A double tail veiltail male betta.
Photo courtesy of Styx.
Species: Betta (pronounced bet-uh), also known as the Siamese or Thai fighting fish.
Scientific Name: Betta splendens
Lifespan: 2 - 5 years, with 3 being average.
Description: Bettas are a freshwater tropical aquarium fish native to Thailand. They are labyrinth breathers, meaning that they are adapted to take oxygen from the atmosphere as well as from the water, and bubble nesters, meaning that the male betta blows a nest of bubbles and tends his eggs there. The domestic betta is a colorful fish with many different fin types, from the short-finned plakat to the huge half-circle fins of the halfmoon.
Size: 6 cm (2.3 inches)
Temperament: Extremely aggressive to members of its own species, they will fight to the death.
At no point should two male bettas be kept together.
At no point should a male and female betta be kept together. *
Bettas are semi-aggressive to other fish, and are suitable as tankmates for only a limited variety of fish species. Female bettas also are safest kept one to a tank, although with care, diligence and experience, sororities (multiple females in one tank) are possible.
Bettas are territorial, solitary fish, and do not get lonely. They are perfectly happy -- and actually prefer -- to live alone in their tank.
* To breed bettas, they must be carefully conditioned, and only put together for spawning. Please do not attempt to breed your bettas without doing the proper research. A male and female betta will kill each other unless properly conditioned!
Size: The absolute minimum tank that a single betta can be kept in is one gallon. However, bigger is better! I do not recommend anything under 2.5 gallons. 2.5 gallon tanks and above are easy to heat, need to be cleaned much less often, and result in a happier and healthier betta. Contrary to popular belief, there is no maximum, and bettas do not like small spaces. Bettas kept in larger tanks are healthier and less prone to problems such as ammonia burn, bacterial infections, and obesity.
Type: Acrylic or glass aquariums are both appropriate for bettas. Acrylic are lighter and easier to manuever for 100% water changes and thorough cleaning. Bettas can also be kept in fish bowls and alternative containers such as Rubbermaid storage bins, provided they are large enough.
5 gallon Rubbermaid bins make excellent betta homes. Be sure to keep it covered so the betta doesn't jump out.
Photo courtesy of RandomWiktor.
The betta's tank must be fully covered with a hood or other lid, as bettas are jumpers. Plastic needlepoint canvas, sold at craft stores, is great for creating lids or covering holes in existing hoods.
Plastic canvas can be cut to accommodate wires, hoses, and filters, which also secures it in place.
Photo courtesy VelvetDragon.
Water: In most cases, tap water is appropriate for bettas, but it must be treated with water conditioner and dechlorinator. This removes chlorine and chloramine and also neutralizes heavy metals, all of which will kill your fish. There are many good brands of water conditioner that work nearly instantly, such as Prime and AquaSafe.
It is also a good idea to age your water at least 24 hours. This allows dissolved nitrogen to outgas. When you add water from the tap directly to an aquarium, you will notice tiny air bubbles forming on everything in the tank. This is a result of the water becoming supersaturated with nitrogen because of water warming to room temperature after being cold in the pipes, and being pressurized. These bubbles could potentially form inside your betta, resulting in gas bubble disease. Aging the water will also allow chlorine to evaporate. However, chloramine and heavy metals will not evaporate, so you should still treat your water with a dechlorinator/conditioner.
You should have a master water test kit, including ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. The drop tests are more accurate than dip strip tests. Test your water often. Ammonia and nitrite are toxic.
pH and Hardness: Bettas are soft water fish, and prefer a pH of neutral (7.0) or slightly acidic. They can adapt to a higher pH, as long as it is stable. It is inadvisable to use chemicals to alter the pH, which can cause dangerous fluctuations. A high pH or hard water will cause fins to curl, particularly in crowntails, which are particularly sensitive to inappropriate water parameters. Indian almond leaf (IAL) or blackwater extract (BWE) can help lower the pH naturally.
Temperature: 76 to 82 degrees.
Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept in heated tanks. A steady temperature is important -- fluctuations can kill your fish. Water temperature should be monitored with a submersible thermometer (thermometers that stick on the side of the tank are not accurate enough). Temperatures that are too low will result in a compromised immune system leading to susceptibility to parasites and bacterial infections, slowed metabolism leading to digestive problems and listlessness, and other health problems.
