Top 7 Best Betta Fish Tanks 2020 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

Best Betta Fish Tanks

Bettas are the perfect starter fish for beginners. Because they are so easy to take care of, many beginners will assume that fishbowls, mini fish tanks, and novelty fish tanks are ok for Bettas to live in. However, this is untrue. 

Bettas thrive in tanks that are at least 10 gallons and larger because they have plenty of space and open water to swim around. Because of their aggressive natures, people tend to keep them in tanks by themselves, which is another reason people keep Bettas in small tanks. 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about fish tanks and review some of the more popular betta tanks available on the market today. 

Best Betta Fish Tanks

Everything You Need to Know When Choosing a Betta Fish Tank

Some of the factors to take into consideration when looking for a fish tank will be:

  • Buy a filter and heater to go along with the tank.
  • Provide plenty of hiding spots with rocks, caves, and live plants such as Java Fern and Java Moss. 
  • Do not choose a substrate that has hard or sharp edges that can damage your Betta’s fins. Instead, choose fine gravel or sand.
  • Break down a new tank’s nitrites and ammonia and establish the right kind of bacteria in the tank by completing a full cycle before adding any fish.

Appropriate Tank Sizes for Bettas

There is a misconception about keeping Bettas in small novelty tanks less than 5 gallons. This misconception probably originated from people believing that because Bettas originated from the shallow streams and rice paddies of Asia, they would be suitable for the small novelty tanks. 

Although their native waters were shallow, they were extensive. This allowed them plenty of room to swim around and travel. It is not humane to put Bettas, or any fish for that matter, in anything smaller than a 5-gallon tank. 

With the smaller tanks, it can be challenging to maintain stable water parameters. Because there’s not much water in the tank, ammonia spikes are common, and when they happen, they can happen very quickly. 

Tanks that are larger than 5 gallons will give your Bettas more space to swim around in, which is more pleasing for you to watch. In small novelty tanks, Bettas can’t swim around, which isn’t very visually stimulating for you. 

If you are only keeping one Betta, a 10-gallon tank will be the perfect size for your Betta. Not only will the water parameters remain more stable, but it will not need as much maintenance as a smaller tank would. The larger tank also gives them plenty of room to swim around. 

There are many different Betta species, in which all of them require at least a 5-gallon tank. However, there are some species that will require a larger tank, so you will want to do your homework on the species you wish to keep. 

You might also be interested in: Types of Betta Fish – By Tail, Pattern and Color

The Need for a Tank Filter

Another common misconception concerns the acceptable water conditions in which Bettas can live. Many people believe that because Betta’s lived in shallow waters, they are conditioned to live in dirty water. But this is far from the truth. 

The Betta’s native environment contains various plants and organisms which create large biodiverse ecosystems. These plants and organisms keep the water naturally oxygenated and cleaned. 

In their native environment, Bettas can jump from small bodies of water to larger bodies of water. Because Bettas are labyrinth fish and can breathe oxygen from the air, they are able to do this.  

People wrongly assume that their tank size doesn’t matter because of their ability to breathe oxygen from the air. However, any time they are forced to take oxygen from the air, it should only be a temporary situation for them. 

Although Bettas are able to survive in small puddles, it is mistaken for people to believe they will do well in small bowls and cups. Bettas that are kept in small containers will not thrive, they will possibly get sick, and they definitely will not live for very long

A filter will provide the oxygen-rich environment your Bettas need in order to thrive. Although we don’t recommend it, if you chose to go filterless, you would need to perform a 40% partial water change every three days to keep the water clean and the water parameters healthy.

Another thing you might need to consider when using a filter, you may need to use a pre-filter, such as a sponge over the outlet, to keep the water flow from becoming too harsh.

The Need for a Tank Heater

In their natural habitat, Bettas live in the warm waters of Cambodia and Thailand. Because of this, they will thrive in tank water above 76°F. In order to maintain water temperatures above 76°F, you will need to install a heater in the tank. Unless, of course, you live in an area of the world where the climate is warm year-round and your fish tank will stay at a constant temperature about 76°F.

Install a thermometer opposite of the heater, at the other end of the tank. With the use of the thermometer, you will be able to ensure the tank’s water remains at the proper temperature throughout the tank.

Reviews Of The 7 Best Betta Fish Tanks Available

1. The Best Aquarium Starter Kit: Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank

You can buy the Aqueon Starter Kit in either a 10-gallon tank or a 20-gallon tank. Everything a beginner needs is included in the Aqueon Starter Kit, making it the perfect setup for a beginner. 

Included in the starter kit are:

  • Complete easy to follow instructions
  • Glass aquarium with LED lights in the hood
  • Fishnet
  • Fish food
  • Heater, preset and submersible, shatter-resistant with auto safety shut-off 
  • Water conditioner
  • Filter with an LED light that flashes when the cartridge is ready to be changed

The Aqueon Starter Kit is the perfect, no-fail setup for the beginner aquarist all in one complete set. All you need to do is add the Betta, substrate, and decorations.

Tank Dimensions: 20.25 x 10.5 x 12.5 inches.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Affordable 
  • Perfect starter kit for beginners
  • Small feeding door in the lid
  • Complete kit includes everything you need

Cons:

  • Does not have hinges
  • Cleaning is challenging
  • Low lighting 
  • The filter is noisy
Aqueon Fish NeoGlow LED Aquarium Starter Kits
352 Reviews
Aqueon Fish NeoGlow LED Aquarium Starter Kits
  • 10 Gallon Glass Aquarium with orange fluorescent silicone
  • Features a low profile hood with blue LED lighting
  • Aqueon 50W preset heater, calibrated to keep your fish tank at 78°
  • Equipped with an Aqueon Quietflow LED Pro Filter and medium cartridge
  • Includes: black background, multi-colored gravel, three plants, fish food and water conditioner

2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

The Marina LED Aquarium Kit is the perfect setup for beginners and pro aquarists alike. This complete kit includes everything you need to get your aquarium started:

  • Marina Slim S10 clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges promotes biological filtration, traps floating debris, removes pollutants, discolorations, odors, and toxic ammonia.
  • Long-lasting, natural daylight effect LED lighting module is seamlessly incorporated into the aquarium canopy for an unobstructed view of your aquarium. The LED lighting enhances fish and plant colors and is perfect for low light plants.
  • Fluval Max fish food to keep your fish healthy and happy.
  • Fluval Aqua Plus Water Conditioner to make tap water safe for fish.
  • Fluval Cycle Biological Supplement to create a biologically safe environment.
  • Aquarium environment Fish net, made from fine soft mesh to protect delicate fins.
  • Aquarium Care Guide that includes advice on how to set up and maintain your aquarium.

All you need to do is add the fish!

Tank Dimensions: 20″ L x 10″ W x 12.5″ H

Pros:

  • Filter is quiet
  • Double boxed for safe shipping
  • Filters are inexpensive

Cons:

  • Does not come with a heater
  • The LED light does not have a nightlight setting
  • Side pieces are refective, could cause your Betta to want to fight his reflection.
Sale
Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon
706 Reviews
Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon
  • 10 U.S. gallon glass aquarium
  • Includes a Marina Slim S15 clip on filter with quick change filter cartridges
  • Includes everything you need to get your aquatic home started
  • Measures: 20" L x 10" W x 12.5" H

3. GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank with LED Lighting and Filtration Included

For a complete aquarium starter kit, the GloFish Aquarium comes with a great starter price for everything that is included:

  • Glass tank
  • Comes with curved corners
  • Tetra hidden filtration
  • Adjustable flow filter pump

The GloFish aquarium kit comes with optimized blue LED lighting to make your fluorescent fish shine! The hinged LED lighting cycles through four modes: 

  • Sunlight mode
  • Twilight mode
  • Moonlight mode
  • Midnight mode

Package Dimensions : 19.3 x 14.1 x 13.5 inches; 16 Pounds

Pros:

  • It takes up less space than longer tanks
  • It cycles through four lighting modes
  • Filter is quiet and easy to replace
  • Sturdy base
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to setup

Cons:

  • Self-contained filter is a pain to prime
  • Filter is noisy
GloFish Aquarium Kit 5 Gallons, Includes Hinged Cycle Light and Hidden Filtration
1,008 Reviews
GloFish Aquarium Kit 5 Gallons, Includes Hinged Cycle Light and Hidden Filtration
  • INCLUDES ALL THE ESSENTIALS: This 5 gallon kit includes a curved-corner, glass tank, Tetra Hidden Filtration with an adjustable flow filter pump, GloFish Cycle Light with four modes.
  • 5 GALLON TANK: Includes a 5-gallon tank that’s perfect for any size room.
  • FOUR LIGHTING MODES: Hinged light cycles through sunlight mode, moonlight mode, midnight mode and twilight mode.
  • COMPLETE THE LOOK WITH COLORFUL ADDITIONS: Complete the look by adding pops of color using GloFish gravel, plants and décor (sold separately).
  • EXPERIENCE THE GLO.

4. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit

This sleek, contemporary tank features an overhanging light system. It also comes with an efficient filter and pump included in the aquarium kit. With the aluminum trim around the edges giving this glass tank a stylish look, it’s perfect for home or the office.

Sporting 37 LED lights, the overhanging light system lights up the tank perfectly, highlighting your fish’s coloring to the best advantage. The circulation pump is adjustable and powerful. It also comes with a three-stage filter that has a foam block with biomax rings and activated carbon, which ensures the filtration system is effective mechanically, chemically, and biologically.

If the flow that is created by the filter is too powerful for your Betta, you could try using a pre-filter sponge to help reduce the water flow. 

Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 inches

Pros:

  • The sleek, narrow, contemporary design fits well on smaller surfaces.
  • Quiet pump.
  • Excellent lighting 
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • The filter has a separate compartment

Cons:

  • Water flow might be too powerful for some Bettas
  • No ideal place to put the heater
  • Have to remove the light bar when performing maintenance work
  • Lights may not be strong enough for most plants
Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon, Black (10516A2)
760 Reviews
Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon, Black (10516A2)
  • 5 gallon Nano aquarium
  • Etched glass tank with aluminum trim
  • Powerful 37 LED lighting system
  • Includes foam block, activated carbon and BioMax bio rings
  • Size: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 inch

5. Aqueon 10 Gallon Black Aquarium

Although this is the least expensive option in our review, you will need to take into consideration that this is not a kit. You will need to either buy or add your own equipment to this tank. You will need to add a lid, heater, lights, and filter.

If you are looking for a simple, but quality aquarium, this glass aquarium is perfect for you. Especially if you already own all the equipment you will need to add to this particular aquarium. Or, perhaps, you have a specific brand in mind for the filter, pump, lights, etc. and you want to customize your tank.

Dimensions: 20.25 x 10.5 x 12.5

Pros:

  • Simple shape
  • Affordable 
  • Sturdy, quality tank
  • Customize by adding your own equipment
  • Perfect option for a quarantine tank.

Cons:

  • Lid not included

You will need to buy heater, filter, lights, etc.

Aqueon Standard Glass Rectangle Aquarium 10, Clear
445 Reviews
Aqueon Standard Glass Rectangle Aquarium 10, Clear
  • High quality glass construction
  • For freshwater and marine applications
  • Clean silicone edges
  • Always include a drip loop when plugging aquarium appliances into the electrical outlet
  • Place aquarium on a stand that is able to safely bear the weight of a filled aquarium

6. Fluval Flex 57 – 15 Gallon Nano Glass Aquarium Kit

This aquarium kit comes complete with everything you need for the large 15-gallon tank, perfect size for your Bettas. This kit invludes a sturdy 3-stage filter that efficiently cleans the water through biological, chemical, and mechanical media.

The unique and striking curved front has a contemporary feel to it and contrasts pleasingly with the straight sides. Included in the kit is the LED lighting and remote control, making it convenient to increase and decrease the lighting when needed. There are also cool lighting effects, such as a lightning effect and a faded cloud effect. 

This high-quality tank comes with a few innovative extras that you will appreciate, such as a grid pattern along the top of the tank that reduces the water line’s visibility. 

Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 15 inches

Pros:

  • Striking design with a curved front wall
  • 15-gallon capacity gives your Bettas plenty of space to swim around and play
  • The wires can be stored and hidden behind the tank
  • Includes ample space for adding additional filtration or heater
  • Several cool lighting effects to choose from

Cons:

  • The hood might be flimsy
  • The back of the black plastic shows scratches
  • Boring black background
  • Filtration creates a strong current
Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium 57L, 15gal, Black
583 Reviews
Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium 57L, 15gal, Black
  • The Fluval 15 gallon flex freshwater kit is one of very few freshwater aquarium Kits to incorporate brilliant illumination and multistage filtration with convenient Aquarium features and contemporary design. Your aquatic atmosphere will stand out with 48 white and 6 RGB fully adjustable 2450 lux LEDs shimmering over your fish and plants, while the 7500K LED lamp promotes Plant growth. Choose from this endless selection of color blends and the special effects options, all controlled from your included flexpad remote control. This is a fully fledged glass tank, and there is an infrared remote sensor that is neatly integrated and accessible on the canopy.To achieve superior water quality, powerful 3-stage filtration is included with oversized mechanical (foam), chemical (carbon), and biological (BioMax) media. The multi-directional 132 GPH dual outputs allow customized water flow, All hidden nicely in the rear compartment.This Aquarium features a unique curved front, creating the illusion of a larger aquatic environment and modern look to suit any room in your home or office. The water line of the rear compartment remains hidden with the stylish Honeycomb wrap. This assures your entire Aquarium looks sleek and clean. To finish this brilliant design, Enjoy the freedom of feeding your fish through the feed top cover opening.
  • Item Package Height: 30.0
  • Item Package Length: 35.0
  • Item Package Width: 40.0

7. Life 15 Aquarium with LED Light

This is by far the most expensive aquarium on the list. If you are into luxury contemporary, this is the perfect indulgence for you. It comes in several different sizes to meet your needs.

