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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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 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.

Mars Fishcare North America...
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories

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. 

  • 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


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


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. 


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


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.


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)


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.


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


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


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.


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.

Cardinal Tetra: Tank Setup, Care Guide, Breeding And More…

cardinal tetra care

If you are a beginner aquarist, the Cardinal Tetra is the perfect starter fish for your tank. They are among the easiest freshwater fish to care for, being a healthy and hardy species.

Vibrant coloring will make them stand out from the other fish in your tank, whereas a school of them will be absolutely mesmerizing to watch, with their neon coloring and synchronized movements, darting around your tank. 

The Cardinal Tetras are quite popular with the aquarium hobbyists, and as a result, you will see them in community fish tanks more often. 

Although easy to care for, this guide will teach you all you need to know about their diets, habitats, tank mates, and illnesses, plus much more.


Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) are part of the Characidae species family. Being very similar to the Neon Tetra, some people call them Red Neon Tetra. 

This species is quick to replenish, ensuring there won’t be any shortages of Cardinal Tetras any time soon. Their popularity among aquarium enthusiasts ensures that you will find them in most pet stores in general for about $2. 

These fish originated in the South American Negro and Orinoco Rivers, even as far west as Columbia. Schools of Cardinal Tetras have been spotted in Manaus, northern Brazil, probably having escaped from collectors. Several species of the Tetra family have originated from South America, although some species have been found in Central America and Africa. 

The Cardinal Tetra makes a great beginner fish. Easily incorporated into a community tank, they can withstand a range of conditions due to their hardy constitutions. Take care of these fish properly, and they will live up to at least five years.


People are attracted to the Cardinal Tetra because of their vibrant coloring. They don’t get big, growing to be about 2-inches long. Their fins are small and indistinct, not showy at all. 

Their body is an electric blue with a bold red stripe that runs from the head to the tail, underneath the blue. The red from the stripe bleeds into the tail fin, which is transparent, as all the other fins are. Its underbelly is an off white that sets off the other electric colors beautifully.

A shoal of Cardinal Tetras is a strikingly hypnotic sight. Adult Cardinals living in soft and acidic waters will show their colors more vibrantly. You can also find Tetras in silver and gold, although they aren’t as common as the Neon and Cardinals are. 

Because they have the same color patterns, it’s almost impossible to identify the females from the males. When the females are carrying eggs, their bodies become rounder, making them easier to distinguish from the males. 

Cardinal Tetra vs Neon Tetra

Because of the similar coloring, the Cardinal Tetra is often confused for the Neon Tetras. However, the Neon Tetra’s blue stripe is not as vibrant a blue as the Cardinal’s. Plus, the Cardinal’s red streak runs from their tail to their head, whereas the Neon’s red stripe only goes halfway across their body. Both of these differences make the Cardinal Tetra brighter, more brilliant in coloring than the Neon Tetra. 

Habitat and Tank Requirements

The Cardinal Tetra’s natural habitat is in the rainforest, where trees and foliage are very dense, covering the waterways, letting little light through to the water. They love the shaded areas that have clear, standing pools of water, or slow-moving water that has very soft and acidic water, usually with the pH being around 5. 

They naturally live in large schools, even in groups as large as one or two hundred. They prefer the middle water column, where they can feed on small crustaceans and worms. 

Similar to the Neon Tetra, the Cardinal Tetra prefers a mature tank with soft and acidic water. The water chemistry in the tank must remain stable. Cardinal Tetras do not do well in newly started tanks. 

For the tank, you want to keep the pH level below 6, while the hardness level needs to be 4dGH and below. This species does not do well in water with high mineral content. It will cause them to be unhealthy and ultimately lead to shortened lifespans. The temperature of the water can vary between 73° to 81°F (23°-27°C).

The lighting and decor in your tank should be rather subdued. Floating plants are perfect for moderating the tank’s lighting. The Cardinal Tetras need open space to swim around in, but they also need some hiding spots, as well. Planting your tank along the edges but leaving the center open is an excellent habitat choice for your Cardinals.

Cardinal Tetra Tank Mates

As we mentioned earlier, Cardinal Tetras are a schooling fish. They are social and active, but peaceful, as well. When buying Cardinals, you should buy a school with at least six of them, but the bigger, the better. 

