Can Betta Fish See Color? (We’ve Got Answers!)

Can Betta Fish See Color

To be sure, one of the most common questions we receive asks the question: can betta fish 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.

So Can Betta Fish See Color?

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.

What Colors Can Betta Fish 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.

Otocinclus Care 101: Complete Guide For Aquarium Hobbyists

Otocinclus Care

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.

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.

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.

Can Ghost Shrimp And Betta Really Live Together Peacefully?

Ghost Shrimp And Betta

Is the ghost shrimp a good tank mates in a tank that includes betta fish? Can ghost shrimp and betta fish 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.

The Subject Of Tank Mates 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, live plants, and more. 

This means looking for the best betta fish tank mates. 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.

Can Betta Fish and Ghost Shrimp 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 as tank mates with betta fish.

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 tank mate 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 tank mates.

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.

Getting Started On Adding Ghost Shrimp To Your Betta Tank

Plan on keeping ghost shrimps and betta 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 (A planted tank) 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, heavily 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 live with your betta. If you don’t mind shrimp ghost 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 that shrimp can live 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 keeping ghost shrimp that live with your betta 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 quality. 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.

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

Betta Fish Flaring

The first thing you need to understand about betta fish 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 Betta Fish?

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 betta fish 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 fish 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 fins 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, there are territorial male bettas or other tank mates in the tank tops the list. This will almost always cause both male bettas to start flaring up. 

Bettas are known as “Siamese fighting fish”, they 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 male bettas are extremely territorial. Keeping this in mind will help to inform how you interact with and care for your betta fish. Obviously, you want to avoid behaviors that can cause them to flare out. There are a couple to that end worth noting.

If you’re interested in knowing about 50+ tank mates that can live with your betta fish then check out this HUGE list of betta tank mates!

Is Betta Fish Flare 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 fish 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 Does My Betta Flare 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 fish 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 fish 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 fish 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 bettas has just entered their tank.

How to Stop A Betta Flaring Too Much?

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 fish seeing its reflection on certain sides of the tank.

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 fish. 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 fish 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 fish. 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 fish. 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.

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

Betta Fish Toys

You have just about everything your betta fish 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 betta fish 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.

What Does A Betta Fish 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.

Benefits Of Betta Fish Toys And Decorations

Bettas in particular love to explore. There are a number of live plant options which can meet this need beautifully. There are also fish 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 fish 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 fish toy 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 Toys For Bettas?

Thankfully, there are lots of betta fish 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 fish 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 toys and decorations, 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 betta fish 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 fish toy and decoration, 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 fish 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 betta 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 fish 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!

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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 fish will be able to practice and play at fetching, shooting hoops, and even diving under and over bars. The versatility of the R2 Fish School Complete Fish Training 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 fish 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 betta 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.

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 fish. 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.

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  • ✔ INDUCE BREEDING --- SunGrow Betta Leaves are a must-have for taking care of Betta fish. They act as a shelter to betta and assist them in spawning. Our leaves also help their skin and scales stay...

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 fish 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 betta 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.

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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 fish 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.

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

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 betta fish 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.

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 betta fish plants, 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 betta fish tanks.

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

Best Betta Fish Plants: Our Top Picks

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 betta fish tanks 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 Fern Bare Root |...
  • You get 1 young Java Fern bare root of approximately 6-8" in height.
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 water conditions 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.

Live Aquarium Plants Java Moss...
  • Real Solid Java Moss: Bright green authentic Java moss that will give life to your aquarium.You may also do it yourself to create different shapes of Java moss that will change and enhance aquatic...
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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3 Hornwort Bunch Plants for...
  • This natural pond plant improves water quality by oxygenating and removing excess nutrients from pond water. Helps neutralize algae. Please be mindful that aquatic plants will always carry a risk of...
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.

Pond Oxygenating Elodea...
  • WINTER WARNING - IF YOUR REGION IS FREEZING, PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ORDERING UNTIL IT WARMS UP. THESE PLANTS WILL FREEZE AND WILL NOT BE USABLE. DO NOT DISREGARD THIS MESSAGE AS WE WON'T REFUND OR...
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.

Large Amazon Bleheri Sword...
  • Easy live aquarium plant specie for any freshwater aquarium
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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Potted Anubias Nana Aquarium...
  • PLEASE READ BEFORE ORDERING: Please note that during times of extreme weather conditions, live plants will suffer due to extreme temperatures. During winter, do not order live plants when temperatures...
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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Greenpro | Water Wisteria...
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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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Duckweed (Lemna Minor) -...
  • Live Duckweed (Lemna Minor) Plants

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 betta. 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 -...
  • You will get 1 Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb ready to place in your aquarium. Grows when water temperatures are between 65-72F. PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY WILL NOT GROW IF WATER TEMPERATURE IS OVER 72F.

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.

