Everything You Wanted to Know About Betta Fish But Were Afraid to Ask

Lots of people see these little guys and have questions. Here I attempt to answer the more common questions and dispel myths.

How do you pronounce Betta?

How do you pronounce Betta?
Say Bet Uh, not Bait Uh.

How can you tell males from females?

Typically, males Betta fish are more colorful, and have fancier fins than females. Most of the fish you see are males. Breeders usually keep the females for breeding purposes. To be truly sure of their gender you want to look for a white spot just ahead of their anal fin, that being the big fin on their underside. The presence of this spot indicates a female.

Image Source

Can you put them together?

No, they will fight and kill each other. In the wild the weaker fish would try to escape from the stronger one. Males will even fight females, and unless they are in a fairly large tank, females may try to fight other females.

If you cannot put them together how do they breed?

To breed Bettas, you need to put the female in the same tank with the male, but with a barrier between them. After a period of time she will enter her breeding phase, in which her color pattern changes so she has vertical markings on her sides. She will secrete a hormone into the water to indicate to the male that she is a female and is ready to breed. After they spawn the female should be removed so the male can tend the eggs.

Why is my fish blowing bubbles?

This is common in male fish even if females are not present. He is making a bubble nest. If a female were present he would build a more elaborate nest.

Can you put them with other fish?

If your tank is large enough you can, however it is important that the fish look nothing like Bettas. Guppies, for example, resemble Betta fish, and as such a Betta will chase them and bite their fins. Bettas are quite happy on their own so do not require companionship. They prefer still water so the filter and aerator, in larger tanks, may disturb them.

How often should I change the water?

In the wild they live in muddy ponds so are somewhat tolerant of dirty water. However, in tanks the water evaporates making the remaining water very contaminated, and salty, over time. You should change their water every two weeks to four weeks. To not traumatize your fish too much you might only change a portion of the water, one-fourth to one-half. Make sure the new water is at the same temperature as the water in the tank. Do this by leaving the new water out for a few hours. If your water is treated you must remove the chlorine, either by using special chemicals or by sitting the water out for 24 hours.

How big of a tank should they have?

In stores they are often kept in cup sized containers. This is somewhat cruel as they can not straighten out their bodies to swim Your container should be at least four times the length of the fish. Make sure your tank has a lid as they can jump. Never buy a fish from a store where they cannot straighten out their body, you are supporting the sellers for keeping them cheaply.  Gallon sized tanks are good, or larger is better.

Blue Japanese Fighter by RESchroeder.


How much do you feed them?

There is a myth that you do not need to feed them and they will eat from plants you provide, however this is untrue as the fish are carnivores. They require fish food specifically made for Bettas, generally sold as pellets. They can be fed 1-3 small pellets a day, or 3-5 every two days. You can also feed them brine shrimp. Some people feed their fish only once or twice a week but this is harder on their stomachs. Do not over feed your fish or it will die.

How do they breathe?

Unlike most fish they usually do not use their gills, they do not need oxygen in the water. They have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breath oxygen from the surface. Therefore it is very important they have lots of surface area at the top of the tank and it is not crowded with plants.

Why is my fish not swimming around?

Betta’s prefer warm water conditions, they are not as active in cooler tanks. Or your fish is sick.

How long do they live?

Betta fish can live for four years or more. Unless you purchase from a breeder, you will not know how old the fish is when you buy it, but you should expect it it live for at least three more years.

Other Information

When you buy your fish, try to select one from a reputable seller, do not buy the fish kept in tiny jars because you feel sorry for them. Not only will you be rewarding the seller for his cruelty but your fish will not be as healthy.

Other Links

The Beautiful Betta

Cruelty in the Aquarium Industry

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User Comments
  1. Tallis

    On February 13, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Nice article, Mark, but I wanted point out that bettas do use their gills to breathe just as other fish do. The labyrinth organ does allow them to breathe some air from the surface, but it is a backup organ. Their gills are their primary breathing organ. I agree that it is important to ensure they have plenty of space at the surface so that they can breathe using the labyrinth organ, but it’s just as important to ensure their water is properly oxygenated as well, as it should be for all gill-breathers.

  2. Mark

    On February 16, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Aeration is a constant matter of debate in concern to Bettas. Some claim Aeration can hurt Bettas others claim lack of Aeration can hurt Bettas. Most likely a debate that will never be settled. As there are people that have beautiful specimens they’ve kept for longer than the standard Betta lifespan without Aeration and ones that only lasted a week with Aeration. As well as those who have kept beautiful specimens for longer than the standard Betta Lifespan with Aeration and those who didn’t have Aeration that lasted only a week. I’ve witnessed some people get into very heated arguements about this subject as well. I rather not have this turn into one of those such arguements. So I will leave this with what people have success with if they have worked with Bettas in the past and what people feel comfortable with trying if they are new to Bettas.

  3. Erica

    On February 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Question: Is it cruel to have a male and female betta in separate tanks in full view of eachother and NOT breed them when they are showing all signs of being ready? Should I move one of the tanks and/or keep them out of view of each other…..HELP! I do not want to mistreat them unknowingly.
    Appreciate any feedback.

  4. Denice

    On February 20, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    to Erica – keeping these fish in view of each other is often considered healthy for them, it encourages more activity. When in sperate tanks the male wont smell her hormones so its fine

  5. Mark

    On February 23, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Hi Erica,

    What Denise said is correct. By signs of being ready what exactly do you mean? Is the male creating a bubble nest? Is the female getting more colour? Or are they simply swimming bask and forth noticing each other? The latter is not so much as a result of a breeding behavior as it is just entertainment for them. If the female is having drastic colour changes and the male is making a bubble nest then they are ready to breed. If this is the case and you don’t want them to breed slightly lower the temperature of the room you are keeping them in. This should inhibit breeding as their breeding is somewhat dependent on temperature.

    If you do plan on breeding them you will need to put them in a larger tank for their mating. I would not suggest doing this unless you have plenty of room for the offspring. One mating could result in offspring that would take up all of the room in a small apartment. Remember as these fish grow bigger they must be housed and fed seperately. Feeding and making water changes for a couple of Bettas isn’t that big of deal. Feeding and making water changes for 200 to 300 or more is. I’ve done this and it is time consuming at best. Also most Pet Store already have their breeder or source of Bettas and finding homes for all of the offspring could take some time.

  6. ________________

    On March 29, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    I Really Liked This Website!!!!! Very Informative!!!!!

  7. Deanna

    On March 31, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Wow thanks a million everyone, this was alot of help. BUT do they really have 200 to 300 babies?? Also, what if I just kept the amount of babies that I can give away and keep, would that be animal cruelty??

  8. Amy

    On April 5, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    My betta fish won’t eat his/her food why?

  9. Rhian

    On April 9, 2008 at 7:32 am

    My fish isn’t even a year old yet. His tank is big enough for him to move around enough to. When i first got him, he made bubble nests. Lately this has stopped, he has also become a very pale colour, and does not show off his fins like he use to. All he does now is lay on the bottom of the tank and stay there (only moves occasionally). His food alternates between flakes and pellets, but lately he isn’t eating. I change about half a cup of his water every second day, with some water that has been put aside with a “Betta Basics” formula in it to make the pH level right. I was given a sheet of information and instructions on how to care for him, and i have been following it exactly. I am really worried about him, and don’t want him to die!!!

  10. Mark

    On April 10, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Amy – is it BETTA PELLETS?

