Betta fish are also known as Siamese fighting fish. They are brightly colored fish that are mostly put in a bowl or in an aquarium in the office or homes of most people to enhance house or office aesthetics.
Betta fish are often seen swimming solo in well decorated bowls or aquariums. They are highly territorial type of fish.
A male betta fish can get very aggressive to other male betta if housed in the same water tank. A female betta is also cable of fighting a fellow female betta especially if they are housed in a small water tank.
This makes betta fish unsuitable for tank mates, unless it is for breeding purposes.
The natural habitat for the betta fish is Asia, in rice puddles, flood plains and the drainage ditches in the warm areas of Asia. A betta fish is accustomed to living in stressful conditions, since its natural habitat is frequented by flooding and droughts.
A betta fish is a labyrinth fish, it can breathe oxygen out of the water, directly from the air through its gills for a short span of time.
Due to their ability to survive in stressful conditions, a betta fish can survive in small bowls or aquariums. However, they do well in water conditions of averagely 76-82 degrees F, regular water changes and a small space of not less than two gallons of water.
For your betta to live and survive happily and healthy to its maximum number years, which is not less than 3 years in captivity, it is important to consciously take care of it. One of the ways to take care of the betta is to ensure the water quality is suitable for the betta to live comfortably.
his can be achieved through frequent cleaning of the aquarium or water bowl to avoid growing algae, high levels of acidity, or dirty water for the betta.
The type of water you put in the aquarium or bowl has major effects on the betta. Just like the air we breathe, the water that a betta lives in has to be just right.
You can buy water, distilled bottled water from a pet store to use in the aquarium. However, that water may be costly to buy. The most readily available water is the tap water.
Tap water normally has added chemicals such as chlorine to make the water safe for us to drink. However, those same chemicals that are safe for us, are toxic for a betta fish.
Fortunately, there are water conditioners available to remove chlorine in the tap water.
Tap water is excellent for betta to live in because once the chlorine and other heavy metal substances are removed, it contains a variety of nutrients and minerals that a betta fish need to survive.
It is also very easy achieve the right temperature with tap water, because you can mix hot and cold water.
Water Conditioner for Betta Fish
Before using tap water in the aquarium, you will need to add water conditioner in order to remove chlorine, ammonia or any other heavy metal elements in the water. You can use two types of water conditioner, one that removes chlorine and the other that removes a stress coat on the fish, which lowers its immunity against infections and diseases.
However, you can still use one product of the water conditioner to achieve the two functions. Steps on how to use water conditioners and to keep an aquarium or water bowl clean for the betta include;
Create a schedule to change your betta’s water
To keep the aquarium or bowl clean, create a schedule on how often you will be cleaning it. The water should not go more than a week without being changed, especially if it is in a bowl. An aquarium, with a water filter can go more than a week. Make sure you mark the day on your calendar so that you are able to stick to the schedule. Abrupt water changes can increase stress levels of the betta decreasing its immunity level against infections.
Prepare the water the night before
If you store your betta in a bowl, it is important to ensure the water you add in is the same temperature as to the water in the bowl. Set out the water in a different bowl and allow it to stay overnight, so that it can be of the same room temperature. If you are using an aquarium with a heater, make sure the heater is able to heat up the water quickly after changing it. This is to ensure the water temperatures remain stable for the betta fish to prevent stress or injury.
Treat the new water
Although you may set aside the water you will use for the aquarium or bowl the night before, the water conditioner should be added on the day you intend to change the water. Read the instructions carefully on the bottle of the water conditioner and add the right amount of the conditioner to the specified amount of water.
Adding more conditioner than required in the water will affect the health of the betta. You can decide to use one type of water conditioner, that removes both chlorine and the stress coat, or you can buy two types of conditioners to achieve the functions differently.
Siphon out the water
You can treat the water in two different ways. The first method is to remove around fifty percent of the water from the aquarium or bowl then add treated water. While removing the water, use a special siphon or gravel vacuum, available at pet stores, to ensure gravel and water plants are not drawn out.
The second method is to remove the betta from the bowl and place it in a new bowl with treated water temporarily. Use a fish net to trace the betta in the bowl or aquarium when placing it in a different bowl. It is important to ensure all water requirements are met in the temporarily bowl to keep the betta healthy, happy and comfortable.
Dispose the old water
Having removed your betta in the bowl or aquarium, you can now drain out the old water from the tank. Clean the bowl or aquarium as well as rinse the gravel and aquarium decorations. You can use hot water and recommended aquarium cleaning products to achieve the maximum results.
However, it is important to note that using soap or detergents unapproved for fish tank cleaning can cause illness, stress or even death of the betta. Buy all your cleaning products from a pet store to be on the safe side. After cleaning, place the gravel and decorations back into the aquarium or the bowl and allow the contents to cool back to room temperature.
While cleaning the aquarium, remember to switch off all electronic devices such as water heater or filter to avoid electrocution or damaging the equipment.
Add conditioned water
After cleaning, add the conditioned water into the bowl or aquarium to the preferred depth. Use a thermometer to check the temperature level of the water in the bowl. If you have a heater for your aquarium, switch it on to achieve the recommended water temperature for a betta fish.
To avoid shock or stress for your betta, ensure the water temperature is the same as that of the previous water and the temporary water the betta was in as you clean the bowl or the aquarium.
Place the betta in the conditioned water
Having treated the water with a conditioner and ensured the water conditions are okay for your betta, place the betta back into its bowl or aquarium. Use a fish net, which is readily available at any pet store, to retrieve the betta in the temporary bowl and place it back into its normal fish tank.
Keep the water conditioner safely for use in the next water change exercise. Ensure it is kept at room temperature or as the package recommends. It is also important to note that bettas love to jump. To avoid accidents, keep the bowl or aquarium covered with a lid, leaving some space for oxygen.
Betta fish are colourful and lively. They add beauty in an office or a home. Although they are able to survive in stressful conditions, it is important to take care of the betta by ensuring it is living in the right water conditions.
This will ensure the betta is healthy and comfortable in the bowl or aquarium.
Apart from keeping the water at the right temperature and PH level, it is also important to change the water in the tank regularly. If you are using tap water, it is also very important to treat the water before using it in the aquarium or bowl.
Water conditioner helps to remove chlorine from the tap water and to remove stress coat on the betta.
You can get one product of the water conditioner that serves both as a de-chlorinator and stress remover, or you can get two products each to serve its own purpose.
Using untreated water will increase stress levels for your fish, which will then lower its level of immunity to fight infections.