Crowntail Betta 101: Get The Facts On Owning And Caring

Crowntail Betta

Celebrated the world over for stunning caudal fins, the crowntail betta fish can make for a wonderful addition to your aquarium. These are some of the most popular types of fish to be found anywhere in the world. It isn’t hard to see why. We are looking at bright, lovely, and decidedly intelligent creatures. Your crowntail can prove to have a personality all its own.

Interested In Owning A Crowntail Betta?

At the same time, owning and caring for a crowntail can have its own unique challenges. If you are new to the world of betta fish, or just new to Crowntails specifically, there are several things you need to keep in mind. This begins with making sure you’ve chosen the right aquarium and equipment. It also means knowing how to feed and care for your Crowntail from one day to the next.

While not significantly difficult to take care of, knowing what they like to eat, signs of illness to watch out for, and the best products to buy can ensure your Crowntail is happy for many years to come.

Where Do Crowntail Bettas Come From?

Also known by the behavioral name of Siamese Fighting Fish, the Crowntail Betta is a visual wonder. People become utterly enchanted with their beauty, particularly in their fins. Ancestors of these fish can be traced back to countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Beyond the stunning fins and quick, intelligent eyes, Crowntail are also known for pretty aggressive behavior. If you are a beginning hobbyist with bettas in general, understand that crowntails are likely going to be the most aggressive fish you have ever owned. This can create potential conflicts with other types of fish in the tank, if you have any.

Before making any purchasing decisions with regards to bettas, make sure they are going to be suitable tank mates with anyone else you might have in your tank. There are quite a few different fish which can work with crowntails just fine.

Overview of Crowntail Betta

First bred in 1997, the Crowntail has skyrocketed in popularity in the years since it was first introduced to the world. You can always spot a Crowntail by paying attention to the largeness of its fin extensions. The fin itself, as we mentioned earlier, is considered to be its most appealing feature. It can be an utterly stunning blend of vivid reds and deep blues. Their colors are evocative of everything we love about marine life.

Here are some basic facts about Crowntail Bettas, before we get more deeply into the subject of personality and other traits:

beauty-Crowntail-Betta
  • The Crowntail was first identified by the name Cupang Serit at the IBC (International Betta Congress).
  • They tend to hit their growth peak at around 2.5 inches. However, in some cases, they can become as large as 3 inches. The larger ones are considered to be particularly appealing specimens for breeding and ownership.
  • Crowntails have a lifespan in the neighborhood of approximately two to three years. This is considered to be the norm for tropical fish in this size range.
  • Typically, a Crowntail Betta is going to cost anywhere from five to thirty dollars. This is going to be dependent upon the reputation of the breeder, the quality of the fish you are buying, and many other factors. When buying Crowntails for the first time, it is important to do as much research into the subject of breeders and dealers in your region as possible. You want to be sure you’re buying a Crowntail Betta from a highly respected source.
  • Generally speaking, the male Crowntail is considered to be the more beautiful of the two genders.
  • In terms of physical appearance, there are a few things to keep in mind. Start with the fact that their fin extensions can reach up to eight inches in diameter. You will also notice a minimal amount of webbing among the rays on the fins of the Crowntail. This is where the crown-like appearance comes from. The tips along their fins have a spiky appearance that many find charming. You can find them in a variety of different colors, but blues and reds tend to be the most popular.
  • The Crowntail is just one example of a betta fish being bred for unique fin colors and features. Other examples include the Spade Tail Betta and the Half-Moon Betta. Don’t be afraid to shop around to find a color and style that grabs you.

Now, let’s discuss the typical behavior of the Crowntail.

Crowntail Betta Fish Personality Traits

While domesticated betta fish are relatively more subdued than their in-the-wild counterparts, we are still talking about one of the most aggressive types of fish you could ever introduce into an aquarium. In their native countries of Thailand, Malaysia, and elsewhere, they are known as Siamese Fighting Fish for a reason! Their fights can be intense. Many breed Betta specifically for what they have to offer in this particular area.

Remember: Throughout Southeast Asia, people love to catch and pit betta against one another. It is a highly competitive sport, and this emphasis on aggression carries over to every type of betta fish imaginable. You will certainly experience this when you bring one home.

Typically, the Crowntail does not get along with others. It can be fairly territorial, and they generally seem to prefer to be left alone.

Again, it is well within the realm of possibility for Crowntails to live in harmony with other types of fish, but you should still keep their personalities in mind. The Crowntail Betta males tend to be the more aggressive of the two, but don’t discount a feisty female by any means!

Compatibility and Tankmates

At this point, you’re ready to start shopping for a Crowntail. Keep in mind what we suggested earlier with regards to a breeder or seller. You can find Bettas of all shape, sizes, and colors at most major pet stores. There are even online options.

Many longtime hobbyists will tell you that their preference is to go to dedicated breeders. These individuals tend to have the highest quality Betta, which is also reflected in the typical prices. Going through a reputable breeder ensures you’re getting exactly what you want.

