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Betta Basics

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Bettas are small freshwater fish with a wide variety of subspecies that originates from southeast asia. Some species build bubble nests while others are mouth-breeder.
They can breathe atmospheric air from the surface with their labyrinth organ and can survive in low-oxygen water conditions. Bettas prefer clean water and temperatures around 26°C in their tank.
Their habitats are in danger today and get destroyed, some species are are already extinct in the wild. So if you don´t fall in love with the fancy ones, the wild beauty’s are worth a tank (or multiple) too.

Fancy bettas are carnivorous and can be fed with a good pellet food like Teraa Betta and small live insects, shrimps, snails. They eat everything that fits into their mouth but prefer small bits. They are fast eaters and shouldn’t be overfed.
The water quality of Betta tank’s should be pristine. A betta tank shouldn’t ideally contain any ammonia, nitrate, nitrite. These ideal conditions can be arranged with a usage of regular water change. Water conditioner like Teraa Betta Mineral can also be used during water changes to ensure no chlorine or heavy metal presence. A 30 lt tank is great, bigger tanks are also fine, smaller tanks are possible too but need more care to keep the water quality good. Bettas like a safe place to hide or they can get sick of stress. They like to live alone and only meet with another gender of betta when it is time to spawn. If you want a happy betta give him a single tank. Filtration is optional but helps to get clean water, just make sure it is not to strong. Bettas don´t like fast flowing water. They can get around 2-3 years with good care.

Bettas are good jumpers, even the long finned ones and like to breathe warm air, so the tank need a lid. The water parameters can vary but they like soft water with a ph around 6. They can also live in water up to Ph 7.5 but breeding can be hard then.

The intensity of the light is not important, with the right amount of plants in the tank, the betta has no problem with a bright lamp, but the keeper can see its colors better with a nice bright lamp. If you only have daylight in your room it is fine for the fish.

The fancy betta with hundreds of color, pattern and different fin combinations is today one of the most bred fish. They grow to around 4cm body size, but there are also breeds like the giant betta that can reach 7 or more centimeter body only size. They origin in the betta splendens but later got mixed with other subspecies to create new colors and patterns. The original fancy betta splendens always have a black head for example.

Fancy bettas are easy to keep and breed. There are a lot of breeding clubs like the IBC and its chapters all over the worlds. Those clubs organize shows to compare their breeding effort and help members to stay in contact with each other.

Most of the people that got one betta fall in love immediately and some even get addicted and start breeding and spreading this nice hobby.

There is a nice betta for everyone, no matter if you like solid black or red fish, or colorful ones like a unicorn with green and blue sparkles all over it. There are thousands of color and fin combinations possible today and new ones are bred every day. There is no fish with more color and fin combinations like a betta.

We thank Melanie Richter of ‘Fate of Starbound Betta’ for this article and images.