish that can live with bettas.

Before we can get to that point, however, there is much to be done to get ready.

Credit: Kate Munn

Getting Started On Adding Ghost Shrimp To Your Betta Tank

Planning to keep betta fish and ghost shrimp in the same aquarium? The first thing you’re going to want to do is optimize the conditions of the tank.

This means two things:

  • Hiding places: You’re going to want to increase the number of hiding places in the tank. Besides the fact that shrimp like to have plant life and similar places they might enjoy, you can also remember that your betta can enjoy these things, too for different reasons. Good plant life can be beneficial to all of the different fish you may keep in your tank. Driftwood and ornaments are other good ideas. You should shop with an eye towards giving your ghost shrimp the safest possible places to hide.
  • A larger tank: Obviously, without an appropriate amount of cover for your ghost shrimp, they are going to be more susceptible to being eaten by the bettas. This means plenty of the suggestions we covered above, combined with a tank large enough to support everything and everyone. A 20-gallon tank may become necessary. Some opt for even larger options. Even if you don’t have a ton of fish to fill your aquarium with, a large tank will be just fine for possibilities like bettas and ghost fish. A 10-gallon tank really should be your starter, despite what some say about a 5-gallon tank being an acceptable choice in that regard. However, 20 is going to be something you can work with as your needs evolve quickly.

Does It Matter Which One I Buy Or Own First?

Actually, if you can absolutely help it, get a betta fish that already has a reputation for being able to exist comfortably alongside ghost shrimp. This is not an easy find in the larger pet stores, so you may have to look for a smaller local shop to point you in the right direction. This is not something you absolutely must do to be successful, but it does come with the benefit of making things a lot easier.

The next step comes down to who should be introduced to who first. The ghost shrimp is generally the preferred choice for that first introduction. So, if you want to quickly ascertain whether or not your betta can live with other creatures, you’re going to want to first buy the ghost shrimp, and have them added to the tank. The next step will be to buy your betta fish. Again, the preference is to get one that has already developed a tolerance and acceptance of ghost shrimp.

Once you bring your ghost shrimp home, and you follow the steps for adding a betta fish to an aquarium, you’re heading in the right direction.

Should you already have a betta, don’t worry. You can remove your betta for a brief spell. During this time, you can add the ghost shrimp, dramatically redecorate the aquarium (adding new hiding places, plants, and other items is also a very good idea), and then bring the betta fish back. Again, make sure you are doing everything possible to acclimate them comfortably with the differences in their surroundings.

Red Flags The Betta Will Attack The Ghost Shrimp

Thankfully, another component to this that can help you are a few clear warning signs your bettas are about to attack the ghost shrimp.

Obviously, if your betta is already in the habit of attacking other members of the tank, then you shouldn’t be adding ghost shrimp to the aquarium in the first place. That being said, if there is a serious indication of trouble, it is first going to come in the form of the betta stalking the ghost shrimp all around the aquarium. Some brief flareups are not uncommon.

Which brings to a common question people ask us: If your betta eats the ghost shrimp, will anything bad happen? No. In fact, on the health front, ghost shrimp can provide your betta with an exceptional alternative source of protein, among other perks. Some even go so far as to keep multiple ghost shrimp in the tank with a solo betta. If you don’t mind ghost shrimp being used in this fashion, it is certainly something that can be worth keeping in mind.

Ghost-Shrimps-And-Bettas

Getting The Facts On Ghost Shrimp

It almost goes without saying that you want the tank conditions to be ideal for both ghost shrimp and betta fish. Luckily, on this front, betta fish and ghost shrimp have largely the same needs. The temperature for the tank should be somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty-five to eighty degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be somewhere between 7.0 and 8.0. As you probably already know, these are conditions that can be very suitable to your betta. As you may have guessed, you should pay a little more attention to your bettas, in terms of where to eventually settle things.

Much like bettas, ghost shrimp like to live in a nice clean tank at all times.