Getting Your Crowntail Betta Tank

The first step in bringing a Betta home is to get the right tank. Some people will tell you that five gallons is just fine for a Betta. While they will ultimately be fine in such conditions, what you really want to do is invest in something in the ten to twenty-gallon range. In smaller tanks, your Betta can become unhappy from crashing into the glass all the time.

20-gallon tanks are particularly a good idea when you’re planning to buy more than one. Don’t forget that Crowntail Bettas prefer to be alone. They are territorial by nature, and that territory needs to be fairly expensive to keep them happy. Larger tanks also give you the ability to add the kind of vegetation that will really appeal to them.

At the end of the day, our suggestion is to go with a 10 gallon tank. Even if you aren’t planning to get any more fish for the foreseeable future.

As you check out the best plants for Betta fish, make it a point to purchase both Indian Almond Leaves and a sturdy tank lid. As far as the lid is concerned, this is to ensure your Crowntail never jumps out of the tank. Yes, Bettas really do love to jump out of the water. While doing so won’t instantly kill them, it is still obviously a situation you’re going to want to avoid.

The Indian Almond Leaves add a variety of natural, highly beneficial acids for your Crowntail betta.

What Are The Optimal Conditions Of A Crowntail Betta Tank?

Betta fish in general are pretty tough. Having said that, there are still several factors concerning ideal tank conditions you’ll want to keep in mind.

Remember always that Crowntails are freshwater fishes. This thought should lead not only the conditions of your tank, but any potential tank mates you may consider later on.

The first thing you need to do is make sure the pH levels are ideal. This ranges from 6.4 to 7.0. Anything lower or higher than that can be highly damaging to your Crowntail. You should aspire to a water hardness of two to five carbonate hardness, which is expressed as dKh. 

The water temperature needs to be in the range of seventy-six to eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Again, any variation to this can result in stress and other problems for your Crowntail. It can cause significant damage to their metabolism, which can spiral into other health issues.

Keep an eye on these tank conditions at all times. Floating plants can also be a good addition to any tank. This is due to the fact that Crowntail bettas love to use them in the creation of what are known as bubble nests. As far as Bettas are concerned, bubble nests are highly important. They are particularly vital for mating purposes.

In terms of specific numbers, you’re going to have to do a little trial and error. Keep in mind the suggestions made above, and don’t be afraid to make minor adjustments within that range, should the need arise.

Gravel or certain types of sand are fine for the bottom of your tank. Some even opt to not put anything down there at all. This option certainly cuts down on tank maintenance. At the end of the day, your betta is going to be fine with any of those. If you want to replicate their natural surroundings to the letter, you’re going to want to go with sand.

For tank lighting, dimmer is always better. The Crowntail Betta do not like to be exposed to bright lights. This can put considerable strain on them, leading to a variety of health conditions.

Betta splendens crowntail

A Final Word On Compatibility And Other Fish

While some prefer to keep Bettas to themselves, many believe they can make for fine tankmates for a variety of other freshwater fish. It really comes down to making sure you’ve created the best possible conditions for everyone involved.

After all, as we’ve said, the Crowntail Bettas are happier when left alone. They need a significant amount of space. They can behave very aggressively towards any other fish, including other Crowntails, who happen to get into its personal space. You do not want to overcrowd the tank. At this point, you’re going to want at least a twenty-gallon tank.

You generally do not want to have more than one male Crowntail fish in your tank to begin with. Doing so can create a hostile atmosphere. In all likelihood, they are going to simply fight one another, until one of them dies.

Guppies, frogs, shrimp, and neon-tetras in general are all good tankmates for a Betta. Anything that might mirror its own behaviors, particularly with regards to aggression, is not a good idea.

The Ideal Diet For Crowntail Bettas

Diet is obviously very important for your Crowntail. Being carnivores, you want to make sure the diet is highly reflective of the fact that they need lots and lots of protein in whatever they eat.

Pellets for Bettas are generally fine. However, if you really want to give them the very best, make sure to feed them a steady diet of frozen and live foods. We’re talking about stuff like bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, white worms, insect larvae, and more.

The best way to feed your Crowntail is to give them a good variety of things. Always research not only the products you’re purchasing to feed your betta, but also where those products are coming from.

Conclusion

Crowntail can make for a wonderful addition to your home. They are a vastly rewarding, wholly unique companion.

Breeding Betta Fish 101:Everything You Need To Get Started

Breeding Betta Fish

Owning one or several betta fish can be a truly joyous experience. It can lead to the desire to begin breeding them. This can be done for strictly personal reasons, but some do take their breeding plans to the point of wanting to also sell them. While we can’t speak to one of those modes being superior to the other, we can say that when it comes to breeding betta fish, you are talking about a highly rewarding, extremely challenging endeavor.

Why Do You Want To Breed Bettas?

