How Much Does A Betta Fish Cost?(One-Time & Per Month Costs)

How Much Does a Betta Fish Cost

Do you want to adopt a pet but don’t know what to get because it’s your first time? 

Might we recommend bringing home betta fish? That’s right; these fish have gorgeous colors, are low-maintenance, and are extremely entertaining. 

But you might be wondering – “how much does a betta fish cost?” So, we’ve highlighted all the possible expenses in our guide to help you plan accordingly.  

Initial Costs To Own One Betta Fish

Get a Betta Fish from Adoption 

There are two ways to own a betta fish: adoption or contacting a breeder. Let’s discuss the former because it’s a cost-effective method; plus, you might be able to look after an injured fish. 

After people find fish in bad shape, they are sent to the rescue to nurse them back to life. Now, we know it’s not ideal, and most owners want a healthy pet for their homes. 

But there are very few things as fulfilling as watching the once injured fish swimming happily around the tank. So, you can reach out to local rescues to see if they have any betta fish, which will cost you only $5-$10.  

Purchase a Betta Fish from a Local Breeder 

If adoption is not an option, you can contact a breeder to bring home a healthy and colorful betta fish. But you should know that going to a breeder has its advantages and disadvantages. 

For instance, you’re likely to find fish of rare colors that aren’t available in pet stores. On the flip side, they cost more because of this very reason; most breeders sell betta fish for $15-$30. 

But rest assured, the price will be well worth the investment, provided you have all the supplies for taking care of them. 

Initial Setup And Supplies 

Let’s discuss supplies next as you’ll need to purchase proper equipment for the initial setup of your aquarium. It includes everything from choosing the correct tank size to other fish-related products that you might find at stores like PetSmart. 

Now, you’ll have to purchase the tank a few weeks in advance and keep it ready with the aeration system, filters, heaters, and decorations to begin the cycling procedure. This will help establish the nitrifying bacteria for when you introduce the fish. 

Overall, the entire process should cost between $100 and $200 for a 5-10-gallon tank. 

How Much Does A Betta Fish Cost Per Month? 

Photo: copepodo

Total Monthly Cost

Although the initial setup cost is quite steep, taking care of betta fish isn’t expensive. They are extremely low-maintenance, and the major costs you incur will be related to medication, food, and other underwater features that you might add. 

Understandably, pet owners’ total cost per month will vary but shouldn’t be more than $60. In some cases, buying water conditioners and food packets in bulk will save you the hassle of making frequent purchases. 

Not to mention, it can help reduce costs to as low as $20 since there is no need to buy a lot of external supplies. 

Health Care 

Despite constant care and attention, there is always a chance that the betta fish may experience health issues. Meaning, your primary concern should be to maintain the water quality, ensuring that they have a long life. 

You first need to purchase a premium-quality water conditioner from Petco to keep the tank chlorine-free. In some cases, these devices also remove heavy metals, ammonia, and nitrate to prolong the longevity of the plumbing system. 

Now, the best water conditioners usually cost $25-$40, but you can buy a cheaper product as well. Just be careful that the watercolor doesn’t change after a cleaning session. 

Food 

Most aquarists will tell you that the betta fish reach a maximum length of 3 inches, so they don’t require much food. They are mostly carnivorous, but you can feed them eatables like flakes or pellets. 

We found that the average monthly cost to feed betta fish varies between $10 and $20. However, if you manage to feed them live bait, the cost will go down further. 

We recommend that you feed them a protein-rich betta fish food consisting of, but not limited to, tubifex worm, blood worms, and brine shrimp. Sometimes, people also use insect cultures to provide the fish with a steady supply of nutrients. 

Medications 

Remember how we spoke about healthcare? Well, you need to be prepared to deal with betta fish emergencies. That means having the necessary medication close by to treat various ailments. 

The cost of treatment depends upon the severity of the disease and the type of betta fish you have. In most cases, the expenditure varies from $15-$50 per month, and it’s possible to buy the medicines from any certified store like Petsmart or Petco. 

That said, be careful while adding them to the water because a powerful dose could remove carbon from the filters and kill beneficial bacteria. 

Entertainment 

You’ll be pleased to know that betta fish are entertainers and often learn to perform tricks. You can therefore add toys to the tank to keep them engaged so that they remain healthy. 

For example, an extremely simple toy that aquarists can use is a mirror. When the fish look in the mirror, they get the impression of staring at a rival, causing them to stretch and flare their muscles. 

Other than that, you can place leaves inside the tank, which will act as a resting spot. So, all things considered, most toys are simple and cost $5-$20 per month. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, our guide has answered your queries so that you can take care of different betta fish varieties. 

Before signing off, we’ll leave you with this tip: buy a separate tank for keeping the fish while you’re cleaning the main tank. The former will also come in handy during the mating season.

Rest assured, with the right care, betta fish will brighten up your home, thanks to their vibrant colors. On that note, we’ll conclude our proceedings for today. 

Feel free to share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section down below.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp 101: Stages, Care And Labor Signs

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

Pregnant ghost shrimp giving you the jitters?

Well, let us ease your nerves by saying that ghost shrimps are one of the easiest species to breed, which is why they are popular among first-time breeders. Their transparent bodies literally enable you to keep an eye on them during the entire breeding process.

However, there are a few other things that need to be taken care of, and in this guide, we will help you figure out just those. 

Do Ghost Shrimp Lay Eggs Or Live Birth?

Before getting into the details, we should tell you that ghost shrimps are never actually pregnant, as they don’t give birth to live ones. Since they are basically egg-layers, the correct term to describe their birthing journey would be “gravid.”

Interestingly, both male and female ghost shrimps look alike, so you can’t really differentiate between them, especially if you haven’t seen one before. However, once they reach the breeding age, you will see small, round-shaped green eggs under the tail of the female species.

A female ghost shrimp usually carries anywhere between 8 and 85 eggs, some of which are fertilized by the male. Then, the female lays the fertilized eggs (instead of giving birth to young ones), which have an incubation period typically ranging from 12 to 14 days. Once that’s complete, tiny and delicate free-swimming shrimp fry will come out of the eggs. 

How To Tell If Your Ghost Shrimp Is Pregnant?

In the following sections, we have listed the 5 major signs that will tell you whether your female ghost shrimp is about to lay eggs. These include both changes in physical appearance and behavior.

Green Dots Near The Saddle

If you notice small, green dots near the saddle (located close to the abdomen), then consider it as one of the first signs of the shrimp being gravid. These dots will initially appear tiny before becoming larger with time. 

Sure, they won’t become too huge, as the shrimp itself has a small body, but keep an eye for green specks or small balls near the saddle.These dots are the eggs that will grow over time and get attached to the back legs of the female shrimp.

Fanned Legs

If you observe that the female shrimp is frequently fanning (or spreading out) her rear legs (where the eggs are attached), then she might be gravid. 

Now, there isn’t a proper scientific explanation as to why they do this, but it might be a way to ensure adequate oxygenation for the eggs. 

Alternatively, it may be a way to relieve the discomfort of carrying the weight of the eggs on their legs.

White Dots Near The Saddle

Once the male fertilizes the eggs (or the green dots), they may turn white and grow a little in size. So, white dots near the saddle are a definite sign of “pregnancy,” as they indicate that the fertilization process is complete.

As the eggs continue growing in size, they tend to move and attach to the rear leg of their mother, which takes us to our next point.

A Sudden Increase In Weight

Given the overall size of a female shrimp (a full-grown female usually measures around 2 inches long) and the inherent roundness near its abdomen, it may be difficult to see the weight gain. But when dozens of eggs start attaching themselves to the rear legs, you will observe a visible increase in its body mass.

Fight For Male Dominance

Even if there’s a single female gravid shrimp in the tank, the males will surround her to assert their dominance. And by dominance, we mean that they will fight with each other to fertilize their eggs in order to pass on their genes to the babies and claim their lineage. 

So, if you have observed male shrimps following the female everywhere in the water or “fighting” with each other, then there is a high chance that she is gravid.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages

Now that you have an idea about how to spot a pregnant or gravid shrimp, here’s a guide to help you understand the stages of the pregnancy. 

Stage 1: Production And Development Of The Eggs

The first stage in the process starts with the female producing eggs, which usually happens every three weeks. These are the green dots that you see near the saddle, located close to the swimmerets.

The eggs will stay here without much change for at least the first 7 days, after which they start getting bigger and lighter in color (dark green to light green). 

