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.

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.

You might also be interested in: Betta Fish Heater – Your Betta Will Love [2020]

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. 

Do Betta Fish Actually Get Lonely

Do Betta Fish Get Lonely

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. 

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.

Why Is My Betta Fish Losing Color? (Turning White/Black?)

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 it reaches six to eight months old. There are many reasons that could cause your betta is losing color and fading during the prime of its 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, your betta losing 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. 

Why Is My 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 Betta fish 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 Betta fish. 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 Betta fish 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 Betta fish seem to be a hardy species, they do need at least a five-gallon heated tank with a good filter for optimum health. 

Betta fish 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 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 fish will sometimes change colors several times. They rarely stay the same color throughout their whole life. The same can also be said for normal Betta fish. However, for them, the color changes don’t occur as often.

Why Is My Betta 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 Betta fish, 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. 

Betta is Turning White

Why Is My Betta Fish 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 Betta fish rubbing its body on things in the tank in an effort to remove the unwanted parasites. If you suspect your Betta fish 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 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.

How to Boost Betta 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.

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, Betta fish 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.

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. 

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 Betta fish a diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and nutrients that includes foods that are known to enhance their coloring. 

Your Betta fish 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 Betta fish 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 Betta fish salmon, you have two options. You can either cut the salmon into tiny pieces for them to eat. Or you can buy 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. 

Don’t Overstock 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 Betta fish. 

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 aquarium.

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 Betta fish 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 your 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.

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. 

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. 

Betta Fish Tumor 101 (Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention)

Betta Fish Tumor

Like most pet owners, fish enthusiasts have to deal with sick fish occasionally. Though this is not pleasant, most fish diseases can be cured with a little attention and effort, even betta fish tumor.

Below, we will discuss identifying a tumor on your betta fish, the treatments available to heal your fish, and how to prevent future tumors.

Can Betta Fish Get Tumors and Cancer?

Yes, betta fish can develop tumors and cancers in much the same way as humans and other animals.

How Likely Is It Your Betta Will Get A Tumor?

Although tumors are somewhat rare in bettas, they are one of the least threatening illnesses your betta can catch. Before panicking, do some investigation to rule out ulcers and abscesses, which sometimes look similar to tumors. Fluid retention, constipation, and swim bladder disease can also cause tumor-like spots to appear on your betta’s body. 

What Are Betta Fish Tumor Symptoms?

If you spot any bumps under or on your betta’s skin, it might be tumors. Tumors come in different sizes, from tiny to huge. Large tumors can affect your betta’s buoyancy and make swimming more difficult. 

On the other hand, if the tumor is internal, you will probably not see it. If your fish has difficulty eating and swimming, it may have an internal tumor. If so, your betta will quickly become unhealthy. Unfortunately, internal tumors can’t be healed, and your betta will die. For these situations, the only humane thing to do is to euthanize your fish, so they don’t suffer.

Betta Fish Has A White Tumor

Your Betta Fish Has A White Tumor?

Typically, the bump you have spotted is most likely not a tumor. It’s very rare for a Betta fish to develop a cancerous tumor. Instead, the bump your fish has developed is usually an abscess or an ulcer. Both of these types of bumps resemble tumors. Fluid retention, constipation, and swim bladder disease can also resemble a tumor.

Abscesses

If you spot a white bump on your Betta’s body, it’s probably an abscess rather than a cancerous tumor. Bacterial infections are the main cause of Abscesses. There are various ways your Betta can develop a bacterial infection, such as injuring itself on something sharp within your fish tank. Or, the damage could be caused by another fish nipping at your Betta. You could accidentally cause an abrasion when changing the water or when handling your Betta. 

Abscesses will usually heal themselves. However, if the water in the tank is not changed out frequently and kept healthy, bacteria will infect the site of the wound and infection will begin. 

If an abscess is not treated properly, it will grow until it’s too large for the fish’s skin to contain it, and then it will burst, leaving a large, open area on its body that will become infected, and the entire cycle will begin again.  

Treating A Betta Fish Abscess

If you notice a bump on your fish’s skin, you need to remove it from its main tank and put it in a quarantine tank alone. To set up the quarantine tank, you will need to make sure that the water is set to the same conditions as the main tank. Your quarantine tank will need lighting, heating, an adequate filtration system, as well as a hiding place.

Your quarantine tank needs to be maintained regularly to ensure the tank remains clean, especially after the abscess bursts. Frequent water changes is a must. 

When your Betta is sick, it will feel vulnerable. Providing a place for your Betta to hide in the quarantine tank will keep your fish from becoming stressed out. In a pinch, a plastic plant pot with smooth sides will work. Just set it on its side in the tank and partially bury it in the substrate and you will have created an affordable and safe hideout for your fish.

You could also add plants to the quarantine tank instead of a cave of some sort. Plants are a great hiding spot for your Betta to recuperate in. However, avoid fresh plants as they can sometimes carry unwanted bacteria and parasites that could further harm your Betta. 

If the abscess is not too large, your fish will have a better chance to survive it. You will want to treat the tank’s water with the appropriate antibacterial aquarium product. You can find them online or in your local fish store. Follow the directions, using the recommended dosage. 

It Might Be An Ulcer

Ulcers are common for Betta fish. They look like sores with a red area around the lump on the fish’s skin. Ulcers can make your fish lethargic and cause them to lose their appetite, which eventually will make them look emaciated. 

Bacterial infections are the main cause for ulcers in Bettas. Even when you have cleaned and maintained the tank regularly, there are still bacteria that will remain in the water. Under normal circumstances, this bacteria will not harm your fish. However, if your Betta becomes stressed due to unfavorable conditions in their environment, such as poor water quality, they will become vulnerable to infection from these bacteria.

Treating A Betta Fish Ulcer

As we mentioned previously, it’s important for you to remove your Betta from its main tank and transfer it to a quarantine tank if you see any signs of an ulcer. 

Once the ulcer heals, fungal infections are frequently a possibility. It’s crucial to continue with frequent water changes for at least three weeks after the ulcers have been treated successfully. 

Adding salt to the tank’s water after the first water change will help to encourage the healing of the wound. You only want to add one-fourth of an ounce per gallon of water to reduce the osmotic effect that water has upon entering the ulcer, as well as disinfecting the wound.

After each water change, you should add about 30% of the salt you originally added to maintain the water’s salt content. Monitoring the water’s salt level is easy with the use of a hydrometer. Also, you will want to add an antibacterial aquarium product into the water. Once the ulcer is completely healed, you can return your Betta to its main tank again. 

Where Can Tumors Be Located?

The tumors can appear anywhere on the fish’s body. However, as we mentioned previously, not all lumps are tumors. In fact, there are places on your fish’s body that will develop lumps that are not tumors after all.

Here is a brief guide meant to help you determine the cause of any lumps tht appear on certain areas of a Betta’s body.

Tumor On Your Betta Fish’ Head

Lumps that form on a fish’s head are quite common. Although Bettas can develop tumors on their head, bacterial infections can also cause lumps to develop on their heads. One of the most common bacterial infections is columnaris. This infection will cause tumor-like lesions to develop around the Betta’s mouth and gills.

Lumps on Betta's side

Tumor On Your Betta Fish’s Side

If you spot lumps on your Betta’s side, it could be a variety of possibilities, usually easily treatable. Although the lump might be a cancerous tumor, it is more likely to be swim bladder disease or a bacterial infection.