Conclusion And A Few Final Ghost Shrimp Tidbits

Here are a few more facts about ghost shrimp we think you should keep in mind:

  • Ghost shrimp, in a fashion similar to bettas, have a nice reputation for being able to remain comfortable across a variety of different climates and water conditions. You can find them in freshwater sources, particularly where there are sandy or even fine sediments. They are particularly fond of rivers and streams.
  • Ghost shrimp also have a reputation for being extremely easy to feed. One of the great things about them is that they are willing to eat pretty much anything you may have. Ghost shrimp will also eat any meat not devoured by your bettas. Sinking algae wafers are a good way to ensure your ghost shrimp are getting all they need to be happy. Just keep in mind that if your ghost shrimp start eating the meat-based products meant for your betta along the top of the tank, this could lead to some problems between them.
  • Ghost shrimp do like to eat algae, by the way, but they are not considered the best in this particular regard.  There are much better betta tankmates that will eat algae that you can check out.
  • Copper is considered to be extremely toxic with respect to ghost shrimp. Do not add any copper to the tank under any circumstances.
  • Ghost shrimp molt, which sometimes cause people to worry they’ve died.
Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Betta Fish Flaring: Why Betta Fish Flare And Is It Bad For Them?

What Exactly Is Flaring In Bettas

The first thing you need to understand about betta fish and flaring is that it does not inherently mean something is wrong with your betta. Flaring can essentially be described as a defense mechanism. It is their means of establishing dominance, acknowledging threats, and other scenarios along similar lines.

What Exactly Is Flaring In Bettas

What Exactly Is Flaring In Bettas?

The actual act of “flaring” refers to when your betta puffs out its gills. This is done to give them a larger appearance. Knowing this makes it easier to see why it is used defense. In the wild, it can be quite successful at keeping predators away.

The flaring behavior can make it more difficult for predators to get them. This makes the behavior inherently valuable. It is not something you will simply be able to stop them from doing in the aquarium you have set up for them.

At the same time, it is still a good idea to understand what flaring can mean from one situation to the next. This extends to knowing the triggers which can cause a betta to flare in the first place.

Why Is My Betta Fish Flaring?

Let’s start by covering the range of possibilities for a betta flaring up. We already understand that this is a response to something they perceive to be a threat. What you want to be able to do at this point is know exactly what is causing the behavior. A little flaring is fine. It can even be beneficial, which we will discuss in detail later. However, too much flaring can be harmful.

Why do betta fish flare up most often? That would be the presence of another male betta in the tank. Of all the things that seem to bother bettas, another territorial male in the tank tops the list. This will almost always cause both males to start flaring up. From there, it can escalate to fighting, which can damage, or even kill, one or both of the bettas. It is for this reason alone that two males should not be put in the same tank together, barring special circumstances or efforts to keep them as distanced as possible.

Remember that bettas are extremely territorial. Keeping this in mind will help to inform how you interact with and care for your betta. Obviously, you want to avoid behaviors that can cause them to flare out. There are a couple to that end worth noting.

Is Flaring Always A Sign Of Aggression

Before we cover some of the other triggers associated with flaring, let’s make one thing perfectly clear.
 
The act of your betta flaring up in of itself is fine. If you notice the betta doing this for a few seconds each day, it is almost a certainty that they are fine. A little flaring is good, if you think of it in the same sense as you would if you got up to stretch, after sitting down for a long time. Flaring for a few moments each day is essentially your betta getting in some exercise. It helps them stay in shape.
 
Having said that, there is still a point in which your betta is flaring too much. This can have serious repercussions, if you don’t address the specific reason for this behavior.
 
If your betta isn’t stressing out over the presence of another male, there are at least a couple of other possibilities you’re going to want to be on the lookout for.

Why Is My Betta Fish Flaring At Me?

While it is not altogether common for bettas to flare up at their owners, this is something that can happen occasionally. There are always going to be stories from those who found their betta flaring up when they fed them, or even flaring when they tried to initiate a game with them (such as moving a finger along the tank for them to chase). Does this mean your betta doesn’t like you?
 
Your betta flaring at you is merely a response to perceived aggression. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you. In particular, bettas who are new to your home are likely to do some flareups in the beginning. New surroundings are always going to make your betta a little bit nervous. You want to do everything possible to ensure their transition to new surroundings goes as smoothly as possible.

How Do Bettas See The World?

In all likelihood, your betta just needs time to get used to you, to its surroundings, or even to both of these things. Limit your interactions, as they get used to you. If a certain behavior has suddenly brought about this behavior, try to limit the behavior in question as much as possible. Patience above all else, as this helps your betta to get comfortable with new settings, your hands, or whatever the case may be.
 
It can also be helpful to understand a little more about betta eyesight, as well.
 
Start with remembering that bettas are unable to see you as distinctly as you can see them. Beyond the fact that the eyes for humans and bettas are set in different places on the body, bettas tend to see the world in colors, vibrations, and actions from nearby objects or entities. The betta is going to do its best to defend itself with respect to these qualities.
 
