Betta fish can come down with a variety of diseases. (Fin rot, ICK and Swim Bladder Disorder to name just a few.)
The key to dealing with these diseases is PREVENTION (proper
tank conditions, diet, etc.) That said, it is possible to cure most of the
things that make your Betta sick with some effort.
If you plan on keeping your fish happy and healthy, plan on
buying a book that addresses how to properly care for your Betta. (You can save
a lot of time, money and despair by “picking the brain” of somebody who has
experience dealing with these problems.)
Both of the E-books below come with a 100% money-back
guarantee. (If you're not satisfied with the quality or the amount of
information, simply ask for a refund.) There is also an excellent Wiki article
Instant Download - Betta E-books
Betta Fish Secrets:Learn The Secrets To Caring For Your Betta Fish And Breeding Them Successfully Using Easy To Follow Step-By-Step Techniques -
Betta Lover's Guide: You Saved Your Betta's Life From
the Pet Store's Tiny Cup. Now Learn How to Make Your Betta Into the Most
Comfortable, Safe, and Cared-For Fish in the World."
Betta splendens, also known as "bettas" and "Siamese fighting fish",
are popular pets recognized for their friendliness, interactiveness, and
relatively low cost for maintenance and care. Betta fish can prove to be man's
best friend for up to four years. By following these simple steps you can help
to ensure that your new friend has a happy and healthy stay with you.
Purchase your betta. There are some considerations for choosing
Visit your local pet store. You should have a general
understanding of what to look for before purchasing your betta.
Observe the available bettas. There are a few qualities that
you should look for when choosing a betta fish:
Color. Is the betta bright and vivid in color, or does it
appear very dull and pale? Bettas come in a variety of colors, so don't
be surprised by the choices available. Blues and reds (dark colors in
general) are the most common.
Receptiveness. Does the betta respond to your movement at
all? Does it appear to swim around rapidly at the sight of you, or does
it merely sit at the bottom and sulk? You shouldn't repeatedly tap on
the container, as you will only agitate the fish, but you should find a
way to see if it pays attention to you.
On the other hand, don't be afraid to buy a somewhat docile betta.
Bettas will generally have many encounters with other people during
the day, and may simply be taking a brief rest.
Overall health. Are its fins in good condition, or are they
torn or otherwise damaged? Are the betta's eyes in good shape? Do you
see any odd lumps (parasites) on its body? If you see anything highly
out of the ordinary, you may want to consider another betta.
Prepare your betta's home. Here are some points to consider:
Choose a home. In the wild, bettas inhabit Thai rice bogs.
Hence, they are fitted to living in relatively shallow but spacious
environments. However, you should still consider giving your betta a
decent sized tank to help prolong its life, since waste can build up very
quickly. Naturally, more water is better, but a 1 gallon tank is an
excellent size for your betta fish.
If you choose a larger tank (5 gallons or larger), you may consider
purchasing another type of fish to cohabitate with your betta (be sure
to read the Warnings below).
Decorate your betta's home. One of the betta's distinct
features is its ability to breathe oxygen in both the air and the water,
so you will not need to supply a filter or live plants but it will prefer
it if you do. You might decorate your betta's home with gravel/colored
stones, man-made plants, and a small cave-like structure to hide in (if
your tank is large enough). A creative home is a happy home!
Do not use jagged rocks for the bottom of your tank, as they can and
will shred your betta's fins. Smooth, colored stones are a good choice,
as well as gravel/pebbles.
Be wary when buying hard plastic plants, as they can be rough on
your betta's fins. A good trick is to use the 'pantyhose test': If a
plastic plant will snag a pair of pantyhose when rubbed against it, then
it will damage your betta's fins.
While live plants aren't necessary, they are a great addition to a
betta tank. Their appearance is better than the plastic or silk ones,
and bettas love to lounge on leaves and to have a hiding place in which
Prepare the water. If you use water fresh from the tap, use a
water conditioner before you put it in the tank, as the chlorine and
chloramines can harm your betta. Older sources may suggest aging the water,
letting it stand for a period of time. It is best to use a water
conditioner, since aging water will remove chlorine but not chloramine.
Bottled water is also effective. You still may want to treat it with
water conditioner, though.
Consider adding aquarium salt (not to be confused with the table
salt that you eat) to your tank. This acts as a "tonic" for betta
fish, helping to relieve stress, as well as preventing the appearance of
parasites such as ich.
Fill your tank. If your tank does not have a top cover, then fill
it about 80% high. Bettas are very active fish and can jump over three
inches when motivated, so this will ensure that it does not jump out of the
If your tank does not have a top cover, you can a mesh cloth over the
top to ensure that it does not jump out. It will be much happier if it has
access to lots of air as it does breathe from the water as well as the air
Test the water temperature. Be sure that your tank is placed in
an environment that maintains the temperature of about 78ºF (+/- 3 degrees).
Purchasing a small heater is a good idea, since the temperature of the water
is likely to be much cooler than room temperature.
Add your betta. Float the bag with the betta inside it as you
purchased it in the tank water for 20 minutes. This allows for the
temperature to adjust. Then pour some of the aquarium's water into the bag
every 10 minutes. Finally, with a net, put the betta fish in his new home.
