The underrated Betta fish

Let’s call this a journal of casual discoveries about Betta fish, made by an uninitiated Betta owner. Having had only bad experiences with aquarium fish in the past, I have only good things to say about owning Bettas. I’ve written about a few of them below.

November, 2004

I have three Bettas at the moment. I’ve only recently acquired them. Until now, I gave into the notion that Bettas are the most commonplace fish one can get as pets. I thought that when it came to entertainment, they were no better than goldfish, which was a short way of saying they were at the bottom of the aquatic intelligence scale. But I was wrong, and I’m glad to admit it! I’ve since discovered that Bettas are quite intelligent and very entertaining.

Unlike most aquarium creatures, they actually express gratitude for the love they receive. One can actually form a relationship with them that is quite rewarding. I like to think of them as the Italian greyhounds of the aquarium: small, delicate, clean, yet loving and wonderful. In this article, I will attempt to describe to you what I have discovered in the short time I have owned Bettas.

Betta fish looking up at me

My wife and I bought our first Betta in October of 2004. A week later, we bought another, and a day later, we bought the third. We couldn’t resist! They each have their little personality quirks that make them endearing. Yes, each Betta has a personality! The first thing we noticed is that they recognized our faces after just a few days of owning them. Since this happened with all three of our Bettas, I believe it can also happen with others. I suggest you try it out.

You will need to spend a little time with them, though. You need to let them get to know you. The usual mistake that people make is not spending enough time with their Bettas. Most of the time, they are thought of as ornaments or decor. That’s not how a smart fish can be treated. If they are ignored by their owners, the Bettas will withdraw into themselves and will become loners. They will shy away from the owner when they are fed, and they won’t look at him or her. It will become a stress for the fish to see the them. On the other hand, if you take the time to know your Betta, and spend a little time every day looking at the fish, smiling and talking to it, you will find that a relationship will develop between you and it.

For example, our Bettas move to the edge of the aquarium to greet us when we approach. Not only that, but as soon as they can see us enter the room, they will quickly move toward us, and will become active, even playful. They do this not because they expect food. They will do it because they are happy to see us. Having owned fish before, I was quite surprised to discover this. My other fish simply shied away whenever they saw me. The only time they gave me any notice of recognition was when they saw me feed them, and even that reaction wasn’t consistent. Most of the time, they were simply frightened of me. That’s actually what deterred me from continuing to keep fish. I found it discouraging that these creatures, to whose every need I catered, didn’t show the slightest amount of appreciation, even after months of being around me. Bettas certainly don’t do this. They do express appreciation, and it is very gratifying to see it.

Betta fish in aquarium

If they don’t like the food you give them, they will let you know. One of my Bettas didn’t like the Betta Bits I bought for him, and he would spit them out or not even touch them. He would then look intently at me, as if to say, “C’mon, can’t you do better than this?” If I looked at him as if to say, “Please try again,” he would make another go at it, though most of the time he’d spit it out again. To have this sort of interaction, where there is a halfway-intelligent question and response, amazes me. How is this possible with such a small fish? One usually only finds this in larger animals with more developed brains.

Bettas happen to like certain plants in their aquariums. I’ve found that the frilly plants, the ones with thin, long leaves, bother them. They act annoyed whenever they try to swim by them and their fins get caught in the leaves. I believe they like simple plants with well-defined leaves. Mine in particular seem to like these small plants with short stems and large, 1-2 leaves. They sleep under the leaves at night, nestled in next to the stem. Sometimes they take naps during the day right in-between the leaves.

At other times, they hover right next to the bottom, almost out of sight. This leads me to believe that they enjoy a little hiding place of their own. I don’t think they like being out in the open all the time. If you have a Betta, it might be a good idea to get them a hollow shell or a little fish house they can hide in.

Betta fish resting at bottom of bowl

I have also found that aquarium placement matters quite a bit. My Bettas were all fairly restless when their vases (I use large vases, 1-2 gallon capacity, as my Betta aquariums) were placed on tables, or somewhere in the open. As soon as I placed them next to walls or other pieces of furniture where one side was enclosed, they quieted down. I believe this gives them a sense of security. I think fishes in general don’t like to stay out in the open all day. Being next to the wall can afford them a little rest, because they don’t have to constantly look around for danger.

Betta fish swimming

Each of our Bettas has their little quirks and their behavior can’t be predicted. They don’t necessarily do the same things every day. For example, one of my Bettas would actively move back and forth, and perform intricate turns and flips a few weeks ago. As soon as I’d look at him, he’d quiet down and look at me. I’m not quite sure why he did that. I’ve found that my other Bettas have engaged in this sort of behavior at times, too. I don’t think they do it just to attract my attention. I haven’t discovered anything wrong with them so far, and I’ve had them for some time.

One of my Bettas displays a penchant for burrowing under the pebbles that are at the bottom of his vase. One of my other Bettas seems to like to nuzzle next to the glass and nibble on it. My last Betta enjoys staying under his plant most of the day, unless I’m near his vase. I think this is part of their personalities, and Betta owners shouldn’t worry if their Bettas are quirky like this. I don’t think they’re sick. I can’t judge the mental health of a fish, but physically speaking, if they were sick, their fins or scales would show discoloration or would start to peel off. They would also lose their appetite, which is definitely not the case with my Bettas.

Sometimes Bettas like to nap out in the open water, either right below the water surface or halfway between the bottom and the top. They won’t move their fins and it may look to you like they’re dead. They aren’t. I’m not sure why they do that sometimes, but it does happen.

Betta fish resting below water surface

At other times when they sleep, they’ll move their fins, and it may not be apparent to you that they’re sleeping. If you approach the aquarium and they happen to wake up with your face next to it, they’ll be too surprised to recognize you and will dash away. They may even turn around and puff up their little beard to show you they’re not scared. Don’t be offended. You’ve just frightened them, and they are reasserting themselves. Remember, they are mighty fighting fish, even if they are small in size.

Betta fish with flared fins

If you get along well enough, they may even “strut” for you sometimes. They will puff up their beard, and they will fan out their tail and fins, and will show you how beautiful they are. Don’t think they are threatening you. They are simply letting you know they feel safe and happy in their territory, patrolling their borders and being taken care of by you. Enjoy the show!

When your Bettas are content, they will build a bubble next at the surface of the water. You can’t miss it. There will be stacks of bubbles (2-5 levels on top of each other) on the water surface one morning, and you’ll wonder how in the world they got there. What the fish are telling you is that they’re very happy with their conditions and are ready to mate. Since I doubt you’ll want to provide them with a female Betta every time this happens, just enjoy it and know that you’re taking good care of them.

Betta fish bubble nest

I hope you find your Bettas as rewarding as I have. Please remember, your Betta is more likely to get sick if you don’t treat it right. Spend a little time with your fish every day, and you will have a very rewarding relationship. Just think of the benefits! You don’t have to house-train them, they don’t pee all over the carpet if they’re mad at you, and they don’t bark at the neighbors!

February, 2005

I don’t think Bettas have a sense of hearing. However, they have can immediately sense any tremor or vibration in the water. For example, one of our Bettas has his bowl on the corner of my desk, which is quite wide. If I tap my fingers on the opposite corner (not a loud tapping, mind you) he will immediately stop what he’s doing and turn around to face me.

Bettas can be jealous. If they see me or my wife giving attention to one of the other fish, they won’t like it and they’ll start swimming wildly in their bowls to get our attention. Sometimes they’ll even get upset, and when we do go and see them, they’ll stay at the bottom of their bowls and won’t come up to greet us as they usually do.

Bettas can get upset if they don’t get their food. Our Bettas expect to get fed every morning and night. My wife and I agreed not to feed them one day of the week, to help clear out their digestive systems – we read about this somewhere. That whole day of the week, they’ll swim wildly in their bowls every time we get near them, to remind us that they’re hungry. They’ll look at us and open their mouth wide – other fish seem to do this as well – as if to tell us we need to give them something to put in there. Toward the end of the day, they’ll start showing they’re upset by pretending not to notice us when we get near them. The next morning, we’ll literally have to coax them up from the bottom of the bowl to give them food. Sometimes they don’t even want to look at us and avoid the food altogether, to show us how upset they are.

Two of the Bettas have started to jump up out of the water to get their food. All I have to do is hold it above the water’s surface, and they’ll jump. Their aim isn’t very good though, so they end up nibbling at my fingers instead of the food. But it’s cute nonetheless! I think this means they can be trained to do tricks.

I read that their bowls should be covered so they don’t jump out and end up dying on the floor. I think that’s a bunch of baloney. We fill their bowls almost to the brim, and it hasn’t happened yet. If the Bettas are happy with their surroundings, they won’t jump out, period. You have to watch them and see whether they’re happy or not. We haven’t covered our bowls, and we don’t intend to do so, because there isn’t a need.

Here is a quick guide to help you figure out if your Bettas are happy:

  • Do they notice you as soon as you get close to the bowl?
  • Do they start to swim left and right and wiggle their tails?
  • Do they eat the food you give them right away?
  • Do they build bubble nests once in a while?
  • Is their coloration bright and vivid?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then they’re happy and healthy.

August, 2005

Over these last few months, I’ve been forced to admit that Bettas actually communicate with each other using sounds. I have no other way of putting it. We had put little glass containers in their bowls for them to hide in when they wanted, and I thought at first they were pushing them around, because I kept hearing sounds that sounded like glass being rapped on glass within water, or as if a pebble fell on a glass surface inside the water. But we kept on hearing the sounds even after we removed the glass containers. Recently, I even got to watch them as they were making the sounds. They’re swimming along, and all of a sudden, there are the sounds! They’re not touching the bowl walls, they’re not near the top of the bowl. They’re making these sounds while they’re fully submerged. I find it amazing. I don’t know to what purpose they’re doing it, perhaps to attract female bettas, to mark their territory – I’m not sure, but I have yet to hear of another small fish that can make sounds audible to the human ear!

I’ve also discovered that it’s better to keep about two feet away from the bowl when looking at them or greeting them. Otherwise they may get startled, especially if they’re sleeping. The two foot rule seems to work most of the time.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this has been helpful to you!

Updated 8/23/07: I’m truly appreciative of all of the traffic that this article has sparked, and for all of the wonderful comments that people have left, but please realize that my little Bettas have passed away some time ago. I decided not to get new ones after that happened. I am also not a Betta expert, just an owner who decided to record what happened. So please, no more questions. Your local pet store or Betta sites like Betta Talk are much more knowledgeable about these smart little fish than I am. I still welcome your thoughts, but I’m not equipped to answer expert questions on Bettas. Thanks!


297 Comments

  1. I found another medication called Kanaplex. Apparently it contains Kanamycin, so you could try it if Maracyn Plus fails.

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  2. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Bettas often tend to get duller in color as their life goes on; however, the swimming issue could be caused by a number of things. Swim bladder disorder, a possible bacterial infection, or perhaps even dropsy sound like possible candidates. Are his scales raised, and is he bloated?
    Lower the water level so he can go to the surface and breathe more easily. Try feeding him medicated food if you suspect him to be sick, and adding some sort of preventative or not overly powerful medication to the water. Although bettas lose some spunk with age, they shouldn’t be acting in the way you’re describing. (in regards to this article, yes, bettas are wonderfully intelligent. I miss mine so much, and still occasionally visit their graves. I’m an atheist but because of my fish, I actually wish heaven were real)
    If you know that he is infected with dropsy or a deadly bacterial infection, use a strong medication. Maracyn Plus is the only cure for dropsy that I have found; Kanacyn also worked, but it went out of production. Maracyn Plus is NOT the same as Maracyn 2. You must apply medication early, or the fish may die from liver failure even if the bacteria causing the symptoms have been killed.
    A betta that does recover from such severe illness will be sickly and malnourished for a while, but it will survive. Keep its bowl extra clean and feed the fishy some food.
    If your betta has swim bladder disorder, just keep the water level low. SWD is not fatal so long as the fish has access to the air. Eventually, it may recover itself.
    If all else fails, euthanization may be your only procedure. I would like to note that dropping the fish into cold water, putting it into the freezer, and dropping a brick (or stomping) on it are all UNacceptable methods of euthanization. Decapitation may be painless but there is not enough evidence on this method, and I personally would never decapitate a beloved pet.
    I wish you and your finned friend well.

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  3. Helo! I`m very worried about my betta, Finny. He is getting a very pale white color, and cant even swim correctly anymore. When he tries, he just sinks back to the bottom. Today me and my mom tried taking him out of his tank with the net, and he didnt even budge! I thought he was dead for a second, but I noticed him breathing. he cant float anymore either. This has been going on for so long now. Finny is no longer the happy, joyful, active fish he once was. I have had him for so long, and I really dont want to lose him now! is this becuase he is old? is it a disease? What do i do?1 Please help me!

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  4. Hi, I Have A Betta Fish, And I Don’t Know If It A He Or A She.. But I Just Acquired It Back From My Aunts. It’s Name Is Kaida, And Well, Kaida Seems So Restless, He/She Keeps Swimming Around, And Occasionally Swimming Down Towards The Little Stones At The Bottom Of HIs/Her Tank Near The Corners, And Seems As If She/He Is Trying To Burrow Under The Rocks?? It Worries Me That He/She May Get Stuck Under The Rocks, Or Get A Fin Stuck. The Rocks Are Very Smooth, And Not Rugged, Because I Don’t Want To Damage Her/His Beautiful Fins.. On The Side Of The Tank, He/She Can See His/Her Reflection, And Seems To Investigate It Occasionally.

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    1. Does he/she have white spots anywhere? If he/she does, he/she might have ich or velvet which makes them itchy. Are there places for the betta to hide? If not, i recommend that you buy something because it may just be trying to hide. If you just got the fish, it might just be trying to settle in. It needs a hiding place.

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      1. You can tell a Bettas sex by their tail size. Female Bettas have substantially smaller tails then boys.

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    2. Hey you can tell if it is a male or a female by looking under the fish and seeing it if it has a whit spot under it if it does it is a female and if it doesn’t it means it is a female

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  5. I just got two bettas (Alfred and Lucius) and put them in a 2.5 gallon tank with a black divider (I think glass dividers are cruel). I want to make sure that they are happy, so I very much appreciate your article! I can’t wait to get to know them!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello,
      I know that this might offend you, but your fish tank is not big enough for even one betta. Each betta needs at least 5 gallons. I really hope that you put them in a bigger tank. Honestly, I just want to help.

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  6. Thank you for this enjoyable blog about bettas. I find them to be intelligent as well. I have one male betta in a 30 gal. community tank, with three female bettas, ten neon tetras and a few other small betta-friendly fish. In the community tank, the bettas hang out with each other near the surface, playing together, and only seldom nipping one another. The male has established King Of The Tank, as most male bettas do, swimming around and flaring at anyone who looks at him funny. None of the fish have challenged his authority to date. The females only interact with each other this way, I assume to establish pecking order. They do enjoy their own hiding places in the tank, although they explore tirelessly every nook and cranny in the tank, and initiate every newcomer with a proper hazing.

    I believe all intelligent fish enjoy company. Sometimes I wonder if the air “breathing” has anything to do with their intelligence. In any case, I bought a 2.5 gallon for my desk upstairs, with one male betta as my personal company. I did communicate with him, more than around just feeding-time, but he still appeared lonely to me. So I added a single neon tetra, one of the smaller ones(who had been picked on by his peers), and found that he made a perfect tank mate for my male betta.

    At first, of course, he felt his territory was invaded, and he needed to defend it, but it only took a half hour for him to realize this smaller fish was no threat. It’s funny to watch him, particularly at feeding-time, because he’s quite greedy with “his” food. He goes to the top of the tank to retrieve his food, and then quickly turns around and flares at the neon he knows is right behind him trying to steal his food. And if the neon is ever “concentrating” on anything in the tank, the betta will chase him away from it and then search the area intently to find whatever it was the neon was looking at. They are enjoyable to watch.

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  7. Hi Raoul! Nice article and posts. I have quite a number of bettas and have been trying to breed them. So far, only five fries survive up to one month old from each breeding tank. I read they should have been hundreds of them. Any idea what could have been wrong? One more thing, how do you cure your sick betta (those whose fins wrinkled and look pale). Many thanks.

    Guns

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    1. Sorry, I’m not knowledgeable enough to offer breeding advice. As for the wrinkled fins and pale colors, see the other comments on this post, people have offered various solutions, with good results. Good luck!

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  8. I love your article. ive grown up around bettas but never really payed them any mind. i recently just moved into a dorm because im going to college, and i wanted to get a fish. I went to WalMart and low and behold they had bettas. saddly their condition was poor and a few of them were dead but there was one who caught my eye, he was flairing at another betta and he seemed real active so i took him home. I named him Platoon and so far he seems rather friendly he likes it when i sit next to him at my desk even now he is stareing at me from his bowl wanting me to come sit next to him. Im really glad i could read your article about you and your bettas and i will continue to use it as a reference for my betta. I hope you will continue to write about your bettas.
    -Lori and platoon

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  9. I just bought a female betta about a week ago. I’ve had male ones before and is it just me or do the females seem more hyperactive than males? Bartleby will swim around frantically and will swim and wiggle right into the side of the bowl with her head. She doesn’t seem hurt, just seems to go nuts sometimes… is that normal?