Tanks that are 2.5 gallons and higher are best heated with submersible, adjustable aquarium heaters. Because they work on a thermostat, they will keep the water temperature stable despite changes in ambient room temperature. Because they are adjustable, it is easy to adjust the temperature when treating illnesses. One recommended brand is the Hydor Theo, which is reliable and sturdy. A 25 watt is sufficient to heat a 2.5 or 5 gallon tank. 50 watts are recommended for 10 gallon tanks.
25 watt adjustable heaters are safe to use in tanks under 2.5 gallons if they fit in the tank and are submerged to the minimum water level indicated by the heater. For tanks from one gallon to 2.5 gallons, submersible 7.5 watt pad heaters will raise the temperature a few degrees. WalMart sells a Jr. Heater, and Hydor makes a Mini Heater. However, water temperature should be monitored carefully. Because they are not adjustable and do not work on a thermostat, temperature in the tank may fluctuate with room temperature, so care should be taken that ambient temperature is stable. If your room temperature is too cold, these non-adjustable heaters will not be sufficient. Temperatures in houses often drop at night, when people are not awake and monitoring their tank's temperature. Air conditioning and heating will also cause temperature fluctuations. These are very dangerous for bettas who do not have a heater on a thermostat.
Lamps are inappropriate for heating betta tanks. Bettas do not like high light conditions. They need a light-dark cycle just like other animals and must have dark at night, and turning the light off for night can cause dangerous temperature fluctuations. Lamps also have a tendency to heat the water unevenly.
Filtering and Aeration: Because bettas are anabantoids, or labyrinth breathers, filtration and aeration are not required, as they are for most fish. Bettas come from stagnant, warm water in the wild, and have adapted to take oxygen from the atmosphere at the surface of the water. This is why bettas can survive in such small tanks without filters.
Most betta keepers house their bettas in unfiltered tanks, without an aerator or bubbler, and change 100% of the water often, and wash the tank and decor each time. This is an acceptable and easy way of keeping your betta. This care sheet assumes that your tank is uncycled. There are many great resources on cycling and aquarium care if you choose to cycle your betta tank.
However, there is a great deal of debate over whether bettas are better off in unfiltered tanks with 100% water changes, or filtered, cycled tanks. Please refer to the stickied topic Bettas and Filtration: What You Should Know to learn more.
If you choose to filter your tank, you must cycle the tank as well. Unless you cycle the tank, you must still do 100% changes just as often and wash the tank each change, even with a filter. Fishless cycling is advised if at all possible, as it is kindest on the fish and safest. After you cycle, you will need to change a percentage of the water once a week, in order to keep the nitrates low. Cycling is easier in tanks five gallons or larger. In tanks under five gallons, it is difficult to keep the cycle stable, and water parameters must be carefully monitored.
Because bettas are from still water and have such long fins, a strong filter current can be stressful for them, and the intake can even damage their fins. You may need to build a baffle to diffuse the current. Floating plants (real or silk) are also helpful in slowing down the current.
Even if you choose not to aerate your tank, it is a good idea to have an air pump with tubing and airstone on hand to create a bubbler for your betta in times of illness. Many medications leach oxygen from the water, and a sick betta's gills may be compromised. Because the current from a bubbler may be too much for a betta, it is advisable to purchase a gang valve to reduce the air flow, tie knots in the tubing, or to crimp the tube with binder clips.
Additionally, without aeration, a protein film may form on the top of your tank's water. This can be removed by laying a clean paper towel on the surface of the water and peeling it off.
Some diseases thrive in stagnant water. I have found that the fin health of my bettas is improved with very mild aeration; a simple bubbler, turned to very low with a gang valve. You can also lower the strength of the bubbler by tying knots in the tubing or crimping it with multiple binder clips until the desired flow is achieved.
Light: Bettas are a dark water fish and do not like light. The water that bettas come from in the wild is heavily shaded, and also stained a dark color by leaves falling into it (like tea). Unless you are keeping live plants, it is best to only use an aquarium light when observing your betta, and leave it off most of the day. Bettas definitely need lights off at night, just like people and other animals.
Any incandescent light should be replaced with fluorescent, as incandescent run hot and can cause temperature fluctuations.
Decor: Bettas come from water that has many plants growing in it in the wild, so they enjoy having decorations to explore. Betta tanks should at least have a couple silk or live plants, and an arch, cave, or piece of driftwood to swim through.
Gravel is not necessary in uncycled betta tanks, and is used for purely aesthetic reasons. Aquarium gravel, river rocks, or marbles are all appropriate for betta tanks. During times of illness, it is advisable to keep their tanks bare-bottomed so that you can monitor their feces for quantity, color, and consistency. Keeping the tank bare also makes the tank easier to clean.
Betta fins are very delicate, and plastic plants can tear and shred their long fins. Only silk and live plants are appropriate for bettas. To test whether a fake plant is safe for the betta, dragging a piece of pantyhose over the surface can tell you if any parts are sharp or will catch fins. A file or sandpaper can be used to smooth any bumps or sharp parts on the plastic parts of silk plants.
Live plants are extremely beneficial. Not only do they look great and provide interest to the aquarium for you and your betta, they also help keep water parameters stable and reduce toxins in the water. Some great plants for the betta aquarium are Java moss (Vesicularia dubyana), Java fern (Microsorum pteropus) and Anubias nana. All three do well in the low-light, high temperature conditions of a betta tank. They do not like to be planted in substrate, and therefore can do quite well with the 100% water changes, and gently rinsed each time. They can be lightly anchored in the gravel, left to float, or tied to a piece of driftwood or rock with fishing line.
Most aquarium safe rocks are safe for bettas. However, some rocks will raise the pH and hardness of the water. Stay away from Texas holey rock, sandstone, rainbow rock, and limestone. Safe rocks include lava rock (though it may be rough and damage betta fins), slate, agate, granite, and basalt. Quartz crystals, including clear quartz, amethyst, and rose quartz, are safe. If in doubt, ask at a knowledgeable fish store (not chain pet store, as they are rarely educated on such topics). Seashells and coral can also adversly affect the pH of the water and should be left out of a betta's tank.
Driftwood is beneficial for soft water fish like bettas. It releases beneficial tannins into the water, similar to the betta's native habitat. However, it is best to buy driftwood marked specifically for aquarium use, as driftwood found outdoors may be contaminated. Driftwood from the ocean or other salt bodies of water can kill your freshwater fish. There are many different kinds of driftwood. Some floats and must be anchored, others are self-sinking.
Bettas are extremely curious and love to explore. Many bettas love caves, and bettas should have at least one cave or arch to swim through. There are many resin aquarium decorations available at the pet store that are great for bettas.
There are many different methods of do-it-yourself caves for your betta. They can be made with glass votive holders, gravel and aquarium sealant or using sealant to glue river rock together. Pieces of PVC pipe, though not particularly attractive, are safe and cheap betta tunnels.
A do-it-yourself betta cave and silk plants.
Photo courtesy of RandomWiktor.
Terra cotta flower pots are popular betta caves. However, the hole in the bottom must be sealed, as bettas have been known to severely injure themselves attempting to swim through and getting stuck. One easy method is to cut two circles of plastic canvas, slightly smaller than the bottom of the pot. Placing one inside the pot and one outside (on the bottom), they can be sewn together through the hole, using fishing line or zip ties. Another option is to glue two flat glass marbles over the hole using aquarium sealant. The hole can also be stuffed with a sponge, or the bottom knocked out so that the hole is wide and safe for swimming through. Whatever method you use, ensure that it is secure, and check it regularly. Bettas are extremely curious, and will try to explore everywhere!
An injury caused by trying to swim through the hole of a terra cotta flower pot.
Photo courtesy of RandomWiktor.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Betta tanks, no matter their size, require regular cleaning. In an uncycled betta tank, one must do 100% water changes. This means emptying all of the water in the tank, washing the tank and all decor with hot water, and replacing it with fresh, clean, dechlorinated water.
In a properly cleaned betta tank, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate should all be 0 parts per million (ppm). Test your water often.
Cleaning Schedule by Tank Size
1 gallon -- 100% water change every 3 days
2.5 gallon -- every 4 to 5 days
5 gallon -- once per week
(In a large, cycled tank [established, not currently cycling] you should change roughly 20% of the water weekly using a gravel vacuum, and test your water parameters often; ammonia and nitrite should be 0 ppm, while nitrate should be kept at less than 10 ppm.)
Cleaning Instructions: To clean your tank, first make a note of the temperature of your betta tank. It is important that the temperature of the water that you return your betta to is the same temperature that you took the betta out of.
Then, remove your betta from the tank. One of the safest and least stressful ways to do so is to scoop your betta out of the tank using a cup, such as a Solo cup or the cup that your betta came in from the pet store. The cup should be covered (bettas jump!) and placed somewhere safe while you clean the tank. Fish nets can damage long betta fins; if you use a net, it is suggested you use a softer, finer brine shrimp net.
