Your Beginner Guide to Start Betta Fish Keeping

The Siamese Fighting Fish, more popularly known as the Betta Fish, is a colorful fish known for its aggressive behavior towards other male fish and the frequent and splendid flaring of its gill covers. In Thailand, Betta fighting is an actual sport, and people have managed to bread Bettas that are capable of fighting for hours. The Betta fish has become popular pets worldwide. In this article, we will attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions about the Betta fish.

betta fish guide

Why Do People Keep Bettas?

Betta fishes are native to Southeast Asia and have been cultured and bred in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam for decades now. Bettas are known for their aggressive behavior and their exquisite colors. In South-East Asia, Bettas were and continue to be bred for fish fights.

However, in the recent past, the popularity of Bettas as pet fishes has grown immensely. In western countries, more and more people are finding a roommate in Bettas. Most of the Betta fishes that sell in stores come from commercial Betta-breeding farms in South-East Asian countries, mostly Malaysia and Singapore.

How Big Should a Betta Tank Be?

One of the prime reasons for the growing popularity of Betta is the fact that this fish is a survivor and super easy to care for. Since Betta fish live in freshwater, they need lesser oxygen than the other types of fish. Further, their familiarity with freshwater conditions makes it easy to set up an aquarium for them.

Though Bettas can also survive in a tank with 2.5 gallons of water, owners are advised to create a healthy ecosystem. This beautiful fish will never be happy in a small container with a tree in the middle. The truth is all fish need to be in an aquarium that resembles their natural habitat, and the Betta is no different. For your Betta, getting a five-gallon betta starter tank is a good choice. 

Do Bettas Require Special Tank Conditions?

To make sure your Betta stays hail and hearty, maintain certain minimal conditions in the tank. For starters, the pH of the tank should be between 6.0 to 7.5 — anything lower or higher is harmful to the fish. Similarly, the temperature inside the tank should be maintained between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If extreme weather conditions are the norm in your area, make sure to invest in an aquarium heater. Also, ensure there is a water filter inside the tank.

Bettas wake up to natural light and sleep after dark. Thus, it would be best if you could place your Betta tank in a place that receives natural sunlight. Another thing to be kept in mind is that Bettas release a hormone that hampers their growth. Thus, if you want your Betta to reach its full length, make sure to change half the tank of water every day.

What Do You Feed a Betta Fish?

If you are planning to buy a Betta and put it in a tank with some trees, we suggest you do not buy a Betta in the first place. A Betta’s natural diet includes insects and larva, and this is the food you must feed your Betta. While plants help give an aquarium the feel of a natural ecosystem, they are not the right food choice for the Betta fish. A Betta’s diet should be meaty and rich in proteins. These fish, in particular, enjoy bloodworms, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp. Many people enjoy giving their Betta fish live worms. However, it would be best if you stayed away from this habit as live worms can lead to diseases entering the tank and your pet fish. For the same reason, make sure to keep mosquitoes away from the container.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live?

The worst thing about having a Betta is that do not live very long years. On average, a Betta will live for only two to three years. However, by taking care of the small things mentioned above, such as the right tank, right temperature and light, and the right food, you can make sure your Betta lives a happy and healthy life.

What Are the Type of Betta Fish?

Betta fish are of many different types. These fish are categorized based on their tail, color, and pattern. Based on tail type, these fish are divided into two broader categories: Crowntail Betta and Veiltail Betta. The Betta fishes that fall under the Crowntail variety have a long and spikey crown. Veiltail Betta fishes, on the other hand, have a long but downward swooping tail. Different variations include Double Tail Betta, Plakat Betta, Elephant Ear Betta, and Halfmoon Betta.

Based on color, the Betta fish are divided into Blue Betta fish and black Orchid Betta. A Blue Betta fish can be any shade of blue. However, the steel blue color is the most popular. The Black Orchid Betta variation includes all fishes with their color falling under the dark side of the spectrum. Other popular varieties include Red Betta, Yellow Betta, Green Betta, Pink Betta, Rose Petal Betta, Purple Betta, Mustard Gas Betta, and White Betta.

Based on the pattern, the Betta fish are divided into Dragon Scale Betta, Butterfly Betta, Koi Betta, and Marble Betta.


Tim Fox is a writer and editor at the SMK blog. He enjoys taking care of his fish in the large 100-gallon tank. He also enjoys running and watching movies. 

Sameer Raj has a keen interest in technology. He spent most of his time socializing with gadgets & tools than human beings. With each of his articles, Sameer shares such unique tricks that you might never knew.