    Also the bowl I have has a plant wedged in the top and the roots hang down in the water, when I got the bowl the instructions said it was a special type of plant in which the bettas will eat from it and it also cleans the water. My last betta lived in there for 2 years, and I don’t think I ever fed him or ever needed to change the water since the water was crystal clear. Is the plant root enough for her or should I also be feeding her blood worms as a treat every once in a while? Should I be changing the water every once in a while as well even though it stays so clean? Bartleby seems happy in there, just like my other fish did and I just want to be sure and keep her happy as long as I can.

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  10. I just thought I’d add my 2 cents. . . I clean the house of some friends of mine once a week. They have a Betta fish (for about 2 years now) and he recognizes me! Whenever I arrive, I go over to his bowl and wiggle my fingers (like his fins) and talk to him and he jumps up, swims the glass and wiggles and dances! My husband and my friends (the ones who own the fish) think I’m crazy, but since reading this blog, I now know better!

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  11. Thanks so much for the help I got my Betta fish like 4 days ago and he already made his first bubble nest!:) Thanks to your tips!:)

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  12. Hi, I just got a Betta fish yesterday and when I fed him yesterday and he ate, but today I tried to feed him a couple of times and he still isnt eating should I worry? Is there something wrong with him, the food.

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  13. Hi, Raoul. I’ve been a fan of Betta fish for years, having owned several in the past. My mother bought my brother and i our first Bettas when we were young, a blue male I named Fuyu and a red male my brother named Rico. We were able to enjoy our Bettas for years at a time, having bought more throughout, even breeding Fuyu with a cute, little pink Betta named Sakura. Ive read your article and some of the comments that others have left and i’ve found it to be extremely informative and helpful.
    About 3 months ago, my boyfriend and i purchased a blue/red male named Walter, or Walt Whitman. He seems to be a very happy, healthy fish, because he blows large bubble nests often. He is quite energetic and certainly recognizes me when i approach his bowl. He’s also very curious in nature, because i often notice him floating along the far side of his bowl, close to me, watching intently as i sit in my room drawing, on the computer, or going about normal activities. I feed him twice a day, Betta Bites in the morning and evening, and he wriggles around delightfully whenever i approach his bowl with the food, then starts to peck away at the pellets hungrily. I take that as a sign that he enjoys the cuisine. He often remains playful and inquisitive, with his fins and gills spread wide apart and fanned out. I even noticed that he has asserted himself and given a little dominance display as you’d mentioned, puffing his beard at me and darting about like he’s large and in charge. But he only did this after i showed him his reflection for the first time yesterday. He puffed his beard, as i was yet to see, and once i saw him react, i removed the mirror. and now, whenever i approach his bowl, he puffs his beard and looks straight at me, as if he associates my presence with that of a challenge from another male. Should i be worried about this?

    Thanks,
    Gabbi

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  14. Thank you, Raoul! I purchased a new Betta fish a few days ago. Its a bit ironic, as we named her Flannery and she is blue.

    I’ll continue to use your site as a future reference.

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  15. All fish experts know that you should never keep a betta in a jar or a vase it isn’t nice but other than that your betta’s look great :\

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    1. @Selena:
      Thats not true at all. If they have enough space and enough air, they can thrive in jars or vases. Perhaps even “fish experts” learn something new about Bettas everyday. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. I am going to get a new betta soon, and i have a thing where their name has to start with an L. I have had Louie and Larry so far. whats is good name? Im thinking about Lennard and Lenny for short. i know your tired of questions that are fit for an expert, and i know your not, so im giving you a break and asking you for a good name that will appeal to the fish. thanks all of you other comments have helped me out alot

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  17. I have a pretty blue male betta that keeps building bubbles nests. So in another separate take I have 5 female betta fish and have been putting one at a time in there to see if the likes them and maybe mate. He starts getting aggressive with each one, so I take them out. Why is he building a bubble nest if he doesn’t want to mate? Please advise what to do . Thanks, Theresa

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    1. @Theresa:
      Maybe he’s building bubble nests because he’s content and healthy. Did you also know that sometimes they get a bit aggressive when they want to mate, to show off to other females? However, please don’t keep females with him for too long- especially if they haven’t mated in 2 days. This happened to me once and our beautiful male died.

      Good luck with getting them to mate! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  18. Kaili, your betta may be sick. There is an illness called Velvet. How is he doing now?

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    1. Your Fish is losing it’s colour usually it’s cause of the water conditioner or the food you should let the water set min12 hours before putting your betta in the tank (this happened to my friend).

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  19. My boy Neptune is now acting frail. He seems to struggle to swim and get air. His movements seem erratic. I’ve had him over a year now. Today I put my girl into his tank – in a cup – while I cleaned her vase. When I put her cup into his aquarium, he perked up, flared at her and darted around the tank. Her presence seems to give him an uplift. He didn’t build a bubble nest because I think he’s too old.

    My girl, I bought her back in mid-April is large and has large finnage like a male but she has that white dot on her belly that says she’s a girl. She is large, healthy and eats like a horse. I have to be careful not to overfeed!

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  20. Hello. I have had a beta for about a month and half or so. My other beta only lived for 2 months. He wasn’t eating his food, he was spitting it out, and wasn’t very active and I didn’t seem to appeal to him. I got a new one from the same store. My relationship is going well with him, I am planning on getting him a fish tank instead of a 2 gallon bowl.

    He likes hanging out on the side I am usually on. (The other side is facing towards a wall.) And I noticed some bubbles on the side he usually stays on. I have noticed more and more as I begin to know him better. He follows my finger and responds posively to me.

    However this has only been happening lately, The color change, the bubbles, and only staying on one side. I am wondering IF this means anything or if he’s just healthy.
    (He used to be naturally red and silver around the fins annd tails, now he’s changing blue where the silver used to be and even MORE blue.)

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  21. Hey Raoul! My name is Barb.
    I’ve recently gotten into the hobby of betta keeping, I have two betta fish, Blue (blue and green with a black head and red fin) and Zuko (Almost completely red with a little hint of black) I got Zuko yesterday, hes been hanging around the bottom of his bowl but Im not too worried because he might just need to settle in a bit before I try any thing with him. Blue on the other hand is a very active fish and eats like a pig with the 1 day exception of not feeding him, and he makes nests like crazy if I take the one out. I’ve had blue for about a month. Im curious about whether or not I could move Blue to a bigger bowl?. Right now I have them in their own betta kit bowls, the bigger set up seems better to me because I could put in a live plant. Im not 100% sure about it though, I’ve read that some fish can handle more swimming room, others like a small substancial space so that their not in a constant state of ‘OMG i need to protect my turf!’ mode. You seem to know what your doing with your boys, I just want whats best for mine ๐Ÿ™‚

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  22. Hello Mary Eva,

    Betta fish have distinct personalities, and sometimes act differently to different people.
    As long as you notice him doing that only when you approach the tank, he is just “flaring” in a non-traditional manner.

    No biggie.
    I have raised Bettas for over 20 years, and almost all of mine have had little weird mannerisms all their own.
    Good on ya for watching her fish.

    Beth

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  23. Hey, I’ve been looking after my mom’s beta fish for the last week or so while she’s been working. I don’t live here, so the fish doesn’t know me that well. He’s bubbling and acting playful, but I notice that when I come near the tank his jaw puffs up. He doesn’t normally do this for anyone else. I’ve been feeding him and cleaning his tank regularly. I’d assume the puffing would be to express excitedness or something, but I’ve read that it can harm them and that it’s usually I sign of aggression, so I was hoping someone could help. ๐Ÿ˜› Thanks~

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  24. Hi, I’m getting 2 betta fishs this weekend and I know you’re not supposed to put 2 males together–so obviously they’re going to be female. My question is: What should I get for them?? A good sized tank, I got that. I heard that they like hiding places, but is there anything in particular? Also, should I imediately get some live bits of food along with the regular food, or wait a while? These will be my first fish, so I would appreciate some hints.
    Thank you!

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  25. Hi my names amber,
    right now on the 7/6/10 i got my betta 1 day ago and it keeps watching and following it reflection and puffing it gill up at the bottom of it chin and when i got it the fins were purple/blue/pink and a body white and now the fins are getting darker and the body is turning dark purple is that good and how do you know if there femle or male? or do have any signs to watch out for to determin the sex?

    please help me!!!
    get back to me soon :)!

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    1. Hi Amber,

      It sounds to me like you have a male betta.

      They will flare and puff up when they see their reflection or any other “fish” or “thing” that resembles them.

      Remove whatever reflective surface you can, or he will constantly bow up on himself, and this will keep him agitated.

      Does your fish have large, flowing tail and “back” fins?

      If so he is male, if the fins are more looking like a guppies”, and it is more torpedo shaped in the body, he is a she!

      and the darkening of the colors usually happens when a fish is taken home and is acclimated to a new tank. The colors will become more defined and brighter as it gets used to its much bigger tank than it was used to at its store where you got it.

      Beth C.

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  26. So glad to have come across this site! Thank you Raul for making this site accessible and to all the other betta owners being available with their advise and experiences! I too have recently adopted a male betta named Honeyberry, who in only a months time has developed his very own place in my heart. This site has been very informative for me and I’m sure Honeyberry will benefit from your generosity!

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  27. your site has been very help full, its really cool hearing about all the ppl and their experinces with their bettas, i just got some i’ve got 3 since the week before easter this year (2010) their really cool

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  28. I have a betta fish too. I am 10 yrs. old and I enjoy reading your experiences. My betta fish keeps looking at me somehow and then he starts dancing or something like that. Maybe you can be a writer someday because you write a lot of things!!

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  29. I have a girl. I purchased her last Saturday. I got a large 1-gallon vase from Michael’s. and some live plants and substrate. I also got a small heater that seems to warm the vase nicely. She is very happy and eats like a horse. I have to be careful and not sure how much to feed her daily.

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  30. Hope you guys can use this!

    Betta Tankmates โ€“ Choosing Roomies For Your Betta Splendens
    By Elizabeth Christopher

    Betta tankmates have to be chosen as carefully as a person chooses a roommate. Pick the wrong betta tankmates, and your fish will suffer. Choose the wrong roommate for yourself and you may suffer. You get the idea. Letโ€™s take a look at some betta tankmates that will allow your fish to live a long, happy and healthy life with good neighborly interaction.

    The right betta mates need to understand that he is living with a fish that can be surly, and even downright nasty at times. The perfect partner will allow his finny friend room to be himself, and shouldnโ€™t clash lest there be dire consequences.

    1 โ€“ Apple Snails

    Apple snails are a great addition to a betta tank. These snails are small at birth, but can reach a size of 4 โ€“ 6 inches when adult, and add a peaceful nature to your betta. Bettas typically ignore them.

    2 โ€“ Cory Catfish

    Cory Catfish are the most common catfish kept in aquariums. Since they prefer the bottom of the tank, they typically do not run afoul of the middle to top-dwelling betta fish. They are hardy and very easy to breed and care for.

    3 โ€“ Dwarf Frog

    Betta tankmates need to be non-similar to the betta. Bettas attack other fish that resemble themselves. That is why a dwarf frog or two make such a diverse friend for your betta and a wonderful visual addition to your tank.

    4 โ€“ Neon Tetras

    Neon tetras are small (one inch max.), inexpensive fish that add motion and vibrant color to any tank. They respond extremely well with any betta fish.

    Remember that every betta fish has a distinctive personality. What works for one betta may not work for the next one. And when your betta mates, all bets are off, and a previous friend can become a foe in your fighting fishโ€™s eyes. Donโ€™t forgot that you should never keep more than one inch of fish per gallon of aquarium. If you follow these rules, you should be able to place some great betta tankmates with your beautiful betta splendens that will provide you with a full, visual experience.

    Elizabeth Christopher
    20 year Betta Breeder and Friend

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  31. I bought a King Beta fish for my daughter in Feb of 2009. Several months after her having it, I found it nearly dead in what looked like milky water. I felt so bad for this fish.. Yes, I say fish, because that is all it was to me. A silly little fish. I was ready to flush it. But I saw a small glimpse of hope. I moved it into a clean cup of water and then to another every 20 min. got a bigger tank, clean water and plopped it in. I fed it 1small pebble every 3 hours, then 3 times a day and then stopped at 2 pebbles twice a day. Slowly I began to notice that when ever i walked by the tank he would be playful, swim to the left, quickly to the right. Like he was so happy. he would come right to the side I was at, look at me and his fins would fludder quickly. He would stay there as long as I would. I thought to myself, “OK, I am crazy”. Well now i have been nurturing this fish for over a year. I speand time with it, I talk to it, feed it twice a day, clean the water frequently. He has a glass cookie jar that he lives in, a cup inside to hide in and a live plant. I know , with no doubt tha this fish loves me. It is so amazing. People think I am crazy because I love him so much. They don’t see what I see, because he only acts that way with me. He is blue with hints of purple and red, large and always happy. Thanx for explaining those bubbles. I had no idea. I kept cleaning the water every time I saw them. I thought the water was dirty..lol. Well, just today I bought a male, crown tale beta a a very small female beta. can’t wait to see their love for me. Thank you so much for your wonderful artice. I now know that I am not alone. My “BLUE” that is his name. Is certaintly not like any other fish. He is intelligent, loving, sweet and makes me so very happy.

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  32. I’ve read some of the comments here, and while some of you mean well when you care for your beloved bettas, please make sure they are NOT IN A VASE!!!. If you’re going to keep a betta, PLEASE! get at least a 2.5 gallon aquarium WITH A HEATER. Your betta will thank you for it. A 5 gallon – or larger aquarium – may be better. My betta had to adjust to his 2.5 gallon tank from a 1/2 gal. vase. Once he adjusted, he has thrived ever since. PetSmart sells these 2.5 gal. tanks, and they’re not all that expensive, as are the heaters. BETTAS NEED WARM WATER AS THEY ARE TROPICAL FISH. Get them a heater.

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  33. i have a Betta Fish that was acting totally odd! When i was getting ready for school i checked on my pet Betta Jewel but she was in a bunch of gross stuff and wouldn’t move!I came home and it was still in the same position but it got smaller! I thought it died but when i checked on it one more time it turned green and blue but it used to be red! If anyone knows what was going on with here plz reply!xD ๐Ÿ™‚

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  34. Hi Raoul,

    Nice betta blog! I have been raising betta fish for 20 years, and enjoy meeting other betta lovers.

    Thanks for posting 2 of my articles from my blog on your realted links section.

    Give me a shout if you need anything.

    See ya,
    Elizabeth Christopher
    http://www.BettaFacts.info (Another betta blog)

    p.s.
    To all of your followers, I will happily give a FREE betta care mini-course, if they stop by me blog and mention they came from your betta blog.

    Cheers!

    Like

  35. My roommates female beta jumped out of her tank sometime last night or early this morning. We woke up to find her laying on my roommates desk. Are you sure now that Beta’s don’t jump?

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  36. I have a male betta that I’ve had for 5 months now. He’s in a 2-1/2 gallon talk with substrate and two live plants plus one silk plant.

    While I’m guilty of overfeeding my fish (I make him fast every Friday), he seems very happy, darting all over his tank, flaring and making bubble nests. His water is heated to 78 degrees. When he sees me, he goes ballistic.

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    1. Mitchell,

      This is also normal. Bettas are highly territorial fish, and when they see another male, they puff out their Gills or “beard”, and stretch out their fins as wide as they can. They also do this to impress Females. Your Betta is probably seeing his reflection on the tank, or there is something shiny or glossy outside showing his reflection. He doesn’t know it’s him, so he flares up just like he would for any other Betta. It is good to put a mirror in front of the tank every once and a while, “this practices but if you do it to much, he will become stressed and very tired.

      Let me know how he is doing.

      Matt

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  37. Mitchell,
    it is normal for a fish not to eat the first few days. he is getting used to his new home, and is stressed. if he doesn’t eat for another 2 days, try another brand. do not buy the blue can of wardleyยฎ pellets. they are way to big. wardley also makes perfect protienยฎ pellets. those are small enough. hikari, HBH, Tetra, are good brands. if all else fails, try frozen or live brine-shrimp. i have already answered this, so look around a little. let me know how he is doing.

    -Matt

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  38. Hi,

    I just got my very first Betta three days ago and I was wondering is it normal for the fish to not eat the food pellits I give him even that I give him Freez Dried Blood Worms.Any ideas?

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  39. Meg,

    this a small article on one section of breeding.

    When both parties are ready to breed the female Betta will position herself under the nest and the male Betta will wrap his body around the female. The fish will appear paralyzed for a short period of time. This embrace will be repeated several times until the female Betta has expelled all her eggs.

    Once the fish are no longer embracing and the female has moved away from the nest she should be removed immediately. Take care not to disturb the male and his nest of eggs. Put your female in a warm quite spot to rest and recover in clean water.

    Your male Betta will now tend to the eggs on his own for the next 24-36 hours, catching them and placing them back in the nest as they fall out.

    After around 4 days the baby Betta fry will become free swimming and your male will be struggling to keep them all near the nest. The male should be removed at this time.

    Once your male has been removed you can turn on your sponge filter, very lightly at first till the fry grow a little and can handle the current. You should be able to control the air flow with your valve.