Stage 2: Fertilization And Hatching

Between 8 and 14 days, the eggs will grow bigger and slowly move towards the bottom of the saddle and towards the rear legs. The male will fertilize the eggs during the start of the third week (on or after the 15-day mark), which will make them turn white.

Upon closer inspection of the fertilized eggs, you may even be able to see tiny black dots inside them, which will eventually develop into the eyes and stomachs of the baby shrimps. And the shrimp fry should emerge from the hatched eggs by day 21.

How To Take Care Of A Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

Set Up a Ghost Shrimp Breeding Tank

When in the wild, ghost shrimps usually lay their eggs between the months of April and October. But for residential aquariums or tanks, keeping males and females together will initiate the process, irrespective of the time of the year.

One of the most effective ways to help your pregnant ghost shrimp give birth successfully is to separate it as soon as you spot the signs of pregnancy. And make sure you include the males as well to ensure fertilization of the eggs.

Since ghost shrimps are pretty small with less maintenance needs, you don’t really need an elaborate setup. You can keep 3 to 4 shrimps per gallon of water, and the minimum amount of water in the tank should be 5 gallons. We’d also suggest adding enough vegetation (mainly algae) and detritus, as ghost shrimps eat both plants and small insects.

Likewise, the ideal temperature range should be between 65 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit. And keep in mind that they may breed twice a year in warmer water.

Set Up A Breeding Net Inside The Community Tank

Breeding ghost shrimps in community tanks, albeit challenging, isn’t impossible. There are a few things that you need to take care of, the most important of which is shielding both the “mother” shrimp and its babies from other predator fish. 

In this regard, you can use breeding nets to separate the female shrimps from the other fish and provide a safe space for them to lay their eggs. Depending on the type or model, the nets may come with suction clips for easy installation.

You can also add broken pots or a rich carpet plant cover that will house the eggs and pregnant shrimps.

Moreover, you must ensure that there is enough food in the tank so that the other fish varieties don’t fight with the shrimps while eating. Similarly, add enough plants and algae well in advance of the breeding session.

No matter whether you’re breeding the shrimps in a dedicated tank or community tank, separate the baby shrimps as soon as they hatch. Since adult shrimps are basically scavengers, they may feed on their offsprings, mistaking them for insects or pests. Hence, keeping the babies alone will keep them alive.

Feeding A Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

Talking about the diet requirements, pregnant ghost shrimps don’t require a specialized diet per se. That said, you may add some high-nutrient flakes, sinking wafers from time to time, and pieces of soft vegetables for snacking purposes. Furthermore, a steady supply of food is necessary to help the baby shrimps develop.

However, be careful not to feed them more than twice a day, as they will also source food from the plants and detritus.

Other than that, consider adding an air pump and sponge filter to the breeding tank. While the former will keep the water adequately oxygenated, the latter will ensure gentle water currents, which are preferred by both adult and young ghost shrimps.

Final Thoughts

As long as you keep the basics in mind, taking care and breeding ghost shrimp shouldn’t be a herculean task.

And as we have already stated, just make sure that the environment is suitable for the breeding process as well as keeping the babies healthy and alive. But before we leave, here are two more important tips. 

First, keep in mind that a high-power filter can suck in the babies, thereby killing them. Secondly, wait for at least 5 weeks before adding the newborn shrimp into the community tank, as that would strengthen them enough for survival.

On that note, we will wrap up today’s guide. See you next time with more such informational content.

How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Live? (& Increase their Lifespan)

how long do ghost shrimp live

Ghost shrimp, also known as glass shrimp because of their appearance, are freshwater creatures native to the southeastern parts of the US. 

These interesting arthropods are low maintenance, easy to breed, and can be bought at a meager price. Consequently, they’d be an ideal addition to your aquarium if you are looking to grow your system. 

But sometimes ghosties die way too fast and that’s why we have formulated this guide to help you. We will answer some frequently asked questions, along with the most important one: how long do ghost shrimp live?

Let’s dive right into it!

How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Live In An Aquarium

Ghost shrimp generally don’t live long and have an average lifespan of one year. It also depends on how old they are when you get them from the breeder for your aquarium. If you got them at the adult stage, they’d live for around six months. 

Not just ghosties, the majority of shrimps have short lives. However, some species like the Amano shrimp can live from eighteen months to three years, even longer if they are looked after well. 

Why Do Ghost Shrimp Die So Fast? 

Ghost shrimps aren’t too delicate and adapt fairly well to their surroundings but are comparatively more sensitive than fishes. You must be extremely careful while introducing any changes in the tank because even the slightest alteration can be fatal for them.

A few reasons why ghost shrimp die so fast are:

Copper Or Lead Poisoning

Heavy metals such as lead and copper are highly toxic, and even a minute amount can be deadly for your shrimps. So, don’t fill the tank with tap water straightaway; most households commonly have copper pipelines, and as a result, the water is bound to contain corroded copper in small quantities. 

It would be best to test the water for any toxic metals before pouring it into your tank. 

Overcrowding

This parameter is often overlooked because most aquarists are fond of keeping lots of aquatic animals in their tank. But you should remember that even if ghost shrimp are tiny, they produce a huge amount of nitrate waste, enough to pollute the whole tank. 

That’s why we recommend restricting yourself to two or three shrimp per gallon of water in the tank. 

You may be interested to know: How Many Ghost Shrimp Per Gallon?

Nitrite And Ammonia Poisoning

A completely cycled tank has enough microorganisms to convert the ammonia and nitrites excreted by fishes into nitrates. Meaning, if you place your ghost shrimp in a water tank that hasn’t been properly cycled, they will likely die of poisoning.

How To Increase Your Ghost Shrimp Lifespan 

Discussing all the above mentioned parameters must have given you a rough idea of what practices should be avoided and what should be adopted for looking after ghost shrimp. Now, let’s take a quick peek at a few important points to increase their lifespan:

Maintain A Healthy Gender Ratio

It is essential to balance the number of male and female shrimps in the tank. If there is a male majority, they will likely stress out the females because of their mating advances, which can be fatal.

Friendly Tankmates

Ghost shrimp are sensitive and small, growing only up to 1.5 inches in size and do not do well in the company of aggressive fish. So, do not keep them with fish like cichlids and gold fishes as they might eat your ghosties. However, friendly species like danios and tetras are good companions for them.

Tank Conditions

Maintaining suitable water conditions in your aquarium is very important for keeping your ghost shrimps alive. Routinely check your tank and ensure that the temperature lies in the range of sixty-five to seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. 

These freshwater shrimps cannot survive above seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit.

Along with that, maintain a neutral pH (7.0-8.0), KH, and GH ratio. KH measures carbonate and bicarbonate ions in ppm, while GH tells the amount of calcium and magnesium present in the water. 

FAQS:

Can Ghost Shrimp Survive In Saltwater?  

The answer is no! Ghost shrimp are freshwater crustaceans and cannot tolerate high salinity. They might stay alive for a little while but will not be able to acclimatize to saltwater for long. 

How Long Can Ghost Shrimp Live In A Bag? 

You shouldn’t keep your ghost shrimp in a bag as they continuously release waste and make the water toxic. They can survive for up to four days in a bag, but try not to exceed two days at a stretch to be on the safer side. Even if they don’t die, such conditions can stress them out, having long-term effects on their health. 

Can Ghost Shrimp Survive Out Of Water? 

Ghost shrimp can survive for a few hours outside of water, but it is extremely risky and not advisable unless absolutely necessary. Even if they are outside water, you’ll have to ensure that their gills are wet at all times and have a little access to water.

How Long Can Ghost Shrimp Live Without A Filter? 

You can keep ghost shrimp in a filterless system permanently, provided it is well planted and cycled. Just ensure that the tank is not overcrowded and all the marine life can survive without a filter.

Final Thoughts 

We hope that our guide was able to answer all your queries about ghost shrimp and their living conditions. 

Ghost shrimp are tiny water animals that are relatively low maintenance. They have a short lifespan ranging from six months to a year and are exclusively freshwater animals that do not do well in brackish or saline conditions. 

We’ll sign off with one final tip: clean your tank frequently and do not allow nitrates to build up. This is because ghost shrimp excrete a lot of waste and often die due to ammonia poisoning. 

We’ll see you next time! Take care.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Per Gallon? (Here’s the Answer)

How Many Ghost Shrimp Per Gallon

Do you want to have a thriving home aquarium with different species of aquatic life? 

One of the most effective ways to do that is by keeping ghost shrimp. These tiny organisms are mostly docile and live on deteriorating plant bits, which helps clean the tank. 

