Betta fish regularly attract aquarium hobbyists. Most of them think they can do well by buying a tiny cube as an aquarium and a plastic plant as decoration. But that is not true at all.
There are lots of myths regarding this. In fact, the wrong advice given by sellers or misinformed people is sometimes fatal. The betta fish may be very resistant; they suffer from these poor living conditions and can die very quickly in a few days, or slowly after one year. And this is far from their healthy life expectancy!
So, what to do?
If you are here to know how to keep a betta fish happy, you are at the right spot. You will discover absolutely everything that is needed to make Betta happy and keep him healthy.
How to Keep a Betta Fish Happy
The rule of thumb of keeping betta happy is to take care of his food, and accommodation. Furthermore, you should pay heed to some other things. Let’s see what they are-
1. Keep It Healthy
How do you know if your Betta is doing well if you do not recognize sick Betta? The distinction is paramount.
- Swims when you approach
- Has bright colors
- Fins in good condition
- Parade when facing another male: it spreads its lids (cheeks) and fins
- Is lethargic and often hidden
- Has a dull color
- Damaged fins
- May have white spots and lumps
- Breathe hard
Filter out the sick bettas as soon as possible and ensure the proper treatment. Otherwise, they will affect healthy bettas as well.
Feeding can make anyone happy. The same goes for our betta fish. Betta fish are carnivorous. That is why they need specific food and supplement.
The persistent refusal of any food may mean they really don’t want the food. And also maybe it’s time to change the brand. Or you can mix two different brands.
Bettas are particularly fond of live food, such as worms and artemias. You can check this guide on how to feed your Betta fish from here.
3. Avoid over-feeding!
It is difficult to estimate how much food you should give to the Betta. Food labels are often imprecise and inconsistent. Their stomachs are about the size of their eyes, and the granules may expand after ingestion.
Often overeating leads to bloating, constipation, swim bladder problems, and an accumulation of waste in the aquarium. So, give your betta fish only that amount of food it can eat in a short time. For example, provide that amount it can eat in 2 minutes. If you want a happy and healthy betta fish, you should not overfeed it at all.
4. Adequate size of the aquarium and environment
The absolute minimum size of the aquarium to have healthy Betta is 10 liters, the recommended size being 20 liters or more. Another advantage is that larger aquariums are more stable and require less frequent cleaning.
We often hear that the bettas need the least space and they can be satisfied with a ball or a cube of 2 liters. It’s wrong. To ensure a reasonable life expectancy, there are lots more to do.
For example, put yourself in the situation. We could all survive by spending our time in a small room if we are given food every day, but we would not be happy or healthy.
So, you should not fill your aquarium at maximum volume. The bettas need to access the surface of the water to breathe.
5. Adequate natural and artificial light
During the day, the betta fish need light to move and play. But at night, they need a dark environment to be able to sleep. This rhythm reproduces the natural day/night cycle makes it possible to regulate their internal biological clock.
The fish do not like to end up directly under intense lighting. This is particularly true for the Betta. You should put such plants and other decorations which can provide shade. If they no longer want to be exposed to light, it will help them to hide.
Avoid direct sunlight as it can quickly raise the temperature of the water and cause undesirable algae to grow along with the glazing. Artificial lighting is recommended, placing the aquarium away from the windows. In this way, you can control the intensity and duration of the light.
6. Aquarium Companions
Bettas are known to be aggressive. With other species, they are relatively calm. They can even be jostled by the most vivid and vigorous. But when they are with the same species, they are always aggressive.
Never put male Betta in the same aquarium as another betta, be it male or female. The males will fight and punch each other until one of them dies or is seriously injured.
Likewise, if a male is with a female outside the breeding season, he will chase her until she dies of exhaustion. Fish of other species can only accompany male Betta. Choosing compatible tank mates can make your betta happy.
7. Plants, hiding places, decorations
Pants and hiding areas allow Betta fish to feel safe and happy. Mimicking their natural habitat helps reduce their stress. They love the places where they can hide, and they feel safe there. So have fun with the decor of the aquarium to provide many hiding places!
However, be careful with artificial plants and decorations. They can damage your Betta’s precious fins. Focus on fake fabric plants, not stiff plants, as they will be less likely to hurt your Betta.
Bettas need hot water. Keep the temperature between 24 and 27 degrees. This is the temperature at which the bettas are the happiest and most active. Never go below 24 degrees, and above 28 degrees.
9. Water quality
What water to use for Betta? Tap water, reverse osmosis water, or mineral water? The choice may not be as obvious as you thought! You can get a water conditioner for your betta fish.
The water should be free of chlorine and other contaminants for the safety of your Betta fish. If using tap water, use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other heavy metals. Do not use only distilled water or reverse osmosis water, as both plants and fish need minerals in the water.
10. Maintenance of the aquarium
Keeping the aquarium clean is crucial for Betta’s health and happiness. As your Betta gets rid of the food it digests, it ends up in the water of the aquarium. The smaller the aquarium, the faster it gets polluted. It is also for this reason that it is recommended to choose an aquarium of 10 liters minimum, ideally 20 liters. The parameters are more stable, and the maintenance is lighter.