Made from acrylic rather than glass, it is 10x stronger than glass, plus it’s 50% lighter. The contemporary design includes a molecularly bonded, visually seamless aquarium. Acrylic also has a 93% transparency rating.

This kit includes a genuine five-stage filtration system: Oxygenation, water stabilization, chemical, mechanical, and biological.

This aquarium kit includes:

  • Acrylic Aquarium
  • biOrb 12V Transformer
  • biOrb Air Pump
  • Airstone
  • 2 pounds / 900 grams ceramic media
  • Filter cartridge
  • 5 ml Water Conditioner
  • 5 ml Beneficial Bacteria liquid
  • Intelligent LED Light unit

Dimensions: 7 x 10.5 x 15.75 inches; 11.7 Pounds

Pros:

  • Low voltage, 12v transformer
  • LED lighting – long lasting and low voltage
  • Comes in 4, 8, 12, and 16 gallons

Cons:

  • It’s pricey
  • Filtration system does not handle tannins well
  • You have to remove the top of the aquarium to feed the fish
  • Challenging to set up
biOrb Life 45 Aquarium with MCR - 12 Gallon, Black
61 Reviews
biOrb Life 45 Aquarium with MCR - 12 Gallon, Black
  • Filter cartridge – a true “one size fits all” Filter for the biorb aquariums
  • Constructed out of Acrylic- 10 times stronger than glass, 50% lighter and 93% clearer
  • True 5 stage filtration - biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization and oxygenation
  • Item Package weight : 24.25 pounds

Summary

Bettas are majestic and beautiful fish that come in a wide range of patterns and colors. You have learned that Bettas do NOT do well in small tanks and bowl that are less than 5 gallons. Instead, they prefer lots of room to swim, play, and hide in.

Hopefully, this review has helped you choose a suitable tank that will make both you and your Bettas happy, whether it’s one of the aquarium kits or just the tank. 

There are several to choose from. One is perfect for you that will fit your budget perfectly but will also look good in your space. If you already have your own equipment, or you’ve done your research and you know the best heater, pump, and filtration system you’d like to buy, then we recommend buying just the Aqueon 10 Gallon Black Aquarium. This will allow you to customize the tank any way you want. 

However, if you want an all-inclusive aquarium kit, we recommend The Best Aquarium Starter Kit: Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank. Everything you need is included in the kit. All you need to add is the fish. 

If you prefer the luxurious and contemporary look, and don’t mind the price tag, then the Life 15 Aquarium with LED Light is perfect for you. This aquarium kit comes with everything you need to set up your tank. The rich, sleek design will have your friends and family mesmerized. 

We hope that this review leads you to find the perfect tank that fits your budget, your space, and your fish. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

The Underrated Female Betta Fish

Female Betta fish

The ever-popular Betta fish continues to be in high demand due to their personality and beautiful finnage and coloring. Although some people might avoid Bettas because of their aggressive behavior, you don’t need to as long as you know how to handle them. 

People tend to gravitate towards buying the male Betta rather than the female because of the male’s ornamentalism. However, there are many reasons you should buy a female instead. This guide will cover everything you need to know about buying and taking care of your female Betta fish.

Female Betta fish
Faris Algosaibi

Overview of the Betta

Many people know Betta fish as Siamese Fighting Fish. This moniker came from the male’s aggressive and extremely territorial personality and their tendency to attack and fight other males, even unto death. Because of this, the Siamese people domesticated the Betta for use in fighting contests throughout Thailand

The female Betta does not have the elegant finnage that the male Betta does, but they do have the vibrant coloring that comes with being a Betta. But because they aren’t as ornamental as the male, they aren’t as popular for hobbyists. 

The males’ aggression towards one another has caused many hobbyists to seek out female Bettas. The female Betta is less aggressive and more peaceful than their male counterparts. Because of this, they can get along peacefully with other female Bettas, allowing hobbyists to keep a group, or sorority, of females in the same tank. 

The female’s lifespan is the same as the males; they only live for about three years. In their natural habitat, the Betta is vulnerable to predators and other male Bettas. But in captivity, they are more successful and have been bred extensively. Professional breeding has resulted in many different varieties of Bettas, all with distinctive coloring and looks. 

The Betta is a member of the Gouramis (Osphronemidae) family and does well with these species as tank mates, as well as Paradisefish.

Typical Behavior of the Female Betta Fish

Bettas are most famous for their aggression, and because of that, they were bred to fight other Bettas, giving them the name Siamese Fighting Fish. However, it is not illegal to fight Bettas.

Although the female is less aggressive than the males are, they are still prone to aggression. They will establish a hierarchy and stake out their own territories. When the females fight each other, they tend to be less violent than their male counterparts, and the likelihood of injury is greatly reduced because of this. The female Betta tends to direct her aggression towards other female Bettas but will get along with other species quite well. 

Bettas have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to take oxygen from the air at the tank’s surface. Although they usually occupy the upper and middle levels of the tank, you will see them occasionally go to the surface of the water to breathe air, despite having gills as well. If you see your Betta gulping air at the tank’s surface more than normal, this is a good indicator that the water conditions might be poor. 

Female Veiltail Betta

Appearance

Telling the male Bettas from the female Bettas is quite easy. For Bettas, the males are slightly larger than the females, growing up to 2½ to 3 inches, while the female only grows to be about 2¼ inches.

When comparing the male and female Bettas, the females have smaller dorsal and anal fins, and their tail fin is thinner than the male Betta’s. 

There is a species of Bettas called the Plakat, where both the male and female have short fins, causing the males to resemble the females closely. To determine the sex of a Plakat Betta, you should look for the “egg spot,” which is where the eggs are released through the ovipositor tube and a small hole while mating. If you look at the Betta’s underbelly between the tail and fins, you will find this spot. 

Although not as vibrant, you can find females with the same coloring as male Bettas, including Koi, reds, purples, blues, blacks, and whites. This species comes in many different varieties, with the differences being more prevalent in the males than the females because it’s usually the finnage that are different between the species.

There are, however, a few variations where the female’s coloring is just as vibrant as the males. Plus, depending on her mood, the intensity of the female’s coloring can change. For example, during their mating season, her coloring tends to get darker than normal. 

In the wild, the females will have their brightest color displays when they are asserting their dominance over another female Betta in order to establish their social hierarchy. 

The Female Betta's Habitat

All throughout the wilds of Asia, you can find Betta fish. By looking at their natural habitats, we can recreate it, designing an aquarium that is perfect for your Betta. 

Bettas prefer the warm, slow-moving, shallow waters of rice paddies and river basins. Their hardiness, along with the help of their labyrinth organ, gives them the ability to withstand poor water conditions.

Setting Up Your Female Betta Fish's Tank

When setting up your Betta’s tank, start at the bottom of your tank with the substrate. You want a substrate that won’t harm your Betta, such as sand. The fine grains of sand will not scratch your fish if they are eating or digging at the bottom of their tank.

Next, you want to add some plants and vegetation all around the tank in groups. Not only will the plants oxygenate the water, but they will also give your female Bettas enough room for each of them to stake out their own territories. You can also create or buy cave decorations for that purpose, as well. 

A hardy plant that is perfect for your Betta’s tank is Hornwort, which can either be planted or floated on the tank’s surface. Remember not to put too many plants in the tank and thereby block the surface of the water. Your Bettas need easy access to the water’s surface to feed, breathe, and even breed.

Bettas are used to calm slow-flowing waters, so air and water pumps aren’t needed to create a current. You will need a filter to keep the water clean, as well as a heater to keep the water temperature in the 75°F to 80°F range. As far as the water conditions go, you will need to make sure the pH levels are between 6 and 8, and the water hardness between 5 and 35 dGH.

What is the Best Size Aquarium?

Do not put your Bettas in anything smaller than a 10-gallon tank. In fact, a 10-gallon tank is the perfect size for just one female Betta. If you plan to keep a sorority or put them in a community tank, you will need a much larger tank

How Many Female Bettas Can be kept per gallon?

Starting with a 10-gallon tank for one female, anytime you add another female, you will need to add another 5 gallons to the tank size. You need to give them enough space to stake their territories and stay out of each other’s way and not fight.

Female Halfmoon Betta
Pumpkin45

Tank Mates for your Female Betta

Choosing the right tank mates is the key to having a peaceful community with female Bettas. A great option to consider for a tank mate is a group of smallish shoaling fish. Because they stay in a group, it’s unlikely that one will be singled out and picked on. They are also fast swimmers and can quickly escape by darting away. Some more good options include:

  • Swordtails
  • Mollies
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Rosy Barbs
  • Neon Tetras
  • Zebra Danios

Fish that prefer the lower region of the tank are a great option, as well. These include:

  • Yoyo Loaches
  • Zebra Loaches
  • Kuhli Loaches
  • Corydoras Catfish

Oscars should be avoided because they are territorial and will fight over space with your Betta. In fact, it’s a good idea to avoid any other territorial fish. You also want to avoid any fish that even vaguely resembles a male Betta because they might stress out your female Betta.

Keeping Female Betta Fish Together

Unlike male Bettas, you can successfully keep females Bettas together. Most female Bettas tend to be more peaceful, although occasionally you will run across an overly aggressive female Betta. However, the fights aren’t usually as dangerous or frequent as they are with the males. 

A sorority is a group of 4 to 6 female Bettas. In order to keep a sorority, you will need a bigger tank, at least 30 gallons. You should also create different territories using plants and decorations for each of the members of the sorority.

The Best Diet for Your Female Betta

Bettas require a carnivorous diet full of protein in order for them to stay healthy and strong. In their natural habitat, both male and female Bettas dine on a variety of plankton, small crustaceans, and insect larvae.

At home, the best way to replicate their carnivorous diet is by feeding them frozen and live foods. Some of the most popular options include bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. The nutritional value of these foods is higher than other options.

The problem with dried food is that it loses most of its nutrients during the manufacturing process. Pellet and flake foods may be more convenient in the long run, but you still want to supplement with live and frozen foods several times a week. You can’t solely rely on pellet and flake foods.

However, there are dried foods made for Bettas, specifically, which contain a higher level of protein. You will still need to supplement with live and frozen foods to ensure your Bettas have a well-balanced diet with the nutrients they need.

Feed your female Betta twice a day. When feeding your Betta, you only want to give it a small amount that can be eaten within two minutes. Remove any food that is left after two minutes. Otherwise, your females will continue eating until they’ve eaten everything, potentially overeating. By giving them a small amount to eat twice a day, their digestive system won’t need to work as hard. 

Caring for your Female Betta Fish

Because the water conditions in their natural habitat tend to be poor, Bettas have evolved into a hardy fish species. Despite their hardiness, you still need to keep the tank clean, maintaining the water quality with the help of a filter and regular water changes. Tanks that are not kept clean can cause a variety of health problems for your Betta, including diseases.

Your females can also pick up diseases from injuries inflicted during a fight with other Bettas. Although fighting is less common among females than males, it does still happen occasionally. 

If you see symptoms of an illness of any kind, you will want to remove that fish immediately and put it in a quarantine tank so that the illness or the disease does not spread to the remaining fish. 

Unclean water conditions can lead to fin rot, which is a bacterial infection. It can also be introduced into the tank by adding a new fish or using second-hand equipment in the tank. Inflammation and irritation are the main symptoms of fin rot. As soon as you notice these symptoms, you should begin treating it with medications that you can buy from the pet stores. 

Bloating is another issue you see a lot of with Bettas. It causes the abdomen to swell up and can cause secondary issues such as loss of appetite and breathing difficulties. 

The most common cause of bloating tends to be overfeeding. Try rationing your female Betta’s diet until the bloating goes down. If that doesn’t work, the bloating could be caused by a bacterium, a virus, or a parasite, all of which can be treated with medications.

Breeding Your Female Bettas

When breeding your female Bettas, you will need to choose a male Betta to introduce into the breeding tank. The only time you should put a male Betta and a female Betta together is when you are attempting to breed them. 

When it comes to mating, Bettas are very picky and will not mate unless conditions are perfect in their environment. They should have clean water that is around 80°F. Their diet should consist of high-quality foods, and they should eat frequently, about two to four times each day.

When the male and female become interested in mating with each other, the male will begin building up a bubble nest at the surface of the water consisting of saliva covered sticky bubbles, while the female’s coloring will darken significantly.

If the female approves of the nest, the pair will begin courting. The courting ritual involves biting and chasing each other. However, if they begin to get too aggressive towards each other, you will need to separate them. 

During courting, the female will flip over to where she is upside down, and the male will cover her by wrapping himself around her as he fertilizes her eggs while she releases them. The male will then move the eggs to the bubble nest. 

Immediately remove the female from the tank afterward because she might eat her eggs. Within two to three days, the fry will hatch, and you can begin feeding them infusoria and other tiny foods.

Are Female Betta Fish for You?

Compared to their male counterparts, the female Betta is much easier to care for, making them the perfect choice for beginner aquarists that are trying to avoid aggressive fish.

One drawback to buying a female Betta rather than a male is you don’t get the same amount of ornamentalism that the males possess. Some aquarists are willing to put up with the male’s aggression in order to have the vibrant coloring and elaborate finnage of the male. 

Don’t discount the female’s beauty, though. She may not be as fancy as the male, but she is still beautiful. Plus, you can keep a sorority rather than just one Betta, as you would be forced to do with a male, making them an enjoyable alternative to the male Betta. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

[2020] The Definitive Guide to the Best Food for Your Betta Fish

betta fish food

Deciding on the right fish food for your Betta can be a bit confusing and overwhelming. There are so many choices. How are you supposed to choose the right one? There’s pellet food, flake food, freeze-dried, frozen, and even living food. Should you feed your Betta plants and vegetables, or meat? What is best for your Betta?

