How to take care of Betta fighter fish and increase life span?
Betta fighter fish is one of the most fun fish to have. I have always loved this fish since my childhood. They come in almost all colors and varieties and it depends upon your choice, what kind you want to rear.
Though it is difficult to find some varieties of betta fish readily available but it takes the same to rear the betta and increase its life span. Betta can be reared to be bred (they are easy to be bred in any environment) or they can be decorative fish in the aquarium.
But increasing the life span of betta takes the same effort and technique. I learnt this through my experiences over the years.
So how to take care of Betta fighter fish and increase it's life span:
- Select healthy betta: This is the important factor when you buy betta from the pet shop. There are bunch of breeders who provide fishes to the pet shop and there is no guarantee that all the fishes will be healthy. So always select fishes which are agile and bright in color. Your own instincts can figure out which fish is active. If it's healthy, it will be good enough to attract you.
- Clean water : This is the most important factor in keeping betta happy. Now what is this clean water?
Take water from the tap (I take it from the kitchen tap since it is like the cleanest water that I can get at home that is tested) and keep it for a day in a container where the surface of the water is exposed to the air. This not only allows the water to settle down but also the makes water temperature same as the room temperature. It makes easy for betta to adjust to the new water.
After a day, test the pH of the water. The pH is the acid - basic proportion of the water. pH of 7 is what we are looking for since this is the point where acid and basic cancel each other and makes te water normal. I keep the pH little bit more than 7 because as the water ages and the fish waste remains in the water, it decreases the pH and it goes below 7. pH test kits are available in the pet store to test the pH level. Read the instructions on the pH kit and you shall have the pH of 7 ready water. I test the pH the second day after the new water has settled in the container.
There are other water test that you might want to do like excess chlorine test which is not needed most of the time. Proper pH level water is enough to keep the betta healthy.
- Water temperature : Betta's can easily survive the temperature between 68 to 85 degree farenheit. Always have a thermometer in the tank to measure the temperature. If you need to increase the temperature(heat) use a heater or if you need to decrease(cold) use ice to maintain the range of temperature. If you need more information about how to use ice to maintain the water temperature contact me.
- Feeding betta : Feeding live food(blood or brown worms) makes my betta happy. They grow well and are active as in the wild as they have opportunity to go for a kill. I feed my betta every 3-4 days. I feed 8-10 worms per fish which they seem to consume quickly and so the water is not contaminated with the worms waste. It is very much important to check the consumption of the worms by the bettas. If they are in good health they will consume the worms they need for the moment and then when they are hungry they will eat the rest.
After feeding betta, I make it a point to clean the water the next day. If my bettas are in small tank(less than a litre) I discard the entire water, clean the container and put the betta fish again in the treated water. In the mean time while cleaning the betta container I keep the betta in the net. It takes less than a minute for this entire process and betta can easily survive during this time.
If the betta is in a big tank(more than a litre) then siphon off the waste from the bottom of the tank and replace it with the treated water as mentioned above.
I have used this excellent book for understanding bettas, taking care of them and breeding them. The tips are really good and MUST if you want to take good care of bettas. The book is practical and easy to understand without jargons. If you like this article then you will definitely find this book more useful.