The Size of Your Betta Fish Tank Matters!
Don't buy fish bowls!
You see them all the time at the pet stores. Fish bowls. Buy a betta fish, and just stick it in the bowl, and everything's all good, right? Defiantly not. Most people don't think of a 'healthy' lifestyle for a fish, and they don't do their research before getting a betta fish. Most of the time a pet store will tell you that in the wild, betta fish live in small muddy puddles, but if you want your gorgeous betta fish to live a long healthy life, you just tell those people to do their research before telling their customers how the 'wrong way' to care for your fish. Would you keep your dog locked up in a kennel for his or her entire life? I hope not. In a fish bowl, your betta fish may live up to 3 years. Maybe. In a 10g+ tank? Your little buddy might live up to 5 years or longer!
Are these 'fish tanks' actually a thing? There is hardly enough space to swim, explore, hide, and be happy. If you want a fish as a pet, than it's a PET, not a piece of decoration. Fish should be able to have room to really swim, and explore. They should also have places to hide. Betta fish sometimes even have sleeping spots, or resting leaves, especially those very fancy betta fish, like halfmoons, and deltas. Another sad fact that we put betta fish through, is betta fish are bread to have large fins. They did not develop those fancy fins in the wild. The bigger the fins, sometimes the bigger the problem. They will bite at their fins, or their fins may start splitting, and you should defiantly not have them in a community tank. Their fins are heavy, and slow them down.
Betta in their natural habitat
Betta fish come from Thailand and Cambodia, and are often found in ponds, rice paddies and slow moving rivers. The reason why the pet stores will tell you that they live in small tiny spaces, is because when the water dries up, the fish get STUCK. They do not choose to willingly live in these tiny spaces, in fact, they will often jump out of the little mud puddle to find bigger water, often, dying in the process. Do you have a betta fish that often tries to jump out of their living area? Your fish's living space might be too small, or they do not like their space.
In the wild, they sometimes will have up to 3 feet of territory! I hope that gives you an idea of what they are used to in the wild.
Wild Betta Fish
Betta fish in the wild don't have huge fins. They were bread that way. In the wild, they have bigger bodies, but smaller fins. Often times, you'll find males living with females, and are less aggressive living with them.
A good betta fish tank should start at 5 gallons, and go up from there. Have lots of plants, and for your bettas that have huge fins, it's better to have natural plants. They are softer, and more flexible, as plastic plants have sharp edges, and don't move well for betta fish with large fins. Places for them to hide and explore is important. Betta fish like to lay on leaves.
A fun fact about betta fish? They are very smart fish, and can recognize their owners, and even learn tricks!