As you might be able to imagine, there are many different factors to weigh. These factors can also be determined by why you want to breed them in the first place. Some breed to achieve a particular or even fin shape. Others breed specifically with the intent to sell. Knowing which path that you want to start off on can go a long way towards making sure you encounter as few hiccups as possible.

A Word Of Caution On Breeding Betta Fish

Make no mistake: While breeding bettas can be fun, even profitable (let’s not forget those who breed betta fish for show), it can also be fraught with challenges. There is a potential for trial and error that you may need to accept now. You can be successful at betta breeding right out of the gate, but many find it takes some time to get a knack for it.

You can eliminate a considerable margin for error by doing as much research ahead of time as possible. That’s where this article becomes useful. We’re going to cover everything you need to get started, regardless of your ultimate goals with breeding. You may want to read up additional articles and books, depending on what you would like to accomplish as a betta fish breeder.

At the end of the day, we would suggest starting small. Having a long-term goal is fine, and you can set off at any pace you please. However, as a newcomer, it makes more sense in terms of time, money, and the necessity of building experience to start breeding on a small scale. The choice is ultimately yours.

Getting The Best Tank For Breeding Betta Fish

The first step is to establish permanent dwellings for your males and females. Here are the essentials that you’re going to need to keep in mind:

You’re going to need two tanks

At the very least. It is not a good idea to raise your fry (baby bettas) in the same tank with the males. At worst, the males will see them as a threat. They may also be devoured.

You will need one tank for a permanent home, and then a second tank to handle your breeding efforts. For your two tanks, we should suggest something in the 10-20-gallon range. 10 is just fine, but 20 might be better for more ambitious first-timers. Do NOT opt for any tanks smaller than 10 gallons.

Before you set out to buy your fish, make sure you’ve cycled both tanks thoroughly. This is not difficult to do, but should be taken care of first and foremost.

Make sure you also have all of your equipment ready before buying bettas, as well. In a moment, we’re going to show you a comprehensive shopping list to that end.

Essential Equipment For Betta Breeding

Let’s take a look at the equipment you’re going to need:

  • Tanks: To reiterate, you want at least two. You may want a third to separate bettas in special situations, such as one who has become sick, but that’s entirely up to you. Make sure all of your tanks have lids, as well.
  • Submersible Water Heater: A 25-watt heater will allow you to reach and maintain your ideal temperature.
  • Seasoned Sponge Filter: You want to keep your water clean, but you also don’t want a filter so powerful it can potentially scatter about the eggs.
  • Air Pump: This piece of equipment will be responsible for gently moving water from the tank to the seasoned sponge filter.
  • Cover: There are a few different options in this arena. Some choose a glass top to create a humid environment, but not so much that the water gets too warm. Others prefer plastic wrap, although this considered to be problematic for at least a couple of reasons. Some even believe you don’t need a cover. Perhaps not, but you will lose more water to evaporation, so you’ll need to account for that.
  • Plant life: This gives your betta fish places to hide, rest, and it simply adds texture and personality to the tank. There are a number of different options that are worth exploring.
  • Indian Almond Leaf: These products are designed to soften your water. They also give your males the much-needed ability to build what is known as a betta bubble nest.
  • LED Lighting: These should be kept along the top of your tank. Make sure you purchase lights that can be controlled.
  • Tank Divider: When the time comes, the tank divider will ensure your bettas can get to know each other, but not in a way that risks their health and/or lives.

Keep in mind as well that all of the suggestions we’ve made for products are merely that. Research all of these items, and find specific products that will match your needs and budget.

At this point, you are decidedly ready to shop for and choose your betta fish for breeding. This is where things can get challenging, but there are a number of tips and suggestions that can help you navigate your needs and possibilities.

How To Choose The Very Best Betta Breeding Pair: Pet Store Or Breeder?

It is not hyperbolic to suggest that this is the most important part of understanding how to successfully breed betta fish. As a beginner, you will find yourself looking at two distinct ways to buy bettas for breeding.

On the one hand, you can go to a pet store. On the other hand, you can get what you need through a reputable breeder. Our suggestion is to go for a breeder, and to find one as local to you as possible. Breeders give you a wider array of choices. This can be vital for situations in which you want to breed for certain types, colors, or fin shapes with your betta fish.

A pet store, even a chain like Petco, can make getting started pretty straightforward. If you simply want to get a handle on breeding betta fish, you can find everything from a single store. They also tend to be a little cheaper, when compared with a breeder, but this can be offset by the numerous benefits of choosing someone who has a focus on bettas. You can even buy betta fish these days.

Still, a local breeder means working with someone who is truly passionate and knowledgeable about bettas. You also stand to get the healthiest possible bettas, and perhaps even someone who can help you with other aspects of the enterprise.

How To Choose A Male Betta For Breeding

Careful consideration should be made with regards to choosing both the male and female you would ideally like to breed.

In terms of males, energy is one of the first things to look for. A male betta fish with poor energy levels will be seen as weak, possibly disease-filled by the female. The odds of the female choosing the male, based on this criterion alone, can drop dramatically at this point. You want an energetic male for breeding purposes.