Needless to say, they look the part in most indoor settings, but tend to multiply fast, often leaving less space for other animals. Hence, we’ve formulated this well-researched guide to explain how many ghost shrimp per gallon you should have. 

How Many Ghost Shrimp Per Gallon?

Ghost shrimp don’t require much room to reproduce quickly, making it difficult to know how many inhabitants you can have per gallon of water. Now, it’s challenging to determine an accurate number as it depends on several factors. 

However, most aquarists don’t like to keep more than 3-5 shrimp per gallon. In some cases, the number may vary between 3 and 10, provided that you have all the elements needed for their survival. 

So, what are the factors that determine the number of ghost shrimp you can keep per gallon? Let’s find out. 

Types Of Aquarium 

The first thing that you’ll need to decide is the type of aquarium for keeping the shrimp. We have seen that some people have a round vase aquarium while others prefer to use a regular fish tank. 

Additionally, you’ll need to think about the aquarium size to house all the shrimp species effectively. That said, even large aquariums with a lot of features may not be ideal for keeping too many shrimp due to the lack of space. 

Similarly, a smaller aquarium with more room may prove ideal. All things considered, 5-10-gallon tanks should be suitable for having an adequate number of shrimp. 

Shrimp Only Tank 

Now, if you intend to keep only shrimp in the tank, you must consider a couple of things. For instance, do you want to fill the tank with ghost shrimp, or introduce other species? 

If it’s the latter, we have found that cherry shrimp act as suitable tank mates for ghost shrimp. You can also introduce other varieties since ghost shrimp are tolerant and not particularly aggressive. 

That said, we suggest that you don’t have more than 10 shrimp per gallon to prevent them from fighting for space. Not to mention, it will keep the tank inmates healthy. 

Community Fish Tank 

Keeping ghost shrimp in a community fish tank is a different ball game and less convenient than having a shrimp-only tank. You will need to factor in the presence of other fish species in the tank and their reaction to the shrimp. 

In general, shrimp are tiny creatures who don’t need a lot of room. But you can’t afford to pack them in and ruin the ecosystem of the tank. 

If they fail to survive, the dead shrimp may spread diseases, or the fish could eat them up. To avoid this, it would be best to have 3-5 shrimp per gallon in community tanks. 

The Tank Mates 

You should know that although they are non-aggressive, ghost shrimp could turn violent if there are too many tank inhabitants. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to place them with other aggressive marine animals like crayfish, frogs, turtles, goldfish, and oscars.

That’s why it’s important for you to choose the right tank mate for ghost shrimp. You could introduce similar inmates like bamboo shrimp, Amano shrimp, or vampire shrimp. 

We also found that different snail species live comfortably with ghost shrimp. But if you want to add fish, catfish like Cory and Otocinclus are ideal and don’t cause any harm. 

Water Condition 

Even though ghost shrimp can survive in various environments, it’s no secret that they are susceptible to poor water conditions. You’ll find that shrimps keep the tank clean, but you also need to help out and remove impurities.  

They shed their exoskeleton after a few weeks, for which they need a lot of water. Hence, if the water is dirty, it may lead to health issues. 

The easiest way to reduce tank waste is by installing a filtration system which also makes the shrimp low-maintenance. Additionally, slightly increasing the protein and calcium content may boost immunity to prevent infections and help them reproduce. 

Number Of Hiding Place 

Hiding Place for Ghost Shrimps

Even though they are docile, ghost shrimp are territorial, and you need to ensure that the tank resembles their natural environment. We recommend that you add black gravel and have a darker background, making it easier to spot them. 

But it’s especially important that you add hiding places so they can take shelter when needed. Not to mention, such spaces help them relax when molting. 

Most aquarists prefer to use decorations, plants, and driftwoods; however, you can use rocks and caves as well. Just remember that the hiding places should be more than the number of shrimp in the tank. 

The Plants 

One of the best ways to make the shrimp feel at home is to add plants. But you should know that the number of plants determines how many shrimp you can have per gallon. 

Ideally, you shouldn’t have more than 10 shrimp per gallon. That said, if the number of plants is less, it may be possible to increase the shrimp population to 25. 

Final Thoughts 

That’s all there is to know about ghost shrimp, their living conditions, behavior, and what factors you must consider to keep them healthy. 

Contrary to popular opinion, you can keep only ghost shrimp in the tank – perfect for first-time aquarists. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry much about maintenance and underwater decorations. 

But try to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible and clean the water to remove their old exoskeleton. On that note, we hope that our guide helps you manage your shrimp tank without any difficulty. 

So have fun and take care!

Betta Stress Stripes (Breeding VS Fear Stripes)

Betta Stress Stripes

Have you noticed any unusual behavior in the Betta fish whenever you make a little change to the water system?

Commonly known as Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens are colorful and low maintenance. They are typically found in a mix of all rainbow colors like red, blue, and yellow but temporarily get discolored and form stripes when faced with stressful conditions.

If you are wondering, “what Betta stress stripes look like, we’ve got you covered with our informative guide. 

What Are Betta Fish Stress Stripes?

Fishes often experience stress, just like humans do, but their trigger factors and the medium of expression are quite different. Now, Bettas indicate something being out of place in their surroundings through physical means. 

Whenever there are adversities or sudden changes in the aquarium, this species starts discoloring and adopts a light or dark striped pattern. These stripes could be horizontal or vertical, depending on the reason behind their occurrence. 

What Do Betta Stress Stripes Look Like?

When Bettas sense changes or get scared, they’ll lose their gorgeous colors and become pale. When this happens, they develop horizontally or vertically aligned parallel bands on their bodies that are quite different in color from their usual hues. 

Female Betta: Breeding Or Fear Stripes

Both types of stripes might appear the same to untrained eyes, but if you pay attention, you’ll be able to notice a striking difference. Let’s look at how fear stripes differ from breeding stripes to learn how to demarcate them from each other.

Fear Stripes

Fish are capable of communicating through their body language; they change their appearance by altering their pigmentation and colors. 

For instance, fear stripes are light horizontal streaks running along the female Betta’s body. These are caused when severe changes occur rapidly; you might have observed these stripes while siphoning the aquarium or netting your fish.

Breeding Stripes

While stress stripes are an indicator of tense situations, breeding stripes are a sign of good health in female Bettas. Yes, only females develop these stripes to indicate their prosperous breeding condition and invite males for mating.

Breeding stripes are vertically aligned light-colored bands, occurring in a series of five to six stripes. But these are less vibrant than the fear stripes.

Do Male Bettas Get Stress Stripes? 

Stress stripes are common in female Bettas but not so apparent in males. The latter loses its color under stress and shows other behavioral changes. However, some pet owners on fish forums have mentioned their male Bettas developing stress stripes under immense stress or habitat change. 

So, we can say that both males and females get stress stripes, but the phenomenon is much more pronounced in females than males. 

How To Get Rid Of Betta Stress Stripes?

What Causes Stress Stripes?

Your Betta can get stressed for multiple reasons, so let us discuss the possible causes. This will help you find effective methods to look after your fish and get rid of the stress stripes.

Is it a New Tank?

Stress stripes commonly occur when Bettas are moved from the pet store to their new home. This species is sensitive to changes and adjusts to a new habitat in their own sweet time. The stripes will likely go away in a week, provided you keep the tank filtered, cycled, and properly heated.

Water Conditions

Fluctuations in the water quality can stress out your fish really fast. That’s why you should avoid introducing sudden changes in your water tank. If you want to improve the quality of the water, do it gradually, so Bettas have enough time to adapt without freaking out.

Apart from water, the general tank conditions also affect the stress level of this species. Bright lighting, fast water cycling, and a lack of hiding spots are a few factors that can cause stress stripes. 

Make sure that your tank is large enough to accommodate all your fish comfortably (five gallons or more). Keep the lights dim and provide sufficient natural crevices to make your Bettas feel safe and secure. 

Tankmates

Betta splendens is a solitary species that doesn’t react too well when kept with other fish. They might cohabitate with some assorted tropical fish without showing aggression, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are compatible with them.

Bettas might become skittish and form stress stripes due to the presence of vividly colored and active fish around them. Therefore, it is important to observe their behavior closely while introducing new tankmates. If the stripes persist, it’s your sign to make some changes.

Getting Rid Of The Stripes

The best way to relieve Bettas from their stress stripes is by eliminating the source of stressful conditions. Make sure that you run water quality tests in your aquarium from time to time. What’s more, observe your Bettas’ movement and assess the space they are getting to move about and hide.

