If you have been in a pet store or any type of store that sells live pet fish, you have probably seen a display of small glass or plastic bowls or containers in the fish department. A closer look will reveal that each bowl or container holds a brightly colored fish with beautiful long, flowing fins. A nearby sign tells you that these are male Betta fish.
Betta Fish have the scientific name of Betta splendens, and are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish. The Betta originated in Thailand, and has been selectively bred for a long period of time in that country as well as in Southeast Asia. The goal of these breeders is to produce Betta fish that have stamina as well as the aggressive nature needed for fighting. Fighting ability is prized in the Betta, especially in their native countries, where people enjoy gambling on which male Betta will win a bout.
Betta Fish usually live for two or three years, with some reaching the age of five. The male Betta is the sex commonly kept as a pet. Female Bettas are smaller and have shorter fins than the males, although they do retain the gorgeous coloration that Bettas are noted for. Females also do not usually have the confrontational nature attributed to males. It is not unusual to see males only for sale in a pet shop, which is a shame. Female Bettas make delightful pets with great personalities, which is probably why more and more stores have decided to add the female to their inventory.
It is understood that you should not attempt to keep a male and a female Betta together full time. Females can be just as spunky as the males, and a fight could ensue unless it is breeding season. When the male Betta builds what is known as a bubble nest, he is trying to attract a female for breeding. If the female Betta is introduced to the tank when the nest is visible, breeding can take place. The bubbles are fashioned out of mucus, and are sticky. This allows the female’s eggs to stay in the nest.
Betta fish need a diet that is high in protein, but can get tired of eating the same food day after day. The key here is variety. There are freeze-dried products such as brine shrimp that are highly suitable for Bettas. If you should notice that your Betta is having trouble keeping his balance in the water, he could very well be constipated. Feeding tiny bits of a cooked pea over a period of one to two days is usually sufficient to banish this problem.
Many people keep their Betta in a large fish bowl or tank without any type of filtration. Unlike other commonly kept aquarium fish, the Betta does not need a filter to breathe. Nature has equipped the Betta with a labyrinth organ that allows them to get oxygen from the air above the surface of the water. If you do decide to use a filter in your Betta tank, make sure that the current from the filter is not too strong. Bettas detest the moving water that filtration creates, and a strong current can negatively affect their health.
These fish enjoy a water temperature of 78 to 80 degrees. A small, 25 watt heater can be used in Betta tanks that hold about a gallon of water. Larger tanks can of course use larger heaters. If you are keeping your Betta in a smaller tank or bowl, try to situate it in a warm room beneath a light so that the heat from the bulb can help heat the water.
You should clean your Betta bowl or tank on a weekly basis. Seasoned Betta owners will do a partial water change, removing around 20 to 30 percent of the water. Never change all of the water at once, as the shock can kill your Betta. Cloudy water can be a problem in Betta tanks. There are many remedies for this on the market, but with each of them, fully changing the water is necessary after treatment. Instead of using one of these remedies, why not use an EcoBio-Stone S to keep your Betta water clear as crystal?
The EcoBio Block family of products includes the EcoBio-Stone S and EcoBio-Pebbles, which are perfect for a small Betta tank or bowl. What do these stone do? They are infused with friendly bacteria, which reproduce for two years or longer. These bacteria are responsible for keeping the water in your Betta home clear and clean smelling. By using the EcoBio-Stone, the need for tank maintenance is lessened a great deal. Why not try the EcoBio-Stone S or EcoBio-Pebbles for your Betta today?
April 27, 2010 at 1:01 PM Comments (8)