It Might Be Betta Fish Swim Bladder Disease

If your Betta’s side looks swollen and lumpy, it could be swim bladder disease. The swim bladder is an organ filled with gas that allows the fish to navigate up and down in the tank’s water. This works the same way as a buoyancy aid for a diver. 

One of the tell-tale signs of a fish with swim bladder disease is that their abdomens will appear swollen and become lethargic. They will sink to the tank’s bottom or involuntarily float on the surface of the water. Your Betta can also develop an unbalanced or lopsided position while it’s swimming because it won’t be able to stabilize itself. 

Swim bladder disease is usually caused by overfeeding and constipation. The easiest way to treat swim bladder disease is to abstain from feeding your Betta for a couple of days to all the digestive system to digest whatever food remains in its stomach. Luckily, swim bladder disease isn’t contagious, so you will not need to transfer your Betta to a quarantine tank. You can also talk to your local pet store for other possible treatments.

Bacterial infections

Bacterial infections can develop when your fish has been injured or another fish has nipped it. These infections will often look like lumps on the sides of your Betta. These lumps can become infected and turn into abscesses, as mentioned previously. 

Over-the-counter antibacterial products can be used to treat the water if you have any concerns that your tank has been infected. The OTC antibacterial products will clear up any infections relatively quickly. Be sure to quarantine your infected fish in a separate tank as soon as possible while treating the main tank. 

Tumor On Betta Fish’s Stomach

Lumps that develop on your Betta’s stomach are the most common. Although these lumps can actually be tumors, there are a variety of other culprits as well. A bacterial infection, constipation, swim bladder disease, and dropsy can all cause lumps on your fish’s sides and stomach. 

Constipation

Constipation is a common cause for lumps to develop on your Betta’s stomach, and fortunately can be treated easily. If your fish becomes lethargic, stops eating, and hasn’t passed any feces lately, it’s probably constipated. 

Constipation can even cause swim bladder disease. It can also be treated the same way you treat swim bladder disease, by withholding food for a few days. Once you are ready to feed your Betta again, offering it live and frozen food, such as mosquito larvae or bloodworms, is better than feeding it flakes or dry pellets.

Some of the more experienced fish enthusiasts will add a day of fasting each week to their Betta’s feeding schedule. This will also help prevent constipation in your Betta

Tumors in Betta's gills

Tumors in Betta fish’s Gills

Gill hyperplasia is another condition that is known to cause lumps and tumors of the gills. However, this usually only occurs when the gills have been damaged by a physical injury, or bacterial or parasitical infection, or toxins such as nitrites, nitrates, and amonia.

Rather than properly healing, the newly developed gill tissue will grow, covering the damaged area and form a lump that looks like a tumor. The lump will grow larger over time, as new skin forms. Only in some severe instances of hyperplasia can the lumps become permanent. With most minor cases you will see that after the lumps disappear, the gills will become normal again.

How Do You Treat Tumors in Betta Fish?

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatments or cures for most tumors and cancers. If the tumors or cancer is internal, they are usually not diagnosed until the diseasae is in the advanced stages. If you are able to diagnose the cancer early, it is usually inoperable due to the tumor’s position and location. Most fish with cancer or tumors are humanely euthanized for this reason.

However, some tumors are treatable, such as gill tumors, caused by a thyroid issue, and treated by medicating the water in a quarantine tank with iodine.

How to Prevent Tumors in Betta Fish?

As long as you are proactive in choosing and taking care of your Bettas, you can greatly diminish the possibility of them developing any kind of tumors or cancer.

  • You always want to buy from a reputable breeder. Avoid inbred fish. They are more likely to have problems, including developing cancerous tumors.
  • Use and maintain an efficient filtration system will help keep the tank water clean and healthy. Also, changing 25% of the tank water each week will help prevent any bacteria buildup.
  • Feeding your Betta a diet rich in quality foods will give them the proper levels of nutrients and protein they need to stay healthy.  
  • Immediately quarantine any fish that you suspect might be ill in any way before they are able to infect the healthy fish in your tank. This will stop the contagion from spreading.

Summary

Although there are several different causes for lumps on your Betta’s body, most can be treated if caught early enough. Cancer, unfortunately, is not one of those. If you have ruled out all other possibilites for illness in your Bettas and you suspect the lumps to be cancerous, you will need to consider euthanizing your fish. It’s the humane thing to do.

Betta Ammonia Poisoning (Symptoms & Treatment)

Betta Fish Ammonia Poisoning

Betta ammonia poisoning is a silent and deadly disease that can affect your Betta, and if not caught in time, it can kill them. Typically, ammonia poisoning happens when you are setting up a new tank. But it can also happen when you add too many fish to an already established tank. 

There are several more reasons ammonia poisoning occurs, as you will see. We will go over all of them, as well as the signs you need to look out for to keep your fish healthy and safe. 

What is Ammonia Poisoning in Betta Fish?

In order to prevent and fight betta fish ammonia poisoning, you will need to understand more about it. When the pH levels in your betta fish tank become elevated, this will offset the nitrogen cycle, which causes ammonia poisoning.

When water conditions are at the correct levels, there should not be any ammonia detected in the water. However, several factors can contribute to and cause ammonia levels to rise. Ammonia, even small doses can cause damage to the gills. Large amounts of ammonia can prove to be fatal to your betta fish.

Betta Fish Ammonia Poisoning Symptoms

Once your Betta starts showing symptoms of ammonia poisoning, the damaging process has begun already. Preventative maintenance is imperative to your Betta’s health. 

Gasping for Air

If you suddenly see your Betta at the top of the tank gasping for air, it may be suffering from one of the first symptoms of ammonia poisoning. The ammonia will begin to burn your Betta, which will cause it to become desperate for clean oxygen at the top of the tank. You may even find that your Betta is trying to escape your tank.

Changes in Gill Color

The most obvious sign of ammonia poisoning you will notice is when their gill starts changing color. When this occurs, you should take action immediately. 

When ammonia poisoning begins to set in, your Betta’s gills will turn purple or red in color, and they may begin to look inflamed. If action is not taken immediately and the ammonia poisoning continues, your Betta’s gills will begin to bleed. 

Inflamed Anus and Eyes

If the ammonia poisoning is not treated right away, you Betta’s sensitive areas will become inflamed. Its anus and eyes will become severely irritated and even damaged.

Red Streaks on Body and Fins

The ammonia poisoning will slowly begin to damage your beloved Betta’s body, and you may begin to notice red streaks appearing on its fins and body. 

These red streaks can sometimes be confused with the stress stripes your Betta will get when they become overly stressed. If you see the red streaks appear on your Betta, you should test the water immediately to rule out ammonia poisoning. 

Loss of Appetite

A sure sign that something is wrong is when your Betta begins to lose its appetite. Although, loss of appetite can result from various diseases, including depression and stress. 

However, if your Betta suddenly loses its appetite, you should begin investigating the possible reason. One of the first tests you should perform should be water condition testing to make sure their water is safe and healthy.

Lethargy

Lethargy is another sign of ammonia poisoning, although sometimes its less noticeable. If you Betta has stopped swimming or is passively floating around the bottom of the tank, you should begin investigating why this is occurring. 

Several different diseases can cause lethargy. However, testing the water conditions first will help to rule out several of those diseases because ammonia poisoning will show up immediately during the water testing.

