Jan 28, 2023
We’ve heard a lot of crazy rumors about these beautiful fish over the years, so we wanted to share 5 major misconceptions to help set the record straight. These fish often line pet store lobbies and fish rooms, like ours, and are one of the most popular fish to own.
1. Betta Fish Are Built for Bowls or Small Tanks
While you will find Betta fish for sale in small bowls or aquariums at the store, that is not intended to be a permanent solution. Betta fish (especially males) can be dangerously violent to one another which is why pet stores keep them separated, unlike many other species. When you are choosing a permanent home for your Betta fish you should look for a small to medium size aquarium or bowl of more than 1 gallon that allows your fish to swim side to side.
2. Betta Fish Are Too Clean for Filters
No fish is too clean for a filter, especially if you don’t want to be cleaning and changing their water every few days. Many small aquariums, like the Aqueon, come with a small filtration system. Clean water is the number one thing needed to keep your fish happy and healthy, so this should always be a priority. About twice a month, you should perform a 25% water change, meaning draining and replacing 25% of your tank’s water with new water (ideally bottled water). Maintain your temperature and pH levels (6.8-7.2) during water changes to not shock your fish.
3. Betta Fish Don’t Need Heaters
You will notice at our store that the fish are purposefully placed under special lighting. That is because Betta fish are tropical fish and should be kept between 73°F – 80°F which is warmer than most houses on their own, especially in winter. You can skip the heater if you keep your tank away from windows and drafts in a warm/hot room and have heat lamps or other heat supply nearby. If you find your Betta fish looking sluggish or swimming slowly, they may be too cold. Talk to our team about your specific situation for advice.
4. Bubblenests Prove Your Betta Fish is Happy
You may have seen a layer of bubbles appear on the surface of your Betta fish tank or bowl. Many people think these appear when your fish is happy, but instead, it means your Betta fish is ready to mate. Males will work hard to build their bubblenest to attract females and protect their future eggs. You do not need to remove the bubblenest if your Betta fish are not breeding, but you also shouldn’t use it as an excuse to slack on cleaning your tank, they will build nests even in less-than-ideal situations.
5. Betta Fish are Meant to Live Alone
The name Siamese fighting fish does not make them seem like the friendliest of fish, however, their name stems from how male Betta fish will fight each other, and sometimes females as well. Betta fish should not permanently cohabitate with other Betta fish, but they can be added to a freshwater aquarium to live with other types of fish. Because of their elaborate fins you just want to make sure that the fish you’re mixing them with are not too aggressive as they may try to bite their tail as it waves through the water.
No two environments are the same, visit us at Plymouth Pet & Aquarium or call us to talk through your options.