In other words, moving as slowly as possible, and giving your betta time to adjust to things, are going to be your two best bets for getting them to stop flaring.

You might also be interested in: Top 7 Betta Fish Tanks 2020

Do Bettas Really Flare At Their Reflections?

This is another potential trouble area you want to keep an eye on. Remembering what we said above about how bettas actually see their surroundings, you should be able to see this as a distinct possibility for triggering a flare-up.

Do bettas know when they are looking into their own reflection? The answer unfortunately is NO. If they can see themselves on a regular basis, they will likely respond to the perceived threat by flaring up. As far as they are concerned, another male has just entered their tank.

If you know for a fact that a reflection is causing the flares, there are a few things you can do. The most useful will likely be to change up the lighting in the room. Moving exterior sources of light from your tank can eliminate the likelihood of the betta seeing its reflection. If you can’t manipulate this lighting, try to move the tank itself. If this doesn’t work either, or is not possible, your next step will be to make some changes to the lights in the aquarium itself. Don’t forget that bettas generally do not like a lot of bright lights.

Now, let’s get deeper into the subject of why constant flare-ups can be highly damaging to your betta. To be sure, there are many, many reasons why you don’t want to let this behavior continued unchecked for a prolonged period of time.

is flaring bad for bettas

Is Flaring Really Bad For Betta Fishes?

As we mentioned before, flaring up for a few moments each day is not cause for alarm. All that means is that your betta is getting in a little exercise. These momentary stretches can also offer you a good opportunity to take a closer look at your bettas fins, gills, and so forth. If you are concerned about fin rot in your betta, or any other condition, use these opportunities to see more of them than you normally would.

Prolonged, consistent flareups can cause damage to your bettas on several levels. This is why you should take steps to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. Since flaring up is a response to a perceived threat, you have to assume that entering such a state is highly stressful to the betta. After all, they believe their existence is being threatened or challenged. The emotional stress which induces the flaring up behavior in the first place can take both a physical and emotional toll.

On the physical side of things, it can cause them to become more susceptible to diseases and conditions. This is due to the fact that constant stress can lower a betta’s immunity. They may also decide to stop eating, which can worsen an immune system even further. If the stress stretches un unabated, your betta is going to become extremely sick.

Yes, you can restore a betta to good health again. It just becomes very difficult, once certain conditions have set in. To reiterate an earlier point, you are going to want to deal with the cause of your betta flaring up as soon as you possibly can.

Conclusion

A little flaring is okay for a betta. When you get to the point in which this behavior is ongoing, keep in mind all of the suggestions and warning signs we’ve discussed here. A betta flaring for “no reason” is generally something that can be dealt with on your own. As long as you take to heart the importance of addressing the stressor ASAP, you shouldn’t have anything to really worry about.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

7 Awesome Betta Fish Toys & Decor to Keep Them HAPPY!

Betta Fish Toys & Decor

You have just about everything your betta needs to be happy. You bought a perfect tank, which is at least ten gallons. You have a filter, a variety of live and other foods, and more. What else are you going to need? That is where toys and decorations become interesting.

To be clear, your betta doesn’t “play” with things the way your dog or cat might. They are territorial freshwater fish who generally like to be left alone. However, keeping these factors in mind doesn’t mean they don’t also like to do things. Believe it or not, but it is in fact very easy for your betta to become bored with the proper stimulation in place.

Betta Fish Toys & Decor

What Does A Betta Need To Be Happy?

Bettas have a pretty straightforward life. At the same time, we are talking about deeply intelligent, marvelously curious fish. In order to be truly happy, your betta needs the right temperature and pH, lots of healthy, yummy food, plenty of space, and toys and decorations that will appeal to their traits.

What Are The Benefits Of Toys And Decorations For My Bettas?

Bettas in particular love to explore. There are a number of live plant options which can meet this need beautifully. There are also toys that your betta will likely enjoy exploring. The right toys and decorations for your betta can go a long way towards keeping them stimulated, active, and content. Remember that bettas are not the most social fish around. In fact, to reiterate, they generally prefer to be on their own.

So, while bettas can live in harmony with other fish, you should make arrangements for your betta to be able to stay curious and engaged on its own. For example, bettas love to hide, as we mentioned. In doing so, you also give them the ability to get used to their surroundings more quickly. This also contributes to their wellbeing. In addition to hiding, bettas also like swimming in and out of those spots.

Bettas love to rest on plants, and you can actually use betta toys to train them to do fun tricks. This is a degree of stimulation they are also going to enjoy a great deal.

