Care Guide for Betta Fish – The Best Beginner Pet Fish

Photo of author

Care Guide for Betta Fish – The Best Beginner Pet Fish

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish or Betta splendens, are a favorite pet of both veteran and beginner fish keepers due to their vibrant finnage and lively personalities. If you’re brand new to the aquarium hobby, this care guide is for you! Find out the key essentials you need to know to successfully keep your first betta fish.


Is it okay to keep Betta fish in a bowl?

If you haven’t bought a small bowl yet, we highly recommend that you get a larger aquarium that holds at least 5 to 10 gallons of water. A larger tank gives your betta fish more room to swim and allows for you to keep the water clean longer. Also, it doesn’t cost a lot more to buy a bigger tank, especially if you take advantage of Petco’s “Dollar Per Gallon” aquarium sale (where a 10-gallon tank only costs $10). Read this blog post to get our complete betta fish checklist and tank setup instructions.

How long should water sit before adding fish?

The chlorine in tap water can kill harmful pathogens. It is also fatal to betta fish. You may have heard that letting the water sit out overnight allows the chlorine to evaporate, but nowadays some cities treat their water with chlormine, which does not evaporate. Therefore, always add some water conditioner or dechlorinator to make your tap water safe before pouring it into your betta fish’s tank.

We love Fritz Complete Water Conditioner because it comes with an easy-to-use pump head for quickly removing chlorine and detoxifying ammonia compounds.

Do Bettas Need a Heater?

Yes, they do. Betta fish prefer temperatures around 80degF and tend to be much more active when kept in warmer waters. The United States has room temperatures ranging from 67degF-69degF. A betta fish that isn’t heated can become lethargic. For recommendations on heaters, read our article How to Choose the Right Aquarium Heater.

Why Does My Betta Tank Get a Film on Top?

A good filtration system is necessary to ensure that an oily layer of proteins does not form. It should provide adequate surface agitation and clean water. However, since betta fish usually have long, beautiful fins, they cannot swim in strong currents that will whip them around the aquarium. You will be a blessing to your betta fish by setting up a small filter with an adjustable flow rate or a gentle sponge filter. This tutorial will show you how to make your first sponge filter.

Sponge filter are a popular choice for betta fish filtration because they’re gentle, reliable and simple to use.

How Many Times Should I Feed My Fish?

Feed your betta fish once a day, as much as they can eat in one minute. It’s very easy to overfeed betta fish, so make sure his belly does not become swollen with food or else he may get constipation and other health issues. Begin by giving two main foods to your betta fish: a dedicated bettafish pellet and freeze-dried worms. You can add variety to your pet’s diet by using our 5 best betta fish foods.

These tiny floating pellets are specifically formulated to provide the nutrition that bettafish need.

How Often Should I Clean My Betta Tank?

If you followed our previous advice and got a 10-gallon tank for your betta fish, you may only need to clean the aquarium once or twice a month by changing out 30% of the water. You will have to clean your 1-gallon aquarium every two to three days, with 100% water changes. You can create a stressful environment for your betta fish by having to change the water every other day. The bowl will end up getting clogged up with holidays and deadlines, so you may forget to clean it. Your fish will get sick from living in his own waste, and then you’ll have to spend time and money on medications to try to save him.

Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?

Betta fish should not be housed together with other bettas. They are territorial creatures, hence the name “Siamese fighting Fish” However, depending on their temperament, many betta fish can live with other peaceful nano fish, provided that you give them a larger aquarium (at least 10 to 20 gallons in size) with lots of cover and live aquarium plants. You can also recommend roommates for smaller tetras, corydoras, or rasboras. Check out our complete list of ideal betta tank mates.

Our main advice is to make sure your betta fish gets the best care possible. Get a bigger tank and buy good quality equipment and foods for him. Also, continue to educate yourself by joining a betta fish group on Facebook or reading online articles. With more knowledge and experience you can help your Betta live a long and happy life.