They acclimate well to community tanks, just make sure that the water conditions are agreeable and the other tank occupants are peaceful. Other species of Tetras make excellent tankmates, as do Dwarf Gouramis, Rasboras, Danios, Mollies, Hatchetfish, Guppies, Angelfish, and the smaller catfish members

Otocinclus and Loaches, such as the Zebra Loach and the Yoyo Loach, are a great addition to your tank if you are looking for fish that occupy the bottom areas of your tank.

If you want to diversify your tank further, you can add Mystery Snails and Cherry Shrimp, which are both compatible with your Cardinals.

The bigger catfish tend to eat anything that will fit in their mouths, so it’s best to keep to the smallest members of that particular species family. The same goes for any other fish that is big enough to eat a two-inch Cardinal Tetra.

Your Cardinal Tetras tend to stay within their own schools, ignoring the other tank occupants. You do want to avoid aggressive and territorial fish species that might bully or pick on your Cardinal. If they are treated this way, they can become so stressed out that they will die.

Keeping Cardinal Tetra Together

Cardinal Tetras do not do well alone or in small groups. Instead, they do best in larger shoals of at least six other Cardinals. This will keep them happy and healthy, as well as allowing them to be themselves and act natural. The bigger the shoal of Tetras, the happier they will be.

Food and Feeding

Cardinal Tetras are omnivores and will eat most foods you give them. However, they do require a lot of vitamins, so their diet needs to be at least three-fourths flake food, higher quality is best.

They like to eat frozen and live foods, but if you only feed them those, they may become picky and reject anything else you try to feed them later, preferring only frozen or live foods.

If you are only feeding them once or twice a day, make sure that they eat everything within five minutes. Although, it’s better to feed Cardinals several times in a day, giving them only the amount they can eat in a three-minute time frame. If anything is left over, remove it from the tank to keep it from breaking down in the water.

Green vegetables added to their diet will not only diversify their diet but give them the added nutrients they need. Because the Cardinal Tetras have a smaller mouth, you will need to make sure that everything you feed them is in small pieces.

Cardinal Tetra Care

The Cardinal Tetra makes a great starter fish because of how easy they are to take care of. They can easily tolerate a wide variety of setups and water conditions

Their diet plays an essential part in their health. If their diets are not rich in the nutrients their little bodies need, their immune systems will begin to weaken, and they will start to lose color, become duller, less vibrant.

Sudden changes in their environmental conditions can weaken their immune systems, as well. If there is a drastic change in temperature, the health of your Cardinal Tetras will be severely compromised, and they may not survive for long.

Along with the tank parameters remaining stable, you should always make sure your aquarium is kept clean. To prevent the buildup of harmful pollutants, you should change the water regularly, as well as wiping down any excess algae that have formed before it can become an issue.

Many of the Tetra species are affected by the Neon Tetra disease, and the Cardinal Tetra is no different. This particular disease is caused by a nasty parasite that causes secondary infections, curved spine, cysts, color changes, and loss of color.

This parasite can infect your tank when you add fish that have not been quarantined to your tank. It can also infect live foods that you feed your fish, thereby contaminating your fish. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for this disease, and your fish will die if infected. If you suspect your fish of being infected, remove them from the tank as soon as possible. This way, they will not contaminate the remaining fish in your tank.

Other diseases that could affect your fish include bloat, ich, and fin rot. However, these diseases are well-known and easy to treat if caught in time. 

How to Breed Cardinal Tetras

In their natural habitat, the Cardinal Tetra will breed in shaded regions, upstream. With the proper conditions mimicking their natural habitat breeding environment, you can breed them as home. 

You will need a separate breeding tank, with no lighting. A clean tank is essential, so you will need to clean and change the water every week. You can’t allow algae or pollutants to build up in your breeding tank. 

It’s necessary to keep the water chemistry stable to ensure the health and breedability of your Cardinals. The pH should be between 5.0 and 6.0. The water needs to be very soft, no higher than 5 dGH, preferably around 3 dGH.