Which Toys Provide The Best Benefits

What Should I Keep In Mind When Shopping For Bettas?

Thankfully, there are lots of toys and decorations out there. We’re going to cover some of our favorites here, so keep them in mind, if you want to start with products that have a fantastic overall reputation for keeping bettas happy and excited.

In terms of shopping for the best betta toys and decorations, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. Start with making sure anything you buy is a well-reviewed product from a reliable vendor.

As you will see from our list of the top betta decorations and toys, there is a nice variety of products to be found out there. Having said that, you should avoid anything with sharp edges. Bettas like to rub against surfaces sometimes, and sharp edges can naturally be problematic. You should also quarantine anything you purchase. Even two or three days of isolation for a new toy or plant can ensure it is stripped of anything harmful that can be transmitted to your betta.

In general, live plants are considered to be preferable to plastic plants. While plastic is perfectly fine, live plants tend to be more appealing to bettas. They also provide oxygen.

Which Toys Provide The Best Benefits?

Finishing up the basics of betta decorations and toys, let’s dive a little deeper into the concept of benefits to your betta. As we said, the right toys and decorations can provide your betta with a long list of benefits. Just remember that different toys are going to provide your betta with different benefits.

For example, both plastic and live plants provide exercise and hiding places. A laser pointer can be a thrilling toy for a betta, as it stimulates the kind of exercise they love. A plastic log can give your bettas a good hiding space, while also giving them something that can be used as a bubble nest later on for breeding.

Keep this in mind, as we run through our list of the best decorations and toys for betta fish. Your best bet will probably be to buy one or two toys and a couple of different decorations. Variety is always a surefire way to prevent boredom.

Let’s get to our list!

Best Toys & Decorations To Keep Your Betta Entertained Reviewed

Zoo Med Betta Leaf Hammock

One of the most affordable options on our list, the Zoo Med Betta Hammock provides many of the benefits we have discussed thus far. At its core, this product will give your betta a nice place in which to relax. Take a look at the hammock for yourself. You will see that it can also give your betta an excellent hiding spot.

Another nice thing about these is that they are fairly small. This means you can add one, or even several, and still have plenty of room to do more with the decorations and toys. They are extremely easy to connect to the tank. You also won’t have to worry about any sharp edges or dangerous materials. However, keep an eye on the metal ring, attached to the leaf. Also, since this is plastic, you aren’t going to be adding any additional oxygen to the aquarium.

Zoo Med Laboratories AZMBL20...
  • A naturalistic leaf hammock for your Betta to rest on

Luffy Betta Balls

Bright and colorful, these live marimo plant balls are another affordable way to not only add some aesthetic charm to the tank, but also as a means of giving your betta the exercise and attention they are truly going to enjoy. Simply set these balls along the bottom of the tank. They will float there without bothering anyone or anything. Your betta may even ignore them at first.

However, eventually, your betta is going to start to explore. Bettas love to explore Luffy Betta Balls. Furthermore, they are going to particularly love the fact that they can push them back and forth. This is a behavior your bettas enjoy in their natural state. These balls provide seemingly endless potential for enjoyment and stimulation.

Made from living moss, this is also a rare example of a live plant for bettas that does not require any maintenance whatsoever.

PetSafe Bolt – Automatic, Interactive Laser Cat Toy

As the name above tells you, this is a toy that is marketed towards dogs and cats. Fair enough, but why should they have all the fun? As it turns out, this automatic laser toy can be enormously beneficial to your bettas. A betta fish will absolutely notice the presence of a red dot on the glass, and in their line of vision. They will chase the red dot around. This is a good way to appeal to their curiosity, while also doing something that will give them lots of fun exercise.

While there are several different laser pointers on the market that can give you the kind of experience we are talking about, we are pretty partial to this specific product from PetSafe. Beyond the fact that it is incredibly affordable, this laser pointer is also easy to use and charge. It carries that charge for quite a long time, as well.

Just remember to keep it out of their eyes! You will also want to note that these laser pointers are generally not waterproof. Record some fun videos of your betta chasing the red dot around. They can make for a popular social media share!

Sale
PetSafe Bolt - Automatic,...
  • SAFE FOR PETS: The Bolt features a Class IIIa laser with a 5mW max power output for a safe play experience; requires 4 AA batteries (sold separately); for best performance, use only alkaline batteries

R2 Fish School Complete Fish Training Kit

One of the words we have mentioned over and over again in this article is stimulation. Your betta needs this stimulation to maintain its metabolism, stay healthy, and by association, happy. There are lots of different ways to achieve this. The most important thing comes down to making sure your bettas have a variety to some degree.