Next, remove all the water from the tank. For smaller tanks, it is easiest to just carry the tank to the sink and dump it out. For larger tanks, a siphon can be used to remove most of the water.
Next, wash the tank in hot water. All decor (such as gravel, caves, and silk plants) should be washed in hot water as well. Make sure that the gravel is very clean by swirling it around in hot water several times, and/or using a sieve or collander to wash it. Live plants can be gently rinsed in lukewarm water. Use a paper towel to wipe the inside of the tank.
Now, replace the decor and fill the tank back up with temperature adjusted water that has been dechlorinated and, preferably, aged.
The water must be the same temperature as the water that you removed from the tank. Temperature fluctuations can be deadly for your betta. You can use a food-safe, microwave-safe container to heat dechlorinated water in the microwave. Once you've changed the water many times, you will know just how much water to microwave for how long to get the temperature just right, it just takes practice. Others run water directly from the faucet into the tank and then add dechlorinator, and can judge the temperature from the tap perfectly. Again, it just takes practice.
Now that your tank is fully set up again, heater plugged back in, temperature perfect, the tank is ready for your betta.
It is a good idea to re-acclimate your betta to its new tank conditions before you release it. Float its cup in the tank for ten minutes, add some tank water to the cup, float for another ten minutes and then release the betta into his clean tank.
Diet: Bettas are carnivorous. A varied diet is important. A combination of pellets, frozen and live food is best for your betta. A betta's stomach is smaller than its eye. It is important not overfeed your betta, as this can lead to constipation, swim bladder disorder, obesity and fouled water. Most bettas should be fed small amounts two times per day.
There are many pros and cons to different kinds of foods, and different feeding schedules. Betta Nutrition 101 is a great place to start learning about feeding your pet betta.
Pellets make a good basis for the betta diet. Ken's Betta Crumble, New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula, and Omega One Betta Buffet Micro-Pellets are highly recommended by many UB members. (Hikari has changed their recipe and are no longer a recommended brand.) Two to four pellets can be fed to your betta twice a day. Each betta is different. Usually, only the largest of bettas needs more than six pellets a day.
Frozen foods can be offered instead of pellets some evenings. Frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, mysis shrimp, and daphnia are all popular options. Thaw a small amount (a couple worms is plenty, remember how small bettas stomachs are) in dechlorinated or tank water, and drop it into the tank, or offer it with an eyedropper. Bettas will quickly learn to associate the eyedropper with food! Live foods such as wingless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, and blackworms can also be offered to your betta. Live foods should be purchased from the petstore -- wild insects may be carrying disease or contaminated with pesticides.
Flakes and freeze-dried foods, though popular, are not recommended. They are dry, which is unnatural in a carnivore's diet, airy, and can possibly swell with liquid inside the betta's stomach, and can lead to swim bladder disorder and constipation. Freeze-dried bloodworms are often fed as the exclusive diet to bettas in chain pet stores. This diet is nutritionally inadequate and dangerous.
Some betta keepers recommend a fast day and a pea day. One day a week, feed the betta nothing. The next day, feed the betta a quarter of a blanched pea instead of its usual diet. As bettas are carnivores, the pea is mostly indigestable for the betta. This helps prevent constipation (the leading cause of swim bladder disorder). Most bettas also look upon the pea as a tasty treat.
Blanched Pea Instructions: Take a frozen pea. It is best to use organic frozen peas that are unsalted. Do not use canned (too squishy and way too much salt).
Place the pea in some dechlorinated, conditioned water (or simply take some from your betta's tank) in a microwave-safe container. Microwave the pea for a few seconds (mine takes about 10 seconds, but ovens vary), until thawed.
Skin the pea by slitting the skin and squeezing out the two halves of pea. Discard the skin.
Take about a quarter of the pea, and chop it into super tiny pieces. Remember, bettas have tiny stomachs, and do not need more than about a quarter of the whole pea. Feed the tiny pieces to your betta. Most bettas love it!
Behavior: Bettas are wonderful fish with a lot of personality. Betta personality varies. Some bettas are shy and easily stressed. Others are aggressive and outgoing.
Male bettas blow bubblenests. Some do so more than others. It is not a sign of happiness or health whether the betta blows a bubblenest or not. Male bettas blow bubblenests to keep their eggs in until they hatch, and it is a reproductive instinct for them to do so. In tanks with a current, they are less likely to be able to blow bubblenests, as the current will break up the nest if they try to make one.