A healthy, nutrition-rich diet is essential for preparing your fish to mate. A diet of live foods and frozen foods are best and will deliver the needed nutrients to your fish. 

The female’s body will become rounder when she’s carrying eggs. She will also allow the male Cardinal to swim around the plants alongside her as she releases the eggs, while the male fertilizes the eggs.

They usually spawn in the evening time, sometimes continuing late into the night. They will spawn anywhere from 130 eggs to 500 eggs. Once the eggs have been spawned and fertilized, you will need to remove the adult Cardinals from the breeding tank.

The eggs will hatch within three days, living off the yolk sac for about four to five days. Because the fry will be too small to eat a regular adult diet, you should start feeding them infusoria once they start free-swimming. You can also feed them egg yolks, rotifers, and commercially prepared fry foods. You can begin feeding them brine shrimp that has been freshly hatched once the fry begin to grow. 

The fry will tend to be a bit photo-sensitive once they have hatched, so you will need to raise the light intensity gradually up to regular conditions. Floating plants are a great way to limit the light being filtered into the breeding tank. 

The fry’s colors will match the adult’s coloring in about 8 to 12 weeks. Once matured, they will be about 2-inches long in your home aquarium.

Are Cardinal Tetra Suitable For Your Aquarium? (Summary)

The Cardinal Tetra makes a delightful addition to anyone’s tank, whether they are a beginner or a seasoned aquarist. You are guaranteed to enjoy watching your Cardinal Tetras schooling together and darting around your tank. With their electric red and blue coloring, the sight can be calming and hypnotizing. 

Whether you choose a species-specific tank or a community tank, these fish are hardy and fun to keep. They are peaceful enough to make great tankmates with your other fish. Just remember to keep the safety of your Cardinal Tetras in mind when choosing their tankmates. You don’t want to expose them to fish that may bully, pick on, or even eat them. 

If kept properly, your fish will live a long and happy life, and you will reap the benefits of a beautiful aquarium full of vibrant fish that are a joy to watch.

Do you keep your Cardinal Tetras in a community tank? Let us know about your setup in the comments section below…

Tiger Barb: The Definitive Care Guide (Species & Tank Setups)


The Tiger Barb is the perfect addition to your freshwater tank. It’s playful personality, darting around the tank and playing hide and seek in the decor and foliage make it a joy to watch. 

With black stripes on top of their gold and silver bodies, these colorful fish are easily recognizable. The Tiger Barb is easy to care for and will reach a size of 3-inches in adulthood.

Although they seem like the perfect addition to your community tank, you will need to beware. The Tiger Barb is somewhat aggressive, picking on more docile and slower fish, nipping at their fins. 

However, they will do well in a species-specific tank, and even a community tank as long as they are kept in large schools. Larger schools of six or more Tiger Barbs will significantly reduce the need for them to pick on slower, more docile fish.

Keeping your Tiger Barb healthy and happy will ensure a long life for your fish. This Tiger Barb care guide will give you everything you need to know about your fish for it to thrive.

Tiger Barb Overview

The Tiger Barb (Puntigrus tetrazona) is a member of the tropical cyprinid family, which includes Chubs, Minnows, and Carps. Tetrazona refers to the pattern of 4 bands on its body as opposed to the 5 or 6 bands that distinguish it from Barbs.

Also called the Sumatra Barb because of the region it hails from; Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, and Borneo. They love tropical climates and prefer clear, shallow, slow-flowing streams.

Although there have been other sightings in Cambodia and other areas in Asia, there is not enough collection data to substantiate these sightings. It’s also worth noting that Tiger Barbs have been confused with Puntigrus anchisporus because of their similar appearance.

There have been reports of wild populations that have sprung up in the United States and Puerto Rico because of its popularity with aquarium hobbyists. 

As long as you take care of your Tiger Barbs, they will live anywhere from 5 to 10 years.

Typical behavior

Playful and active, the Tiger Barb loves to zoom around your tank in schools of fish, the larger, the better. As playful as they are, they can be a bit of a bully, aggressively nipping at the tail fins of their tank mates and bumping into them purposefully. 

The Tiger Barb is a competitive fish that will form hierarchies, competing for dominance among the other fish. However, their picking usually does not escalate into harmful behavior. These fish are very active in your tank’s middle level. They love to nip at, bump into, and even chase each other.