    And about eating, keep trying to feed her for a few more days. if that fails, try a different brand such as hikari or HBH. You could even try freeze dried or frozen brine shrimp. Hope this helps! -Matt

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  40. Hi,
    We have had a male and female betta together in a tank where the male betta has done some damage to the female’s fins when “squeezing” her during spawning. In any event, he has been chasing her almost every day for over a month now and it seems as if she got tired of that. I removed her temporarily so she could rest and take a break from all that, but she refused to eat, so I put her back in the tank where he promptly started to chase her again. To cut a long story short, she is now hiding and won’t come out even to eat. What should I do?

    Meg

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  41. When i first bought my betta fish it used to be so happy when i fed it and always swimmed around when i looked at it. But as time went on i got tired and lazy so i didnt pay much attention to it and every once in a while when i see it or remember i have a fish i would feed it, and it’ll be like once every week. Then one day when i really payed any attention to it i realized that it had changed and it didnt look as happy or energetic. I was gonna go change the water and when i got to the sink and i looked at it closely it didnt move at all and it just laid on the side of its stomach at the bottom of the tank so i got scared and thought it was dead. until i moved the tank a bit and it swimmed. i noticed that the stomach was swollen and thats when i really started to do my homework and tried to find out what was going on. So i found out that it had swim bladder disease cause i was feeding it too much, because when i remember to feed it i would feed it like 8 betta bites pebbles. so from what i read they said to fast it and not feed it for awhile and so i did that. now the stomach looks better but now the problem is that he keeps staring at the corner at the surface and im getting worried. its weird cause when it was healthy i ignored it and now that i got it sick im paying so much attention to it, and at the same time im scared because i dont want to wake up one day and realize that its dead. i always looked at my fish as “my love” because of how they have this quote “theres so one many fishes in the sea but i still want you” and i dont want it to die because he was like my love and if i went and got a new betta fish it just wouldnt feel the same as the old one. I named it Bubbles because it always made so many bubbles. Do anyone know whats wrong with my fish? Is there a cure? Please tell me ASAP. Thanks.

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  42. Matt, I couldn’t agree with you more. I got carried away and have 6 but i am not saying everyone should do this because they are doing well but it is expensive thank god i live in RI. If i was in Alaska or in colder climates i probably would have to use a heater myself for my guys. Not so much here do they market the betta in a vase. I have seen it and thought it was inhuman myself but really got aggravated by the fact that there are so many of these fish really beautiful ones and not enough people buying them resulting in overpopulation of betta in stores. Either they think they will sell fast since people assume they are easy to take care of and all you have to do is stick them in a tank and just add water but it is not that easy. In here at my state i have been to alot and i mean a lot of pet stores all kinds from Rumford pet, to your local pop’s store fish store and they all look depressed and unkept in small half pint containers it is awful. So that is why i got on my own kick on saving these guys but i saved the ones that were the worst you can think of i mean barely alive and they have lived the longest go figure. I like fixing things and they needed to be fixed. They have there own personalities and when i have the tv on i have surround sound so one of my guys Onyx who is a Black and Yellow Half-Moon betta moves to the rythms it is really weird i just noticed it one day. I love the fact that this is a betta website because there are other people out there besides me who are so into these guys. Sometimes when i have to get my usual stuff for them which is alot of stuff i occasionaly have someone in the store who asks me questions on what they should get and how to take care of them which one should they pick and so forth i really like it it makes me feel good that i am helping someone.

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  43. it could be that he just has a curly fringe around the edges, Ive had plenty with that. If he has fin rot, you would see the tail slowly shrinking in the area that looks “off”. sometimes theres like a slimey look there too.

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  44. Hi Jamie, males usually have long flowing fins. females have short fins. also males tend to be larger.
    Hope this helps!

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  45. yo its jamie what up i am so happy being a girl but how can u tell the diffrenc between a girl betta and a boy betta?

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    1. As most animals, the male in this species is usually the larger of the two. The males also have longer fins, to attract females. You can usually find male bettas more than females. The pet stores purchse the males because people like to look at male bettas and keep them as “decorative ornaments”

      ๐Ÿ™‚

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  46. Lee, thanks for the advice. I’m going through winter so yes i need a small heater. I don’t have any way to know if he has fin rot. His fins have small little curls at the tips. i will go ahead and put bf in the tank tonight. I felt so sorry for all of those fish i just had to save at least one. I can’t believe people market all of these betta vases and 5th gallon cubes. And yes i would like to stay in touch.

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  47. Matt, I am responding to your message that you wrote back to me. I don’t live in a climate were it gets down to the low 60’s so there is no need to put 6 betta males in 6 different heater tanks. It is too expensive and they seem to be doing really well on there own in seperate tanks. I guess we all have our own idea and ability to take care of pets. I was just reading your message and thought I could help out with the situation of Napalm’s tail. I am not a hobbiest but maybe i should be i mainly am someone who is fascinated with betta fish because they are exquiste characters and how interesting it is to have a fish and not use a heater or filter for them but just balance out the water to keep them alive very eco-friendly creatures. My oldest Darwin who I have had for 5 years has had his minor shares of tail rot. He is a straight 100% red cambodian and as he got older i noticed he seemed a bit tight in his tank so i moved him into a bigger tank and he loved it but when he was in the smaller one his tail started to change color and get very curly and was difficult for him to flare up because his tail was so curled up on the bottom. I did my research and had to do something for him i had him so long and felt so upset so I went to Petco where i always go and found this anti-fungus drops in a blue fish plastic bottle and put it in and used it for 3 days. After that it disappeared. So i thought perhaps your fish has the same thing but if Napalm is doing good and is not having trouble moving around or eating then maybe that is how the fish was breed. I would try this in any case really because that can also be the cause of all the bubbles on the top of the tank. Sometimes with all the bubbles it means that the fish is having difficulty breathing and if you change the whole tank water wise it can stress him/her out so again changing half the water and leaving old water in will help maintain the betta’s body. It is expensive taking care of these guys but if you in for it in the long run it will be worth it. I love saving these fish from the petstores because they are in such bad shape with body fungus, tail rot, etc and i buy them bring them home take care of them with specific medication and they are all better and live healthy lives. I have stopped at 6. I have 3 crowntails, 1 cambodian, 1 halfmoon, and 1 double-tail delta. There names are: Drako, Eragon, Sirius, Darwin, Onyx and Apollo. Good luck on your fish if you need any other help let me know keep in touch. You have a strong name for you fish and it will help have him live longer.

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  48. If he has fin rot i need to know as soon as possible. I don’t want him to get infected.

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  49. Lee, i use a tiny hydor mini heater. Without it, the temp drops down to the lower 60’s. with it, it stays in the lower 70’s. but why is it that some people say that you should have it between 80-86? (not that i do) I do not use a filter. i think that lps are cruel to bettas by only telling you “just don’t put two males together”. About fin rot- i am sure he is cambodian. but he still has little curls at the end of his fins. also the ends are a lighter color. Napalm seems perfectly happy in his 2 gallon. he has made a very thick bubble nest overnight and growing. He is very active and I rarely see him on the bottom of his tank I will cut down on feeding to 2 pellets a day. if he does have fin rot or loss, i have some betta fix. also I completely change and wash the tank out. I don’t think I can afford all of those betta extras. A friend has a five year old betta who lives in a bowl in a bathroom and is still strong. I personally think that all of this stuff about at lest 5 gallons to thrive is bogus.

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  50. Matt, Also in the time i have had betta fish there can never be half cambodian betta and half crowntail. So the person at petsmart had no idea what she or he was talking about. Either it is 100% cambodian, crowntail, halfmoon, delta etc.

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  51. Matt, I think it is healthy to keep NaPalm at 65-70 degrees i think if you go low or too high in the tank it will make them either lathargic or just kill him. I have 6 betta fish and have never used any filter system and have had them for 3-7 years. I keep them all seperate and away from each other because they are all boys. My oldest Darwin has had minor problems that i simply cured by salt aquarium water, bottled water mixed with regular betta and tap water, betta fix and or betta defungus medication. I simply depend on the weather and were i am it does not ever get really hot or really cold so a heater or filter is unnecessary for me. I feel that when you do use the filter it takes away from its natural substances in the water keeping it too clean and too fresh will make the betta fish have rot tail. If your betta that you bought has frills from all tail area then he is a crowntail but if he is solid thick fins and a little crunchy at the ends then he does have tail rot. It is simply easy to take care of and should be dealt with immediately or it will cause other things to go wrong. Also every year or so your betta fish will grow and if you should move him to a bigger tank so then his tail will be able to expand out. Keeping them cooped up in small tanks is not healthy and not good for them regardless of what pestmart says. I have changed my guys into medium to large tanks after each year or so and boy they are getting huge. I watch all of them carefully and treat and respect them equally. Betta fish are truely sensitive and you should not handle them or leave them out of the water for a long time it will stress them out. In the feeding department i would have to say that my betta’s have lived long because i feed them every other 3 days 3-4 pellets once a month or once every two weeks i will occasionally give them dried bloodworms not alive and this helps out with there slim coat. Other then that clean them every two weeks to a month. Keep old water in and put fresh water in. Go to petsmart or petco and buy these things to help him out trust me it works.

    1. Aquarium salt
    2. Betta Bowl essential water drops by Kent Freshwater
    3. Betta Plus Bowl Conditioner good for tap water
    4. Nutrafin Betta Plus Reduces Stress ( this is important to give betta in there bowls because when they get stressed out there fins curl and they hang on the bottom of the fish bowl trust me on this)
    5. Pro-V Decorative Waste Absorbing Crystals : Naturally absorbs ammonia,As beautiful as it is effective, Great for betta fish bowls
    6. Bettafix: All Natural heals damaged fin and skin

    If you use these things i am telling you that it will help out your betta fish. If not then tell me and i will try something else for you to use.

    Lee

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  52. Hi all!

    Just wanted to make sure i’m doing everything right. I have a male Betta.(Napalm) The Petsmart person said that because he had little curls at the end of his fin, he was part Crowntail. He was originally kept in a tiny tank, but moped at the bottom. So i upgraded him to a heated, covered, 2 gallon rectangle tank. It is in the kitchen, so there is some traffic. The water stays in the 70’s.ยบF. There is blue gravel in the bottom, a big leafy fake plant and a couple rubber frogs. I feed him two pellets 3 times a day, one bloodworm every 5 days, and skip feeding once a week. He is very active and when i walk over to the tank, he swims over as fast as he can and either sits looking at me, or swims back and forth. Sometimes he even flares at me! I also make him jump about an inch for the pellet. He has made one little bubble nest in the 2 months I have had him.

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  53. Faye, wherever you are on this site I have 6 betta fish all male go figure. There are two that are Corntails, One that is a double-delta tail, one that is a half-moon and the last is an orignal cambodian betta. Sometimes it is the weather, stress or change in water that gets there tails looking funky and having fungus. Some fungus is noticable on tails but some is not I have had my fish for years and have been throught it all. I guess Im a fish whisperer since I know exactly what is wrong and can put the right medication in there bowl to not destroy there health. They are wild animals stuck in a bowl basically but if you put the right stuff in there bowl then there should not be a problem maintaining there appearance. First I would like to start off buy saying Betta Fix is not a bad choice for a betta fish i use it when i have to on mine and never once for the many years I have had mine did any of them lose there fins. However it is very possible that the water conditions can also affect there fins and there fins especially on the body is extremely delicate so you really need to know what your fish has. My Cambodia Darwin had the same thing your betta fish had but I have had him for 5 years so with age his tail will no longer be expanded out completely he has occasionally been sick to the point where i needed to put Betta Fix in his bowl i kept the water conditions the same he is by himself no other fish and then after the days were up I changed the water Half not all the way because he still needed it in there and it doesn’t stress him out and gradually i removed all the medication every 2 weeks from his bowl he is fine and his fins are as long as they used to be. I also use Aquarium salt, betta fungus which is a bottle of a fish in plastic with blue coloring in it you can get it at Petco, also dissovling crystals for there bowl to maintain food, anomina, bacterial and them going to the bathroom. You keep these in there bowl for a month. They look like rocks in a small container it is clear with a blue cap and if you ask any pet associate in Petco they can help. It is only in Petco. Using also regular bottle water not cold just a half plus Betta water can also maintain there health I use this all the time for years and have done exceptionally well. I do not have anything other then them in there bowls with a closed area accesory no open holes that they can go into because they will suficate and die. No other fish should be in there bowls they have there own parasites on them and the betta fish is very sensitive and should always be in a seperate bowls unless you are breeding them. If you mix any other fish there water levels will change because you are trying to maintain different tempatures for two or more fish in the same tank. No filters, heating are used for Betta’s they will die because of the floating bubbles and frankly they are not Tropical if so they would be in Florida not Thailand in the swamps under rice patties. I have once used a filter a long time ago for my betta and he died because i was trying to be like everyone else and make it easier on me. So i stick to the regular water in a bowl no filters just keeping the tempature between 65-70 degrees fits my fish the best. As for your fish growing his fins back well that depends on how you have his bowl set up. I would with all regards set him in a bowl that is Acrylic not Glass put some rocks not pebbles in his bowl. Rinse out the Pebbles really well so you do not see dusty water. Use the Aquarium salt, crystals, bottle water and betta water, stress reliever drops and you will see that within a couple of weeks his fins should start to grow back slowly but surely. He can not be with other fish period he has to be in his own bowl and the temparture has to be in a place in your house that stays steady between 65-70 degrees. Since he was sick keep the water at 72 degrees for 7 days and it will help. He needs to get his slim coat back and maybe what he had was not fin rot it could have been clumping which is when the fins come all together and they do not seperate but for that you use the Fish with blue coloring in it for three days and that should clear it up not Betta Fix wrong thing to use. That is only used if he is sluggish and has lines showing in his body. But for fungus you use this other one. I will find the real name for what i use and send it your way. Hope this helped best of luck to Ares. Good name by the way. Mine are: Darwin, Dracko, Eragon, Cyrus, Onyx and Apollo.

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  54. My male betta Ares has mild fin & tail rot (blackened tips and slightly curled), put him in a sick tank and used Bettafix, followed instructions to a “T”.
    Ares had long fins, two days of Bettafix his fin is short, just desinagrated. no, he wasn’t biting his tail, I am up till the wee hours of the morning and all the time i would observe him. I hurried and put him back in the tank he shares with an albino corydora, and he will flair his fins. I hope his fins grow back to their full state.
    I ‘m telling eveyone first hand that bettafix is bad news, plus i have read alot of negative stuff.
    poor thing he looks like his tail and dorsal fin went through the shredder several times. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  55. i have a betta it a blue one when ever it sees me it gets all happy and when ever i clean its bowl when i touch it it dosent move and when i put my finger in its bowl it commes right up and starts to spin around it and i think it likes me

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  56. I have a question, do you think that i should breed my two bettas? i have had my male betta for 1 week and he has started making the bubble nests at the top of the fish tank and i have just recently (2-3 days ago) got my female betta. i dont know what to do because i would really like to have them mate. do u think it is a smart idea or should i wait a little bit longer?

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  57. Thanks for the advice ! I am so glad because I had asked around and no one had any idea.

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  58. If you are going to mate them you need a lot of research because they are not like other fish you cant just put them in there.

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  59. My voice teachers mom had her betta fish for 8 years! I was so suprised when she told me that. Also i have a betta fish it looks like he got bit by a big fish on his tail what do i do? Is it fin rot? I changed his water and moved him to a smaller tank because i do way better when there in smaller places. It is a one gallon it has a light and bubbles in the middle. His tank that he was in was 10 gallons of water and i did not use the filter because when i did he got stressed out. My one that he is in now makes the bubbles not go everywhere but still helps.

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  60. I have a red male beta I got 2 years ago. He likes to sleep a lot on the plastic stones in his tank. His fins are starting to get grey at the edges-is this normal? One of my friends says it’s just a sign of age.

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  61. I have 3 bettas 1 veil tail (Patriot)
    1 double tail (SAM-D)
    1 half moon (Powder)

    THe half moon is a platimum colored. It is female. She has some tank mates including 3 otos.

    SAM-D is a blue and red male fish that is double tailed. Both he and Powder are 3-4 months old.

    Patriot is my 1st betta. He was a bit aggressive so i swapped tanks.
    Pat will eat on your finger. SAM-D is starting to follow the finger.

    I will prob get couple of small tanks.

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  62. HEY!!!
    i just got my betta few days ago, Jetta has bin doing great!! i’ve noticed yesturday, his tail was clumped and not open like a fan, is this normal? Alot is it ok to put a heater in a little betta kit? Please relpy thanks!

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  63. fin color is okay. the change your describing is them getting used to cleaner water. When their colors are muted it can indicate stress or just not happy with where they are. When the colors brighten, they’re cheering up, and if they get excited some will get even brighter. I have a pale greyish looking one with horizontal stripes named Dara, when she saw her mate, she turned deep cobalt blue with white vertical stripes – didnt even look like the same fish.

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  64. I just set up a ten-gallon aquarium up in my room this morning, and once the temperature was stabilized, I went out to the fish store with my Mom and we bought three little Betta fish. They’re females, and they lived with a bunch of other females….

    Their fins are colourful but their bodies are gray and brown with black stripes on them (stress, I guess). Two have already lost the stripes, but one still has the stripes. On one, some of her scales are starting to turn a blue-ish colour.