This ultimate guide for Betta food will walk you through all the ins-and-outs of choosing and feeding your Betta the best foods for a healthy, nutritious diet.

betta fish food

What Bettas Eat in Their Natural Habitat

In their natural habitat of South East Asia, Bettas are generally carnivorous. Their diets consist mainly of insect larvae and small insects. Although Bettas do eat vegetation occasionally, they can’t live off of a diet of just plants. There is not enough nutrition in that kind of diet for your Betta. 

Bettas have short digestive tracks, which is one indicator of a carnivorous diet. They need a diet high in fiber and protein. They get their fiber from the insects they eat, which have themselves eaten foods high in fiber. 

What Makes up a Well-Balanced Diet for Your Betta

The best diet for your Betta will include fiber and protein in its diet. Fiber works to keep its digestive tract healthy and moving, while the protein works to keep them strong and healthy. 

In addition to fiber and protein, your Betta needs other things in their diets as well:

  • Foods containing enough moisture to aid in their digestion
  • A variety of vitamins
  • Phosphorus, which helps cell growth
  • Carbohydrates for energy
  • Fats, for storing energy
  • Calcium for strong bones

Buying high-quality food products will provide your Betta with all these things it needs to remain healthy and live a long, full life.

The Top 5 Types of Food for Bettas

When you go to the pet store, you will find five different kinds of Betta food:

  1. Flake food
  2. Pellet food
  3. Freeze-dried food
  4. Frozen food
  5. Live food

Feeding your Betta a diet rich in a variety of the five main foods, will ensure your fish is getting all the proteins, fiber, vitamins, and nutrients your fish need. A balanced diet will strengthen your Betta’s immune system, keeping it strong and helping it fight off any future illnesses. Providing a well-balanced diet will also go a long way in keeping your Betta from getting bored with meal times. 

Flake Foods

Feeding your Betta flake food tends to be a less nutritious choice than other choices. It can be challenging to measure and ration out the correct amount you feed your Betta every day. You want to make sure you don’t overfeed your Betta. 

Flake foods tend to sink a lot faster than the other types of fish foods. The uneaten food that sank too quickly will sit on the bottom of the tank and rot, which in turn will degrade the water quality, eventually affecting your Betta negatively. 

One other thing to consider, flake foods do not resemble your Betta’s natural diet in the least, and if your Betta is a fussy eater, it may reject flake foods. For these reasons, flake foods are not as popular a choice when feeding your Betta. 

However, there are some cases where Bettas won’t eat pellet food. In these cases, flake food is a good alternative for your Betta. If you plan to feed your Betta flake foods, you need to choose a brand that is made specifically for Bettas. Don’t buy your Betta tropical fish food. They are full of plant and vegetable fillers, perfect for omnivores, but they fall short in providing the nutrients your Betta needs.

You might also be interested in: Types of Betta Fish

What Are the Best Flakes for Bettas?

If you prefer to feed your Betta flake foods, here is a list of the top Betta flake foods you can purchase for your Betta.

Omega One Betta Food

These gourmet wild salmon flakes are made especially for Bettas. With color boosting nutrition, these flakes are rich in the essential Omega fatty acids 3 & 6. The natural beta carotenes found in salmon will enhance your Betta’s coloring, taking it to the next level.

The Omega One Betta Food flakes will not dissolve in the water, which reduces tank pollution. Additionally, the starch content is significantly less than that of other fish flakes, reducing fish waste and keeping the tank cleaner for longer periods of time.

Min Crude Protein 43% / Min Crude Fat 12% / Max Crude Fiber 2% / Max Moisture 8.5% / Max Ash 8% / 100% Made in the USA!

Omega One Betta Flakes, 0.28 oz
1,068 Reviews
Omega One Betta Flakes, 0.28 oz
  • COLOR BOOSTING NUTRITION: These delicious wild salmon Betta Flakes are rich in critical Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and are 100% meal free. Natural beta carotenes in salmon provide extreme color enhancement!
  • KEEP A CLEANER TANK: Our Betta Flakes are naturally insoluble, which reduces water pollution, and they have significantly less starch, which reduces fish waste
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed 1-3 times daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 43% / Min Crude Fat 12% / Max Crude Fiber 2% / Max Moisture 8.5% / Max Ash 8%
  • 100% Made in the USA!

API Betta Fish Food

API Betta Fish Food is specially formulated to support healthy growth, in addition to keeping the tank water cleaner and clearer. Offering your Betta a balanced and complete diet, API Betta flakes also offer color-enhancing nutrients that will give your Betta’s coloring a boost. With nutritional proteins that aid in digestion, these flakes produce 30% less ammonia. Less ammonia and waster are released when your Betta consumes the proper amount of nutrients.

API Betta Flakes Fish Food .36-Ounce Container
69 Reviews
API Betta Flakes Fish Food .36-Ounce Container
  • Contains one (1) API BETTA FLAKES Fish Food .36-Ounce Container
  • Contains key nutrients for a complete and balanced diet for betta fish
  • Formulated to support natural color and for optimal absorption
  • Formulated to help fish more readily use nutrients which means less waste and clean, clear water
  • Feed twice a day the amount of food your betta will consume in three minutes

Tetra Tropical Betta Crisps

Designed specifically with your Betta in mind, these flakes will provide a well-balanced diet and keep your Betta healthy and happy. With fewer fillers than their competitors, these flakes provide 44% crude protein and 12% crude fat. Enhanced with color boosting ingredients.

TetraPro Betta Crisps, Fish Food with Natural Color Enhancer
1,603 Reviews
TetraPro Betta Crisps, Fish Food with Natural Color Enhancer
  • BETTA FORMULATION: Nutritionally balanced diet is an ideal daily staple food for your Siamese fighting fish (betta splendens) and other top-water feeding tropical fish.
  • FOR DAILY FEEDING: Advanced nutrition for the discerning fish-keeper.
  • COLOR ENHANCING: Includes natural color enhancers for maximum beauty in your betta fish.
  • FLOATING PELLETS: Small, highly palatable, floating pellets for top-water feeders.
  • CLEAR WATER: Does not cloud water when used as directed.

TetraBetta Flake Medley Fish Food

Tetra BettaMin Tropical Flakes provide your Betta with the balanced nutrition needed to support a healthy immune system. Your Betta will love these small thin red flakes coupled with freeze-dried brine shrimp. Patented ProCare ensures your fish receives precise amounts of the Omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to the nutrients and vitamins that your Betta needs to stay healthy. Color enhancing technologies bring out your Betta’s natural colors, making them more vibrant.

Tetra 16838 BettaMin Flakes, 0.81-Ounce,Blacks & Grays
221 Reviews
Tetra 16838 BettaMin Flakes, 0.81-Ounce,Blacks & Grays
  • This Specialized Combination Of Small, Thin Red Flakes And Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp Is Formulated To Maximize Acceptance And Intake.
  • Blended With Patented Procure For Optimal Health.
  • Does not cloud water.
  • This specialized combination of small, thin red flakes and freeze dried brine shrimp is formulated to maximize acceptance and intake.
  • Blended with patented ProCare for optimal health.

Tetra BettaMin Select-A-Food 1.34 Ounces, Fish Flakes, Variety Pack

Tetra BettaMin 3-in-1 Select-A-Food is perfect for providing daily variety for your Betta. Packed with nutrition and color enhancing nutrients, these flakes are sure to please your Betta and keep them from getting bored.

The multi-section canister offers three different Betta foods in one convenient container. Your Betta will enjoy the flake foods daily, in addition to the mini floating pellets, and then for an occasional treat, feed your Betta the freeze-dried shrimp pieces. 

Tetra BettaMin Select-A-Food 1.34 Ounces, Fish Flakes, Variety Pack
1,059 Reviews
Tetra BettaMin Select-A-Food 1.34 Ounces, Fish Flakes, Variety Pack
  • BETTA FORMULATION: Nutritionally balanced diet is an ideal daily staple food for your Siamese fighting fish (betta splendens) and other top-water feeding tropical fish.
  • 3 FOODS IN 1: Includes Tetra BettaMin Flakes, freeze-dried shrimp and TetraBetta Floating Mini Pellets in one can.
  • FOR DAILY FEEDING: Advanced nutrition for the discerning fish-keeper.
  • COLOR-ENHANCING: Works to enhance your betta’s naturally brilliant colors.
  • EASY-TO-USE DISPENSER: Canister top allows you to dial in the food you want.

Pellet Foods

Pellet foods are the most common food Betta keepers use. Pellets are usually made of higher-quality ingredients. Pellets are also much easier to measure the amount you are feeding your Betta than flake foods. They are also more natural-looking, possibly resembling insect larvae to your Betta. 

When you choose a pellet brand, make sure that your chosen brand has at least 30% crude protein. The other ingredients should include dried meats with little to no fillers. 

What Are the Best Betta Food Pellets?

There is a multitude of Betta food pellets on the market today. With such an assortment, it can be hard to narrow down your choices. One thing to keep in mind when choosing the right pellets for your Betta is always to choose one with natural ingredients. Although, try to avoid a lot of plant matter in the pellets. Your Betta doesn’t need it. Instead, look for high levels of crude protein. The following are several brands we recommend.

Aqueon Dry Fish Food - Extruded

Formulated especially for Bettas, the Aqueon pellets are full of the nutrients needed to support a healthy immune system. The pellets are the perfect size to ensure you never overfeed your Betta.

With natural ingredients and no artificial colors, Aqueon takes a more holistic approach to feeding fish. The coloring for the pellets comes from the formula’s actual food ingredients, which help bring out your Betta’s natural coloring. 

  • Protein (min) – 37%
  • Fat (min) – 8%
  • Fiber (max) – 3%
  • Moisture (min) – 8%
  • Phosphorous (min) – 1%
Aqueon Pro Foods Betta Formula 1.4 oz
427 Reviews
Aqueon Pro Foods Betta Formula 1.4 oz
  • Nutritionally balanced for Betta
  • Developed around a betta's natural diet
  • Pellets float to allow for surface feeding
  • Contains color enhancers for vibrancy
  • Ideal for Betta, Gouramis and Paradise Fish

Omega Sea Betta Buffet Pellets

One of the most beneficial pellets you can buy to feed your Betta is Omega Sea Betta Buffet. With fewer fillers than other leading pellet brands, they pack a whopping 40% crude protein. Because they are made from salmon, they are also full of the vitamins, nutrients, fat, and fiber needed to keep your Betta healthy and enhance their natural coloring, as well. 

Omega One Betta Buffet 1.5mm Pellets, 1 oz
1,068 Reviews
Omega One Betta Buffet 1.5mm Pellets, 1 oz
  • COLOR BOOSTING NUTRITION: These delicious wild salmon Betta Pellets are rich in critical Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and are 100% meal free. Natural beta carotenes in salmon provide extreme color enhancement!
  • KEEP A CLEANER TANK: Our Betta Pellets are naturally insoluble, which reduces water pollution, and they have significantly less starch, which reduces fish waste
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed 1-3 times daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 42% / Min Crude Fat 8% / Max Crude Fiber 2% / Max Moisture 8.5% / Max. Ash 8%
  • 100% Made in the USA!

Ocean Nutrition Attisons Betta Pro

Ocean Nutrition is perfect for people who might have a fussy eater on their hands. Not as large as other brand’s pellets, the smaller size of Ocean Nutrition will entice your fussy Betta to try them and like them. 

These pellets are rich in crude protein, 36%, with minimum fillers. Containing several different types of meat, these pellets come with plenty of vitamins and color boosting nutrients.

Ocean Nutrition Atison's Betta Food, 75 g
170 Reviews
Ocean Nutrition Atison's Betta Food, 75 g
  • Developed to produce the most nutrient complete food for the betta species
  • Will enhance the natural color of the fish
  • Does not cloud the water
  • Extensive tests have proven this food to be ideal for the care of betta fish

Tetra Betta Floating Mini Pellets

These Tetra Mini Pellets will provide your Betta with a well balanced, highly palatable, and nutritionally rich meal. ProCare ensures precise amounts of the vitamins and nutrients needed to support your Betta’s immune system. They are also rich in proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids to encourage energy and growth. The natural color enhancing nutrients will improve your Betta’s natural vibrant colors. 

Tetra 77019 Betta Floating Mini Pellets for Bettas, 1.02 oz
2,388 Reviews
Tetra 77019 Betta Floating Mini Pellets for Bettas, 1.02 oz
  • BETTA FORMULATION Nutritionally complete daily diet for your Siamese fighting fish (betta splendens)
  • COLOR-ENHANCING Includes carotenoids to enhance your betta’s naturally brilliant colors
  • FLOATING PELLETS Ideally sized for top-feeding bettas
  • PROCARE FORMULA Helps support fish’s immune system for optimal health and long life
  • FOR DAILY FEEDING Feed 2 to 3 times daily only as much as your fish can consume within several minutes

Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellets

The smaller Hikari pellets are perfect for Bettas that have difficulty eating larger pellets. Although they were designed to be eaten by juvenile Bettas, they are still good for adult Bettas. 

These pellets are packed with 38% crude protein, and full of digestion aiding moisture. They do, however, contain a small number of fillers. The fillers won’t hurt your Betta, but they will not provide any nutritional value for your Betta, either. 

Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellets Fish Food Bundle Bonus Pack 3 Pack
721 Reviews
Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Baby Pellets Fish Food Bundle Bonus Pack 3 Pack
  • Scientifically Developed Diet For All Types Of Bettas
  • Optimally Balanced Nutrition Bettas Require
  • Contains Ingredients Uniquely Beneficial To Bettas
  • Color Enhancing Diet
  • Perfectly Sized Pellet

Freeze-Dried Food

Freeze-dried food makes an excellent addition to your Betta’s diet. Packing more nutrition than either pellets or flakes, they will provide your Betta with a well-balanced meal. However, because they are freeze-dried animal meats, they lack moisture, which is needed for easy digestion. 

In many cases, crude protein for freeze-dried Betta foods will exceed 50%. Along with the increased amount of protein, they also contain fiber and roughage that is good for the digestive system. 

When used in conjunction with a diet of pellet foods, you can rest assured that your Betta will get all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to build up a healthy immune system. 

Live Food

You can’t deny that live foods hold more nutritional value than any other food. After all, it’s what Bettas eat in their natural habitat. Your Betta will love a diet of small invertebrates, insects, and insect larva.

If you plan to give your Betta live foods, you should also incorporate some pellets and freeze-dried foods in its diet, as well, to make sure your Betta is getting a well-balanced diet. 

A diet of only live foods might tend to get a little costly in the long run. Another thing to consider is handling and storing live foods. You also need to be very cautious about parasite infections. Make sure you are buying your live foods from a reputable source because if they haven’t been properly taken care of, there’s more of a chance they could be infected. 

Feeding your Bettas live foods that are infected with parasites will cause them to become ill and possibly even die. 

On the upside, live foods will bring out the natural hunting behavior in your Betta. The best live foods for your Betta include:

  • Daphnia
  • Small insects
  • Brine shrimp
  • Mosquito larvae

Bloodworms, but only as an occasional treat!

Frozen Food

An excellent substitute for live foods is frozen food. It’s less expensive to buy and keep, and it includes most of the nutrients your Bettas need. One of the things to keep in mind when deciding between live foods and frozen foods is the hunting factor. With live foods, your Betta’s natural instincts will come out, and they will start hunting their food. They can’t do that with frozen foods, obviously. But, with frozen food, there’s a slightly less chance of your Bettas being contaminated as there is with live foods. 

Before feeding the frozen food to your Betta, you will want to defrost the food in a cup of the tank’s water. Frozen food is too difficult for Bettas to eat, possibly causing some damage. Be careful of overfeeding your Bettas too much frozen foods. All they need is a small amount in the mornings in addition to the evenings. 

Choosing the Best Betta Fish Food

When shopping for Betta food, you need to educate yourself on everything your Betta needs in order to stay strong and healthy. 

Choose Foods with High Protein

Being a carnivore, the most important staple in your Betta’s diet is crude protein. As we have stressed in this guide, it is important to choose a Betta food with a high percentage of crude protein. Don’t choose anything that has less than 30% crude protein. 

You should check the list of ingredients to see the protein content levels before buying. If it doesn’t give you the percentage or level, you can look at how many animal products are listed among the ingredients. When the bulk of the food’s ingredients are all animal-based, it’s probably a higher quality food. 

Avoid Foods with a lot of Fillers

In addition to looking at the protein levels, you should also pay attention to the number of fillers that are on the list of ingredients. A lot of fillers are listed under the name “fish meal” in the ingredients list. Fish meal can contain a variety of things, possibly even some meat. However, because you don’t know exactly what makes up the fish meal, you want to avoid it. 

In order to avoid unnecessary fillers, check the list of ingredients for anything that is not meat-based. Small amounts of fillers are to be expected in Betta food, but make sure the fillers don’t make up the majority of the ingredients. 

Avoid Foods that are Plant-Based

Bettas are carnivores, so you will want to avoid any Betta food that contains a lot of plant fillers, as well. The Betta’s body has not been made to easily digest plants. It is important to choose a food that has been specially formulated for Bettas, rather than common tropical fish food. These kinds of foods were made with omnivores in mind.

Avoid Ingredients that are Unidentifiable

If there are a lot of long, unpronounceable ingredient names in the list of ingredients that you are not familiar with, don’t buy it. The most beneficial foods for your Betta are the ones that have basic meat-based ingredients. Large amounts of chemicals will not be healthy for your Betta in the long run.

Avoid Pellets and Flakes that are Low-Quality

Cheaper is not better when it comes to the quality of your Betta’s fish food. You can identify low-quality pellets and flakes by their low prices and the list of ingredients. Again, look for unidentifiable words and fillers. You may be tempted to buy the cheaper, lower-quality Betta foods, but your Betta will not be as healthy and happy as it should be, and it could end up costing your more money in the future. 

What to Do When Your Betta Rejects its Food

When your Betta starts spitting out its food, that could be a warning sign, at the very least, it could be because the food is simply too big for it to eat. Try cutting or grinding up the food before feeding your Betta. If you reduce the food’s size, your Betta should not spit it out. 

If you find your Betta spitting out frozen food, you should make sure you have fully defrosted the food in a small quantity of its tank water before you try giving it to your Betta again. 

Another possibility for your Betta’s food rejection could be digestive trouble, usually in the form of constipation. Treating constipation is easy. You can try fasting your Betta for two or three days and then try feeding it some daphnia. 

Or, you could have a fussy eater on your hands. If this is the case, you can try fasting your Betta for two days and try giving it the food again. Just remember to remove any uneaten food from the tank in order to avoid it sinking to the bottom and rotting. This will negatively affect the water conditions and eventually make your Betta sick.

If Your Betta Stops Eating

Not eating is usually a sign that something is wrong with your Betta. If you notice your Betta is not eating, you need to start ruling out stress factors, constipation, swim bladder disease, or food issues.

Conclusion

Your Betta needs a diet rich in protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and nutrients. In order to get this well-balanced diet, you need to avoid the cheaper, lower quality foods. 

You should also consider feeding your Betta a variety of foods, such as pellets for everyday meals, supplemented with either frozen or freeze-dried foods, and live foods a couple of times a week. 

Although flake foods are fine, you don’t want that to be the only food your Betta eats because most of the time, this type of food is filled with plant matter, which does not hold any nutritional value for your Betta. If you feed your Betta the flake foods, you should supplement your Betta’s diet with another type of food that we have recommended to give them a well-balanced diet. 

In summary, the best food you can feed your Betta will be live foods. But you have to be careful about buying them from a reputable source. You don’t want to buy contaminated food that could cause your Betta to fall ill or possibly even die. Live foods also bring out your Betta’s hunting instincts. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

The Top 6 Reasons Your Betta is Bloated: Prevent, Diagnose, Treat

What do you do if you notice your Betta has suddenly become fatter overnight, for no apparent reason? Your mind starts cycling through all the possible reasons this could happen. You may even call the pet store or your vet to see why your betta is bloated, but all you get is a list of possible reasons for the bloating. 

While that can be helpful to a certain degree, you need more information about symptoms, causes, and treatments. This guide will help you recognize, diagnose, and treat the cause of your Betta’s bloating.

Bloated Betta

In Addition to Bloating, What are Some Other Symptoms?

Fish are small, and it may be difficult to recognize bloating in the beginning stages. If you notice their belly beginning to protrude, start paying attention to other possible symptoms to diagnose the ailment correctly.

The Most Common Causes for Betta Fish Bloat

Constipation is the most common cause of bloating in Bettas. Swim bladder disease is the next most common disease, and after that is dropsy. Luckily, for constipation and swim bladder disease, the treatments are simple, and your Betta will recover quickly. Dropsy, on the other hand, can prove to be fatal, unfortunately.

Constipation: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Treating and preventing constipation is actually very simple and easy. Nine times out of ten, the bloating your Betta is suffering from is caused by constipation. If you suspect your Betta is constipated, there are other symptoms you should look for that will help you diagnose constipation in your Betta.

Constipation Symptom: Can't Pass Stool

While this seems like an obvious symptom, it is actually hard to detect. Only through careful observation will you be able to determine whether your Betta is able to pass stool or not. If you do notice that your Betta is constipated, you should keep an eye out for other symptoms, as well.

Constipation Symptom: Lack of Appetite

Bettas love to eat, and because of this, it’s very easy to overfeed your Betta. So, when your Betta stops eating, you will notice right away that something is up. In combination with not being able to pass stool, lack of appetite is a definite sign of constipation in your Betta. 

Causes of Constipation

There are a couple of reasons your Betta can become constipated. Educating yourself on the reasons for constipation in Bettas is the first step to preventing this from happening in the future. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

Poor Diet

Your Betta’s diet is vital to their health. A poor diet of cheap food can cause constipation and bloat. Feeding your Betta a diet that includes high-quality pellet food rich in vitamins, nutrients, and proteins, as well as live food and even frozen and freeze-dried foods, will help prevent constipation. 

Lack of Exercise

Bettas need at least a 5-gallon tank to live in. Anything smaller can cause boredom and depression due to the lack of room they have to roam around and exercise in. Exercise is important in keeping you Betta happy and stress-free. Not being able to exercise freely can cause constipation and bloat. 

Treatment Options for Constipation

Treating your Betta’s constipation is simple and doesn’t require a lot of effort on your end. To get your Betta’s bowels functioning properly again, you can fast (don’t feed) them for two to three days. Once the fasting is over, you can feed your Betta a diet rich in fiber, which will help clean out its digestive system and relieve the constipation. Live foods such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and daphnia are full of the fiber they need. 

If that doesn’t work, you can try feeding your Betta tiny pieces of a fresh or frozen pea. Make sure you take the outer layer off the pea first, offering only the inside of the pea to your Betta.  

You can also try giving your Betta an Epsom salt bath, which acts as a muscle relaxant. To do this, 

  1. Pour one half of your Betta’s tank water into a clean container. 
  2. For every gallon of water, add one tablespoon of Epsom salt.
  3. Soak the fish in the salt solution for 15 to 30 minutes.

Remove Betta immediately if it shows signs of stress, or if it has a bowel movement.

A dysfunctional swim bladder didn't stop him from being king

Swim Bladder Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

If you have completely ruled out constipation, then another possible reason for your Betta’s bloating could be swim bladder disease. This disease isn’t really a disease. It’s more of a disorder affecting a fish’s buoyancy, causing them to flip over.

However, it’s a little tricky to diagnose because constipation can cause swim bladder disease, and sometimes swim bladder disease can cause constipation. When constipation causes swim bladder disease, it’s usually due to overfeeding and high levels of nitrates. 

A variety of symptoms can be attributed to swim bladder disease, and are usually easy to spot.

Symptom: Difficulty Swimming

Besides having a bloated stomach, if you notice your Betta has difficulty swimming, this is a good indicator that your Betta has swim bladder disease. Some of the difficulties include:

  • Lopsided swimming
  • Floating at the top of the tank’s water
  • Sinking to the bottom of the tank
  • buoyancy issues
  • Unable to remain in the correct position

Symptom: Loss of Appetite

Suffering from swim bladder disease is stressful for your Betta. This can cause your Betta to lose their appetite and stop eating. Swim bladder disease can also cause them to be unable to eat, especially if they’ve reached the stage where they are unable to swim towards the food when you feed them.

Symptom: Curved Back

When swim bladder disease goes untreated for too long, you might notice your Betta’s back beginning to curve. The curved back is very noticeable and unnatural looking. You will need to start treatment immediately to avoid losing your Betta.

Symptom: Lethargy

Lethargy is another symptom of swim bladder disease. If your Betta hovers in one place without attempting to move around anymore, it could be a sign that they are in pain or stressed. 

Various Causes of Swim Bladder Disease

Swim bladder disease can be caused by several different things, making it difficult to diagnose correctly. Here are some of the more common causes.

Constipation

Constipation due to overfeeding is one of the most common reasons for swim bladder disease. If your Betta is bloated and is having difficulty swimming, there is a good chance it is caused by constipation. 

Injury

Injuries to your Betta can also cause swim bladder disease. The injuries can be inflicted by other fish in the tank nipping at or being aggressive towards your Betta. There is also the possibility of your Betta injuring itself on something in the tank. If your Betta jumped out of its tank, it could have damaged itself when it landed, which could also cause swim bladder disease.

Parasites & Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections and parasites can also cause your Betta to have swim bladder disease, although it’s not as common. If you suspect this to be the cause, keep an eye on your Betta’s stool. Bacterial infections and parasites will cause their stool to be white and stringy looking.

Shock

There are several reasons your Betta might go into shock, including:

  • Constant changes in lighting
  • pH changes
  • Temperature changes

If your Betta is in shock, correcting these issues should cure the swim bladder disease issue. 

Treatment Options for Swim Bladder Disease

Depending on what caused the swim bladder disease, there are several different ways of treating this condition, and in some cases, it will correct itself. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If overeating is the cause, you should try fasting your Betta. 
  • If constipation is the cause, try giving them an Epsom salt bath. 

If shock is the cause, you will need to correct the reasons it went into shock first. Once that is corrected, your Betta should go back to normal.

Care & Treatment of Dropsy

Dropsy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

If you have ruled out swim bladder disease and constipation, dropsy is another possibility. For your Betta, the chances of surviving dropsy are slim, although there are a few rare cases where fish have recovered from dropsy. However, euthanasia is usually the most humane option when dealing with dropsy.

If your Betta is suffering from bloat and you suspect dropsy, be on the lookout for these other symptoms.

Symptom: Pinecone Scales

One sure sign of dropsy is pinecone scales. This is when your Betta’s scales stick out the wrong way, making it resemble a pinecone. Once your Betta has reached this stage, surviving dropsy is rare. The pinecone look is caused by the organs swelling from the damage, causing your Betta’s body to swell up as well. This bloating causes the scales to be pushed out from its body, making it look like a pinecone. At this point, the organs have become too damaged for your Betta to survive. 