What Causes Betta Ammonia Poisoning

Too much ammonia in the tank can lead to ammonia poisoning. Several factors can contribute to ammonia poisoning in your fish tank. Learning about these factors will help you practice preventative maintenance to keep your water conditions at healthy levels.

A New Tank That Hasn't Cycled Properly

Your fish tank is an ecosystem. When you first set up the aquarium, the ecosystem is rather sensitive. The essential bacteria needed to help break down the ammonia in your tank into less harmful compounds have not yet become fully established.

The tank’s cycling takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks for the bacteria to establish itself. During this cycle, you will most likely see ammonia spikes in the water until the bacteria have become established.

Build Up of Decaying Matter

By doing regular inspections of your tank, you will be able to spot any decaying matter that has the potential to cause ammonia poisoning. Things such as feces, rotten food, dead plants, and biological waste will cause the ammonia levels in your tank to rise, which can result in ammonia poisoning.

If you Betta is part of a community tank, then while doing your tank inspection, be sure to look for sick or dead fish. Dead fish will produce high levels of ammonia when they begin to decay.

Water Changed Infrequently

Regularly changing the water in your tank will dilute the ammonia buildup by replacing the unclean water with fresh, clean water. Smaller tanks will need to have the water changed out more often than larger tanks. Not changing the water often enough will cause ammonia poisoning in your Betta.

If your tank does not have a filter, the water will need to be changed frequently. To keep your Betta healthy, your Betta needs a filter in its tank, regardless of popular belief. The filter will help you regulate the ammonia levels.

If Bacteria Colonies Die

Every tank should have a healthy bacteria colony. This colony helps to neutralize the ammonia buildup in your tank. However, if your filter stops working properly, that bacteria colony may start dying. Treating your tank with bacteria-killing medications will also eliminate the good bacteria colony. When the bacteria colony in your tank starts dying off, the ammonia levels will increase, and ammonia poisoning will occur.

How To Treat Betta Ammonia Poisoning

Ammonia levels in your water should be at 0 parts per million (ppm). Making sure the ammonia levels are lowered to 0 ppm is the only way you will be able to treat ammonia poisoning in your Betta successfully.

Ammonia Detoxifier

Adding an ammonia detoxifier to treat your tank is the quickest solution to getting your tank back to normal. Anytime the ammonia levels rise above 0 ppm, you should use the ammonia detoxifier. 

Ammonia detoxifiers reduce the harmful levels of ammonia in your tank rather than getting rid of them altogether. The detoxifiers will reduce the negative effect of the ammonia and bring the levels down to a normal, healthy level, which will benefit the good bacteria in your tank. 

Using an ammonia remover is especially helpful when used with a new tank. We recommend the API brand from Amazon. It’s less than $10 for the bottle, and it will last you a long time.

API AMMO-LOCK Freshwater and...
  • Contains one (1) API AMMO-LOCK Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Ammonia Detoxifier 16-Ounce Bottle

Add Ammonia Removal Inserts to Your Filter

One thing you can do to help prevent the buildup of harmful levels of ammonia in your tank is to add ammonia removal inserts to your current filter. As the water is filtered, the inserts will remove any traces of ammonia in the water. This will help reduce any stress your Betta may be under.

We recommend the AquaClear Ammonia Removal Inserts from Amazon. They are inexpensive, coming in at less than $10 for a three-pack.

AquaClear 30-Gallon Ammonia...
  • Removes and controls harmful ammonia and nitrite

Water Changes

You should go ahead and perform a 50% water change in your tank if you witness any of the symptoms of ammonia poisoning. If you are unable to buy any of the recommended detoxifiers or removal inserts, you should plan to perform the water change every two days until the ammonia levels are reduced to 0 ppm.

To avoid harming your Betta with temperature shock while performing the water change, you should make sure that the temperature of the new water matches that of the water to be replaced.

Do Not Overfeed Your Betta

When leftover food remains in the tank, it will contribute to ammonia levels rising. When the leftover food begins to decompose, it causes the ammonia levels in your tank to spike. 

Do not overfeed your Betta. Not only will there be leftover food, but the more your Betta eats, the more waste it will produce, which adds to the ammonia buildup. 

Only feed your Betta enough that they can eat all of it in less than two minutes and then remove any leftover foods from the tank. Bettas can go a day without food. Doing so can also reduce the possibility of your Bettas becoming constipated.

How To Prevent Ammonia Poisoning

Preventative maintenance is always better than reactive maintenance. Meaning, you should do whatever you can to prevent ammonia poisoning before it happens rather than needing to treat it after it happens. Here are suggestions for the best preventative maintenances.

Add Nitrifying Bacteria

Nitrifying bacteria can effectively prevent ammonia poisoning in fish tanks, especially the new tanks. Nitrifying bacteria will break down the ammonia and create a safe environment for your Betta. 

API has a Quick Start Nitrifying Bacteria that is highly effective and only costs $15.

Sale
API QUICK START Nitrifying...
  • Contains one (1) API QUICK START Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Nitrifying Bacteria 16-Ounce Bottle

Frequent Water Changes

One of the most beneficial tasks you can perform for your fish tank is frequent water changes. Changing out the water frequently will help to remove the old and dirty water that your filter is unable to process. Also, as we mentioned earlier, frequent water changes are an excellent way to treat ammonia poisoning. 

Water Filters

Bettas may be a tough breed, but they have basic everyday requirements that need to be met, just like any other fish. Some of those needs are a heater and water filter in their tank. Don’t believe the myth that Bettas can live in a fishbowl. They need at least a five or ten-gallon tank with a heater and a water filter. The filter will clean your Betta’s tank while removing the ammonia buildup.

Adequate Tank Size

Smaller tanks will get dirty faster. As we mentioned above, your Betta needs at least a five-gallon tank. Anything smaller than five gallons won’t be large enough, and it will be cruel. It will also cause more work for you because you will have to do more frequent water changes and cleanings.

Water conditions in smaller tanks can change rapidly. Smaller tanks are also more likely to experience faster ammonia buildup over time than larger tanks would.

Frequent Tank Cleaning

Ammonia can be produced by decaying matter in your fish tank such as rotten food, fish waste, or plants. Regular tank cleaning and vacuuming the substrate should eliminate any remaining waste from your tank.

Adding an Air stone

Air stones will help pump oxygen through your tank by creating flows of tiny bubbles that are then transported all over the tank oxygenating the water, which helps to disperse the ammonia that has begun to build up in your tank.

Air stones are not a necessary addition to your tank, but they are an inexpensive way to help keep your tank healthy. However, some Bettas don’t particularly like them. You will need to test one in your tank to see if your Bettas react positively to it. 

We recommend these inexpensive aquarium air stones from Amazon.

yueton Pack of 10 Cylinder...
  • Help to keep fish healthy and adds extra beauty to the aquarium.

Buy an Ammonia Test Kit

Once again, preventative maintenance can save you headaches later, as well as keep your fish healthy and safe. An ammonia test kit is a great way to keep track of the level of ammonia in your tank. With regular testing, you’ll know right away if the ammonia levels have begun to rise, and you can act accordingly to reduce the levels safely. 

We recommend the API Master Test Kits sold on Amazon. These kits will allow you to check the ammonia levels in your tank as well as checking the pH levels, nitrates, and nitrites. 

Sale
API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT...
  • Contains one (1) API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, including 7 bottles of testing solutions, 1 color card and 4 glass tubes with cap

Summary

Preventative maintenance is key in keeping your Bettas safe and healthy. Make sure you are doing your part by maintaining the tank, keeping it clean, and performing regular water testing and changes. 

