Below we will outline aquarium conditions that are ESSENTIAL to your betta's health and survival. These are the fundamentals of betta care, and all of these rules should be followed.
Beyond that, we will also provide IDEAL suggestions for how you can make your bettas life the best it can be, by tailoring the envuronment to their specific physical and behavioral needs.
ESSENTIAL: Bettas must always have access to the water’s surface to breathe air from, and so tanks can’t be filled to the brim.
ESSENTIAL: Bettas require a tank with a full lid to prevent jumping.
IDEAL: A full, sealed aquarium lid also promotes respiratory health.
ESSENTIAL: Bettas require water that is heated to between 76-82F.
ESSENTIAL: The water in a betta’s tank must be filtered to remove toxic ammonia.
IDEAL: Bettas generally do not like strong currents, preferring gentler/slower filters.
IDEAL: Suction created at the filter intake may catch and tear a betta's delicate fins.
IDEAL: Bettas may prefer lower light. Their native rice paddies are densely filled with plants, providing shade, and the waters are often tinted brown, like weak tea, from the tannins of fallen leaves. For this reason, bettas may not like situations of very high, bright light for extended periods.
ESSENTIAL: Bettas must be provided with tanks large enough to allow them to swim around (we recommend a minimum of 5 gallons)
ESSENTIAL: Bettas easily snag and tear their fins on rough plastic/edges of decorations, leaving injuries that are vulnerable to infection. Their fins are a membrane only a few cells thick and are very delicate. Plants and decorations should be checked for sharp edges before they are put in a betta tank, and real or silk (fabric) plants should be chosen over plastic.
ESSENTIAL: Being very curious, bettas can get stuck in small holes in decorations while trying to explore. This can result in injury or even death. Small openings that a betta could become wedged in should be sealed (possibly by packing with filter foam or sealing with aquarium silicone).
IDEAL: Bettas may be more comfortable in densely planted/decorated tanks.
Bettas should NOT be kept in tanks with any of the following: