Between my husband’s and K’s pet dander allergy, we are very limited to what we can have as a pet at home. Growing up as a child, we had all types of animals, big and small. We had freshwater fish, a turtle, a gecko, a tarantula, hamsters, gerbils, and cats. But at this moment, freshwater fish was the best choice for our family especially with an active toddler.
Over the years, many fish had come and gone but our favorites are Mollies and Bettas (a.k.a. Siamese Fighting Fish). They are very resilient and perfect for beginners. Our last Red Veiltail Betta (male) fish passed due to dropsy (bloat) and he was a fighter. Upon diagnosis, I treated the water with aquarium salt and antibiotics. Just to keep him comfortable. We all knew that he wasn’t going to be with us much longer.
We waited a while before we decided on another fish. I cleaned our 3 gallon tank thoroughly and kept it running with a small filter for weeks. And now…
Welcome home, Olaf! He is truly a Frozen-inspired Blue Veiltail Betta (male) fish. He has dark and light hues of blue on his body with splashes of red on the tips of his fins. He is beautiful!
For your reference, here are 5 important tips on caring for them:
The size of your tank can be between 1 gallon and 5 gallons. Bettas love the open space so if you can maintain a bigger tank, then go for it. We have a Top Fin 3 gallon tank which included a filtration system and LED light. This filter fortunately looked like a plastic rod sprinkler with several holes. Since Bettas prefer a low current, I managed to tweak the filter so that the water flow wasn’t too strong. I just taped over some of the spray holes and it worked wonderfully. I partially change the water once per month with the filter. Otherwise, without the filter in the tank, you will need to partially change the water every week.
We have a small plastic plant, gravel, and a small cave. Just enough for a small tank. Bettas enjoy hiding under plants and inside caves while resting.
3. Water temperature
The perfect water temperature should be between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. We have a mini heater in the tank to maintain this warm temperature. You will notice that Bettas are more alert and attentive to you in warmer water temperatures.
Bettas are carnivores. They eat insects, brine shrimp, and plankton in their natural habitats. We rotate the feeding with tropical fish food flakes, Betta pellets, and freeze-dried bloodworms. The size of their stomach is comparable to the size of their eye. So keep that in mind and do not overfeed. Feeding once or twice per day is sufficient.
These bright-colored beauties are a pure joy to have as pets. They are very friendly and curious. They do well alone or with tank mates that do not have long finnage. They can become aggressive if they feel threatened by another fish with similar traits to a male Betta. You can always confirm the fish compatibility with your pet store associate. And the coolest thing is… they always greet you and sometimes, will give you kisses on your hand.
A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. - Maya Angelou