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