Notice your fish’s activity and movement in the water tank; is it swimming and moving around actively, or is it sulking at the bottom, most of the time? If the latter is the case, try adding more enrichments to the water. 

Additionally, research the species you introduce inside your tank along with the Betta splendens. You need to make sure that your fish are reacting well to each other instead of being aggressive.

Final Thoughts

Bettas are known as “fighting fish,” but in reality, they are complex and sensitive, prone to getting stressed at the slightest inconvenience. 

They are low maintenance but prefer solitary living and stress stripes are a sure sign that something is up and your fish is having a tough time. Moreover, prolonged stress can have a terrible effect on their immunity, making them vulnerable to diseases. 

But the stress stripes will warn you beforehand; you’ll have ample time to figure things out and make them better for your Betta’s comfort. 

We’ll sign off now, hoping that our guide was able to cater to all your queries. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Koi Betta Fish 101 (Care, Tank Size, Food & Tank Mates)

Koi Betta fish

When it comes to keeping fish in home aquariums, few species prove more stunning than the koi betta fish. 

They are available in several colors, don’t need much care, and can even perform tricks. All you need to do is provide the right conditions, and they will live happy lives. 

So, what are the things that you need to keep in mind while taking care of koi betta fish? Let’s find out. 

What Is A Koi Betta? 

Koi bettas are a type of marble betta fish that have a cellophane-scaled body. Although they come in a variety of shades and striking patterns, the two primary colors are black and red. 

These color changes occur when the marble DNA alters its position within the genome. 

Are Koi Bettas Aggressive? 

The koi betta fish tend to be aggressive and may react violently towards other tank mates. In fact, the males are territorial, especially during the breeding season, and don’t like intruders venturing close to the bubble nest. 

Meanwhile, the females are comparatively docile but do display aggressive behavior. 

Koi Betta Fish Facts? 

These fish are available in different color combinations and don’t require much care in home aquariums. But in the wild, they live in rice paddies, slow-moving streams, and ditches. And to survive in these conditions, they have developed a special organ. Along with their gills, this organ allows them to breathe oxygen above the water surface. 

Types Of Koi Betta (By Colors)

Galaxy Koi Betta 

The Galaxy koi betta has iridescent scales to complement its red body but you will also find streaks of another color.  

Candy Koi Betta 

Just like candies are available in multiple colors, this koi betta variety comes in black, blue, red, and yellow. 

Fancy Koi Betta 

As the name suggests, these fish have a wide range of colors, at times more than three, although red is quite common.

Nemo Koi Betta 

Another betta fish with gorgeous colors is the Nemo koi betta, which has orange, red, and black hues across its body. 

Red Koi Betta 

Red is a common color among betta fish, but they appear highly attractive due to the different patterns and combinations formed with other shades. 

Blue Koi Betta 

They have a vibrant and deep-blue shade due to the shape of their pigments. In some cases, you may also find a tinge of green. 

Yellow Koi Betta 

You’ll find different shades of yellow; however, the yellow koi betta has lemon-colored fins and body. Additionally, they may have a black border along the scales. 

Orange Koi Betta 

Orange koi betta usually has a tangerine shade, but the color varies from pale to bright orange. Moreover, the tail appears reddish. 

White Koi Betta 

White koi bettas are extremely glamorous, thanks to their white fins and scales that are often opaque. Also, the body isn’t pinkish, which makes other features more prominent. 

Black Koi Betta 

The black koi betta has several sub-varieties, but the main highlight is its dark body and cellophane-colored fins. 

Koi Samurai Betta 

The koi samurai betta is quite popular because of its dragon scaling and bright red colors, interspersed with patches of white. 

Purple Koi Betta 

This variety has violet and pale-lavender shades, but occasionally you may find hints of red or blue, making them quite rare. 

Koi Betta Tail Types 

Veiltail Koi Betta 

Veiltail koi bettas have a long dropping tail that behaves like seaweed and trails behind the body to deliver an attractive appearance. 

Superdelta Koi Betta 

These fish have wider tails that extend up to 180 degrees and display striking patterns. Plus, each portion of the tail is triangular and has straight edges, like the Greek letter delta. 

Halfmoon Koi Betta 

Similar to the delta variety, the Halfmoon koi betta has a 180-degree tail, perfect for displaying numerous colors and patterns. 

Crowntail Koi Betta 

The crowntail variant is extremely eye-catching and features webbing that extends mid-way up each fin. This gives the tail a spiky appearance, like an upside-down crown. 

Plakat Koi Betta 

Unlike domestic bettas, Plakats have a shorter tail which is less fancy but in no measure less beautiful due to their color combinations. 

How Long Do Koi Betta Fish Live? 

In the wild, koi betta fish live for 3-5 years but their lifespan increases in captivity. Some fish can live for 8-9 years at home if they get the right conditions, thereby making them perfect as pets. 

How Big Do Koi Betta Fish Get? 

Both male and female koi betta fish reach a maximum length of three inches, meaning you don’t need to have a large tank to accommodate their fins. 

How Expensive Is A Koi Betta? 

The price of a koi betta fish depends on the type, with costs varying from $2 to $30. For instance, a regular female koi betta fish is available for $12-$15, while Paradise or Bumblebee bettas often cost $20. 

Of all the types, Elephant Ear bettas are the costliest, while Veiltail bettas are the least expensive. 

Gender: Koi Betta Male Vs. Female

Although both genders are of the same size, female koi bettas have a white spot called the ovipositor in front of the anal fin. Other than that, some males have a longer fin which helps distinguish them from females. 

Koi Betta Fish Care

How Big Of A Tank Does A Koi Betta Need? 

The smallest tank that you can purchase for a koi betta is 5 gallons. However, it comes down to the number of fish you want to keep. 

Most people keep 4-5 females, for which you’ll need a 20-gallon tank. That said, most koi bettas can live healthy lives in a 5-gallon tank without much difficulty. 

Do Koi Betta Fish Need A Filter? 

It would be best to install a filter even though koi bettas can survive in stagnant water. Not to mention, using a filter keeps the water clean, the fish stress-free, and helps mimic the natural conditions of their habitat. 

Do Koi Betta Fish Need A Heater? 

Another good practice would be to buy a heater for the fish tank to maintain the ideal water temperature. You must note that koi betta fish can’t survive in chilly conditions, and if the water temperature fluctuates constantly, it may shorten their lifespan. 

Do Koi Betta Fish Need Lighting? 

Betta fish are like humans and they need lighting to determine when to wake up and go to sleep. They like mild lights during the day, which you can switch on/off to help them wake up during the day or rest at night. 

Koi Betta Tank Care

Temperature 

The average water temperature for koi betta fish ranges from 72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. We must mention that they are quite sensitive to temperature fluctuations, so you should ensure that the water conditions aren’t too hot or cold for the fish. 

PH Level

Ideally, the pH range for koi betta fish should be within 6.0-8.0, but we’ve seen that they can survive in slightly acidic conditions. Now, for them to survive it’s essential that the pH is consistent, so make sure that it doesn’t fluctuate too much from 7.0. 

Water Hardness 

Apart from temperature and pH, it’s critical to ensure that the general hardness of water is between 70 and 330 ppm. Most koi betta fish prefer living in soft water, but they can survive in varying conditions, provided that the water isn’t very hard. 

Additionally, water hardness impacts the pH value, meaning you need to be vigilant.  

What Do Koi Betta Fish Eat? 

Koi betta fish primarily feed on insects and larvae in the wild as they need to consume a lot of protein. Also, being carnivores, they will eat most meat items. 

How To Breed Koi Betta? 

You’ll need a large tank, aquarium plants, heaters, and filters to breed koi betta fish. Once everything is in place, introduce a male and female pair to see how they respond to each other.

If the male turns aggressive, introduce a new female and stay patient; hopefully, you’ll find a pair that mates. 

Final Thoughts 

Are you confident that you have all the information needed for taking care of koi betta fish? 

Looking after these tiny fish isn’t a hassle; in fact, even kids can do it. That said, it’s important you keep them on a meat-based diet, ensuring that they receive the necessary proteins. 

Additionally, if possible, don’t introduce new fish into the tank. It would be best to keep the koi betta fish together but have a separate container to house the male and female during mating. 

On that note, we’ll leave you to iron out the details; hopefully, you’ll find colorful inhabitants to brighten up the home aquarium. Take care, bye! 

Black Orchid Betta 101 (Care, Tank Size, Food & Tank Mates)

Black Orchid Betta

Most aquarists would like to have a unique collection of species to make their home aquarium stand out. 

