Betta Fish Care – How to Properly House a Betta Fish

The betta fish is a fresh water (or tropical) fish. More specifically, bettas originate from the tropical climates of southeast Asia in the countries of Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand. As pets, particular attention needs to be paid to the environment in which you place them and is an important aspect of betta fish care.

Because bettas are a tropical fish, they require a constant water temperature that ranges between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures that veer outside of this range can render your fish very sluggish and lethargic. If the water dips too far below the minimum acceptable range, you make wake up one day to dead fish floating in your tank. This explains the importance of a heater for proper betta fish care.

The water in the tank may even be in the safe range most of the time without the aid of a heater; but temperatures can change quickly and typically go down during the night. Aquarium heaters take these temperature fluctuations into account. They turn on when the temperature drops below the acceptable level and turn off when no longer needed to sustain the required temperature.

If you want your betta fish to live long and healthy lives, an aquarium heater is a necessity to ensure the temperature will consistently stay within the safe range. This further explains why the tank used to house your fish be at least large enough to accommodate a mini aquarium heater. This type of heater is used for aquariums in the 2-5 gallon range.

Just be aware that many mini aquarium heaters do not have the ability to take into consideration the actual temperature of the water inside the fish tank. Without this ability, the mini heater can potentially make the water too warm, too cold, and allow wide fluctuations in the actual water temperature – none of which bodes well for the health of your bettas. For just a little more money than what you might spend for a mini heater, small adjustable heaters are available which do take the actual water temperature into consideration. This is money well spent for the health of your bettas.

In addition to a heater, a thermometer is highly suggested to make sure your heater is working properly and the temperature remains at a safe constant level. Your local pet store will be able to provide you with a variety of thin, small and economical thermometers which can be inserted on the side of the aquarium to display the temperature.

Bettas are different from other fish in that they need air. Unlike the majority of other fish that take in oxygen through their gills, bettas take in oxygen through a specialized organ known as the labyrinth organ. This organ gathers oxygen directly from the air. Because of this, bettas need constant and easy access to the water’s surface. Without this access, your betta will drown. So you need to take this consideration into account when outfitting the tank your bettas are going to live in.

Also, you should make sure the temperature of the air of the room in which the tank sits is not much different from the temperature of the water inside the tank. One way you can do is this is by covering your aquarium with a glass cover or hood that ensures the air just above the surface of the tank remains warm and moist. A hood or glass cover also has the advantage of slowing down the rate of water evaporation.

The next option to consider is whether to purchase a filter or not. While not entirely necessary for a betta’s survival, a filter is an excellent choice to keep the tank water clean. When choosing the right filter, keep in mind that bettas should have a minimum amount of water movement inside the tank. This means you should choose a filter that has a very low flow. This is done by selecting a filter designed for a smaller tank or adjusting an existing filter’s settings to severely restrict its flow.


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