Just because your tank looks clean doesn’t mean the water is
healthy. High ammonia and nitrate levels caused by waste aren’t
visible but can seriously stress out your Betta.
Keeping healthy water conditions in your Betta’s tank is THE most
important thing you can do to provide long-term health and
If you keep your Betta in an unfiltered bowl then you should change
30-50% of the water every week – the smaller the bowl the more water
you should change.
If your Betta lives in a filtered tank then you only need to change
out about 20% of the water each week.
Now, you don’t simply dump out a bunch of water and dump new tap
water in, right? Of course not, that would seriously stress out your
So here’s how to change water in your tank:
* have a clean spare tank, jug or container for the new water
* fill the spare tank the day before allowing it to reach room
* add some water conditioner to the spare tank to help remove the
chlorine and other chemicals that unfortunately exist in our tap
* remember how much water your need to remove, then use a plastic
hose or tube and siphon the water you need to remove into a
* Try to siphon from the bottom of the tank where the food and waste
* If you are not sure how to siphon water simply put one end of the
hose in the tank and the other lower than the tank near the
bucket. Give the hose a very quick suck to get water moving but
obviously pull it out sooner than later so water winds up in your
mouth. This should start the water siphoning and get it pouring
into the bucket. Then simply pull the tube/hose out of the tank
when enough water has been removed.
* Now you can either clean the hose and siphon the fresh water in,
or dump it in very slowly. The key is to not stress out your fish.
So be very gentle getting the new water into the tank.
If for some reason your tank is disgusting and literally needs to be
scrubbed then you need to remove your Betta, but save enough of the
dirty water so your Betta can survive in a bowl while you clean the
Thoroughly scrub your tank and all elements (rocks, plants, etc),
dumping out the old nasty water.
The trickiest part is getting your Betta (who is still swimming in a
bowl of the old water) acclimated with the new water and the clean
The trick is to slowly add the new water to the small bowl over the
course of several hours, removing some ‘old’ water each time if you
have to make room.
Once there is a enough new water in the small bowl and your Betta
seems ok, then fill the tank with the rest of the new water. Then
either use a net to transfer your Betta back into its tank, or dump
the mix of old and new water plus your Betta from the small tank
into the large one.
Well, congrats as you’ve finished reading the Betta Answers mini
course. Hopefully you’ve found these emails helpful to the care of
your Betta Fish. Feel free to share this tips with friends and
If you have any questions or things you’d like to read more about
then let us know via our Contact Us form.
We all want to see our Bettas happy, colorful and thriving, and it
can be downright depressing to see our fish sick.
First, here are some signs that your Betta is happy, healthy and
* eating at all feedings
* showing all fins. Bettas like to spread these out while swimming.
* clear eyes
* skin looks healthy and smooth
Signs that your Betta might be ill:
* not eating
* scraping on the rocks
* lying on the bottom of the tank
* not spreading fins while swimming
* not growing as expected
* swimming sideways
* white or discolored feces
* white buds or dots appearing on the skin
* faded skin color
What you can do:
* Bring a water sample to the local pet store. If you are lucky to
have a store like PetSmart near you they will test your water
sample for free and give you results in minutes
* make sure your water temperature is near 80 degrees, that is ideal
for Betta Fish
* remove any algae from the sides of the tank
* chlorine is in tap water and fatal to Betta fish, you may need a
declorinator or water treatment to deal with this. The best option
is to test your water at the pet store
If you’ve tried these and your Betta is still having issues then I
highly recommend you instantly download the complete chart of
illnesses and cures in chapter 6 of “Betta Fish Secrets”
The chapter about illnesses is amazing, containing quick resolutions
for things like “popeye” (when a Betta’s eye starts to bulge), as
well as so many other cures.
In the next lesson, we’ll be talking about how to change water in
your Betta Fish tank the right way without stressing out or harming
Here’s some great tips on what and how often to feed your Betta
Fish to keep them happy and healthy:
* for a daily diet try tropical fish flakes or pellets according to
the directions on the package.
* Some people don’t like to feed pellets as they can expand in the
Betta’s stomach and cause discomfort, some prefer tropical fish
flakes as they float longer and don’t expand.
* This may shock you, but remember what I said your Betta was a
carnivore? Well, for a treat your Betta would love some frozen or
freeze-dried bloodworms, other small worms, brine shrimp, or
mosquito larvae (ask your pet store if they carry these).