We hope this article has given you everything you need to keep your Bettas safe from ammonia poisoning. 

Betta Fish Tank Mates | Huge List Of 50+ Fish That Can Live With

Betta-Fish-Tank-Mates

Are you looking to set up a community tank full of a variety of colorful and strikingly exciting fish? Bettas are the perfect eye candy for your community tank. Their colors are vibrant, and their finnage is flamboyant. 

However, Bettas have a terrible reputation for being aggressive and territorial fish. This can make finding compatible tankmates for your Betta difficult. In general, Bettas are perfectly happy by themselves. But if you want a community aquarium with Bettas, we have the best advice for you today.

Betta Fish Tank Mates Overview

In their natural habitat in the wild, bettas can live among other bettas peacefully. They only show aggression when a male Betta feels his territory is being threatened by another male Betta, as well as during the breeding season. 

However, their temperament becomes more aggressive when placed in captivity and aquariums. Stressful environments and selective breeding are the leading cause of this aggressive behavior. 

When choosing tankmates for your Bettas, you should choose a peaceful fish. They should be a shoaling and fast swimming species, as well. You do not want to pick fish that have a reputation for nipping other fish’s fins. Bottom-dwelling fish work well because they tend to stay away from the Betta’s territory. 

Tetras are perfect tankmates for your Betta. They are a shoaling species and are generally peaceful. They are smaller than Bettas, only growing to around one or two inches, depending on the particular species. Here is a shortlist of compatible Tetras:

  • Neon Tetra Has a red stripe that goes halfway down its body, smaller, one-inch in size 
  • Black Neon Tetra – Similar to the Neon Tetra, but with a horizontal black stripe down the length of its body, adding variety to the tank
  • Cardinal Tetra Has a long red stripe down its body, and is a little larger than the Neon Tetra, growing to be around two-inches in size
  • Ember Tetra – Ember in color, smaller, around one-inch in size, they are fast shoaling fish
  • Rummy-nose Tetra – White with a black and white striped tail and a red head
  • Diamond Tetra – Sparkly, diamond colored, hardy, social and active, they do not nip fins
  • Silver Tip Tetra – Tend to be a little more aggressive, nipping at other Tetras
  • Glowlight Tetra – Silver in color with an iridescent orangish-red stripe that goes from nose to tail

Rasboras make excellent tankmates for your male Betta. In their natural habitat in the wild, you can find them cohabitating in the same water as Bettas. They grow to be two inches in length. They are a peaceful but social species that need to be kept in groups of more than eight.

  • Fire Rasbora – A fiery orange color with silver down its back
  • Harlequin Rasbora – Orange and silver with a black triangle from its fin to its stomach

Being bottom dwellers, Catfish make great tankmates for your Betta, as well. They don’t tend to be very active fish, and they won’t invade your Betta’s territory. 

  • Otocinclus Catfish – Also called “Sucker Fish” or “Dwarf Fish,” has rows of plated armor covering its body and an underslung suckermouth
  • Cory Catfish – Silver with black speckles, has armor plating and a flat underside, as well as a short face

Here are some other fish species that make ideal tankmates for your Bettas

  • Kuhli Loach – Small eel looking fish that get more active at night while Bettas sleep
  • Female Guppy – Only female, no male Guppies because they have long, bright-colored fins
  • Pleco – A sucker-mouth catfish, with armor-like scales covering upper body and head
  • Endlers – Colorful green, red, and black fish with a forked tail, only grow to be one-inch long
  • Glass Catfish A transparent fish, also called ghost fish, grow to be around five inches, best for larger tanks
  • Short-fine Molly – Silver with a yellow-tipped tail, they live in the upper region of the tank
  • Celestial Pearl Danio – Bluish-gray bodies with white speckles and orange fins, shoaling fish
  • Short-finned Platy – Colors vary, short fan-shaped fins, schooling fish that grow to one-and-a-half inches
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnow – Bronze-brown color with a fluorescent line running down its body, shoaling fish

Two Male Bettas in the Same Tank

You can not have two male Bettas in the same tank, regardless of how big the tank is. As we mentioned before, male Bettas have a bad reputation for being aggressive with other males, often fighting to the death when they feel threatened. This usually happens when two male Bettas try to occupy the same space; they will become territorial and start fighting each other. 

two Female Bettas in same tank

Two Female Bettas in the Same Tank

Female bettas aren’t as aggressive as their male counterparts. You can have more than one female in a tank as long as the tank is large enough to give them their own space. 

Because every betta is different, occasionally, you might get an aggressive female. If one of your females starts picking on the other, you should consider removing the aggressive one from the tank and giving it a tank of its own.

When you have female bettas, you can add colorful fish in the tank with them without worrying about their tankmate’s coloration. You can also keep fish that are slightly larger than the female bettas. You don’t want to go too large, though. If the fish is big enough, it will try to eat your bettas.

A Male and a Female Betta

If you plan to keep one male and one female Betta fish together in the same tank, you will need a large, rectangular tank that is at least 30 gallons or more. You will also need plenty of plants and decorations that can be used as hiding spots for the female in case the male starts to get aggressive with her. The plants will help to break the betta’s line of sight. 

If the male does attack your female, you should consider removing either the male or the female and giving it a tank of its own. 

Pumpkin45

Best Tank Mates for Female Betta

Females aren’t as territorial as males and don’t mind when other fish might invade their space. Because of this laid back attitude, you can keep more of a variety of fish when you have female Bettas. 

As always, each fish is different, and there is a possibility that you will get a more aggressive female than usual. Whatever species you do decide on as tankmates for your female Bettas should not have a reputation for nipping other fish’s fins.

Bottom-dwelling fish make perfect tankmates for your female Bettas. Since they won’t go near your Bettas, they won’t upset or annoy them. 

  • Pygmy Cory – Silver with a black stripe down its body
  • Panda Cory – Silver with black spots on its body
  • Clown Pleco – Sucker-mouth fish, brown with yellow stripes
  • Clown Loach – Resembles a tiger with orange and black stripes
  • Yoyo Loach – White with black stripes

Another good choice for tankmates is fast swimming and shoaling fish. If you have an aggressive female, they won’t single out any specific fish if they are shoaling together.

  • Mosquito Rasbora – Silver with a black stripe down its body
  • Penguin Tetra – Silver and white fish with bold black stripe
  • Red Eye Tetra – Silver with black fins and reddish colored eye
  • Blue Tetra – Blue colored with a silver belly
  • Gold Tetra – Golden colored with black fins
Male Betta

Best Tank Mates for Male Betta

When you have male Bettas, finding compatible tankmates can be challenging. You will need to choose tankmates carefully because the males are very territorial and aggressive. They will attack another male, and sometimes a female if they feel like the other fish is invading their space. 

Another thing to consider is males do not like smaller, brightly colored fish. Fish that are red in color need to be avoided altogether because they will trigger your male Betta’s aggression. The male Bettas will also pick on slow swimming fish, as well. Avoid fish with long fins because your males will attack them and kill them.

Shoaling fish are good choices for tankmates for your male Bettas for the same reason as the females; the males won’t single out any specific fish to attack if they are shoaling together.

