The Ultimate Male Betta Fish Q&A

Share This With Friends

It’s easy to see why some get into keeping male betta fish. Yet those charged with taking care of them often have questions that they need answers to. And since the same ones come up again and again let’s see if we can’t shed some light on them. All to make betta keeping that much more fun and rewarding.

Q: What is the best tank set up for a male Betta Splendens?
A: Sure, some will tell you any sized bowel is sufficient since you betta fish can live in tight quarters and suck oxygen from the atmosphere if need be. But the bottom line is will it thrive? Getting a pet with the idea of giving it the bare necessities is a bad idea. Especially when the betta fish life span can be as long as 3-5 years when given optimum living conditions. Besides, in some tiny bowel, water conditions can go south just that much quicker with dire consequences for your pet. So the best tank set up for any of these fish is a combination that includes:

The right sized tank: The smallest tank you should even consider to house your prized betta is 5 gallons. If you can upsize it to 10 gallons all the better. You may be surprised how active they can be given the right conditions. Bigger is better too if you’re planning to keep other fish with your betta since they can get highly territorial anyway. None-the-less fighting fish are better off left by themselves in their own individual tank rather than be mixed with other fish species even if they are betta fish friendly. Oh and since bettas are known jumpers you’d also need to cover the tank in some way so tragedy doesn’t strike a pretty boy like this one.

Now you may see bettas kept in vases or other unusual shaped containers. Showy perhaps. Functional? Not so much. Such betta barracks are harder to keep clean and heat too so you’re better off sticking with the more traditional rectangular shaped aquariums.

The right water: Water quality is another crucial element of a better betta tank set up. These fish need warm, high quality water. Seeing that your water is clear is simply not enough to conclude that indeed your water is free of lethal toxins. This is also why you need to test your water periodically using a test kit to make sure there are no ammonia and nitrites present that can be very harmful to your fish.

It also goes without saying that doing regular water changes is a must – if you want healthy fish. Even if you’ve cycled your tank’s water, you may want to install a filter to help keep your water clean. The presence of a filter means you’ll be able to get away with fewer water changes. You do want to take care not to use a filter with a strong current since this may stress out your betta fish. Too much water movement can be hard on your male’s delicate fins too. Can you see this guy swimming upstream like that?

Most importantly these guys are tropical fish. They thrive in warm water. So you obviously need to install a water heater to keep your finny friend warm. And be sure to set the temperature within the 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit range.

The right ornaments: Some people think a properly sized tank with quality water would be more than enough to keep their bettas happy. But wouldn’t you like to make your dazzling halfmoon much happier? You can do so by placing plants and caves or other ornaments aoo to keep your fish engaged and boredom free. Thing like this give them something to explore which again can help to keep them from being bored. Also, such ornaments are not only for aesthetic purposes since they also serve as your betta’s hiding places whenever they feel threatened. Again, flowing fins like these are so delicate then an get easily torn by sharp edges. So be careful with the kind of ornaments you put in. Silk and live plants are much preferred since they don’t have rough edges unlike with plastic plants.

The right food: These Siamese fighters have nutritional needs that just will not be satisfied with ordinary tropical fish flakes. They are meat eaters after all. So you really should buy pellets specially formulated for them. Then too the key is to vary their diet daily if possible. Betta pellets can be fed twice a day several days a week. Other days you can give frozen bloodworms, freeze dried brine shrimp or daphnia or most exciting of all live mosquito larvae. It’s also important to fast your betta once a week. They won’t starve and their digestive system will benefit from a break from the dinner table.

Get it all right and you might have a mesmerizing male beta like this to entertain you:

Other Male Betta Fish Questions

Q: Why do solitary males blow bubbles at the top of their tank?
A: First this is a good thing. Male bettas blowing bubble nests at the top of their tank should be taken as a sign that they are in top condition suitable for breeding. Basically the bubble nest is formed by what you might term the hopeful male on the surface of the water or beneath a floating plant since this is where the eggs will eventually be stashed until they hatch. Although you don’t have to necessarily breed them at any point you see those bubbles since betta breeding is another complicated topic which you need to delve into before you decide to do it. Simply put it, the means your betta is healthy and happy which is why it’s blowing bubbles.

Q: How often do these guyss do this bubble thing?
A: Although you could say it’s a guy thing, whether your particular guy is into building bubble nests depends somewhat on the mental makeup of the particular fish itself. There are some that build such nests when they’re happy. Or when they’re trying to impress their girl. Some notice this bubble nest building activity after doing water changes – which is more of an instinctive behavior in them. Actually, some might suggest that the fact that yours is busy building a bubble nest may be a sign things could be better in his tank. Although I’m not so sure about that.

Q: Can you keep a male and female fighting fish in the same tank?
A: Bad idea actually. Fact is you cannot keep members of the opposite sex in the same tank unless you’re breeding them. And you cannot breed them unless you condition them. Yet even if properly conditioned, where the female has vertical stripes and appears receptive and all, timing is still everything. Which is to say you cannot just dump them together without proper introduction. Otherwise they could end up nipping each other’s fins or fighting to the death, or something in between just depends on the mood.

Everything has to be done step by step. Extremely simplified you need to place the male betta in the tank for a few days to let it adjust and stake out its territory so to speak. Then you can introduce the potential mate but housed in a hurricane lamp globe first as way of safe introduction. This will give them a chance to get to know each other first before you finally release the female into the tank for spawning. Assuming all goes well after the female releases her eggs, you’d want to immediately get her out of the breeding tank so the eggs aren’t at risk. And so you don’t risk the halfmoon male injuring her in his attempts to drive his former beloved away.



Q: Before I forget, what exactly does conditioning mean?
A: Somewhat beyond the scope of this article, however real quick – conditioning betta fish means that you are getting them into tip top shape so they can withstand the rigors of breeding. You accomplish this primarily by diet. At this time, you want to feed your bettas a high quality diet weighted towards live food like brine shrimp. Or at least frozen foods. Some would suggest you make sure your betta- dad-in-waiting gets plenty of blood worms, tubiflex worms or frozen glass worms.

Q: What species or possible tank mates are these Siamese fighting fish compatible with?
A: Not many. And not for long. For the most part these fish would rather live in solitude although younger females are open to sorority tank living. But if you’re really eager to include them in a community tank then you have to carefully follow the right guidelines so none of your fish end up breathless and lifeless. Which could include your prized beta. The big idea to keep n mind not to add fish which resemble betas in terms of their vivid colors and graceful fins since yours could feel threatened by them and react accordingly. Fish that have usually been found to be compatible with bettas are neon tetras, platties, cardinals, as well as those that only dwell on the bottom of the tank such as the Corydoras and Otocinclus species. Those should work although compatibility can vary fish to fish.

Male or female crowntails, halfmoons or more common veiltails even can provide hours of enjoyment and entertainment. You just need to know a few things to treat them right is all. This brief Q&A about the male of the species should help to enhance what you know about them and how to handle common questions that may come to mind when keeping the sometimes aggressive but always entertaining male betta fish as pets.

About Lucas
Putting a name with a face I'm Lucas Smatana. Like you I'm passionate about betta fish and hope to share my enthusiasm. The idea here is to make sure you get helpful info and useful ideas on betta fish care that really work. To insure your betta keeping experience is a good one both for you and your fish. So that you and your pet enjoy a long, happy and healthy relationship.

Share This With Friends


Leave a Reply

Copyright 2012