1. Can a Betta fish live in a vase?
I think the real question here is: should a Betta fish live in a vase? The answer, in short, is no. It is a common misconception that Bettas don't require a lot of space. While it is true that Bettas in the wild live in shallow water ways, those waterways are very large. Bettas need much more room than a vase can offer. The smaller the space, the quicker the water quality becomes toxic and dangerous to the fish. Smaller fish environments require so much more care. Bettas love to swim and are active fish. The minimum tank size should be 2.5 gallons but bigger is always better.
2. How long will a Betta fish live?
There seems to be varying opinions on this question. My experience is they have lived 3-4 years. Some say 2-3 years and some say as many as 3-5 years. Many stores don't sell the Bettas till they are 6-10 months of age so that they will have the long, flowing fins and deep, rich colors that attract buyers. So be aware that by the time you buy your Betta, he could already be nearly a year old.
3. What do Betta fish eat and how often should I feed it?
Bettas love to eat! Overfeeding can easily become a problem because they are always begging for food. You should feed a Betta twice a day but only small amounts each time. If you keep feeding, the Betta will of course keep eating! The ideal times to feed are once in the morning and once early evening. Bettas like to eat a wide variety of food. Giving them varied balanced diet will go a long way to keeping them healthy. They like to eat:
These foods can be fed as live food or frozen food. If you use frozen food be sure to defrost it and rinse it well before giving it to your Betta fish. Do not use hot water to defrost the frozen food otherwise the water will cook it. Freeze dried food is another option, but should only be fed as a treat. It can cause bloat if the Betta is fed too much and too often.
4. Can a Betta fish live with other fish?
Bettas can generally live with other peaceful community fish; however, there are never any guarantees. Bettas can be very aggressive even with other fish. They are very territorial. The introduction should be done slowly and carefully. Some good tank mates are usually Platies, female guppies and Corys to name but a few. For more in-depth information visit...Can Betta Fish live with other fish.
5. Do Betta fish need a heater?
Betta Fish are tropical fish from Asia. Their natural environment is very warm so they need temperatures between 78-82F degrees. They can survive in lower temperatures, but they will become more susceptible to illness and are likely to be lethargic. Betta heaters can be bought for tanks as small as 1 gallon. If you live in a very warm climate, you may not need to use a heater all year round if your home is a consistent temperature of 78F or above. During the winter months be sure to add a heater to the Bettas tank if your home temperature fluctuates.
6. Do Betta fish need a filter?
This question gets asked a lot and there seem to be many different recommendations. My answer comes from my own personal findings as to what has worked for me over the years. In the 2.5 gallon tanks, I didn't use filters but I did 100% water changes three times a week. This kept the water quality where it needed to be for a healthy active Betta. The tanks over 2.5 gallons all have filters and I do 25-30% water changes once a week. When using a filter in a Betta tank, the biggest issue is monitoring the current flow. Bettas don't like fast flowing water and will have trouble swimming. If the filter is too strong it can even pull the Betta onto the intake tube and the fish may drown. Great care should be taken when choosing a filter for your Betta. Sponge filters are a great option for Bettas. If you choose not to use a filter keeping a Betta is a bigger commitment as you will need to do more water changes per week.
7. Can Bettas live together?
Male Bettas cannot live with each other. They need to be kept in separate tanks where they can't see each other. If they can see each other for prolonged periods of time they will become very stressed. If males are kept together, they will fight to the death, hence the name Siamese Fighting Fish. Female Bettas can sometimes live in groups of 5 or more if the tank is heavily planted and they have enough space. Most sources state a 10 gallon tank as a minimum however, we personally would recommend 20 gallons. Our females live very peacefully in a heavily planted 20 gallon tank. When putting groups of females together, the process needs to be done slowly and carefully. They need to be left acclimating in cups next to each other for a long period of time. This helps condition them to other female company. Just remember that where Bettas are concerned, there are never any guarantees, and you must be prepared that the females may all need separate tanks to live in. The decision to try and have females living together should not be taken lightly.
8. How often should I clean the tank?
This depends on the size of the tank and whether you have a filter or not. Tanks under 2.5 gallons with no filter should be cleaned at least three times a week, removing 100% of the water. If you have a filter in the tank , it should be cleaned once a week. Remove 25-30% of the water and vacuum the gravel. Once a month the filter should be cleaned using the aquarium water. If you use tap water you will kill all the beneficial bacteria that's built up in your filter. Your filter media should be able to be used several times before being replaced with a new one.
9. Do I need to cycle a Betta fish tank?
This question is probably one of the most talked about and disagreed upon out of all of them. We will be giving you our views and the way we do things based on over 20 years of fish keeping. If you are not using a filter there is nothing to cycle. Cycling means to build up beneficial bacteria in the filter primarily although bacteria does also build up in the gravel and on aquarium decorations. We do both fishless and with fish cycles and we have never had a fish die through the process. It simply requires patience and care. Cycling your tank takes time, so don't rush it. It will save you more time in the long run and leave you with no dead fish. A tank usually takes 4-6 weeks to cycle properly. Doing small regular water changes plays a big part in helping the tank cycle. Once the tank is cycled, you can't add a lot of fish, otherwise the tank will go out of balance very quickly and you will have to start all over again. Add 1-2 fish at a time, keeping a very close watch on your water parameters in the process of testing your water.
10. Why do my Betta's fins get ripped?
Betta fins are very delicate. They have beautiful flowing fins-- that's why we like them, right? They can get damaged very easily and this can then cause secondary problems including bacteria infections especially if the tank is not kept clean. This can all be avoided by keeping your water quality at its best and choosing tank decorations that are very soft and have no rough surfaces. The most common cause of fin damage is unsuitable tank decorations. Another cause can be airstones. Airstones often have a very rough surface and Bettas often like to play at the source of bubbles. Be sure to have your airstones buried under the substrate or hidden inside a decoration. Decorations such as live plants, or silk plants are a good choice. Plastic plants tend to easily rip their fins.
Happy fish Keeping!