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Thread: The Betta Myths
06-24-2006, 1:15 AM #1
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The Betta Myths
If you were to ask a serious fishkeeper how to keep a betta fish, the answer would probably suprise many people not familiar with the hobby. The answer is this: get him/her in a tank of at least 2.5 gallons (5 would be better as a minimum), get a filter, and get a heater. Some people (such as the International Betta Council) would even tell you to get some little friends for your betta. All of these instructions go against what is commonly believed by non-fishkeepers about bettas. This article will attempt to adress the 2 biggest myths out there about our little friend from the rice paddies of the east.
The first question most people would ask is, "Why put a betta in a 10 gallon? Don't they like being in smaller containers?" The answer to that is a resounding no. Bettas, unlike most other fish, are able to survive in a small cup of water without heat and filtration, but that does not mean they prefer it. Like I said above, 2.5g as a bare minimum, 5g prefered, as large as 10g whenever possible. And regardless of size, filtration and heat are essential. Bettas like water around 80F, a temperature most houses do not keep for the majority of the year. Keeping a proper temperature alone will increase color and go a long way to fix the "droopy fin" look that bettas in cups and other small containers inevitably take on. Once you add a properly filtered and cycled tank to that, you will really see the beauty of the betta shine through
The other facet of the housing myth is that you can keep a betta in a vase with a flower (usually a lilly) and a symbiotic relationship will develop where no (or little) maintenance is required. Once again, a betta will live in such an environment (albiet not happily and not for very long), but they should still at the very least be fed normal food on a regular basis and get water changes on a weekly or twice-weekly basis. The other problem with the vase setup is that it is nowhere near that 2.5g minimum.
So the next question is probably, "Why keep a betta in a 10 gallon? They like to be by themselves, so why waste the space?" This brings us to the second betta myth. Bettas can be kept with other fish, just not other bettas (unless it is multiple females). Two males in the same tank will fight, and a male will become agressive towards a female unless they are breeding. **Mutiple females can be kept together successfully, but the more colorful males are usually those sought after most**
Many bettas actually like to be with other fish (this is according to the International Betta Council). There are some male bettas who are aggressive to all other fish; I don't know if this comes from spending a lot of time in a cup by himself or if it is just an ingrained behavioral trait you see in some of them. You are basically taking a chance if you buy a male betta and you intend to simply drop him into a community tank. The best thing to do is to start the community tank with a single betta, and them slowly add other fish to see how he reactes.
**It needs to be noted that not all fish are good tankmates for bettas. Anything that is the same size or has long flowing fins should not be kept with a male betta because he will treat it just like another male betta. Male fancy guppies are out for just that reason, so I can't put my betta in my current community tank. Bettas do get along with small fish like common tetras and platies.**
If you must keep your betta by himself, a small container with no decoration is your worst option. Get the biggest tank you can, and add colorful decorations and maybe even some live plants (they love java moss). Some reccommend a mirror near the tank so he will at least "see" another fish. Or, if you do have another community tank, keep him next to that so he will be able to see the fish in there. Just be sure to keep a lid on the betta tank because they are jumpers and will try to get to other fish to defend their territory.I made 63.90 last month. Other people made hundreds. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself and see just how easy it is.
06-26-2008, 11:49 AM #2
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