  • Black-line Rasbora – Silver with a thin black line that ends with red tail
  • Head and Tail Light Tetra – Reddish-orange color around the eye and on the tail
  • Colombian Tetra – Silver and blue body with orange fins
  • Green Neon Tetra – Silver with a fluorescent green stripe down its body
  • Dawn Tetra – Golden colored with black spots on bottom fin and tail

You also want fish that will not trespass into your male Betta’s territory. Fish that occupy the bottom of the tank are perfect options. 

  • Candy Striped Pleco – Yellowish-brown with darker brown or black stripes
  • Snowball Pleco – Black body with white polka dots
  • Bristle Nose Pleco – Also known as Bushy Nose, black body with yellowish spots
  • Albino Cory – Catfish with whitish-pink albino coloring
  • Zebra Loach – Golden colored body with black zebra stripes

When you start to add vegetation and decorations to their tank, you increase the variety and complexity of their environment. Doing so will reduce the aggression your males show towards other fish since they won’t be in their line of sight all the time. All of the vegetation and decorations also provide plenty of places for the other fish to hide. 

Betta Sorority Tank Mates​

Betta Sorority Tank Mates

When you have a tank with five or more female Bettas, you have a Betta sorority, also called a Betta harem. If you plan to have a sorority of Bettas, you will need at least a 30-gallon tank. There should be a variety of decorations and plants, giving your Bettas adequate hiding spaces. They also need lots of room to swim freely.

Even though the females tend to be less aggressive than the male Bettas, each fish is different. Some females can be territorial and aggressive. You will need to choose wisely when considering tank mates for your female Bettas. 

Some of the best tankmates for your sorority are:

  • Guntea Loach – Grey belly with a black back
  • Cory Catfish – Silver body with black spots
  • Guppies – female are best, comes in a variety of colors, 
  • Black Neon Tetra – Golden body with black stripe and neon silver stripe
  • Neon Tetra – Silver body with red strip below the neon green stripe
  • Cherry Barbs – Red body, do not pair with male Bettas

Tank Mates in 5 Gallon Aquarium

Because a five-gallon tank is already so small, we don’t recommend adding tankmates with your Betta. A five-gallon tank is perfect for one Betta since Bettas are not social fish anyway. Instead, they keep to themselves, away from any other fish, regardless of how big or small the tank is.

For a five-gallon tank, you can add live plants to break up the monotony of the tank. Java Ferns and an Amazonian Sword Plant or two would be perfect for your Betta’s tank.

If you don’t want to bother with maintaining live plants, you can add a few artificial soft silk plants. Avoid heavier artificial plastic plants. They could possibly end up damaging your Betta’s finnage.

If you decide that you do want tankmates for your Betta, try ones that are non-fish, such as shrimp and snails.

Tank Mates in 10 Gallon Aquarium

If you want an aquarium with a Betta and other fish, then you should go with a ten-gallon or larger tank. Once again, you will need to set up the tank with plenty of vegetation and decorations to interrupt your Betta’s line of sight and provide hiding spaces for the other fish species. You can even add Bogwood logs to separate the areas of your tank and obstruct your Betta’s line of vision.

The most ideal tankmates for your Betta in a ten-gallon tank are bottom-dwelling fish, such as Catfish and small Loaches. Non-fish tankmates such as frogs, shrimp, and snails are a great addition to this size tank.

More Tank Mates That Can Live With Bettas

If you would like to do something a little different with your tank and not include other species of fish, you can try adding non-fish tankmates to your aquarium that are compatible with your Betta.

When choosing a non-fish tankmate, you want to choose ones that are too large for your Bettas to eat, but they still need to be small enough that they don’t cause any harm to any of your fish.

Below are the best snail tankmates for both your female and male Bettas

  • Malaysian Trumpet Snail – This is a nocturnal species, which is perfect because they only get active when your Bettas are sleeping. They will also keep your tank clean. They will hide in the sediment during the day. 
  • Nerite Snail – These snails will hide in the sediment during the day as well. Because they require brackish water to breed in, you don’t have to worry about them overrunning the aquarium.
  • Mystery Snail – Comes in a variety of colors, will clean the tank and eat left-over food. They also grow to a size big enough that you don’t have to worry about them becoming fish food.

If you want more variety and color with the added bonus of algae maintenance, you can add shrimp to your tank. Make sure you don’t pick the ones that are small enough for the Bettas to eat, instead pick the larger ones, and they’ll be safe. The adult Cherry Shrimp and the Ghost Shrimp make ideal tank mates for your Bettas.

If you want even more variety and a touch of exotic, you should consider adding an amphibian to your tank. The African Dwarf frog is a peaceful frog that will not bother your other fish and makes a great tankmate.

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

Summary

As long as the tank is large enough and there is plenty of vegetation and decorations to break up the Betta’s line of sight, any of the fish we mentioned in this article would make great tankmates with your female Bettas and male Bettas unless specifically noted.

A five-gallon tank is the smallest you want to have with just one Betta, anything smaller is considered cruel. 

A ten-gallon tank is the smallest size for keeping other fish with your Bettas.

Lastly, a 30-gallon community tank is the smallest size we recommend if you want to keep a sorority of Bettas.

After reading this article, we hope that you will have the confidence to keep Bettas in your aquarium. 

How Long Do Betta Fish Live? (Increase Your Betta’s Lifespan)

Betta fish are one of the most beautiful freshwater fish available for aquariums. These hardy fish are also very easy to care for. Because of this, they are quite popular among beginner aquarists as well as the seasoned hobbyist. 

Bettas come in many varieties and vibrant colors, as well as different shaped tails. The male Bettas are especially decorative, having more vivid colors and longer, flowing fins than the female Bettas.

Several factors contribute to the Betta’s lifespan. But in general, they live for an average of three years. 

How Long Do Betta Fish Live In The Wild?

In their natural habitat, you can find Bettas in the shallow freshwater of rice paddies, streams, canals, and even ponds. Originally from Thailand and Cambodia, Bettas have gradually made their way to countries such as Malaysia, Brazil, and Singapore thanks to human introduction.

Bettas don’t live as long in their natural habitat as they do in captivity where they are being taken care of. Polluted water is a significant factor in the lifespan of a Betta, destroying their plants and food sources. They have made the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species because of the excessive exposure to pollution, as well as the loss of their natural habitat in Thailand due to farming development and expansions.

Another factor that affects males, in particular, is their highly aggressive and territorial natures. In fact, they were nicknamed ‘Siamese Fighting Fish’ for this reason. When other males come into a male Betta’s space, they will start fighting, which can decrease their lifespan significantly, if not immediately.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live (In Captivity)?

When you go to the pet store to buy a Betta, you will usually find females around six months old, and males around one-year-old, which is around the time when the male’s fins and colors have matured. This should be taken into consideration when figuring out how long a Betta lives in captivity. 

When you properly care for your Betta, giving them a nice sized tank with clean water to live in, they will live an average of three years but have been known to live up to five years old in perfect conditions. 

It should be noted that females can live a little bit longer than male Bettas. However, the females aren’t as popular as the males because they aren’t as flamboyant in color and finnage.

How to Increase Your Betta’s Lifespan

Giving your Bettas a fighting chance for a relatively long and healthy lifespan of four to five years isn’t that hard. In fact, with a little effort, it can be quite simple.