The R2 Fish School Complete Fish Training Kit is a great example of just how many different toys are available to you. The training kit works on two levels. It gives your bettas something in the way of physical exercise. At the same time, it fully takes advantage of the ability of the betta to solve problems. Bettas love to figure things out, and this product will allow them to do that in no uncertain terms.

As the name implies, this kit features several different activities. Your betta will be able to practice and play at fetching, shooting hoops, and even diving under and over bars. The versatility of this kit is quite frankly stunning to us. This can literally provide your betta with hours upon hours of entertainment. Over twenty-five different toys can be found on this single kit. You yourself will also find it easy to use this toy.

Some even say this is the only toy you’re going to need for your betta fish. We personally wouldn’t go that far. At the end of the day, you still want to meet the needs of your betta to have a good variety of toys to keep them entertained and engaged.

R2 Fish School Complete Fish...
  • Includes a 45 minute detailed instructional DVD featuring world famous fish trainer Dr Dean Pomerleau

Zoo Med Cermaic Betta Log

As we mentioned earlier, bettas love logs for several reasons. It gives them a nice place to hide, but it also provides them with the space to hide and even explore the log. We mentioned Zoo Med earlier, and this is definitely one of the best companies making decorations and toys for betta fish.

This Zoo Med Ceramic Betta Log will sink right to the bottom of the aquarium. It isn’t going to take your betta very long to start exploring! Don’t be surprised either if you start to see your betta sleeping in the log. This is a simple product, but it really does come with the potential to serve so many viable uses. This is also yet another toy that isn’t going to take up too much space. The example we are providing is considered to be a small. You can find larger ones, but remember you don’t want to clutter up the tank too much. Overwhelming the aquarium with plants and toys can actually start to stress out your poor betta.

Your betta may even start to use the log to build bubble nests. If this happens, then you can be sure your betta is truly happy!

Make sure the edges of this ceramic log are not too sharp.

Sale
Zoo Med Ceramic Betta Log...
  • Zoo Med Laboratories Sinking Ceramic Betta Log

Indian Almond Leaves

If you’ve done enough research on how to take care of bettas, it stands to reason that you have come across references to Indian almond leaves somewhere in all of that information. Many would consider them to be essential components to any successful or thriving betta fish environment. When you consider the benefits of Indian almond leaves for betta in full, it is difficult to disagree with that opinion.

In the first place, Indian almond leaves offer the shelter component that your bettas absolutely love and absolutely need. They also like to explore and swim around the leaves. This gives them that benefit of exercise that we have been talking about.

All of this amounts to reducing their overall stress levels, as well. This need should be at the heart of many of the decisions you make about your betta. Are they making your betta happy? Do they help them to achieve a consistent state of calm?

The final benefit of Indian almond leaves worth mentioning? They provide unique minerals and other nutrients while floating around in the tank. These leaves can contribute something very significant indeed to the overall health and comfort of the bettas.

Your bettas will use these leaves to relax. They may also use them for light nibbling, or even as a place to lay their eggs. Neither of these behaviors are unusual. This is just more fuel for the opinion that Indian almond leaves should be somewhere on your shopping list.

Sale
SunGrow Indian Almond Leaves...
  • ✔ INDUCE BREEDING --- SunGrow Betta Leaves are a must-have for taking care of Betta fish. They act as a shelter to betta, release minerals for their healing, and assist Betta in spawning. They also...

Ping Pong Balls

Yes, you read that correctly. Something as simple as a set of ping pong balls can in fact give your bettas hours and hours of pleasure. You don’t need to purchase a sixty pack, as we’ve mentioned. All the same, ping pong balls are a blast for bettas for one specific reason.

How do betta fish hunt in the wild? They tend to hunt from the surface of the tank. The ping pong balls floating along the surface are going to connect your bettas to their natural hunting instincts. They will almost certainly feel compelled to stalk and attack the balls. It isn’t hard to see how these ping pong balls can be a great way to ensure your bettas are getting as much exercise as possible.

One of the keys to making your betta happy is to give them a home that gets as close to their natural environment. This isn’t just something you can approach with the toys you buy, or the live plants you add to different parts of the tank. This also applies to eliciting instinctive responses from them. Believe it or not, but few things you can buy are going to be as successful on this front as ping pong balls.

