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Betta Fish Care - Seven Hot Tips on How to Care for Betta Fish
by Richard Fenn

Sure everyone loves Goldfish but there are a very similar type of highly colored and active fish that are just as easy to care for. I'm talking about Betta fish, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish. Hailing from the Mekong river in Asia these beautiful fish usually grow to about 6cm in length although some may reach 8cm's or more. One little known fact is that their natural color is actually a dark green and brown. We see the bright colored ones today simply because of selective breeding by breeders from around the world.

Betta fish are very easy to care for and this makes them a great choice for people who have busy lifestyles and wish to keep pet fish. Below are seven hot tips to keep your Betta fish in tip top shape.

Number 1 - Simple Monitoring

After you've had your Betta fish for a while you will soon recognize their behaviors and activities. You will soon be able to see if your Betta fish are poorly. If your fish seem lethargic measure the temperature of the water. Too cold and your fish will seem listless. The ideal water temperature should be about 28 degrees centigrade (approximately 82 Fahrenheit).

Number 2 - Keep The Water Clean

This may sound obvious to some but your Betta fish need clean water. You shouldn't need a water filter but try to change at least a quarter of the tanks water twice a week. This will insure that it stays nice and clean and will help to keep away any infections. Try not to use water straight out of the cold tap but leave it out for a day at least to let it settle. Be sure to use a PH testing kit (you can get these from your favorite pet store) and try to keep the PH at around 7.0.

Number 3 - Size Matters!

When choosing a tank make sure it will be large enough for your Betta fish to swim around comfortably. A 20 liter tank is ideal. Sharp rocks and stones should be avoided. You don't want your pride and joy to rip or tear any of his/her fins.

Number 4 - Keep A Lid On It

Betta fish like to jump! Knowing this try to keep the water level approximately 6 centimeters below the top of your tank. This, along with the lid, should stop your fish flipping themselves onto the table for your cat to find. DO NOT use an air tight lid! Bettas can take oxygen direct from the waters surface so make sure there are good air holes in the lid.

Number Five - Fish Need Friends Too

It is a wise idea never to keep other Betta fish in the same tank. They are not called Siamese fighting fish for nothing! Try not to keep mirrors or shiny surfaces near the tank as they will flare up at the slightest sign of another Betta, even if it's themselves. Male Bettas tend to be the worst for this type of behavior. It may be fun to watch but all you will do is stress your fish and decrease its lifespan. You can keep other fish with your Bettas. Loaches, platies (or moons) and Cory catfish are ideal tankmates.

Number 6 - Cleaning

Never (and we mean never) use soap or detergents to clean out your fish tank. Simply use a plastic brush and warm water to scrub any rocks or decorations you may have. To remove any old food from the bottom of the tank try using a pipette or a kitchen baster. This will ensure your tank stays nice and fresh and doesn't smell.

Number 7 - Food

Your Betta fish will absolutely love live food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. Feeding them live food will keep them active and it is great fun to watch them gobbling them all up. For variety try feeding them on thinly chopped vegetables like broccoli, carrots and soybeans. They will enjoy these just as much as live food. Feeding your Bettas on a wider range of food will help them to live longer.

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