Coloration is something else females are going to be looking for. While you are free to choose any colored betta you please, keep in mind that females tend to pick the brightest-hued examples. This is because such color indications good health, which also means they are a good forager. The brighter, the better is seemingly a rule of thumb, as well. One study suggested females were more apt to choose males with red coloration, as opposed to those with blue coloration.

Finally, we come to the fins. This is arguably one of the most important aspects of choosing the best male betta fish for breeding. You generally do not want bettas with damaged fins. This is another indicator of the probable health of the male to the prospective female. 

If they are a good forger, and if they have good energy, their fins are going to be strong and distinctive-looking. Such fins will also heal very quickly after suffering damage. This is generally no more than a couple of days.

Females also like a male betta fish with strong fins because it suggests they are good fighters.

How To Choose A Female Betta For Breeding

The truth of the matter is that female bettas for breeding are a little easier to choose, in terms of what you need to keep in mind while shopping. You still want a strong, healthy female. For this reason alone, it can be a good idea to choose legitimate betta breeders.

Females need to be strong. Beyond that, you really only need to choose one based on the personal criteria you are trying to achieve. In other words, based on the physical traits you may be trying to recreate in your fry.

Interestingly enough, female bettas can live together just fine. Males are going to compete with each other for space and mating opportunities. Not that you want your bettas to fight too much, but females do tend to choose males that win such fights.

A Few More Important Things About Choosing Your Breeding Pair

We cannot stress this enough: Buy from a reputable breeder! Anything less than the best almost certainly results in poor breeding results. At best, you’re going to be disappointed. At worst, your bettas will be dead.

The bettas will be anywhere between four and twelve months old, when you set about your task. Regardless of when you get your breeding pair, they’re still going to need about a month to get settled in.

The Best Conditions For Breeding Bettas

Time to set up the breeding environment! Here’s what you’re going to need to do:

Get your bettas ready

It will take at least two weeks for them to become comfortable and optimally healthy in their surroundings. It is better to wait for a month. This allows the female betta to build up their strength and eggs, as mating is rather stressful on them. You should also use this time to get them on a good live food diet. You’re also using this prep time to keep an eye out for any of the common betta fish diseases.

Get the breeding tank set up

This should be done in an area where your bettas can have peace and quiet from noise and any brightness. After filling the breeding tank with three to five inches of water, add the sponge filter and air pump. Fully submerge your heater, and then tape the almond leaf to the front of the tank. Add your plant life. Leave the tank to settle for at least twenty-four hours.

Put the female betta in the breeding tank

This would be a good time to use the tank divider. Your female should be left alone to hang out in the tank for around thirty minutes.

Introduce your star-crossed lovers

Add the male to the breeding tank. When the male becomes aware of the female, expect them to start turning deeper colors. Vibrant fin displays are something else to look for. The female will respond positively by turning a darker color, and by displaying vertical stripes along her midsection. You will be able to see the ovipositor a small speck of white between both ventral fins. The more your female flares up and waggles about, the more interested they are in your male as a breeding partner.

Look for the bubble nest

If the initial introduction has been good for all parties concerned, the male is going to start building a bubble nest. They will alternate between doing this and continuing to show off. Separate them for the evening.

Once Betta Breeding Begins

Once they’re back together, the female will check out the bubble nest. You want your female to be impressed. The male in turn will begin showing off even more. They will also probably start chasing the female around the tank.

Keep the heat and humidity inside your tank, using one of the suggestions we made earlier. Humid conditions are ideal for hatching and fry development.

Over the next several hours, expect lots of chasing and biting. This is pretty aggressive stuff, but it’s largely normal. Keep an eye out for extreme stress or physical harm. The female is going to continuously check out the bubble nest. The male will continue to show off, turning aggressive when it doesn’t feel as though the female is responding properly.

When both are engaged in a mating dance, you’re going to see them swimming side-by-side. They will stop sporadically to display sides, flare up, and so forth.

If the female betta swims up to the male with its head down in a submissive pose, or if it goes straight into the bubble nest, you’re in business!

What Happens During Betta Mating?

The male wants to be able to flip its female mate upside down, and then wrap himself around her at the point of her midsection. This creates a tight squeeze, which will cause them to float to the surface or sink to the bottom of the tank, if they are successful.

The male will eventually release the female, waiting upwards of five minutes before going again. It may take them a few initial tries to make the “connection”, in which the male is essentially positioning themselves to fertilize the female’s eggs.

Successful Betta Fish Mating And Beyond

The female will then release eggs, go into what will seem like a betta fish coma, and begin floating sideways. This is completely normal. While this goes on, the male begins moving the eggs to a safe location. It may even build a new bubble nest for this specific purpose.

The female will eventually wake up, and perhaps elect to help your male in this task. This is fine, but watch that the female does not eat the eggs. Furthermore, once the eggs have been moved, the female and male should be separated. Otherwise, the male will see the female as a threat.