KENTLI 60Pcs/Pack Colored Ping...
  • Material: 100% Environmental New Material - PP Plastic - No Smell, Harmless to Body.

Plastic And Live Plants

We’ve touched on plastic and live plants in not only different parts of this article, but in some of our actual suggestions. Let’s wrap things with an overview of the different live and plastic plants that can be added to your aquarium. The plants themselves can lend loads of atmosphere to the aquarium. At the same time, they can give your betta hiding places, spots to build nests, areas for sleeping, and areas for exploring/playing. It is important to that end to make sure you’re choosing plants that will benefit your bettas in the most appealing fashion possible.

Live plants provide a number of unique benefits that plastic plants do not. Weigh the pros and cons of each carefully. For instance, live plants also require considerably more in the way of maintenance. There is a case to be made for either choice. As long as you can meet the basic needs of your bettas as we have outlined them throughout, you can really choose just about anything you please.

Here are a few different live plants and plastic plants that are worth researching further:

  • Java moss
  • Java fern
  • Amazon Sword
  • Anacharis
  • Hornwort
  • Wisteria

Conclusion

Clearly, as we mentioned earlier, you are not going to be lost for options for ways to keep your bettas entertained and content. While you don’t have to purchase every single thing on this list, you can achieve a lot by picking 2-3 items you really like. Remember that if you haven’t bought your betta yet, you may want to quarantine the toys and decorations themselves, whenever possible.

At the very least, remember that your betta will almost definitely need some time to acclimate themselves with their new space. Give them some time to get used to things, before you make any replacements.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Betta Fish Plants: The 10 Most Live and Fake Popular Options

Aquarium-betta-fish-plants

What are the essentials of any betta fish aquarium? Obviously, you need food, the proper amount of treated water, and of course, beautiful bettas. There are also a wide range of plants you should consider. For a variety of reasons, the right kinds of plants can be invaluable for your betta.

You may not even know if betta fish like plants. They do! There are tons of different options for live plants that your bettas can enjoy and use in several different ways. We’re going to cover the best plants for betta fish. We can even touch on the possibility of fake plants your bettas may enjoy.

First, let’s break down exactly why bettas love plants in the aquarium. This is not merely a matter of putting some appealing décor in the tank. Atmosphere in the aquarium is nice, to be sure, but there are in fact several reasons why plants are good for betta fish.

Aquarium-betta-fish-plants

Do Betta Fish Really Like Plants?

In a word, yes!

Betta fish love plants for a range of reasons. While you want to be careful to choose the right plants for your betta tank, there are several universal benefits to doing so that are well worth keeping in mind:

  • They offer hiding places: Betta fish are notorious for not being the most social fish in the aquarium. Even among their own species, they prefer to be left alone for the most part. They are significantly territorial and tend to prefer as much territory as possible to that end. Dense plant life, and perhaps even a cave, can offer your bettas a wonderful way to keep to themselves as they see fit.
  • They give your tank a more natural atmosphere: Let’s consider the natural habitat of the betta fish. One key component to that habitat is the presence of plants along not only the surface of the water, but in the water itself. Such plants provide shade, as well as relief from the sun. You also get the personal benefit of an aesthetic that matches where you would actually find bettas in nature.
  • They provide your betta with hours of entertainment: You may not have known this until now, but bettas can actually get bored in the tank. This can cause them to act out, become stressed, and more. Plant life can offset this boredom to a meaningful degree. Bettas by and large love the ability to explore. Giving them a rich plethora of plant life in the aquarium will allow them to do exactly that.

Remember: Bettas like to hide, and they love to be able to explore. Look for plant life that will give them both of those perks in no uncertain terms. There are thankfully quite a few different examples of plants for betta fish that you can explore.

Before we get to our list of the 10 best plants for betta fish, let’s consider the subject of live plants vs plastic plants. Some would argue that there is no difference between the two. We don’t want to go quite that far. Plastic has potential, but there are several things you will want to take to heart first.

Plastic Plants vs Live Plants: Which Is Better For Bettas?

Some betta experts swear by live plants for their tanks. Others argue that plastic will accomplish the same thing, but without the annoyances of dealing with live plants. Others still will claim there really isn’t much of a difference, as far as your betta is concerned.

The truth of the matter is that both types can be suitable for a betta fish tank. Your betta will ultimately enjoy either option.

Live plants can cut down on tank maintenance, but they themselves are going to need more maintenance than plastic plants. Which one should you choose?