Like us, if you’re passionate about having an aquarium full of fish, may we suggest bringing home the black orchid Betta. Both the male and female fish have an attractive black coloration and other glamorous shades, adding to their popularity. 

So, do you want to know more about the black orchid Betta? Do give this article a read.  

What Is A Black Orchid Betta? 

The black orchid betta, also known as the Siamese fighting fish, is incredibly popular among aquarists for its eye-catching colors. But apart from its multitude of shades, the shape of the tail also grabs people’s attention, making them perfect for home aquariums or community tanks. 

Are Black Orchid Betta Rare? 

We wouldn’t say that black orchid betta are rare but they are less common than other betta varieties. You’ll find that due to genetic study and crossbreeding, this species is available in numerous colors. 

Overall, green betta fish is the rarest variety, while black betta is more abundant. In some cases, the latter may not develop pure genes because of improper breeding, leading to the appearance of other shades along with black. 

Black Orchid Betta Facts

Coloration And Social Behavior 

For those who don’t know, black betta fish show different variations in shade despite their predominant color being black. For instance, you’ll find fish that are as dark as night while others are less melanistic due to their iridescent scales and fins. 

But irrespective of the color, black betta fish are territorial, and scientists rightfully categorize them as “fighting fish.” They don’t gel well with tank mates while the male fish display aggressive behavior during the mating season. 

Black Orchid Betta Halfmoon 

As the name suggests, these betta fish have a tail that looks like a half-arc, which is why aquarists call them Halfmoon betta. This evocative tail design adds to their glamour, and you may find other colors like iridescent blue or red adorning the edges. 

Black Orchid Betta Crowntail

Unlike other varieties, the black orchid crowntail betta is easily recognizable due to its extended fins, thanks to the minimum webbing. You’ll see that the tail fin extends outward like spikes which give the appearance of an upside-down crown. 

What’s more, the base of the fins may have iridescent colors, which further adds to its gorgeousness. 

Black Orchid Betta Size 

Like most betta fish, the black orchid variant has a small body that’s roughly three inches long. But overall, they measure eight inches on account of their long fins and tails. 

We found that the male has a large caudal fin, giving it a distinctive appearance while contributing to a major portion of the length. Naturally, you’ll require a large tank to keep the fish healthy. 

How Long Do Black Orchid Bettas Live? 

With proper care and under ideal conditions, black orchid betta has a lifespan of three years. However, they can live longer, up to five years in some cases, or die younger. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to ascertain the age of a black orchid betta when you bring it home. Also, numerous factors determine their health which affects their longevity. 

How Much Do Black Orchid Bettas Change? 

Initially, young black orchid betta have a solid black body accompanied by a translucent tail and fins. You’ll also see that the borders around the fins are white and distinctly visible. 

With time, the white shades decrease gradually while the intensity of the black color increases. Not to mention, the fins may develop patterns, spots, or stripes, adding to their beauty. 

Black Orchid Betta Care 

Proper Water Parameters 

In terms of water parameters for the black orchid betta, you must consider two things: water temperature and pH level.

Since betta fish are highly sensitive to temperature variations, it would be best to install a heater. This will help you maintain a consistent temperature between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Additionally, the pH value should be between 6.5 and 7.5. 

Food

Black orchid betta is omnivorous and feeds on everything from live insects to tank vegetation. All you need to do is ensure that the fish receive adequate proteins to keep them healthy. 

Speaking of proteins, dry foods like pellets and flakes are a favorite of these fish. 

Tank Size 

Depending on the size and number of black orchid betta you plan to have, it would be best to get a large tank. Usually, a five-gallon tank should be enough, but you must ensure that it’s tall.

This is because betta fish feed on the water surface and come up for air, unlike other species. 

Black Orchid Betta Names

Black orchid betta has a variety of names inspired by food, culture, and objects. For instance, some common names include anise, midnight, onyx, and ink. 

Is It Normal For Black Orchid Betta To Change Color? 

Although first-time betta owners may worry, let us assure you that it’s perfectly normal for the black orchid betta to change color. They assume a darker shade as the years go by, sometimes losing the bright colors they had as youngsters if they have the marble gene.

Final Thoughts

That’s all there is to know about the black orchid betta; hopefully, our guide will help you take care of the fish. 

Contrary to popular opinion, these fish are easy to maintain, which makes them perfect for first-time owners. And simply watching them swim around may calm your soul, while their loud and exotic colors will brighten up most indoor spaces. 

After a while, once the fish get used to your presence, it’s possible to teach them tricks like following your finger. Long story short, it promises to be a worthwhile investment. 

So, get your black orchid betta and experience the life of a unique underwater creature like never before! 

How Big Do Koi Fish Get? (& How To Make Koi Grow Faster?)

How Big Do Koi Fish Get

The color and pattern of a koi fish can make it the star of any water body!

In fact, it’s their appearance that makes them a favorite among fish keepers and hobbyists around the world. But that doesn’t mean you can get one right now.

Unless you consider their size and weight, it’s practically impossible for you to provide them with the ideal thriving conditions. So, in today’s guide, we will answer a crucial question- how big do Koi fish get?

Let’s start!

How Big Do Koi Fish Get?

The exact length and weight of a koi fish depends on various factors like its genetics, the nutrition it receives, the population, and environment of the pond or aquarium. 

On average, they may grow anywhere between 20 and 24 inches long, weighing from 9 to 12 pounds. But some varieties can grow to be even longer and heavier. For instance, there was the “big girl” koi that weighed a mammoth 90 pounds and measured 40 inches long at the age of 17 years. 

For the better understanding of our readers, we have mentioned the different Koi varieties and their sizes in the following sections.

How Big Do Butterfly Koi Get? 

Also known as longfin koi or dragon carp, this variety can grow between 36 and 40 inches, with the most common size being 24 inches. However, they may weigh more than 20 pounds.

The body and fins of butterfly koi get pretty large, and they grow relatively slowly throughout their lifespan. If you plan to keep other fish with this variety, then make sure they don’t feed on the fins of the koi. 

How Big Do Japanese Koi Fish Get?

Perhaps, Japanese koi are the most famous variety due to their color, and they can grow between 22 and 26 inches long. Likewise, the average weight is 12 pounds, but some can grow to be heavier than that. Due to intensive and selective breeding, this variety tends to grow very fast in breeding farms.

How Big Do Domestic Koi Fish Get?

With the slowest growth rate among all the other varieties (due to genetics), domestic koi grow to be only 12 to 15 inches long, making them extremely suitable for home aquariums. 

How Big Do Jumbo Koi Fish Get?

As you may have guessed from the name, “jumbo” koi is the biggest and largest variety, measuring at least 30 inches long and weighing well over 20 pounds. 

On top of that, there are some larger jumbo varieties that may get about 36 inches long and weigh between 22 and 26 pounds. A few record-breakers have also grown up to 52 inches! So, they should always be housed in outdoor ponds with ample space and depth.

It’s also worth noting that jumbo koi is a selectively bred variety, and only a few chosen young koi receive the required intensive care to grow that big.

How Fast Do Koi Fish Grow Full Size?

Again, the exact growth rate of a Koi fish will depend on the variety that you have your eyes on. For instance, the smaller Koi carp will generally grow faster and may attain their full length in or under 2 years. 

However, larger varieties like the Japanese or jumbo koi can take 3 years to grow to their full length. In ideal conditions, all varieties should grow at least 6 to 8 inches long at the end of the first year.

That said, let’s take a look at the difference in the growth rate of koi in an aquarium and pond.

How Fast Do Koi Grow In An Aquarium?

With good water quality, temperature, and adequate nutrition, Koi fish can add about a little less than an inch per month. Or, in other words, they can become about 8 inches in 10 months.

Here, we should mention that keepers should always consider the maximum length of the koi variety that they wish to house in the aquarium. Although they won’t grow bigger than they are supposed to, it’s important to give them enough space and depth for free survival.

How Fast Do Koi Grow In Pond?

When it comes to rearing Koi in a pond, they usually grow about 5 inches long (average) each year. Now, some varieties may also add less than that, while others may add more than 5 inches in length per annum.

As they start attaining maturity, the growth rate (in terms of length) slows down and they start adding more girth to their bodies.It may also be helpful to know that koi fish will usually attain their maximum length at the end of the third or fourth year, depending on what variety you have opted for. And as they grow in length, they add weight, leading to bulkier and heavier bodies.

How To Make Koi Grow Faster?

Size Of Pond

Undoubtedly, one of the most important considerations is the size of the pond based on the koi variety and its final length. Smaller ponds will invariably make your koi struggle for space, stressing them out during their growth stage and preventing them from attaining the full size.

