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Old 08-11-2017, 02:21 PM   #1
Qian Hu

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Default A Beginnerís Guide to Betta Care

A Beginner’s Guide to Betta Care
(A Collaboration with Betta Club Singapore)

The Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) is among the most popular fishes the due to the wide variety stunning colours and tail types to choose from, as well as, its ease of maintenance.

Habitat, temperature and food – These are the three areas which determine the life of your Betta.

Poor water conditions and fish husbandry are often the root causes of most “diseases”, rather than infections caused by bacteria. As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure”, it is advisable for owners to ensure that the fish is living in a tank of a comfortable size with suitable water conditions as mentioned earlier.

Without suitable water conditions, the once vibrant and lively Betta when displayed in the local fish store, will become dull and lethargic with fins clamped up (see New Tank Syndrome). This is one of the issues faced by new owners, commonly known as “failure to thrive”, and it is most likely due to water temperatures that are too low or water hardness that are too high.

Likewise, feeding your Betta the right food is vital. While live food can appear more delicious, they may carry parasites and bacteria that can be transmitted to your Betta. On the other hand, not only feeding them with pellets and flakes can avoid risks of infections caused by parasites and bacteria, choosing the right ones can provide them with a complete nutritional diet, including other benefits.

All in all, it is vital for fish keepers to closely monitor its habitat, temperature and food to have your Betta living happily. Read on to learn more about Betta-keeping…


About Betta (Betta Splendens)
Common Names: Betta, Siamese Fighting Fish, Siamese Fighter, Plakat
Scientific Name: Betta splendens
Order: Perciformes
Sub-order: Anabantoidei (Labyrinthfishes)
Lifespan: 12-18 months (in the wild), 18-30 months (domesticated)
Size: 2.5 inches (6cm)
Origin: Thailand
Natural Habitat: Slow and still water environments (i.e. rice paddies, slow-moving streams, drainage ditches, and large puddles)
Water Parameters: pH 6 – pH 7.5
Water Temperature: 26įC – 30įC
Water Hardness: 5į dH – 20į dH
Reproduction: Bubblenest Spawner
Diet: Carnivorous


Betta Gender Differentiation
Egg Spot:
The “egg spot” (ovipositor), which are used to lay eggs, can be found in between the ventral and anal fins of matured females.

Vertical Stripes:
When ready to mate, female Bettas will display vertical stripes, while the males do not.

Beard:
The “beard” is the membrane found beneath the gill plate cover of Bettas, and they are visible when the fish flares. In comparison to females, male Bettas tend to have a much bigger beard. Sometimes, it can be larger than its gill plate, and can be seen even when they are not flaring.

Fins:
Fins of male bettas are usually longer. So long, it can sometimes be up to four times the length of the female bettas. This is especially true when comparing the ventral fins of both genders. However, this is not always true as some betta types, like the plakats, have shorter fins.


Betta Tail Types
Below are some examples of Betta tail types.

Plakat / Short Fin (PK)


Crown Tail (CT)


Double Tail (DT)


Super Delta (SD)


Super Delta Double Tail (SDDT)


Lyretail


Halfmoon (HM)


Elephant Ear


Elephant Ear Halfmoon


Giant



Tank Mates
Fishes with the below characteristics are not suitable as tank mates, as Bettas feel threatened by them.
  • Fishes that are nibblers
  • Fishes with bright colours
  • Fishes with big fins
  • Fishes bigger sized than the Betta


Choosing Suitable Tanks for Your Betta
A tank size of one gallon of water is the minimum the Betta requires for survival. It is always recommended to have a tank bigger than one gallon, as tanks that small get dirty very fast and they do not provide enough space for the fish to swim around.

Below are some pointers on how to choose a suitable tank for your Betta.
  • Choose a tank with a built-in filter or hang-on-back (HOB) filter.
  • Avoid air pumps, as Bettas may not like bubbles and current created by it.
  • Do not house any other fish or critter, if your tank is less than 10 gallons.

Here are some of the recommended tanks that fit the minimum requirements:
  • Nano Space
  • Betta Space
  • Curvo
  • Qubic Lifestyle


Betta Tank Maintenance
When doing water change, it is recommended to draw out a third of the water and replace with freshwater. This will allow your Betta to adjust to the temperature and pH of clean water. This process should be done at least once a week. If you are replacing the water with tap water, please follow the below steps:
  1. Fill a pail with tap water
  2. Add dechlorinator to the pail of water
  3. Stir the pail of water to ensure dechlorinator is evenly distributed
  4. Ensure that the pail of water is of similar temperature with the water temperature in the tank
  5. Pour the fresh water into the tank gradually


Betta Diet and Feeding Guide
Diet
Bettas are carnivores and they eat almost anything in their natural habitat. These include worms, insect larvae, and even small fishes. Bettas that are domesticated are accustomed to being fed with pellets and flakes, like the BT-G1 (pellets) and S4-Super Betta (flakes). Alternatively, live foods, such as blood worms and brine shrimps, or freeze dried foods like the Insta Fresh series.

Feeding Guide
Feeding 1-2 times daily would be recommended to keep Bettas healthy and well. Each feeding time should last about 3-5 minutes. Feel free to feed as much as the Bettas can eat and remove any leftovers. Removing leftovers will prevent the excess food from breaking down into toxins (learn more about Understanding Nitrogen Cycle). Be sure to look out for any abnormalities during these 3-5 minutes feeding times. You may also want to allocate a fasting day weekly for your Betta to clear its digestive systems; this will help prevent bloating and constipations.


Conditioning Bettas for Breeding
Bettas create a layer of tiny bubbles on the water surface that forms bubble nests. This behaviour is an indication of a happy and healthy Betta. Bubble nests are instinctively created for mating purposes in the wild, and are even created in home tanks a mate’s presence.

Tips & Tricks
  1. Gain as much knowledge as you can about Betta before breeding.
  2. Ideal age of a breeding pair is between 4 to 8 months.
  3. The breeding pair should be of similar size or the female to be slightly smaller.
  4. Allow the breeding pair to adapt to their environment. Add some leaves or plants to create “hiding spots” for the female. This will take a 2 to 3 days before they are ready to breed. Feed as per normal.
  5. The male will build a large bubble nest to attract its partner and the female will display vertical stripes when it is ready for breeding.
  6. Observe if they are interested in each other or if they are fighting. Separate them if they did not breed after 48 hours.
  7. Remove female Betta once the breeding process (this can take up to 7 hours) is completed. The female will then hide or run away from the male.
  8. The eggs will hatch within 24 hours.
  9. Remove male Betta when the fries are able the free-swim. Feed with live food (daphnia, artemia nauplii) until they are big enough to consume pellets / flakes.


Learn More

Join Betta Club Singapore (BCS) to learn more about Bettas.

Follow us on our social media to keep up with the latest news and events.
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For more information, click on this link to view article.
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Last edited by Qian Hu; 08-11-2017 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Formatting
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betta, betta care, betta diet, betta feeding guide, betta tail types, betta tank maintenance, siamese fighting fish


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