Just remember to thaw any frozen food before feedings. The only
problem with live food is that your Betta may not be thrilled with
the pellets or flakes anymore, and downright refuse to eat them…
* alternate between Betta food/flakes and the specialty treats
* younger Betta fish should be fed twice a day, adults once a day
* only feed the Betta enough that they can eat in 2 mins – no more.
Put too much food in the tank and it will rot and pollute the
* over feeding can cause health problems, maybe even death in some
Bettas. Especially if you feed them live food, they will eat unti all
of it is gone.
* once a week don’t feed your Betta, this gives their digestive
system time to clean out
* if you need to take off for a weekend don’t sweat it, Bettas have
been known to survive for several days, even weeks without food.
Most or all of this fish food you can find at your local pet store.
In the next lesson, we’ll be talking about how to tell if your Betta
is ill, and what you can do about it.
Hopefully your Betta Fish is well adjusted to its new environment in the tank.
Perhaps your Betta is looking a bit lonely and you were thinking it
may need some company?
Today we’ll learn a few things you need to know about your Betta
before adding any ‘friends’ to the tank.
Betta Fish are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish. They are
carnivores and prefer to each mostly animal matter, so be careful or
adding a new ‘friend’ may be your Betta’s next meal….
Male Bettas are territorial and aggressive towards each other.
Generally the best rule of thumb when it comes to male bettas is
they are best left alone in a smaller tank. Sometimes males can live
peacefully in a larger tank (much larger), or with a smaller
peaceful fish if using a smaller tank.
Our Betta “Red Fish Millie” as my son Sam calls him, is a male. So
I’m going the safe route and leaving him alone in the tank as that’s
what the experts recommend.
Females are generally not aggressive and can live peacefully
together. Yet you may have noticed in the pet store even the females
If you’d like to add another fish to the tank, whether its two
females, or add a betta to a community tank then follow these steps:
1. leave the fish in the bag and place it in the tank (don’t cut any
2. watch the reaction of the other fish. If the Betta flares up and
continues to flare after 15 minutes its best to not integrate
these fish. Flaring is when they stick out all of their fins
to look larger.
3. If the Betta does not flare then its probably safe to keep the
fish together, but watch them closely for the first few days
and if they nip or attack each other immediately separate them.
In the next lesson, we’ll be talking about what to feed your Betta
Fish that they will absolutely love! Remember — they are
carnivores, so the answer may surprise you.
In the last Betta Answers lesson you discovered how to properly
transport your Betta Fish home from the pet store.
Today you will discover how to properly acclimate your Betta Fish
to its new tank.
Now some of you may already have brought your Betta home from the
store and put it in the tank, so if you didn’t do things exactly
right so don’t worry. It’s generally not a life or death situation
if done incorrectly, but if done properly will greatly reduce the
stress your Betta goes through.
Just try to keep those tips in mind for any future Betta Fish that
– Acclimating your Betta Fish –
Remember how your Betta Fish doesn’t like rapid changes in
environment? Well the water that is in the bag most likely is not
exactly like the tank that you prepared.
Here’s some tips on how to transition your Betta into his new tank:
* let the bag float in the tank for at least a few hours. What this
does is make the temperature in the bag the same as the tank.
This way there is no temperature shock to your Betta Fish when
released into the tank.
* if the fish is in a bag try cutting a small hole in the bag to let
some tank water in. You want to slowly get the tank water to blend
with the bag water. The worst thing you could do is simply dump
the whole bag in the tank when you get home.
* use a clothespin or tape to keep the bag hanging in the tank and
cut more holes every hour or so until the bag seems completely
full with tank water
– Quarantine Tank –
Another option to acclimate your Betta is to use what’s called a
Quarantine Tank, which is a temporary tank the Betta lives
in for a week or so before moving to its permanent tank.
It allows the Betta to “de-stress” from the ride home before
encountering its permanent home with gravel, plants, and filters.
Plus the Quarantine tank allows the Betta to slowly adjust to water
conditions at home.
* You can use a clean vase or small tank and simply pour the Betta
into it using the water from the bag. Slowly add water from
(or similar to) the ‘big’ tank to this quarantine tank. This
allows the fish to acclimate to the new water.
* Once the quarantine tank is full mostly of ‘new’ tank water then
your Betta should be ready for the transition to its permanent
In the next lesson, we’ll be talking about what type of fish can you
add to your Betta’s Tank. Remember to be careful — Bettas are also
known as Siamese Fighting Fish!
In the last lesson I talked more about substrate and helpful
bacteria creating the ideal tank conditions for your Betta. Today
I’m going to talk about the very critical step of taking your Betta
home from the pet store.