Buy A Healthy Betta

The first thing you want to do is start with a healthy Betta:

  • Avoid the cups – Avoid buying your Bettas from a place that has them living in a cup. It’s cruel. You want to buy a healthy Betta that is in a tank with other fish, and you want to make sure that the other fish look healthy as well.
  • Vibrant colors – Avoid pale Bettas. You want to look for vibrant colors unless you are buying a white Betta. A Betta’s coloring will start to dull when they are sick and aren’t being fed properly.
  • Clear Eyes – Avoid Bettas with bulging or cloudy eyes. This is a sign of possible bacterial infections and eye issues. 
  • No Wounds – Avoid buying a Betta that has wounds on their bodies and fins. If the Betta’s fins are torn and ripped, it could be fin rot. Also, there is a possibility that the wounds on your Betta may become infected. 
  • Not Hiding – Avoid buying a Betta that is hiding from you or the other fish. They tend to hide when they are sick.
  • Responsive – When you place your hand near or on the tank’s glass, most Bettas will respond by approaching the glass.

Preventing Fights Between Male Bettas

When male Bettas are in their natural habitat, they will compete for space with other males they may encounter. But, they will only fight briefly before one the males will back down and leave, finding a different territory to occupy.

However, when you place two male Bettas in a smaller tank, and they don’t have a safe place to escape to, they will fight until one of them dies. The females can be kept together, with caution. Just make sure the tank is large enough that they have enough space away from each other.

By keeping the males in separate aquariums, you are ensuring your Bettas have a safe environment. Bettas can be kept in a community tank with compatible fish such as Rasboras, Snails, Bristlenose Plecos, and Neon Tetras. In fact, Bettas and Rasboras coexist naturally in the wild. 

Keep Bettas in Appropriate Tanks

Some pet stores will argue that Bettas are used to living in shallow waters in their natural habitats, so keeping them in tiny cups and fishbowls is acceptable. While they do live in shallow waters in the wild, that water goes on for miles and miles, giving them plenty of room to roam and play. 

When it comes to the size of the tank your Betta will live in, bigger is always better. Keeping your Betta in anything smaller than a five-gallon tank is cruel, and your fish may suffer from depression, boredom, and even stress, which will lead to an unhealthy fish and shortened lifespan.

The water stability and tank conditions fluctuate more in smaller tanks, which can make your fish unhealthy. Also, if you plan to keep a sorority of female Bettas, you need a twenty-gallon tank, at least.

Use a Filter and a Heater

Although the Betta’s natural habitat is in streams, rice paddies, ponds, and canals, they can’t live in dirty, unheated waters. Due to the humid climate in Thailand, the pools of water they live in are naturally heated.

Because of this, the healthiest water temperatures the Betta’s tank should be around 75 to 80°F. Use a tank water heater to maintain this temperature range.

You will also need a filter for your tank to keep the water conditions healthy for your Betta. They do not do well in unfiltered and dirty water. The filter will keep the water clean while converting nitrite and ammonia buildup into less toxic compounds, as well as aerating the water. Routine water changes need to occur frequently to remove nitrate buildup.

Provide Them with a Good Diet

A Betta’s diet is essential to a healthy growth rate, coloring, and lifespan. In the wild, Bettas tend to be carnivores. They love to eat insects. When you keep Bettas in an aquarium, live foods are an excellent source of fat and protein. 

Supplement the live foods with quality pellets, flake food, and even frozen food. Choosing specially formulated foods that have protein listed as the main ingredient will ensure your Bettas receive the highest nutritional commercial food available. Avoid foods that have a lot of filler foods. Your Betta’s digestive tracts aren’t able to process the fillers very well.

You can also make homemade Betta food yourself. Doing so will ensure they will receive the highest amount of protein available. Blood worms, as well as brine shrimp, mix well together.

Do not overfeed your Bettas. Overfeeding can cause bloating or constipation, which can harm their swim bladder. Your Bettas won’t be able to swim, which could cause them to die if they are not treated. You only want to feed your Bettas two times a day for two minutes, removing any leftover uneaten food from the tank.

Use Plants to Provide Oxygen

Including plants in your tank’s setup will enrich your Betta’s environment by increasing the oxygen. It also mimics their natural habitat, which will bring out their natural behavior.

Being carnivores, your Bettas won’t use the plants as a food source. Putting plants in your Betta’s tank will provide them with the necessary hiding spots needed to maintain the peace in your tank, which is essential if you have more than one female.

Three of the most popular plants used in Betta tanks are:

  • Java Moss is an excellent medium for aquascaping and growing carpet walls. It is also quite easy to care for.
  • The Java Fern is ideal for your Betta tank. It only grows around eight inches tall and won’t overrun your tank. Anacharis grows quickly and will survive in different environments. It is also very easy to care for and difficult to kill.

Keep the Tank Entertaining

A happy fish is a healthy fish. Keep your fish from becoming bored and depressed, and they will live longer. A bored and depressed Betta will begin biting its own tail. 

Keep your Betta entertained by placing decorations and toys in their tank. Creating an underwater jungle in a section of your tank is sure to entertain your Betta.

Adding other fish to the tank with your Betta will ensure that your Betta will not get bored and depressed. Make sure that the other fish are compatible with your Bettas before adding them to your tank.

Keep the Tank Clean

Make sure that your Betta’s tank stays clean as well as keeping it filtered. You can avoid bacteria growth as well as diseases when you keep the tank clean and well maintained.

A dirty tank will foster diseases such as dropsy and fin rot. You will need to do a 10-15% water change each week. Be sure to vacuum the gravel when cleaning the tank and changing out the water every week. 

When feeding your Betta, remove any food that hasn’t been eaten after two minutes are up. You will also need to monitor the ammonia levels on a regular basis, making sure that they do not rise to an unhealthy level.

FAQs About Bettas

Still have questions? Here are some of the more frequently asked questions regarding Bettas.

How Long Can a Betta Fish Live Without Food?

While your Betta can possibly survive for fourteen days without food, you should never let them go that long without feeding them. The stress and lack of nutrition will drastically weaken their immune system. If they do survive, when you begin to feed them again, there is the possibility that they will suffer from other illnesses. 

Four days is the maximum amount of time you can leave your Betta without food and not risk its health.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live in a Bowl?

If you are keeping a Betta in a small bowl that is three gallons or less, and the bowl is unfiltered and unheated, your fish will only live about a year.

However, if the bowl is over five gallons, has plenty of plants and decorations, and is heated and filtered, your Betta can live up to five years.

How Long Can Betta Fish Live in a 1 Gallon Tank?

Keeping your Betta in a small one-gallon tank will shorten its lifespan significantly. Your Betta probably will not live over a year in that kind of environment. And if they do live longer than that, they will be bored, depressed, and eventually unhealthy.

How Old is the Oldest Betta Fish?

There is a rumor that a Betta fish that was kept in a laboratory under perfect conditions lived for ten years. However, there is not any evidence to support these claims.

Summary

When you invest the time and money in your Betta, you can rest assured that your Betta will live a long, healthy, and happy life. 

Buying the right tank size and filling it with plants and decorations will keep your Betta stress-free and happy, especially if you add compatible fish to the tank, as well. 

Feeding them a proper, well-balanced diet full of protein, fat, and the occasional live food, as well as maintaining a clean, filtered, and heated tank, will also ensure success in keeping your Bettas healthy.

How Much Do Guppies Cost? (Fancy, Mutt and Competition)

How-Much-Do-Guppies-Cost

Guppies are the ultimate beginner fish. They are affordable, friendly, striking, and simple to care for. But not all guppies are created equal, nor do they cost the same! Guppies come in a large variety of amazing colors and patterns. They run the spectrum from plain grey with minimal finnage to incredibly beautiful guppies with elaborate finnage. 