    Rhian – you may be changing the water too much.. once a week is fine – or even every two weeks… are you over feeding him?
    sometimes if their tank isnt warm enough (as often happens in the winter) they dont swim as much.

  11. corrie

    On April 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    can a betta fish be fed goldfish food either pellets or flakes. i live 2 hours from the city and can’t find any betta food around here

  12. Mark

    On April 21, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    NO. Betta fish need Betta food.. Lucky they only eat 3 pellets a day, so you can buy one container of food and it will easily last the lifetime of your fish… take one trip to get the right food. Check livestock feed stores too, you might find it there.

  13. Juan

    On April 30, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    wow so when its upside down wat does that mean

  14. Danny

    On May 1, 2008 at 12:44 am

    I just bought my Crowntail Betta today. I put it in a clean tank with clean water at room temperature. I fed it 3 pellets of Betta food. It eats 1, chews on it, spits it out 3 seconds later. And does the same with the other 2 pellets. Is that normal? Or maybe he needs to get used to it?

  15. Danny

    On May 1, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Oh and does this information apply to Crowntail Bettas as well?

  16. Mark

    On May 19, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    YEs, Crowntails are the same species, just with a different tail variation

  17. tenshi_11

    On May 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    my mom’s friend gave me 5 in 5 tanks one for each Betta fish and all 4 of them are swimming but the 5th one is just floating in the water it moves some times but not much.

    oh by the way it also does not eat much ether and I’m worried bout him I don’t want him to die!!!!

  18. tenshi_11

    On May 30, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    oh I forgot he does not have much color on him

  19. teshi_11

    On May 30, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Is “Wardley Essentials” tropical fish flakes okay to feed them?

  20. Mark Gordon Brown

    On May 31, 2008 at 12:14 am

    teshi_11… sometimes fish have bad starts before you get them.. he might have a problem that you cannot fix.. so give him time and treat him as you should. They need BETTA food, most tropical fish flakes do not have enough protein.

  21. tenshi_11

    On May 31, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Thanks Mark I will get some soon .

    also me and my mom put him in a bigger bowl he seems a little more aktive.

    one thing thats funny is put a meror in the bowl there geles get big and they think its another betta fish me and my mom wacht them do that and its relly funny

  22. tenshi_11

    On June 3, 2008 at 5:46 pm


    thanks i wont do that again

  23. Jessica

    On June 3, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I bought a betta from petco today and brought him into my house , while I was letting his new tank prepare for him by allowwing the water to become room temperature I felt it best to leave him in the container in which he came. I went next door for dinner to come back a short hour or two later and find him floating at the bottom on his side appearing to be gasping for air or jolting, rather, a few minutes later he died. I was rather displeased and wondered if I needed to go to Petco and discuss this issue with them or could it have been something I did, such as the temp in my house, a little on the cooler side?

  24. Jessica

    On June 6, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I am sorry to hear about your fish, my guess is there was not enough oxygen for him in the bag (assuming it was a closed bag he was in) Pet store fish are usually stressed already so the whole thing is a delicate process, I would talk to the store anyhow, especially if the bag was open when you got home so he did have fresh air. If not he possibly Suffocated.

  25. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 16, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    whoops, that last message was from ME to Jessica

  26. wow

    On June 26, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    wow that taught me a bunch of stuff I have not known.

  27. Angil

    On June 27, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    okay i have a question.. my daughter won the beta and all the gave us was the fish a bowl and a container of betta flakes, but i keep hearing everyone sayin give the fish pellets… should i go buy pellets instead of the flakes…?

  28. tanth

    On June 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I just got a new betta at petland today was the first day i fed him he would eat the pellet and spit it out and then eat it again and i al ready now that it wasnt the food because it was a special beeta fish and it is the same thing that the people at pet land feed bettas. why is mine doing that.

  29. tanth

    On June 27, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I just got a new betta at petland today was the first day i fed him he would eat the pellet and spit it out and then eat it again and digest. i already now that it wasnt the food because it was a special beeta fish food and it is the same thing that the people at petland feed bettas. why is mine doing that.

  30. tanth

    On June 27, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    how big does a betta fish usaully get

  31. tanth

    On June 27, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    do i have to put betta plus in a bucket of water that i am going to put my betta in while cleaning its original tank.

  32. tanth

    On June 28, 2008 at 9:08 am

    is it ok for a betta to live in coolder water than usuall.

  33. Anna

    On June 29, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Bettas are picky eaters, and your probably does not like the pellets.
    Try freeze dried brine shrimp ;)
    Also, a betta needs to be kept at at LEAST 70 F.
    Make sure when you clean your bettas tank you put him in his same water (in a different containter) while you clean it.
    Hope I helped
    Good luck :)

  34. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Tanth, please realize I have a small hobby farm, I am not sitting here waiting for questions…
    they get about 2.5 inches long, plus tail. They need to be kept at 70 degress, but can tollerate short spells under this, however it is NOT the ideal.
    The Pet Store should have provided you with more information AND been able to answer any questions you had.
    Did you buy the same food they were feeding? remember sometimes they take a day to adjust. I hope your litte fella is okay.

    to Angil. I have found better quality food in the pellets.

  35. sue

    On June 30, 2008 at 5:25 am

    My betta has not eaten in over a week.He isnt very active I feed him pellets and I also bought a heater as we are in winter at the moment.I dont want to lose him as i have already lost one. I am desperate,PLEASE HELP.Thanks

  36. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 30, 2008 at 9:02 am

    sue – how hot is the tank?
    offer him a treat like blood worms, meal worms.. etc.

    typically they can go for 10 days without eating, but I understand your concern.
    dont give him a heater unless you have a thermometer..

  37. kimane

    On August 9, 2008 at 8:44 am

    hi i have two male battas last night i came home and it was swimming funny and trying to bite its tale and laying on his side at times so i changed the water and fed him but he is still doing the same thing i have had them for a year now and have never seen him do anything like this b4 any help would be great

  38. Christa

    On August 10, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Rest his soul, I had to lay him to rest yesterday. I see that this is the correct forum to post such a topic. As all of you, my fellow Betta parents’, know these guys have a great personality and mine, well Seven was more like a dog than a fish. Beautiful blue and black and very very vivacious. Needless to say, I was at the pet store today and bought a male and a female Betta (properly seperated in a tank but they CAN see each other) they are all ready showing signs of wanting to breed, which is cool.. but I’m not sure if I am ready to accept those responsibilities. I shall see when the time comes. But as for my question, they are in a smaller ( two and a half gallon) tank with a glass divider, I am going to buy a plant and possibly heater/thermometer to ensure proper tank temperature. I really like these fish, and I always thought they were boring until I owned one. But is buying from a pet store really a bad idea? I know they may not be the healthiest/ most beautiful fish to buy, but if they are taken care of properly can’t they be just as good? I look at it as adopting a dog/cat from a shelter I suppose. Anyway best of luck to all owners/breeders.

  39. binky11

    On August 13, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I recently bought a beta and a swordtail mixed? (small whiteish fish with sword tail). They assured me at the pet store they would be fine together and for the most part I think they are. They were in the same tank at the store. MY question is I am just feeding them both beta food pellets, I wonder if this is ok for the other fish?

  40. Mark Gordon Brown

    On August 15, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Be very cautious of what pet stores assure you, after all they want to make a sale. Lucky for the swordtail that he isnt being bothered by the more agressive Betta. The diet isnt exactly right for the sword tail but it is going to be extremely hard to seperate them at feeding times, you can try a few flakes for him in addition to the pellets, but the Betta should not be allowed to eat the flakes for the other fish as they will have plant matter in them which Bettas should NOT have.

