What are the basic things you need in setting up the ideal betta fish aquarium?  A glass tank, heater, filter, lid, betta fish food, gravel siphon, plants, gravel, water conditioner, water test kit, light, net, rocky caves or other suitable underwater figurines.  But more than completing the tank set up, there are certain things that are imperative once you get your betta fish tank working.  Here are some tips you need to learn about and then apply.

Never keep your betta in a fish bowl.  It's so small it's like housing your betta in a prison cell.  The bettas in a vase craze is even unhealthier for your betta.  Sure the peace lily might glam up your interior decorating but it's simply inhumane. Instead, house your bettas in a tank with two and a half gallons of capacity or more.

Allow your betta to breathe.  Bettas have labyrinth organs that give them the ability to breathe atmospheric air.  So while a lid is important to keep your bettas from jumping off, do not cover the tank entirely.  The idea is to allow some air to come in since bettas need it.

Set the heater at the right setting.  Getting a heater is not enough. You have to select the right heater so you don't experience problems in the future.  And I mean getting a heater that comes with thermostat adjustments so you can create a stable temp for your bettas.  Bettas thrive in water with a temperature range of 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Bad idea:  Thinking of setting up some lamps to heat up your betta tank?  This is insane. So cut the crap because it's not healthy for your fish to run the lights 24/7.  And if you turn off the light, say good bye to heat too.  

Better idea:  If you can't afford to get a decent heater then don't keep a betta fish at all.

Speaking of which, provide a proper night and day cycle.  Assuming you want your betta to live a good long time, the key is to mimic their natural habitats.  And it's natural for most any fish in the wild to experience the night and day cycle.  So position the betta fish in a room that receives natural light.  Otherwise, set up some lamp to light up the perimeter of the tank.  Just be sure to turn the lights off during bedtime since bettas prefer it this way.  Yes, lights off please!

Pick the gentle filter.  When setting up a filter in the tank, choose a product that produces mild flow.  Since bettas really get disturbed with strong currents and this can make them somewhat nauseated.  But if you got a very powerful filter, be sure to control the flow of the current by either placing some plants over the filter output so water that gushes wouldn't be as strong.

Test the water regularly.  Some think that as long as they see the tank water to be clear, then it should be safe for the betta. But clear water does not mean clean water.  You have to more or less constantly monitor the toxin levels of your tank water.  Make sure there are no traces of ammonia and nitrates.  Be sure to monitor the pH level as well.

Indeed, there is so much more to betta fish keeping other than completing the basic betta fish set up.  The right equipment along with the right techniques will certainly keep your betta healthy, happy, and strong.
RESOURCE BOX: As you can tell, Clovis Calcara is a betta enthusiast who loves writing about what to feed bettas, the most popular tail types, even treating troublesome betta diseases. If you have your eye on a female betta fish despite the fact that males are all the rage, learn how to care for them at the leading betta fish web site Better-Bettas.com.


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    April 2012