Symptom: Curved Spine

Another symptom of dropsy is the spine curving outwards due to the organs swelling. If the spine is curving sideways its dropsy, but if the spine is curving vertically, this is a sign of tuberculosis. 

Various Causes of Dropsy

Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint what caused dropsy because there is a multitude of causes. Generally, dropsy is caused by a physical or environmental stress your Betta is suffering from.

Poor Water Quality or Diet

There’s a higher risk of dropsy when your Betta is kept in a tank with poor water conditions or is not fed properly. Poor water conditions and food inflicts unnecessary stress on your Betta, which causes it to begin weakening. Once that happens, its immune system will no longer be strong enough to fight off illnesses.

Internal Damage

Internal damage, such as the following, can cause dropsy:

  • Bringing your Betta home from the pet store
  • Having your Betta shipped to you
  • Moving it around, switching tanks
  • Fighting
  • Injuring itself on an object in the tank

If the damage is severe enough, it will cause its organs and tissues to begin swelling, leading to dropsy.

Illness & Disease

Unfortunately, your Betta is more likely to develop dropsy if it is already suffering from another disease or illness. It’s vital to begin treatment immediately if you suspect your Betta of being sick, in order to keep dropsy from developing.

Treatment Options for Dropsy

While dropsy is usually fatal, you can try treating the causes of dropsy as well as changing the water frequently. If you suspect the cause is a bacterial infection, you can try administering an antibiotic. Another option is trying methylene blue dips. However, the chances of curing your Betta of dropsy remain slim. 

Malawi Bloat: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Malawi bloat is extremely rare, and chances are your Betta probably does not have this. However, there are a few rare cases where this has happened—unfortunately, it’s usually too late to save your fish once the symptoms start showing. 

Symptom: Trouble Breathing

While trouble breathing is one of the symptoms for Malawi bloat, it is also the symptom of several other conditions. However, if your fish is hanging out at the top of the tank, struggling to get air, this is a sign of Malawi bloat. Other possibilities include temperature shock, ammonia poisoning, or not enough oxygen in the water. 

Symptom: Lack of Appetite

Once your Betta contracts Malawi bloat, they will lose their appetite and stop eating. However, a lack of appetite can be contributed to many other illnesses, as well. 

Various Causes of Malawi Bloat

Malawi Bloat is caused by either bacteria in your tank’s water, or possibly by a parasite. The best way to avoid contracting Malawi bloat is always to keep the water conditions perfect, and only feed your Betta food that has come from a reputable source.

Treatment Option for Malawi Bloat

Malawi bloat is fatal, unfortunately. However, if you want to try to save your fish, see a specialist or a vet.

Tumors Causing Bloat in Bettas

It’s rare, but there are rare circumstances where a tumor can cause your Betta to bloat. Unfortunately, once a tumor develops, the most humane option you have is euthanasia. 

Bloating Due to Producing Eggs

If your female Betta begins to bloat, has verticle white stripes running across its body, and a tube or a white spot on its stomach (where the eggs will come out), your Betta is producing eggs. 

What Do I Do if My Betta Fish Is Bloated?

At the first signs of bloating, you should start diagnosing and treating your Betta immediately to ensure it remains healthy, if possible. 

  1. Quarantining Your Betta – If you do not suspect constipation to be the cause for the bloating, you should transfer your Betta to a quarantine tank if it is part of a community tank. This will hopefully keep your other fish safe, and it will also make treating your Betta easier.
  2. Begin Treatment – Once you have diagnosed and quarantined your Betta, you should begin treatment immediately. Keep your Betta in the quarantine tank until it has fully recovered. 
  3. Monitor the Symptoms – You will need to closely monitor your Betta every few hours to make sure its symptoms do not worsen.
Credit: Josh Isaak

How Do I Prevent Bloat in My Betta Fish?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing bloat is a lot easier and less expensive than treating bloat.

Keep the Water Clean

Clean water is one of the most important things your Betta needs in order to maintain good health and prevent possible illnesses. Depending on the size of your tank, you should be performing weekly water changes. If your tank is larger, you can do the water changes less frequently. Water changes help by removing:

  • Ammonia buildup
  • Waste buildup
  • Bacteria
  • Parasites

High-Quality Food

A well-balanced diet and high-quality food will also reduce the possibility of illness, stress, and bloat in your Betta. A varied diet of nutritional Betta pellets, live foods, frozen, and freeze-dried foods will provide the protein, vitamins, and nutrients need to keep its immune system strong and healthy enough to fight off illnesses and diseases. 

Some of the best live foods for your Betta include daphnia, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae. Bloodworms are great for a treat every once in a while. 

Avoid Aggressive Tank Mates & Sharp Objects

Injuries from sharp objects in the tank or aggressive tankmates can cause possible infections or stress, which can lead to other illnesses. First of all, avoid putting sharp objects in the tank. Second, you also want to monitor the behavior of all your fish in your community tank. If one of your fish is being aggressive towards others, you should remove that fish from the tank or use a tank separator to keep the other fish safe. 

Use an Adequately Sized Tank

Anything under five gallons will not be big enough for your Betta. The perfect water conditions are very difficult to maintain in a small tank. Plus, a small tank requires frequent upkeep to keep the conditions at a healthy level. A five-gallon tank will give your Betta enough room to exercise and play. It will also help reduce the chances of water fluctuations, that will eventually stress and possibly even kill your Betta.

Conclusion

Bloating in Bettas is a common occurrence, and fortunately, most of the time, it is easily treatable. 

  • There are reasons your Betta is bloated. Most are common and easily treatable, with the deadly causes being rarer.
  • The leading cause of bloat is constipation. Inactivity and a poor diet can cause constipation.
  • You can treat your Betta’s constipation quickly and simply by fasting your Betta for two to three days, then feeding it daphnia.
  • Swim bladder disease can cause your Betta to bloat. Injuries, water fluctuations, and constipation can cause your Betta to contract swim bladder disease.
  • Swim bladder disease symptoms also include lethargy, a curved back, loss of appetite, and trouble swimming.
  • Swim bladder disease has different treatments depending on what is causing the disease. 
  • Bloating in your Betta could also be caused by dropsy, which is usually fatal. The primary symptoms of dropsy are curved spine, pinecone scales, as well as bloating. 
  • Internal damage, poor diet, disease, and poor water quality can cause dropsy.
  • By the time your Betta starts showing symptoms of dropsy, it is usually too late to save it. The damage from the disease has already been done.
  • In extremely rare instances, the bloating could be caused by a tumor or Malawi Bloat. Both of these conditions are fatal. 
  • The cause of your female Betta’s bloating could be her producing eggs.
  • To prevent your Betta from bloating, remember to:
    • Maintain good water conditions
    • Feed it a healthy and nutritious diet
    • Keep it in a tank that is five gallons or larger
    • Avoid aggressive tankmates
    • Don’t put sharp objects in the tank

We hope this guideline will help you prevent any future possibilities of bloating in your Betta. Or, if your Betta is suffering bloat, we hope that this guide will help you to recognize the symptoms, diagnose the cause for bloating, and begin the appropriate treatment right away.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

My Betta Stopped Eating: Reasons & Solutions

My Betta Stopped Eating

If you go through all the trouble of setting up a tank and taking care of your fish, you obviously want them to do well and live healthy, happy lives. So, when you notice one of your Bettas is not eating, that is worrisome. 

Usually, it’s nothing you need to worry about. However, there are some cases where their lack of eating is a symptom of something more serious. Either way, you should do some investigation to either rule out the serious issues or begin treatments if needed. 

This guide will take you through all the reasons your Betta has stopped eating and what you should do about it. 

My Betta Stopped Eating

Why Did My Betta Stop Eating?

There are a variety of reasons your Betta may have stopped eating. One thing to consider is that even when you think your Betta has stopped eating, it may actually be eating without you being aware of it. Keep an eye on your Betta during feeding time, and make sure there aren’t any other factors affecting your Betta’s appetite.

Could My Betta Be a Finicky Eater?

More often than not, you will discover that your Betta stopped eating because it’s a finicky eater. Suddenly changing foods on your Betta can cause them to stop eating. If you suspect this to be the case, try feeding it their previous food. If they eat that food without any problems, then more than likely, you Betta is just being finicky. 

The Solution to Finicky Eaters

There are two possible solutions, one being simple and the other a little more difficult. Obviously, the easiest solution here is to feed your Betta the food it likes instead of trying to switch foods on them. However, doing so can cause more issues in the long run.

It’s quite common for Bettas to prefer a certain brand or type of food. The issues occur when you are unable to purchase that particular brand or type of food. 

In order to avoid a scenario such as this, you should diversify your Betta’s diet, feeding them a wide range of foods. One of the things you can do is to offer your Betta a variety of different foods until it is no longer fussy about what it eats. 

Another option is to stop feeding your Betta for a couple of days, thereby putting them on a fast. Once the fast is over, you should try to feed your Betta the foods that it didn’t want to eat originally. After having fasted for a couple of days, your Betta should be happy to eat whatever you feed it. 

Could My Betta be Unaware That it is Food?

In the case of flake food and pellet food, your fish may not realize that what you’re feeding them is actually food, especially if you’ve never tried to feed it to them before. 

Typically betta fish breeders only feed their fish a variety of frozen, live, and freeze-dried foods. By the time you purchase your fish, they are already used to that type of diet. Introducing flake and pellet foods may take a while because your fish may not realize that it’s actually food. 

The Solution to Introducing New Foods to Your Betta

For this situation, the best thing you can do for your Betta is to continue offering them that particular food until they begin eating it. Typically, it will take two to seven days to adjust to the new food and begin eating. If they insist on not eating the food after this time period has passed, you might have a finicky eater on your hands. 

Try not to let your Betta go more than three days without eating. At this point, you will be causing more harm than good. Make sure you have backup foods that you know your Betta will eat, just in case. 

Another thing to remember is to remove any food that goes uneaten from their tank within ten minutes to avoid the food sitting in the tank and rotting, producing harmful ammonia

Could My Betta Not Like Food That is Still Frozen/Freeze-dried?

Freeze-dried and frozen foods are good for Bettas, but some fish will not touch the food until it has adequately thawed. If your Betta is ignoring the food altogether, it may be because the food hasn’t softened yet from being frozen. 

Some freeze-dried and frozen food will begin to expand when it starts absorbing water again. This causes a problem when your Betta eats the food too fast. The food might continue to expand in their stomachs, which can cause constipation and possibly swim bladder disease

The Solution to Feeding Your Betta Frozen and Freeze-Dried Food

The simplest solution is to make sure the food is sufficiently thawed out before you give it to your Betta. To ensure the food has been properly thawed out before you feed it to your Betta, try putting the food into a small amount of tank water and let it thaw out before serving it to your fish.

What if I Have A New Betta That Won't Eat?

When you introduce a new Betta to your tank, it’s natural for them to refuse food at first. Moving to a new tank and getting used to living in a new environment is stressful for a fish. If you bought your Betta online and it was shipped, the stress of being shipped can sometimes be overwhelming. 

The Solution to Getting Your New Betta to Eat

The most simple solution for getting your new Betta to eat is giving them time to get used to the tank and settle in. Try turning the aquarium lights off for a day or two. Feed them in the morning and again in the evening. If your Betta still doesn’t want to eat the food you fed it, remove the food after ten minutes to keep it from polluting the tank.

Am I Overfeeding My Betta?

If you aren’t paying attention, your Betta might actually be eating without you realizing it. Did you know that your fish’s stomach is approximately the size of its eyeball? If you are feeding it too much food, your Betta won’t be able to eat all of it, and you will notice food floating on the surface of the water. This could lead to you making the wrong assumption about your Betta not eating.

The Solution to Overfeeding Your Betta

The solution is pretty straight forward, once again. Don’t overfeed your Betta. Your Betta only needs one or two pellets of fish food twice a day. If you’re feeding your Betta flake food, all it needs is a small pinch, the equivalent in size to the pellet food. Remember, don’t try to feed it more than its stomach will hold.

Could the Quality of the Food Cause My Betta to Stop Eating?

When buying fish food in a chain pet store, you want to avoid the really cheap brands. The cheap brands are made up of cheap ingredients. If your Betta has stopped eating its food, it could be because the quality is poor. 

The cheaper foods don’t offer the balanced diet that your Betta needs to stay healthy. Even some of the good quality foods may be lacking in a healthy balance of vitamins, proteins, and nutrients.

The Solution to Poor Quality Foods Causing Your Betta to Not Eat

Bettas need a diet rich in variety to maintain optimum health. When feeding your Betta a high-quality pellet, you will all need to add frozen, live, or freeze-dried food to its diet. 

Occasionally, feeding your Betta live foods mixed in with their freeze-dried daphnia and betta pellets will provide the balanced diet your Betta needs.

Could a Problem With the Water Temperature Cause My Betta to Stop Eating?

The water temperature of your Betta’s tank needs to be just right. Because they are cold-blooded, the water’s temperature has a significant impact on their energy.

If the water’s temperature is too cold, it will slow down your Betta’s metabolism, which results in lethargy. A slower metabolism will also slow down the digestion of food, and it will not eat as much as usual.

You may not realize that the colder water temperatures can cause temperature shock, killing your Betta. 

The Solution for Water Temperature Irregularities

If you don’t already have one, you should look into getting a heater for your tank to ensure the water remains at a steady temperature of 78°F. Even if the general climate is warm, all it takes is a colder night to change the water temperature in smaller tanks drastically. 

Could a Change in My Betta's Environment Cause Them to Stop Eating?

Even the smallest change in their environment can affect a Betta’s sensitivity. If the water parameters take a downward turn, this can affect your Betta’s appetite. Ammonia spikes are usually to blame. However, any foreign chemical that gets into the tank can also affect your Betta’s eating. 