Bettas often patrol the tank. They will hang out in the plants for a while, then do a quick swim around the whole tank, checking for intruders. Some bettas can't handle being in a community tank, even with the few betta-compatible tankmates, because they get so stressed and exhausted patrolling the tank. Every betta is different and some are better suited to having tankmates than others.
Bettas, particularly males, flare when confronted with other bettas or their own reflection. They spread their fins and gill plates out. Particularly aggressive bettas will flare at anything, including your face, a pencil, or your coffee mug. Flaring some each day is healthy for your betta, and keeps them entertained. Some bettas do not flare much. Usually, flaring is not a problem. Some bettas may "blow" their fins, flaring so much that they tear them. If they do so, keep their water especially clean and add a pinch of pre-dissolved aquarium salt to help their fins heal. Other bettas may flare so much that they exhaust themselves. If this is the case, care should be made to reduce any stimulus that causes the betta to flare.
Some bettas, unfortunately, become tail-biters. This seems to be more and more common, particularly in bettas from pet-store lines, suggesting a genetic component. Bettas bite for a variety of reasons, including stress, boredom, to relieve the drag of their fins, and for reasons we don't understand. It is important to distinguish between tail-biting and a disease like tail rot when a betta's fins start disappearing. Biters typically lose large sections of tail suddenly overnight, and there are bite-shaped chunks missing. An attempt should be made to determine the cause of the biting. For bettas biting out of stress, care should be made to keep the betta in a quiet part of the house, reduce stimuli, and keep the environment as stable as possible. For boredom biters, there are a variety of things to do to enrich the betta's environment, such as changing up the tank decor, changing the decor outside of the tank for the betta to look at, and providing betta toys. Reducing the current in the tank (turning the bubbler on low or baffling the current from the filter) may help with bettas who shorten their fins to reduce drag (veiltails, halfmoons, deltas and other long-finned bettas are particularly prone to this). At all times, a tail-biter's tank should be kept extra clean. Adding a medicinal dose of aquarium salt (pre-dissolved) can help prevent infection to the wounds. A nutritious diet will help them regrow the lost fin, as well as a nice warm temperature around 80 degrees, to keep their metabolism up and immune-system healthy.
Bettas are extremely aggressive toward their own species. Male bettas can not be kept with another betta, ever. They will fight to the death.
Female bettas can only be kept with other female bettas if a variety of conditions are met. Bettas, including female bettas, are solitary, territorial fish, which are more at home in individual tanks. If housed together, females must be kept in groups of four or more in an appropriately sized tank (ten gallons or larger) that has a lot of plants (silk or live) and a lot of hiding places. Keeping more than four female bettas together helps diffuse the aggression. A sorority set-up is not natural for the bettas, though convenient for the keepers, and they must be monitored closely. I have rarely heard of a sorority tank kept for any length of time without problems, and do not personally suggest them. Some female bettas are just too aggressive to be kept in a sorority, even if the suggested guidelines are followed. It is important to keep an eye on such a set-up to make sure the bettas are safe and happy. Only experienced betta keepers should attempt a sorority.
Illness: The best medicine is prevention. Clean, warm water is the best defense against ammonia burn, fin rot, bacterial infections, parasite infections and other diseases. Keep up with water changes, and make sure the water is at a steady temperature between 76 and 82 degrees.
Some betta keepers choose to add a small pinch of aquarium salt to their betta's tanks as disease prevention. Predissolve the aquarium salt in dechlorinated water before adding it to the betta's tank. In general, bettas tolerate salt well. Indian almond leaf (IAL) or blackwater extract (BWE) are also helpful in the prevention of problems with bettas, and mimic the betta's natural habitat. It acts as a mild antiseptic, lowers the pH, and contains beneficial tannins.
It is a good idea to have a betta medicine kit on hand in case of illness. The first aid kit and triage post also details important care all sick fish need.
Warning: Melafix and Bettafix, antiseptics containing tea tree (melaleuca) oil, have been implicated in death and injury to bettas and related fish. These products are not antibiotics; they are mild antiseptics. Although some people have used these products for their bettas without a problem, other labyrinth fish have exhibited melted fins, breathing problems, and other symptoms after exposure, including death. The author of this care sheet urges extreme caution and instead suggests using other, safer alternative antiseptics like BWE and salt, or true antibiotic medications where appropriate.
