Your Beginner Guide For How To Take Care Of Betta Fish

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Betta fish are one of the most popular pet fish. They make great pets, but they do require proper love and care to keep them happy and healthy. If you know how to take care of a fish, it may benefit your overall health and wellness.

Knowing exactly what goes into caring for a Betta fish is not common knowledge; there are even many myths and misunderstandings shrouding this popular pet fish type. Believing in these misconceptions can become the reason why your fish will become unhealthy or, in worse cases, die soon. So, to guarantee your Betta will be happy and healthy, this article aims to give you all the information you need.

Why do people keep Bettas?

People keep Bettas for the same reason they keep any fish. They are interesting to look at. It just so happens that Betta fish are even more beautiful to look at than many other types of pet fish. They are exotic fish, originating from South-East Asia, and this makes them even more desirable. The appearance of the fish is already unique on its own. And, you’ll be able to showcase this beauty if you place your pet in a well-decorated and well-lit aquarium. The beauty of these two things can become a great décor and even a conversation starter in any home. 

Sadly, another reason people choose to keep them is they are supposedly very hardy, making them easy to look after. This is incorrect and leads to many poorly treated Betta fish.

How big should a Betta tank be?

Under no circumstances should you keep a Betta, or any fish, in a goldfish bowl. They are cruel and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, you should aim to buy a 5-gallon tank for one Betta fish. This gives them plenty of room to swim around, the water doesn’t instantly become too dirty, and will keep your Betta happy and healthy. An even bigger tank would be better, but you are fine to stick to the 5-gallon guideline. When it comes to fish tanks, the larger the tank the cleaner the water is, the cleaner the water is the happier and healthier the fish will be. This is because all waste from the fish is dispersed much better in a big tank. Find more about best betta tank at SMK blog.

Do Bettas require special tank conditions?

Yes, because Bettas are saltwater fish coming from a warm environment, their tank needs to replicate their natural living conditions. Here is what that includes:

Heater lamps: Having light bulbs above the water to keep it illuminated and warm will make your Betta feel right at home. Too cold water can make your Betta uncomfortable, or can even kill it after prolonged exposure. Their water should be between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Only one male: Because Betta fish are so aggressive to other males, it is ideal just to keep one male per tank. Betta fish are commonly known as Siamese fighting fish. Getting two fish only for them to fight, to the death, is just cruel.

Regardless of how tempted you are to keep as many Betta as possible, make sure that your tank only has one male. This will ensure that your pet will stay healthy for the longest time possible. This will also give your male Beta the chance to be familiar with their environment and feel like they’re at home.

Other life in the tank: Betta fish do fine on their own, but adding snails or shrimp to the tank with them can make them feel more at home. It also makes your tank more enjoyable for you to look at. A bit of biodiversity is good all around.

To ensure that your Betta makes the most of their environment, be careful when choosing their tankmates. Putting the wrong kind of specie in the tank with your Betta might cause stress, which can become the reason why they’ll become sick. 

Aside from snails and shrimps, your Betta will also get along with some cory catfish, neon and ember tetras, guppies, and African dwarf frogs. As long as you know how to properly take care of these species, you won’t have any problem keeping your Betta happy! 

Plants: Betta fish come from tropical water, full of plants and full of life, this means filling your tank with tropical plants is a good idea. It can make the whole tank feel that much more natural. Combined with some snails and plants, it will be much better, looking too.

If this is your first time to look after a Betta, look for inspirations online on how you can beautify your aquarium. The more you know, the easier it’ll be for you to create an appealing and healthy environment for your pet.

pH level: Betta fish are pretty easy in this regard, they like neutral pH levels or very, very, slightly acidic. Anywhere between 6.5-7 pH level is perfect. This means they do need a filtered tank, otherwise, the waters pH level will skew too far.

You can test the pH level of your aquarium on your own by using a little glass test tube, color card, and pH test solution. To ensure that your Betta stays safe, make sure that you regularly check the pH level of your aquarium.

What do you feed a Betta fish?

Betta fish are completely carnivorous, meaning they just eat meat. In the wild, they would eat east small insects and insect larvae. You can replicate this diet by buying these food items from a pet store, or simply buying Betta food. Betta food will specify it is for them, ordinary fish food is mostly carbs, not protein, and will malnourish your Betta fish.

What are the types of Betta fish?

There are several different sub-species of Betta fish. They all require similar living conditions. They are mostly just different in looks. Here are the most common Betta fish breeds:

  • Plakat Betta – vibrant blue with very short fins.
  • Crowntail Betta – pale blue and grey with beautiful orange-tipped fins.
  • Half-moon Betta – Black-faced, blue bodied, with huge circular fins.
  • Double Tail Betta – green/blue in color but mutated to have two tails.
  • Combtail Betta – pale color, long thin fins
  • Rosetail Betta – pale body, dark-colored fins, with pale tips.


As you can see, there is more to raising a healthy Betta than many people think. If you follow the guidelines this article has laid out you will do just fine raising a Betta yourself. It can be a bit of a learning process, taking care of a Betta, but you will get it soon enough. Bettas make great pets, if you are on the fence you should certainly get one; you won’t regret it.


Tim Fox is a writer and co-founder of the SMK blog. He enjoys rising his Betta and Goldfish. If he is not taking care of his fish, he spent his time enjoying the backcountry and hiking trails. 

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  1. […] Fishes also require a certain range of temperature to be in, around 74–77º Fahrenheit. To make sure that this temperature is achieved at all times, you’ll also need a heater and a thermometer for your aquarium. This heater usually comes as a submersible apparatus or a hang-on-the-tank device, which will have its own adjustable settings. The recommended one is a submersible heater so it provides equal distribution of heat in the aquarium. If the tank ever gets too warm, just supplement the tank with some cooler water.  […]

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