Sometimes, even a simple water change can throw off your Betta’s environment enough to cause them to stop eating for a while. The new water will have a different ammonia level, pH level, etc., than what your Betta is used to. Your Betta will go back to eating properly once they become adjusted to the new water from the water change. 

The Solution to Ensuring Your Betta Eats After Routine Water Changes

Normally, if your Betta refused to eat after a routine water change, all you need to do is wait for the next feeding, then try again. If they still refuse to eat, double-check the tank’s water parameters to make sure there are no issues that need to be resolved. Once resolved, you Betta should go back to eating normally.

What if My Betta is Sick?

When your Betta is sick or has a disease, its appetite will be the first thing to suffer. You will see other symptoms that will clue you in that there is something else going on. Swim bladder disease, constipation, and dropsy call all cause your Betta to lose its appetite. 

The Solution for Feeding a Sick Betta

If you suspect that your Betta is sick or has a disease, you need to respond quickly. If left untreated, many diseases can prove to be fatal. If you are unsure of the type of illness or disease your Betta may have, check out some of the other articles on our website for more information.

Recap

There are a variety of reasons your Betta has stopped eating. Most of these reasons are really a big deal, but there are some reasons that you should be concerned with. To recap:

  • Your Betta could be a finicky eater. If so, purposely feed it a variety of foods until it eats them willingly. 
  • Your Betta doesn’t know it’s actually food. Keep trying until it catches on and begins to eat. 
  • Your Betta doesn’t like frozen or freeze-dried foods. Soak the foods in a little bit of tank water before giving it to your Betta to eat.
  • Your Betta is stressed out. Turn off the lights for a couple of days, then try feeding it again.
  • You aren’t aware that your Betta is actually eating. Watch your Betta carefully when you feed them and make sure you don’t overfeed them. 
  • Your Betta doesn’t like cheap food. You should only feed your Betta high-quality foods to ensure it gets a balanced diet.
  • Poor water parameters caused your Betta to stop eating. Monitor your water parameters regularly.
  • Your Betta is sick. Monitor the symptoms and treat any illnesses or diseases quickly.

The key to keeping healthy and content fish is ensuring that you monitor their health, behavior, and environment on a regular basis. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Important Guide to Betta Fish Water Temperatures

Betta Fish Water Temperatures

Betta fish are freshwater fish whose natural habitat consists of tropical regions. They are also called Siamese Fighting Fish because of their fascinating history of being bred as a fighting fish. In their native habitats Bettas live among the marshes and shallow ponds of Asia, especially the regions around Southeast Asia.

Betta Fish Water Temperatures

Bettas have the ability to adapt to environmental changes quickly, even though they can be somewhat high maintenance. The most important thing to remember when taking care of Bettas is to maintain the proper water temperature. 

The water temperature significantly affects a Betta’s homeostasis. If there are any fluctuations or variations from the appropriate water temperature, your fish’s metabolism will get off balance, which can cause a variety of health problems and even infections.

Most Bettas are curious and friendly when it comes to their owners. When not cared for properly, you Betta can become aggressive towards other fish, as well as depressed. Their aggressiveness has been exploited among the pet traders, compromising their habitat.

Because Bettas live in tropical climates, they can survive in mild water temperatures. However, Bettas do have an armor system for defense against sudden climate changes. Moderate increases in your tank’s water’s temperature will not affect your Betta. However, extremely low temperatures and high temperatures can cause severe issues with your Betta’s overall health.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about maintaining the correct temperature for your Bettas. All it takes is a little effort to ensure your Bettas have the proper tank maintenance, meeting their needs for the healthiest environment you can give them.

The Ideal Water Temperature for Betta Fish

Because Bettas are naturally tropical fish, their ideal water’s temperature ranges between 76°F – 82°F. If you plan to house your Betta in a smaller tank, we recommend nothing smaller than five gallons.

Making sure that the water temperature remains between 76° – 82°F will ensure your Betta’s optimum health. Experts agree that your Betta’s water temperature should not go below 74°F or exceed the recommended 82°F. If the water’s temperature drops too low or goes too high, your Betta could get hurt or sick and possibly even die.

The Reasons Bettas Need These Temperatures

For Betta’s, balancing their body’s internal temperature, or homeostasis, can be sensitive. Differences in the water’s temperature can affect your Betta’s homeostasis severely, which could, in turn, compromise their immune systems.

If you witness fatigue and weakness in your Betta, as well as abnormal behavior, a dangerous fluctuation of the water’s temperature may have occurred. Considering that the natural habitat for your Betta is a tropical one, maintaining the water’s temperature is essential for your fish to live a long, healthy life. 

Unfortunately, mimicking your Betta’s natural environment with all the organic nourishment that is available in the marshes and rice paddies is impossible. However, you do have command over the water temperature, which you can mimic from their natural habitat. 

In their natural habitat, the water’s temperature remains steady all year long. Therefore, your Bettas can not handle wide fluctuations is their water’s temperature. Because Bettas can’t adjust their own internal body’s temperature, they are greatly affected any fluctuations in the water’s temperature around them. 

When a fluctuation in the water’s temperature occurs, these changes will negatively affect your Betta’s feeding, respiration, and their ability to swim. By consistently maintaining the proper water temperature, your Betta’s metabolism system will remain healthy, thereby extending your Betta’s life span

When the Water Temperature Gets Too High

Because it does not contain as many oxygen molecules as cold water does, hot water can cause severe damage to your Betta’s metabolism system. In an effort to get more oxygen into their bodies, your Betta will begin to breathe rapidly and even stay at the surface of the water, gulping oxygen. 

You might also see them swimming erratically, which will cause your Betta’s metabolism rate to increase. The higher metabolism rate can quickly deplete them of energy, causing extreme fatigue in your Betta. 

This level of fatigue can have adverse effects on your Betta’s overall health. If continued, the high metabolic rate will cause premature aging, causing their lifespans to shorten significantly. 

When the Water Temperature Gets Too Low

Colder temperatures will have the opposite effect on your Betta than hot water. Instead of speeding up your fish’s metabolism, the cold water will slow their metabolism rate down significantly. 

When temperatures drop below 74°F, your Bettas will not be able to maintain a healthy body temperature, which will make it extremely difficult for them to function and survive in the colder water temperatures.

The cold water will make your Bettas lethargic. You will see them in the bottom water level of your tank, swimming slowly or not at all. Because the water temperatures tend to be warmer towards the bottom of the tank, your Bettas will seek out that warmth rather than trying to get more oxygen. Your Bettas are also in danger of starvation because they will stop eating when the water is too cold.

When the water temperature drops drastically, your Betta is in danger of slipping into a coma. While in the coma, their metabolism will slow down to the point where they become defenseless against infections, diseases, and bacteria, all of which can damage their immune system to the point where your Betta could die. 

The Importance of Maintaining the Proper Water Temperature

The water temperature from their native habitat remains at a steady temperature, which Bettas are most accustomed to. However, your aquarium’s water temperature can fluctuate with the changing weather conditions and the room temperature.

Any water temperature outside of the healthy range of 76 to 82°F will have your Betta struggling for survival in those extremities. The water temperature fluctuations will concentrate whatever damage that occurs to the metabolic and immune systems. These fluctuations in the water temperature can have several different results.

Temperature Shocks

Extreme hot and cold water temperatures can cause your Betta to suffer temperature shock, which leads to lethargic behavior, coma, and even death, eventually. 

Changes in Their Metabolic System

Your Betta’s body temperature will fluctuate along with the water temperature. Homeostasis kicks in when the Betta’s body becomes too cold, causing a decrease in the metabolic activity, which helps it preserve the body’s warmth. The decrease in their metabolism will cause appetite loss, fatigue, lethargy, and finally, a coma. 

However, your Betta’s metabolic activity will increase, causing your Betta to display hyperactivity when the water temperature becomes too warm. Your Betta’s overall health will be in danger of becoming stressed, leading to an burnout of energy. Your fish will become extremely distressed as it endures increased changes in their metabolic activity. 

Respiration Issues

The oxygen levels will change along with the water temperatures, as well. When water temperature decreases or increases, the oxygen levels will fluctuate, causing adverse reactions in your Betta. 

As mentioned previously, oxygen levels will drop dramatically when the water temperature gets too hot. You will see your Betta hovering at the surface of the water, gulping air in order to get enough oxygen in their system. The low oxygen levels will hinder their respiration, which will eventually damage their metabolism’s rate. 

Immune system

The stress and distress that your Betta goes through when there are fluctuations in the water’s temperature will eventually damage your Betta’s immune system. The water’s temperature can cause bacteria to breed in the water when the fluctuations become extreme. If a Bacteria infestation occurs, your Bettas will be in danger of infections and diseases. 

An infestation of bacteria, along with a weakened immune system, will cause your Betta to get sick faster and more often. As your Betta’s immune system weakens, your Betta will be vulnerable to a variety of diseases and conditions. 

Diseases

When fluctuations in the water’s temperature cause the immune system to weaken, it won’t be able to fight off possible diseases and infections effectively. For example, your Betta can contract fin rot, which is quite common in Bettas. Fin rot is where bacteria will attach itself to, and feed on, the Betta’s fins, eventually spreading across the entire body. 

Parasites can also breed in extreme water conditions, attacking your Bettas and inducing infections that can range from mild to critical. Water fluctuations can also cause internal issues, such as appetite loss and constipation. When the water temperatures drop and become too cold for your Betta, it will stop eating and eventually starve. 

Maintaining a Constant Temperature

As you can see, maintaining the water’s temperature is essential for your Betta to survive and remain healthy. Incorporating the following suggestions in your routine will go far in ensuring the water temperature in your Betta’s tank remains at an ideal level.

Thermometers

Using a thermometer will help you to monitor the water’s temperature in your Betta’s tank. Buying a separate thermometer will give you more accurate results than the tank’s thermostat. Floating thermometers with suction cups will work well for maintaining the water’s temperature most accurately. 

Heaters

A heater is essential in maintaining the water temperature of your Betta’s tank. When you buy a quality heater, you can rest assured that it won’t break down and work more efficiently. Poor quality heaters have a tendency to overheat the water, which is dangerous for your Betta. Using a heater in conjunction with a floating thermometer will ensure your Betta’s tank will stay at a consistent, healthy temperature.

Water Changes

When performing partial water changes in the tank, you must make sure the water’s temperature does not change. Drastic changes in the water’s temperature will cause your fish to go into shock. If the water temperature does get too cold or hot during a water change, you can help bring the water temperature back to normal by adding water or installing a heater. 

Setup Your Tank in the Ideal Spot

If you live in a region with extreme hot or cold temperatures, you will want to keep your aquarium tank far from the doors and windows of your home. In colder regions, heaters and lamps placed close to the aquarium will help maintain the water temperature. 

For climates that are warmer, avoid setting up the tank near direct sunlight. Use air conditioners and fans to keep the water’s temperature from fluctuating too much in the heat. 

Aerating the Water

Fluctuations in the water temperature can cause a decrease in your tank’s available oxygen levels. One thing you can do to ensure that the oxygen levels in the tank’s water remains steady, is to purchase an aerator. This will ensure there is enough oxygen in the water for your Bettas to breathe comfortably.

Conclusion

Your Betta’s health will be adversely affected when there are changes in the tank’s water temperature. Mild deviations can be tolerated, as long as they are minimum. However, drastic changes can risk your Betta’s health by weakening their immune systems and reducing their oxygen levels. 

By following the advice outlined in this guide, you will be proactive in ensuring your Bettas live a healthy, happy, long life. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Do Betta Fish Actually Get Lonely

betta fish get lonly

Do you ever wonder if fish get lonely, swimming around in their tank all by themselves for their entire lives? You have to wonder if they possibly get bored, as well, doing the same thing day after day with no change. 

Do fish actually get bored and lonely? Keep reading to learn how you can keep your Bettas from getting bored and lonely, and actually make them happier and more content in their home environment. 

betta fish get lonly
SydneyGrey

Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?

No one really knows for certain whether Betta fish actually get lonely or not. Although fish enthusiasts generally believe that Bettas probably do not get lonely. Bettas have a reputation for being a solitary fish due to their aggressiveness towards each other, as well as towards other fish species

However, it is believed that Bettas do, indeed, get sad. Evidence shows that Bettas commonly become bored, depressed, and even stressed. It’s your job as the fish enthusiast, to provide everything your Betta needs in order to avoid these unhealthy conditions. By providing stimuli, hiding places, vegetation, and shade, you can be sure your Betta will be happy and content.

Do Betta Fish Prefer Being Alone?

Although Bettas tend to be a solitary fish, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they like to be alone. Each Betta has a different temperament. Some Bettas are more territorial than others and won’t tolerate any other species in their tank. In contrast, other Bettas may actually become more social living with other species in a community tank. 

There is one hard and fast rule for Bettas – never putting two male Bettas in the same tank. They are known as Siamese Fighting Fish for a reason. They are very territorial and aggressive towards other male Bettas. If they feel their territory is being threatened, they will fight each other, usually unto death. 

Nonthreatening species might actually make your Betta happier in their tank. Mollies, platies, snails, shrimp, and some catfish make great tankmates for Bettas. With other fish swimming around, it might make your Betta feel less lonely and more content. 

When there are other fish swimming around the tank along with your Betta, it could indicate that there are no threats in the tank, and there’s nothing for your Betta to be afraid of.

Keeping Bettas with Other Fish

If you prefer to have your Betta in a community tank along with other fish, there are some things you will need to know.

The Tank Should Be Big Enough

Ensuring the tank is large enough for your Betta and other fish to live happily without getting in each other’s territory is one of the most important things you can do as a fish owner.

