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Video:How to Care for a Betta Fish

with Dan Thorton

Betta fish are one of the most popular freshwater fish, but they require special care from other pet fish. Learn more about how to care for bettas in this informative video.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Care for a Betta Fish

Hi , I am Dan Thornton the owner of Reef Encounters in Erie, Colorado and I am here today for About.com to tell you how to care for Betta fish.

Guidelines to Care for Betta Fish

Betta fish are one of the easiest fish to care for, if you follow a few simple guidelines: They like to have warm water, they need to be able to reach the surface to breathe, and they don't like to live together. They have the name Siamese Fighting Fish because they actually will fight. In the wild, they don't fight to the death they fight until one retreats and finds another spot. They do well with other fish as long as they don't look like another Betta. A fancy Guppy or a long-finned Barb, or something like that that could be confused for one of it's own kind is probably not a good tank mate. Any other tropical fish will generally do okay.

Some people will have success putting males and females together and they will breed in aquariums. A lot of times the male is still kind of hard on the female, so most people would recommend that you keep them separate. They like filtrated water and you do have to do water changes just like any other fish. They are going to be more lethargic, they are going to be more susceptible to disease, and you are going to be doing them a disservice if you don't maintain the tank.

Betta Fish Health

There are some disease issues, specifically with Bettas. It's very common to see a fungus that grows on their fins; it's also very easy to alleviate that. Just a little bit of salt is really hard on a fungus, so start with a teaspoon per gallon and that should knock that right down. That will also help control other parasites that you might see on Bettas, such as Ich or Velvet Disease, bacterias, there are all kinds of things that a little bit of salt will help. It's also good for the fish to have a little bit of salt in the tank; it's osmotically beneficial for them. It never hurts unless you have live plants; live plants don't like salt.

Betta Fish Diets

When caring for your Betta fish it is important to feed the proper amount of food. Adults have slower metabolism than a juvenile, so you don't need to feed them as much. A baby you may need to feed three or four times per day to keep them alive and growing, where as an adult one time a day should be plenty. You want to base your aquarium maintenance on how much food you are putting into the aquarium. Typically, a 20 percent water change every other week, or a 30 percent once a month is good for any aquarium. If you are breeding the fish and feeding more, you probably want to do weekly water changes.

Thanks so much for watching. For more information on fish, please visit us on the web at About.com.

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