  41. Red

    On September 5, 2008 at 10:51 am

    my betta is afraid of people I don’t know why? he was fine yesterday not afraid at all but today he hides ans runs when he sees me

  42. Steff

    On September 14, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Hi. Great site!! I am planning on getting a betta for my sons 5th birthday (thoroughly realizing that he is for ME and not for him)

    I have been researching these fish for weeks and know all I need to know and your site just confirms all I’ve learned.

    My question is: I plan on picking one that is responsive to me and I want him to “get to know” us when we feed it. Just how responsive can it get and what kind of things can we do to “play” with it to stimulate it? I haven’t read too much on what to expect relationship wise, and I’m not expecting to find much. I just want to be able to do SOMTHING as I feel all creatures can interact positively.


  43. Mark Gordon Brown

    On September 18, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    to Steff – sorry it took so long to answer.
    I have found every fish to be different, typically they will come to the surface in expectation of food when they see you approach. I have kept them in larger bowls and they are resting – put your hand on side of the bowl gently – often this will encourage swimming – make sure your son knows that Tapping the bowl will hurt the fishes ears.
    they really will not interact much, so do not expect a lot.

  44. Ms. Tasha

    On September 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Hello, I have had my betta fish for 3 years now. I know that he is sick and I had went to walmart and petsmart and purchased the neccessary food and medicine for him. The question that I have is why is he swimming up-side-down(his nose is in a upright position. Please help! I have never seen him do this.

  45. bri

    On September 29, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    can cold water kill you betta fish because my water is cold and my house water is bad for him it has chemiclas in it

  46. bri

    On September 29, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    plz answer back soon thx

  47. bri

    On September 29, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    is water conditioner the same thing as declorinaters? plz answer soon thanks for your time and appreciation

  48. Mark Gordon Brown

    On September 30, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    bri – sorry for not responding sooner, YES cold water can kill them after a while, or if its suddenly cold. Where they live it would be cooler at night, but at least warm up in the day – this is important for metabolism. Can you put your tank in a warmer place in the home – or near some sun (not too hot though)?

    in most places water conditioner is the same thing, also checks PH, you can declorinate by leaving the water out for 24 hours.

  49. Comet

    On October 4, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I bought a male Crowntail betta a week ago. He seems really happy in his tank and I think he’s getting to know me. Everytime I go to feed, or simply watch him, he quickly swims over and moves back and forth. :)
    I do, however, have one question. I feed him Wardley Betta Food, which are pellets. When I give him the food, he takes a pellet in his mouth, but then spits it out. So, I crush the pellets now and he likes them. But my question is will he eat the pellets whole in the future, or will I always have to crush them??
    (3 times a week he recieves freeze dried bloodworms, he loves them!)

  50. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 4, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    to Comet

    I have seen fish do this too.. I think sometimes they are “tasting” like they would if it were a real bug – like they eat in the wild – or testing it to see if its dead or too big. that is cute that you smash the pellets for him – as long as he is happy! good for you!

  51. fudge head 82

    On October 19, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks man, my fish Midnight has been acting so strang latly. All he’s been doing is sitting on the bottom of his tank and lossing his color for a copple of months. I looked at a lot of other web sites, yours is the best so far. thanks agen, i hope you help a lot of other people. YOU ROCK MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    =^.^= :)

  52. Kis

    On October 21, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    My beta (Jumper) is very ill. His bottom back side is rotting away. I now have him in a soup bowl because he cant swim to the top of his tank. I know he is going to die soon. But he is a tuff one. What has happened to him? Can anyone tell me?

  53. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Its hard to know what has happened to your little guy, PH test? how old is he? too many unanswered questions, maybe even the water change was too sudden or wrong temp? Or there is bacteria in the tank?

  54. Jay

    On October 27, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Im looking around to buy a male and female betta Mark, and some sites are insistant that they are Tropical fish and require heaters – whilst others say its fine to keep them in cold water. Im confused on this front.
    Would it be fine to keep them in a tank with a divide in the middle, no heater and no filter..? an air pump of any kind?
    Very unsure as to what equipment id need to supply for them.. I have kept aquariums in the past and had betta’s in them but never souly betta’s.
    Could you please recommend a tank setup? I am interested in attempting to breed them (so i will purchase a 2nd tank when the time comes that im confident enough to try breeding)

  55. Kis

    On October 27, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Mark, he was only about 8 months. He passed away a few days ago. I have had other betas that lived for 3 yrs. I took good care of him, but I never seen that deroiting of the body. I didnt change anything from the last ones I had. I think he was just suppose to have the time he had. Thanks for getting back to me though. He is in fish heaven now with my other ones. I wont but my fish at that store again. Thanks again.

  56. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 27, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    to JAY – they dont need the filter, and generally do not like the movement of the water, the heater is only needed if your home is cool. You will not only need a second tank if you want to breed them, you will need many small jars for the fry (baby fish) as they get bigger.

    to KIS – sorry about your fish, keep in mind he might have been older when you got him, you never really know when buying from pet stores.

  57. Jay

    On October 28, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Rightio ^.^
    Some people recommend sand as a media for a betta tank – while i like the idea of it im unsure as to how id clean sand, assume a gravel vacuum would be a waste of time :p
    is it possible to find heaters small enough for an 8-11 litre tank..?

  58. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 1, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Sand is fine, and the tank wont get dirty enough to worry about, ususally what I do is remove the fish into a smaller container using the same water that is in the tank, then mix the sand up, so the filth is in the water but the sand will settle quickly, then I remove some of the water for a partial change. add new water (that has the clorine removed) and add the fish back in gently.
    You would have to ask around for the heater, every area is different, stores and availabilty etc.

  59. Jay

    On November 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Hello again Mark – i now have my betta and have him housed in what id consider to be a reasonable habitat. Ive got an 8Litre tank with a shrub like plant in the centre (it takes up very little space and should grow to cover more of the floor). A small heater and the tem perature is a steady 27-29celcius.
    The first 24hrs of having him are now..up! and he seems to have settled in really well, he is active, he flares up often and is in great colour.
    Should there be any specific things i should beware?

  60. barb

    On November 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

    HI Mark
    My beta is at the bottom of the tank most of the time. He was happy in the jar. I got a 5 gallon tank with a heater and I put conditioner in the water. it seems like he keeps hitting the bottom of the tank. when I come near the tank he starts swimming
    in front of me like nothing is wrong, but its not long before he is at the bottom again. I love him, how can I make him happy again. He has been this way for a week now.:{

  61. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 12, 2008 at 10:30 am

    It is always hard to say what is going wrong with such small animals – did you wash everything in the tank out with water before you added the fish (no soap – just water to wash the rocks plants etc)
    if there is a pump in the tank that might be disturbing him. He might be stressed or scared of the larger space. Hard to really say, Hope he gets better soon.

  62. barb

    On November 12, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I have put him back in the bowl he was in before he got so sad
    I hope this will help. so far so good thanks again barb

  63. Jay

    On November 24, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Had my Betta for near 3 weeks now, hes goin strong, blown a few lovely nests, each grander then the last!
    Time to move him upto a bigger tank as my current one is to small for a filter and i really want him to have a better quality of life.
    Im most likely going to go for about 50-60 Liters(UK) so i can get a little theme going within the tank..do you have any suggestions for stock? I would like to include a female in the equation if possible (i think the tank would be large enough for her to get away from him if necessary?)
    Though im also considering a betta farm, so the same kinda tank size, with a divide or two placed in it to house multiple betta’s. Do you have any suggestions mark?