A five-gallon tank is great for a Betta alone. However, if you want to add more fish to the tank, you will need a bigger tank, starting at ten gallons or larger. In fact, some fish, such as the red tail shark, require at least a 55-gallon tank.

Provide Plenty of Hiding Spaces

If you have a community tank with a Betta as well as other fish, you will want to provide plenty of hiding spaces for all of them. Your fish will feel safer when they have a lot of hiding places, which will make them feel more secure about swimming around in the open.

Monitor the Tank

When first introducing new fish to your Betta, you will need to make sure that you monitor your Betta’s behavior, and it doesn’t get aggressive towards your other fish. You will need to make sure your Betta is not bullying the other fish, as well as monitoring the other fish to make sure they are not bullying your Betta!

If you do see aggressive behavior in your fish towards one another, you will need to either place a divider in the tank to separate them or buy a new tank.

Carefully Choose Tank Mates

You will want to do a little research before going out and buying a bunch of fish. You want to make sure that you are choosing a suitable tankmate for your Betta. Other fish with long, flowing tails and bright colors should be avoided. 

You will also want to avoid buying any fish that occupy the area around the top of the tank because this is the Betta’s territory. If your Bettas feels that another fish is threatening its territory, it will probably attack them.

Bottom feeders make excellent tankmates for your Betta, considering they occupy opposite areas of the tank. Your bottom feeders will stay around the bottom of the tank, and they won’t clash with your Betta.

Do Female Bettas Get Lonely?

It’s well known that male Bettas will not tolerate other male Bettas in the same tank. So, what about female Bettas? Females are similar to the male Bettas in that they are solitary fish and generally don’t have a problem being alone. 

However, you can keep a sorority of female Bettas as long as your tank is large enough. A sorority is a group of female Bettas. The females in a sorority will establish their own unique territories, but they are capable of cohabitating peacefully. They also don’t care if other fish enter their territories. Aggression will sometimes happen, especially if they establish a pecking order. 

If you plan to keep a sorority of Bettas, make sure that your tank is large enough to house them, a minimum of 29 gallons should give them plenty of places to hide. You will still need to monitor your sorority to make sure that none are getting aggressive toward any others. If you do witness aggression, you should separate them with a tank divider or putting them in a separate tank altogether. 

When starting a Betta sorority, you will want to introduce each Betta to the tank one at a time. Introducing them all at the same time will wreak havoc on the ammonia cycle, as well as causing an issue if all of them are aggressive towards each other. You will then need to start adding tanks or putting in tank dividers. 

On the other hand, if you only add them one at a time, you will only have to worry about moving one Betta if something doesn’t go right. Female Bettas can get aggressive, as well, sometimes worse than males. Their smaller fins make them faster swimmers, and they can chase and attack other fish without mercy. Monitoring your tank for this kind of behavior is essential for the health of all your fish.

A Mirror Can Help

Adding a mirror to your tank will stimulate your Betta by making it seem like there are other fish in the tank with your Betta. Your Betta will flex its muscles while getting exercise. Once you take the mirror away, your Betta will think it “won” the fight.

Using a mirror will also trick your Betta into thinking it’s not alone. It will see its reflection in the mirror and think it’s another fish swimming along with it in the tank. This will prompt your Betta to start patrolling the tank more, which will keep him from getting lonely.

Recap

Bettas don’t get lonely the way humans do. Instead, they tend to feel safer when there are other fish in the tank with them. As long as your Betta has a good temperament, it is beneficial for their health if they live in a community tank.

Remember, when adding tankmates to your community tank along with your Betta, you need to be sure to add fish that will not cause your Betta to become aggressive. Long flowing tails and bright colors can agitate your Betta and make it aggressive. 

Female Bettas enjoy company more than they enjoy being on their own. They tend to do better in community tanks than male Bettas do. Sororities are good as long as your tank is large enough to accommodate all of them. However, if your female becomes aggressive towards the other fish in their tank, you will need to separate them to keep your other fish safe.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Why Is Your Betta Fish Losing Color?

Betta Fish Losing Color

Bettas are a popular choice for novice aquarists, as well as seasoned hobbyists. Their gorgeous long, flowing fins, along with their vibrant colors, attract all kinds of fish enthusiasts. Your Betta’s colors won’t peak until is reaches six to eight months old. There are many reasons that could cause your Betta to begin losing their coloring and fading during the prime of their life. 

Is your Betta fish turning white or black? Or is it fading and losing its coloring? One of the reasons you bought your Betta was because of its beautiful, vibrant colors, so you want to make sure your Betta stays healthy and keeps that vibrant color for life. 

In most cases, the loss or changing of color is normal. We will walk you through all the possible reasons your Betta could be changing colors, as well as giving you some solutions to stop this frustrating and potentially unhealthy condition. 

Betta Fish Losing Color

Why Is Your Betta Fish Losing Color?

As we mentioned above, sometimes the loss or changing of colors is normal. There are a variety of reasons your Betta is losing its colors, and once you know the reasons the color change is happening, you can apply the proper solution. The following are the main reasons your fish is changing colors.

Old Age

Unfortunately, your Betta’s colors will start fading when they enter into their twilight years. Normally, a Betta lives for a maximum of five years, and as it gets closer to that five-year mark, it might start to lose some of its colorings and begin to fade, usually around three years old

However, there are some instances where Bettas began losing their coloring as early as two years old. Once you have ruled out any other reason for its loss of coloring and you are sure it’s not stressed, then it might be that your Betta is beginning to age, and the color loss is natural.

Illness

Certain diseases can cause color changes in your Bettas. Although, if it is a disease that is causing the coloring change, the change will usually be to a white color, depending on that particular disease. 

The Velvet disease, for example, may start out white, but eventually, begin to take on a goldish color. Ich is a very common disease in Bettas that causes tiny white dots to appear on their fins and bodies.

Stress

Stress for fish is a serious problem that can lead to illnesses, loss of color, and, eventually, death. Stress can cause your Betta to begin losing its color. Although Bettas seem to be a hardy species, they do need at least a five-gallon heated tank with a good filter for optimum health. 

Bettas are carnivorous and should be fed a well-balanced diet of quality foods rich in protein and nutrients. Their tank should be maintained with regular water changes ensuring the water conditions stay at their proper levels. Failure to properly take care of your Betta will result in your Betta becoming stressed and unhealthy, and their color will begin to fade.

Injuries

If you Betta has suffered an injury to their fins, when the fins begin to heal themselves and grow back, the coloring may be darker or lighter. Damaged fins from fin rot can often change colors. In this instance, this is nothing to be worried about. It’s natural. 

When a Marble Betta Change Color

Marble Bettas are known to change colors at times. As long as you have ruled out any of the above causes for the color change, you shouldn’t need to worry. 

Over its lifetime, a Marble Betta will sometime change colors several times. They rarely stay the same color throughout their whole life. The same can also be said for normal Bettas. However, for them, the color changes don’t occur as often.

Your Betta is Turning Black

If your Betta has begun to turn black, but they aren’t showing signs or any symptoms of an illness or stress, don’t worry. As we’ve mentioned previously, it’s normal for Bettas, especially Marble Bettas, to change colors.

However, be on the lookout for signs of stress or illness in your Betta. If your Betta is not eating, hiding a lot, or lethargic, you need to start checking for possible causes or illnesses. 

Your Betta is Turning White

While turning black isn’t necessarily a serious issue, you should be concerned if they begin to turn white. When your Betta starts turning white, there are several possibilities that you need to rule out to pinpoint which disease your Betta has so you can begin treatment immediately.

Stress

Even though we have already mentioned stress as a possibility for your Betta changing colors, you shouldn’t underestimate exactly how much it can hurt your Betta. 

If your Betta is naturally pale in color, then they might very easily start looking whitish in color when they become stressed. To avoid this, make sure your Betta is happy and healthy, remaining stress-free. 

Columnaris

One possible reason your Betta is turning white could be columnaris. Columnaris is actually a bacterial infection that causes white spots to appear on your Betta’s body. The white spots have a fluffy appearance. Along with the white spots on your Betta’s body, you might notice sores or ulcers on their body, as well as fraying around their fins.

Anchor Worms

Anchor worms are another reason your Betta will appear to turn white. Anchor worms are tiny worms that vary in color but are usually white. The worms can cause your Betta to start acting lethargic or cause difficulty breathing. 

If you notice your fish scraping and rubbing against objects in the tank, or see that they have sores and ulcers on their body, you should start checking for anchor worms. Luckily, anchor worms are not common in aquarium fish. 

Ich

Ich is a disease that causes white spots to appear on your Betta, as well. Those white spots are actually a parasite called Ichthyopthirius multifiliis. This parasite spreads rapidly and causes lethargy and a loss of appetite. 

You may also notice your Bettas rubbing its body on things in the tank in an effort to remove the unwanted parasites. If you suspect your Bettas has ich, you should quarantine it and start treating it immediately to keep it from spreading to any other fish in your tank.

Fin Rot

Fin rot will cause your only your Betta’s fins to appear to change colors. It becomes more apparent when the fins begin to look damaged or frayed. If you suspect fin rot, you need to take immediate action to prevent any further damage. 

If left untreated, fin rot will turn into body rot. If the disease reaches this point, you will probably not be able to save your fish.

Improving Your Bettas Color

Fortunately for you, there are a variety of ways to begin improving your Betta’s coloring. Although, if the color change is natural, due to old age, for example, you won’t be able to stop the color change. 

However, if there are external factors that are causing the color change, there are several things you can do to enhance your Betta’s coloring. 

Improving Water Quality

Your aquarium’s water quality plays a crucial role in keeping your Betta healthy and safe from diseases. There are several different ways you can ensure your tank has the best possible water conditions for your Betta.

Bigger is Better When it Comes to Tank Sizes

One of the most important things you can do for your Betta is to make sure that the tank you put them in is big enough. You should not go any smaller than a five-gallon tank. 

Bigger tanks are better for your fish because it takes more time for the water parameters to start changing. To understand this better, think about how long it takes one gallon of water to cool down as opposed to ten gallons of water. 

Put a Heater and Filter in the Tank

Providing a heater and a filter for your Betta’s tank will also go far in improving your Betta’s health and happiness. Because of their tropical nature, Betta fish need both a heater and a filter. Despite what you’ve been told, Bettas will not survive for very long in a fishbowl. If they do survive, they will not be healthy or happy. 

Perform Regular Water Changes

Frequent water changes are vital to your Betta’s health. The size of your tank will determine how much water will need to be changed out and how frequently it should be changed. For example, if you have a ten-gallon tank, you will need to do a 30% water change every two weeks. 

For smaller tanks, you will need to change out the water more frequently because the water conditions will change faster in smaller tanks than they do in larger tanks. For larger tanks, the water conditions change slower, so you won’t need to change the water out as frequently as you would with a smaller tank.

Feed Them a Color Enhancing Diet

In addition to keeping the water conditions at a healthy level, you should also make sure you are feeding your Bettas a diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and nutrients that includes foods that are known to enhance their coloring. 

Your Bettas are carnivorous and need a wide variety of foods, including live foods, freeze-dried foods, and high-quality flake and pellet foods.

High-Quality Food

Always make sure that your Betta’s diet is rich in protein, vitamins, and nutrients. Feeding them a diet of high-quality foods is a necessity. If you purchased inexpensive fish food, you risk feeding your Bettas subpar nutrition. Paying for a premium, high-quality brand will pay off in the long run. Your fish will be happier, healthier, and more colorful.

Salmon

Salmon is a wonderful addition to your Betta’s diet. It’s commonly used to enhance a Betta’s coloring. Because it’s rich in fats and proteins, you shouldn’t feed it to them very often, only feed it to your Betta twice a week, which can cause constipation

When feeding your Bettas salmon, you have two options. You can either cut the salmon into tiny pieces for them to eat. Or you can buy a high-quality fish food that contains salmon.

Daphnia

Another great color enhancing food for your Betta is Daphnia. Because Daphnia is a crustacean, it has carotenoid pigments, which will enhance your Betta’s coloring. 

Overstocking Your Tank

You want to avoid overstocking your tank. If you have a large tank, it can be easy to get carried away, filling it with all sorts of colorful and beautiful fish. However, overstocking your tank can lead to health issues for all of your fish, especially your Bettas. 

One rule of thumb you can go by is one gallon of water per inch of fish. However, each fish is different, and there are some that might have different requirements. Be sure to educate yourself about each fish you purchase so you will know how best to take care of your fish and your aquiarium.

Final Verdict

As you have seen, there are multiple causes for your Betta to lose its coloring. When your Betta’s coloring begins to fade or change colors, knowing all the possible causes will help you rule out other possibilities. Some of the main points to remember include:

  • Stress, illnesses, injuries, and old age can cause your Betta to start losing their coloring.
  • Some Bettas lose their coloring naturally, such as the Marble Betta.
  • Unless your Betta is showing other signs of illnesses, you shouldn’t worry overly much if they begin to turn black.
  • If you Betta is turning white, you should rule out columnaris, ich, fin rot, stress, and anchor worms.
  • Your Betta’s coloring can be improved with high-quality color enhancing foods.
  • Maintaining good water conditions and not overstocking your tank with too many fish.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Be sure to check out our other articles on our website.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Betta Cloudy Eye: Causes, Treatment, Prevention and More

betta fish cloudy Eye

Cloudy eye is common in Betta fish. Luckily, it is easily prevented and treatable. Even though cloudy eye is easily treated, it’s a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Otherwise, your fish will suffer and possibly die.

betta fish cloudy Eye

What is Cloudy Eye?

Cloudy eye causes your Betta’s eye lens to become opaque or cloudy. Correctly diagnosing this disease is important to ensure the best possible treatment. Several different conditions can cause cloudy eye, which we will cover in this article.