    Will they colour all the way? Because I’m not naming them until I can see what colours they are! ^^; ๐Ÿ™‚

    Btw; is it normal for one to have really pale/almost clear fins? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Because that’s what’s up on the one that still has stripes, and if she doesn’t colourize herself, I may have to name her Mud! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ >:/

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  65. *gasp* That’s a GREAT idea!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I kind of like Aqua and Taffy in the community tank downstairs, because before they came Lemon was always TERRORIZING the little fish (Oddball, as I like to call him), and now he hasn’t even TOUCHED him. Just by making a few weird sounds, Aqua put Lemon back in his place! โค ๐Ÿ™‚

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  66. yes, a betta in a tank alone for 6 months gets very territorial. Moving the original fish to another tank will move her out of her territory and put her back in defensive mode instead of offensive mode. Put the 2 new ones in there, let them get used to it, maybe rearrange the plants or whatever around, then after a few days or a week, go ahead and put the original back in. If she gets back into territorial mode, keep moving her out – till she gets the idea.

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  67. Thank GOD this website is here…. I just read most of it. XD

    Well, ANYWAYS; I bought two new female Bettas today to go with my current female Betta, Tropica. I got a big blue one (Aqua) and a puny pink one (Taffy).

    I put Aqua in Tropica’s tank and they were the same size and Tropica flared her gills at Aqua and started to chase her. When they had calmed down a bit I added in Taffy; Tropica was fine with her for a while but then after a bit Taffy started to eat the food that I had put in for them. My Mom recommended that I put food in for them so that Tropica would associate new friends with good food, right? Totally WRONG. It didn’t help at ALL. Tropica just ate the food…. and went back to bullying them.

    I eventually took Aqua out, and put her in my little back-up Betta tank that I had. They had been fighting with each other while I was at the computer, typing away on Yahoo! Answers to find out more about this, and I didn’t notice until I went over there and saw them advancing on each other and nipping each other. I saw a little piece of Aqua’s fins float down to the bottom of the tank and I immediately knew that this was NOT good. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Tropica was fine with Taffy until Aqua left…. then she started bullying TAFFY, too. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Taffy would go and hide near the top of the tank in a corner (surrounded by some plants) but then Tropica would come up under her and scare her!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Taffy would get stuck in the plants for a few seconds and Tropica would take this chance to nip at her. EVENTUALLY, I took her out. I was TRYING to put Taffy back in the little cup that she came in from the pet store — but as I was dumping her out of the net, she flopped, flew through the air, and landed on my knee! I rushed to grab her but then she got lost in my beanbag chair. I QUICKLY AS HELL grabbed her with my bare hands and dumped her in that cup MYSELF. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Shortly after that, my Mom came in and wondered what all the screaming was about (from me and my eight-year-old sister). I said that I wanted to put Taffy in the tank that Aqua was in now and I wasn’t sure about Taffy; my Mom simply grabbed the net, fished Aqua out of the tank, and carried her in her little pet store cuppy-thingy to the filtered, heated 10-gallon tank downstairs with my two other tropical fish.
    I put Taffy in Aqua’s former tank, and later I moved HER downstairs, as well.
    I have a big silver Danio-fishy named Lemon and a SMALLER silver fishy with orange fins (I don’t know its name). Lemon always bullies the small silver fishy (just chases it around the tank; nothing too serious), but she is okay with the Bettas…. any idea why? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    After reading through some of the comments, I now agree that the pet store isn’t very helpful — I told the associate that I had a Betta at home in a 5-gallon tank; would it be okay to add two more? She said three is fine…. but then THIS happened. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Taffy is happily swimming around now…. and Aqua is being silly. XD She was in the corner of the tank and about to come up for some air; the other two silver tropical fishies were above her, she makes this noise like when you go like “b-b-b-b” in order to tease someone with your tongue-blah noise, and they scatter! XD It was REALLY funny, and then she got her air. XD

    Soooooooo, can anyone help me on this issue? Taffy should be fine, right? They’ll be fine with the filter, I presume? Is Tropica a male in disguise, or something? Is she just an EXTREMELY territorial fish?!?! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Tropica’s been living alone for about six months…. O.o; I’m just wondering; I shouldn’t try to “rock the boat” again by adding more fish, right? She’ll just hurt them, or even worse, KILL them. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Someone on Yahoo! Answers suggested that I just buy them each a handsome male Betta, and maybe have them mate, or something….? How would I go about that? Mating them, I mean. Do you think it would keep Tropica in check? ๐Ÿ˜›

    Sorry for the longness of this post; I guess I just had a lot to say. XD

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  68. I’m glad to find another Betta fish fanatic out there. My fish have actually woken me up a lot at night with rolling their rocks about the bowl if I don’t get it fixed just right after a water change. Some are smart enough to even swim into the net instead of fighting me when I change it.
    I’m glad you got some new ones, too. I had a fish I loved dearly passed away, and his brother from the same spawn was heartbroken and wouldn’t come out anymore. I got him a new neighbour, but he’s still changed. He had a clear white tail for the year I had him, and then it just randomly changed to display the red like his brother had in his tail. It was so strange that I had to stare more than a few times as he developed the red streak over the months.

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  69. Barbara, I can’t change your mind that is for sure. But if I could suggest that the darting around is not a good sign at all. I am sure you take excellent care of your betta but they are fragile and can always get something. If you do try that Betta Remedy Mix you will see that your betta will not be darting around. It is a parasite that happened to get on him from either being mistreated at walmart or by the breeding. If you go into Petco or Petsmart they can give you the right stuff. It should not be overlooked. I wish I could help you more but to each there own i guess in the bettaworld.

    Sincerely,
    Lee

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  70. Hey Susan, Thanks for writing back to me. I have decided that since this guy may not be able to answer questions completely here i have my own website that i just did that explains on how to take care of these fishy friends a little better. In any case. I got your message. In my opinion since I have seen this before that your fish should be moved when and only when the medication is over. If he is lethargic then I would strongly suggest Betta Remedy Mix you can buy it at any store it is a small bottle and is blue. The directions on it is for only 7 days. So make sure you read it carefully and in those days do not change the water. It will not get nasty or discolored so don’t worry about that. Then when that is done move him or her slowly to another brand new tank and make sure you don’t put anything in it just yet. First you want your fish to go into the change very easily any sudden differences such as moving your old things from one tank to another can make him or her getting healthy to not getting healthy at all. I do realize that you like to feed your fish every other day but there stomachs if you look at the skeletel system of these species is very small. You may not even realize your overfeeding them until they just are not motivated at all. Your fish has to have great color very strong and be swiming not darting but swiming smoothly around. If he is not and just laying there then follow this:
    1. Buy Acrylic and only Acrylic tanks not small they need to swim
    2. Buy Betta Fix Remedy go to Petco, Petsmart etc NOT WALMART( They take shitty care of them)
    3. Buy Acquarium salt
    4. Buy Chloramine for tap water- helps it balance the PH in the tank don’t use a britta or any filters stresses them out
    5. Buy Crystals it helps out with the ammonia in the water and also the waste.
    6. Keep the tank empty except the Fish and the stuff I recommeneded. Put new rocks in and clean them out with a plastic bag and put a needle pinch at the end to let the water drain.

    This should do the trick and don’t feed him for a couple of days if you could because he may be over fed. If you has other issues going on like rings on his body if you put him up to the light and see that he has that or reddness in his body then that is definitely a parasite problem right off the bat. If he has a fuzzy look on his body or have a white spot under his laranycx then he has a fungus and that also can be treated by going to Petco or Petsmart and buying this thing that is right were the fish are it is a picture of a fish in a plastic container it is clear or blue get the blue one and the tank will be blue for 3 days but the fish will heal fast. Also use a acrylic scrub brush which is white and should be used to clean out the tank you can also find that there. The plants do have parasites on them you can not see them but they grab onto the fish and can do some damage if your not aware of it. I hope this helps out really and tell me how it goes. If you need to send me a picture and I can identify the problem right away and give you the stuff you need. But for know try to follow this and if it helps awesome if not then I do need to see the picture of the fish.

    Sincerely,
    Lee

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    1. Lee, thank you for responding to people’s questions about Bettas. I’m the site owner. You’re right, I can’t answer all their questions, because I no longer have Bettas, as I mentioned repeatedly in the article and in my previous comments. I wrote this article years ago, I’m glad it’s helping people, but I’m not a Betta expert. Whatever I learned, it was through common sense, not because I studied Bettas, and so I can’t field everyone’s questions.

      People, if you have questions about Betta health or behavior or feeding, please get in touch with Lee. Her website is http://bettalife.yolasite.com.

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  71. Hi,
    We have had my beta Leo for about 3 months. He has always been extremely playful and curious. He loves to eat twice a day and makes huge bubble nest. He has two live plants in his gallon bowl he loves to lay on. Recently i changed him to a 2.5 gallon still tank using bottle distilled water (like usual). I kept the same rocks and plants, but since he is not eating. he still stares at me and swims around, but will not eat. 3 days. he doesn’t do his wiggle dance when he sees me now. should i move him back to his old bowl or give him time to adjust? the water temp is the same, and it is positioned the same?
    any help or insight would be appreciated.
    sincerely susan

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  72. Sandy, I would refrain from using any filters at all on these bettas. They are light fish and one false move they can get sucked up in the vent trust me been there done that. Regular tap water is fine and mix that with betta water and crystals, a little aquariam salt and it will stay clean for a week or two. Please don’t over feed them. I totally agree with your comment about the website. I think the same really about the small tanks. If you read my comments it fits yours a bit differently on some things but most of all it does coincide with how this gentlemen takes care of his fish and how long does he want them to last.

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  73. I am not sure how long you have had bettas. I have had bettas for many years. I have studied and researched them very carefully. If i could let you in on some new things about them it would help others understand them better and treat them better. I used to put accessories for them in there bowls but they suffocatted themselves so i got rid of that idea. The plants have many viruses on them and even if you clean them out throughly they will still present bacteria which will get on them and then you will have to buy all these things to take care of them. So also that is not a good idea no matter what fish store tells you. Always test the water with a Ph kit which is very helpful because to much iron, alkaline and ammonia can interfere in there life style and growth. I have five bettas if you can imagine that. So i really know my stuff. I have two crowntail bettas, one regular, one moontail and the other is a girl. I have had them all for a long time. Darwin is 4 years old has not lived with any accessories or plants etc. I clean his bowl out every week, i use a little bit of aquariam salt, crystals, clean out the stones under hot water with a bag of somesort to get rid of all the cloudiness, one drop of purified drop to reduce the ammonia. This will last long and help out. They should always be active if they are breathing heavy in a weird way they have a disease which is primarly from there labyrinth and can easily be cured by using betta fix remedy. Know i have them all in seperate gallon tanks and they have absolutely nothing in there bowls and are doing extremely well. Their color is strong and there fins are in the best of shape. I talk to them all the time and they know me very well. I only feed them once a week, I realize that may seem harsh and irresponsible but again I have had Darwin for 4 years and it doesn’t seem to bother him or the other ones. These fish have very small stomachs and can’t handle getting fed regularly or three times a day they will die. So be carefull. Take my advice on that one. Also they do enjoy light it is always a good idea to keep a light on for them you can use a LCD light which will save electricty or a night light which ever fits the bowl or aquariam. This is good for them because they like to see there reflection and keep themselves amused but also because they need to see what is going on around them. Everyone on this page has there own preferences with things i have suggested but i would defintely think of this for a brief moment and see if it works out better for your fish. I have saved all five of these bettas from pet stores everywhere that leave them to die with fungus and all sorts of diseases. I have literally brought them all back to life and they are doing exceptional i could not ask for a better bunch. They all have there own personalities that is true. Yet when they jump out of there bowl that is not a good sign. That means that either the bowl is too small and needs to get bigger which you have to do every year or so because bettas do grow very big and i mean big trust me Darwin is a giant know and when i bought him he was a fry so they like to swim in big tanks. I think it is inhuman to keep them in small tanks for ever. If they do jump out of the bowl it is because of that and only that trust me. Very rarely will they jump up for food unless you are training them which you can do with these fish they are not just for fighting and looking at. I had a betta fish one time that was in a small tank and did jump out and die on the floor. So it is imperetive to always go big. I will send some pictures or maybe have a website but for know i just wanted to inform you a bit more on how to take care of these endangered animals.

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  74. I always thought I was kind of crazy when I thought my fish was so intelligent. My fish, Maximus, was a shy little discoloured fish (the last fish on the shelf) at Wal-Mart, and I being the good-hearted customer, bought him. At first he seemed very depressed and scared, but as the months wore on, we become good friends. Everytime I’d walk in the room, he’d get really excited and face me. He even sometimes does a half-leap out of his bowl! I clean his tank about twice a month and he eats everything I give him. Maximus has even come to college with me. He sits on my desk and watches me type. I KNOW he recognizes my face because he always stares at me face to face and never hides. I’d say my Betta fish is just as good a pet as any dog or cat. He’s a very good friend and I’m glad someone else thinks they are too!

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  75. Hi Raoul, this question may have allready been asked, so apologize in advance if you’ve allready answered it, but I was wondering, if betta fish make a bubble nest because they are happy and content, can they ‘destroy’ it somehow and if so, does this mean they are upset or unhappy? one day my betta had a good sized nest, and then the next day it was gone. So that’s what made me wonder this… thanks!!

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  76. To the owner of this site, just wondering why you keep your poor bettas in such small little bowls when not only are bowls terrible for a betta but each betta should have at least a five gallon tank (along with a heater and filter!)?!!! I think you mean well with this beautiful webste devoted to bettas but what you’re doing is cruel AND you’re continuing to spread the myth popularized by the pet stores that bettas can live in cramped containers when these sad fish are only surviving!! If you were talked to lovingly, fed regularly and your owner dedicated a websit to you would it justify them forcing you to “live” the rest of your life in a 4′ x 4′ room? It’s true bettas in their natural habitat live in shallow water but these are large areas. If you love your bettas please give them more room to swim freely.

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    1. Sandy, I appreciate your concern, but you should also read this article of mine, where I say the very same things you’re saying. My Betta fish, when I had them, had larger aquariums. It just so happened that when I took the photos that I used in my article, they were in those smaller bowls. Hope this clears things up for you.

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  77. WOW, every time I see those kits for putting the bettas in a vase with a plant on top, I marvel why animal cruelty laws dont include fish.

    The cloudiness is normal, its the bacteria levels adjusting to the new conditions. I recommend getting a gallon jug of water and treating it with start right and biozyme or stresszyme and let it sit for a couple of days. Start right and stresszyme are available almost everywhere, even walmart. You have to go to a pet store for the biozyme.

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  78. I bought a Beta and placed in a vase, I use filtered water and the next day the water was cloudy, I changed his water 2 weeks later and the next day the waster was cloudy again. I even put a Peace Lilly plant in it for the oxygen. I then went out and bought a small round bowl and put him in it with a small artificial plant, and the next day the water was cloudy. For some reason the water will not stay clear and I feed him minimal so he is not over fed. Does anyone have any solutions to help me why the water keeps clouding up
    Thanks.

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  79. the males wont change color. They can brighten or dim depending on the water conditions and health. The white ones and light blue/teal bettas are irridescent, so they have a sort of color changing quality depending on the angle light is shining on them.

    The females can change colors, depending on their moods. I had a striped one turn solid blue every time her mate came around, and a blue and yellow one would turn into this really deep purple color when she was upset or excited.

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  80. Raoul,
    Do you beta fish ever change colors???
    I need a science project that has to do with something like that…if any one that reads this please write me back i really need you to hurry too.
    Thanks!
    Calla

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  81. hello grace it looks like your fish is sick. My first fish, Magenta, had the same things that you are describing. When a beta’s head is pointed stright down, it’s NOT good at all. It means that they are very, very sick. The only thing that you can do at this point is to wait and make your little beta as comfy as possible. Don’t try to feed him, but if you do, try steamed green beans. They actually help with some diseases. I hope your little guy or gal is okay, but don;t be surprised if he passes on soon. tell me how it goes

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  82. hello. iv’e noticed my fish being very sickly in the last two days. his dark, blue, color is now grey and peach, and he won’t move unless i tap the water. last night i looked over at him, and he was at the top of the tank, and his head was poited straight down! and now, when ever he tries to go to the top of the tank, he just sinks back down. like he has no strenght. and he’s not eating! i cleaned out his tank like usual, but he’s just not the same! help me! PLEASE! i love him, and do not want to loose him! PLEASE HELP!

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  83. ijust finished cleaning my tank, and icould tell my beta was happy because he was jumping and swimming around the tank enthusiastically. but, within the next two minutes he dug into the pebbles and is sort of doing a headstand at the bottom of the tank. please help, idon’t want him2die.

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  84. i have a fish named bubbles and i got it like a month ago and last week my mom went to the pet shop to get three more neon fish and it seems that the betta fish is getting streesed because this morning i found out that on one of the leaves were a little strand of his fin.What is happening to bubbles!!!I spend time with it

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  85. Yes, to the two sided beta holder to let them get used to each other. Bettas are kind of picky about who they mate with, and unless you get them when they are both “in the mood” the results can be kind of drastic. They do pick a mate for life. I’ve seen it happen in my own tanks over the years (wasnt sure if I beleived it in the books I read, but seeing is believing – In nature, if one is ready and the other isnt, they may search out one who is just for breeding, but they will go back to their chosen mate afterwards). Your red male rejected her for his own personal reasons, so you didnt do anything wrong. If the female had rejected him, the reverse would have happened, she would have attacked him. so, putting them side by side wihtout being able to attack each other is the best thing.

