Monday, 4 August 2008

Betta Fish Care

If you have visited a pet store, a chain discount store, or even a florist, lately, you've most likely been attracted to the rich colors and long-finned elegance of the betta fish. Bettas, also known as "Siamese fighting fish" are relatively inexpensive, but exceedingly beautiful. For these reasons, they have recently (and unfortunately) become popular not so much as pets, but as decorating accents, due to misleading reports that they're meant to thrive in tiny amounts of water and need very little looking after. However, betta fish care entails much more than plunking your new fish into a wine goblet with a marble or two for company. Taking care of a betta fish requires preparation, education, and compassion. Let this brief tutorial turn you into a better betta owner!

Perhaps the misconception that bettas are "meant" to live in small amounts of water stems from the fact that bettas are usually sold in containers no larger than a teacup. Unlike most other fish at the aquarium store, bettas are extremely aggressive towards one another, and cannot be housed with other fish. Since they must be sold separately, they're put into cups and stacked row upon row to save room. Potential betta owners are then happily informed that the fish needs very little oxygen or water. The sad fact is that many bettas die within a few weeks of purchase due either to ammonia buildup in their small habitats or lack of oxygen. With this in mind, let the first item on your betta fish care checklist be an adequate tank-at least one gallon, but preferably three or more. With optimum room to swim and an aerator providing fresh oxygen, bettas have been known to live for ten or more years!

When you go to the store to select your betta, know first of all that almost every fish is going to be a male, unless otherwise specified. The male bettas are what earned these fish the title "Jewel of the Orient" while the females are remarkably dull and short-finned, by comparison. Most bettas sold in pet stores will be around nine months old-just after their fins have lengthened and their mature coloration has arrived. When selecting a betta, seek out the healthiest specimen by looking for and avoiding torn fins, dull color patches, and wounds. Most bettas will appear extremely droopy as they float in their alloted six ounces of water, but rest assured that when you take them home and introduce them to their new, larger dwelling, they should perk up immediately and start gliding about, unfurling their magnificent fins for you to admire.

When it comes to a betta's diet, moderation is key, as a betta's stomach is about as large as the black dot in the center of his eye! With that in mind, feed your betta one specialty "betta pellet" once a day. For a treat, try giving him a pinch of frozen bloodworms about once a week, as it will help maintain his jewel-bright complexion. Other than taking precaution to not overfeed your betta, the most crucial factor in betta fish care is water quality. Never place your betta in water straight from the tap! There are many products on the market that will instantly make water safe for fish, or you can use bottled spring water. Ensure that your betta's tank is kept warm enough (but never placed in direct sunlight!), especially during the winter months. You can get a small thermometer, and if needed, a heater made especially for fish tanks, to make certain the water temperature is kept between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When changing the water, replace no more than half of the water at any given time, and always make sure the replacement water is purified.

With this betta fish care advice well in mind, you'll always have a healthy betta. Remember: a healthy betta is a beautiful betta, and a beautiful betta is one you'll be proud to enjoy and share with friends and family for years to come!

Betta Fish Care

Betta Fish Care - Taking Care of your Betta fish

Betta fishes live for approximately 2 to 5 years. The Fishes that are sold in pet stores are generally adults, so they have the fine lengthy fins, but that also shows that they are by now a year old. That shows that if your betta fish lives for more than 2-3 years after you purchase it, it's a fine, long-lived fish.

The foods for bettas have a tendency to be more of a meat diet as compared to other fishes. A number of fishes are very particular about what they will or won't consume. It's totally special with every fish, although, and depends a great deal on what they were initially lived with. Most bettas will involuntarily be stuck on and consume all types of live food, brine shrimp, tubiflex worms, black worms, mosquito larvae, daphina, etc. But the majority of the people don't like or aren't capable of keeping the live food around always, so dry foods are developed for the fish. You can get pellets and special flakes for bettas from your nearby pet shop. However be aware that if your fish hasn't eaten them earlier it might take some time for him to develop a taste to them or even to begin eating them. One more kind of dried food is the freeze-dried foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, worms, etc. You can also train your betta fish to eat normal flake food that you feed the rest of your aquarium fishes and exchange that with the live foods.