Cloudy Eye Symptoms in Bettas

The most notable symptom of cloudy eye is the one that has given it its name – an opaque greyish film that covers your Betta’s eye. There is a possibility you may see a buildup of mucus as your Betta’s body begins to fight off an infection. Cloudy eye impairs your Betta’s vision, making it hard for it to swim and find food. 

There are other symptoms you need to be aware of that could indicate a completely different disease, such as bulging eyes, or popeye, which are both treated differently. 

Treating Betta Cloudy Eye

Cloudy eye is definitely treatable. Early detection and fast action will have your Betta healthy in no time! If you spot any symptoms of cloudy eye, follow the steps below to ensure a quick recovery.

  1. Remove your Betta from the community tank and place it in a quarantine tank set up with the appropriate water conditions, heating, filtration, lighting, and a structure or vegetation for your Betta to hide within. 
  2. Your quarantine tank should be set up as normal, then add conditioned water and let it sit for 24 hours before placing your Betta in the tank.
  3. After the 24 hours have passed, you will want to introduce your Betta slowly to the quarantine tank. A good way to do this is by floating it in a bag on the surface for 20 minutes before putting it in the water.
  4. Add aquarium salt to the tank after the Betta has been added. Only one tablespoon per every 5 gallons is needed. Dilute the salt in a small amount of aquarium water before adding it to the tank.
  5. You will only need to add more aquarium salt during water changes.
  6. Meanwhile, you should be maintaining your main tank with frequent water changes, as well. Every three to four days, you should do a 50% water change for a 5-gallon tank. Similarly, you should change out the water in a 10-gallon tank by 30% every three to four days. With larger betta fish tanks, you can go longer amounts of time while changing out less water. 

Test your main tank to ensure the water quality remains good. The ammonia level for your tank should be at 0ppm. Nitrites should be the same, 0ppm, and Nitrates should be no more than 20ppm. You will need to continue the water changes until the tank’s water quality reaches these levels. 

Preventing Cloudy Eye in Bettas

One of the main ways to prevent cloudy eye is maintaining the water quality and ensuring it remains healthy and stable. When the water quality is kept at the proper levels, 0ppm for nitrite and ammonia, and 20ppm for nitrates, your Betta will be safe from cloudy eye. To ensure this happens, follow the steps below.

  • Regularly changing your tank’s water will keep the water quality at healthy levels. For smaller tanks, the water changes need to be larger and more frequent. Whereas, for larger tanks, you will only need to perform a 25% water change each week. 
  • Maintain a clean tank. If you have a substrate, you should vacuum it regularly to remove feces and leftover food. 
  • Routinely clean the tank’s ornaments, including any silk plants.
  • A proper filtration system is a must to ensure your tank is cleaned adequately. A good filter needs to be biological to remove waste, chemical to remove unnecessary chemicals from the water, and mechanical to remove any debris.
  • Change out the filter cartridges as needed.
  • Test the water quality on a regular basis to ensure the pH and ammonia levels remain stable.
  • Do not overstock your tank. A general rule of thumb is only to have a max of one inch of fish per gallon of water. However, bigger fish need more room to swim.

Tanks smaller than five gallons will compromise your Betta’s health. They can survive in the smaller tanks, but they will not remain healthy.

Is Cloudy Eye Contagious?

Cloudy eye is not contagious. However, if the tank’s water conditions have caused one fish to catch cloudy eye, you can be assured your other fish will catch it as well until the water conditions return to a healthy level. Rapid actions are necessary if more than one fish in your tank develops cloudy eye. 

Cloudy eye can also develop from malnutrition or a more dangerous illness. Test your water’s quality levels to rule out any other possibilities. 

Is Cloudy Eye Fatal to Bettas?

Any illness that goes untreated in your fish can potentially prove to be fatal, although, cloudy eye is least likely to cause death. Your Betta will quickly recover as long as you adjust the water’s quality levels and treat your Betta. 

However, if the symptoms worsen or additional symptoms occur, there may not be cloudy eye, and you will need to start investigating further. You can get a diagnosis if necessary from your local aquatic center if this is the case. 

Summary

With rapid detection and action, cloudy eye is easily treated and should not prove fatal. Regular tank maintenance is a must for keeping the water quality at a healthy and safe level. Frequent water changes and a good filtration system will help you maintain the tank properly. A healthy diet full of protein will lessen the amount of waste put out by your Betta, helping to keep your tank cleaner. 

Keep in mind that cloudy eye is very treatable, and it is not a death sentence for your fish as long as you catch it in time and treat it appropriately. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Betta Fish Ich: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment That Hobbyists Must Know

betta fish Ich

One of the most common diseases among freshwater fish is ich, or ick, also called white spot disease. Bettas are highly susceptible to this uncomfortable disease, and death can occur if it is not treated in time. Before treating betta your fish ich, rule out any other possibilities to avoid any adverse effects. 

betta fish Ich

What is Ich?

Ichthyophthiriasis is a protozoan disease that causes white spots to appear on your fish. Although it’s common in freshwater fish, it tends to be most common for aquarium fish. It’s believed that the close contact and occasional stress that can occur in aquariums can cause ich. 

Symptoms of Betta Fish Ich

White spots that appear on your Betta’s body is the most common and obvious symptom of ich. Although the white spots tend to develop on the body, there are instances when they also appear on the fins.

Sometimes, if the ich spots are small, they might resemble white dust, but you will still need to treat them. However, if the “dust” appears to be yellow or gold in color, then it’s most likely Velvet, which is a parasite that can end up killing your Betta if left untreated. 

Lethargy and loss of appetite will accompany ich. While they are not exclusive to ich, these symptoms are a definite indicator that your fish is suffering from some kind of illness or disease. 

Another sign of ich is seeing your betta rubbing on things in the tank. Once it realizes it has a parasite, it will try to rub it off its skin. Excessive rubbing can cause wounds and sores. If you begin to see signs of wounds and sores, watch carefully for rubbing and look for the tell-tale signs of white spots. 

If you do not see the white spots, but your Betta is still rubbing against things in the tank, it could be a sign of gill flukes or anchor worms. 

Although Bettas are loners, if you begin to notice that your Betta is acting much more reclusive, you should investigate. If you find your Betta actively avoiding other fish or hiding for long periods of time, it could be because your Betta is feeling threatened due to a weakened immune system. 

Another common sign of illness in fish is the clamping of fins, which is caused by extreme stress. Also, because ich affects your Betta’s gills, it can cause distressed breathing if it isn’t caught and treated in time, which could result in respiratory failure and prove fatal. 

What Causes Ich?

Ich is caused by a ciliated protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, which is a parasite. It affects several different varieties of freshwater fish. However, it’s the most common disease you will find in fish aquariums. 

All new fish that you buy will need to be quarantined before putting them in the community tank because ich may be present in the water, and it’s highly contagious. It’s possible to bring home a new fish that already has ich if they haven’t been taken care of very well. 

Stressed out fish are more likely to catch ich. If they are living in poor water conditions or poorly heated water, they are more likely to catch ich. The ich parasite will also attack aging Bettas, as well. 

How to Treat Ich in Betta Fish

Rapid detection and action are essential for keeping your betta healthy. Otherwise, ich can be fatal if it is not treated properly. Most fish enthusiasts who have owned fish for a long time have had encounters with ich and have subsequently treated their fish at some time or another.

Treating ich is relatively easy; just follow the steps below.

  1. Isolate your Betta in a quarantine tank, so they don’t infect the other fish in your tank.
  2. Slowly begin increasing the temperature in the tank to anywhere from 81 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit for ten days. Because ich parasites love cold water, it leads to a prolonged life cycle and an increase in the reproduction rates. Warmer waters will slow this down while you are treating your Bettas and the tank’s water. 
  3. However, there is less oxygen in warmer waters, so you might consider adding an airstone to your tank. By increasing the oxygen in the tank’s water, you will be giving your Betta’s immune system a much-needed boost. 
  4. Rid Ich Plus is a great medicine for treating ich. It contains formalin and malachite green, which has proven to be a strong and effective treatment. Be sure to follow the medicine’s directions and only give your Bettas the recommended dosage for treating ich. 
  5. You will also need to change out the water every day by 25 – 50% to lower the elevated medication levels, as well as removing ich tomites and trophonts. 

Continue to follow the medication’s directions through to the end of the medicating cycle. Although the ich protozoan only has a life span of seven days, it will only be vulnerable to the medication for two of those days. You will need to be sure to continue the medication until the end of the treatment to ensure that they are completely gone. 

Ich Stages

As mentioned previously, the ich protozoan has a life span of seven days, but it will reproduce rapidly unless it is treated and cared for properly. Ich has three distinct life stages in tropical freshwater aquariums. In order to effectively treat ich, you will need to understand those life stages.

Trophont Stage or Feeding Stage

During this phase of the life cycle, the parasites are attached to your Betta, and they are visible and feeding. During this phase, they are not susceptible to any treatments.

Tomont Stage

During this phase, the adult parasite will release from your Betta and fall into the tank, attaching to another object or the substrate. They will begin to divide by binary fission up to ten times very rapidly during this stage. This is the reproductive stage for the parasite.

Theront Stage

Although the ich parasites can not be seen with the naked eye, they are a free-swimming parasite during this phase and become vulnerable to any treatment you administer.

At this point, they only have 48 hours in order to attach themselves to a host, or they will die. This is the phase in which you need to be medicating your fish and treating your tank. This is essential for the elimination of the ich parasites and recovery for your fish. 

How to Prevent Betta Fish Ich

Although ich is a common disease and easy to treat, if your Betta catches ich, you will need to treat the entire tank. Preventing ich is much easier than treating ich. Here are some steps that will help you prevent your fish from contracting ich in your aquarium.

  • Only purchase your fish from a reputable source, and only purchase healthy fish that are free from any signs of disease.
  • Never purchase any fish from a tank that has a diseased or dead fish in it. 
  • Always quarantine new fish before introducing them into your community tank. You should quarantine them for a minimum of two weeks in a tank that has the water conditions your Betta prefers, as well as lighting, heating, adequate filtration, and a hiding spot for your fish.
  • When buying plants, do not buy them from a dealer that keeps them in a tank among any fish, they could be contaminated. However, if you do purchase plants that have been in a tank with other fish, you can bring them home and place them in the quarantine tank for at least four days.
  • If you are purchasing your Betta online, you should choose as direct a source as possible to reduce handling stress and save on shipping costs.  
  • Frequent inspections of your fish are necessary to catch and immediately quarantine any fish with signs of ich. Once they are quarantined, you can begin treating them immediately for ich. 
  • Keep your tank’s water conditions stable and avoid any kind of fluctuation in the temperature, ammonia levels, and pH levels. Fluctuations of this sort can be very stressful to your fish, which can result in your fish contracting ich.
  • Feed your Bettas a healthy diet of flaked, frozen, and freeze-dried foods that have been stored properly and are not out of date. 
  • Make sure you don’t overstock your fish tank. If your tank has too many fish for that particular size of tank, you are risking your healthy fish becoming stressed, diseased, and eventually dying. 
  • Employ frequent water changes on a regular basis while maintaining the proper water conditions and quality. 

While ich might be one of the most common diseases for aquarium fish, with preventative maintenance, your fish can remain safe from catching it. By following the guidelines we have laid out for you in this article, and rapidly treating any fish that become infected, you will reduce any damage that this potentially deadly disease can cause.

FAQs

Can ich be cured?

Yes, as long as you quarantine the infected fish and begin the proper treatment immediately, ich is quite curable.

How contagious is ich?

Ich is very contagious and will spread rapidly among fish inhabiting the same tank. Ich happens to be a living organism that resembles a white dot the size of a grain of salt. Usually, it will begin on the tails and fins of your fish, then spread to other parts of the body.

The white dot will appear flat on the body at first, but will eventually become raised in the late stages. It is similar to a skin infection, which can be dangerous for a fish. 

Because of binary fission, one spot of ich can divide itself up to ten times very rapidly, multiplying into hundreds of parasites. Ich needs to attach itself to a live fish in order to survive, and will eventually die if there aren’t any live fish to attach itself to.

You need to treat ich immediately, or it will quickly infect your other fish, and if left untreated, they will die quickly. 

Can ich kill Bettas?

Ich is very easy to treat, and as long as you catch it immediately and begin treating it, your Betta has a strong chance of surviving it. However, if you do not spot ich right away and it’s allowed to begin multiplying, it will build up quickly, and eventually, your Bettas will begin to die.

Can Humans catch ich?

It is very rare for a human to catch a disease from a fish. Humans can not catch ich. The only thing a human could possibly catch from a fish would be a bacterial infection, but that is incredibly rare.

Summary

Because fish enthusiasts have become more dependent on medications, ich and other such diseases have adapted and become stronger over the past decades. This explains why most instances of ich can’t be cured unless you use medication. 

Ich can also attach itself to live aquarium plants. By remembering to quarantine any new living plants you bring home as well as new tank mates, you can prevent the potential spread of ich among your community tank. 

There is good news, though. If your Bettas does end up catching ich, they will develop a slight immunity, or tolerance, to ich once you have cured them of it the first time they catch it. It’s highly unlikely that your Betta fish will contract ich at any time in the future after having had it once. 

Prevention is the key. Preventing your Bettas from catching diseases like ich is much easier and less stressful than treating your diseased fish. Make sure that you care for your Betta fish properly as well as maintaining the water quality and tank conditions to reduce possible environmental stressors.

A healthy diet of high-quality flake foods and pellets, freeze-dried foods, and live foods will go a long way in keeping your tank cleaner and your Bettas and other fish healthy and safe from most diseases, including ich. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.