Betta Fish Care Guide and FAQ

Updated on February 16, 2018
EricDockett profile image

Eric is an aquarium enthusiast with over two decades of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish.

Successful Betta fish care requires knowing the facts about their behaviors and tank setup.
Successful Betta fish care requires knowing the facts about their behaviors and tank setup. | Source

About Betta Care

Betta fish are easy to care for, but they have some special requirements due to their behaviors. They are colorful fish, both fierce and fragile. While they are among the most popular aquarium fish the the world, they are also one of the most misunderstood.

If you've just brought your new betta home, or if you are thinking of getting one, you probably have a lot of questions. This betta fish care guide can help you figure it all out, and give you the information you need to provide your new pet with a healthy environment where he will thrive for many years.

Or, perhaps you're having trouble with a betta you've had in the family for a while. It is tremendously disheartening when a pet gets sick or starts acting strangely, but you're not alone. Here you can find the answers to many frequently asked questions about betta fish and the things they do.

Maybe you'll discover your betta's actions aren't so weird after all!

Even though the tiny cups they come in at the pet store might suggest otherwise, bettas are not disposable pets. They require the same care and respect as any animal. Are you up to the task?

Of course! If you didn't care about your betta fish you wouldn't be here! So let's get down to business.

Betta Tank Selection

You want to choose a quality aquarium and have it set up before you bring your betta fish home. You may have heard that bettas do best in small bowls or even plant vases, but that’s simply not true. Just like any other tropical fish, they need space to thrive.

Small volumes of water pollute quickly, creating a bad environment for your fish. You’ll want to choose a tank that’s at least 5-gallons, but many people have great success keeping betta in beautifully planted 10-gallon tanks. Avoid small bowls and very small tanks.

So, why do some people think it is okay to keep these fish in tiny little containers? Betta fish are Anabantids, which means they can breathe air above the water through their mouths as well as obtain oxygen from the water through their gills.

They can exist in low-oxygen water environments where other fish would perish. In the wild, this means rice paddies or even muddy puddles. However, this is not an excuse for keeping betta fish in poor conditions.

Heat and Filtration for Your Betta Tank

As tropical fish, betta may require a heater and filter in their tank. You can find nano heaters for 5-gallon tanks, and if you choose a 10-gallon tank you’ll have many more options. Bettas need a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees.

You’ll want a heater capable of maintaining that temperature, as well as a thermometer that will accurately measure the temp of the tank water. (I prefer to use this digital thermometer with a probe. It is inexpensive, and super easy to read.)

As with heaters, you can find nano filters for 5-gallons tanks, and a wider variety of options for 10-gallon tanks and up. Look for something with an adjustable flow. Bettas don’t like a lot of current. In worse-case scenarios strong currents can even be bad for their fins, so try to find a filter with low-flow capabilities.

Choosing the right aquarium is the first step in proper betta fish care.
Choosing the right aquarium is the first step in proper betta fish care. | Source

Ideal Water Parameters

  • Temperature: 78 degrees
  • Nitrates: < 20
  • Nitrites: 0
  • Ammonia: 0
  • pH: 7.0

Additional Accessories for Your New Tank

You’ll need a few more supplies for your tank. Some things to think about:

  • Gravel and Substrate: In my opinion, regular aquarium gravel is best. Some people like to use large pebbles and marbles, and that’s fine if you are willing to go the extra mile every time you clean the tank. However, waste and uneaten food can easily slip between pebbles and become trapped, where they decay and foul the water. If you use regular gravel the tank is much easier to clean.
  • Plants: Bettas love plants, and they’ll sometimes even rest on the leaves. There are pros and cons to choosing live plants for your aquarium. But, if live plants seem too daunting, there is nothing wrong with artificial plants.
  • Hiding Spots: I always like to have a hiding spot, such as a cave or decoration the fish can swim into. It gives them a little haven where they can get away from light or current, or whatever else might be bothering them. Some fish use hiding spots a lot, where others rarely go into them.

How to Clean Your Betta Tank

If you set up your tank wisely you only need to spend a couple of minutes per week on maintenance. The most important thing is to perform a water change, while simultaneously cleaning the gravel. This is easily accomplished with an inexpensive siphon.

Choose a siphon based on the size of your tank. Obviously, very small tanks only require very small siphons. (I prefer the Aqueon Mini Siphon. There are more elaborate versions out there, but this one is inexpensive and does the job.)

You’ll want to vacuum the gravel until you remove about a third of the water, and then replace it will clean, fresh water. For small tanks, make sure you allow the new water to come up to room temperature before adding.

It’s important to know whether or not your water source includes chemicals such as chlorine. Many municipal water sources do. I use well water now, so I don’t have to worry about this, but when I lived in the city I always treated my tanks with water conditioner after each water change.

Dealing with algae is something you’ll have to do with good ol’ elbow grease. Algae scrubbers are inexpensive and are made to scrape the side of the tank clean. You may need to remove the decorations and clean them by hand

Betta needs certain considerations when it comes to tank setup.
Betta needs certain considerations when it comes to tank setup. | Source

Betta Fish Care and Behavior FAQ

Have some questions about your betta fish? Is he doing something strange? Are you worried about his health? Odds are you're not the first betta owner to witness this behavior.

If you are new to betta keeping, or if you just want to learn more about this wonderful tropical fish, you can find in-depth answers to many of your questions below. If you don’t see your question addressed here, you can also look to see if your question has been asked before in the comments section.

After all of that, if you still can’t find the answers to your betta questions feel free to ask in the comments section below! I do respond ASAP to all legitimate questions, but be patient and give it a day or two, and please be sure to check that your question isn't already asked before posting.

What Do Betta Fish Eat?

Choose a simple flake or pellet and only feed as much as he will eat in a few minutes. Most food containers advise feeding several times per day, but in my experience once a day is fine.

In addition to flake food or betta pellets, your betta can eat freeze-dried foods and (thawed) frozen foods. Experiment and see when he likes. It’s best to find a good flake or pellet food for his regular feedings and provide the more exotic foods as treats.

Don’t go crazy. Overfeeding is one of the top reasons betta fish die before their time. Your betta won’t eat a lot, so pay attention to what he’s letting float to the bottom of the tank and learn to gauge the appropriate amount of food to feed. Remember, he is one small fish and doesn't need a lot of food. Uneaten food can spoil the water.

Choose a quality flake or pellet as the basis of your betta's diet.
Choose a quality flake or pellet as the basis of your betta's diet. | Source

Why Is My Betta Fish Laying on the Bottom?

This is sometimes interpreted as a sign that a fish is about to die, but fear not. When a betta fish sits on the bottom it, in itself, does not mean that there is anything wrong. This is normal betta behavior, and as long as he appears otherwise healthy it is no concern. He’s just lazing around.

Bettas often sit on the bottom or of the leaves of real or artificial plants. However, if he appears to be tucking himself in a corner or in some other unnatural position it could be a sign that you need to include a hiding spot in his tank.

Also be on the lookout for any other signs of disease or injury. While healthy betta fish will often lay on the bottom, ill or injured fish may as well.

Is My Betta Fish Happy?

This seems like an odd question, but it is one I get several times per week in various forms on one or more of my betta articles. Usually, someone is concerned because their betta is no longer exhibiting a certain behavior, such as coming to the glass when a person enters the room.