Don't pour the pet store's water into the tank as it could contaminate your
water. Using a net can damage the fins of a betta - you can just dump the
betta in the tank, but be careful.
Feed your betta. Your betta's diet should consist primarily of
pellets. Bettas are meat eaters and will happily munch on bloodworms and
brine shrimp (sea monkeys), but these serve better as occasional treats.
Feed them 2 to 3 times per day—generally once in the morning and once before
Be sure to clean up any extra food that your betta does not eat.
Similarly, be sure to watch your betta fish to see if he spits up any
A diet high in protein yet varied is important. Flakes, live food,
freeze dried, pellets, whatever works best for you, but keep it varied. If
you don't keep your fishes diet varied, it may become constipated.
Constipation in a betta resembles swim bladder disease in which they are
unable to maintain their balance. All is not lost. Feed him a bit of krill
soaked with Castor oil, then no food for a day or two he will be fine.
Though live food may be more exciting to watch, freeze dried products
still work great. They are also safer and free from potential parasites.
Don't overfeed your betta, no matter how hungry or cute he/she seems!
Your betta's stomach is about the size of its eyeball, so keep that in
Be sure to clean your betta's tank as needed.
Remove your betta from the tank. You can use a fish net.
Place it into a small dish. You should fill it with the old,
dirty water from the tank. It is important that you keep it in its old
water, as you do not want to shift its living environment radically.
Clean the tank. Clear up any buildups on the side(s).
Clean your accessories. Be sure to remove any buildup on your
plants, stones, and anything else in the tank.
Replace some of the water. Don't change all of the water at
once, as the abrupt shift in the environment can harm your betta. You
should only change about 50% of the water in the tank at a time. For the
other portion, use clean water of about 78ºF. Be wary of shifting the
water temperature too drastically when you reintroduce your betta to the
tank, as it may affect your betta. Don't forget to add any water
conditioner, aquarium salt, and anything else, as needed.
Keeping a spare jug of water is helpful.
You should do this partial water replacement about once a week for a
For a partial water change of 20% per week, it is not necessary to
remove the fish. Simply reach in with a gravel vacuum (a siphon with a
wide opening at one end) and "vacuum" the debris out of the gravel or
'Bettas' are members of the Anabantoid family (gouramies are in this
family) and have a back-up breathing system that allows them to breathe
surface air. However, they still require a filtration system in their tanks
and aeration. Bear in mind the long-finned varieties do best with as little
current as possible.
Bettas recognize their owners and will actually learn faces and games.
Keep your betta company and say "hi" once in a while, so he learns who you
are! Bettas can and do recognize people (mainly because they associate you
with feeding time).
Female bettas are typically smaller and without the beautiful plumage
that males possess. However, they can still be equally as beautiful in their
own way—and feisty!
If your betta gets sick, treat it with a proper antibiotic. You can
purchase these at your local pet store.
You can use a clean turkey baster to suck up any pellets that fall to
the bottom of the tank. This helps to keep your tank relatively clean.
If you don't want to spend a ton of money on a bowl or rocks, check your
local Dollar Store. They might have some pretty amazing fish equipment, and
for the low price of $1!
Male bettas cannot live with other male bettas. They are named Siamese
Fighting Fish for a reason! They will fight to the death in order to protect
their living space. Even when together for small amounts of time, they will
damage each other! Even in very large tanks male bettas will eventually
Also, when a male betta fish sees its reflection in a mirror, it will
think it is another fish and will try to attack it. While this may be cool
to look at, and is also an interesting activity for science classes, doing
this too much will stress the fish out and can make them very sick. Make
sure the exterior of your tank is free of smudges and water spots as this
can cause a reflection with the same effect.
If you have a relatively large tank, you might consider having another
fish to coexist with your betta. Although it is better to leave the fish
with its own space. Avoid purchasing another fish that has brightly colored
fins (such as fancy guppies), where your betta might mistake it for another
betta. Also avoid other aggressive fish or fin-nippers such as barbs. Some
tetras and most rasboras will work. Read fish forums online or ask an
employee in the pet shop for suggestions.
Female bettas will fight males and vice versa.
Bettas are somewhat temperature sensitive. In general a change in 2 to 3
degrees can lower its immune system, thus the need for a heater in your
Do not used distilled water. Distilled water is actually water with all
other minerals and nutrients removed. Bettas do not naturally live in
distilled water and forcing them to do so can be harmful to their health.
Females can be kept in groups of at least three to lessen aggression.
The tank must be at least 5 gallons and have several hiding spots. All
females must be added at the same time.
Be sure that the paint on anything that you buy to put in any fish tank
is not lead based or come off easily. If you see that it is starting to
peel, remove it immediately from the tank.
Things You'll Need
Tank (2.5-10 gallons recommended)
Water conditioner (chlorine/chloramine remover, unless you use purified
Betta fish food (high in protein)
Aquarium salt (do not use table salt)
Smooth stones or gravel to cover the bottom.
Some ornament to decorate your tank, doubling as structure for your
betta to rest upon. Dragging fins make your betta prone to bacteria on the
floor of the tank which can lead to fin rot. ((--Wikihow)