For upwards of thirty-six hours after you’ve separated them, the male will attend to the bubble nest. They will wait for the eggs to hatch into fry. Once the eggs start hatching, your male will work towards catching eggs that fall from the nest, and other tasks along those lines.

After a few days, your betta fry are going to start swimming in the upright position. Congratulations, you have successfully bred your very own bettas! Now, you just have to go through the steps involved in raising your fry into healthy adults!

Bloodworms For Betta Fish: Is It a Good Idea?

Bloodworms For Betta Fish

Live Bloodworms

As the name implies, this means buying bloodworms who are still alive, moving around. Since you’re feeding your betta fish the bloodworm in its most natural form, you stand to get the best possible range of nutrients. Compelling the betta fish to hunt the bloodworm can also be highly stimulating and beneficial in its own right. 

However, buying them isn’t very cost-effective, unless you have several bettas. Furthermore, live also means it could also contain parasites and other undesirables. These things can infect your betta fish. Live bloodworms are obviously best purchased at a store in your area.

Frozen Bloodworms

Finally, we have frozen. This can be an ideal compromise for those who want to give their betta a good range of benefits, while also being able to store them for a reasonable amount of time. Available in cubes, make sure to follow directions for dosage closely. 

Do not simply drop an entire cube of frozen bloodworms into the fish tank! Frozen blood worms can be stored for up to six months, and they should always be defrosted before being served.

Make sure your bettas can get to the food! You also don’t want to leave it in there for too long, particularly with frozen. A nice benefit of freeze-dried bloodworms is that they float to the top of your fish tank, ensuring the betta fish will eat them quickly.

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what to look for. The next step is to understand how to administer bloodworms to your betta fish safely and correctly.

best bloodworms for betta
Credit: minoufio

How Many Bloodworms Should You Feed Your Betta?

Obviously, since betta fish are carnivores, they’re going to love bloodworms. This, combined with their tendency to just eat and eat, means having to pay close attention to how many bloodworms feed your betta fish.

Bloodworms: A Fine Treat, But NOT A Dietary Staple

To be clear, bloodworms should NOT be a staple of your betta’s diet. This is where some people make a mistake. Don’t feed your betta too many bloodworms! Yes, bloodworms are rich in a variety of nutrients and other essentials. 

However, the key word there is “rich.” They are far too rich to be given to your bettas as anything more than an occasional treat. Ideally, you will only want to feed your betta fish bloodworms once or twice a week.

Too much fat and protein can wreak havoc with the health of your bettas. It can cause constipation in bettas, and it can also lead to the common betta fish condition known as swim bladder disease.

Ammonia spikes, in addition to a higher threshold for transmitting disease, can also occur when your bettas consume too many bloodworms.

Finally, overfeeding your bettas bloodworms is just a waste of money. There is a fine line where the benefits of blood worms end, and they become something that is doing your bettas far more harm than good.

Live Bloodworms for Bettas

How Often Should You Feed Your Betta Bloodworms?

While betta fish love to eat, remember that their stomachs are not nearly as large as their eyes. Some feed their bettas bloodworms as often as twice a day. This might prove to be fine, but it’s not recommended by most. Again, stick to the once or twice weekly schedule. This is particularly important when introducing bloodworms of any type for the first time.

You also shouldn’t drop an entire bloodworm into the tank. This is similar to our earlier advice regarding how to dispense a cube of bloodworms. In both cases, the bloodworm should be broken down into several smaller pieces. This ensures everything will be eaten. 

It also ensures your bettas aren’t going to give themselves any problems from trying to consume a larger-than-comfortable piece of bloodworm. Anything frozen should be broken up and thawed prior to serving.

If frozen, you also want to be sure that you drain the bloodworms carefully, before you put them in the tank to be eaten. The juices that come out during the defrost process can be highly contaminable, when included in the tank with the bloodworms themselves. 

If you are opting for frozen bloodworms due to them offering the most ideal balance of nutrients and protection from parasites/bacteria, dumping the defrosted juices in with the bloodworms can completely undo this benefit.

At the end of the day, your best bet for feeding your betta fish bloodworms safely is to remember the following:

  • Follow the manufacturer directions carefully. These will generally steer you in the right direction, and usually cover everything you need to know.
  • Buy your bloodworms from a reputable vendor. Careful research on any company or product you encounter will ensure you’re buying something that will give your betta all of the benefits you have in mind.

As long as you keep these things in mind, combined with the directions we have listed above, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

What About Breeding Bloodworms?

Some might suggest breeding your own bloodworms. Potentially, and this is largely dependent upon how many bettas you have, this could prove to be an ideal solution. Breeding gives you a direct source to bloodworms suitable for betta consumption. This can not only save you some time, but it can also save you a good deal of money.