  64. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 26, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Remember Bettas don’t like water movement so he really doesnt need a filter – 5 gallons is plenty big for 1 fish. Females and males will fight unless you have lots of hiding places, but again there is no guarantee they wont, so you are better off keeping them in two seperate smaller tanks – if they do lay eggs you would have to remove her anyhow as the females will eat the young – normally the male would drive her away
    most Breeders keep their fish in large mason jars. a pretty boring life indeed – provide yours with a plant or something interesting, but really 5 gallons is plenty – a good tankmate would be a bottom feeder of some kind.

  65. Amy

    On December 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    When transitioning the beta from its pet store “bag” to a new tank, I have always been told to leave it in the bag and place it in the new tank to get it used to the temps. Is this true and if so for how long?

  66. Angie

    On January 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I bought my first Betta fish today (a birthday present to myself).
    I had my small tank set up with a hood and light but had not included my air filter.
    when I went to the store I picked a nice aqua lively male and asked the clerk for a plant.
    I said I wanted a real plant and she asked me if I had an air filter I said I did but had not included it and she suggested setting it up.
    I was just wondering if this is essential since Bettas prefer still water,
    is this going to hurt my fish?

  67. Mark Gordon Brown

    On January 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Happy Birthday Angie!
    Bettas DO NOT need air filters – the store is trying to make money off of you by selling you something you do not need. To be honest I never thought plants needed them either, but cannot be sure, depends on the type of plant.
    Bettas in a big enough tank will be fine with the air pump BUT not if its in a bowl or small tank, unless turned down VERY low.

  68. crispbakon

    On January 18, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I recently bought a small divided tank for my two male bettas. They are a little aggressive towards each other and I was wondering if this is acceptable behavior. I do not want to stress them out as they have been fine in separate tanks for about 8 months. Should I just watch them for a few weeks and see how they act or should I go ahead and put a dark divider in instead?

  69. Cin

    On January 19, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Is it too cool in my house for our betta? I usually keep our temp. around 68 degrees during the day when we are not home. I have noticed that Snoopy is not very active lately —– maybe it is too cold??

  70. Mark Gordon Brown

    On January 19, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    While it is fine and healthy for them to be next to each other – and encourages more swimming, if the tank is too small it will be stressfull. They are better off in larger individual tanks kept next to each other

  71. Alex and Aris

    On January 25, 2009 at 11:46 am

    We have two female betas in 2.5 gallon tank for two weeks now together in the tank. For the first two days the big one was after the little one,but now the litle one is more agresive and eats all the food. The big one stays mostly hidden and never eats. We read that betas live up to one month without eating, but we still aren’t sure if there is anything we can do.

  72. kaien

    On January 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

    hmm i got a crown tail betta fish … who is alone in a 5 gallon tank, set with proper tempreature, clean water, and ph. my fish doesnt bother to move when im near him, doesnt eat. but moves a bit when its dark,and for a gasp of air. is there a way to get him to move when im around him? or is cause i got a very sensitive fish

  73. Frix

    On January 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    We have our first Betta and he has been in the tank only about a week and a half and the water got very cloudy. I cleaned the water and now 1 day later it is cloudy again. About a 1 1/2 gal tank/bowl. Pet stores sell water clarifiers are they safe to use?

  74. Mark Gordon Brown

    On January 29, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    to Alex and Aris – do the obvious – get another tank and seperate them. Yes they can live a while without eating – but that really isnt a risk worth taking…

    to kaien – could be your fish is sensitive, but usually they dont move much when they are too cold. most fish will respond and swim up to the top at feeding time.

    to Frix – cloudy water could be you are feeding too much, or have something in the tank that wasnt washed properly before adding it to the tank (rocks?) wash with water, preferabl use water that has sat out over 24 hours so the chlorine etc evaporated naturally

  75. Joe

    On February 15, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    What happens if your beta fish does not swim around or eat?

  76. matt

    On February 15, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    i have a betta fish and when i feed him flakes he eats the but leaves a little bit and it falls to the bottom of the betta bowl wat should i do because i love my betta and i dont want anything to happen please respond

  77. rachel

    On February 22, 2009 at 1:57 am

    so i just bought a betta today.

    he seems happy and he’s getting to know me, yay!

    but i hear they can jump.
    right now i have him in a tall pretty big square jar.
    any ideas on what i can cover it with?

    also, he seems to be very fond of the surface of the water.
    very so often he’ll swim down and look around.
    any ideas on why he is almost always at the top?
    OH he just swam down!

    i have a few rocks on the bottom, a fake plant towards the back of his jar and i set a mirror next to his jar.
    is that an ok setup for his new home?

    sorry, lots of questions.
    i just want him to be happy and safe.

  78. rachel

    On February 22, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    my baby is not eating anything.

    I’ve even tried giving Christofer some nice bloodworms, but still no interest.

    i’m worried, please respond soon.

  79. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 25, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    sorry rachel, I hope your fish is okay.
    They are often near the top because that is how they get their oxygen – from the surface. your set up sounds fine, they can live for a few days without food, ask the store what they were feeding him – it might have been pellets or flakes.

  80. ashlyn

    On April 4, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Why are male betta fish not allowed to live with female betta fish? See I am only in 4th grade and I have 3 betta fish ,2 are girl’s and the other 1 is a boy and I am afraid to put them in the same tank together

  81. Mark Gordon Brown

    On April 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    to ashlyn

    Typically unless a female is in her breeding pattern the male will attack her – you have to remember that in the wild Bettas are not as fancy as they have been bred to be in captivity, so a fancy male will truely think a female is just another plainer male.

  82. ashlyn

    On April 6, 2009 at 5:39 am

    On the boy fish’s body that looks like this “J” and I am afraid it’s going to die. Please help me becuase .That is really my sisters fish and she loves it so much and she dosent want it to die on easter like mine did on mothers day of 2007. But the J is backwards what am I supposed to do ? Please help me!

  83. Mark Gordon Brown

    On April 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Are you talking about something external on its body? Pet stores will have guides – picture charts showing what diseases look like and how to treat them, they will also have the correct medication for sale. As I cannot under stand what you mean by a “J” it is best to talk to somebody who you can explain this better to.. perhaps it is a parasite?

  84. joey.t

    On April 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    i got a betta 2 days ago but today i found him laying on the bottom im worried please respond back soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ps I DON’T WANT HIM TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. joey.t

    On April 9, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I think he is very tired by the way his name is Cody plus he would move ocassinally he is my first betta fish i have ever had my sister has one its name is zach it swimms like theres no tommorow im worried about Cody please help me mark…

  86. joey.t

    On April 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    my cody went to fishy heaven today. im very sad but im getting a new one tommorow

  87. Mark Gordon Brown

    On April 11, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Sorry I did not respond sooner. I suspect it was stress, a sudden water change perhaps, be very careful with your new one – no sudden water changes, have the new water sitting out for at least 24 hours, then do not dump him into it, put the bag in the tank and let it float for a while so the temperatures equal, then add a bit of the new water to the bag and leave him for 20 minutes (make sure there is air in the bag) then slowly tip him out.
    good luck – the store should replace him free of charge.

