Bettas are beautiful, elegant fish. They’re also not the easiest fish to take care of. Keeping a Betta requires special attention and diligence. If you don’t follow the right steps with your beta fish care, they have the potential to develop diseases or stress and pass away.
Luckily, there aren’t too many things you can mess up when it comes to your Betta… But some things may be easy to miss. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the most common mistakes betta owners make so you won’t be one of them. Let’s take a look at some common missteps and solutions:
The most common mistakes Betta owners make
The most common mistakes made by Betta owners are failing to understand their fish’s basic needs, overfeeding and underfeeding, poor water conditions, and improper housing. Bettas are not tropical fish, and cannot thrive in an environment that is too warm. Keep your Betta’s environment around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Feeding your Betta too much can cause them to develop swim bladder disease, which can be fatal.
Feed your Betta only once per day, and only as much food as he can consume in three minutes. Overfeeding your Betta can also cause him to grow very large in a very short period. Betta splendens are also very sensitive to chemicals and medications found in tap water. You should always use treated water to make sure your Betta does not get sick.
Using incorrect water conditions
Water conditions are one of the most important aspects of caring for a pregnant Betta fish. If you do not provide your Betta with clean water and the right pH level, they may become sick and their fry may die. Betta fish need warm, clean water that has a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Ideally, you should use water treated with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals.
If your water is too cold or too hot, your Betta may become stressed. Bettas prefer soft water and prefer to breed in water with low levels of minerals. If your water has a high concentration of minerals, you may need to perform a water change.
Not providing stimulation for your Betta
Betta fish are not goldfish. What this means is that they need stimulation. What does this mean, exactly? Well, for one thing, it means you shouldn’t keep your Betta in a bowl. Betta fish need space to swim and explore, and keeping them in a tiny bowl will cause them to become restless and stressed. This can lead to health problems and a shorter lifespan.
Likewise, you shouldn’t try to breed your Betta in a tank that is too small. Breeding requires additional space for the Betta to build a nest. Bettas are also very social fish, and they enjoy the company of other Betta fish. If you want your Betta to live a long, healthy life, consider purchasing another one to keep him company.
Failing to monitor your Betta’s behavior
Before you start breeding, you need to be aware of the signs that your Betta is ready to mate. Betta fish are very attentive to their surroundings and will start to exhibit mating behaviors when they are ready. Males will build a nest out of plants and leaves, and the pregnant female will become larger.
If you want to prevent your Betta from being disappointed or hurt, you must monitor his behaviour. Be sure to remove any mated Betta fish from the tank. Betta fish will often bite each other during mating, and if you don’t remove the female, she can become stressed and lose her appetite.
Mistaking aggression for mating behavior
Aggression is not the same thing as mating behaviour. If you’ve ever owned another fish, you may be familiar with the territorial aggression that some species display. Betta fish are no different, and their aggression is triggered by the presence of other fish in the tank. Mating behaviour is much different, and it’s easy to spot if you know what to look for.
Aggression can be avoided by keeping your tank clean and removing any uneaten food from the bottom. This will help your Betta to feel more comfortable in his tank and reduce the amount of stress he experiences. If you do notice a Betta getting overly aggressive, you can use a plant or decoration to create a barrier between him and the other fish.