You see, the ride home for a Betta fish can be a very stressful
event. Any sort of rapid change in environment for a fish is
stressful and bad for their health. If you expose your Betta fish to
too many changes in a short period of time it may cause it to get
sick or worse.
So here are some important tips for bringing
home your Betta:
* make sure the bag (or container) from the pet store is as full as
possible. The more water in the bag the less room for the water
to move around and startle your Betta.
* if using bags then make sure to double-bag your fish – it lessens
the chance of a leak or break.
* place the bag in a box of some sort, its far easier to hold onto a
box than a bag full of water. The last thing you want to do is
drop your fish by accident!
* avoid and bumpy or jarring roads on the way home if possible.
* go straight home from the pet store! Do not run any errands or
decide to show your fish to friends on the way home from the
The goal for the ride home is to make it as stress free as possible
for your Betta Fish.
In the next lesson, we’ll be talking about how to acclimate Betta
Fish to the tank without stressing it out and harming it’s health.
In the last lesson I talked about the ideal tank size and water
conditions for Betta Fish.
Todays Lesson: Why its critical to add substrate to your Betta Fish
Your first question may be “what is substrate?”
Substrate is basically fish tank gravel. Most people think it gets
added to the tank simply for a visual effect, sort of making it look
like the bottom of the ocean.
But substrate plays a vital role in your Betta Fish’s tank. Besides
adding visual beauty to your tank, there is beneficial bacteria that
grow on substrate and help it break down the waste in your tank.
Without this bacteria your tank will become dirty and unhealthy much
faster than if you add substrate to your tank. It may be strange to
think some bacteria in your tank is a good thing, but it is.
Any local pet store sells substrate/tankgravel so simply pick some
up. Before you put it in your tank simply wash it with tap water
in a strainer (don’t use any soap – even a little soap in your tank
can be harmful if not lethal for fish.
When you add it to the tank make sure you cover the bottom of the
tank, and there’s no need to add more than 3 inches worth.
I hope you enjoyed this tip, its a simple and effective way to keep
your water healthier for your Betta Fish.
In the next lesson, we’ll be talking about how to correctly your
Betta home from the pet store – do it wrong and you will seriously
stress out your Betta fish!
Did you realize that many Betta fish become sluggish and ill due to
poor tank conditions only a few months after coming home from the
pet store? And this isn’t to say that peoples tanks are dirty, just
poorly set up.
In the wild Betta Fish live in stagnant low oxygen pools of water.
We can’t exactly replicate that natural living conditions but we can
come close. Get this right and your Betta Fish with thrive!
So lets first talk about the ideal tank
for a Betta fish:
- tank size should be at least a gallon, preferably three gallons
- not placed near any drafty windows that might cause sudden changes
- a wide tank or bowl, this adds surface area for more oxygen
- a tank with a cover is ideal, Betta Fish have been known to jump
out of their tanks
Ideal Water Conditions
* Fill the tank with water a few days before you bring your Betta
Fish home, and keep an eye on the temp. Place the tank in an area
where the temp won’t fluctuate too much. You don’t want it right
by a drafty window or heat vent.
* Get a thermometer for your tank at the pet store (they only cost a
few bucks) and keep an eye on the temp. If the room temperature of
the water in your home is too hot or cold you may consider moving
your tank to another location in the house, or possibly buying
a tank heater (if it’s too cold). Ideally you want your tank
between 78-82 degrees. The very coldest a Betta Fish can survive
is about 72 degrees.
* tap water is full of chemicals like chlorine and fluoride that
fish don’t like very much, and really stresses them out. Buy water
conditioner for your tank at the pet store and add it before you
bring your Betta home. It only costs a few dollars, and will
instantly correct many of the problems with the tap water in your
In the next lesson, we’ll be talking about what substrate is, and
why adding it to your tank its critical keeping your Betta Fish
Betta Tank Mates are NOT out of the question! Yes, when you bought your Betta Fish at the pet store it may have seemed strange to see them alone in their own separate containers, while entire tanks of other fish swam in peaceful harmony.
This may seem strange but Betta’s prefer to be alone. They like to be king of the tank and don’t want to be bothered. So generally it is the owner of a Betta Fish that will get more satisfaction out of adding more fish to the tank, not the Betta Fish.
You may have been told Betta Fish must live alone, this simply isn’t true. You just need to find other tank mates with the right temperament. Remember, Betta’s are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish – they are territorial, will fight, and can be aggressive towards other fish. So its best to let them be “king of the tank”, and simply find other fish that won’t rock the boat.