  88. ashlyn

    On April 19, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Mark, well when I give some food to the boy he only eat’s 1 of the( bio-gold betta fish food ) .I’m afraid he is going to die .I can not pay for a nother fish because I am going on the 4th grade trip and I have to use the money I have because I only have $60 for the ST.Augstine tripwith some of myclass but my teacher is not coming with us and i dont know what to do


  89. Mark Gordon Brown

    On April 19, 2009 at 8:53 am

    to ashlyn. Bettas really do not need a lot of food, some people only feed 1-2 pellets daily, as your fish gets older he may eat more.

    make sure the tank is not in a cold place, that is one thing that really makes them sick. sometimes damage is done to a fish which cannot be undone.

    Also rememeber when you buy from a store you dont know how old your fish is, maybe he is really old?
    hope he improves though

  90. Tatiana

    On June 2, 2009 at 7:51 am

    When do let your female and male betta be when the female has been in the same tank with a mirror and your male has built a bubble nest? And how big should the nest be?

  91. Tatiana

    On June 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    What does it mean when your male betta is losing his color?

  92. Sam

    On June 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I lost my poor female Wanda yesterday (like the cartoon fairy, not the 80’s film). As is is really cold in melbourne at the moment, my boyf came home to find both Cosmo and Wanda at the bottoms of their tanks. He was worried as the water was ‘icy’….Both tanks were moved near a little fan heater…when I got home, they were both active and swimming around. Water was warmish, not hot. Came back a little later, Cosmo was fine, water a little warm, so moved him. Wanda was nose down at the bottom of the tank, not moving. Got her out an tried to revive, by putting in mix of the very warm water(much warmer that his tank? Different glass possibly) with some precycled cooler water. No luck. Very sad, but I guess fortunatley she had a few babies about a month ago. Lesson learned. Boyf is very sorry. Will be showing him the way i normally use when exposed to cold….Take out a cup of water at a time and replace it with warmer prepared water until fish seems more lively..

  93. Sam

    On June 9, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    As far as i am aware it can mean a number of things from sickness, to genetics…I have seen one fish that turned out to have a recessive marble gene and over time it faded, and changed colour from blue to cellophane and then had coloured ’splotches’ (there is a great article with pictures of this somewhre on the web, will try to find it)…Is he still acting normal, swimming, eating?

  94. Becky

    On June 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I have two bettas. 1 female and 1 male. I thought they would be lonely so I put them near each other ( I keep them in seperate fish bowls). They don’t flare at each other, or seem to not like each other, but im worried about my male. Sometimes he’s so still i don’t know if he is dead or alive. He looks healthy, but not too active like my female. She swims a lot. Oh and they dont pay much attention to each other either. Help! I do not know wats going on.

  95. Becky

    On June 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    And i forgot to add that he’s not eating as fast as he usually does.Sometimes its like he eats 2 pellets but doesnt see the last one. Please answer soon

  96. susan

    On June 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    my sister and i have 2 pet fish i do not know if they are in love

  97. Becky

    On June 26, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    sorry to bother you but i was just wondering if the same female and male can be bred with each other more than once. Thank You!

  98. Becky

    On June 28, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Today my male is eating all his pellets again… I really don’t understand what happened before. Now he’s paying attention to my female more too. He flares at her a little bit but he doesn’t just stare at her for a while. After a minute he’ll start ignoring her for a bit. Is this normal behavior?

  99. Theresa Johnson

    On July 23, 2009 at 10:27 am

    good piece.

  100. Andrew Davies

    On July 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Great article, I have never seen a Betta in person.

  101. Jessica

    On August 10, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Hiiii =) before I start I just wanted to say that your article is very helpful. I bought a Betta today & put him in this tank…

    I chose a Betta because the guy at Petsmart said that all other fish need a heater (except Goldfish but they poop too much lol). I read all of the posts here because I’m curious if I could put another fish in there with him. I saw that you mentioned adding a bottom feeder? In my old tank (with Goldfish & some Guppies) I had three little Crabs. It was a 20 gallon tank & they got along very well. This one is much smaller as you can see so I’m curious to know if there is anything at all that I can add in there? A snail? A crab? One Guppy? Lol it’s not a large tank (over a gallon) but it seems silly to have just one fish in it. Ay suggestions? Thank YOUUUU =)

  102. Jessica

    On August 10, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Ohhh also I was wondering if I should unplug the air pump or the light at night? The pump doesn’t create too much of a current since the bubbles come up in a tube but I don’t want it to bother him.

  103. Mark Gordon Brown

    On August 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    to Jessica
    you will not want to add a guppy, your Betta will chew the guppys tail to bits, but a bottom feeder would be fine if all other conditions work well for it, really a fish wont get lonely like we think people do.
    if you only have the one fist you will not need the air pump at all and certainly not the light at night.

  104. Julia

    On October 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Mark!

    This is very helpful. I have had a handful of Bettas, one having last up to three years, the others around two or shorter, because my dog apparently likes fish. T_T Any way, I have another one, nice red and blue Veil Tail. I have grown older and have come to different aspects on Bettas. Now, I want to breed bettas. I have had this male for around a year. Is it alright to breed Petland/store bought Bettas?


  105. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 3, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Julia the fish sold at pet stores are the Culls, the ones the breeders didnt think were good enough to breed themselves. If you want a breeding quality fish attend a fish show/exhibition and buy from those (fish magazines advertise shows and breeders)

  106. Faithful Frou

    On November 18, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I just got a male betta fish (Frou Frou Alpha). I did my research beforehand but I’m afraid he might die. How hot/cold should the water be? I live in a generally warm climate-no real winter season; but the water is still fairly cold. There is a light in the top of the tank (1.5 gall) but I don’t know if he likes the light, if it heats the water or if even he needs the thing? Also, there is a small air pump, I don’t know if that is needed either. Also, the whole lying on the side thing is really alarming because he does this in the middle of the day. He also likes to just hang in the water at the top of the tank almost vertically. Is that normal? Answers would be so appreciated. YOUR SITE IS AWESOME. Thanks!

  107. Darla Beck

    On January 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    This is an excellent article and very interesting.

  108. Bailey Thompson

    On January 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Great article – very helpful.

    I have 3 male bettas in their own little tanks, but they’re still able to see eachother.

    I really didn’t think it mattered until when I had 2 fish (seperated but in view of eachother) and 1 of them died, the other one seemed to become extremely depressed. (Didn’t swim, didn’t eat much etc.). But when I bought 2 other bettas and put them near him, he was back to normal! Amazing to think these little guys have so much feeling!

  109. RegalBlue

    On February 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help me with my situation. I’ve had my betta for a few months and about a week ago, he got bloated, i looked it up and it was Swim Bladder disease. He was not ‘pine-coned’. I fasted him and it went down. Now, he has lost color in his body and his gills are very dark. He was a beautiful dark blue with red and now he’s turned white! He wont eat and doesn’t come to the tank to greet me anymore. I’d be heart-broken if I lost him!! Please help!

  110. Amy

    On February 17, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Hi, I just bought a pretty little female crown tail that I names Cloe. I bought her as a compliment to my red spade tail, and I’m seeing fire works already. Miko is so in love its nauseating…lol. Now here’s my question, do I need to breed her to keep her healthy, and can I keep them side by side in separate tanks? I don’t want Miko to exhaust himself over her, and vise versa. (She has a small castle with lots of hiddey holes so she can get away from him.) He’s still going and its been almost nine hours since i brought her home. He’s flaring at her and dancing all over the place the way he does when i shake the food container at him. Oh and any other tips on female betta’s would be awesome, if you don’t mind. Like how will i know when she’s stressed? I can tell with Miko because he clamps his fins, but with her I guess I really don’t know the difference? Any way thank you really much.

  111. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    to Amy.
    Females don’t get as stressed as males, and no, you do not need to breed her to keep her healthy. As with most animals, the more you breed, the more it shortens their lifespan. Plus do you have homes for 300 or so fry? The need to grow up in tiny jars, of course most won’t live.
    If you are not going to breed them, seperate tanks might be less stressful, you can move them apart if you see he is getting too exhasted.

  112. Pam

    On February 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Hi, I just moved my female betta and little cory catfish into their new tank. when i dropped the cory’s food in to try and calm him down a bit, my betta went for it and tasted it, then spat it back out. She’s been doing it on and off for about 30mins now, and hasn’t gone for her food yet. Does she keep forgetting that she’s already tasted the cat’s food and that’s why she’s going back, or could she be hungry and just not see her own food?
    Could the having a filter have stressed her out a bit? She seems to be playing in the bubbles, but also seems a lot calmer when it’s off.

  113. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    to Pam
    It is hard to say for sure what is going on. I wouldnt worry too much because Bettas can go for a few days without eating, and is probably just getting use to her new tank.
    Normally Bettas do not like motion in their water, so yes the filter might be stressful to her.

  114. Amelia

    On February 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Mark, I have 3 female fish that live together in a fairly large tank. They live pretty well together, and don’t attack each other. Their names are Bubbles, Sarasate, and Tiasse, I recently got a crowntail male named Viotti, and was thinking about breeding. Bubbles seems a little to small, but Sarasate is about the perfect size. I can’t tell if they have eggs or not, but Bubbles and Sarasate have a slight bulge, and thier egg spots are protruding very very slightly. Do you think Sarasate is ready?

  115. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    You will need to put the male and female in a tank where they are seperated by a divider, only when the male begins to from a bubble nest and the female begins to show colour will they be ready. This is also dependent on the temperature of the room and the tank. Breeding is very risky with bettas, and I suggest you look at a site that goes into more detail, If you put the female in when they are not ready the male will harm or kill her, additionally if she is not removed soon enough after breeding that danger is there as well.

  116. rose

    On February 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    my betta fish willson has been sitting at the bottom of his 1 gallon tank all day with his nose down, i thought he was gone but his tail was twitching every so often, and he’s not floating at the top. so whats wrong with him :(

  117. rose

    On February 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    my betta fish willson has been sitting at the bottom of his 1 gallon tank all day with his nose down, i thought he was gone but his tail was twitching every so often, and he\’s not floating at the top. so whats wrong with him :(

  118. rose

    On February 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    now there appears to be some white substance coming from its stomic area…

  119. rose

    On February 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    now there appears to be some white substance coming from its stomic area.

  120. Amelia

    On February 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Sorry for bothering you again, but I don’t know if any of myfemale bettas have eggs. They all have the egg spot, but it’s not SO visible, it’s kind of visible. One of my fish’s egg spot is pretty, umm let’s just say big, but she’s not so round. Do you think she has eggs?

  121. Anda Panda

    On March 2, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Hey Mark. I have some questions about betta and maybe you cand help me with some answers.
    First of all I’m sorry for my English but I’m speaking only from what I’ve learn in school.
    Yesterday I bought 2 bettas, a male and a female and introduced them in my 10 liters tank with my other 3 neons. First the male was chasing the female but not exaggerated, but today all day he was chasing her and bite her. Despite the fact that she doesn’t have any visible injuries she seemed stressed to me and I found her hiding in corners with her colour changed. Her natural colour is gray (silver) with 2 black horizontal lines, and tonight when I saw her hiding she was dark blue, almost black. So I got her out of the tank and put her in a 1 liter jar with water from the tank, so she didn’t feel any temperature changes when I moved her.

    Now she stays in that jar next to the tank and she and the male are both looking one at another and they are showing signs of agresivity. It’s like the’re fighting trough the glass.

    Can you tell me is this normal? I understand that if the female is not ready to breed he becomes agressive and hurts her and maybe this is happening here. But now she’s out and BOTH are looking like they would fight each other, they are biting the glass when they see each other. By the way is 1 liter jar to small for the female?

  122. Amelia

    On March 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Sorry for answering, horizontal on a female usually means stress, and pale colors do not usually mean good things. If you ask me, I’d say the dark blue is probably her “normal” coloring. By anychance, did the male blow a bubblenest(a nest of bubbles)
    -Sorry For Answering! I couldn’t help it!

  123. Jessy

    On March 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    My betta (Flash) keeps sitting at the bottom he does’nt eat and he hardly moves, I bought him on friday because I fell in love with him, He is sometimes bullied by my silver molly, she nips his side which makes him go up for air this is my second betta after my last one died, I’m really worried about him, and sometimes his dorsal fin flops which makes him lean to that side and I have to give him a little nudge to make sure he is ok, As I have said I’m really worried about him as he is the most beautiful betta I’ve seen and I don’t want him to die :(

  124. Ruby

    On April 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I just changed my betta fishes water. I have had my betta fish for a year now, but i am REALLY worried. My betta was fine before in the other water, but now shes not. The water is the same temp. but she has this white thing in her mouth, and has been swimming backwards and upside down and not acting herself. when i first put her in her new water, she went straight to the bottom. All the chlorine is out of the water and i know this because i put the stuff in it that kills the chlorine. i dont know what to do. WHAT SHOULD I DO!!!??? answer as SOON as you can. good part is that when i put my betta in the new water her color came back, for it was fading before. but i think my betta is very sick and may die soon. ANSWER FAST!!!!!!!!!! i dont want her to die!! :(

  125. Mark Gordon Brown

    On April 4, 2010 at 1:19 am

    It could be that something dropped into her tank that was bad for her. You also may need to do another water change. For this boil the water to destill it. The let it set next to her tank until it becomes the same temperature as the tank she is in. Still use the dechlorinator in the water. It may be simply that she was an older fish when you got her. Some only live 3 years some breeders breed for longevity and others for color or form. They destilling the water and see what happens. If she got something bad in the tank, there is little you can do except hope she works through it.

  126. yonelkis

    On April 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    i wanna get a betta fish and i want to breed them if i succesfuly breed them and the male makes the nest can i change the water or what can i do

  127. james

    On June 4, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I have had my betta fish for 3 days an it want eat…. I have tried to feed it some betta fish pellets..

  128. Eli

    On June 10, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Mark, I heard mosqito larvae is the best kind of food to feed Betta fish… is this true?

  129. Jenny

    On June 12, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    My boyfriend and i got our male Betta’s today, and we got the divided tank, and while we were away his Betta jumped onto my Betta’s tank side, and were just hanging out not doing anything to each other. He moved them back, and we left again, came back into the room, and his Betta was again on that tank side. He wanted to remove the divider but i said no fearing that they may fight. So he took a little bit of water out so that his fish couldn’t jump. I was just wondering if this is odd behavior or not? We got them at a pet store of all places, and they were not even near each other.Also i was just wondering why they didn’t start fight, because they were together for several hours. Does this also have to do with the fact that they are different kinds of Betta fish? His is a Crown-tail and mine were not so sure of.

  130. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 13, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Eli – they are very good to feed, and are often given as part of the diet

    Jenny – that is odd, I suspect your fish may be young and not mature, try to keep them seperate

  131. Andria

    On June 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Hi, I was actually wondering if betas need sunlight to be healthy?