A betta fish’s home must be like their natural habitat to make your fish a happy fish and live. The rice paddy region is exceptionally hot and humid, with ordinary waters in the 80-85 deg F range, and very moist air. In the U.S., the atmosphere doesn't usually come close to matching that atmosphere, and the fish have been bred for years and years to cope up with various weather conditions, so that they can also stay alive in room temperature water, but they will be much more contented and healthier in warmer water.

A most suitable temperature for a betta fish is 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much hotter than that, as the outside temperature doesn't match. And they are also fine generally down to 72 degrees. But if the room temperature gets much lower than that, the betta fish will most likely not be able to eat, will get ill or have many other troubles.

If the outside temperature is hotter than 80 degrees, don't be troubled about trying to keep the betta cool. They will be contented in the higher temperatures, but you must keep an eye as hotter temperatures will also make the water stinking faster and sicknesses that had been hole up might unexpectedly have an effect on the fish.

Betta fishes are fish that initially came from very hot regions of Asia. They get raised in still water where rice and other plants grew. To become accustomed to this inactive water with low-oxygen content, they developed a particular organ called a "labyrinth organ" that performs action something like a mammal's lung. In this case the fish goes to the upper surface of the water, takes in a lungful of air, and then the organ lets them to process the oxygen from the air, instead of an ordinary fish that obtains the oxygen from the water through its gills. And only because of this unusual capability of bettas, they can be placed in small jars and enclosures and can live in it. They don't have the need of the movement of the water and the quantity of water like other fish.

Though, that doesn't signify that they're happy fish when placed in the small jars. They are usually very happy fish in bigger containers, and a small bowl or jar must only be a provisional tank for a betta fish.

Mainly one gallon of water is an excellent size to place a Betta fish with water changes in two weeks. If you don’t keep your fish in that much water then you might face two types of problems i.e. the water will become polluted very and the fish can't swim in it. If you don't possess an aquarium, you can use a plastic or glass 1 gal goldfish bowl as the initial container for a betta fish.

While changing the water, it is a great idea to acquire some water conditioner to get rid of the chlorine and some "stress coat" formula to help out to keep the fish healthy. Be alert to match both the temperatures, as in that way the betta fish doesn't get disturbed.

Betta Fish Care

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Betta Fish Care - 5 Common Myths

Despite the popularity of beta fish in US offices and households, there still many misleading misconceptions about these creatures. They are vibrant and it is fun to care for them, but betta lovers can enjoy them only when they know how to care for a beta fish.And this is where myths continue to grow and spread like fire.

In this article, I aim to dispel some of the most common myths related to betta fish care.

Myth #1: bettas love small containers like bowls.
Probably this myth comes from the fact that in pet stores we see bettas kept in bowls, thus we get the idea that this is the right home for them. Actually, this is wrong. Bowls are not preferred; remember that in the wild betta fish are not limited in space. So a 3-gallon tank is highly recommended. Ideally, you should consider a 5-gallon home for your betta if you want to make them really happy.

Myth #2: two male bettas will fight to death.
While bettas tend to protect there territory from invaders, much depends on the size of the container. If you keep two males in a small bowl, they're likely to fight. But providing they live in a tank with enough space, they may share the territory pretty peacefully. Bettas are not used to cruel fighting; like other species in the wild, they show their superior position by demonstration, and not fight.

Myth #3: you should feed betta fish as much as he can eat.
Betta owners should know that in the wild bettas are carnivores. That is, they tend to eat as much as they can catch when there's food. A Betta can live up to a month without food, and that's why he eats up all the meal. Domesticated creatures should be fed in small portions to avoid any betta fish diseases like constipation and Swim bladder disease.

Myth 4: Betta fish tank doesn't need any heating.
Bettas come from Asia, where temperatures in the wild are higher than temperature of the outside air in the US. Bettas are tropical fish and need their water heated to the 79F - 85F degree range. Low water temperatures stress out the betta fish, lower their immune system and lead to diseases.