A full-sized jumbo koi may require up to 50 gallons of water in a pond that’s at least 3 feet deep. And the more koi you have, the more should the water and depth of the pond be. 

As a rule of thumb, keep 10 gallons of water per inch of koi fish. Additionally, consider the requirements of the other fish varieties, if any.

Proper Filtration

All fish varieties require good quality water, and koi fish is no exception. Bad quality water will put undue stress on koi, making them unhealthy, and even killing them before time. 

In this regard, we’d strongly recommend installing a 3-stage filtration system that can take care of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. 

While mechanical filtration will eliminate solid waste particles, biological filtration removes ammonia and nitrate compounds. And with chemical filtration, you can get rid of toxins, chemicals, or colors present in the water.

Moreover, the filtration system should process the entire water at least 3 to 5 times per hour.

Ideal Water Conditions

Koi thrive in ponds that have a pH level between 7 and 7.5, and the ideal water temperature should be around 70-degree Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that waste accumulation (like extra fish food and decaying vegetation) can alter the pH level. 

Besides, they are a resilient variety, so a water hardness level of around 80ppm (parts per million) should keep them healthy. You can get a water testing kit to monitor the water conditions on a regular basis.

Diet

Koi generally have a very fast metabolism rate, so they require feeding at least thrice a day. But in doing so, ensure that the quantity of food is such that they can finish it within 5 minutes per feed.

Talking about nutrition, they prefer a nice mix of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats. Hence, you can feed them different things like peas, soybeans, melon, rice, shrimp, meat, lettuce, etc. 

However, their digestion can slow down significantly during winters, which is when you should switch to a low protein diet. It’s during the summer months that their metabolism hits the peak with a high need for a protein-based diet.

Balance Population

Given the size of most Koi fish varieties, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they need a lot of space, be it in the aquarium or pond. Overcrowding the water will hamper their growth, and it may even kill the younger ones.

Moreover, koi are typically a messy species, especially in overcrowded habitats. It won’t take them long to kill the “good” nitrifying bacteria, which acts as a natural filter for keeping biological waste like ammonia at bay to prevent the water from turning toxic.

In addition, they tend to swim at every level of the water and hibernate below the surface during winters. But overcrowding the pond or aquarium with too many koi or other fish varieties, for that matter, can put them under undue stress.

Koi Genetics

No matter how good the conditions and nutrition are, koi won’t grow taller or larger than what their genes allow. Japanese koi have high-quality genetics, and many breeders in the west have selectively bred this variety to create many modern domestic koi that can attain full maturity at the age of 2. 

Besides, their growth rate is at highest during the first year, which is a genetically defined feature.

Final Thoughts

That has brought us to the end of our guide today.

Although it can appear intimidating at first, rearing koi fish is actually a straightforward affair. But then again, every fish requires some maintenance effort, so there’s no shortcut here.

All you need to ensure is that they have enough food, space, and consistent good water quality. And don’t forget the bonding time, especially while feeding them. Trust us; the joy of your koi fish feeding directly out of your hands is second to none!

Until we meet again!

What Do Koi Fish Eat?(Best Koi Food for Growth and Color)

What Do Koi Fish Eat

Legend has it that freshwater Koi carp can live up to 200 years – possibly because they eat so well during their lifetime. 

That said, these non-aggressive descendants of the common carp are far from fussy eaters. They relish all kinds of vegetables and meat, and will even eat out of their feeder’s palm.

Needless to say, their mesmerizing colors and interesting personalities make Koi carp a favorite among aquarists and garden enthusiasts alike. While adding Koi to your garden pond or aquarium will undoubtedly add magic to your home, new owners may be wondering – what do Koi fish eat?  

What Do Koi Fish Eat In The Wild?

Koi fish are omnivorous by nature and will eat just about anything that doesn’t eat them first. Similar to common carp, they feed on worms, algae, larvae, seeds, some forms of aquatic life, and vegetation. 

In the wild, they cruise along the bottom of freshwater habitats and have downwards-oriented mouths that allow them to forage for food by sifting through mud. Some also believe that these fish lay low to hide away from predators. Anyhow, most Koi fish have evolved to come up to the surface for feeding on floating insects and vegetation. 

What Do Koi Fish Eat In A Pond?

Similar to their natural behavior in the wild, Koi fish may bottom feed and also come up to eat floating insects and fish food left by their feeders. Fish food distributed around ponds can broadly be divided into three types

Natural Food

Koi fish feed on naturally occurring vegetation, bacteria, and plankton in ponds. Apart from ensuring that the water quality promotes the growth of these natural foods, feeders may also provide live foods, such as snails, worms, crustaceans, and small fish.

Apart from these, Koi fish will happily devour store-bought live foods, such as silkworm pupae, tadpoles, shrimp, clams, earthworms, and so on. And while it may be tempting to catch fish, bugs, or frogs in the wild to feed your Koi fish, most aquarists will warn against this as the catch may contain parasites.

Supplementary

Supplementary feeds can come out of kitchen and kitchen waste. These include inexpensive food, such as rice, wheat, maize, coffee pulp, scraps of meat, fruits, vegetables, and so on. Fishmeal, blood meal, shrimp meal, and similar commercial products used in agriculture can also be considered supplementary feeds. 

Complete

Considered to be the most expensive option, complete feeds are time-consuming and challenging to make. At the same time, there are many costly and high-quality fish feeds on the market that claim to contain most of the necessary nutrients required by the fish. Anyhow, supplementing your Koi’s diet with variety is recommended. 

Although Koi fish are relatively easy to feed due to their healthy appetites, their nutritional requirements change with age along with each season. That said, young Koi fish will generally require more protein than older fish. However, you may amp up the protein in an adult fish’s diet if it is sick.

At the same time, the protein requirements of Koi reduce in colder temperatures and increase during spring months, which is their mating season. You may also want to avoid feeding Koi before a storm or rainfall, as the water does not get oxygenated well during such weather. 

Good sources of protein include soybean meal and fish meal; the fish’s system can break these down more quickly than meat. Although Koi fish enjoy eating carbohydrates that can come from fish pellets and flakes, excessively carb-rich diets can lead to heart, liver, and kidney issues. Other nutritional requirements include fatty acids and vitamins in small quantities.

Can Koi Fish Eat Flakes?

While flakes are suitable for smaller Koi fish, larger fish will easily devour pellets and larger bits of food. However, ensure that you only feed them as much food as they can eat in a span of 3-5 minutes.

High-quality pellets and flakes are rich in nutritional value, and yet they may not be enough. Moreover, these types of feed may be packed with carbohydrates, which inadvertently lead to health problems. That said, feeders should supplement pellets or flakes with live food, fish meal, and, occasionally – human food.

Best Koi Food For Growth And Color?

The color and size of a koi are what make these ornamental fish so unique. They come in a variety of colors, from white to lavender. But they can’t grow to their full size or lose their color when not cared for properly.

Be sure you keep up with providing proper nutrition to make sure that your Koi fish are always showing off their true potential!

What is the Best Koi Food for Growth?

Koi fish are one of the largest species in the world – the largest being a whopping four-feet long. And while most Koi may peak at about 12 to 36 inches by the third year, getting them up to this size takes planning and effort.

You can encourage rapid growth in your Koi fish by providing a diet that comes in wheat germ oil. It will ensure they are in peak health and help them grow to their maximum size.

What is the Best Koi Food for Color?

Red, black, blue, cream, white, or yellow – Koi fish come in beautiful colors, but the beauty only lasts as long as their colors are bright and shiny. Moreover, their exterior color may be an indication of their overall health.

Red, black, blue, cream, white, or yellow – Koi fish come in beautiful colors, but the beauty only lasts as long as their colors are bright and shiny. Moreover, their exterior color may be an indication of their overall health.

That said, high-quality food, low levels of waste in their habitat, and healthy body functions – all contribute to a Koi’s color. Apart from careful monitoring of your Koi fish, some feed options on the market may promote healthy coloration.

For the best colors, try to feed your Koi with food that contains color enhancers such as carotene and spirulina, especially in July and August- their prime growth months.

What Human Food Can Koi Fish Eat?

Generally, human food is nutritionally deficient for fish, but it can serve as a fun and occasional treat. Not to mention how the Koi fish relish these snacks – whether they are fruits, vegetables, or meat. As a rule of thumb, ensure that you don’t feed your fish human food more than twice or thrice a week. 

