How to look after Betta fish

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to look after Betta fish

The Betta fish is a striking and curious animal, known for its aggressiveness and tendency to be very territorial for which it gets its nickname: Siamese fighting fish. Many people choose this variety of fish as a pet but are not sure what the basic care of Betta involves and what they should take into account to ensure that their fish has the best quality of life. In this OneHowto article we show you how to look after Betta fish.

You may also be interested in: How Do Betta Fish Mate
Steps to follow:

Firstly, you should note that Betta fish live best in pairs rather than in groups as they are very territorial and may attack each other, hence why they are also known as Siamese fighting fish. Thus, we recommend that you opt for one male and one female, as two males together will tend to have problems. Even though, it's better you keep them in separate aquariums. For more information, take a look at our article on how Betta Fish mate.


When choosing a tank for your Betta fish it is necessary to pick one that is a considerable size so that they can swim at ease with room for their wide fins. The water should be about 15 cm deep and don't put any rocks on the bottom of the tank.

How to look after Betta fish - Step 2
Image: Portalpez

Also it is not recommended to have artificial plants in their tank since the Betta fish can catch themselves on these and tear their fins. If you want to put in some plants, they must be natural.


Betta fish are known for their ability to breathe in oxygen from air and water so it's not necessary to oxygenate their water. Make sure that water filter is on a slow setting to avoid creating currents. If you can't find one slow enough, it is better to have no filter at all.


In terms of the optimum temperature for Betta fish, the tank should be maintained between 25 and 30°C. For this reason, to take proper care of Betta fish, you will probably need to buy a heater with a thermostat.

How to look after Betta fish - Step 5

Betta fish are carnivores so ideally you need to feed them live food, but dry or frozen food really is more practical and you can be sure it won't contain any parasites. You should make sure that the food you give them is rich in protein and, from time to time, you can feed your Betta fish mosquito larvae, small earthworms, maggots, etc.


To clean the tank, use specialised products and never use bleach or other abrasive products that could kill your Betta fish. When changing their water, it is also recommended not to change all the water at once but rather some at a time to keep the water temperature constant.


Now you know some tips for how to look after Betta fish but it is important to know more about these animals if you want to keep them as your pets.

  • Two or more males cannot live together because they could end up killing each other to defend their territory. It is better to have a male with a female or two females together.
  • The females can share their space with other animals such as 'bottom feeders', which are quiet and peaceful fish, freshwater mussels and snails.
  • The typical diet for Betta fish consists of packaged fish food, especially those in the shape of small pellets that look like strawberry seeds. You only need to feed them 3 times a week, if you give any more than this, the fish could overeat and have a shorter life.
  • The lifespan of Betta fish, if you take proper care of them, can be 4 or 5 years.

Next, learn how to take care of a guppy fish and a clownfish.

How to look after Betta fish - Step 8

If you want to read similar articles to How to look after Betta fish, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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