Truthfully, I have no idea if a fish is capable of being “happy” or not, though I am as guilty as anyone for using the term. I think it is more likely that they feel content when their needs are met, such as when they are free from danger and disease, well-fed and unstressed.

Sadness isn't something you can prevent in your betta, but you can prevent those other issues. You keep your betta stress-free by setting up his tank correctly. You know he is well fed because you practice smart feeding practices. You watch for signs of disease and treat if necessary, and you keep his tank clean through proper maintenance procedures.

These are things to strive for when keeping a betta fish. If you do this he will be content, and maybe even happy!

Why Do Betta Fish Make Bubble Nests?

It’s a mating thing. Male bettas build bubble nests, especially when they are content in their environment. In the wild this is where the male betta stashes the eggs after they are released by the female.

However, this is also the subject of a little confusion at times. The absence of a bubble nest doesn’t mean your fish isn’t content. Sometimes people change tanks or make some other alteration to the betta’s environment and then become concerned when there is no bubble nest the next day. Let your fish become accustomed to his new environment, and even then don’t worry if he isn’t making nests.

Likewise, the presence of a bubble nest doesn’t always mean everything is fine. Remember, this is an instinctual behavior, and bettas live is some pretty rough environments in the wild. They makes nests even when times are hard.

Also, bettas sometimes leave bubbles on the surface of the water when they come up to breathe, and these can be misinterpreted as attempts to build bubble nests.

If your betta is making bubble nests it means you're doing a good job!
If your betta is making bubble nests it means you're doing a good job! | Source

Is My Betta Fish Bored or Lonely?

Worrying about a betta being bored and lonely is often used an excuse to add more fish to the tank. Usually, I think it is the fishkeeper who has become bored with the betta.

There are situations where betta fish can have tankmates, which I will address below. However, concern over his social status is not a good reason to put him in a community setting.

Some fish do experience what we might call primitive loneliness. They are schooling fish, and when they are not with others of their kind they experience elevated stress. They don't like to be alone.

But bettas are not this kind of fish. They are fine all on their own, and in many cases they are better off. As long as you follow smart betta care practices you don’t need to worry about the mental state of your fish.

Why Is My Betta Hiding in the Corner of the Tank?

Bettas need some kind of decoration or structure they can swim into when they need to feel safe. If that isn’t provided, and he feels he needs it, you may find him tucked into a corner instead. Always provide a place for him to escape to.

This is especially true if the current in the tank is somewhat strong, or if there are other things in the tank that are causing him to feel threatened. Even the outside room can be threatening, if people are always tapping on the glass or making a great deal of noise around the tank.

The solution is to have a hiding spot, so betta can retreat when he needs to.

Why Is My Betta Flaring His Gills?

A betta flares his gills as a sign of aggression. He is saying: Look how big and bad I am! Back off, buddy!

If there is no other fish in the tank it may be because he sees his reflection and thinks it is another betta fish. Bettas are territorial, and the perceived presence of another male will send him into fight mode. He doesn’t know it is his own reflection he sees.

This may be comical, and to some extent good for the fish, but don’t let it go on for hours on end. Adjust the light near his tank so he doesn’t see himself. If he is always flaring up because he perceives another fish in the tank he will be under constant stress and prone to illness.

Why Is My Betta Fish Swimming Up and Down the Sides of the Tank?

This is called glass surfing and it’s usually a sign that a fish in unhappy in its environment. That means he is experiencing stress of some kind. It could be because of poor water conditions, or it could be because the tank is too small.

This is one of the reasons recommend tanks at least five gallons for a single betta fish. Some people put their fish in tanks as small as one gallon and then wonder why the fish spends all day glass surfing. In my opinion one gallon – or two gallons or three gallons - is far too little space. Bigger is better.

Like any tropical fish, bettas need to swim around and have a little room. And remember: bettas do not like fast currents, so if the filtration in the tank is pushing him around it could be causing him stress.

Betta fish may glass surf when they are stressed.
Betta fish may glass surf when they are stressed. | Source

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White?

This is due to stress. If he just went through a water change or some other event where his environment was disturbed he should relax in a few minutes. Likewise, if he just went through an episode of flaring it may be followed by his face turning white.

If it seems like he’s always stressed it could mean there is something wrong in the tank. Some possible reasons include poor water conditions, no hiding spots in the tank, or a tank that is too small or overcrowded.

If he is living in a community tank setting, and his face is white all the time, it is a sure sign that it is time to get him out of there. Something, or some fish, is causing him stress, and it isn’t the right environment for him.

Can I Have Two Male Betta Fish in the Same Tank?

In most circumstances two males bettas in the same tank will severely injure or even kill each other. The only possible way to have two in one tank is to use a divider system to partition the tank. If you try this don’t use a clear partition, as both fish may stress themselves to death trying to get at the other.

Male Bettas are aggressive fish, and will attack each other and fish similar to them. It’s important to realize this when planning the environment where your Betta will live. Novice fish keepers are wise to keep their betta alone in a single-specimen tank.

Can Bettas Live With Other Fish?

Maybe. It depends on the temperament of the other fish, and your betta. You may be surprised to read this, given the reputation bettas have for fighting. Because they are so aggressive, many people keep them in tanks separate from their other fish, which is smart for beginners.

However, they can be fine community fish as well, under the right circumstances. When kept with tankmates, the danger is often to the betta as much as to the other fish.

There are a few keys to keeping a betta fish in a community tank. In a nutshell:

  • Try to add your betta to a tank that’s already established.
  • Don’t put your betta in a tank with species who are known fin nippers.
  • No other semi-aggressive fish in the tank, especially other anabantids.
  • No other fish with flowing fins, as he may mistake them for another betta.
  • Have a peaceful tank with lots of hiding spots.
  • Above all else, always have a backup plan (small tank or bowl) ready in case betta doesn’t get along.

Keeping betta in a community tank takes some planning and patience. If you are considering it, this article can help.

Can Betta Fish Have Tankmates That Aren’t Fish?

In many cases, yes, they can live with critters. In fact, in smaller tanks it is preferable to housing them other fish. You want to take some of the same precautions as you could keeping him with tankmates in a community setting, such as keeping a peaceful tank and, most importantly, having a backup plan in case things go wrong.

Some tankmates to consider are:

  • Apple/Mystery Snails
  • African Dwarf Frogs
  • Ghost Shrimp

Apples snails may make good tankmates for betta fish in certain situations.
Apples snails may make good tankmates for betta fish in certain situations. | Source

Is My Betta Fish Sick?

People often think their fish is sick when really it is just a betta being a betta. However, there are some signs to watch out for that will clue you in to illness. Look for the following symptoms of common betta fish diseases:

  • Swimming Sideways: If you notice buoyancy issues with your fish, it could be because of swim bladder issues. Overfeeding and poor water conditions are the cause of many betta maladies. Do a water change, and switch to an alternate day feed/fast schedule for a week and see if he improves.
  • Fins deteriorating: This is often due to poor water conditions. Keep up with water changes, don’t overfeed, keep his water super-clean and he ought to recover.
  • Scales look like they are ready to pop off: If your betta seems to be blowing up like a balloon to the point where his scales seem to be ready to burst, this is condition called dropsy. Unfortunately it is usually fatal, but can be prevented if you avoid overfeeding, especially live or very rich foods like bloodworms.
  • Little white dots on scales: This is a parasitic infection called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, or more commonly referred to as simply ich. It can be treated with over-the-counter meds, thought some fish keepers prefer to treat by raising the water temp and dosing the tank with aquarium salt.

Is Tap Water Safe for Fish?

If you are lucky enough to live where you have fresh, clean water without additives floating around in it, this will be fine for your betta.

If your water is drinkable, but you know it contains additives such as chlorine, there are dissolving tablets you can purchase that will condition the water and make it safe for your betta.

If you are unsure about the safety of your water you can purchase quality bottled spring water.

It’s a good idea to have the pH of your tap water tested. You can bring a sample and ask the staff at the pet store to do this for you, or you can purchase a kit and do it yourself. I prefer the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, and I've used it for years. Follow the directions that come with the kit and its super easy.

When Should I Change the Water in My Tank?

Some people wait until the water is visibly murky before performing maintenance on the tank. By then it’s too late.

If your Betta lives in an unfiltered setup you’ll need to completely change his water and clean his tank weekly. If he is in a tank with filtration, you need to change about 20-30% of his water weekly.

It’s best not to net him if you need to remove him from his home. His fins are fragile and it can greatly stress him. A better idea is to scoop him out into a small cup or bowl while you perform the weekly maintenance.

Be aware that Bettas can jump, so make sure he’s in a safe place.

Can Betta Fish Live With Goldfish?

The short answer is no. Goldfish and betta fish have very different care requirements. Goldfish are cold water fish, and betta are tropical fish, meaning the appropriate water temperature for each would stress the other.

Goldfish pollute water quickly, which would be deadly for a betta. They also have long, flowing fins, which could provoke aggression.

Finally, goldfish grow much too large for most home aquariums. They are appropriate only for very huge tanks and outdoor ponds.

Goldfish are not good tankmates for betta fish.
Goldfish are not good tankmates for betta fish. | Source

Where Do Betta Fish Come From?

In the wild, betta can be found in ponds, slow-moving creeks and rivers in Southeast Asia. The fish you purchase in the pet stores are all male, and bred to bring out their amazing colors and flowing fins. Wild bettas are far more dull. Some pet stores sell female bettas, but they are not nearly as common.

Take Good Care of Your Betta!

Betta are so popular not just because they are beautiful, but also because they are so easy to take care of. But don’t make the mistake of thinking they are disposable pets. It's easy to keep your fish healthy if you know the ropes.

Finally, please don’t keep your betta in a tiny cube, and if you’re given one in a plant vase please liberate him as soon as possible. If nothing else, I try to be an advocate for responsible fish keeping.

Good luck with your betta!

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Questions & Answers

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    • profile image

      Banks 

      6 days ago

      My Betta, when all is well, or so I think, suspends and swims easily in the middle of his tank. Sometimes, he sinks and sometimes he can't swim downwards without going back to the top. I imagine it's buoyancy issues and he swims sideways. I've tried the peas but they sink. He is normally on Kyorin pellets. I alternate 3 one morning and two another. I've tried adding flakes in the afternoon....need a consistent pattern. When he's in this condition I move him to a smaller bowl so he doesn't have to struggle so hard to get to the top to eat. He has seashells on the bottom. I've alternated between live plant and artificial. Your information was very useful.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      8 days ago from USA

      @Aneila - There really is no way to know unless you catch them in the act. If you suspect your betta is stressed or getting into altercations it might be time to get him out of there.

    • profile image

      Aniela 

      9 days ago

      My betta has tank mates and often flares at them. One of my fish have a nipped fin and it in a terrible condition. How do i know who is doing it or why? And also my betta is going to the filter and stays there for a long time

    • profile image

      Leslie Michel 

      5 weeks ago

      Keeping fish has been an important thing to me for ages. It’s been years since I had a Betta. I’m in love with the handsome double tail I have now

    • Deborah Minter profile image

      Deborah Minter 

      2 months ago from U.S, California

      Good article! Betta fish are such neat pets. I saw a Betta fish in a cup in the pet store, the water was evaporating and the cup was only half way full. I usually am a goldfish hobbiest, but I saw the Betta and bought him, my first fish rescue. Now he is as happy as can be in a ten gallon tank.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      2 months ago from USA

      @Kelly - Please see my answer to Jade below re: water changes. As for the plant, I'd keep an eye on him and see if it affects him. He may be fine with it.

    • profile image

      Kelly McCauley 

      2 months ago

      Hello, how many times a month should i change my 10 gallon tanks, water, i just bought a beautiful elephant ear betta and on one side i have silk flowers and the other is plastic, he prefers sleeping in the plastic one but I'm concerned the plastic leaves could hurt his fins, should i replace with silk ?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      2 months ago from USA

      @Jade - Sorry to hear about Ziggy. I know it can be tough. :-(

      With a filter running in the new tank I'd start by changing the water ~20% weekly, and vacuuming the gravel once per month. Watch your water parameters and see if you need to increase or decrease the frequency.

      Some fish keepers like to dose their tanks with aquarium salt at all times as a precautionary measure, but I prefer to save it for when I really need it. It's up to you which strategy you want to use.

      You have to test the water to know when the cycle is complete and the tank is ready for fish. When it comes around to ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate ~30 ppm you're good to go.

      Good luck!

    • Jadelcsr profile image

      Jade L Fitzgerald 

      2 months ago from Georgia

      Little Ziggy passed yesterday and we were sad. I was also relieved as I hated seeing him like that. Never been so attached to a fish before. He was so interactive. To be honest I never have been into fish before this one. Anyway, plan on getting a new one in a week or two and want to do it right from the start. I looked through your information and read up on everything but want to be sure on a couple of things.

      Have 5 gallon tank with carbon filter system and light. Have a mini heater which is great for the winter but during summer our home is around 76 to 78 degrees because of A/C so I turned off the mini heater when it started getting warmer in the house. I have a non-digital thermometer to keep eye on temp and it’s around 78 to 80 degrees in the water normally. I know to cycle the tank for a few days and check the water parameters before I get another Betta. The biggest issue is cleaning and water changes for the 5 gallon tank. How often do I do water changes and how much of a percentage per water change? I have a gravel cleaner/siphon apparatus to clean gravel. How often do I do that? Should I add aquarium salt at the initial setup? Anything else I should do before adding the Betta? How long should I cycle before I add him? Thanks so much all for your help.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      2 months ago from USA

      You're welcome, Jade. I hope he comes around.

    • Jadelcsr profile image

      Jade L Fitzgerald 

      2 months ago from Georgia

      I just did a 25% water change and added aquarium salt. We thought he was dead for a minute and then he popped back up. Made me and my son jump. Lol. We will see how it goes. I think I’ve been too much of a perfectionist and done too much for him and at this point I have to just keep doing partial water changes and just stop stressing. I honestly don’t think much else will do. He hasn’t come up to eat for a couple days but let’s see how the aquarium salt does. Hopefully that will help. Thanks for all your excellent advice. I’m extremely appreciative.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      2 months ago from USA

      @Jade - The testing kit just tells you your water parameters. You have to take it from there.

      If you haven't tested the water you have no way of knowing if you need pH regulator or not. Even if you do, there are natural ways of doing it, and most fish can adjust to different pH levels, as long as they are constant.

      It's a common mistake to try to make water perfect by adding a bunch of chemicals to it. You only really need those chemicals in certain situations and sometimes not at all.

      If you use a municipal water source you will need a water conditioner. If you have good country well water you might not need anything.

    • Jadelcsr profile image

      Jade L Fitzgerald 

      2 months ago from Georgia

      @Eric Dockett

      I will get a water treatment test. If it’s off I presume the kit will have instructions on what I should use to adjust the water. I’ve been using PH 7.0 regulator and the water purifier since I got him.

      I was over feeding hence the SBD. I have fixed that.

      I vacuum the gravel every week when I change out the 1/4 to 1/3 of water but not sure how great it’s getting the debris out.

      I was cleaning the filter apparatus every month and change the filter every 4 to 5 weeks. I stopped cleaning the whole thing as read that i could be messing up the biofilter cycle. I have changed the carbon filter though every 4 to 5 weeks.

      I only think the white thing isn’t fungus because I’ve been using Kanaplex. However it could be fungus. I read I was supposed to take fish out, do a complete scrub of everything including gravel, start over with clean water, then add medicine and then after letting everything cycle put the fish back in there. Then do partial water changes every couple of days until after week of treatment then take fish out again, do a complete clean, filter change, etc. again before putting fish back in. Then another site said not to do that. It had no white things until this last treatment when one appeared. I wondered if it still had fungus because the fungus is in the water and gravel still.

      So you think I should just do weekly partial water changes and maybe add aquarium salt. Should I stop using Control? PH Regulator? Sorry for so many questions!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      2 months ago from USA

      @Arna - If you think the foliage (fake plants?) in the tank are harming the fish you should get them (the plants) out of there. I'm also wondering if your white female is getting picked on by the others. It's important to realize that even female bettas are aggressive toward each other.

      Some people keep females in "sorority tanks" to avoid this aggression. To do this correctly you'll need more female bettas, and probably a bigger tank. I suggest doing some research.

      Good luck!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      2 months ago from USA

      @Jade - It sounds like you have some water quality issues with the illnesses and behaviors you mentioned. I know you said you do water changes, but have you tested your water parameters?

      Is it possible you are overfeeding? This alone can have a huge negative impact on water quality.

      Are you vacuuming the gravel? Cleaning the filter? Small tanks pollute quickly, so these things can have an impact.

      If there is something up with the water, and he is already stressed because of it, making a bunch of changes could make things worse. Taking him out of the tank would certainly make him more stressed.

      If you have a filter he is getting enough oxygen. Even if not, bettas can breathe air above the water, so this shouldn't be a concern.

      That white thing sounds like fungus, but if you're convinced it isn't is it possible he could he be injuring himself on decorations in the tank?

      I would concentrate on clean water and I'd add as little to the tank as possible. Get a water test kit if you can, or take it to a fish store and see if they can test it. If the white thing turns out to be fungus treat for it, but otherwise I don't think I'd add anything other than a little aquarium salt while he heals up.

      Good luck!

    • Jadelcsr profile image

      Jade L Fitzgerald 

      2 months ago from Georgia

      I am at a loss with my Betta. Had him about 9 months. In 5 gal tank with filtration system and heater. Was doing complete water changes and cleaning every month and now know that’s wrong. Although he seemed to do better with that system. He got SBD a few weeks ago and managed to bring him back from that and started doing weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 of water. His fins looked really scraggly and clumped so bought silk plants and Kanaplex to treat him as thought he either had bacterial or fungal infection due to research. Followed treatment plan to the letter and actually did it twice with week of rest between. However I did not do a complete water change before or after treatments and have since read that I should have. No other signs of actual infection but now he has 1 White small ball on his face. Doesn’t look like Ick and I’ve already treated him for fungus but wondering if his water still is infected. He sits at bottom of his tank and hides kind of curved into himself. He’s eating and comes to top of tank when I feed him. But he’s not his normal self. He glass surfs now and again. Thought he wasn’t getting enough oxygen so added small aerator but don’t keep it on all the time. Can’t tell if he likes it or not. The temperature is within ranges. Started using Seachem Control as thought it could be that the biofilter cycle wasn’t correct. I only change out carbon filter every 5 weeks as suggested. I don’t know what else to do. His Fins are still clumped and he has one white spot. He doesn’t swim around like he used to. I’ve spent the last couple of months being stressed over keeping this fish alive. Should i take him out and do complete clean out and start medication again from scratch. If so then do i do a complete clean again after treatment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. There seems to be so many conflicting instructions out there. Wish I’d found you sooner. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Arna Merrell 

      2 months ago

      if my baby female Betta touches the silk foliage in her 'house' she jumps and swims away. The foliage was put in 3-4 days ago. She is white with huge black eyes, for her size. My two other females are doing well and growing. My white isn't growing. What do I do?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      3 months ago from USA

      @Gabi - If you have a proper filter running there is no need for an air stone. The filter will aerate the water sufficiently. Only use it if you (and your betta) like it.

      I do not think different color lights will bother the fish, but if he acts oddly you'll know I'm wrong. As with any change, monitor his behavior and make a change if needed. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Gabi 

      3 months ago

      Are the changing color LED lights good for a betta? Also what about an Air stone? Do they need it?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      3 months ago from USA

      @S Norment - I wouldn't worry. He may be acclimating to his new home, but bettas can also be a little lazy, and he may have found a spot he likes. Just be sure any current in the tank isn't pushing him into that one area. That could be stressful for him. Good luck!

    • profile image

      S Norment 

      3 months ago

      Just became a betta owner. Set up tank with plants and betta cave, conditioned the water with bettasafe conditioner, placed the heater and water temp is steady at about 78°. We introduced our new betta to the tank last night and he swam around and investigated everything. However, today he's not moved much from from the tall plants around the heater. Is it normal for new betta to be less active when first placed in a tank? Other than not being active, he looks healthy.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      3 months ago from USA

      @Vanessa: Not a good idea to put a female and male betta in the same tank unless you are breeding them and know what you're doing. Betta are aggressive fish, and the male will not likely tolerate the female.

      @Anonymous - Same care guidelines for female bettas as male.

    • profile image

      Vanessa 

      3 months ago

      Is it ok to put a male betta fish and a female betta fish in the same tank? My fish, Galaxy fell out while I was as changing his tank water, so I immediately freaked out and poured water on him, picked him up gently but quickly and put him in a cup and poured spring water on him (which I have always used) and in the rush forgot about his old water and dumped that out and prepared his tank as quickly as possible (which still looks the same as usual) and put him in. Fortunately, he survived all of this but now he is swimming with one fin really close to his body. As I reaserched this, he started getting better and now he’s using both, however I’m noticing the fin he kept close to his body is white/transparentish with purple stripes while his other fin is all purple (like it’s supposed to be). I know this must have really stressed him, however I don’t think that’s the only reason he’s stressed. My other two fish are doing fine I have two males and a female betta. Do you think putting t h female betta with him would help or just stress both of them even more (although the female doesn’t seem stressed). I also thought you should know I keep them all in 1 gallon tanks, which now I know is bad. They all seem fine with this and their set-up, but do you think that could also be part of the reason Galaxy is stressed?