  132. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    to Andria

    Bettas do not need direct sunlight, but of course, should not be kept in a dark room.

  133. Ajones108

    On July 6, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I’m not sure if my comment posted, so if this posts double, I do apologize.

    Hi Mark, or anyone, I do hope you can answer my question.

    On Sunday I went to the pet store and bought a 2.5 gallon rectangular tank for my betta fish. I got a paper-like thermometer that sticks to the side to measure temp, a water heater designed for a 2.5 gal tank, some rocks that I washed, a little hidey cave, a fake plant, and a little treasure chest for kicks, all of which I rinsed well. I filled the tank with tap water and put Topfin Water Conditioner in the tank and let it sit overnight before getting the fish. The water is between 79 and 82 degrees.

    I got the fish Monday from petsmart, a beautiful crowntail betta with bright blue, green, and red coloration. I floated the bowl for about an hour and a half to let the temperature of the water acclimate, and after that time, I released the betta into the new tank. I did not think about PH or anything else in my tap water. He swam around lively and got to know his surroundings.

    Monday afternoon the tank with the fish were transported to my dorm. He got a little rattled around in the car ride but he was fine when he got to the dorm, and after the ride, took a rest in the corner of the tank. He does not clench his fins, he just rests open in the corners, and occasionally moves around the tank blowing bubbles all over the place. On the first morning he ate the freeze-dried bloodworms.

    Today, the fish tank is a little cloudy. The fish’s coloration is still bright and beautiful and he still blows bubbles occasionally but otherwise he hangs out around the corners of the tank, and near the heater. He isn’t showing signs of illness like ich, velvet, parasites, or anything.

    However, he is now not eating and I understand that sometimes a betta will not eat for a few days once he is in a new home and he may get depressed due to the move. He isn’t clenching his fins together and he isn’t laying at the bottom any. Just chilling in the corners.

    But I am still a little concerned. Tomorrow I’m going to the pet store to get a PH test kit and two new water conditioning/bacteria/parasite preventive chemicals and a different type of food. Now that I am in my dorm, I need to test the PH of this water and start getting the cloudy water out, but please, is there anything else I can do? He is such a beautiful fish and I don’t want to lose him. I am hoping that tomorrow morning he perks up some. I’ve already set aside three full bottles of the tap water here with water conditioner in it but I just NEED to know if there is anything else I can do for this beautiful creature. Thank you. :)

  134. Mark Gordon Brown

    On July 9, 2010 at 12:30 am

    The water might be cloudy because you put too much food in so watch that in the future. You have to remove the cholrine as well. You can do that with chemicals or by distilling the water. The fish does sound okay from what you say. Sometimes they will just chill in the corners. You may have fed him too much and that could be way he is not eating. You only want to give them a couple of very small pellets or food stuffs a day.

  135. katie

    On August 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    what kind of fish can you put with a betta? can you put a frog? what about a shark?

  136. Mark Gordon Brown

    On August 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    to Katie

    bottom feeders are the best fish to go with Bettas but they are fine without companions.

    Frogs are not such a good idea, nor are sharks because their needs are not the same as a Betta.

  137. Claudia

    On September 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Help!!! My Betta does not eat, she tries but misses the food and sometimes it seems as if she is just about to eat it but the food does not go into her mouth. I tried cutting the pellets in smaller pieces, but it’s still not working. Also, she hardly ever swims. I change the water and make sure the bowl is always clean. Nothing is working, I am so worried, please help me I don’t know what else to do.

  138. Mark Gordon Brown

    On September 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    to Claudia

    do not over feed – 2-3 a day might be all she needs

    do not clean the water too much – Bettas are okay and sometimes too many water changes can stress them -

    have you tried giving your fish some brine shrimp or other kind of food? they usually love brine shrimp.

    not swimming is commonly associated with being TOO COLD..

    how old is your fish?

  139. Claudia

    On September 10, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for your feedback Mark. She hasn’t eaten anything at all in about 14-15 days. She was trying to eat the food at first but even a small piece wouldn’t go in her mouth. Now she doesn’t even really try to eat it. She just stays at the bottom of the tank. The water is room temp and I keep it 75-80 degrees F. I will try some brine shrimp. Is there anything else I can do?

  140. Ally

    On September 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I think my betta fish has tail rot. I got BettaFix and put 18 drops per day and it did help a little but what consirens me is that it looks like my betta fish has been eating his tail. I have not seen it but it looked like that before I got the BettaFix and a little after. Can betta fish eat their tail????

  141. Mark Gordon Brown

    On September 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Ally, they might bite their tail but its probably tail rot not themselves eating their tail…

    I would do a water change but be sure its good water you change with.

    go Claudia – I wonder if your fish is old? Not sure of other ideas at this moment, I know they can live for a while without eating. make sure you dont over feed as this will make the water dirty and make your fish ill

  142. Emma

    On September 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Hello.I have a qusetion.I have had my betta fish for about a month now and I just got a bottom feeder.I forgeet which kind though.And since our tank does not have any algea the petsmart person said to use these little top fin algea thins.And my betta fish started to peck at one.Will he be alright?

  143. Mark Gordon Brown

    On September 13, 2010 at 11:18 am


    your Betta probably is just tasting, not eating, no worries, he knows his own food is more yummy and healthy.

  144. Mahnaz

    On October 6, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I have a male & a female betta. both live in the same tank, ofcourse separated by an opaque divider. It’s the second day
    that they both refuse eating. I should add it’s getting a little cold.
    I tried to place the tank under hot light. Female which is always more greedy to eat and in fact eats 3 times more than the male, tries to eat but in vain. he swallows, then spits. I know she’s hungry, because by seeing me around, she starts to move very playfully and using her sign language to tell me “please feed me!!!”. the male just don’t get close to food.
    my question is that if anybody knows, Why when it’s colder, they don’t eat? is something in their physiology changing in colder condition which unables them to eat against their will?
    and the second question: if the pellets are touched by human’s hands and then retuned to the box, can contamination be considered as a culprit ?

  145. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    to Mahnaz.

    yes when its cold they eat less because they dont have the energy, sometimes they will go for a week without eating, but you do need to keep them warm so they survive as cold temps can harm them.
    never heard of the contamination thing happening, I suppose if you had handlotion on and it soaked into the food….

  146. Mahnaz

    On October 7, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Thanks a bunch dear Mark for your answer & for all good information you give us. I admire your generosity.
    God bless you.

  147. Ferdinant

    On October 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Hi Mark,
    I’m a Betta breeder from Indonesia (South East Asia). I like your site, very informative. As a same Betta lovers and breeders, I give u 2 thumbs up.
    Keeping Betta in good healthy condition must be more hard if you live in cold place. Water temperature and PH are the most important things to check. I’m using dried hazelnut leaf to make water Ph in good range that Betta like it. Put some dried hazelnut leaf while you sitting the water out for 24 hours (more will be good, make sure the water color change to light brown) before change your Betta water. Use very small hose to sucks Betta dirt from the bottom of the tank. Leave half old water stay in the tank, then use small hose to move “prepared water” into your Betta fish tank or container ’till the same level like before.
    I hope this information could useful.
    It fells good to share.

  148. Brittany

    On October 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I recently got a male betta and i have a few questions. I feed my betta just about every day, but he eats like i starve him..? Am i? i feed him more then what it said to on this site. He never leaves any behind, he eats everything! Also the bubble nest…. ummm its gross! his food gets into it and everything. should i get rid of it? or will it go away on its own?

