Before getting a new pet, whether it’s a puppy, cat, bird, fish, etc., you should know everything there is to know about your new pet’s needs. From how much space they need to the food they eat, there is so much information to keep in mind before getting any pet. And perhaps one of the most misunderstood pets as far as their needs go is the betta fish.
We often see photos and video of betta fish being kept in small water bowls at the bottom of plants with little to no room to move around. They are typically left without heaters, filters or live plants to hide between. But is this providing the best habitat for your beta to thrive? Keep reading to find out.
Misconception #1: My betta can live happily in a bowl.
In pet stores, betas are kept in extremely tiny, empty containers. However, this is only for transportation purposes and betas should live in a tank that is no smaller than a fourth gallon once at their permanent home. According to BettaCareFishGuide.com, bigger tanks keep the water temperature at a more stable level. Plus, bettas need space to roam around, much like any other animal.
Think about it like this: Would you keep a dog in it’s crate for the entirety of its life? The answer to that is of course, no. Keeping your betta in a small bowl is about the same equivalent. Keep your betta healthy and happy and give it a comfortable home. They are more than just decoration.
Misconception #2: My betta tank doesn’t need a filter if it has live plants.
While yes, putting live plants in your bettas tank is a great way to emulate it’s natural environment, plants don’t replace the need for a water filter. Bettas actually breathe air, not water. However, according to AquaticDelights.com, filters are still important to help the rotation of useful bacteria cultures. Additionally, filters aid in oxygen flow throughout the tank.
Keep in mind when getting your water filter that bettas prefer calm waters and, as such, you should get a filter with a low flow.
Misconception #3: Bettas don’t get bored.
Again, would you be comfortable and happy living in an empty room? No, you would quickly become uneasy and desperate for something to do. Bettas are much the same as they, like us, are quite intelligent and can easily get bored. Additionally, HealthyPets.Mercola.Com states that bettas can even be trained to recognize their owners as well as do tricks like jump through hoops.
To keep your betta from getting bored, fill up its tank with live plants like anubius, bamboo, and java fern. Also consider getting some sort of hiding place for your betta. Pet stores sell all sorts of aquarium caves for your betta to enjoy.
With all of these misconceptions in mind, you are well on your way to being prepared to have a betta fish of your very own. Remember before purchasing any pet that it is a long term responsibility, no matter how big or small.