Again, these benefits are largely dependent upon having enough bettas to justify this effort in the first place. If you only own one or two bettas, the work involved in learning how to breed bloodworms for bettas likely won’t be worth it. 

You’re going to need a lot of space, and you’re going to need to make sure you are getting them to your bettas in time. It isn’t unfathomable to wind up with an infestation of midge flies.

Final Thoughts

Balance and variety are going to be the two most important things your betta will need in its diet. To meet these needs, you’re going to need to research the different types of food betta fish can eat. Live animals are generally considered best, including bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp. Pellets, freeze-dried food, and frozen fish food are all additional possibilities you can explore. You don’t want to limit your betta to just one thing.

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.

Aquarium Salt for Betta: How Can It Help Bettas?

Aquarium Salt for Betta

Aquarium salt for betta can make the difference between life and death. However, in other situations, it can be highly problematic to expose your betta fish to this product. This is certainly another example of betta fish care essentials in which research and a careful eye are absolutely essential.

Let’s start with a breakdown of exactly what aquarium salt is. From there, we can look at the different situations in which it might be a good idea to give some to your bettas. All of this information can help to better understand why it is so important to maintain the proper aquarium salt dosage.

What Is Aquarium Salt? What Is So Special About It?

At first glance, aquarium salt may not seem all that different from regular salt. The truth of the matter is that they are the same, when it comes to the chemical formula. Both maintain the 1:1 ratio of chloride and sodium. So, why not just give your betta fish regular table salt?

Aquarium salt is not just a marketing ploy, in which the word “Aquarium” is simply slapped on the package. It differs from regular salt on the crucial level of not having the same additives that are traditionally added to the salt you put on your food. Remember that table salt includes stuff for flavor, coloring, and more.

At the end of the day, regular salt can be highly harmful towards the water quality in your tank. Also keep in mind that aquarium salt, among other benefits, works at replenishing the natural electrolytes your bettas need to be healthy. Regular salt does not do that.

Marine salt should also be avoided, for the same reason that it contains additives that can harm bettas.

Where does aquarium salt come from? Evaporated sea waters. It really is that simple.

Let’s take a look at not only some of the most common diseases treated with aquarium salt, but some of the larger benefits of including it in your tank.

Can You Use Aquarium Salt for Betta Fish?

While the aquarium salt benefits for bettas can make for a long list, there are also situations in which you should seek alternatives:

Do you have any scale-less fish?

If you do, they should not come into contact with aquarium salt in any form or fashion. Consider the slimy coat which can be found on their bodies. Without this coat, which aquarium salt can strip, they become susceptible to a range of external infections.

Do you have living plants?

Live plants are a great addition to your aquarium. They are also fragile to an extent. Some can be damaged severely by the inherent salinity of aquarium salt.

What about quarantine?

The best decision is often quarantining your betta. This is going to involve a few steps, but it generally becomes the best arrangement for all concerned.

Betta quarantine is a particularly good idea, if we’re dealing with something that can be transferred to other fish in your tank.

Barring the above situations, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Just remember that the directions for any aquarium salt product should be followed to the letter. Too much of this substance in your tank will not only negate its beneficial elements, but it will potentially be disastrous for all of the fish in your tank.

Nonetheless, overall, the benefits of aquarium salt are absolutely fascinating. You can apply this thought to the subject of whether or not you should regularly dose your aquarium with this specialized salt.

What Are Some Of The Diseases Salt Can Cure?

Under the right circumstances, aquarium salt can be invaluable towards treating a number of serious conditions. Other medications are available. However, aquarium salt is not as serious a treatment option, so it’s often a good, relatively safe place to begin addressing an issue.

Here are some of the most common conditions that can be potentially treated with aquarium salt:

  • Fin Rot: Marked by noticeable damage/decay to the fin, poor water quality is considered to be the most infamous fin rot culprit. If your tank is under the ideal temp (78F), with cloudy, debris/poop-filled water, then the water quality needs to be improved IMMEDIATELY. Even darker fins can be an indication. Red spots, severe discoloration, and damage close to the body are all symptoms of a more serious type of fin rot.
  • Ich: This external parasite can attach itself to your betta. This in turn can cause a ton of problems for your poor betta. White spots appearing all over the body is one of the most common symptoms. You should also look for poor appetite, a lack of energy, relatively poorer socialization, and your betta rubbing itself against things inside your tank.
  • Dropsy: Despite the somewhat-silly name, dropsy should always be taken seriously. Not actually a disease, despite commonly being considered as such, dropsy is actually a collection of symptoms that can point to another issue. If your betta is hiding all the time, avoiding other fish, or simply not eating, these signs can point to the presence of dropsy. The presence of pinecone-like scales is considered to be the biggest tell of all.
  • Velvet: Another condition with a somewhat-disarming name, velvet occurs due to the presence of bacteria in your water. Also known as rust and gold disease, your betta’s reaction to the disease can appear in the form of what looks like gold dust on the body of the fish. Lethargy is another symptom to look out for, and this is another disease in which your sick betta will start rubbing themselves against objects in your aquarium.