The Tiger Barb is also a schooling fish and needs to be kept in schools of at least five other Barbs, but preferably in schools of twelve or so. If the school is too small, they will get bored and start harassing their tank mates. 

If there are not enough Tiger Barbs in the tank, the ones that are in there will become timid, stay hidden, and stress out. This will lead to poor health and a shortened life span.


Shaped like a spear point, or barb, the Tiger Barb has a pointy triangle-shaped snout with a wide body that flares out. A matured fish will reach 2.5 to 3-inches long, with the females being a little bigger than the males. The female’s bodies are a bit rounder, and their colors are not as vibrant as the male’s coloring and patterns.

Just like the animal they are named after, the Tiger Barb’s patterns and coloring tends to be a golden yellow with four larger black bands, as well as orange tips on the fins and snout. 

There’s a wide variety of Tiger Barb breeds on the market today. Their coloring can vary between the traditional gold with black bands to green, pale silver, or even red scales. 

The appearance of their bands can vary greatly, as well, with broken bands, solid bands, or they could be lacking bands completely. There is also a striking albino variant that has scales that are a pale cream color with white bands that wrap around its body.

The Tiger Barb’s colors can also vary depending upon what you feed them. Also, the male Tiger Barb’s coloring will become brighter while they are trying to get a female’s attention.

Tank Setup & Conditions

Tiger Barbs don’t need a lot of tank space, even when you keep a somewhat larger school of them, they only need a minimum of 30-gallons, which is perfect for five of them. Add three gallons for each additional Barb you want to add. If you plan on a school of 12 Tiger Barbs, you will need at least a 50 or 51-gallon tank. 

However, because they are very active and love darting around the tank, you should make sure they have plenty of room to maneuver around the tank.

With that being said, Tiger Barbs are happiest in aquariums that are full of vegetation, decor, driftwood, ornaments, and rocks. They love to play hide and seek and swim amongst all the tank’s decor. Densely planted tanks also provide ample space to breed successfully. 

The plants should be placed along the perimeter of the tank, leaving the middle open for swimming. Water Wisteria and Java Fern are perfect for your tank, they are both compatible with the Tiger Barb, and neither of them needs special lighting to grow and thrive.

The best temperatures for your tank should range between 75° – 80°F (23° – 27°C). The level of the water hardness should be around 10dGH, with a pH of 6 or 7. They do best in soft, acidic waters.

Although they prefer the middle of the tank, you will find them playing in the different water levels of your tank. The light level does not affect them either, so you can use your basic hood light that came with your aquarium. 

A fine gravel substrate and an under-gravel, or low-flow filter will mimic the gentle currents of the Barb’s natural habitats. 

What To Feed Them

In their natural habitat, Tiger Barbs will feed on plant material, algae, worms, zooplankton, and various small invertebrates. In an aquarium, they need to have a diverse diet so that they can stay healthy and have their colors show more vibrantly.

Unfortunately, the water in your aquarium is not as biodiverse as those of their natural habitat, making it challenging to replicate a zooplankton feeder’s diet.

Feeding your Tiger Barbs a diet of live invertebrates such as larval and matured brine shrimp, as well as water fleas, works best. They should also be fed bloodworms that have been freeze-dried, pellet foods, and crushed-flake, quick-sinking foods.

Tiger Barbs love to eat the algae that grow with the plants in your tank. The greenery will enhance your fish’s coloring. Steamed garden vegetables are a great supplement for them as well. They will eat boiled cucumber, zucchini, and lettuce, which are all packed with healthy nutrients. 

Tiger Barbs have a voracious appetite and should be fed every day, twice a day. Any flake and pellet foods should be consumed within three minutes. They can be greedy during feeding time, so watch for aggressive behavior toward other fish during feeding.

Compatibility and Tank Mates

Other Barbs, five-banded and six banded, make perfect tank mates for the Tiger Barb because they share some of the same native habitats. Other compatible Barbs include the Tinfoil Barbs, Cherry Barbs, and Rosy Barbs. 