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  86. I have one more question and leave you alone..
    I saw a beautiful purple mixed with blue betta male…and i thought maybe I could get a female also..but i noticed when i had my other two bettas..one was a coral blue female betta and the other one was a fiery red betta male. And he would attack her and rip her fins to shred..
    Would it be safe to put her in there with him? Or should i get one of those two tank betta holder and leave them to where they can see each other and get used to each other for a while. Because I do want to breed them..

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  87. Guppies, mollies, small goldfish, alge eaters, these are all well acting around bettas. stay away from tetras, like black skirts, and danios, they are fin nippers, and bettas are large finned fish. You can put females in a tank together, they might fight some but only to establish a pecking order (at least until they get to know each other). Do not put a male in a tank full of females, he might not survive! But if you can, you can pick one of each and if they like each other, they will get along fine. They actually mate for life! This is a very rare trait for fish!

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  88. I have another question.
    I am getting snother betta soon, but i am also getting some other kind of fish.
    What kind of fish would you prefer I get that the betta wont take interest in trying to kill it.
    And will female bettas attack each other if i put some in a fish bowl together say maybe 2.

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  89. I keep the dried blood worms, dried baby shrimp, tubifex worms, and flake food, and I change what I feed them at random. Mollies are okay with bettas, they can be playful enoughto keep him occupied, just keep an eye out, some of the tetra type fish (specially skirts and danios) are fin nipppers (which can be very stressful for a betta with his large fins).

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  90. Thanks so much. I ended up getting a new Betta with a couple of mollies. They are doing very well. I read somewhere that betas are picky eaters but it is good to feed them a mixture of food to help strengthen their immune system. So, I am feeding a pellet food, a flake food, and frozen brine shrimp. They are seem to be doing really good. I am glad it worked out this time.

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  91. Wow Caitlin, you did such a good job, and Im very sorry your betta passed away. You’re right, reseacrh Ive read shows that bettas that died at the 2 year mark, the cause of death was found to be fatty tissue deterioration, and lab kept bettas that were exercised regularly (by chasing them around the tank) lived much longer, a couple almost 10 years. So your research about the bigger tank and plants in the tank is really impressive.
    And every time I see those vases with plants and bettas in them, the first thought that pops into my mind is that animal cruelty laws never apply to fish. Bettas are tropical and carnivorous.
    Ich – this is in the water, regardless, theres no getting away from it and you didnt do anything wrong. The stress causes their slime coat to weeken, this is how the ich gets to them. Most pet stores have “ich guard” and “ich guard 2”. I keep ich guard on hand. Also, treating the water with aquarisol will work as a preventative for it.

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  92. I recently bought my first Betta fish. After I brought him home I started to research more about them. So far what I have read is that small tanks are not good for them. They can live in them but they actually exercise and enjoy warmer temperatures. I also heard that bowls with the plants on top are actually bad for them. It is a myth that the Betta will live off the plant and the plant will filter the water. What I have learned is that Betta will start too nibble on the plants once they start to get hungry, the plant can release toxins, and the plant can limit the Betta’s breathing. Usually, the life span of a Betta in a larger tank is far superior to those in betta bowls. The sources said that they should at least have a 10 gallon tank and only put fish they were compatible with.

    I am not positive all this information is true, but I decided to go along with it anyways. I bought a 10 gallon tank and he seemed to be a lot happier. He swam around and checked out the decorations I added. A little while later I bought three neons to keep him company. Soon, white splotches were starting to appear on his head. I went to the petshop and they said it was Ich. Which I read was caused by environmental stress. Which would mean I would have caused it. Shortly after, the white had taken over half his body. I put the recommended medicine in the water but unfortunately it failed and I found him dead the next morning.

    I loved my Betta and would like to get another Betta fish sometime. So, my question is does anyone know about Ich? And should I be worried it could spread to other Bettas from the tank?

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  93. Bettas are sedentary fish, they dont swim much, thats why you see them in little bowls all the time. Most of my tanks have no gravel or anything on the bottom (castles and rock formations in the big tanks). In my betta bowls I have dropped a few of the cobalt blue glass pieces, just because I like the color. Most people believe you need the rocks/gravel/pebbles in the bottom to help it keep clean. I havent really seen anything to prove it to me, personally.

    And the mirror is fine. I have my fish side by side so they can fight at each other. If you only have the one fish, by all means put the mirror there. They need the exercise!

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  94. Is it bad to put a mirror next to a beta fish’s tank? i know that males fight, but if its like at the virge of being belly up will that motivate it to stay alive? also, what size tank should it have? and do they have to have pebbles in it?

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  95. The best plants would be Anacharis, they clump and float near the surface, the fish can nuzzle in and rest on them. Then the lily type plants with broad round leaves that float on top of the surface are good for them to anchor their nest into, as well as the clump of anacharis.

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  96. hi im colleen i am doing a sciance fair project about fish i was wondering what plant siamese fightng fish interact with thankyou have a nice day!

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  97. Thanks Judy! Im in Clarksville Tennessee and for some reason the tap water out here isnt very good for fish, so i add the extra chemicals to my water to help keep the water safer than usual.

    I also dont feed my bettas every day. sometimes I skip a day here and there. and I do alternate between the different foods. Ive read so many books on bettas that I cant say which one said what, but I remember that one of them said that in the wild fish dont eat a reguar scheduled meal, sometimes going days without eating (unlike other fish, bettas pick a spot to nest and stay in that area). So, I do skip a day, sometmes feed them less, and alternate what I feed them.

    Another thing I do is keep them side by side so they are regularly trying to fight each other thru their bowls, so they get some exercise (also if you notice they dont show any interest in fighting each other, that could indicate illness as well). If you only have one, you can put a mirror against the bowl once in a while. Even a happy betta needs to do this sometime, it is their natural behavior.

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  98. also..i just read a thing that susan sent for her betta fish not eating his pellets. My fish used to do that but it was because he couldnt eat them. They had to soften up first. If you let the pellets stay in there for about 3 minutes or five it will soften and then he will try to eat them again. If that doesnt work than just do what tony said.

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  99. Well, I do feed him bloodworms once a month and just feed him the pellets every two days.. I am afraid that if I feed him to much he will get over stuffed and die. Also I clean his bowl once a week and I put some start right in it. So..I hope I am not doing anything wrong.

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  100. Try some plain flake food, once he gets used to everything, you can alternate which food you feed him. I keep flake food, the blood worms, tubifex worms, and the dried baby shrimp, and alternate. The flake food I get is from Wardleys, it has higher vitamin c than the rest of the brands of flake food “Wardley’s Spectra Max”, as well as flavor enhancers to attract the fish to it.

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  101. Hmmm, this could very well be. I bought some freeze Dried bloodworms today and tried him on those, however he won’t eat these either. I guess I will just have to wait and see

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  102. fresh bought fish are used to what they were fed from the pet store or the breeders the store got them from. It could be that he will need time to get used to the new type of food.

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  103. Hi There!
    I bought a beautiful Betta fish from a pet store yesterday and I just have a quick question. When he eats the pellets I give him, and he spits them back out, does it truly mean he does not like what I am giving him? Or is he just not hungry where he is adapting to his new home? Normally, I would not be concerned, as I have had Betta’s in the past eat these pellets and just have periods where they spit them out, but I have not had one totally reject the pellets before, and I am going out of town for a couple of days and will not have and I am afraid to leave him with an empty little stomach. Should I be concerned?

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  104. I do recommend you do a water change tho. What I do is keep a couple of gallon jugs for water – I fill them with plain tap water, but I run it hot (cuts down on any local unknown toxins) then treat the water with start right, a couple of drops of quick cure (both available at Walmart), and from the pet stores I have Fungus Eliminator, and Gold Fix. I just sprinkle a little of each into the water. Then I keep the water in the same room so it stays the same temperature. I also use StressZyme or Cycle (which is better but more expensive – and you can get it at Walmart, too) and Biozyme. I just alternate which I use, depending on the mood Im in. These 3 items are bacteria and enzymes that occur in nature and helps break down uneaten food and waste so you dont have to change the water so often. I only change mine once or twice a month.

    For your travelling – I recommend something like canning jars, the larger size. Pouring doesnt hurt the fish. Get fresh clean jars, rinse with HOT water. Then pour in some of the treated water, then your fish and his water into it, then some more of the treated water. Leave a couple of inches from the top. You close them into that, put them into your box or whatever you’re going to carry them in, then you’re set to travel. Also cut out some lace, mesh or screen to put under the round part of the jar lid to put back onto the jar once you get to your destination – a new location like a hotel and you going in and out can cause some confusion for them and they may try to jump out – not to get away but just out of excitement stress.

    Email me directly if you want – tonyincltn@aol.com. If you have myspace, look up my profile, I have pictures of some of my boys!

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  105. Well, I will be gone for 7 days.
    I’m going to gatlinburg and its an hour drive from where I live and I didnt kno if they would be okay.
    THe only betta that I’m worried about is Trigger.
    He has the cloudy water problem and it looks (not trying to sound stupid) but it looks like he has some kind of invisible worm shedding its skin in there and i font know if thats him having a disease or nething. I have had him almost a year now and I worry very much for him.
    He is really attached to me and I am attached to him.
    He will sometimes swim up to me and let me stroke the back of him on his fin.
    But I just wanted to know if it was normal or if it is a disease, but thanks for your help.
    I will see what I can find at the pet store.
    Thanks again.

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  106. The only trouble with taking them with you is trying to maintain a temperature range. Fluctuating temperatures can cause them the kind of stress that can weaken their immune system. If you have Clear containers with lids, then put them in a box, to help maintain their temperature. This will help them too if they have become attached to you. They might even enjoy the change in scenery. Another thing to consider is how long will you be gone? I betta can go 2 or 3 days without feeding, just dont let it happen too often. In the wild, they dont eat regular meals, our domesticated friends will actually benefit from missing a meal once in a while.

    The cloudy water situation could be either a bacterial infection or a fungal infection. Go to a pet store and find the products maracin and maracin 2 and read them to see which one fits the description better. These 2 items are more expensive than some other treatments but they work.

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  107. Question?
    I have a thing I have to go to in a couple of days..
    I can’t find the right vacation feeding thing for my bettas.
    WOuld it be okay if I took them with me?
    Its a hour drive.
    Or would it kill them.
    Also i have a problem with my male betta.
    His tank get so cloudy and has things floating around in the tank like a worm or some kind of small thing has shed.
    I know thats not what it is..
    But is that normal for a betta..
    I thought it could go a week without having to clean it?

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  108. I’ve been keeping bettas for around 20 years, in fact, some of the pet stores call me for advice. I have 4 in my living room now. The bettas are the only fish I name, because unlike most other fish, bettas develope personalities, and they will actually answer to their names. Ive had some in the past that I could reach in and pet them in the water, and scoop them up by hand. A couple of them I scooped into a clear glass cup and took the for a walk around the house – and they actually seemed to be exploring. You were lucky about them not jumping, bettas are power jumpers, and they usually have good aim when they jump.

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  109. Hi Andy
    I know you are heart broken and feel helpless when you can not communicate with your beta and know exactly what happened. You could contact the pet store in your area and see if they have any suggestions. Other then that – I do not think there is much you can do for your beta if he has damaged the air sac. The only thing I would do is to place him in a shallower bowl and make it easier for him to get his air. I would remove any objects in his bowl such as big stones or shells that he can get stuck under or behind and give him a plant with a large leaf that will lay just under the surface of the water so he can rest close to the top. You could place a small glass on its side among a plant to make him a little home. this will help to make him feel safe and secure, good luck and let me know how he makes out.

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  110. My little fish, Tiki-Tiko, has been acting really funny and swimming in a stranger fashion, almost as if upside down. He’s been laying a lot at the bottom of his little fish tank, kind of on his side. He usually recognizes me when he sees me, and he immediately swims to the top when he sees his fish pellets, but today, he’s ignored me and hasn’t even touched his food. I’ve read all the stuff on here, and I’m guessing maybe a damaged air sac? Anyway at all that I can help him recover? Will he go back to “normal”? Please, someone tell me what I should do, I am heart-broken for the little fella.

    Thanks.

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  111. Me again! i have noticed that the songs my fish like, he will flick his tail to the beat. hahaha! it’s kinda cute, almost like he’s dancing.

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  112. HI! this is my first day with my first Betta! yay! i have noticed all the happy things going around. Zorro seems to be very happy. i just wanted to say thanx for the advice and stuff. hope my fish lives! (i’ll keep my fingers crossed)

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  113. I think that Bettas can hear because I have had 2 for 9 months now. And everytime i turn on some classical music they will come to the top of the bowl and swim around like there dancing. It quite amazing to watch. I have never turned on any rock music though. So I don’t know about that.
    Um…when can your male bettas fins start flaring out and getting bigger.

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  114. Hi Lee

    I too bought my last beta from Wal-Mart because she needed to be saved. She is a bit lethargic but am hoping that will straighten out. Now and then she darts about. She does not have toys but a nice little house that she swims in and curls up in. she can get in from either side. She likes to sleep at the top of the bowl on the top of a large pothos leaf and is quite content as she builds her little bubble nest. I hope that you beta does well. I have never used the Bettafix remedy with my fish. I usually just pamper them a bit back to health with lots of clean water and bowl and then a mixture of different foods especially the blood worms that give them color which I give every other day. good luck

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  115. I would like to ask that i bought my third betta male from walmart. My other two were from Petsmart and have been doing very well and have had them for a year. They are growing so huge especially the Female what a hungry little thing she is. However my third that i bought from Walmart is active so that is not the problem but that he is so small like a fry and isn’t eating. I think he is sick so i have this BettaFix Remedy medication that I am using on him. I hope that it works and he will eventually eat after 5 more days of using it. I have used it for my other two when they had Split fin, lethargic, popeye and it has worked beautifully. They seem to really like Bamboo plants it lasts longer. Be careful not to get them toys that they can swim in and out of because they do get huge and if the holes are not big enough they can sufficate and that is inhuman. Sometimes all pets need a little saving even if it is from Walmart, Petco or Petsmart.

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  116. Hi Vivin
    Your welcome for the advice. I only told you what I would do for my beta if it were strugling. It is good that he has nice color now and glad to hear you placed him in a more shallow dish. It is hard to see him lay around but let him do his thing and as long as he can get the air easily enough then sounds like your taking good care of him now.

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  117. thanx 4 the advice,ms. barbara…
    i’ve put charon in a shallow but wide container..
    he has resumed eating , and his shine is as great as ever…
    (though it is a pity that he’s always lying ’round)
    all my other betta are doing fine…

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  118. Hi Jessica
    Glad to hear from you and certainly happy to hear your little beta fish is doing better. I was wondering. Keep in touch and let me know how things are going.

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  119. Barbara
    Thanks for the advice! My beta fish has looked sooo much better now that I give her blood worms and more of a variety of food.

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  120. Hi Jean

    Thanks for hoping I can help out. I learned a lot by coming on this site and found it the best one on the net. I was very happy that Raoul started it, and has left it for the rest of us, even though he does not have the time to work at it any more. Not certain that I should be taking over at all but will answer a question if I can only because I was happy to hear from anyone who could help me when I needed it. Good luck with your little fish. They are the most entertaining fish you could ever have and make a great little pet. You have to own one to understand ๐Ÿ™‚
    ps. Now that I am retired I seem to have a little more time to play on the net like this.:-)

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  121. Hi Mike

    All beta fish are different and if you had one that lived for 4 years that was great. Why not try to use a different food and remember that Beta fish like to have their own little home to feel safe. If you see at the top of this site that Raoul has a little glass for a house. Sometimes they need the rocks too so they can hide. Try a few different things and maybe that will help

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  122. Hi Vivin

    I am sorry that you dropped your beta and that now you feel his air sac is burst. that is not good news. keep him in a shallow dish that is maybe a bit wide also, so he does not have far to go to get his air at the top and maybe find a little plant that has a big leaf lying just under the surface of the water so he can lay on that to rest and can just get his nose up for air. I use potho plants myself and I cut the stems to fit and then sometimes I have to place a small rock with an elastic so it sits just right for the beta. You can cut these plants to any length of stem but they need a little stem to pull them under the surface. Good luck and let me know how you make out.

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  123. i too have a betta like tovya’s rainbow…i think he burst his air sac.i feel very guilty,coz i dropped him once.well,charon was a happy betta..,but is puny.a blue marf injured him,and then i moved him from the aquarium 2 his own bowl..
    one day,while changing the bowl water,he slipped from my hand and fell in my empty basin.he is a green crowntail..and hardly manages to eat any food..though he flares alot.i dont have any plants..but plan 2 keep him in a shallow tub…is it OK?