Clearly, aquarium salt is something that can prove to be a lifesaver in many situations facing your betta. However, you are also going to want to take care to ensure it is exactly what your betta needs. Before we discuss the benefits of aquarium salt, let’s examine times in which your betta should not be exposed.

What Are The Benefits Of Aquarium Salt?

One of the more common betta fish topics involves using aquarium salt to do more than treat specific conditions. Some, including many experts, believe it can have ongoing benefits. This again means adhering to a very minimal daily dosage, but it could allow your bettas to enjoy the following:

Parasites will be miserable

There are a range of parasites that can infiltrate your tank, attack your bettas, and cause all kinds of problems. Keeping a clean tank will go a long way towards keeping these pests out. However, it is ultimately almost impossible to have a 100% parasite-free tank at all times. Aquarium salt can keep them from ever even reproducing.

Nitrates and nitrites

Methemoglobinemia is a blood disorder which can be caused by an abundance of nitrates and nitrites in the water in your tank.

Better for coats, gills, and even kidneys 

Treating your aquarium with this salt has been shown to improve the functionality of your slime coat. As we mentioned before, this is the coat that protects your fish from getting sick. Aquarium salt can also make your bettas more efficient at using their kidneys to remove water from the body. This also applies to the gills, which should never absorb too much water.

Okay, we’re ready to start using aquarium salt to your tank!

How To Treat Your Bettas With Aquarium Salt

Keeping in mind that you should probably quarantine your sick betta with what is known as a hospital tank, if you’re using aquarium salt to treat something specific, here are the steps to remember, regardless of whether or not you do that.

  • Do not go above one tablespoon for every five gallons of water in your tank.
  • Aquarium salt should NEVER be added to the aquarium by depositing it straight into the water. Instead, what you want to do is combine a little tank water with the aquarium salt in a container. You only need a very small amount of tank water. Once it has properly diluted, you can have it added to your tank.
  • Once it has been added to the tank, keep an eye on the aquarium for twenty-four hours or so. You should start to notice some improvements at this point.
  • Continue to dose your water in this fashion for a few days. You don’t want to go for any longer than four, five days at the most.
  • Once you’ve gotten to your last day of treatment, you need to change approximately twenty-five percent of the water currently in your aquarium.

This entire process can be repeated on and off for two weeks. After that, if your betta has not improved, their condition is more serious than previously thought. You are going to need to seek out stronger methods of treatment for your betta.

Now, while the above treatment strategy is the one most commonly used, you are not without further possibilities using aquarium salt. There is a method known as salt bombing. Under the right conditions, this can be a powerful way to aid your betta.

How Much Aquarium Salt for Betta Fish?

This can also be called a salt blast or salt bomb. As any of those names imply, you’re giving your betta a significant dose of aquarium salt over an extremely short period of time. This should not be attempted as your first approach to improving the condition of your betta.

It should be reserved for situations in which your betta’s condition is more advanced, but you also don’t want to progress to a treatment stronger than aquarium salt. You also need to have everything set up ahead of time. Don’t forget that we are only going to expose your betta to this concentrated dose for a very short period of time.

First, get two containers. One is going to have a gallon of water and some aquarium salt. The second container will have a fourth of the recommended manufacturer’s amount, combined with another gallon of water. The second container exists to revive your betta after the initial treatment. You will need to do this prior to returning the betta to the main aquarium.

After you’ve set your containers up, heat your water up to somewhere between seventy-eight and eighty degrees. Put your betta fish in a plastic bag. With this done, your betta can be added to your first container for approximately ten to fifteen minutes. This is meant to get them used to these new, temporary conditions.

Take them out of the bag after fifteen minutes at the most. You can now leave them in the first container for anywhere from five to eight minutes. It is strongly advised that you only go to the eight-minute threshold when treating something serious in your betta. To reiterate, prolonged exposure to these extreme conditions can kill your betta.

You don’t want to shock your betta by adding them straight from the first container to the main aquarium. This can also kill them. The second container exists to make the transition as easy as possible. You only need to leave them in this container for around five minutes. 

Once you have finished with this stage, you can safely have them returned to the main tank. Put them in another plastic bag, and allow them to float along the top of the tank. You shouldn’t need to do this for more than a few minutes.

Final Thoughts

There might be some concern on your part about the pH levels on your aquarium becoming unstable by adding aquarium salt. You don’t have a thing to worry about. Neither the hydrogen molecules or oxygen molecules are going to be changed or harmed by adding aquarium salt.

Clearly, aquarium salt can be a vital part of your day-to-day care for your betta fish. As long as you maintain the proper dosages, and keep in mind everything else we mentioned above, your betta can gain a lot from aquarium salt. Whether you need to treat something in particular, or want to use it to maintain an optimal tank, make it a point to keep some in your home.