Monday, August 22, 2011

Species profile-Betta splendens

The betta is one of my favorite fish, they have been breed into a multitude of colours, sizes and shapes. Before I begin this article I would like to dispel some common myths:

1. Bettas live in puddles or horse foot prints in the wild so they can be kept in small jars without water changes.

Firstly, bettas live in rice paddies which are absolutely massive. They are very shallow but they stretch for kilometers. The water quality is much higher than would be found in a vase with no water changes. The water quality is also much better as there are many live plants filtering the water. Bettas often have territories of a square meter, that doesn’t even compare to a tiny bowl

.2. Bettas don't like big spaces.

I keep many of my bettas in large 4 feet tanks, they roam the whole thing and a very interactive. The biggest problem is when you have nippy fish with long fin bettas, they can harass them to death.

3. Bettas don't need a heater.

Bettas come from a very hot and humid environment and must be kept at a warm temperature to ensure their health. An optimum temperature is between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius (
78-82oF). Unless you live in the tropics you need a heater.Now that is out of the way let's get on with this article. I like to keep my bettas in a minimum of 10 liters (2.5 gallons). When I use the NPT method in their tanks I hardly need to perform water changes, nitrates should never be above 40ppm and ammonia and nitrate should always be zero. In such a small aquarium I recommend you do water changes around once a week. Please note I only recommend this for a NPT other tanks may require more or less. Once you start to get to know your aquarium you can do less water changes, but remember to test the water!

Bettas should always have a heater, a temperature of 26-28 degrees Celsius (
78-82oF) is good. Indian almond leaves are very good for bettas, they lower the ph and add tannins to the water, in the wild bettas come from waters with heavy tannins. A ph of 6.5 is good but it is more important to have a stable ph than to mess around with it. I keep mine at 7.4.

Bettas love live food but a good staple are pellets made specifically for bettas. Add live foods whenever you can. Mossie larvae, blackworms, adult brine shrimp and grindals are great live foods.

I won't go into breeding in this article, this is a great blog for bettas here, some of the bettas shown are actually mine, this girl knows her stuff.

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