The Beta Fish, also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, is a popular, beautiful and inexpensive pet. It’s hard to resist these stunning little jewels!
Beta fish are considered to be a relatively easy pet to own, but keep in mind that beta fish do have specific requirements to keep them comfortable, safe and healthy. Here are some beta fish basics to get you started.
The Beta fish’s official name is Betta splendens. The Beta fish’s natural coloring was originally much more drab than the intense colors that we see in pet shops today. Also in the wild the original beta fish sported much shorter fins.
The Beta fish originated in the hot, humid rice paddies of Asia. The Beta Fish developed a way to breathe oxygen directly from the air, using a lung-like “labyrinth” organ to survive as the rice paddies experienced drought.This way the bettas could still get air, while living in muddy, shrinking water holes and could survive until the rains returned.
Beta fish do not actually enjoy existing in tiny containers. Even though it’s possible for Beta fish to survive in these harsh conditions, this ability was developed by the Beta fish as a means of survival rather than choice. It’s much kinder to house your Beta fish in a 2.5 gallon tank or larger.
While it’s not necessary to house your Beta fish in a 10 gallon fish tank, it is much more comfortable and your Beta fish will appreciate it. A larger fish tank, such as a ten gallon tank, will also provide you with a fun way to display your prized Beta by adding plantings and other appropriate touches to your fish tank.
Because the Beta originated in a warm climate, Betas do not enjoy being cold. Your Beta will most likely consider your home’s room temperature too cold. We suggest investing in an inexpensive aquarium thermometer. A stick-on thermometer will do. You may want to consider placing a small heater in your Beta tank or placing your Beta’s bowl in a warm area of your home. Your beta will sit clamped and lifeless in a huddle near the bottom of his tank when he is too cold. Beta’s enjoy a water temperature in the mid 70 degrees.
The beta fish is commonly called the Samurai Fighting Fish because male Beta fish will attack each other and fight to the death. Never house male beta fish together. We also do not recommend placing a female Beta fish with your male Beta fish. It is very likely that your male beta will attack the female Beta as well, or possibly harass her to death.
Be aware that Beta fish are not recommended for community tanks. In a community tank the other fish will most likely nip at your Beta fish’s long beautiful fins and injure them. If you do decide that you want some companion fish with your Beta, be sure to research which species will coexist peacefully before placing the other fish with your Beta.