These are general rules about fish *NOT* to put in a tank with a Betta
- 2 Male Betta’s – they both want to be “king” and should never live together.
- Male and Female Bettas – they should only be put together during breeding
- Any sort of cold-water fish. Betta Fish are a tropical fish and like water around 78-82 degrees. Many cold water fish can’t handle the tropical temperatures of a betta fish tank
- Long Tails or Fins – any sort of fish with long tails fins will be seen as one of their own kind and get attacked
- Hyper or Aggressive Fish – any ‘A’ type personality fish swimming around the tank in the same manner as a Betta will make for a bad tank mate
- Small Tank – generally if your tank is 2-3 gallons you should probably not add anything unless its an extremely mellow fish. Generally you want at least a 5-10 gallon tank before adding any other fish. If your Betta is in a smaller tank and lives with other fish without attacking them it still may be stressed out from lack of room in the tank, so I suggest not trying unless you have a larger tank.
These are general rules about fish you *CAN* to put in a tank with a Betta
- Large Tank
Confused or unsure about how often to change the water in your Betta Fish tank, or how to do it? This article will explain the in very clear steps exactly what you need to do.
A fish tank can quickly become toxic from rotting uneaten food as well as from waste produced by the fish, so its important to make your your fish isn’t drowning in waste. Clean water in your fish tank is the #1 key to long term health for your fish.
Step #1 – Your fish Bowl or a Filtered Tank will tell you how much water to change
A fish bowl with no type of filtration will need to be changed more frequently and have more of the water changed vs a fish tank that has some sort of filter system. A tank with a filter system only needs about 20% of the water changed once a week. A fish bowl or tank with no filter system should have roughly half of the water changed once a week.
Step #2 – Prepare For the Water Change
These are steps you’ll need to take 1 full day before the water change:
- Fill a very clean bucket or container with water – find one that can hold up to the amount of water you need to replace in the tank. I use the same clean container only for this purpose, so its never confused as a cleaning bucket for household chores that may contain some sort of toxic residue from cleaners
- Treat the water with water conditioner – our tap water is full of things that aren’t good for fish like fluoride and chlorine. Water conditioner will take care that, and it can easily be found at any pet store
- Wait – the water needs to come up to room temperature and hopefully be very close to the same temperature as in the tank. Remember that sudden changes in temperature will stress your Betta Fish. Ideally you want your tank water and replacement water in the 78-82 degree range.
- Additional Supplies – you will need an additional bucket to drain the fish tank water into. This bucket does not have to be sterile/clean as this water is just going to get dumped down the toilet. You will also need some sort of hose to siphon the water out of the tank into the bucket. Pet stores carry specialized suction tubes for this purpose that are wider firm plastic on one end that helps will part of the cleaning process you will do as you change the water, plus a clip for the other end so the hose stays connected to your bucket catching the water and not spraying all over your floor. If your filter is really dirty also make sure you also have a new replacement filter.
Step # 3 – Remove the Old Water
All of these steps are done without removing your Betta Fish. These are gentle steps that aren’t too disruptive to your fish. The only time you should need to remove your fish is for a full water change if something drastic went wrong with the tank water.
- remove the tank cover – make sure any filters, lights or heaters that are plugged in no longer is as a safety measure.
- get the ‘catch’ bucket close to the tank
- remove any decorative rocks from the bottom of the tank
- place the suction tube or hose into the tank – some tubes have a way to get the water flowing in a siphon action simply by letting it fill with water and then shaking it lightly. If you don’t have one of these you’ll have to do it the hard way and give the end of the hose not in the tank enough of a suck to get the water starting to flow up and out. Make sure you pull it away from your mouth and put it in the catch bucket before it hits your lips!
- Drag the suction hose across the tank gravel – what you are doing here is somewhat bobbing the the hose up and down across all of the gravel in your tank at a 45 degree angle. The reason you are doing this is it will suck up and remove rotting uneaten fish food that is collecting in the gravel, which will help make for a healthier tank.
- Make sure you don’t remove too much water – only remove the recommended amount mention above based on your tank setup. The remaining water in the tank has necessary beneficial bacteria in it necessary for a healthy environment. Once you are done removing the tank water you can dump that water down the toilet.
Step #4 – Add the new water
- Add your rocks or decorations back into the tank
- Either gently pour or use the siphon to fill the tank close to the top
- Replace the filter if dirty if necessary
- Put the lid back on the tank, plug back in your filter, heater and lights