Taking Care of Your Betta


This print is available for sale $90.00 done by a local Vancouver Artist Roz MacLean.

A Siamese Fighting fish or a “Betta” is one of the easiest fish to keep, much simpler than the traditional “goldfish in a bowl”. If you keep your Betta’s environment clean, don’t overfeed him, and add a live plant to his aquarium or bowl, he can live for a very long time. One customer reported that she had her Betta for six years. The common length of time is between 2 to 3 years.

Here is a simple, easy approach to caring for your Betta:

All you need to do is change 1/3 of the water once or twice a week.. You can either use a little siphon to take the water out of your bowl or pour it out carefully. I like to keep a house plant next to the bowl so I can use the old Betta water to water my plant. It is full of nutrients that your house plant will love.

A water change is like opening a window and letting in some fresh air for your fish. Use water that is slightly warmer than the water that your betta is in so he doesn’t get a chill, add your water conditioner, (we recommend Sea Chem Betta Basics Conditioner because it not only renders the chlorine harmless, it also sets the ph to 7.0) and slowly poor the water back in to your bowl.

Any time your Betta seems to be lacking in colours or energy just do a 1/3 water change and it will perk him up. Feed him Hikari Bio Gold Betta food, about 5-8 tiny pellets a day. If he goes off of his food switch it to New Life Spectrum Betta Food, Hagen Blood Worms and if you really want to treat him get him some Hikari frozen Blood Worms. Every so often, maybe 4-6 weeks, clean out the entire bowl. Pour the Siamese Fighting Fish into another cup or bowl that is free of soap, Italian Dressing, peanut butter, coffee, or anything else that may have been in there, and rinse out the bowl and gravel with hot water. Never use any soaps or detergents. If you have a plant in your bowl, just remove it and place a wet paper towel over it while you clean your bowl. Fill your bowl with water that is slightly warmer than the water he is in, measure out the appropriate amount of Betta water conditioner, plant and decorate, and then pour him back in the bowl.


Collage of Bettas, photograph Camille McOuat

Sometimes, in spite of all your best efforts your Betta may become lethargic, lose his colour, develop a film on his body, swell up and stop eating. He may show all of these symptons or just one. It may be that his home is too cold! We have tiny heaters designed especially for Bettas in small tanks or bowls that will warm him up. In any case, you should clean up his bowl immediately by doing a complete water change and treat him with some medication. If you are unable to come to the store you can put a pinch of non iodized salt in his bowl (1/4 teaspoon per litre). Make sure you only use aquarium salt. Put his bowl in a warm spot, (not a window) sometimes the top of your fridge is the best place, and stop feeding him for a minimum of two days. Follow the directions on the medication…..and relax.

If you are going away we sell 7 day feeders made especially for Siamese Fighting Fish.

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