Stop Killing Your Betta Fish

Stop Killing Your Betta Fish! Betta fish are stunning creatures with their vibrant colors and unique personalities, but unfortunately, many betta fish suffer from inadequate care, leading to unnecessary deaths. In this blog, we’ll explore the common reasons why betta fish die. We’ll also provide you with essential tips to ensure your betta stays happy and healthy.

Tran Ngoc Thang poses with Betta fish or Siamese fighting fish raised inside glass jars at his ornamental fish farm in Hanoi on April 13, 2021. (Photo by Nhac NGUYEN / AFP)

One of the primary culprits behind betta fish deaths is poor water quality. Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates can build up and harm your fish. This leads to stress, diseases, and even death. Unlike other fish, betta have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air from the water’s surface. This adaptation enables them to survive in oxygen-poor environments, but it also means they can breathe harmful substances like ammonia and nitrites which eventually impact their health and lead to death. Regular water changes are the key to good water quality. Performing partial water changes (about 20-30%) once a week will help remove accumulated toxins and provide essential minerals for your betta’s well-being. A good-quality aquarium filter is essential to keeping the water clean and clear. The filter removes waste and toxins, promoting a healthy environment for your betta fish.

Keeping your betta in a small, inadequate tank is another major issue. They need space to swim and explore their surroundings. Betta fish are highly active fish with a natural instinct to explore their surroundings. In small tanks, they have limited space to swim and exercise, which can lead to stress and boredom. Without adequate swimming space, betta may become lethargic and lose their vibrant colors. In small tanks, water quality can become poor rapidly. Accumulated waste and uneaten food can raise ammonia and nitrite levels, which harm betta fish. Also makes them more susceptible to diseases and infections. Betta fish are territorial fish, and in small tanks, they might feel constantly stressed due to a lack of personal space. Stress can lead to aggressive behavior, resulting in fin-nipping and injuries, especially in community setups. 

Provide your betta with a tank of at least 5 gallons or more. It is better for them to have more space, as they will be happier! While 5 gallons is the minimum, bigger tanks are even better! A larger tank provides more stable water conditions, which are easier to maintain. Betta fish in larger tanks have more freedom to display their natural behaviors and lead healthier lives.

One of the most common feeding mistakes is overfeeding. As responsible caretakers, we may be tempted to keep feeding our betta fish with food to show them love, but this can lead to serious consequences. Overfeeding causes excess food to accumulate in the tank, leading to poor water quality. Uneaten food decomposes, releasing harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrites. These toxins stress fish, weaken their immune system, and make them susceptible to diseases. 

One of the most common feeding mistakes is the consumption of poor-quality foods that lack essential nutrients. Betta fish need a balanced and varied diet to stay healthy and vibrant. It can lead to weakened immune systems, loss of color vibrancy, and poor fin condition when food lacks essential nutrients. A poorly fed betta will not fight off diseases effectively and may become lethargic and inactive. 

To prevent overfeeding, feed your betta small portions once or twice a day. Remember, their stomachs are only about the size of their eyes. Feed them the amount of food they can be consumed in 2 minutes. Offer your betta a balanced diet of high-quality pellets specifically formulated for betta fish. These pellets should contain essential nutrients and vitamins to support their overall health. Additionally, you can supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms occasionally. The variety will keep them excited about mealtimes and ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Low temperatures can harm betta fish’s health and well-being. Being cold-blooded creatures, betta fish rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. When temperatures fall below their ideal range, several issues can arise. In cold water, betta fish become inactive, and their metabolic rate decreases. They become less active and lethargic, spending more time at the bottom of the tank. Low temperatures can weaken the betta’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to diseases and infections. They may become more susceptible to common betta health issues like fin rot and ich. Cold temperatures can also slow down betta digestion. Undigested food may accumulate in their digestive tract, leading to bloating and constipation.

The ideal water temperature range for betta fish is between 76°F and 82°F. This temperature range simulates their natural habitat and supports their well-being. In colder environments or during the winter months, an aquarium heater is essential. The heater will maintain a stable and consistent temperature within the desired range. Use a reliable aquarium thermistor to monitor the water temperature regularly. Ensure it remains within the ideal range to prevent sudden fluctuations that stress the betta fish.

Stop Killing Your Betta Fish.