Betta Care

The first point to make in betta keeping, is that if you are interested in keeping a pretty fish in an ornamental vase or small novelty container, please reconsider.
When you purchase any animal you assume the responsibility for their mental and physical well-being.

There are plenty of care links on the resources page, but this is a brief introduction of ways to ensure your betta fish thrive, along with some considerations for their environment.

There is a common misconception that betta fish are happy to live in small cups, vases and jars. Let's take a moment to look at the original natural habitat of the betta. Pictured above right are the ponds and naturally occurring flood lands, along with the man made rice fields of Thailand, where the species originated.
It's true these are hardy fish, and often the choice for a companion at work, or a child's first fish - but they need as much stimulation and care as any other pet you adopt. Inclusive of the fish's basic needs are mental stimulation, and the ability to swim around an environment they feel a part of.

As the betta is a particularly territorial fish, it is important that they be housed separately. Occasionally calm female fish from the same spawn, that have grown up together, can be housed together in large communal tanks, but they also suffer the occasional nip resulting in fin damage.
With all these considerations, one little fish is beginning to take up a lot of space, and this is the commitment a betta keeper makes.
Below are some extremely inappropriate housing solutions for the needs of a Betta (pictured below)
small jar
ornamental vase
wine glass

It's interesting to compare these lackluster little betta above, to the videos below in more appropriate tanks, where they are able to assert their own territory, enjoy live plants, free access to air and a pump and heater to maintain water quality and temperature.

The betta is a unique fish, in that it uses it's labyrinth (lungs) to breathe air every few minutes, they require as large a surface area as possible, with the occasional floating plant or ornament for them to blow bubble nests under, some happy betta will blow large nests if the water current isn't too strong.
Some practical solutions to the tank issue are pictured right, the dymax acrylic tank is a neat unit, very quiet, and provides more than adequate flow, light and inbuilt pump system (to the point where I have altered the outlet with a sponge to lessen the flow, or put it on a short timer)

Aqua-scaping and enhancing tanks with live plants and suitable freshwater ornaments can create dramatic and exciting results.
Please visit the resources page for more detailed links to keeping betta fish, setting up tanks, community tanks, plants, filters, water and breeding information.