Apart from citrus fruits, such as grapes, oranges, and lemon, here are a few treats you can feed your Koi:

Fruits

  • Banana
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries

Vegetables

  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

Other treats

  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Popcorn
  • Cooked Rice
  • Cooked Pasta
  • Nuts

Can Koi Fish Eat Bread?

Koi fish will eat bread, but ensure that you only feed them whole-wheat brands as bread is a rich source of carbohydrates.

Can Koi Fish Eat Cheerios?

Not just Cheerios, feeders can treat their Koi fish with most cereals, including Rice Krispies and oats.

Can Koi Eat Boiled Eggs?

Koi fish can eat hard-boiled eggs, but ensure that you cut up the egg into pellet-sized pieces before feeding.

FAQs:

Can Koi Carp Eat Dog Or Cat Food?

Although it will not add many nutritional benefits, it is safe to give Koi fish cat and dog food. However, other pet food should not be used as an alternative for fish food as these may cause nutritional deficiencies and other heart, kidney and liver-related health issues. 

What Do Baby Koi Fish Eat?

A Koi fry will require more protein than its adult counterparts as it is still in the crucial growth stage. During its first week, the fry should be fed liquid food, after which feeders can upgrade to hard-boiled egg yolks or brine shrimp larvae. As they grow bigger, most feeders will feed the fish tiny flakes or powdered pellets. 

Can Koi Fish Eat Goldfish Food?

The nutritional requirements of Koi and Goldfish are pretty similar. In fact, most packaged goldfish food brands are safe to use in freshwater ponds containing Koi fish.

Why Do Fish Eat Rocks?

Some fish species are bottom feeders and are known to put rocks into their mouths to scrape off the remains of fish food and algae that may have settled on them. 

Final Thoughts

Apart from being friendly to its human feeders, a Koi fish will also be gentle to most other fish – unless they can fit into its mouth.

That said, these are opportunistic omnivores who tend to eat most things that come in their way. And due to their large appetite, Koi fish won’t know when to stop eating or when to say no to food that is unhealthy for them.

In the end, it is the feeder’s responsibility to feed them the right amount and the right kinds of food, depending on the season, their age, and size. That said, too much human food or carbohydrate-rich treats may lead to health risks that will reflect on the fish’s color.

On the flip side, a healthy and shiny Koi fish may even outlive the feeder if fed right!

10 Best Jack Dempsey Tank Mates (Cichlids & Schooling Fish)

Jack Dempsey Tank Mates

If you’re looking for a pet fish that fit your definition of “dainty,” then get yourself a Jack Dempsey, especially the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey. Native to lakes and rivers in Central America, such as Mexico, Belize, Guatemala. They are one of the big and most fierce cichlids in the aquarium with their bright colors and great personalities. 

Like most cichlids, Jack Dempsey is known for its aggressive nature but can get along with other fish in a well-populated tank. Fishkeepers who want to have a peaceful tank for Jack Dempseys must consider their tank mates very carefully. So, what are the best Jack Dempsey Tank Mates?

Read on to find out! 

What Should You Consider When Looking for Tank Mates for Jack Dempsey?

Tank size and tankmates can’t be exclusive from one another, which is the key that can help determine fish compatibility. We always recommend that you don’t go with the general “one inch to one gallon” rule for most territorial fish. 

In fact, the Jack Dempseys will generally grow up to 10 inches in length. The minimum aquarium size recommended for one adult Jack Dempsey is at least 55-gallons. For a pair of adult Jack Dempseys, a 75g tank is minimum, though I wouldn’t really recommend it. 

Personally, 55-gallons is not even worth considering in my eyes. I’ve seen a medium-sized pair of JDs defend their territory of 250 gallons against other cichlids in the murky warm waters in Mexican.

How Big of Your Jack Dempsey

Is your little guy still a juvenile? Then you should be aware of choosing tank mates roughly the same size as your Jack Dempseys in your aquarium. If he’s more than 4″ inches, you will need to add several other school fish because he’ll zero in on any lone fish you introduce, so it will be easy for him to take over his territory. Most freshwater fish are by nature opportunistic when it comes to food, and even the most peace-loving fish will attempt to eat other fishes if they think that they can. 

Aggressiveness

We know that Jack Dempseys are fall in the middle of the aggression scale so that you would want newcomers can take care of themselves but not be more aggressive, such as Jaguar cichlids or red devils. If you’re going to add another cichlid, be sure to rearrange your rocks and hiding places so territories can be reestablished. 

The South or Central American cichlids are known for being aggressive when they’re trying to reproduce.

Avoid Having More than One Male 

Male fish are notorious for being territorial and aggressive, especially when it comes to mating. This is most common in cichlids but can happen with other species as well. You should be careful not to have more than one male of the same or closely related species living together if there are females nearby because they might fight each other over territory- a very dangerous situation!

I would recommend against putting in more than one, even a female Jack Dempsey! A pair of JDs would team up on the same size tank mate and kill it when they are trying to pair up and breed. 

Personalities

In the end, it’s important to remember that no two fish are alike. There are always exceptions to every rule, and sometimes they behave in uncharacteristic ways even when all of the factors mentioned above come into play. The best approach is being prepared for anything – so be sure you’re always ready with a spare tank! 

Big cichlids have much more personality as well!

Now that I just gave you a brief rundown on how to choose the best tank mates for your Jack Dempseys, the next step would be looking into some popular choices:

Jack Dempsey Tank Mates for a 55 gallon or 75 gallon

With a 55-gallon or 75-gallon tank, I would definitely avoid any South American cichlids because they simply can’t compete against a moderately sized Jack Dempsey. If you don’t plan to upgrade the tank size, it is always suggested not to add more same-sized fish in the tank, and you would be better off with the barbs or tetras. 

In a 75 gallon or smaller tank, any fish big enough to fit in a Jack Dempsey’s mouth will be eaten because there is not enough space to escape.

Here are our favorite species for you to consider.

Denison Barbs

Denison Barbs and Jack Dempsey Fish
Photo: jonasflanken

If you’re looking to add some color and activity dither fish into your JD’s aquarium, then the Denison Barbs are just what you need. Native to fast-moving rivers and streams in Southern India, these fish have been highly sought after by the fishkeepers for years now.

A long and torpedo-shaped body with a base color of silver makes it easy to see why many hobbyists call this fish a Red Lined Torpedo Barb or the Rose Line Shark. It’s set off by a black line that runs from the snout to tail along its entire length. The dorsal fin also boasts red edges, while the caudal fin comes with striking stripes in bright yellow and black!

Unlike other barbs, The Denison Barb is a longer fish that can reach 6 inches when fully grown. They are generally schooling fish as well as jumpers. Therefore they should be kept in groups of 6 in your Jack Dempsey aquarium with a tight-fitting lid.  

Scientific Name:Sahyadria denisonii
Family:Cyprinidae
Origin:Southern India
Care Level:Easy
Size:4½”
Color Form:Black, Red, White
pH:6.8-7.8
Temperature:60-77° F
KH:4-10
Minimum tank size:50 gallons
Diet:Omnivore
Temperament:Peaceful

Plecostomus

Plecostomus

The Plecostomus also called “plecos’, is a great candidate for the Jack Dempseys community aquarium. Native to South America, the Plecostomus is a peaceful bottom-feeder that prefers to rest on the floor of its tank. Their natural abilities as cleaners make them a perfect addition to any aquarium!

The pleco has been known for its distinctive features, like armored plates on their bodies and sucker-shaped mouths. It will grow to a size of 12 inches, which means that Jack Dempsey will definitely not be able to take on this little guy!  

In fact, there are more than 500 varieties of plecos, so no matter the size of your aquarium or what type of fish you want to keep, there is one that’s right for you.

Scientific Name:Hypostomus plecostomus
Family:Loricariidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Easy
pH:7.0-8.0
Temperature:72-86° F
Minimum tank size:75 gallons
Diet:Carnivorous
Temperament:Peaceful

Jack Dempsey Tank Mates for 125 Gallons & Over

A general rule of thumb for fish keeping is the more space that fish have, the happier and healthier they will be. Keeping Jack Dempseys in a tank of at least 125 gallons will make them very happy. Furthermore, you have more tank mates fit the bill. 

Firemouth Cichlid

Can Firemouth Cichlid live with Jack Dempsey?

Firemouth cichlids are equally colorful that will bring a splash of color to any tank. The native habitat of these beautiful cichlids extends from Central America. 

Most Firemouth Cichlids are coming in an attractive turquoise-blue body and a vibrant orange-red coloration that can be seen on the edges of their scales, plus remarkable turquoise spots on the fins, making it stand out in an aquarium.  

A Firemouth Cichlid is a fast-growing fish with an average size of around 6 inches for males and 5 inches for females, which will not be caught and fit into your JD’s mouth. 

Scientific Name:Thorichthys meeki
Family:Cichlidae
Origin:Central America
Care Level:Moderate
Size:6″
Color Form:Blue, Red
pH:6.0-7.5
Temperature:70-75° F
KH:4-10
Minimum tank size:30 gallons
Diet:Omnivore
Temperament:Semi-aggressive

Convict Cichlid

Can Convict Cichlid live with Jack Dempsey?

The Convict Cichlid, also called Zebra Cichlid, are named for their black stripes along its grayish body. Like Firemouth Cichlid, Convict Cichlid also comes from Central America.

The Convict Cichlid is a remarkable fish with many fascinating attributes. Female convict cichlids have orange scales on their lower body and dorsal fins, while males are larger, less colorful, and possess longer fins. The most captivating trait of this species lies in the vertical black bars that run along its length to create an incredible display for hunters looking for prey!

Convict Cichlids have a natural tendency to be aggressive, but they can be housed with your Jack Dempsey because the average convict cichlid size is around 6 inches when fully grown. 

Scientific Name:Archocentrus nigrofasciatus
Family:Cichlidae
Origin:Central America
Care Level:Moderate
Size:6″
Color Form:Black
pH:6.5-8.0
Temperature:68-73° F
KH: 9-20
Minimum tank size:30 gallons
Diet:Omnivore
Temperament:Aggressive

Gold Severum

Can Gold Severum live with Jack Dempsey?
Photo: Matt Frahm

The Gold Severum is a very popular and colorful cichlid kept by hobbyists for decades, which is a color variation of the wild form Green Severum, also known as Banded Cichlid. They are native to South America, including its tributaries and lakes with trees & vegetation under water. 

The Golden Severum is so-named for its brilliant and beautiful gold tint. It has a yellow color over its entire body, except for its dorsal fin. The tail fins are usually whiter, with some hints of yellow specks mixed in. The Green Severums have a tendency to get really dark. 

The Gold Severum has a trusting nature and will often accept food directly from their owner’s hand. It’s a fairly large fish that can grow up to 8 inches in length, but it’s generally pretty mellow and will usually take on the submissive role with more dominant fishes.

Scientific Name:Heros severus
Family:Cichlidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Moderate
Size:8″
Color Form:Tan, Yellow
pH:6.0-7.2
Temperature:73-77° F
KH:4-5
Minimum tank size:55 gallons
Diet:Carnivore
Temperament:Semi-aggressive

Green Terror

Can Green Terror live with Jack Dempsey?
Photo: lkmathew

The Green Terror Cichlid is an excellent option for any experienced aquarist with large tanks. Originally from Peru and Ecuador in South America, these stunning fish are an excellent addition that can bring life and energy to your tank.

The incredible colors and markings make this fish an eye-catching sight. 

The brighter blue markings create a beautiful contrast with the dark, metal-green color all over their face and body. Bright orange stripes can be seen on a lot of specimens as well. 

Since a male Green terror cichlid can grow up to 8 inches, all potential tank mates should be similar. Luckily, the Green Terrors and Jack Dempseys are both pretty evenly matched in terms of temperament and size, and they have fantastic colors that will please anyone! Enjoy!

Scientific Name:Andinoacara rivulatus
Family:Cichlidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Moderate
Size:8″
Color Form:Blue, Green, White
pH:6.5-8.0
Temperature:72-80° F
KH:9-20
Minimum tank size:50 gallons
Diet:Omnivore
Temperament:Semi-aggressive

Oscars

Can Oscars live with Jack Dempsey?

Native to the slow-moving freshwater rivers and creeks of South America, the Oscar fish has been in captivity since its discovery. These little guys come in lots of colors and make great aquarium pets! 

The common Oscar fish has a dark brown body with yellow, gray, or pale green stripes. The Tiger variety is one of the most attractive and sought-after tank-bred varieties. The most striking feature differentiating wild from domesticated specimens is coloration: while the latter boasts a stunning mix of oranges and red on the dark brown-black body. 

Most Oscar varieties grow to be large, reaching up to 12 to 14 inches. Be very careful when keeping Oscars and Jack Dempseys. Oscars tend to grow very quickly in their lifetime. Jack Dempseys, on the other hand, have a slow growth rate. They may work better only you choose an oscar that is a bit smaller than the Jack Dempsey. 

Scientific Name:Astronotus ocellatus
Family:Cichlidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Moderate
Size:12-14″
Color Form:Orange, Red
pH:6-7.5
Temperature:72-77° F
KH:5-19
Minimum tank size:75 gallons
Diet:Carnivore
Temperament:Semi-aggressive

Salvini Cichlid

Can Salvini Cichlid live with Jack Dempsey?
Photo: cichlid.bros

The Salvini cichlid is one of spark and beautiful mid-sized cichlids, also known as the Yellow Belly Cichlid, found in the lakes and rivers of Southern Mexico and northern Central America. 

The body of this species is bright yellow with turquoise-blue dots scattered and two blotchy dark lines. The fins are long, shimmering in a turquoise hue that beautifully matches the bright red coloration of their tailfin. The head is striped with four horizontals lines running horizontally across the forehead.

Like most Central American cichlids, The Salvini Cichlid can reach around 6 inches in length and is territorial, intolerant and aggressive. Be careful that Salvini cichlids are much more aggressive and agile than Jack Dempseys than people give them credit for when they are in breeding mode. The success of keeping Salvini cichlid with a Jack Dempsey is providing each cichlid two hiding spots in 300 gallons or larger, a group of preferably all females. 

Pro tip: Cichlids should be introduced to a tank all at once so that they can establish their territory and avoid aggression, all being equal.
Scientific Name:Nandopsis salvini
Family:Cichlidae
Origin:Central America
Care Level:Moderate
Size:6″
Color Form:Yellow
pH:7.0-8.0
Temperature:72-79° F
KH:9-11
Minimum tank size:55 gallons
Diet:Omnivore
Temperament:Aggressive

Giant Danios

The Giant Danio fish is an excellent addition to any large freshwater tank, and it can be especially beneficial if you’re already raising larger fish such as cichlids. It makes the perfect companion. 

Originates from highly oxygenated fast-running streams in India, also found in Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Thailand. The fish requires a tight-fitting lid or significantly lowered water line to prevent jumping out of the aquarium.

The Giant Danio is a true giant among danios. It can grow to be up to 4 inches in length and should always be kept with at least six other individuals of its social species, preferably more! The Giant Danio is a fast, active swimmer who likes to hang out near the top of aquariums, make excellent additions to your JD’s tank. 

Scientific Name:Danio aequipinnatus
Family:Cyprinidae
Origin:India
Care Level:Easy
Size:4″
Color Form:Blue, Yellow
pH:6.0-7.0
Temperature:72-75° F
KH:8-12
Minimum tank size:30 gallons
Diet:Omnivore
Temperament:Peaceful

Silver Dollars

Silver Dollars

The Silver Dollar Fish is one of the most popular fish in North America, due to its cute size and unique color. It’s easy to see why this shimmering silver dollar gave them their name! If you want to add some fish variety to your aquarium, Silver Dollar Fish is a perfect choice. These beautiful and energetic creatures are sure not to disappoint!

As the name suggests, originates from the rivers in South America have a tall and flat shiny body, but it becomes more translucent on its fins. 

With a maximum size of 6″, they are perfect for your larger Jack Dempsey’s community tank. Silver Dollars are a lively schooling fish by nature that do much better in a group of three or more. 

Scientific Name:Metynnis argenteus
Family:Characidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Easy
Size:6″
Color Form:White
pH:5.0-7.0
Temperature:72-77° F
KH:4-8
Minimum tank size:30 gallons
Diet:Characidae
Temperament:Peaceful

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are plenty of beautiful cichlids and peaceful schooling fish to choose from when it comes to picking the best tank mates for Jack Dempseys. 

Due to the aggressive nature of Jack Dempsey, if you want to play safe. Keep them in a solo-species tank is always suggested. 

For your best chance to get a compatible and successful pairing, you usually need to start with about 6 juveniles. Let them grow up together in the same aquarium tank, where they will have time to choose their mate as adults.

I hope you got a good amount of value out of this guide. As always, if there is anything on your mind or any advice to share with us, please post it in the comments below.

Good luck with your Jack Dempsey tank!