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  124. Hi my name is mike my betta (Misu) recently passed away but I don’t know why he was so cool he had 2 different colored eyes blue and brown and was all the colors I love him so much I cleaned the tank every week and fed him everyday he had three stones in the tank that were about two inches long each and the tank was actually a vase that was about a gallon.I fed him tetra min that I shared with my brothers betta (adam) and I got my betta after him and mine died before his.Before I got Misu I had a betta named Tabby and I got him For christmas and he lived for 4 years and the only thing thats different about their tanks were Misu had rocks and different food andTabby had no rocks and different food so please if you could help me!

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  125. Thank you everyone who has contributed questions and/or answers to this wonderful site that Raoul created for us!
    I have never had a fish until today! I wanted a miniature dachshund, but my husband said no because we both work and he thinks we should wait till we retire. I agree with that but so disappointed that I was coming home without a pet that I went to Pet-co to see if there was something I could have that would be hearty, low maintainence, confined, yet entertaining. The clerk said I should learn about fish and the best one to start out with is a Betta! I bought him thinking I would bring him home and put him in some water and be disappointed that I didn’t have more of a pet than that. But, I have already spent alot of time with “poncho”, my beautiful turquoise male and I am talking to him and getting to know him. I should have been in bed hours ago, as it is 5:20 AM, but I have been up all night reading everything I could find on the Web about Betta fish. And Raoul, I have to tell you that your sites have been the most informative, layman terms, and conversational sites available! Thank you for keeping them open to new comer’s like myself!! I had no idea in the world that there was so much to learn…, and my appreciation for my new little pet is growing by the hour! So many of my questions have been answered just by reading all that you have made available to us! Thank you! And if I do have questions…, I hope that you, Barbara, and others.., will take a stab at answering them!!! Wow! This is sure a new world to me!!! And I already love it! Jean

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  126. Jessica
    Try giving your beta some different kinds of food. I had found with my Mobey that changing the food now and then made him brighter looking. I give my beta nutrafin beta food, which is a flaky food and then I give also the little nuggets for betas which are something they either like or do not. Every other day I give blood worms and that also helps to make their color brighter. Let me know if this helps

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  127. Hi Jessica

    Glad to hear your Beta is doing okay. I too find the pet store does not help much. that is why I found this site. I still have one beta named Ruby but she is not as friendly to me as Mobey was. She is quite comfortable in her bowl though and I try to get her to react to me every day as she is sitting beside my laptop and so I can interact as I do my work on line. they are great little fish to have and fun. Ruby thinks my one pen is an enemy and so I put it to the side of the bowl and after a couple minutes of her flaring I back it away like it is a fish swimming backkwards. It gives her some excitment and exercise. Not sure why your beta’s fins look transparent. Maybe it is a feature that some have. My female beta is not as colorful as was Mobey (a male) and her body is somewhat pale looking but it always is.

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  128. I cleaned the tank out as soon as I got back home from my trip. She acted normal, but her fins looked transparent. I didn’t go to the pet store because their answers aren’t very helpful. When I looked at her today, her fins looked fine. I’ve also noticed that her fins ‘turn transparent’ at night, right before I feed her.

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  129. Jessica, what has happened to your little fish since you came home. Did you clean the tank out and or did you go to the pet store for some advice. I was reading this today and was interested.

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  130. I recently went on vaction with my family, so I had someone watch my 2 bettas for me. When I got back, I noticed that 1 of my fish look very white, even though she’s really a pinkish color. I also noticed that all of her fins were very thin, and they looked like they were about to get cut very easily. I was wondering if this means that the tank needed to be cleaned, or if my fish was just not feeling well.

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  131. Thank you for your response today. I appreciate that and I am truely happy the site is here. Saddly today my little Mobey passed away. I am surprised at how badly I have taken this. I guess because I had him for about 3 years and he truely was happy to see me. He seemed to have some sort of knowledge that was not expected. He recognized me and did his little dance. I do have another beta named Ruby and have only had her for about 3 months but she has not the quality of recognition that Mobey had. She only wiggles when she wants food and when I put the little white minnow that kept Mobey company in with her she became so aggressive that I had to remover her. I placed the minnow in a new bowl first and designed it as a new home for Ruby but even though the minnow was there first, Ruby was way too agressive.
    Thanks again for the site and a place to converse. My daughter says it is just a fish and so having someone who understands is comforting.

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  132. Thanks Barbara. If I don’t respond to comments, it’s because I can’t give a helpful answer. Responding with “I don’t know” gets tiresome after a while.

    As for your fish, my guess is that if you’re providing all the right conditions (clean water, right temperature, good food, good lighting), then you’re doing all you can. If he has a particular disease, I have no idea what it could be. Keep watching and waiting.

    Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to step out of the conversation once more. But I am heartened by the fact that readers are answering questions among themselves (like you’ve been doing). That’s a good thing, since it taps our collective knowledge.

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  133. Hello Raoul

    The reason everyone keeps coming back to this site is because the other sites do not give the help that you have given. It’s too bad that you do not and understandably have the time to give but thankfully you have left the site for others to read. And possibly gain some valuable knowledge as I have found.

    My Beta is sick and I have done almost everything that I can think of. He is still eating a bit and every day I get up thinking today is the day he will be gone but to my surprise he is still here. Not certain what to do but am going to the pet store to see if they have any ideas at all. Usually they do not.

    Thanks for keeping the site on line. I like it even if only to get some relief from printing my own troubles for my little fish.

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  134. Ya, thats true about the water level of the bowl. When I lowered the water in my betas bowls, they didn’t seem as happy, so when i clean their bowls out again, I’ll keep it higher.

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  135. Hi Jessica

    You do not need to lower the water in your bowls. If your fish are happy then leave it the way it is. I only lowered the water to give Mobey some help and he can easily lay on a leaf that is just below the water leve. I have not lowered the water for Ruby and she is in a medium size gold fish bowl. Mobey’s bowl is a large gold fish bowl. So just watch how they are with different levels and you should be able to see if they are happier at certain levels.

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  136. Ya, both of my beta fish are just over a year old, so I know that they will probably live for a couple more years. If betas do like shallow water then I really will lower the water in my betas bowls. I did notice that when the water gets lower in their bowls, more bubbles appear on the surface of the water!

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  137. Sorry about the two comments. The first one did not seem to go thru and the computor kept telling me it would not accept so wrote the second one only to discover the first one went thru. hmmmm 8o)

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  138. Hi Jessica

    Yes I have seen algae in the bowl but I always cleaned it off when I changed the water, I have never seen a beta jump before. I do have a female beta named Ruby and they are kept in seperate bowls. Mobey is on his side a bit more today but when I gently nudge him back he stays upright for a while. He has a white cloud minnow in with him and he is still chasing him a bit although not a lot of energy. Since he is 3 I do not think that he will be here much longer. I am just keeping a fairly good eye on him and changing his water more often as this seems to help. He is still eating well so that is a good thing. Actually betas do like shallow water but they also love the bigger area a bowl affords them. I have lowered the water to just over 4 inches and the bowl is 5 inches wide. This way Mobey can lay on top of the one leaf of a pothos plant that is in the bowl and he is able to tip his head to get air. I doubt that you will ever find out why Magenta died but hopefully you will have the other two for a long time to enjoy.

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  139. Hello Barbara
    I hope your beta will be okay. Magenta was my first fish, and I had her for a little over a year. I hope that I can find out how she died. Have you ever seen algae in your beta’s bowl? And I thought that beta fish get stressed when you lower the water in their tank. I always keep it really high, even though my two other beta fish can jump really high!

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  140. Hello Jessica
    I am sorry that your beta died. I am carefully watching my Mobey to see how he is doing. I actually lowered the water in his bowl so he has not as far to get to the top and he can also lay on top of his house and on a plant leaf if he wants to and seems to do that. He is still eating and is amazingly upright. Not a lot of energy though as he does not move too much and has trouble turning now. Not certain what to do for him at the moment. But a while back Raoul had said they do not live much longer then 3 years and Mobey is that anyway. He is still eating and moves around slowly. I htink that giving him shallow water has helped. I enjoy reading the comments on this site and when I saw that your fish had passed wanted to say I was sorry. Hopefully you can enjoy your other betas.

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  141. My favorite betta fish,Magenta,just died a couple of days ago. Before she died, I noticed that she had some trouble swimming to the top of her tank. I used BettaFix for a while, but it didn’t seem to work. I stopped feeding her, and she didn’t seem interested in food anyway. In just 1 day, she stopped swimming, and her whole head would move when she would “breath.” I thought she may has got a virus or something from algae, cuz only a week before, she had so much of it in her tank that I had to put her in a new tank! I really want to know what she died from so I can prevent my other fish from getting what she had.

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  142. ps. to my question

    My local pet store has no idea how to care for beta fish. Have asked and do not get any results.

    Also this morning Mobey is more upright and seems to have amazingly rallied around somewhat although not a lot of energy just hanging around close to the top, but upright. He absolutely amazes me that he is not well and still happy to see me.

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  143. I know you are not the fish doctor but my beta Mobey is on his side a lot today although when I reach in and nudge him upright he stays that way for a while. I have watched him and his breathing is fine I placed a plant with a large leaf so he could lie on it close to the top. He is around 3 yrs and I know they do not live for much longer then that but what I am wondering is if he is dying should I do something or just let him die on his side. I read someplace a long time ago that it might be humane to put him in a tray and then place it in the freezer and he would just go to sleep that way. I was wondering what your thoughts were on that. right now he is just hanging at the top of the bowl and he is in an upright position so leaving him alone but he still tries to eat the blood worms I give him. It bothers me that I can not help him and not sure what to do. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them.
    thanks Barbara

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  144. Lovely article but PLEASE don’t keep your Bettas in bowls/vases! It is quite cruel.

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  145. I was wondering when a beta fish opens their fins, so you can really so their colors, is that a sign of defense. What do they do when they feel threatened?

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  146. I have 2 males, Kote and Tyrone…don’t ask…. anyway, Tyrone got some sort of skin fungus a few days after I brought him home although I kept him in the same conditions that Kote was is for a few months. All the pet stores around here that I talked to said he couldn’t really be saved and to just flush him or freeze him! NO way! He was covered in a milky fuzzy film and would struggle to get to the surface to breathe and would always lay on the bottom. In case anybody else has this problem I thought I would share what I did for him. He normally was in a 1 gallon tank, but to save him some energy of trying to swim to the top, I put him in a smaller bowl with no decorations to monitor the water condition. I used BettaFix as directed every day, and changed his water using room temp bottled spring water with 1/4 tablet of “Bowl Buddies” every day after treating him with BettaFix for 5 days. I would like to point out also that I used a tablet just for fungus treatment that turned his bowl green and it seemed to make him worse. Don’t know if thats what it was but figured I would share that. After about 1-2 weeks in the smaller tank I noticed drastic improvement. His energy was up, he was feeding great and even flaring again. I waited one more week before putting him back in his old tank (which I thoroughly cleaned) and he truly appreciated the bigger area again, and is again doing great. It’s been about a monyth since he 1st started showing the fuzzy fungus and he’s just now looking normal again. It took some time for his coloration to come back. He has a black body and teal tail, and the fungus was mostly on his head and torso (On the black) which made it very noticible, but now he is much better. I just want to say to not give up on your little buddies even if others tel you their “just a fish” We know better!

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  147. Hello. I have a one year old betta fish. He has seems to be losing scales on his sides. Raoul do think his sick. I am a first-timer on betta fishes. Please I really need some aadvice.
    Please respond to miz_earth1@hotmail.com

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  148. Hello. I have 3 betta fish and have had them now for about six months. Magenta, Marine, and Quinn-Lira(in memory of my two kittens that my family gave away). It is funny how even after a few days of buying your betas that you can already see their different personalities! Every morning when I go to feed them, Magenta will flip out and nearly jump out of her tank waiting for her food. I will shake the bottle of food near all of their tanks before i feed them and this gets them so excited!! After I feed quinn-Lira, she will wiggle her tail as if to say she just loves her food! But I do have one question. A couple of days ago, when I went in to feed them, my biggest fish Marine flared her gills out at me. (I don’t keep things in front of their tanks because they get very aggressive when I do!) Her eyes sort of glowed, and they were like this for two days. Does this mean that she is a very aggressive fish or was she just spooked about something for a while?

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  149. Also, could it be due to stress????? Cos i changes his water just the day before….

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  150. Hello. I have a question to ask. My red betta fish has had a decolourisation at the end part of its tail. My betta is acting all normal and active, but his end part of his tail has become a translucent grey. Its pretty alarming and i dont understand why this is happening. Thanks. Is you know why, pls pls pls reply at andrea@tree.com.sg

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  151. thanks Britt, i would get someone to fish-sit, but im moving. im going from Ontario to Nova Scotia

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  152. Hey Tiffanie,
    I’ve taken my fish on a long car drive. I took my fish from Ontario to Florida and it spent three weeks down there with me and then we drove it back up. Not sure how legal taking it through customs was, I hid him under a blanket on my lap as we went through. What you should do is get a large tupperware container that is cylindrical and poke holes in the lid. Fill it 3/4 of the way and keep it in your lap, upright and under constant surveillance. My fish loves me and is really used to me and I just couldn’t leave him behind. Feed him whatever you normally feed him and tell your driver to drive not choppily or you will be splashed. If you are willing to be splashed a bit, just hold on to the little fellow and try to make sure during the fast stops that his face doesn’t hit the walls of the container by moving gently with the car. Feed him the same time you normally do and the same food you normally do and he should be happy, if a bit confused. Mine is still alive and well two months later and he spent a total of four days in the car with me. If you’re not willing to have him in your lap the whole time i wouldnt do it though, I would recommend having someone fish-sit instead.
    Good Luck!

    hey raoul,
    I’d just like to say that I loved your article How Not to Treat Your Beta Fish because, as I said, I’ve had mine for a long time now, but I just got a new one today for my birthday and wanted to put them in ‘together’, one in a clear tank [and no, they wouldn’t have been able to jump into or out of it.] that would be suspended within my larger one. I realized that this would probably overtire them when i saw just how much they were flaring. They were able to see each other for a total of five minutes before i took the new one out and jumped on the net to see if they would ever get tired of each other. I’m glad you enjoyed your fish so much. The new one is still, sadly, afraid of me, but hopefully this will change.

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  153. thanks. i dont really agree with aquarium lights ethier, but i dont get much light in my room.

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  154. Natasha, when I had my Beta fish, I didn’t use a light at all — just natural daylight. I’m not a proponent of using aquarium lights unless they’re needed to augment natural daylight. In the wild, fish have a natural cycle of daylight and nighttime. I believe they should have the same cycle when they’re in an aquarium. It’s the humane thing to do. Try to put yourself in their position. Would you want someone to keep the light on all the time in your room, even when you’re trying to sleep?

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  155. i know ur not a Betta expert, but i was wondering if u knew if it was ok to keep the light on all night, and turn it off for about 8 hours in the morning. if u dont know the answer, thats ok, i will try to find someone else. thanks

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  156. Hi,
    I think my Beta can hear. I’ll talk to him in the kitchen, and then go around into the living room and look at him through the bar, and say,”Mommy’s on this side.” He’ll turn around before he even sees me and swim to the other side of his bowl, then we’ll talk to each other from the living room. I’ve only had him for a couple days, and he always looks so excited when he sees me. I never knew having a fish could be so much fun.

    I really liked your stories about your fish. I’m sorry you lost them.

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  157. Thanks Raoul. I appreciate the answer. Mobey did pick up a bit later on today but I did wonder if he was just getting too old. He has been a source of joy and he does dance for me. I never knew a fish to be so delightful Last year when he got depressed my kids laughed at me when I told them but a new plant and a bigger bowl and then I added the while cloud minows one at a time and he picked up so fast. I also got him some blood worms for a treat now and then and he loves them so much you can hear him snapping them from the surface of the water. he will come up and nip my finger too.
    Thanks for the reply.
    Barbara
    ps. not certain of his age but he is over two and possibly 3 so he is doing well and one never knows how old they are when you first buy them.

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  158. Barbara, I hate to say it, but Mobey may be too old. The average lifespan for Beta fish is 2-3 years. Consider yourself very lucky for being able to have him so long. Enjoy his company while you still can. There’s no telling how much longer he’ll stick around. I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s going on today. This may just be a passing thing. But start getting used to the idea that he won’t be around a lot longer.

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  159. Have you any idea why a Beta might just stay at the bottom and will not even get excited when shown a mirror. My Beta did dance for me and loved when I fed him but today he is sluggish and I just changed the water for him like I do and usually he loves that and shows it with a dance, and he has two little white cloud minows that keep him company and he likes to chase themn now and then, he did like them but mostly he leaves them alone and he has had them for some time. I got them when he was going thru a depression of sorts and that seemed to help him our a lot. today is different. Mobey is 3 yrs old and I was hoping to keep him for longer I hope he is not dying. If you have an idea that would be great and if you don’t, just wanting to talk to another beta owner. Maybe he is just tired and wants to rest although he did not respond to the mirror today at all. He just laid there.
    thanks for listening.

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  160. Ashley, Veve, it looks like you need to buy a Beta book and to read up on these things. Or you need to visit your local pet stores and ask them. I don’t know what goes on when they fight. Never tried it myself. Never used lights or filters with my Betas. They’re pretty temperature-tolerant, so the water can get a little cold, but they might get sick if you leave it cold for too long. Veve, go ask your local pet shop about the pop eye.