When determining how much do guppies cost, the breeder takes into consideration exclusive traits, colors, and patterns. If you are wondering how much the average mutt guppy costs compared to fancy guppies, we will answer that question for you in this comprehensive guide. 

How Much Do Fancy Guppies Cost?

The price for fancy guppies can range in cost from $10 to $100 depending on the breeding and exclusive traits. A pair of Blue Delta Guppies will only cost you $9.00 compared to a pair of rare Black Moscow Guppies, which will cost you close to $90 from a breeder.

Fancy guppies have striking patterns and brilliant coloring that sets them apart from the average guppy fish. In addition to their coloring, fancy guppies will have long, flowing fins, and beautiful tails and patterns.

Generations of selective breeding go into creating these striking physical characteristics, which is why fancy guppies cost more than the average guppy. This selective breeding produces guppies that are not necessarily as sturdy as the average guppy fish may be. 

Because of this, breeding and raising fancy guppies might not best for you if you are a beginner. You will be required to engage in tank maintenance more frequently. Some fancy guppies are more sensitive to any changes in the water chemistry that sometimes occurs.

How Much Do Mutt Guppies Cost?

Mutt Guppies tend to be your average guppies. They’re guppies with unknown lines, which makes it difficult to identify which strain they are from. You can buy them at your favorite pet store.

Being unable to identify the particular strain a guppy fish comes from will directly affect its cost. Out of all the types of guppies, mutt guppies tend to cost less, only costing a few dollars each. For as low as $5.00, you can buy a pair for breeding.

Unlike the fancy guppies, mutt guppies are hardier and easier to care for. They adapt well to different water conditions and are easier to breed. This makes them perfect for a beginner aquarist.

Competition-Guppies​

How Much Do Competition Guppies Cost?

For a guppy fish to be considered a competition or show guppy, the guppy fish will need to have unique and striking physical traits that will best represent their species at a fish show.

The physical characteristics, as well as the strain of a competition Guppy, will determine the price, which can start anywhere from $20 and go as high as $100. 

Because competition guppies happen to be similar to fancy guppies in terms of physical traits and their lineage, they are usually priced similarly as well.

How to Breed Guppies for Profit?

There are several steps to breeding guppies for a profit:

Setting up the Tanks

If you plan to engage in selective breeding, you will need eight 10-gallon tanks. Each tank should be set up normally to accommodate your guppies. One of the tanks will be used as a reserve tank, while the other seven tanks will be used by each breeding pair. 

One tank should be for the first generation, another for the second generation, plus separate aquariums for the males and females, with the rest being for selected females and males.

You Need a Superior Breeding Pair

Obtaining a breeding pair of guppies that are of higher quality than the mutt guppies is essential when you plan to breed them for a profit. You can experiment with selective breeding to create your own fancy guppy strains that you can turn around and sell for a profit. 

For higher-quality Guppies, the breeder you purchase from should be able to show you a traceable and established lineage for each breeding pair. The pair you buy should be in excellent health, showcasing their vibrant colors and striking patterns. 

High-Quality Diets

When you are breeding guppies and raising fry, you need to give them a higher-quality diet, which will meet their needs nutritionally during every developmental stage. 

A well-balanced diet will prevent the kind of deformities that result from nutritional deficiencies. A good diet will also help them to develop more vibrant colors, as well as strengthening their immune systems, protecting them from certain diseases. A varied diet is best:

  • Premium flakes
  • Vegetable and organic matter (algae tabs, spirulina)
  • Live cultured foods (vinegar eels, daphnia, brine shrimp)

Monitoring and Recording

Before you begin selectively breeding your guppy fish, you need to have a breeding plan in place. Everything you do should be documented. 

The tanks should be numbered, as well as the fish within each tank. Keep track of the which fish parented which fish, and keep track of the siblings, as well. Keep a record of any breeding techniques you have tried and your results with each. Record each breeding date and the date of the delivery.

How to Improve Your Guppy's Overall Quality?

If you plan to produce higher quality guppies, you will need to begin with a pair that is of the highest quality. Make sure you are not trying to breed guppies with undesirable traits, deformities, and known diseases

Here are a few things you can do that will ensure the healthy breeding of your Guppies:

  • Use dechlorinated water when setting up each tank and changing the water
  • Maintain the tanks regularly, keeping the water conditions stable
  • Turn any artificial lights off at night so that the Guppies can rest
  • Be proactive in preventing diseases
  • Offer live plants in your tank
  • Eliminate any stress factors
  • A daily diet should consist of a variety of high-quality foods
  • Make sure your Guppies have the water volume and space they need 
  • Prevent premature breeding by separating the fry by size and gender

Conclusion

If you want to add interest and beauty to your tank, Guppies are a great way to do that because of their price and how easy they are to take care of. 

However, if you want to breed and show your guppy fish, you will need to invest more time and money than you normally would. But for fish enthusiasts, that extra price is well worth the rewards they get from breeding and showing fancy and competition guppies.

Best Commercial & Homemade Guppy Food for Color and Growth

Best-Guppy-Food

In their natural habitat in the wild, Guppies are omnivores. As such, they’ll eat almost anything you offer them. They’ll eat meat-based foods as well as plant-based foods.

Live foods provide a much-needed source of nutrients for guppies. In the wild, guppies will eat a wide variety of live foods. Some of their favorites include:

  • Insect larvae
  • Invertebrates
  • Diatoms
  • Brine shrimp

Commercial foods are available in an endless selection. Not only do you have a variety of manufacturers to choose from, but you also have a large selection of different kinds of commercial foods.

You also have the option of preparing food at home for your guppies. It can be time-consuming, though. If you want healthier and more vibrant colored fish, you might consider making their food at home. However, the commercial foods on the market today are of high quality and full of nutrients.

Guppies in the wild like to nibble on the soft algae that grow on plants. Stocking your aquarium with an abundance of live aquatic plants will serve as an additional organic food source for your adult guppies as well as any guppy fry you may have.

Make sure you don’t overfeed your guppies. Overfeeding can lead to constipation and excess waste, which will ultimately disrupt the water chemistry in your tank.

Best Commercial Guppy Food Reviews

When looking at commercial guppy food, you want ingredients that provide maximum amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats. 

Adult guppies love freeze-dried blood worms. They are a great source of fat, and you should only feed it to your guppies in small amounts. You can feed it to your fry as well, which will greatly improve their growth rate.

If you are conditioning your guppies, freeze-dried tubifex worms make an excellent treat once a week. However, do not feed your fish live tubifex worms because they can carry harmful bacteria that could kill your fish.

Flake Food

The most popular commercial food amongst hobbyists is flake foods. Flake foods come packed with minerals and vitamins high in the proteins necessary for your guppies to stay healthy. With high-quality flake foods, you only need to feed your guppies once a day. 

Also, make sure to keep an eye on the expiration date of the flake food. The potency of the vitamins and minerals in expired foods will diminish significantly.

Veggie Pellets

Another addition to your guppy’s diet should be veggie pellets. They are high in calcium and iron, as well as vitamins B, C, D, and E. Most brands include greens such as kelp or algae, spirulina, plankton, and various vegetables.

Spirulina Tablets

Spirulina tablets contain natural carotenoid pigments, which will enhance your fish’s natural colors. It will also give your guppies healthier tails and fins, as well as resistance to skin infections.