Tiger Barbs need to be kept with species that are fast-moving and are similar in size. It’s also best to keep them with fish that have short fins so that the Barbs can’t bite and nip at them. You can try Gouramis, but you need to watch them and make sure your Tiger Barbs are nipping the Gouramis’ longer fins. 

They do best with other fast-paced or schooling fish. The Clown Loach fish makes a perfect tankmate as long as there is plenty of space. The Clown Loach will school alongside the Tiger Barbs and imitate their behavior.

The following fish are perfect tank mates for your Tiger Barb:

  • Danios
  • Platys
  • Clown Loaches
  • Pictus
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Tetras
  • Plecos

The Tiger Barb is known to harass and bully small invertebrates, as well as Angelfish and Bettas, who have long fins. The nipping won’t harm the fish, but it will definitely stress them out. 

As long as you add Tiger Barbs to an already established tank, they shouldn’t be as aggressive towards their tank mates as they would if you were adding other fish to a tank with only Tiger Barbs. If they were the first fish in the tank, Tiger Barbs will become territorial towards any new fish and treat them as intruders.

Keeping Tiger Barbs Together

Don’t let your Tiger Barb get lonely! If they do, they will become skittish and timid being the only Tiger Barb in the tank. In schools of less than 8, Tiger Barbs will start to get aggressive with the other fish in your tank. They do best when they are in schools of 8 – 12 other Tiger Barbs, becoming social and playful.


Tiger Barbs will reach maturity around 6 – 7 weeks old and will spawn several times during adulthood. They are what is known as temporarily paired spawners, which means that each time they spawn, they will pick a different mate.

They prefer to lay their eggs in the substrate under the protection that submerged vegetation offers. They can spawn between 500 – 700 eggs at a time. The females can spawn every two weeks.

If your plan is to breed Tiger Barbs, you will need to condition the male and female in separate tanks for 3 – 5 days before you pair them off. You can put the females in a larger tank with a marble substrate. You will need to keep the water temperature at 80°F (27°C) consistently. You will also need to do a 30 percent water change daily.

You should feed your Barbs a high protein diet of freeze-dried bloodworms and adult brine shrimp three times a day.

You will know when the male Tiger Barb is conditioned for breeding by his brighter, more vibrant coloring. The female will become bigger and rounder when she is ready for breeding. 

Once they are ready, you can pair them off into a breeding tank full of underwater grasses and reeds, as well as marbles and medium-size, smooth rocks for the eggs to stick to. Once spawned, the males will go behind and fertilize all of the eggs.

You will need to remove both the male and female from the breeding tank as soon as the eggs have been fertilized. Otherwise, you run the risk of the adult fish eating the eggs and fry once they have hatched. 

It takes around 48 hours for the eggs to hatch, and they will retain the yolk sacs for another 3 – 5 days. Once the larvae lose the yolk sac, they will need to be fed brine shrimp larvae for another 2 – 3 days, and then you can begin them on store-bought fry food and later micro worms.

Sex differences

Male Tiger Barbs have brighter, more vibrant colorings than the females, with a bright red nose and a well-defined red line on top of the black of their dorsal fins. The females tend to be slightly larger than the males, with a rounder belly and primarily black dorsal fin. 

Tiger Barb Care

The Tiger Barb’s main concern is ich, which causes white dots that spread along their fins and scales. Ich is primarily caused by unhealthy water quality and not maintaining the tank properly. However, ich is treatable and can be cured. The most important thing you can do is isolate the affected fish as soon as you start seeing white dots.

Check the quality of the tank’s water once a week to keep the water quality at 100 percent. The tank should be cleaned once a month. Densely populated aquariums should be cleaned at least twice a month. 

A poor diet can cause major illnesses, as well. Being omnivores, these fish need a diverse diet. They should be eating live prey, plant material, and pellet food. Don’t be afraid to mix things up by alternating between live prey, commercial fish food, and cooked garden vegetables every couple of days. 

Stress can also cause your Tiger Barb to become ill. Some of the signs to look for are behavior changes, neurotic and erratic behavior, decreased appetite and activity, discoloration, paleness, and sudden timidity with increased hiding. You will want to keep an eye on your Tiger Barbs to make sure they are harassing other fish, but also watch to make sure that they themselves are not the ones being bullied and harassed.