* Fin Rot: One of the most common forms of betta disease. Fin rot is characterized by damage to any of the fins. This may include small holes (pinholes), ragged or frayed edges, transparent or thin sections of fin, fins falling apart in chunks, edges turning white, black or red, slimey looking areas, or inflamation of the fins or fin base. Caused by dirty water, it may be indicative of ammonia damage, or it may be a bacterial infection. Treatment for mild cases is super clean, warm water, and a medicinal dose of aquarium salt. For advanced cases or where it is clear that a bacteria is responsible, antibiotics may be necessary. Typically caused by gram-negative bacteria, kanamycin or neomycin are good medication choices.
* Swim Bladder Disorder: Symptoms include sinking like a stone, floating sideways, bobbing up like a cork, and other swimming difficulties. Usually it is caused by constipation, though it can also be caused by bacterial infections, parasites, or injury. Treatment includes fasting, and feeding a blanched pea; if caused by a bacterial infection or parasites, antibiotics or anti-parasite medications will be necessary.
* Columnaris: Also known as fungus, cotton wool disease, body fungus, mouth fungus, and saddleback disease. Actually a bacteria, but commonly referred to as "fungus". Most "fungus" medications are actually antibiotics meant to treat columnaris. It looks like fuzzy, stringy, or fluffy grey or white growths on the fish. Treatment is a temperature of 74 degrees, antibiotics and aquarium salt.
* Fungus: True fungus is saprolegnia, also called sapro, mycosis, or cotton mould. An opportunistic infection, fungus only attacks weakened fish or damaged tissue, and may give a stringy, slimy, or fuzzy appearance to wounds, including sores and fins affected by fin rot. Damage to the fish's slime coat due to rough handling or fighting may also open them up to fungal infection. Treatment should first address the original damage that allowed the fungus to take hold, and should include extra clean water and a medicinal dose of aquarium salt. In mild cases, the fungus will go away when the original wound heals. More serious cases of fungus can be treated with methylene blue (particularly for fry and eggs), a phenoxethol solution, or malachite green.
* Popeye: One or both eyes protrude, swollen with fluid. Mild cases often start with clouding of the eyes. Usually caused by bacterial infections. Treatment is super clean water, antibiotics, a temperature of 84 degrees, and 1/8 teaspoon epsom salt per five gallons of water (predissolved).
* Ich: Looks like a sprinkling of salt. Symptoms including darting wildly and running into tank decor. A parasite. Treatment includes raising the temperature to 84 degrees and a medicinal dose of aquarium salt. Continue treatment for at least one week after symptoms disappear. For severe infections, medications such as formalin or malachite green may be necessary.
* Velvet: Looks like a dusting of gold on the betta when a flashlight is shined on it. A parasite like ich, symptoms also including darting wildly and scraping against tank decor and gravel. Treatment is the same as for ich. Additionally, keeping the betta in complete darkness is helpful in velvet treatment.
* Internal Parasites: Bettas are susceptible to many kinds of internal parasites, such as worms and protazoa. Symptoms include stringy feces, white feces, darting, bloating, emaciation, and loss of appetite. Treatment should include an anti-parasite medication such as praziquantel or levamisole. For suspected protazoal infections, metronidazole is suggested. If possible, medicated anti-parasite food should be offered in addition to dosing the tank with the proper medication.[/quote]
Acclimation: When you purchase a new fish, your betta must be acclimated to the water of its new tank. Sudden temperature and water parameter changes are stressful and can be deadly. The tank should be prepared before you bring your betta home.
Float your betta's cup (or bag) in its new tank. This will slowly bring the temperature of the cup up to the temperature of the tank.
Every five to ten minutes, scoop a couple tablespoons of water from the tank into the betta's cup. After sixty minutes, release the betta into his new home. Since the cups bettas live in at the pet store are often filthy, try not to release too much of the cup water into the tank; you may wish to pour the betta from the cup into a brine shrimp net and release the betta into the tank that way.
© 2007-2011 A. Supalla (VelvetDragon); do not copy, distribute or alter without permission.
Permission is granted to print for private use as long as the entire document, including all copyright info and link information, remains intact.
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This care sheet is always under construction.
Ideas? Corrections? Pictures to illustrate key points? Please let VelvetDragon know!
Special thanks to BettaMomma for the original UB Betta Caresheet and inspiration, and thanks to all the staff for input.