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      3 months ago

      I read that each male betta fish needs at least five gallons of space, which is very helpful for 2/3 of my fish, but what’s tank size would you recommend for a female betta fish?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      4 months ago from USA

      @Omaha Debbie - I know it is natural to feel bad, but sometimes there is nothing you can do when fish get sick. Just keep trying. It is starting to sound like dropsy, and you are doing all you can do right now by using antibiotics. Keep his water clean and consider dosing his tank with aquarium salt. Avoid overfeeding and feed staple foods like flakes and pellets (avoid bloodworms or anything like that.)

      Hopefully he pulls through, but recovering from dropsy is tough. When we care for these little fish we do the best we can. Sometimes things go wrong anyway, and remember it may not have even been your fault, so don't beat yourself up. Good luck and I hope he recovers.

    • profile image

      Omaha Debbie 

      4 months ago

      And sorry, Eric, one more question. Is my fish suffering? I was honestly looking up some humane euthanasia methods. How will I know if it gets that bad? I really feel bad I put Reggie in this condition.

    • profile image

      Omaha Debbie 

      4 months ago

      So Eric, 2 weeks later and my poor Reggie is still not doing well. His stomach looks ready to explode. I stopped at a local fish store rather than Petsmart - they recommended METROPLEX (treats protozoan parasites and anoerobic bacterial diseases) and FOCUS (antibacterial polymer for internal infections). I’ve mixed these with frozen brine shrimp for the last week. He’s still very interested in eating but just today I noticed his swimming is getting difficult. Is there anything I can do for him? Thank you in advance.

    • profile image

      Omaha Debbie 

      4 months ago

      Thank you, Eric. It means a lot to get some answers. I appreciate you!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      4 months ago from USA

      @ Melissa - I'm sorry to hear about Willow.

      @ Estban - Don't try to push your betta out of the corner. There is a reason he wants to be there. Current? Tank too small? Lack of hiding spots? Poor water conditions? You have to figure out what that reason is and address it. Good luck!

      @ Omaha Debbie - It could just be constipation and will clear up in time. The pea should help, and you may try giving it to him after his fasting day so he is more likely to eat it. If this persists, I'd be concerned it could be dropsy, especially if his scales start to look strange. In that case I would try dosing his tank with an antibiotic. I think you are doing the right thing by fasting him a day and reducing food intake. Otherwise, just try to keep his was clean and healthy. I hope he pulls out of it. Good luck.

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      4 months ago

      Update,

      Willow died last night.

      His condition deteriorated yesterday and he refused to eat.

      Think perhaps it was too stressful for him

    • profile image

      Esteban 

      4 months ago

      Hello. I have been having problems with my new Betta Fish for the last few hours. It seems like he doesn’t want to get out of one of the corners in my fish tank! I tried making him move but it didn’t work. He looks alive and healthy but it just doesn’t want to get out of the corner. I have 3 decorations in my tank. I have 2 big silk plants and a little dome to hide at. But for some reason it doesn’t want to get out of the corner. Is there another possible solution to solve this problem?

    • profile image

      Omaha Debbie 

      4 months ago

      Bought my 1st Betta at Petsmart almost exactly 1 year ago. He has been living in a National Geographic 2.5 gallon aquarium. He has become very puffy on one side. Scales seem normal. I have tried peas and cutting back his food. Seems he gets better for a day or so then it’s back. I have soaked his pellets for the past few weeks. Also fast him 1 day a week. When I called Petsmart they basically told me to Google it. Beyond disappointing and will never shop there again. Can you help us, please? He’s still very active and still very eager for feeding. Thank you!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      4 months ago from USA

      @Melissa - In a small tank like that it is possible the filter is too much for him. You have to experiment and see what works. If you choose to go without the filter just make sure you clean the tank weekly. I wouldn't worry too much about oxygen - the important thing is to make sure his water is clean and he is as stress-free as possible. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      4 months ago

      When I got Willow he only came in a normal jar, so I thought it well to put him in a large jar (about 10 liters) and do a complete water change and rinse out the pebbles each Sunday to first get him accustomed slowly to his new environment. This worked great, Willow was very active and checked all the normal betta behavior (curious, eats well, swims about etc). Yesterday I bought a small filter which also blows bubbles and installed it in the tank (thus he went from having no filter and just having regular water changes to having a filter which obviously filters and blows small bubbles for extra oxygen), after that he seemed fine but this morning he was very lethargic and also did not want to eat.

      After my earlier post, I changed his water again (I feared maybe it had accidentally become contaminated with something), cleaned all his ornaments and removed the new filter.

      Now he is back to normal again and eating.

      What is more probable, the water (which is from the same source and has been working fine for the past month) or the bubble blowing filter?

      It is important to note that the filter was on its lowest setting and is the smallest one you can find in my region.

      (DoPhin internal filter KF-350 ,230V ~ 50Hz 4.5 W IPX8)

      (Also, the temperature stayed constant during this whole situation.)

      If it is the filter, how can I introduce it to his tank without stressing him out?

      I'd like him to have a filter so that he has more oxygen in the water but not if it upsets him.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      5 months ago from USA

      @Melissa - Can you explain what you mean by "introduce a new filter system"? Do you mean you replace the filter cartridge every week? If so, this is not necessary, and can even be harmful. Good bacteria live on the filter cartridge and help process waste. However, you should be doing a partial water change every week.

      If he is struggling with the current it could certainly stress him out as well.

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      5 months ago

      Hello

      I have had my betta (Willow) for about a month now and I waited before I introduced a filter system and rather cleaned the water regularly.

      I had experienced no problems with Willow, he was active and curious and almost never lethargic except a bit at night.

      Yesterday I put in a new filter and heater and changed the water as I do every week and this morning I noticed he was just lying at the bottom of his tank. He didn't even come up to eat his food as he usually does when I put my hand above the tank. The stream was more on top so I put off the filter and he ate his usual meal, but now he is very lethargic, and not swimming around but just floating on one place.

      All different things I did yesterday is clean the algae and introduce a new filter system.

      I noticed also that he was swimming a lot against the current, any idea what could be wrong with him?

      Can the filter stress him out?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      5 months ago from USA

      @Animal lover - What you are describing is called glass surfing and it often means a fish is stressed in his environment. If the fish had fin rot it probably means the water conditions were off. Have you take steps to correct the water conditions? If the water is still bad that is likely the root of your problem.

    • profile image

      Animal lover 

      5 months ago

      Hi! I need some help with my betta, well he has recently had fin rot but after that’s he is soooooo energetic and exited. After a few days he has been consistently swimming around the tanks glass walls and never stops touching them! Also he has black scales around his head and I’m worried that he has a diseased. Please help!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      5 months ago from USA

      @Kat - What kind of fish is he with? How do his fins look? Do they look bitten or ragged? Is there is chance he is being picked on by the other fish? Did you check everything else I mentioned in this article?

    • profile image

      Kat 

      5 months ago

      My Betta won’t eat a lot and I put other fish with him and all he ever does is hide behind the filter or stay in this coral hiding place what am I dining wrong please help me I really don’t know how my Betta fis is doing I am so worried please help me ps I have a half moon Betta is this normal behaviour for my fish please help me

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      5 months ago from USA

      @Claire - That's weird. I'd take a good look at him for signs of infection. Otherwise, its hard to guess why he would do this.

