Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides


View Our Betta Care Guide Infographic!


Rice Paddies of Southeast Asia

Tank Temperature:





Betta Fish Food includes Flakes and pellets formulated for bettas, meaty frozen foods, brine shrimp, and blood worms; feed a small amount once daily or every other day

BETTAS DO NOT EAT THE ROOTS OF PLANTS SUSPENDED ABOVE THE WATER! This is a popular misconception about this particular setup. If you happen to see your betta nibbling the roots, this is probably just out of starvation (if you aren't feeding it) or boredom.


Generally peaceful, but can be aggressive and territorial; multiple bettas in the same tank will fight.



Best kept alone though some may tolerate similarly-sized non-agressive fish. Avoid brightly colored fish. Do not keep more than one betta in a tank. Males will fight to the death with males, and kill females when not breeding.


Siamese Fighting Fish, or bettas, are tropical fish found in the warm, shallow waters of Southeast Asia. Bettas have unique adaptations that allow them to live and thrive in stagnant pools, including the ability to breathe atmospheric air in addition to breathing with their gills. You may see your betta take a gulp of air at the surface of his water from time to time.

There are many different species of bettas, though the most popular in the aquarium hobby is Betta splendens. Wild bettas have dull coloration and relatively short fins. The brilliantly colored, long-finned beauties you commonly see have been selectively bred to show those greatly desired traits.


Betta behaviors make them as popular as their appearance. They earned the label of fighting fish due to the aggression males in particular show toward each other. A male will flare his fins and gills in an impressive display, even if faced with his own reflection. Males that encounter one another in a closed environment will often fight to the death.

Males may also show aggression towards females unless they are ready to spawn. The male betta builds an elaborate bubble nest on the water's surface. He then courts a willing female, dancing and flaring and eventually wrapping his body around hers in a spawning "nuptial embrace." After she releases the eggs, he gathers them and deposits them in the nest where they will hatch and develop for several days until they reach a free-swimming stage. At between 3 to 6 weeks of age, the fry will develop labyrinth organs which allow them to breathe atmospheric oxygen.



Bettas are low maintenance and easy care fish, which makes them a popular fish for beginners and children. They can be kept in filtered tanks as small as 3 gallons. Keep your tank away from drafts and cool breezes and use a heater if necessary, as the temperature should be a maintained at between 75 and 80 degrees. Avoid tanks less than 3 gallons in size and unfiltered bowls. These little carnivores feed on mosquito larvae and similar foods in the wild, but commercial betta fish foods, freeze-dried bloodworms and other small meaty treats will be accepted in the aquarium. Live plants such as Java Moss, Java Fern or a strand of Anacharis or Hornwort will provide a place for your fish to relax and help to keep the water clean and oxygenated.

For more information on live plants for betta tanks, check out our article Acceptable Plants for Bettas.


We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

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