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How to Properly Take of a Betta Fish

Updated on May 27, 2015

Betta fish, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish are fresh water tropical fish that originate from the shallow, still puddles of Thailand's rice patty fields. Bettas are one of the most popular household fishes and are extremely great starter pets to teach children responsibility. Betta fish are low maintenance, attractive and can live for years. However if you want your Betta to live for years you must know how to take proper care of it.

Many of the techniques to take care of a Betta fish are common to all fishes however some aspects of care are specific to the Betta Fish.

How to Properly Care for Your Betta

Proper Space and Environment

Betta fish only need about a 1 gallon container however they should always be kept in a bowl or tank ALONE. You should never put two betta fish in the same bowl, they are very territorial - they called Siamese Fighting Fish for a reason. If you do happen to put two in the same bowl they will tear at each other until one is dead. Also, if you have two or more betta fish in the same are but in different bowls you should put a divider between the two because even the sight of another betta fish in a separate container can be enough to get a betta worked up and thrash against the side of it's container trying to get at the other betta fish it can see. There are some nice artistic containers or Bettas that allow two fish in the same container with a divider in between.

It is important to have gravel at the bottom of your tank or bowl to help catch fish waste. When you clean your fish tank be sure to thoroughly wash the gravel.

In addition to having gravel in your bowl it is also very beneficial to have a live plant in your bowl for the fish to have stimulation and for aesthetic reasons.


Feed your fish once or twice a day, feed your Betta on a schedule so you get accustomed to feeding your Betta as part of your routine, this will make it less likely that you will forget about your Betta fish.

Purchase a Betta specific food and give your fish as much food as it will eat in 5 minutes, remove any uneaten food from the tank to prevent debris buildup.

Prevent Escapes

Make sure the water isn't too high in the tank or bowl. If the water is too high your betta fish could jump out of it's tank. Ideally you should leave about 3-4 inches from the water line to the top of your tank. If you are still nervous about your betta jumping out get a cover for your fish tank with an item such as mesh that will allow your Betta to receive plenty of oxygen.

Supplies you will need before bringing your betta fish home

  • Proper tank
  • Aged water
  • Gravel
  • Plant for bowl
  • pH test kit
  • Betta fish food

Tank Maintenance

Because betta fish are usually kept in very small bowls it is extremely important to clean the tank frequently. Every 3 days be certain to replace 1/3 of the water in your tank. Be certain to use aged water, water that has sat out at least 24 hours. By aging the water you ensure that all chemicals in the water are have had time to distill so the fish will not go into shock. If you don't want to age water yourself most fish stores will either give you water for free or have prepackaged water for sale.

When cleaning the bowl it is also very important to clean the gravel thoroughly. Be sure to clean the gravel with aged water like you would use to fill the bowl as gravel cleaned with regular water could introduce chemicals that could harm the fish into the bowl.

Location, Location, Location

Be careful where you place your betta Fish tank or bowl. Do not place the bowl in direct sunlight, under a fan, vent or any other area with extreme temperatures. Your Betta Fish tank should stay in a neutral area and stay at room temperature (70-80 degrees Fahrenheit).

Keep It Balanced

You should keep the water in your Betta's bowl or tank at a pH of exactly 7. Doing this can be more simple than you think. You can buy a water pH testing keep at most pet stores along with the chemicals needed to adjust pH for a low price.

Betta fish can be a really awesome pet for children and easy to care for if you know what to prepare for before bringing a betta home. With proper care a betta fish can live for a long time and be a beautiful edition in a fish tank for any room.


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    • profile image

      david 4 years ago

      My betta are crown tail

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      VERY AWESOME!!! What a beautiful fish. Never seen one before.. I'm also planning to have an aquarium or a fishpond. I wish I could find a Beta fish here.

    • vector7 profile image

      vector7 5 years ago

      Awesome article. I didn't know they sold water specific for fish at the store. I've always prepared my own for my Coral Catfish and Neon. I'm considering getting two Betas and putting the tanks near each other occasionally for exercise or to watch. I don't know, that might just be mean.