    Seriously, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Please stop asking me questions like these. I’m not a Beta expert, just a Beta owner. I don’t have all the answers. Read through my posts and the comments on my two Beta posts, and if you can’t find the answer there, it’s useless to ask me.

    Not sure how many more times I need to say that, but if I keep getting asked these questions that are best suited for knowledgeable Beta experts, I’ll have to turn off the comments on this article. Sorry…

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  161. I have a betta male fish and one of his eyes has gotten large like the pop eye. What can i do about it?

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  162. hi,
    i have a beta and i was just wondering if after two betas fight, will the winner eat the dead one? does it hurt the beta if i turn off the light and the filter at night? and is it ok if the water is cold for a couple hours? because im in school and cant keep the light on, which heats up the water.

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  163. thanks. sorry about all the questions, i haven’t owned a beta before, im just worried because my room does tend to get cold at night, and my beta is in a 1.17 gallon bowl.

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  164. Tiffany, Betta fish surface and gulp air (swallow it), so they can live just fine without a filtered tank. As long as you do regular water changes, they’ll be fine. Please be sure to read this article from BettySplendens.com entirely to get more tips on how to care for them.

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  165. i bought a crowned tail fish today!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Do u know if they can live without a filtered tank?

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  166. Tiffany, I’m not sure what else I can say beyond what I’ve already said in the article, and beyond all of my replies to the many comments. Have you taken the time to read through them? Seems to me the thing to do is to take a wait and see approach. Perhaps the change from the dirty water to the clean water was too sudden, and he’s still accommodating. Wait and see, treat him nicely, and if he lives, great. If not, then move on and get another, but make sure to wash the bowl and equipment thoroughly before putting in the new Beta.

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  167. a couple days ago i got a beta from a friend who didn’t want it any more. His tank was filthy, and he didn’t seem happy, so i cleaned his tank and put him in a bigger one. i’m not sure if he’s sick, or just not used to me yet. He spends a lot of time leaning up against the wall and he doesnt swim that much. My friend give me tropical fish flake food for him, and he doesn’t eat them, so i bought him beta food, and he doesnt eat that ethier. Im not sure how to make him happy, can u plz give me some suggestions.
    thank-you.
    Tiffany ๐Ÿ™‚

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  168. Okay well, I understand if you delete this since its not really a question. But I just want to thank you. I was doing a science project on the affects of music on Betta fish, and your page helped a lot! That and the very first comment tha’s up on here. The response you gave to that girl really helped me out too. So, thanks!

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  169. Gaby, I’m not sure. Check with a local pet store or buy a Betta book. Sorry, but like I said in my post, I’m NOT a Betta expert.

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  170. The head of my betta fish is starting to turn black.
    I don’t know what is wrong with him, help me?

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  171. Amelia, I’m not sure what to tell you about the little Betta babies. You can try keeping them together as long as possible, and only separate them when they start to fight. There’s a fair chance that some of them will get along, especially if they’ve grown together since birth. Other than this, I don’t know. Let’s hope someone else chimes in with more advice or an offer to adopt a few of them.

    Gina, Bettas only live a few years. Not knowing when your Betta was born, I don’t know how much longer he’ll live. Besides, one can’t predict how long even young, healthy Bettas will live. Just enjoy him while you’ve got him, and don’t worry about the aggressiveness. They’re territorial, it’s normal.

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  172. I gave my boyfriend a blue beta fish a year ago and we moved him in a bigger tank cause he looked unhappy just sitting there not excersising. After we moved him he grew very bigger and became very aggressive. he even jumped out of the water and tried to nibble my fingers(probably wanted food) but i noticed his fins became very stiff. I wonder if he’s getting old is this true cause i like him.

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  173. I have three Beta fish and they stay in my bedroom. I was beginning to think that I had become a little crazy because my fish seemed so intelligent and receptive to everything that I did, and even began to know my routine.

    I have read a lot just recently about Beta and I mostly come across articles about them dieing and diseases and how they are not happy in a fish bowl that they need an aquarium and how people have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars only to find them dead.

    I have not spent even nearly that amount on my fish, only the jar of food that lasts an eternity and spring water for there occasional water changing, that I admit I don’t do as often as I should. Not to mention my 3 year old loves to throw little random things in their bowls that I have to fish out. All this and they still thrive and get excited and competitive with one another daily for my attention. They will swim to the top of the bowl and my 3 year old, with my assistance, will put the tip of her finger in and they will let her pet them and will even rub themselves on her. They are extremely compassionate and seem to sense what I am feeling. They can tell the difference between my husband, my daughters and me.

    I have been reading a lot and know a lot more about how to care for them. And it seems that what they thrive off of and need the most is love and affection so much if fact that although I did not provide them with perfect living conditions, last night Moon, my petite female looked swollen and Shadow, one of two males, had built a bubble nest so I put her in and they were so beautiful together. He would wrap himself around her and then she would drop eggs and lay paralyzed for awhile while he collected the eggs in his mouth and carried them to the nest and placed them one by one in specific spots and then would make more bubbles to wrap them in. Moon would go to the bottom and look for any eggs he might have missed, he would join her and when they thought they had retrieved them all they would start again.

    I removed her after he started to get protective and no let her near the nest that she so desperately tried to over and over again to get close to and she would also try to rub against him, but he was no longer affectionate towards her after she stopped releasing eggs. He started puffing up to her and he would even lay side ways under the nest so that she could not go near the eggs and then he would chase her and nip at her so we removed her. He is caring for his young that were born last night, is a little protective now but has still come to the front of the bowl to say hi. The female is back in her bowl, missing her babies but recuperating from the beautiful yet a little violent mating that occurred last night. She is eating again like normal but seems to be needy for attention, she was always the least interactive but today she seems the most. The father has not eaten much but still seems to be doing well, I have been trying to find out more information because I am not sure about what to do with the babies, specifically when do I separate them from their father, and what do I do with all of them.

    If anyone knows of someone who has a warm pond and would like some baby Beta let me know because I could not bear to give them to a pet store and have them sit in a cup until someone buys them.

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  174. Raoul,

    Thanks for the advice, maybe I should look for one of those long rectangular tanks, not the deep ones, these almost look like a decoration very long but not deep. Does he need the bubbly thing in the middle? I did squish some peas inside the tank but he doesn’t seem to enjoy the peas….he eventually makes it to the top to get a blood worm…. Thank you for your help.

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  175. Stephanie, he’ll cope. It’s not a terrible life. Just do what you can to make it easier: buy some plants with big leaves so he can rest on them, if you can, find a bowl that’s more wide than deep, so he doesn’t have to struggle to get to the top. The extra water pressure from a deep bowl would make it harder for him to swim upwards.

    I would advise against keeping the light on all the time. Fish need to sleep too. If the area where the bowl is located is air conditioned and kept at a decent temperature (comfortable for humans) then he should be just fine, he won’t need a heater.

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  176. Raoul,
    I noticed your comment about the dammaged air sack…I am afraid that our office fish sparty may have damaged his. We have changed out the water and added the salt and he is still having the same symptoms…lying upside down or randomly on a leaf or two, he does rest on the one closest to the top and it is difficult for him to get up to the top to get food. I feel terrible for the little guy. You mentioned that he can still live, but will it be a terrible life for a fish? He is in a small maybe 1-gallon triangle tank with a air bubble thing in the middle, it also has a light…should we switch him to a larger tank with a heater..or will it be too difficult for him to get to the top….I just hate to see him like this…he used to be so happy……please give any suggestions?

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  177. Dani, I’m not sure. My advice would be to look up photos of betta fish diseases on the Internet and compare to see if you get any matches. Or get a book from the local pet store, one that has good color photos of their various conditions.

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  178. Oh and another thing, the redish area is also thinner looking than the rest of his pretty blue fins.

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  179. I just got my betta, Rocky (attacks the rocks at the bottom of his bowl to retrieve lost peices of food sometimes), a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure but it looks like his tail has a little more red in the middle of the tip of it… I didn’t know if that is a bad sign or just regular color change. He is a very active betta and swims around, makes the clicking noise mentioned on here, and doesn’t scare too easily from me unless I approach his bowl closely.

    I chose a betta fish because he is my first fish and I had heard that bettas can adapt well and I didn’t want a fish that would die after a few days, like I have heard that goldfish do, and being at college, fish are the only pets allowed.

    He has a rock larger than him at the bottom of his 3/4 gallon bowl and many little rocks below that and to the side (the large rock doesn’t take up the entire bottom of the bowl) and an imitation plant. He seems happy and energetic, but I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t getting a sort of fin rot already. Any ideas? You can never be too careful! I just thought I’d see what you thought. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  180. Thanks for your nice comments, Amanda. I wouldn’t worry about those tiny holes. Perhaps that’s how his fins are. If he’s healthy, happy and eating well, then he should be fine.

    You’re right about the resting places. It’s really important to have one or two somewhere in the bowl/aquarium.

    As for why I didn’t get Betta fish — I didn’t want to go through the stress of losing them again.

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  181. Oh and one thing that people might be interested to know..

    I believe it is IMPERATIVE that owner’s supply their betta with some sort of plant or refuge in the tank. After observing my new betta, I’ve found that he often tries to get himself stuck between the plant stem and the wall in order to take a little “cat-nap”. Fish DO need their rest, and in order for them to rest their fins without floating to the surface, they need to be able to use an object for leverage to hold it under water for short periods of time.

    I mean, how would you like to sleep without a bed?? Be sure to give your betta a resting place!

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  182. I would just like to say thank you for being SO informative and patient with everyone on this site. It’s wonderful that you’re willing to share your time and knowledge with others who have a similar interest. I’m sorry to hear that you no longer have betta fish- might I be so bold as to ask why you decided against buying more?

    I had a betta several years ago, in what I would consider now to be pretty horrid conditions, and yet it lived for over a year until I gave it away and it continued to live on for at least another year. This time, I’m more interested in REALLY caring for my betta correctly.

    I purchased a new better yesterday and his actions have been consistent with a normal, happy fish. My only concern is that he has very small pin-head sized holes in his fins. Not very many, but enough to notice. I bought him this way. I realize you’re not an expert, but I was wondering if you thought I should immediately treat him for fin-rot or wait and observe? There’s no blackness or shredding effect; just holes.

    Thanks again for everything you’ve posted here!

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  183. Meg, just go pick any plant that looks good to you, following the directions I gave in my post. Don’t obsess over specific plants.

    Ann, Betta fish can do just fine in colder water as well. If you’ve got air conditioning at your place, and you keep it around 70 degrees year round, give or take 10 degrees or so, they’ll be fine. If not, get a water heater made for smaller bowls, but make sure you monitor the water level to keep the bowl full. The water will evaporate faster when you’ve got a heater in the bowl/tank.

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  184. Hello, I was wondering what plant is the best? what is the plant in the second picture? and what kind of hiding place are you talking about? Thanks.

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  185. hi,
    my beta fish, fred, has started, yesterday, just floating on the top, i thought it might be the water, because tap water here is very copper rich, but i changed the water today, but he started floating on his side, his breathing seems heavy and i just got him about 2 weeks ago. i have two in the same tank and the other one seems to be doing fine, and yes the tank has a divider in it, so i don’t know what is wrong with him. and now he is just on the bottom of the tank doing sort of a headstand. i don’t know how to solve it and if i could get any help that would be great.
    Thanks

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  186. Hi !
    My brother has two betta fish.
    He is quite upset because, Ice, one of his beautiful fish, seems to be ill.
    It looks as though his left gill is stretched or something, so its not moving.
    He’s still breathing through is right one, but he’s lopsided.
    I was wondering if you had an idea on what is wrong with him.

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  187. Ah, when I looked at the date this article was written and all the people asking you questions a professional would know about I was a little surprised lol. And, even more suprised that I got your reply right away! I wasnt really expecting one for a while, if at all lol. Thank you!

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  188. Hi Paige! Glad to hear from you and the others. The thing is, it’s been a while since I’ve written this article, and I no longer have Betta fish. I’m continually surprised that people keep finding this page and asking me questions. I’m not a Betta fish expert. I’m just someone who decided to record what happened when he got Betta fish.

    When mine passed away, I decided not to get new ones. With regards to your question about plants, just get something that can survive in water, and has smooth, large leaves so they can rest on them. I wouldn’t bother with artificial plants. As for sand, yeah, it’s hard to clean up, so pebbles work better. Good luck!

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  189. Hey there, I loved your article and I completely feel the same way. I always ‘liked’ bettas, but when I actually purchased one myself and realized how much attention HE pays to ME, I was hooked, fascinated. Now I’m just dying to know everything there is to know about them! I love your display in your pictures. Personally I agree with accentuating the bettas beauty, but I really really disagree with those who buy bettas strictly as decoration-without any knowledge of the species or its needs. (For example, the ‘Peace Lily Vase’ just disgusts me). I was wondering, what kind of live plants are you using in your vases? I like the idea of the benefits of real plants for my betta, such as the plants natural filtration system, but I want to make sure the plant is naturally a water plant and is 110% safe for my betta. I know many people are mis leaded about which live plants are okay to use with the fish (such as bamboo). The sand looks great too. Is that hard to clean? Currently I have glass pebbles and a silk plant, but I cant help but be curious about other safe alternatives =D -Paige

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  190. haha. nevermind. It stills looks bad but It’s pretty hyper. I put him near me and started watching a movie and he started watching it too. and now he’s moving his mouth like he’s trying to talk or he’s hungry but he still has 2 bloodworms in there. he loves Jay and bob! it’s a miracle fish!

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  191. I just got a Betta earlier today. I was just wondering how long it normally takes them to adjust. His fins really worn out and his colors are dull. he was like that at the store though. we think it was because in Petsmart they keep them all right next to each other and they are all stressed. Will that go away when he becomes used to this or does he need medicine. Someone should make anti-depressants for fish.

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  192. My Betta, Julio, got very sick and weak about a week ago. He started spending more and more time sleeping at the bottom of his bowl in various odd positions. His vibrant red color also dulled and he started to get gray areas near his gills. He began to scrape his eye/gill area against his plant and then dart away. Finally he got so weak he could barely make it up for air and lost interest in eating. A guy at PetCo recommended “Hikari Betta Revive” and LITERALLY within minutes of the fist treatment, he was better! I just completed the third treatment and he is back to his nosey, excited little self! THIS STUFF WORKED GREAT FOR MY FISH…JUST WANTED TO PUT IT OUT THERE!!!

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  193. I really enjoyed reading your story about all the wonderful things betta’s can do. I noticed that my betta would always wag all over everytime I come into the room. I tap on the glass to let him know it’s feeding time and he comes right away if his back is turned. I got on here b/c I couldn’t figure out why all the bubbles on top of the water every other day and now I know it’s because he’s HAPPY!! I am after reading this going to get him a plant. My question to you is this.. I have a very small (size of a half dollar) mirror I put in his bowl. I noticed right away he would flare up. I put it in there thinking he might be lonely, but didn’t want him to fight with another one. Do you think this is a good idea? Thanks.

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  194. I didnt know fishes did all that…I have a friend who recently got an aquarium and I arguing with her how her worrying the fish was stressing them out…Looks like it doesnt stress them out

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  195. Okay lately my betta has been “puffing” his gills whenever i come near him or look at him. I think he is upset with me or something because he’s not as happy with me anymore. I couldnt really spend time with him as much though because lately ive been really busy…. What does it mean if they puff up their gills or like stick them out at you?

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  196. Hi Jess. Other than the things I outlined in this post and in my other posts about Betta fish on this blog, I can’t really suggest anything else. I say watch and wait. You could also try changing the location of his bowl to some place where he gets decent light (not too much though), and there isn’t a lot of movement all day long — movement puts them on alert and tires them out. If you’ve got an aquarium light, don’t leave it on at night. Let him rest. Hope this helps.

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  197. my fish used to be really happy, now he’s not making bubble nests any more. what am i doing wrong? is there something i can do to make him happy?

    —Jess

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  198. I am so glad to know I am not the only one…who knew one could have such an intimate relationship with a fish. As the final touch to my salon before opening I got “Red Tiger”. He became emperor of his domain instantly. I thought I was imagining it but every morning, upon opening, I would be greeted with the most animated dance of joy. It was as if Red Tiger knew my voice…I noticed he would only dance like that for me.
    Then it struck me! Water is greatly affected by vibrations…my voice vibrations are filled with love and adoration for him and he feels it for sure.
    What a unexpected joy Red Tiger had become in my life and in business!

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  199. Update…I found him doing the exact same thing this afternoon. But when I fed him, he ate like 15 pellets of food and he’s supposed to only eat four or five. Do you think he could be starved?

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  200. I just got my first betta fish yesterday! He seems to be doing well. But he gave me quite a scare this morning. When I woke up and went downstairs, he was floating on his side at the top of the tank!! I looked at him and thought he was dead. While I was going about my morning business, I was thinking how upsetting this was and that I would have to make another trip to the pet store today. But a couple of minutes later, he was swimming around happy as can be. He ate well and has been fine ever since. Do you think he was sleeping??? Or is there something to worry about here?

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  201. My Beta makes the pebble-dropping sound also! Usually when I hear it I feed him and he settles down.

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  202. im getting scared now because i just got my betta some pellets since he was spitting out the flakes and hes not even touching them! he attempted to eat them at first but then they seemed to not go into his mouth or something! im really scared because what if he starves this way?

