ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens) Care

Updated on December 13, 2011

Every year in the United States, thousands of Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens or more commonly just called "fighting fish") are sold in pet stores, by breeders, and even sometimes in chain stores like Wal*Mart. Thousands of these fish are produced each year by mass production breeding facilities. Sadly, many of them don't survive to reach adulthood. The ones that do, if they survive being transported, are often sold in stores across the country in small cups of water where they barely have room to swim around. They are truly beautiful fish that are usually relatively inexpensive, and because of this are often subject to being bought by impulse buyers who often times do not know how to properly care for their colorful new pet.

If you are attracted to the possibility of owning one of these colorful fish, it's important that you first research how to properly care for them. Betta's are just about the most easily recognized fish in the pet hobby, but even so they are commonly misunderstood. There are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding these fish that can lead inexperienced first time buyers to overlook how Betta's should be cared for.

Probably the most common misconception is that Betta fish are happy to live out their entire lives in tiny containers such as flower vases or plastic cups. Fighting fish in the wild live in rice paddies that can contain hundreds of gallons of water. A far cry from the muddy puddles that most people describe when asked about the fish's natural habitat. These fish have a special organ called the labyrinth organ, which allows them to be able to breathe atmospheric oxygen. Because of this, they are able to survive in low oxygenated waters that other types of fish wouldn't be able to survive in. However, just because they can survive in small amounts of water doesn't mean that they will thrive in it. Most experienced fish keeps recommend that a single fighting fish be kept in a tank that contains at least 2.5 gallons of water, with 5 or even 10 gallons per fish being even better. Think about it this way - if provided with food and water, a human could survive in a small closet. That doesn't mean they'd be happy or comfortable doing so.

Another thing commonly over looked about these fish is that they are a tropical species. They are most comfortable in water temperatures between 75*F - 80*F. For most people, maintaining this water temperature in a tank will require a tank heater. Other water parameters such as ammonia, pH, nitrate, and nitrite levels should also be monitored. As with any other aquatic pet, it's important to understand how to properly cycle and maintain an aquarium.

Most people when feeding Bettas will throw in a couple of pellets a day and that's that. However, commercial brands of food should not be fed exclusively. Bettas greatly benefit from a varied diet. They are carnivores in the wild, and are known to eat things such as insect larvae, small insects, and zoo plankton. In captivity, you can supplement a commercial pelleted diet with frozen or live foods such as readily available brine shrimp. Be careful not to overfed your fish. Bettas should be fed the amount of food that they can consume in about 2 minutes. Over feeding your fish can lead to obesity and health problems.

If at all possibly, try to resist purchasing your new fish from a pet or chain store. Try to find a small scale hobby breeder in your area. After all, you wouldn't want to buy a puppy from a puppy mill, so why would you want to buy a fish from a mass production breeding mill? Fish from smaller scale breeders will often times be healthier than pet store fish. Their breeders should be able to tell you their genetic history and assure their health. Fish from breeders will often times live longer as well, if for no other reason than because they are usually younger when you purchase them. Pet store Bettas are normally already between 6 months and a year old when they are sold. Normally fish purchased from breeders are much healthier than pet store fish because their care has been more ideal.

Betta fish may be inexpensive, small, less interactive pets, but they still deserve the same kind of care and consideration that would be put into any other type of pet. Betta fish, if cared for properly, can live up to 5 years. Some of them even learn to recognize their owners. If you choose to bring a Betta fish into your home, you owe it to them to provide them with the best life possible. Properly care for your Betta fish, and you will be rewarded with a healthy, happy, beautiful pet.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)