- Healthy fish are more active than less healthy fish.
- Look for signs of physical damage.
- Look for discolorations that could indicate illness.
Examine the water it is kept in. Check to see if it is dirty. Look to see if there is too much food, indicating that the fish is being over fed, or not eating. These can be telltale signs of poor care, possibly shortening your fish's life.
Look at the other fish. Just because the fish you picked looked healthy, doesn't mean that it hasn't caught an illness from the water a store gives it. It might have caught something from other fish, if it is in a community tank. If many of the other fish nearby seem to be unhealthy, the fish you chose might be, too.
Don't get more than one at a time. Even though it is possible to keep bettas in a tank with other bettas, every fish has a little bit of a different personality. To be sure no fish gets harmed, keep your betta in a tank by itself, and don't buy other fish along with it.
Part 2Setting Up the Tank
- Select the appropriate sized tank. Though many people claim that bettas are happy in very small puddles, these fish actually prefer water that is a foot or two deep, similar to the depth of rice paddies in which they are commonly found. Pick a tank that is at least a couple gallons in size, so that your betta has a comfortable amount of space to swim around in. Generally, a tank that is less than two gallons will not be big enough.
- Add plants. Plants make a wonderful addition to your tank. Many people choose artificial plants, because they are lower maintenance. Live plants, though requiring some care, can help to improve the quality of your betta's water by filtering it and adding oxygen. In either case, when selecting live or artificial plants, it is important to avoid those with too hard or sharp of a surface. These can damage the fragile fins of your fish. These are some plants that will be safe for your fish.
- Silk plants
- Live Java ferns
- Live Christmas tree moss
- Add clean water. This is one of the most essential elements of setting up a tank. Adding water straight from the tap can kill your fish. Chemicals such as chlorine and fluoxetine, as well as many others found in tap water, are very harmful to fish. They can significantly harm your fish and decrease their lifespan. It is crucial to buy a water conditioner to add to your tank's water, before you introduce your pet. This water may also need to sit a few days, so that there is enough dissolved oxygen in it for your fish to breathe.
- Warm the water in your tank. When water comes out of the tap, it is not typically the right temperature for your fish. As betta fish are native to Southeast Asia, they prefer warm water. Ideal temperature for their tank ranges from 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to buy a heater and thermometer, in order to keep your fish healthy.
- Warm water will make your fish more active, as well as helping with their overall health.
- If they get too cold, they can die.
- When first setting up your tank, it will take some time for the heater to warm the water at first. You should let sit a day or two, before adding your fish.
- In addition, when introducing your fish, it is important to make sure that the water they come from is the same temperature as the water they go into. Let the bag or container holding the fish sit in the new tank's water, long enough to become the same temperature, so the temperature change doesn't shock your fish, causing death.
- Select good tank companions. You can't just put a betta in a tank with any fish. They are aggressive. Two male bettas in a tank together will likely kill each other. Though female bettas can be kept together in a sorority, it is also possible that they may injure each other. Many people opt to keep bettas in solitary tanks, but if you choose to keep them with docile companions, pick appropriate ones.
- Neon tetra (in a school)
- Glass catfish
- Blue Gourami