If your aquarium is not filtered, it is necessary to make three water changes per week, 20% each. A filtered aquarium will only need a weekly water change of 20%. It is not necessary to take your Betta from the aquarium for the frequent water changes.
If you follow these 10 tips, you should be able to keep your betta fish happy and healthy.
How do you know If Your Betta is happy?
Is it healthy?
Illness is a curse of happiness.
In order to find out whether the betta fish is happy or not, at first, be sure that your Betta is healthy. A sick betta fish will never be happy. No matter what you do to keep the betta fish entertained.
How do you know it is healthy, in fact, happy?
To know, observe the amount of food it is eating. Any healthy betta will eat with full energy.
You can also guess the Betta is healthy if the fish swims actively. If your betta fish looks vivid and clean, then for sure, it is healthy as it is a sign of happiness.
Recognize through Color
Happiness is something that is explored through characteristical and physiological expressions.
So someone can easily find out is Betta happy or not by observing the minimal changes of its regular behavior.
Color is an identifying parameter for your betta fish. When the betta fish is unhappy, there will be horizontal stripes over the Betta’s skin that is known as stressed stripes.
A happy betta fish looks vivid, clean, and vibrant. So if the color of your Betta is not being faded, then for sure, it is comfortable.
Is it swimming lively?
Betta loves to swim.
If your betta fish is swimming all day active in the water tank, then it is a strong hint of their happiness. An unhappy betta fish remains inactive and tends to lay down mostly at the bottom surface of the water tank.
Betta fishes are not boring kinds of fishes who just swim around and do nothing.
Unlike typical Betta, fishes are very engaging. It prefers interactions too.
If your fishing is swimming around actively and coming around near the water tank every time you enter the room, you need not worry. Your Betta is fine and enjoying his time.
If you want more clarity, go and stand in front of Betta and then move your finger in front of him to grab its attention. If it is happy, it will enjoy your presence and response to your action.
If you find your betta fish is making bubbles in the top of the water tank, it is an obvious sign which indicates the betta fish is happy. These bubbles are called Bubble Nests.
Unhappy bettas usually hide idly in the corner of the tank. But the happy one enjoys every bit.
How to make your betta fish like you?
Does your Betta like you? Making the betta like you is not too tough. If you can invest a little effort, you can make them like you-
Place the aquarium near you
Since you are a betta fish owner, you should be interactive with your pet. Make him believe you are his best friend.
Place them around you as it can feel your presence. It is an indirect way of interacting with a betta fish.
Betta fishes do not like to stay in a quiet and cornered place. If you keep the bowl in front of you, it will observe what you are doing. This is how gradually the betta fish will get familiar with you and will consider you as a part of its daily life.
So place the tank in a room where you spend most of your time on a daily basis.
Play with your Betta
Betta fishes are quite intelligent. They are able to learn tricks, too, if you teach them appropriately.
But you should let the fish get comfortable with you first so that it can trust you. You can play games too with the betta fish as this way it will get familiar with you.
The most common type of game that all Betta learn very fast is the finger game. You can put your finger outside the bowl and wait till the Betta swims and come to touch your finger. You can try this trick all over the bowl, and your fish will quickly learn this trick.
So next time, whenever you put a finger over the bowl, it will know it’s you. To make it more interesting and to encourage the Betta to swim actively, you can reward with a small amount of food every time it follows your finger spot.
Feed Your Betta
How do you feel when someone feeds you? This is precisely a betta also feel. It is one of the smoothest and effective ways to make your Betta trust you.
If you feed your Betta regularly, it will be familiar with your face, and after someday, you will see a surprising result. You can notice Betta’s response to you in your presence. It will be more active in front of you.
How to play with your Betta
Is your Betta happy with you?
I hope you are not like an annoying betta owner who doesn’t have fun with his pet. It is essential to entertain your Betta as it always does to you.
If you have your Betta alone and isolated in your aquarium, the life of this can become too monotonous, something that will not do well.
The Game of Chasing the Finger
The game is straightforward. Stick your finger on the wall of the aquarium where your fish can see it correctly. Let the incredible curiosity increase that what is that mysterious thing.
The Mirror Game
Again, we will take advantage of his territorial instinct. But this time we are going to put a mirror in front of him. He will think of it as another Betta.
Buy Some Toys
Your Betta will be happy if it gets some stuff to play. Give him plants, a shelter, or any floating play device.
Give Live Food
The Bettas love Live Food, and this is an integral part of their diet. But here we don’t talk only about food health, no; this is a game in itself.
These are some of the most exciting things for your Betta. But remember, never put your finger inside the tank.
Taking care of a betta fish is not easy. You just need to know how to keep a Betta fish happy. Once you have made a routine, everything falls in place. If you have a Betta, you should always monitor the health of your fish.
Be alert on the lookout for any worrying indicators. Most problems can be attributed to poor nutrition, acclimatization, and a poorly chosen aquarium. Proper maintenance will help your Betta live happily and in good health!