Myth 5: Bettas prefer to eat plants, not meat.
Betta fish are not herbivores! They are carnivores, that is meat eaters. While it may sound strange because of the size of bettas, plants are not suitable food for them. If you see a betta fish eating roots of some plant, then it's because he is starving! The most preferred food for them would be frozen bloodworms or flakes from local pet store.

Of course, there are more myths about betta fish care you should be aware of if you want to learn how to be a happy owner of these fancy freshwater creatures. You're welcome to my blog for more useful tips on how to care for betta fish.

Head over to Betta Fish Care Guide for advice on how to properly breed and feed bettas, or read more myths about these tropical fish.

Alberta Glamerheim is co-writer and consultant in fish breeding and care in domestic conditions.

Betta Fish Care

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Secrets to Betta Fish Care

The betta fish, most commonly known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, is a very popular tropical fish because of its brilliant colors plus betta fish care is relatively easy especially for newcomers to tropical fish hobby. In the Wild bettas live in the rice fields and rivers of southeast Asia, so they are actually a pretty hardy tropical fish but the betta fish can also be finicky.

Betta fish care does entail some special considerations that are unique to betta fish especially in regards to the males in order to keep him/her happy and healthy.

With that said here's a sneak peek at some of the secrets to betta fish care as well as where you can go to find more information about betta fish care and get great tips to breeding betas successfully.

* 1. Water Quality. As with all tropical fish this is the number one issue when it comes to keeping healthy fish and is also true with betta fish care. It is important that the PH level of the water be as close to a neutral PH of 7.0 as possible to insure a healthy happy betta fish. As well water temperature is equally important to maintaining healthy betta fish, and they prefer temperatures between 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
* 2.Vegetation. Here's a little tip that a lot of people miss in regards to betta fish care. Having some vegetation in the tank for the fish to rest/hide in. Betta fish remember come from southeast Asia and as such are very common the the rivers streams and rice fields of those countries. Having vegetation helps to re-create this habitat and helps to maintain a healthy betta.
* 3.Give them some space. A lot of people think that just because a betta fish doesn't have gills like other tropical fish and breathes air just like people do (yes betta fish have lungs) doesn't mean the fish is happy inside of a cup. Would you be, so give the fish some space you'll be rewarded for your efforts.

There's other tips that are crucial and insightful about betta fish care but these basics should point you in the right direction to maintaining and keeping healthy betta fish.

Betta Fish Care

Betta Fish Care - What You Don't Know Will Hurt Your Betta Fish

Betta fish bowls are by far one of the biggest misconceptions about Betta fish. Many people are under the impression that if you buy a Betta fish you can just let them sit in the bowl you purchased from the store and everything will be fine. This is probably the worst myth regarding them.

Here is why-Betta fish were not meant to be confined to a small bowl. On the contrary, they love to swim around. In the wild they have plenty of room to do their thing, but as a pet, if the owner doesn't give them a great home to swim in, then ultimately the Betta will be unhappy and their life expectancy will lessen. Think about this for a moment, would you be happy if you were confined to a 6ft by 6ft box each day? Then why do we assume our Bettas will enjoy a dinky little 4 inch diameter bowl?

They don't. In fact, smaller fish bowls may actually harm your Betta.

Now, what are some other good tips to know about purchasing Betta fish bowls?

If you need to go small, be sure that your fish bowl is big enough so that your Betta's fins and tail aren't always touching the sides or bottom.

Your bowl needs to be aesthetically pleasing to you. Don't go purchase some cheesy bowl (a glass bowl shaped like a fish comes to mind). A nice, elegant glass bowl that shows off the fish and helps to make them a great conversation piece during gatherings makes great Betta fish bowls.

Don't go too big for just the one fish. He doesn't need a 20 gallon tank!

Add some decoration to the inside of the bowl, preferably small, smooth pebbles; some kind of aquatic plants and small buildings or figures.

Be sure to get a bowl/tank with a cover. Betta fish have been known to jump out of the water and end up on the table...which will spell disaster for your Betta if you don't happen to be around when it happens.

Don't harm your Betta, learn more about Betta Fish Secrets and how to take care of them by reading an in-depth review here

Eric is a Betta fish enthusiast and loves spending time with his daughter taking care of their Betta.

Betta Fish Care