Is A Tiger Barb Suitable For Your Aquarium? (Summary)

The Tiger Barb makes a great addition to your freshwater aquarium, with playful personalities, eye-catching, vibrant coloring, and bold black stripes. 

In the right conditions, with the perfect tankmates, these are wonderfully social fish that love to school together and make a show of darting around your tank. 

Relatively easy to care for, your main concerns would be making sure they have a nutritious and well-balanced diet, and that they play nice with their tankmates – no fin nipping! 

The Tiger Barb is the perfect freshwater fish for experienced keepers as well as beginners.

If you have any questions about Tiger Barbs and their care, please let us know in the comments below!

Kuhli Loach 101: Care, Size, Diet, Lifespan, And More!


The kuhli loach is a tranquil, shy fish that you will find dwelling along the bottom of the tank. Because of their amicable temperament, this species makes a wonderful companion fish in your freshwater aquarium. These fish are also a bit nocturnal, staying awake all night, scavenging food along the bottom of their tank, and helping you keep their tank clean.

Because the kuhli loach does require significant handling and care, it is recommended more for the experienced hobby aquarists. However, if you have the necessary resources available to raise one of these fish in your freshwater aquarium, go for it.

Species Profile Overview

Although it is part of the Cobitidiae species, it is known by several different names, such as the coolie loach, the cinnamon loach, and even the leopard loach. 

The kuhli loach’s natural habitat is located in slow-moving shallow waters in countries like Sumatra, Borneo, and Malaysia in Southeast Asia. You can find them in black-watered peat swamps and quiet and peaceful forest streams. They tend to avoid direct sunlight, preferring dense vegetation and shaded areas with lots of tree canopies above the water.

Shaped similar to eels, they are scavengers who don’t create much waste, the perfect fish for cleaning your aquarium. With maximum lengths of 3 to 5 inches, they are not a very large fish.

Even though they are a smaller fish, they aren’t necessarily suitable for the beginner aquarist. They are very susceptible to diseases, and unfortunately, they are sensitive to the medicines that treat those diseases. Plus, they’ve got a vulnerable head that does not have scales. All of these things make them a fish that is best kept by an experienced aquarium hobbyist.

Kuhli loaches tend to be a little more expensive for beginner aquarium hobbyists, costing around $3.00 a fish. When you go to buy your kuhli loach, make sure that you are getting the right species. Remember, the kuhli loach goes by several different names, plus there are several species that are very similar to them. If you refer to the kuhli loach using its scientific name, you will be sure to get the correct species.

With all that being said, the kuhli loach is a very rewarding fish to raise, with a life span of up to ten years if taken care of properly. As long as you have the means necessary and the skills needed to care for the kuhli loach, they are definitely worth the extra care you will have to put in.


The kuhli loach is an amicable fish that enjoys tank mates, although they don’t necessarily create or join schools of fish. Shy and peaceful, you may not see them often if they are left by themselves in the tank. They tend to be more active at night, and daytime will see them quiet and calm.

The kuhli loach is a demersal fish, meaning they live close to the floor of the lake, or in this case the aquarium tank. Because of their preferred location, they will scavenge any food that sinks to the bottom substrate of the tank.

They love crevices and caves to explore and hide in. In their natural habitats, they spend most of their time scavenging and burrowing in the riverbeds, sifting through sand and gravel for things to eat. As bottom dwellers, you won’t see your kuhli loach near the surface of the water much.


The kuhli loach’s most distinguishing feature is its long slender eel-like body. Their fins are small and can be hard to see right away, and they do not have any distinct lateral lines. Their dorsal fin is located further back on the kuhli loach’s long thin body than most fish.

Instead of being in the middle of the kuhli loach’s body, the dorsal fin is located on the back third of their body, closer to their tail. In the wild, the kuhli loach will grow up to 5 inches in length, but in the aquarium, they will only reach about 3 inches long.

The kuhli loach is a multi-colored fish, with the base color ranging from brassy yellows to pinks, broken up with around 10-15 darker stripes. They kind of look like a tiger, with each fish being slightly different. 

