Saturday, 31 May 2008

How to Care Bettas

Bettas originated in the oxygen-starved swamps and rice paddies of eastern Asia. Their surface-breathing organ, called a labyrinth, developed out of necessity. If their water goes foul, they can go to the surface and gulp air.

The fish vase's solitary inhabitant is almost always a male because the dull-colored, shortfinned females are downright homely compared to the long, showy fins and iridescent blues, reds, black and white colors of their male counterparts.

The brilliantly colored beauties may appear somewhat lonely swimming in their oneroom glass chambers, but save your pity for a more deserving species.

They're normally solitary creatures. Put two together and see what happens. The males, especially, are very aggressive. When they feel threatened, they flare their fins and gills. And they're non-discriminatory, as likely to kill a female as a male.

With one exception. When males are ready to mate, they blow bubble nests at the surface of the water to hold a female friend's eggs.

The only time you could put a female in is when he's blowing bubbles. Then you know he's ready for love.

Although Bettas cannot live with their own kind, they can peacefully coexist with certain species. And don't worry about their tiny living quarters.

They don't really do well in large spaces. And they don't need company, but if it will make you feel better, you could put an aquatic African Dwarf frog in with them.

With a little luck, your Betta friend will live happily for three to five years. But by that time, even the distributors say the Betta craze likely will be long gone.

There's lots of conflicting information out there about the care and feeding of Betta, or Siamese-fighting, fish. But according to Seth Cosby of Ed's Pet World, Bettas thrive on the following care:

Food - Bettas don't live by plant roots and algae alone. They need protein, in the form of shrimp pellets or freeze-dried bloodworms. Two or three pellets every day or two should do it.

Don't overfeed, or you'll dirty the water and possibly kill the fish.

Water - Change the water completely every three or four weeks. Use de-chlorinating drops or let the water sit for 24 hours before putting it in the vase.

Plant roots - Keep the roots trimmed, and don't let them touch the pebbles on the bottom of the vase.

Temperature - Put your Betta vase in a warm spot in indirect sunlight. The water needs to be as close to room temperature as possible.

Betta Fish recommended resource: here.

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1 comment:

johnsmith said...

Bettas make for wonderful pets and first fish. They are fun, inquisitive and interactive. The many varieties and colors available make buying bettas a treat. A labyrinth organ enables a betta to breath air and many people maintain that bettas have to breath air or else they will drown. But they do have functional gills as well.However to err on the side of safety it is important to ensure that bettas can make it up to the surface to take those breaths of air if they like to.


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