Uncovering The Betta Fish Care Myths
Keeping Beta Fish
Betta fish or Siamese fighting fish are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish in the hobby. Because they are hardy and very easy to keep, they are popular for aquarium owners of all experience levels. Experience owners often dedicate their time to keeping and breeding betta fish. The unfortunate news is there are many myths about betta fish that can make them live much shorter and less pleasant lives.
The first of these myths is that betta fish can be kept in small unfiltered and unheated bowls. While a betta may be able to survive in these conditions for long periods of time, keeping them in such conditions should be considered cruel to the fish. Because of their ability to breath air, betta fish can live in the smallest amount of water for extended periods of time. A small bowl should only be considered as a temporary living space in places like pet stores and hatcheries where many betta fish are kept in one location.
Betta fish sould be given an aquarium of at least 2 1/2 to 3 gallons in size and should be given both proper heating and filtration. Keeping these fish in small bowls only prevents them from displaying their true vibrant beauty and shortens their life span.
Betta Fish Tankmates
The second popular myth about betta fish is that they need to be kept alone in an aquarium. May people think that Betta fish will attack any other fish that are kept in the same tank with them. This idea is false and bettas actually make good choices for a community tank. A male betta will attack another male betta and often two male bettas will fight till one dies but a single specimen can be kept in a tank with other peaceful community fish.
When choosing tankmates there are some that are not good choices. Angelfish, various, barbs and some tetras may be considered peaceful fish but will nip at the long fins of onamental male bettas. The best tankmates are peaceful bottom dwelling fish like loaches and cory catfish. A shoal of harlequin rasboras is also a good additon to a betta fish aquarium.
Breeding Betta Fish
Betta fish are not difficult to breed. Like other Gouramis, betta fish are bubble nest builders which means that the male will build a nest of bubbles at the surface of the water when ready to spawn. The nest is usually built around floating plants to help it stay intact. A bubble nest is a sign that your betta is healthy and is thinking about spawning.
After the male builds a bubble nest, a female betta should be introduced to the breeding tank. The two fish will spawn shortly after and the male will then place the eggs in the bubble nest and guard the nest. The female betta should removed from the breeding tank at this point to prevent possible injury that can be caused by the male while it protects the nest. Once the eggs have hatched, the male betta should then be removed from the breeding tank.
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