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  203. my fish is sorta weird like he has seperate teeny tiny bubble nests the size of a penny or something but like alot of them seperated. is that abnormal?

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  204. That would be a great idea. Remember, they “hear” vibrations very well, and the constant hum of the hard drive and fans inside the computer must affect him. I also don’t know what effect the electromagnetic radiation from the computer might have on him, but it also can’t be good considering that Betta fishes are small organisms.

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  205. Well, I also have him by a computer. Does that affect him at all? Should I move him away?

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  206. Sometimes they do that, Jessica. If you haven’t picked up a book yet, this site is a great place to start beefing up on Bettas. They’ve got a LOT of info on Betta behavior right here. Hope it helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  207. Uhm, my fish keeps opening his mouth on the sides of the bowl. I KNOW he’s not hungry because I just fed him. Why is he acting all jumpy and crazy?

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  208. thank youu
    yeah jessica is my friend and shes the one who recommended a betta and this site
    thanks soo much ๐Ÿ˜€

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  209. Hey Lara — like I told Jessica just above, it’s a good idea to pick up a book on Betta fish, one that has lots of good photos to describe the various illnesses or conditions they might have. I’ve also found this page helpful. It does a good job of describing various illnesses. Go through the photos and see if your Betta matches anything.

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  210. Okay well i just got my betta yesterday and it had a little bit of black on its head and i thought it was normal but now it seems to be spreading to its scales or something. I’m not really sure whats going on maybe it was always there and i just didn’t notice but if you think it’s something else could you please tell me?

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  211. Not sure, but could be the flares from the gills, Jessica. Those would be normal if that’s what they are. This is why it’s good to pick up a book on betta fish from your pet store. I picked one up and it helped me a lot. Ask the folks there to recommend a book for you, or just look through what they’ve got and pick out one with lots of descriptive photographs or drawings. It’s worth the $10 or $15.

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  212. I came back to my house today and my betta had two yelowinsh/ orange strikes on his face. (on both sides) What does it mean?

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  213. They’ll build another nest, don’t worry, clean it. As for the food, yes, they’re fussy. The gill-flaring is normal. I mentioned all these in the article already though.

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  214. my boy’s new betta is called wilbert and he seems to like his new home. after two days he is making a bubble nest on the surface of the water. i was wondering when i change the water should i take these bubbles or try to avoid them? also he doesn’t like his flakes just spits them out and only will eat the little brown things (i think they are dried bloodworms) which are mixed through the flakes. they are fussy little things. this one isn’t acting weird like the last one but i dont know if likes us as he flares his gills when we come too close, maybe he is protecting his nest?
    from Joh

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  215. Each fish has its own character, and some are more playful than others. Unfortunately it’s a bit hard to tell how they’re going to act before you buy them. You could try to get another and see if things change.

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  216. Alright, thanks. Also, mine doesn’t seem to be very active a playful. I spend a LOT of time with him, and he still doesn’t reconizing me. Is there anyway I can change that?

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  217. Not sure. You could try changing the food type, maybe try pellets, maybe some live food. Your local pet store would be able to help with this. You may also want to have a good look at your Betta and notice anything unusual: color changes, fuzz on the tail or flippers, etc. He may be sick. But take a good look, then go down to the pet store and talk with someone there. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

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  218. My betta, Samuel, hasn’t been eating. When he does, he throws it back up. Is he sick? I feed him BettaMin- flakes. So, what do I do?

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  219. Hey Todd — I have yet to see a good tank for Bettas. They prefer shallower water, but as most tanks get bigger in size, they get taller as well, not wider. But still, I think a conventional 3-5 gallon tank will do just fine. The point is to have enough water in the tank so it doesn’t get contaminated too quickly from leftover food and waste products, otherwise you have to change it often. And if a Betta gets anything over a gallon, I think he’s going to be happy.

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  220. Hi Raoul,
    I just received my first Betta as a gift from a fellow employee, and already I am quite attached. I found your website to be very informative. I want to avoid the whole “they will withdraw into themselves and become loners” thing (very nice description by the way…quite effective). My main question is about tank or vase size. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, which they are certain is correct, but most are contradictory. “They love tiny bowls”, “they need 10 gallons at least”, “they’ll die if you put them in anything bigger than 5 gallons”….Argh! I want to give Diego a nice, big home, but I dont want to trip him out with too much space. So Raoul, if you were a Betta, what would be your ideal dream fish bachelor pad? Thanks for your time…Todd

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  221. Sorry about that, Joh! Sometimes these things will happen. I hope the next one lives longer! Be sure to clean the tank thoroughly before you use it again.

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  222. unfortunatly he died during the night:(
    he had burrowed again in between a rock and the side of the fish tank. he didn’t seem stuck, just didn’t try to get out it. when i moved the rocks he didn’t float to the top he just stayed there. this time he wasn’t playing dead, he had white stuff on his mouth. poor guy. i guess i’ll try another one and just have two rocks to hold in the plant. my three year old was very upset.
    from Joh

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    1. Hi Joh,
      If the betta had little white spots on his mouth, he probably had ich or velvet. These make bettas itchy and he was probably itching himself. If you look them up online, there are ways to cure it for future reference.

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  223. today i noticed him floating on his side in the plant on top of the water. i looked closer and didn’t think he was breathing then i looked over the top of the tank and he quickly swam away. how weird. if this was a normal goldfish i would think it was sick but maybe he was sleeping or maybe playing dead. pretty strange though.

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  224. I hope so too. Sometimes they’ll try to burrow like that, not knowing it might hurt them. One of my own fish tried that, and in the process, moved a shell that fell over him. Thankfully I was right there and could free him, otherwise he could have suffocated.

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  225. Hi, yesterday i bought my three boys a betta fish along with the food and water treatment things. i put him in spring water (because i needed to get rid of the stuff) in a 9lt vase. it has a plant and large rocks on the bottom. he seemed to love it all, but didn’t notice him eating. today when i came home the boys said that ‘Esteban’ was gone! and he had burrowed right under the rocks and gotten stuck. when i got him out he was struggling to get to the surface. i put him in alother container for a while fed him (he didn’t eat) and he seemed fine. now he is back in his tank and is happy. I hope he doesn’t try this stunt again. what do you thuink?

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  226. My guess is that there’s some stuff in that water still. I used filtered water when I cleaned my Betta tanks. You might want to look into this. Get a few gallons of filtered water from the store, or use your sink filter if you have one. There are also solutions you can put in the water to neutralize most of the harmful chemicals. Your pet store should be able to tell you more about this. Good luck!

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  227. My name is Drake and I am currently working on my second Betta. I got my first during my senior year, they had Betta’s as decorations and my friends an I weren’t happy about it due to mean high school students were killing them, but I managed to snag mine and after a week of him being in a small bowl I bought a 2 gallon tank and he was happily living there for about 4 months and I decided he needed a tank mate and got a Aspredinidae because the guy at my local fish store said they got along and they did. Sadly the gill disease that the bottom feeder had killed the Betta and him, so I was at a loss for a while and recently bought a new one about two weeks ago.

    My new Betta, Jetsam is a happy fish or at least that’s how he was at first. I bought him a long with a Indian Glassy Fish who was a pretty purple color, sadly I had lost my air pump after almost a year of not using my tank so I had them living in my big tank for about 3 days and the pump and cleaner I bought couldn’t clean all the mess up so I put them in glasses and cleaned the tank, put the pump in and let the water sit for the night due to my towns water is chemical heavy and deadly to most fish unless it sits. During the night the Indian died but Jetsam lived on and it’s been about 5 days now. The tank is crystal clean and of late Flotsam is acting strange, he stops moving and just lies at the bottom of the tank between the glass and next to a fake plant he likes to brush up on and hide in. He just stops moving, sometimes for a min, sometimes longer. He’s still active and swims around, he responds to mirrors and me, he has a good appetite. He seems more interested in the pump/filter now and goes up to it a lot but other than that it’s those naps I’m worried about.

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  228. Hi Samantha, it’s okay not to feed him over the weekend. They can go for a week or more without food. Frequent transport would definitely stress him out. Get him a little hiding place. If you have a little opaque votive candle holder, that’ll work great. If you feel like springing for one of those aquarium castles they sell at pet shops, you can do it, but it’s not necessary. Anything he can hide in (non-toxic, like glass, stone or hard plastic) will work. A small conch shell would also work.

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  229. I’ve been betta-sitting for my boss for the last 2 weeks and have fallen madly in love. I change his water once a week, bought him bloodworms, make sure I spend quality time with him etc. It looks like the fish will be living in the office while my boss is away, which is months at a time. Is it ok to let him go over a weekend without eating? Friday night to Monday morning? I know that one day is ok, but 2? What’s the alternative? Taking him home every weekend- and wouldn’t that stress him out? Also, the last day or so he’s been hiding behind the thermometer sticker I put on the bowl. Is that normal? Should I get him a hiding place even if he’s only in a gallon bowl with a plant?

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  230. Hi Carolee. He’ll eat when he’s hungry enough. Try giving him different food as well, or breaking the pellets into smaller bits (if they’re too big). And try sitting by his aquarium for an extended period of time. Pull up a chair and read a book (to yourself, not to him ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so he gets accustomed to your presence.

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  231. Hi. I recently got a beautiful male betta fish a couple of days ago. He was unhappy in the little container he was bought in, but now that he’s in a bigger tank, he seems happy and swims around a lot. The only concern I have is that he hasn’t eaten since I got him. I try talking to him and showing my face to him etc to make him more comfortable, but it seems that every time I put food in his tank, he hides behind his plant. After I close the lid, he never touches his food so I have to take it out before it gets nasty. Do you have any advice? I would really like him to eat, and it’s starting to worry me. Thanks.

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  232. I have a beta named jimmy and over the last few months ive noticed him lying on the bottom of the tank and just not moving much.. my family oftem comments that he is dead and as soon as they do he swims a little and sinks right back down. When he swims he seems unable to pull his little tush up and often times i find him unable to eat the food i put in. im extremely worried hes over a year old and i was wondering if there was anything i could do to possibly make him better. I talk to him all the time and he is more than a loved member of my family. Over the past yr I have switched his food from the beta bites to mosquito larva (recomendation of a local fish store) which seemd to help but now im running out of ideas..

    Thank you in advance for any help

    lisa

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  233. So sorry to hear about Rainbow. It sounds as if you took very good care of her, Tovya, and tried your best.
    We are excited that our own Betta, Rosie, seems to be recovering from her scare a few weeks ago when I dropped a broomhandle against her tank. She now is getting brave enough to sometimes hang out in her old corner, wiggle her tail around more happily, and today was blowing bubbles. She seems much more relaxed, and doesn’t freak out when the table under her tank gets wiggled slightly. We also moved her newt friend to another tank as he seemed to be picking on her more while she was going through recovery, and I didn’t want her to have the extra stress. So hopefully we are getting back to normal. Thank you!

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  234. No need to wait…we said goodbye to Rainbow last night. He died in his sleep. He was a very good friend to us. Thanks for your help. I had a feeling he was ill, just don’t know why he got sick.

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  235. Watch and wait. See what happens. I’m kinda curious myself, so let me know what’s happened in a few days.

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  236. Thanks. Good input. Fortunately, we have not dropped him nor has he been hit/squeezed by anything/one. He has never jumped from his bowl, either. There is a plant on top of the bowl with it’s roots hanging down into the bowl. I wonder if he got cold(I moved his bowl yesterday with intentions of changing his water, and we live in MA so the temp was cold. He was left on the counter for many hours before I moved him back to his normal place.
    Right now he’s mostly lying upside down on the rocks in his bowl, although his fins are moving. His breathing seems regular but heavy. I keep thinking we must say o9ur goodbyes to him, and then he livens up a bit…Any other suggestions?

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  237. Hello Tovya. It’s too early to tell for sure, but it looks as if his air sack (the little bubble inside him that helps him float) has burst or is damaged. Have you done anything, such as drop him? Did you inadvertently squeeze him against the side of the tank with a net as you changed the water? Has he jumped out of his aquarium and fallen onto the floor? At any rate, even with a burst air sack, he’ll still be able to live. You’ll just have to realize he’ll sit at the bottom most of the time. It’ll help if you get him a plant, so he can rest on the branches. He’ll be closer to the top, and won’t have to struggle so much when he needs air.

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  238. We have a Beta and since yesterday, we noticed he is acting sick. He seems to struggle when swimming upward as if he has no strength to make it to the top. He swims in a funny manner, sometimes turning upside down. Most of the time he’s in a funny position and doesn’t move at the bottom of the tank. Other times he seems to move in spurts but awkwardly.Does this mean he’s dying? Is there anything we can do to revive him? He isn’t eating, either, although he occasionally struggles to the top as if to get air(maybe looking for his food?)

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  239. Hi Kathy! I have a hunch it’ll take a while for Rosie to get over that traumatic event, and she may never forget it. It’s amazing, you wouldn’t think a fish that tiny would remember things for more than a few seconds, but somehow, they do. It affects them, sometimes permanently. Sorry that it happened, just keep watching Rosie and hope that she improves.

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  240. We have had a Betta named Rosie for a few months now, and she lives very happily in a small tank with one salamander, one ghost shrimp, two guppies, and one pond snail. She usually hangs around the one corner of the tank where she can watch us perform our daily activities, and will quickly go after any food we give her.
    A few days ago, I was cleaning and had my broom propped up against the kitchen doorway, and I accidentally bumped the broom, which fell sharply against the fishtank. I looked quickly down and saw Rosie sort of curl up and then drop, on her side, to the bottom of the tank. She didn’t look like she was moving at all. I thought I had somehow killed her. Then we noticed that she was still breathing, just lying on her side on the bottom of the tank. We went to move her into another tank so that the salamander would not eat her in case she was injured. As we moved her, she then started wiggling around in the net, but as we put her into another tank, it seemed that she was just wiggling in funny circles. Then she was just lying around some more.
    We had to leave for an appointment for an hour. When we came back, she was in the corner of the tank, but at the top as if breathing close to the surface of the water. She hardly moved at all that night, except for once when the table on which the tank sat wiggled the water a little, and then she wiggled around oddly and frantically for a few seconds. I had no idea if she had bumped her head or what. Everyone else in the tank seemed fine.
    The next day we watched her and she seemed to start to move around the tank more, though she often seemed to be cowering behind an object we had put in the tank to allow her to do so. I suspect it was also unsettling to be in a different tank.
    The following day we returned her to her own tank. Since that time she seems to be moving around well, though she never goes back to her old favorite corner (where she was when the Big Bang occurred), and she often stays hidden far away from the action of the room. I suspect that she was really traumatized by the event, and I wonder if she will ever get over it and return to being the happy fish that she was, and if there is anything we can do to help her do so.
    Thank you!
    Kathy

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  241. Thank you Rose! Bettas are indeed some pretty cool pets to have, and on many levels better than most aquarium fish. Glad you found my post useful! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. aw, they are so cute! i want to have one too!!!

      i want to have it infront of my working table, and is this okay if i’ll put them infront of my monitor?

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    2. Love most of your article. Most people are generally ignorant about species they’ve yet to come to know, and are sadly and injustly quick to write them off as “stupid” or unimportant…. It’s sad and this is actually the most pathetic and dangerous aspect of human nature. I’ve heard of people forming relationships with bettas, as well as other fish. I currently actually have a very social and smart goldfish I rescued. It just makes it that much more sad to see the way they’re kept in tiny little shallow cups like the prisoners they are, in most petshops and other stores with pet sections. Personally I don’t believe in in owning fish or birds, or any other wild animals, as pets, as I believe they belong free in the wild, and it’s always sad to see them caged. It’s also horrible for the enviroment when these animals
      are taken out of the wild. ANYWAYS, the reason I say I liked “MOST” of your article, is because of the way you callously say you catered to your fish’s every need and seemed to be insulted that they weren’t grateful. Would you be grateful if you were taken out of your natural habitat (be it they were breed captive or caught, they’re meant to be free), and kept in a small tank or cage? I think it’s great you took good care of your fish. But they’re still prisoners none the less. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing you, just being a voice for the voiceless. I think it’s great that you take such good care of your bettas. They certainly aren’t objects, and it’s so sad how most people treat them like it.

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  242. I have 3 bettas as well, and have spent a lot of time studying bettas. I am convinced that they do hear sounds and recognize them. I sing to my bettas and there are certain songs that they respond to and others that they do not. I put my hand on the glass and they come to the glass and respond when it is a song they like and ignore it completely when it isn’t.
    I am also a moderator on a Betta forum and this article has been mentioned there so you are likely to have a lot of visitors soon.
    Good luck to you and your bettas from another Betta lover. Aren’t they simply the finest companions?

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  243. Hi Cindy. I don’t think Betta fish can hear, at least not in the way we understand it. But I did notice they were very responsive to water movements. So anything that will cause the water to move or vibrate, they will notice. I’m sure they’ll notice the rock music because of the aggressive beats. I’m not sure what effect it’ll have on them, but I think it’d be an interesting experiment to perform.

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  244. Hi, my name is Cindy Flores and i am doing a Science Fair Project on Betta fish based on how different music affects their aggressiveness. Can they listen to music? And do you think that rock music will get them angrier or just stress them out and do less? I would appreciate it if you can email me back. Thanks for your time.

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