  • Live Plants: They bring much-needed oxygen, beneficial bacteria, and can even kill harmful things like algae. They also have the built-in benefit of looking natural. To a lot of people, plastic plants still don’t bring that element. On the other hand, they require a lot more maintenance and attention. They also contribute problematic decaying matter to the tank. Finally, too many live plants can actually reduce the oxygen available to your betta.
  • Plastic Plants: While perhaps not as organic in appearance as live plants, plastic/fake plants nonetheless look quite nice. Plastic plants require virtually no maintenance, are easy to clean, and do not come with their own unique demands for lighting and water. On the other hand, plastic naturally poses a minor potential danger to the fish. They also do not absorb c02, part of their process of putting oxygen in the tank.

So, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each choice.

So, Which Specific Plants Are Ideal For Betta?

At this point, you have all the background you need to start looking at specific plants. While you can obviously use this article as a guide, we would still suggest doing more research on any specific plant you are going to consider. What matters is finding something that meets not only your needs, but the needs of your bettas, as well.

Before we get stared on our list with the ever-popular Java Fern, keep in mind that plants for bettas can be broken down into two categories. There are submerged plants, such as the Java Fern and Java Moss. There also floating plants. Hornwort would be one such example, although it can also be planted.

Java Fern

Java Fern

Native to Southeast Asia, the Java Fern can be found on rocks, and elsewhere throughout a range of freshwater areas. One of the biggest benefits to having this plant in your tank is the fact that it is remarkably easy to care for. In fact, it is perhaps the easiest. At the same time, it gives you all of those benefits that we discussed with live plants for bettas.

We also like the fact that they can be grown easily in or out of water. Want more? Simply split and plant a rhizome.

Keep in mind these plants are big growers. They can reach thirteen inches in height and eight inches in width. The pH should be between six and seven. The temperature should be sixty-eight to eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit.

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Java-Moss

Java Moss

A valuable member of the Hypnaceae family, Java Moss is noted for its beauty and toughness. You don’t have to particularly worry about lighting or temperature with this popular example. Attaching itself to a given surface, people love the many beautiful leaves it can produce over time. It can even grow on the walls of your tank, which is a particularly popular effect for many betta fish owners.

Trimming Java Moss with ease is another benefit. This is a great plant for anyone who wants to be in complete control of creating the proper atmosphere inside the tank. Combine this with the fact that they endure temperatures up to eighty-six degrees, and you have a plant that looks beautiful under virtually any circumstances. Like the Java Fern, it may need an anchor when added to the tank.

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Hornwort for betta fish tank

Hornwort

Despite the funky-sounding name, Hornwort is in fact a pretty straightforward plant. This is an example of a plant that is known as an invasive species. In other words, it can quickly overwhelm the space, if you don’t pay attention. It is because of this aspect that Hornwort can be found all over the world.

In other words, Hornwort is going to need a little more attention than the other entries we’ve covered thus far. It’s going to require a large tank, given the fact that it can grow to heights of ten full feet! The temperature falls between 59F and 86F. The ideal pH level is around seven.

Originating in South America, bettas love nothing more than to hide among its leaves. Just keep an eye on its growth!

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  • IMPORTANT: Please note that during times of extreme weather, live plants will suffer due to extreme temperatures. During winter, do not order live plants when temperatures are expected to go below 20F...
Anacharis for betta fish tank

Anacharis

Another interesting name for a very interesting plant, Anacharis is also known as Elodea densa. That name can also give you a clue as to the type of plant we’re talking about. Anacharis is a plant that grows very quickly, while also providing tons of density that your bettas are going to absolutely adore. This means you will want to make sure you are trimming the plant on a regular basis. It does require a meaningful amount of attention.

This is also another plant that comes with the options to either float it along the top of the tank, or plant it closer to the bottom. Your betta will be pleased either way. The pH should be as neutral as possible, with temperatures between seventy and eighty degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • IMPORTANT: Please note that during times of extreme weather, live plants will suffer due to extreme temperatures. During winter, do not order live plants when temperatures are expected to go below 20F...
Amazon Sword for betta fish

Amazon Sword

With long, gorgeous, blade-like leaves, the Amazon Sword has an appearance as dynamic as its name. This is a wonderful plant to add for the simple sake of variety. It is one of the most unique-looking plants we’re going to cover in this article.

The blades themselves can reach heights of up to fourteen inches. They give an appealing bushy appearance inside the tank, and the dark green can offer a vibrant touch to the lighter greens of some of the other plants covered. They provide a very nice hiding space for bettas. The ideal temperature is somewhere between seventy-two and eighty-two Fahrenheit, and the pH level can be anywhere from 6 to 7.5.