Some have the dark stripes wrapping completely around their bodies, while on others, the dark stripes will stop at their belly. Their bellies are light-colored, and their bodies have faint scales, but no head scales at all, which can make them more susceptive to diseases. 

One of the physical traits that really stand out on the kuhli loach is the four pairs of barbels around its mouth. These barbels help it to navigate its environment and feel around and scavenge for food. Their eyes are covered in a thin layer of transparent skin.

The kuhli loach has a hidden defense mechanism below each eye. When it’s relaxed, you can barely see a pair of sharp spines below each eye. However, when the fish feels threatened, the spines will pop out to help ward off predators. Its scientific name, Acanthopthalmus means “prickle eye.”

Females and males are hard to tell apart, especially when they are not currently breeding. The males will have a big pectoral fin and a dorsal cross-section that is more muscular. Females will get slightly larger during breeding time. Right before they start spawning, their skin will be transparent enough to see their ovaries.

Although the kuhli loach looks very similar to some of the other loaches, they are distinguishable from others by their coloring and the characteristics that were mentioned above.

There is also a unique sought-after variety of the kuhli loach. The black kuhli loach is entirely dark brown or black and only grows to about 3 inches.

Tank and Water Conditions

These fish do well in tanks that mimic their natural habitats. In its natural habitat, they like slow-moving shallow waters in the forest streams, preferring an environment that is similar to the black-watered peat swamps, which are shaded by the dense vegetation that grows next to the stream and the tree canopy overhead. They like warmer temperatures ranging between 73 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

In their natural habitat, the water can sometimes be quite acidic, the pH levels around 3.0 or 4.0. But in their tanks, you should keep the acidity levels around 5.5 – 6.5. The hardness rating for the water should be no higher than 5.0 dGH. 

In their natural habitat, the waters may have very little mineral content as well, because of the plants that are decaying and creating organic materials. In different locations, the substrate on the river floor varies from sand or mud to peat. They like smooth substrate that they can burrow down into. Avoid large, jagged rocks that can cut through their delicate scales and harm them.

The size of the tank is essential since these fish are basically small, with a minimum tank size of around 15 gallons. You can add 3 – 5 gallons for each kuhli you plan to introduce to the aquarium.

You need to be careful with the aquarium filter’s inlet tube. You should cover it with a fine mesh. Otherwise, the curious kuhli loach might wiggle their way into the tube and become trapped in the filter, which could possibly prove fatal, depending on your filter’s design.

Although these fish are bottom-dwellers, there have been cases where they have jumped out of the tank. Make sure that the lid is secure on your tank and monitor your fish’s behavior.

When decorating your tank, give your kuhli loach lots of places to hide in driftwood, rocks, caves, and live plants and vegetation, such as java ferns, peat moss, and others that will improve the quality of life for the kuhli loach immensely.

Kuhli Loach Tank Mates

The kuhli loach does really well with other kuhli loaches. Even though they don’t participate in schools of fish do still like to be around other fish. If you want your fish happy and active, you can try adding up to five more of the same species, the more, the merrier!

As mentioned above, these fish are quite peaceful and will do great with other fish that are non-aggressive. If you want a multi-species aquarium, one of the best things you can do is pick fish that aren’t bottom-dwellers, occupying other parts of the tanks instead.

The perfect tankmates are ones that spend the most significant amount of their time in the middle of the aquarium, or close to the surface. Other peaceful fish like the Rasboras, Danios, or Tetras get along well with the kuhli loach. If you are looking for a fish that inhabits the middle of the aquarium, then the Oto Catfish, White Cloud Mountain Minnow, or the Gourmias is an excellent option for you.

Other bottom-dwellers such as the Red Cherry Shrimp and the Corydoras, which are non-aggressive fish bottom-dwellers, are an excellent choice as well.

To keep your kuhli loach safe, you will want to avoid aggressive fish such as the Arowana, Betas, Blue Gouramis, Red-Tailed Sharks, and Cichlids, all of which tend to be territorial. The Tiger Bard, Angelfish, and the Chinese Algae Eater are all nipping fish that can injure the kuhli loach and should be avoided. Avoid bigger fish that might be tempted to eat the Kuhli loach, as well.

