There is no fish that lacks respect in the fish kingdom than the amazing betta. Goldfish are a close second, but most people see betta fish as the easiest pet to care for. Just drop it in a vase and poof! Instant fish tank.
Our office gets a lot of calls about betta fish. I do a fair amount of work treating them for various illnesses, most often the misdiagnosed “fin rot.” “Fin rot” is nothing more than your betta is stressed out from dozens of potential causes. Guess what is #1? If you didn’t say “water quality,” read this and get back to me.
Let me tell you a secret. 95% of my betta calls can save their money by implementing the following changes:
- Add a heater.
- Add a filter.
That is seriously how we fix 95% of our betta calls. We can tell you this on the phone for FREE. Well, actually we’ll tell you to visit this page on our website that outlines the exact same plan. If you don’t believe me, I can come to your house and tell you, but I’ll have to charge you.
Here’s how this magic fix works…
Most bettas are NOT kept in standard fish tanks. Everyone believes that what they see on Pinterest and Instagram with bettas in anything that can hold water is gospel. Yes, bettas have that specialized labyrinth organ that essentially acts as a primitive lung, allowing them to breathe air. HOWEVER, this is a short-term survival mechanism! It is not intended to be a way of life. It is the human equivalent of living in a spacious one-bedroom apartment with central air, heat and garbage disposal compared with living in a sealed elevator shaft. Sure, you’ll survive, but you won’t thrive.
And bettas are tropical fish, and therefore, need a heater. That’s about as simple as it is. 80-82F (26-28C) if you please!
Fish bowls are horrible homes for any fish. Get your pet a nice, filtered tank and use your bowl for something else. I recommend tropical beverages.
Regarding betta fish as disposable pets starts now. If you are taking in a living, breathing (WATER) pet, you are responsible for giving it the best life possible. If you can’t get your betta a tank with a heater, feed it properly or take care of it, get a pet rock instead. You can paint it like a betta if you like.
Side note: bettas will eat enough pellets to stuff them end to end in one sitting. Keep in mind that their “stomach” is only as big as their eyeball. Only a few pellets per feeding. And no amount of green peas will save you once the big poo ball forms.