    • profile image

      Claire 

      5 months ago

      Hi so I have a Veiltail male and he sometimes touch’s his eye on the plant and idk why???

    • profile image

      Tori 

      5 months ago

      Glad I found your page. I was worried when my Beta Boy was laying on a plant leaf... and for a few days he was hiding under a shell,

      He normally comes up for food when I turn on the light in the morning. I say Hey Fish Fish...and he comes to the top for food. He was just in a mood I guess ♡

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      5 months ago from USA

      @Amie - I've never heard of a betta attacking a decoration before. I guess that's more proof that we can never really know what these guys are going to do. Is it possible the current is moving it in some way that makes it look like a living thing?

      If he is really going crazy over it you may want to get it out of there. You don't want to stress him to death. Next time you do a water change you can try moving his decorations around and reintroducing it to see if he reacts differently.

      Good luck! I'm definitely interested in hearing how this turns out.

    • profile image

      Amie 

      5 months ago

      We added a new decoration to my betta's tank. He already had a cartoon monster (that he ignored) and we added a cartoon sea serpent (looks nothing like a real aquatic animal) Our beta will not stop "attacking" it. It has been in for 36 hours. He leaves it alone awhile then goes back and flares up at it again repeatedly.

      Will he get used to it soon or do I need to remove it? I don't want him stressed but my 3 year old wants the cool deco in the tank.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      5 months ago from USA

      @Rachel - Have you used a thermometer to measure the temperature? As with all water parameters, you don't want to guess. The water temp should be 75-80 degrees. There are a few nano heaters out there, but it's tough for very small tanks.

    • profile image

      SusieSchooling 

      5 months ago

      Excellent article! Most informative and helpful for Betta enthusiasts in the making, or general research. The best Betta Care Guide and FAQ I've come across - really nice. Wish I would have read it upon my initial journey with Betta fish. Thanks!!

    • profile image

      Rachel Knowles 

      5 months ago

      hello!!! i’ve had a betta before who thrived in awful conditions (i really had no clue what i was doing and i feel so bad for poor red bean soup. rest in peace) and i just got another one. he’s in a two gallon tank thats taller than it is wide, and has plants, a hiding spot, and a filtration system. however, he keeps floating vertically behind his filter and doesn’t move unless there is a loud noise. when he does move, its very slow and he moves to another hiding spot, just to move back behind the filter. after reading quite a bit on it, i am afraid that his tank is too cold. am i completely wrong, or if im right, could you suggest a small aquarium heater?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Teresa - If you think you overfed your betta you can let him fast for a day, then get back to a regular feeding schedule. There is also nothing wrong with letting him fast one day per week. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Teresa 

      6 months ago

      My BETTA stop producing bubbles, the h2o is perfect, temp. perfect, I think I over fed him, got bump on one side, active, but hiding, and resting on bottom, I love my BETTA, makes me worry

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Snowboarder - I have no idea if or when he will die. As I said, if you think there is something wrong in the tank you need to do some investigation. Check your water parameters, review your maintenance routine, etc. Otherwise, anything I say is just a guess. Good luck and I hope he is okay.

    • profile image

      Snowboarder3500 

      6 months ago

      My betta is starting to keep to the bottom of the tank but will not come to the surface to eat. He is a couple years old now. Is this him dying of old age?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Bev and Snowboarder - It doesn't sound like anything to worry about unless you are seeing other issues. It's impossible for me to guess why a fish does what it does. However, whenever behavior changes its a good idea to take a look at water parameters, maintenance practices, etc to be sure nothing is off in the tank.

    • profile image

      Snowboarder3500 

      6 months ago

      My beta stays at the top of the tank all the time. I know they can breathe from the surface however he used to swim all over the tank, now he refuses to leave the surface. I’ve tried cleaning the tank and a change of diet as I was recommended to. Is this normal?

    • profile image

      bev 

      6 months ago

      Hi I have a 34ltr tank for my Betta i have a floating long plants and a cave I do 10ltr water changes every week. But the last few days he has been in the top corner of the tank he does still swim around and he is still eating do you think he is unwell. I also have a leaf hammock for him but he has never been on it. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Jackie - Betta are tropical fish so you should be aiming between 75 and 80 degrees. I always set my thermometers for 78. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Jackie 

      6 months ago

      Eric, the filter current seems to be very minimal and he will come to the top when he does swim around. I am going to take a water sample to petsmart to make sure it is okay - what would you say the ideal temperature for his water would be? When he lived in the bowl, I thought the water would be too cool, but he never seemed unhappy then.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @ Glen - Do you mean the betta jumps out of the water? If so, that's not okay. You need a lid on that tank. Bettas are better jumpers than you'd think.

      @Jackie - It could be the filter, or he may just be adjusting to his new tank. Are you monitoring the water conditions to make sure the water isn't too warm for him?

    • profile image

      Glen 

      6 months ago

      My wife has Betta and it comes out of the WATER on the side of the tank it's just a small baby one is it ok

    • profile image

      Jackie 

      6 months ago

      Hi! My parents upgraded my betta fish's 2 gallon bowl to a 3 gallon tank while I was away - he seemed happy before, but now he sits on the bottom of the tank and hides in the corner more frequently. We use a heater and filter so his water should be fine, he just doesn't seem as lively lately and hasn't built any bubble nests like he used to. Could it be the filter current at the top? What else could be making him sad?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Kaylee. Have you checked your water parameters? Are you performing regular water changes? The issues you describe are often caused by poor water conditions.

    • profile image

      Kaylee 

      6 months ago

      hi! so my i’ve had my betta fish for 2 years now! i’m not sure that his behavior is because of age or something but he’s been acting strange. he always is behind the filter whenever i see him but sometimes when my friends come over he’ll be very active and try to get their attention. i’ve also noticed he has some holes above his eyes. he also for the last couple of days i’ve seen he has only breathed with one gil. please help!! i have no idea what’s wrong with him and i don’t want him to die!! thanks!!????????

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Ally - Theoretically, a better tank should mean healthier, happier fish. However, there is always an adjustment period whenever you change a fish's environment, where they are under a great deal of stress. It will certainly upset them, but if they are healthy they should bounce back. It is impossible to say for sure, though.

    • profile image

      Ally 

      6 months ago

      I have a male and female Betta fish. In seperate tanks. The male is larger than the female but in a smaller bowl. I am wondering if I can change the tanks and if that will upset the Bettas or if they will feel more comfortable.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Mike - You are very welcome! Hope betta heals up soon!

      @Brooke - I don't know what it going to happen with your betta, but laying on a leaf is not an indication in itself that anything is wrong. Some bettas like to rest on plant leaves and decorations.

    • profile image

      Brooke 

      6 months ago

      My betta is recovering from white spot. I was assured that i didnt need a heater until march here when i brought the little guy. But he got sick and is now on the mend. With a heater. Now though he has taken to laying on a leaf with half his body out of the water. Scared me half to death a few times. Is that normal. Is he gonna die?