One nice thing about these plants is that they don’t require a ton of maintenance. Unlike some of our other options, they do not need trimming.

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Anubias Nana in batta fish tank

Anubias Nana

One thing to keep in mind with our sixth entry is its size. Given that this plant is relatively smaller than many of the options we’ve covered here, the Anubias Nana is a great live plant choice for those with smaller tanks.

Originating in various locations throughout the African continent, the plant is noted for its hardiness, and for the fact that it only grows to about 7.5 inches in height. As long as it can maintain access to a minimum of light, you shouldn’t have to really worry about it. The pH levels should stay around six to 7.5., and the temperature needs to be between seventy-two and eighty-two Fahrenheit.

This is a perfect live plant choice for those who consider themselves to be beginners.

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Water Wisteria for betta tank

Water Wisteria

The Water Wisteria plant is another stellar choice for those who aspire to something more unique for their betta and for the aquarium. The pH level can be between 6.5 and 7.5, while the ideal temperature can be anywhere from seventy-five to eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. It can be found throughout India, including in various spots throughout Nepal.

Bettas love the lush hiding places this plant will provide for them. You’re going to love the absolutely stunning greens that this plant can emit. It doesn’t require too much care, particularly when compared to other plants on the list. However, it will need a certain amount of trimming. You also want to make sure it is getting a good amount of light from one day to the next. The trimmings can be used to make more, as well.

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Duckweed for betta fish

Duckweed

Another decidedly hardy entry for the list, Duckweed has a mossy-look to it that can really add a visual flair to your freshwater betta tank. This is a flower plant that grows along the surface of the water. It doesn’t have the same benefits as some of the other plants we’ve covered, but there is still a lot to like about it. For example, the ideal temperature is on par with everything else we’ve discussed. The same can be said for the pH levels, which can be anywhere between 6.5 and 7.

Your betta will use them to hide when they are stressing out. The range of nutrients taken in by the plant also makes it a very good choice indeed for those who want the healthiest possible tanks.

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Betta Bulbs

Named after their biggest fan, Betta Bulbs also go by the name of the Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb. Whatever you choose to call them, understand that we are talking about one of the most visually dazzling live plants for your aquarium. Betta Bulbs are particularly popular with bettas. They love using them for a hiding space. They are also a good plant for helping the betta to define its crucial territory.

The pH level ideally suited to these bulbs is between 6.5 and 7.5. The ideal temperature will be somewhere in the vicinity of seventy-two to eighty-two Fahrenheit. The bulbs themselves can come from such locations as Africa, Australia, and Asia.

Low lighting is considered to be the best choice for these bulbs. It allows them to thrive, while also limiting their growth. That means cutting down on the amount of maintenance they often require.

Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb -...
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Plastic/Fake Plants

While it may not seem fair to lump all fake plants under a single entry, we are essentially talking about the same thing, no matter which specific example one might cite. Remember that when it comes to plastic plants, you don’t have to worry about trimming, or any of the other forms of maintenance that are associated with live plants. Cleaning plastic plants is a breeze, and they can be added to or removed from the tank in a matter of moments.

Really, if you do opt for plastic plants, your choices will really just come down to meeting your needs, as well as the needs of the betta. They like plants that give them plenty of space to hide and explore. You also want to be sure you’re buying plastic plants that are proven to be safe to add to the tank. This means carefully reviewing any specific examples you come across.

If you’re in need of some fake plant inspiration, check out below list of the top 3 fake plants for betta fish. Just remember that fake plants can potentially hurt bettas, as they like to sometimes move against the plant. You’re also not adding anything in the way of oxygen or natural beauty to the tank. On the other hand, they are considerably easier to shop for.

Still, you should be able to find all of these plants in a variety of online and physical store locations.

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Conclusion

With everything above, you’re in a great position to explore the benefits of plants in betta fish tanks. Live plants keep the tank looking natural, provide oxygen under the right circumstances, and can keep your betta consistently entertained. There is also the ever-necessary advantage of also giving your betta safe places to hide. Without such spots, their stress levels can rise dramatically. This can lead to a variety of health problems.

Again, make sure to fully research any specific plants you are choosing. While they share many benefits, they also share differences you need to observe. For example, the Hornwort plant we covered above requires larger-than-normal tanks. You do not want to put this plant in a tank that is any smaller than fifteen gallons.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.