New Life Spectrum Optimum Flakes

With all-natural preservatives, no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, this high-quality flake food if perfect for your marine and freshwater fish. Due to their positive buoyancy, the majority of the flakes float rather than sinking to the bottom. 

New Life Spectrum contains garlic to support a healthy immune system, a variety of seaweed and algae, as well as marine proteins that are easily digestible. Naturally enhances your fish’s coloring. Made in the USA.

Hikari Usa Tropical Fancy Guppy For Pet Health

With soft granules, the Hikari USA Tropical Fancy food is perfect for guppy fry, juvenile, and adult fish. The ingredients contain everything needed for healthy guppies, including stabilized vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system.

It also contains linolenic acid, which promotes growth, as well as seaweed-derived iodine, to improve overall conditioning.

It’s also ideal for livebearers such as guppies, platies, mollies, and swordtails. Rich in protein, these semi-floating granules do not cloud your tank water. The pellets sink very slowly, giving the fish plenty of time to eat before it reaches the bottom of your tank. 

The small pellets act like a sponge and absorb water, making the texture soft without completely dissolving. The food stays together and doesn’t lose any nutrients to the water.

Aquacarium Brine Shrimp

Aquacarium Brine Shrimp is an excellent treat for all fish, whether saltwater or freshwater. Freshly dried and all-natural, this food is made up of large cubed brine shrimp, which can be broken into smaller pieces. 

Your larger fish can enjoy it whole, while smaller fish will be able to pick it apart. This high-quality fish food is perfect for conditioning your fish for breeding.

Brine shrimp is a great source of protein and can be fed to both your adult and fry once or twice a week.

API Fish Food Pellets

Perfect for meeting all nutritional needs, API offers a complete and balanced diet for your small tropical community fish. API combines high-quality shrimp and squid proteins to encourage optimal growth.

It contains an enhanced protein that allows easy and maximum absorption of nutrients, resulting in the fish releasing less ammonia. 

This will help keep the water in your tank cleaner and clearer, which means your fish will have a healthier environment, ensuring they stay healthy as well. 

API pellets are formulated to sink slowly. They are easily digestible, and they enhance your guppy’s natural coloring.

Tropical Micro Pellet Fish Food

Tropical Micro Pellets are perfect for mimicking your guppy’s diet in their natural habitat while meeting their dietary needs. With a new Qik Color formula, the micropellets are small and multi-colored, perfect for tropical fish with small mouths. 

Tropical Micro Pellets offer an ultimate blend of carefully selected proteins, including many beneficial algae. The micro coating locks in nutrition and gives the semi-floating pellets a texture that’s easily digestible, eliminating constipation worries. 

With a unique mixture of vegetable and marine proteins that have been chosen specially, these pellets are perfect for feeding guppies, who have high energy needs. Krill and spirulina have been added to enhance your fish’s natural colors.

Fish at all water levels will be able to enjoy these slow sinking pellets. The remainder of the food that settles on the bottom of the tank will not cause water clouding and will not affect the water chemistry.

Homemade Guppy Food​

Homemade Guppy Food

If you want more control over the ingredients in your guppy’s food, you can make your own fish food at home. Making homemade fish flake foods is simple, although it can be time-consuming. 

In a feed processor, combine fish liver oil, vitamins, spirulina, vegetables, daphnia, fish meal, and bone meal and make a paste out of the ingredients.

Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread the paste out in a thin layer. You can then place it in the oven and bake it at 250° until it has completely dried out. After it has dried, crush it into small flakes and give it to your guppies on a daily basis.

Guppy Fry Food

The guppy fry’s diet should contain a variety of freeze-dried foods and live foods. Some of the most popular fry foods are:

  • Fry flake food
  • Freeze-dried tubifex
  • Microworms
  • Vinegar eels
  • Live daphnia
  • Live or freeze-dried baby brine shrimp

Another fry-friendly food is egg yolk paste. To make it, all you need to do is crush the egg yolk of a hard-boiled egg into a paste. If you opt for this fry food, make sure you only give it to your fry in tiny amounts because it can contaminate your tank water very quickly if it’s not eaten immediately.

Can You Feed Vegetables to Guppies?

As omnivores, guppies have no problem eating vegetables. Vegetables are actually good for your guppies. When feeding your guppies vegetables, you want to remove the soft parts that can come apart in the water prior to feeding. For cucumbers and zucchinis, you want to scrape out the soft middle parts and only use the firm parts of the vegetables.

You can very easily make homemade vegetable flake food with the following ingredients:

  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin

You can use both fresh and frozen vegetables. Using your blender, blend them all together. You can store your blended vegetables in a sealed bag and place it in the freezer. When your vegetable blend has frozen completely, you can chop off small bits and feed them to your fish. Be sure to remove any food that does not get eaten from the tank. Otherwise, the leftovers will contaminate the water.

As an alternative, you can also make flake food from your vegetable blend. Instead of freezing the mixture, you can spread the blend on a parchment covered cookie sheet and place it in the oven. Bake it at 250° until the mixture has dried out completely. When the blend has dried completely, you can crush it into small bits and store it in an airtight container or a resealable bag.

rainbow fish food

How Often Do Guppies Need to Eat?

Adult guppies will eat whenever you offer them food. But you don’t need to feed them that often. Feeding them too much can cause health issues and will contaminate the tank water. 

You only need to feed adult guppies two to four times a day. Once in the morning and once at night should spread the feedings out adequately. Because guppies breed quickly, and they are livebearers, they need to eat nutritious foods. 

If you don’t separate the fry from the adults, the adults very likely will eat the babies. You need to make sure that the adults have been fed adequately when the juveniles are sharing the same tank.

Because the fry grow so quickly, they will need to be fed more often than the adult guppies. You will want to schedule about five to eight feedings every day. 

Consider removing them to a smaller tank to protect them from the larger, hungrier adults. This will also prevent the adults from eating the fry’s food during their frequent feedings.

If you’re planning a vacation, you don’t need to worry about feeding your guppies. They can survive without food for two weeks. However, there is a product called “vacation block food” if you would rather not leave them for two weeks without food. This block of food has been pre-formed and designed to slowly dissolve in the water, releasing only small bits of food into the water at a time.

How Much to Feed Guppy Fish?

Guppies love to eat and will eat as much as you give them. You want to provide them with only small amounts that they can finish eating in a minute or two, then remove any uneaten food that is left.

When you give your guppies live foods such as brine shrimp or blood worms, you will want to divide them up into multiple doses, don’t throw too much in the tank at one time.

If your guppies develop full and puffy stomachs, you might consider skipping the next feeding and reduce the amount you are giving them with each feeding. 

On the other hand, if some of the food is going uneaten and sinks to the bottom of your tank, you are probably overfeeding your guppies. This can cause constipation in your fish, as well as making them uncomfortable and sluggish. 

Plus, leftover food can end up contaminating your tank’s water. Letting the guppy food pile up on the bottom of the tank will eventually cause problems.

Conclusion

When you choose the right foods for your guppies, not only will they be healthy, but they will also grow big and have enhanced coloring. You want to choose food that has a good variety of vitamins, minerals, and proteins for a healthy immune system. With their high levels of activity, giving your guppies Omega-3’s will give them the added energy boost they love.

Feeding your omnivores a well-balanced diet of meats, vegetables, and organic matter will keep your guppies happy and healthy for a long time.