    • profile image

      Mike 

      6 months ago

      @Eric Dockett - YOUR A GENIUS!!!!! Thank you soo much!!!! I was watching him for about an hour last night, and it looks like he enjoys swimming past the filter intake and letting it pull his fins in, then swimming off! Did some more research, and I will wrap the filter intake with pantyhose tonight to keep his fins out! If that STILL doesn't work, Im switching to a sponge filter... Seriously, thank you, I was very stressed out until you pointed that out!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Mike - Is it possible one of the remaining items in the tank is causing the fin loss? Maybe the filter intake is too strong? If you've ruled out fin rot, I'd have to think he is still tearing his tail on something in the tank.

    • profile image

      Mike 

      6 months ago

      HELP!!! Shredded fins!!!!?

      I recently purchased a new betta from the local pet shop, and was super excited about the thrill of a new fish, so I have spent the majority of my free time over the last month researching the nitrogen cycle, betta care, blah blah... Now fast forward to today - I currently have him in a 10 gallon tank, with an auto on/off heater, a 5-15 gallon filter with a water-bottle cutout clamped over the filter's 'waterfall' to disperse the current and keep the flow rate from pushing him around too much. I have added 1 tablespoon of AQ salt to the tank as a preventative on the recommendation from several sites, and he is very alert, very active, very good appetite, etc. He is the ONLY fish in his tank. I had a handful of plastic plants in the tank, but then I noticed his fins were starting to fray, so I took them out in case he was tearing his fins on them. I am still waiting on my ammonia/nitrite/nitrate test kit to arrive, but I treated the tank with Tetra water conditioner/dechlorinator when I initially set up the tank, and then Safe start bacteria 24 hours later. I do not yet know where in the nitrate cycle I am, my API master test kit arrives tomorrow :(. PH is 7.5, I feed him 2 betta pellets in the AM, and 1 or 2 dried blood worms in the evening. It has been a month since I bought him, and I have done a 50% water change (with 1/2 Tbsp Aq salt to keep it stable). All of this to say his tail fin is slowly getting worse and worse. It currently looks like someone took a shredder to the end of his tail fin, with tattered bits all over. No darkening of the edges, combined with the aq salt, make me think its not fin rot. Right now there is literally NO hides, no plants, NOTHING in his tank except heater/filter/aq rocks/thermometer. PLEASE HELP, I am super worried for the little dude, and have NO CLUE what to do!!! I will post again tomorrow with the amm/nite levels asap!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      6 months ago from USA

      @Lynn - Did something change in his tank environment? I can't even guess what your betta is thinking or why his behavior changed, but you might try looking for clues in his tank to see if something has him out of sorts. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Lynn 

      6 months ago

      We have had our Betta for six months. Until today when he was returned to his 5 gallon tank, he was very friendly and outgoing. He has a heater and low flow filter plus special plants for Bettas etc. We have changed his water on regular basis and never experienced any issues. Now he is petrified of us. What can we do to bring back that little friendly fellow.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      @CBINB - I definitely agree with infrequent cartridge changes, but I don't want to contradict the manufacturers recommendations. The problem with changing the cartridge is you are discarding all of those helpful microbes along with it. So, I keep them as long as I can, but they do have to be changed on occasion.

      One great solution is to use a filter that accommodates several types of inserts -- charcoal + sponge for example. Then you only change one at a time, when needed, leaving the microbe colonies on the remaining medium intact.

    • profile image

      Can't Believe it's not Betta 

      7 months ago

      I have now put my betta in his new tank and he loves it! I haven't heard of anybody tearing off a piece of the fabric from the old filter cartridge, but that is an awesome idea, and I'll definitely try it! The filter literature didn't say anything about how often the cartridges should be changed, but I read on a few sites that you only need to change it out when it is too gunky to do it's job anymore. Otherwise, you can rinse it off with water from the aquarium when you do your weekly water changes.

      Thanks for the help!!!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      @CBINB - A 25% water change weekly would be fine. The literature for the filter cartridge should tell you how often they recommend swapping it out. If possible, you can tear off a little piece of the fabric of the old cartridge and put it in there with the new one. That will help the microbe colonies re-establish themselves a little quicker.

      Thanks for the kind words, and good luck with your new tank!

    • profile image

      Can't Believe it's not Betta 

      7 months ago

      Awesome article!!! I'm upgrading to a larger tank for my betta fish. It is 3.5 gallons and has a carbon filter, and I plan on keeping just the betta in it. It has been cycling for 24 hours, however I haven't put my betta in yet, because I wanted to read a little more so I will be able to take the best possible care of him. I have a few questions. How much of a water change should I do weekly? Also, how often should I change the filter cartridge? Thanks for answering (hopefully) :)

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      @User - I'm really not sure what you are describing. Could it be uneaten food or fish waste?

    • profile image

      User 

      7 months ago

      Why is there clear flakey stuff at the bottom of my betas cage? Is it bad? What does it mean?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      @Megan - They will probably be okay in the cups for a short period of time, but you should get them back in their tanks as soon as possible. Make sure the cups are covered so they can't jump out. Bettas are good jumpers.

    • profile image

      Megan T. 

      7 months ago

      Hell! I have Had my 2 Betta for two years now and we love them. When I change Their water I always put Conditioner in the next batch so it’s ready when I go To change again BUT I have Forgotten if I ran Out of conditioner before I treated The bottles of water. I changed Their tank and have them in small bowls but I’m afraid to put them in the tank since I dont Know if I put Conditioner in! We don’t have any place close by to buy conditioner so I have To go to the next town but can’t get there today. Will they be ok overnight in the large measuring cups I have Them in? Separately of course (sorry for the random caps, idk why my phone changes them spontaneously)

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      @ Nicole - You're very welcome. Good luck!

      @Janet - It sounds like he likes the cave. I wouldn't remove it. He may just take a little while to get used to his new tankmates. I wouldn't worry.

    • profile image

      Janet 

      7 months ago

      I have a 15 gallon with a beta and recently put 4 tetras with him. I also added a little cave decoration in the tank. My beta has been in there since yesterday. I haven't seen him come out, not even to eat. He's not stuck, I see him poke his head out and swim back in. Is he just mad that he has room mates now? Stressed? Loves his cave and doesn't want to leave? Should I remove the cave for feeding time? Ideas?

    • NicoleMcQueen profile image

      NicoleMcQueen 

      7 months ago

      He has been in a 2 gallon tank with a small filter for a little over 1 week now and I have always done partial water changes each Friday, (he's an office pet) and I have a suction tube vacuum thing for the gravel. I am giving him time to see if the new environment brings back any color change. I also was worried that when he was in the bowl, the water temp was too low because he was close to a window, but now he's in a 2 gallon on my desk with filter, but no heater. My next step will be getting a small water heater for the tank to see if it's a temperature thing.

      Thank you for your help!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      Hi Nicole! Betta occasionally change color over the course of their lives, and it could be due to a number of issues, stress one of them. I don't know that your betta is or isn't stressed (a one-gallon bowl is a tough environment for any fish), but if he was stressed in the store it may be easy for him to revert to that if he is again feeling stress now.

      Poor water conditions aren't always indicated by cloudy water. Bowls are tough to keep clean, in the absence of a filter. You know you should do a partial water change, but that means the gravel or marbles still have lots of debris trapped in there, which quickly pollutes the bowl again. One solution is to do a full water change and completely rid his bowl of all waste. The problem there is you really need to stay on top of it every week, because the bowl will never build up a colony of helpful microbes.

