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How to Take Care of a Betta Fish – Understanding the Unique Needs of Siamese Fighting Fish

Learning how to take care of a Betta fish is much different from the requirements needed to raise other domesticated tropical fish. Male Bettas, also known as Siamese fighting fish, must live a life of solitude. If you have ever seen one for sale at the local pet store, it most likely was in a small container all by itself. Placing a male fighting fish in a tank with any other fish can have devastating results.

Understanding Their Social Order

Part of the special necessities in knowing how to take care of a Betta fish includes understanding the social order, proper environment, and specialized foods needed for their survival. A misstep in any one of these three important factors can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your pet and may cause betta fish sick problems.

The specific social order of a Betta requires all males to be completely separated in different tanks. They have an instinctual desire to tear or bite other fish and, when competing for specific territories, can kill other males. Socially, up to eight female Siamese fighting fish can live in the same tank, but they require ample space, underwater foliage and hiding places to guard themselves from the more aggressive ones in the group.

The Importance of Chlorine Free Water

Any water used to fill the tank should be chlorine-free and constantly maintained at the ideal temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Because they are carnivorous, they need live food, which can be in the form of fresh or frozen bloodworms, mosquito larva, or brine shrimp. Additionally, the pet store sells commercial Betta pallets made of mashed shrimp meal, fishmeal and vitamins.

Out of all the available tropical fish for sale, the Siamese fighter is one of the most beautiful, though arguably the most difficult to raise. However, following these few simple guiding principles on how to take care of a Betta fish will provide the fighting fish what it needs to stay healthy.