Since snails can be a food source of the kuhli loach, you should avoid putting them in the same tank. Otherwise, they will dine on the snails when given a chance.

What Do Kuhli Loach Eat?

As natural omnivores, the kuhli loach is easy to please and will each just about anything. In their natural habitat, they scavenge along the river bed and eat anything from plant material to tiny shrimp. 

The amazing thing about the kuhli loach is it acts as a natural filter. They scavenge along the floor of their habitat and take in mouthfuls of sand to find something edible. The exact same thing occurs in the fish tank.

But just because they scavenge, don’t forget to feed them real food. They love to eat live food and fish foods that are protein-based, such as brine shrimp, tubifex, water fleas, and bloodworms.

Even though they love live food, you can still feed them the standard pellets and freeze-dried foods as long as this food can sink to the bottom of the tank. Your bottom-dwelling scavenger fish will not go up to the surface of the water to eat.

You can feed them several times a day, but make sure that they can eat all of the food in two to three minutes. Make sure that you don’t overfeed them. To ensure that they are getting a nutritious, balanced diet, offer them live or frozen foods every couple of days.

Kuhli Loach Care

Because of their delicate body scales and lack of scales on their head, the kuhli loach is more susceptible to diseases. Not only that, but they are also quite sensitive to the different medicines that can be administered to treat those diseases. 

Plus, in order to treat some diseases, you have to change the water’s temperature while they are taking the medications, as well, which can add to the stress the fish is already under, making it more predisposed to diseases.

One particular disease that will attack your loach before attacking any of your other fish is Ich, the “white spot disease.” To avoid this disease, make sure you change the water regularly to maintain proper water quality and quarantine any new fish you bring home before adding them to your tank.

Parasites can be another common issue that will cause “skinny disease.” If your kuhli loach begins losing weight despite eating healthy, it probably has a parasite, which can be treated with various medicines.

Prevention is always the best course of action when it comes to caring for your fish, especially sensitive ones like your kuhli loach. By maintaining a healthy water quality and pH in a healthy environment that meets their needs and giving them a well-balanced diet, your aquarium will be a success.


Breeding the kuhli loach can be a rather challenging undertaking, but not impossible. They are usually bred in their natural habitats. But if you want to breed them in your home aquarium, you will need a breeding tank with certain qualities, such as dim lighting and low-level waters. The female needs various floating plants in order to spawn their eggs. Thick vegetation will encourage spawning, as well as a water pH level of about 6.5.

A happy kuhli loach that isn’t stressed and is content in its tank will be further inclined to spawn. Because they can be communal spawners, you can encourage breeding behaviors is you keep them in a tank with the same species. Plus, a well-fed fish will be more likely to spawn. Feeding your fish live foods will actually encourage your kuhli loach to breed.

Usually, when your kuhli loach reaches two-years-old, they become sexually mature. One way to know your fish have fully matured is when your female becomes extremely large, and you can see the eggs through her transparent skin, you will know she is ready to lay her eggs. When that time comes, she will spawn eggs that are lime green in color, which attach under the plants and vegetation.

Once the eggs have been laid, you should remove the adults, allowing the eggs to hatch securely so that the other fish, including the kuhli loach, does not eat the eggs or the fry.

Once the female spawns her eggs, it will only take about twenty-four hours until they hatch. It is good to feed the little fry brine shrimp or infusoria. However, fry food, the kind that is commercially made, is a good choice, as well.

Breeding the kuhli loach and trying to prevent the little fry from being eaten can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time, so don’t get frustrated if things don’t work out. Try again later.

The kuhli loach has a long-life span. If taken care of properly, they can be a hardy fish and live upwards of ten years in your aquarium. In some rare instances, there have been records of them living even longer than that.


With all that you have learned in our care guide, the kuhli loach may not seem as daunting as it did at first. Remember that the kuhli loach is a nocturnal fish and will get more active throughout the night, so make sure that you have the lid on securely so that your fish doesn’t try to jump out of the tank and escape. 

As long as you keep in mind this care guide and proper feeding habits, you can raise the intriguing and peaceful kuhli loach in your home aquarium quite successfully and have an aquarium anyone would admire and envy.