    • NicoleMcQueen profile image

      NicoleMcQueen 

      7 months ago

      Hi! Betta Questions!

      I bought a betta in the store and he was pale pink, almost completely see through. I originally called him Casper.

      After putting him in his own 1 gal bowl with a live bamboo plant, his tail started to display large amounts of dark blue coloring. His body remains pale pink. I read up on color change and was convinced that getting him out of that small cup from the store, allowed him to start exhibiting his color because he wasn't as stressed in his larger bowl. I changed his name to Mr. Fisher, as his tail is now almost completely Navy Blue.

      After about 2 month (with regular water changes), I noticed his tail is losing the blue and is becoming almost see through again. I moved him into a bigger 2 gal tank with live plants and places to hide, and a small filter that has very minimal water movement. He swims a lot and has a place where he hides sometimes. He flares at the glass occasionally but seems generally happy and active. My tank never gets cloudy, as I perform regular partial water changes.

      I did more research to find that there's a such thing as the "jumping" gene, or marbled gene.

      How can I tell if Mr. Fisher's frequent color variations are related to stress or if he's just a "fish of a different color" and will change his color just because. (Excuse my Wizard of Oz reference lol that's my fav movie).

      Any insight appreciated!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      @Bruce - It sounds like a fungal infection. I think the Bettafix may have been the right track, or you can try another anti-fungal medication. You'll also want to do your best to keep the water super clean.

      Sometimes these things don't go away easily. Keep at it and hope for the best. I'd give betta a rest between bouts of medication and do a water change. Good luck!

    • profile image

      touch33 

      7 months ago

      Hi, Eric -

      Thx for your very helpful info - much appreciated.

      I have a male Betta whose dorsal fin has been “eaten” by a white growth that I can’t seem to get rid of. He’s in a five gal. filtered/heated tank, good water conditions. I’ve tried two rounds of API “fin/body cure” with no results. I’ve also tried using API “BettaFix”.

      He makes bubble nests and eats well, but I’m concerned.

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks,

      Bruce

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      7 months ago from USA

      @don - I'm not sure what "drops" you are referring to. You should get your betta out of that cup and into a bowl or tank as soon as you can.

    • profile image

      don 

      7 months ago

      I have a fighting fish and I want to get ready the water in a glass bowl at the moment its still in a container from the fish aquarium I was wondering how many drops to put in for a 3 liter of glass bowl and when can I add the fighting fish into this 3 liter glass bowl with no lid

    • profile image

      Nick 

      8 months ago

      I have my betta in a 1.5 gallon cubicle with a filter and a heater. He made a bubble nest, but sometimes he glass surfs. I don't know if I am doing anything wrong.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      8 months ago from USA

      @Ashleigh - I didn't post your comment for your own security, as you included your email. In answer to your question: There could be a couple of things that might. account for this change in your Bettas behavior. Is there a difference in the water you are using? Is the temperature colder in your house than in the office? Both of those factors could make him a little more stressed.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      8 months ago from USA

      @Ishaanya: When bettas see themselves in the glass they usually interpret it as another betta and flare like they are ready for a fight. Is that what's happening?

      @Ocelot: Bettas are able to breathe air from the surface by taking gulps as you described. Hard to guess why he feels like he needs to do this. Usually it is because of poor water conditions but you said he is in clean water. Perhaps he will grow out of it as he becomes more comfortable in the tank.

    • profile image

      Ocelot 

      8 months ago

      My Male Betta (Half Moon) keeps going up to the surface and opening his mouth, closing it, then going down. (I call it Guppying) Is there a problem with him? I just got him yesterday, and changed the water today.

    • profile image

      Ishaanya 

      8 months ago

      Why do betta fish like to look at themselves?

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      8 months ago from USA

      Hi Tim. Your betta may have seemed to "socialize" but this was never the case. Bettas are not social with other bettas let alone humans. To him your are an amorphous blur beyond the glass that appears right before food falls from the surface. He associates your presence with food.

      You can try spacing out how long you wait between dropping in the pellets. For example, instead of giving him two pellets twice a day, give him one pellet four times per day. He may be more likely to hang around when he sees you if he thinks there is food in it every time.

      You'll have to experiment and try different things and see if you can get him to come out more when you are around. Good luck!

      BTW - I'd avoid the blood worms. That may have been the issue before.

    • profile image

      Tim 

      8 months ago

      I have my betta in a 5 gallon tank.and had him over a month. I use well water but treat it with prime conditioner and siph water change twice week. I feed him 3 pelts in morning and at night. I upped it some with only pinch blood worms and exstra pellts. He got bloated and constipated. Hes fine i fastd him and gave him the pea innerds. But now when i give him only 2 pelts he goes hides from me and wont social lize with me like we did alot. I know they all have different personalities. But lol i did spoil him and cant afford let him win this war of whoes boss here haha crazy. Any advice.

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      9 months ago from USA

      @Erin. How do you know the filter is maintaining the water conditions correctly? Are you testing the water? You can't go by appearance. Especially with a new tank, waste chemicals can spike until the cycle completes. This may be the problem. Try a partial water change and see if it helps. The reflection could be an issue, but I'd think he would be flaring at himself more than anything if he saw his reflection. Good luck and I hope he calms down!

    • profile image

      Erin 

      9 months ago

      I’ve not had to do any water change yet, the filtration seems to alleviate that so far...I was doing weekly or bi-weekly complete water change and cleaning in the bowl. The water temp is about 76 degrees according to the thermometer on the tank. The only other thing is I’ve noticed the mirroring of the tank is substantial. Do you think that could be causing it? The bowl was glass and there was very little if any reflection. This tank is acrylic or plastic and I can see very well the reflection from one side to the other...I def want to do whatever necessary to have the best environment for him!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      9 months ago from USA

      Hi Erin. Glass surfing typically means stress over tank conditions. Is the temp appropriate for a Betta? How often do you do water changes? 3 gallons is still a little small, but perhaps he is just still adjusting to his new surroundings.

    • profile image

      Erin 

      9 months ago

      Hi! I’ve had my betta, Gil (named by my 3 y/o) about 2 months now, we love him very much! Started him off in a 1.5 gallon round bowl with no heater or filtration, he seemed to do well and was mild mannered. I moved him into a 3 gallon square Tetra w/heater and filtration (I’ve pinched the pump hose due to high flow and no way to manage it), I have noticed he swims somewhat in a pattern of fierceness sometimes and I’ve also noticed what you referenced as “glass surfing”. I’m not really sure why he would be unhappy? He eats and swims etc. he has places to hide he has a live plant that is tall and the betta hammock and the green balls(the name has slipped my mind!) I have seen bubbles at the top so I’m not sure if this swimming is normal behavior or not...help!

    • EricDockett profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dockett 

      9 months ago from USA

      Hi Kaitlin. Sounds like Elvis isn't very happy in his tank right now. It could be the fungus, the medicine, or both. When you are done with the treatment make sure he has clean, clear water and hope for the best.

      Do you have a thermometer in the tank so you know the water temp? Heating the water up too much isn't good either, and that might account for his behavior.

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