  149. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    to Brittany

    I would clean out the bubble nest.

    if he is a large Betta 3-5 pellets a day should be fine, as you said food is being lost in the bubble nest. Just try to remember to feed him daily.

  150. J-La

    On November 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    hi mark. im going to be buying a betta fish tomarrow and want a male because of their beautiful fins… but also want to get two females so me and my bf can each hav 1 =]
    we bought about a gallon bowl from petsmart and its ready for my fish… but can we put two females into it?

  151. Catherine Magner

    On November 16, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Hi Mark.

    I have had my female beta Sarah for 3 months. She was very active at first, and loved to eat mosquito larvae. It is all I am feeding her. Lately, she is less active and seems to not be seeing so well. She used to follow our shadows or our fingers when we came near the tank. Now she seems to get only glimpses of us, mostly from over head. She used to attack her food in a cute way, like a dog shaking a toy, but now she looks left then right and back and forth again and then swims away from her food. She will eat some. I have a feeling she can’t see. Sometimes she will eat off of my finger. Her eyes look good to me. Our house temp is 70 degrees, is that too cold? Also, should I feed her the shrimp as well? Could she be depressed? How would I know if her eyes were damaged by her plastic plant? BTW, I change her water half once a week with spring water at room temp.

    Thanks for any thoughts

  152. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Sorry it took so long fo me to reply.
    she might want to be a bit warmer, or have a bit more variety in her diet, even Betta pellets.

    her eyes would be white if they were having problems
    do you know how old she was when you got her
    pet stores rarely sell young females.

    good luck.

  153. julie

    On November 24, 2010 at 11:48 am

    i got a betta fish three weeks ago and he was eating and swimming around and would swim up to me when i came in the room. Then I cleaned the tank for the first time and he got reallly stressed. he will not eat and he just floates at the top of the tank. when i drop food above him he gets really scared and swims around like crazy. Then he just goes to the bottom and lays on his side. HELP!!

  154. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 25, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    to Julie

    clearly something went wrong at the water change.

    was it the same temperature? did you use chemicals to wash the tank, you should never use anything.. was it a full change, I find part water changes to be much better..
    was the water free of chlorine.. this is chemical you can get rid of by leaving the water out 24 hours before putting it in the tank.
    It might be too late to save your little fish and without knowing more information its hard to say for sure what went wrong.

  155. Johnathan

    On December 4, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Hi my name is Johnathan And I was wondering I only did this once by the way because I ran out of the materials I needed to keep the betta fishes water clean so I was in a rush to clean his bowl because the water was pretty dirty and I was afraid if I didn’t get the water clean he would get sick so I used my sink water to clean it and put sink water so he can stay in it I don’t know if this is good for him I just want to know if it would be ok just incase I have to do something like this ever again

  156. Mark Gordon Brown

    On December 4, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    to Johnathan

    sink water is okay ONLY if you live in the country, as I do, and your water does not have chlorine added. For me its pure well water.
    City water is bad though, but you can use it if you leave it out on the counter for 24 hours as the chlorine wil evaporate, otherwise the fish should wait a day until you have the water ready.

  157. AMBER!

    On January 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    we have a male and a female betta fish, the female looks very vibrant, shes orange and red, very beautiful, we had problems in the past with another female we had, where all 3 of them were nipping each other and our male betta dosnt have his tail any more, its like a short stump, lol. but over time its growing now and we got rid of the other female, and so now, its just these 2 bettas, how ever my female at the moment isnt eating, shes just laying around either at the bottom of the tank in the corner or up in some plastic reeds we have,
    we try to change the water once a week, temp is at 84F we feed a mix of blood worm alge pellets and flake, changing it from time to time.
    we absoutly adore this female she has such a wonderful personality, i dont want her to die!! help im not sure what it could be apart from depression…!!!!!
    thanks xx

  158. Mark Gordon Brown

    On January 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    first thing you need to do is seperate them into two different tanks and see if she eats and improves.

  159. Jett Taylor

    On February 1, 2011 at 1:20 am

    hi mark, i have a beautiful blue and purple male betta that i bought today named Guido. i have him in a tall cylindrical vase (it is about one foot eight inches tall and about nine inches wide) and i put about four inches of marbles at the bottom. i have a coouple of questions:
    1) is this too much room for my fish? i usually see them in small globe bowls at pet stores bu t i feel like they have not enough room to swim around ithose, that is why i got him a “mansion” as i call it. but is this too much room for him? he seems to like it so far.
    2) i have been watching him all day and sometimes he will float the the bottom and just sit there resting, and then he will bend himself almost into a right angle and then suddenly just straighten up and swim around. is he just stretching? what os he doing?
    and 3) there is about two inchex of space from the water to the top of the actual fish bowl, can he jump out of the bowl? do i need to leave more space incase he tries to jump?

    sorry this is so long, i just want a happy and healthy fish :) thank you!

  160. Lexi

    On February 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Hello Mark. I have a couple questions that I can’t seem to find an answer to. We have 2 Betta fish in our bathroom, a male and a female. They have rather big bowls next to each other and seem happy. However, they are showing signs that they are ready to breed. I’ve heard some rumors about goldfish that if they don’t lay their eggs they can die (or something like that). My Betta female seems pregnant and I was wondering if she doesn’t lay her eggs she can get very ill and/or die? Also, according to some other Betta breeding guides, you have to feed them brine shrimp 2 weeks before they breed? All we give them is pellets, and I was wondering what the brine shrimp does to them. Thanks.

  161. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    to Lexi

    Unless you have containers to house 200 baby Bettas do not even try breeding them – I have never heard anything about them dying if not bred, I assume a myth!
    Brine shrimp give more energy for breeding -but the female CANNOT simply be placed in the tank with the male, they will kill each other – they must be introduced through a screen, or divider.

  162. alex

    On February 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    you didnt answer jet’s question i am wondering some of the same things…

  163. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 6, 2011 at 12:51 am

    to jet and alex

    sorry I missed that one

    that larger container is MUCH better than the tiny bowls you often see the fish in. However they would prefer a tank that is longer rather than tall if it were one or the other – but more room is still better than less.

    I would either lower the water, or put a cover on the top, even a plastic container with holes.

    Also the behavior you mention could be a sign of a health concern, watch for any changes, but I wouldnt worry too quick, unless you see any other problems

  164. Jett Taylor

    On February 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    thank you so much! he seems happy in his tank. another concern i have is that he is not eating his pellets, he puts one in his mouth then spits it out but i dont think he is ingesting anything, im worried hes not getting any food at all in him. should i try flakes?

  165. Katelyn

    On February 7, 2011 at 2:07 am

    I have had my betta for a little while and just upgraded to a 10gall for him and he seems ok with the filter and heater, but he keeps seeing himself in the glass. I am afraid he will get tired very often and was wondering if there was anything to cover the part where he sees himself all the time. I was also wondering if I could put anything with him. I have a mystery snail in there with him and he seems ok with it. Could I put more snails with him? And if I put ghost shrimp in there will he eat them?

  166. Angela

    On February 9, 2011 at 12:35 am

    My dad bought a betts fish for my daughter about 4 weeks ago. It started to get a “fur” on it so I called pet store and they gave me some drops. Also got a heater because I read that bettas need warm water. I did a full water change added drops, put in heater and put fish back in. 3 hours later the fish died. I want to get her a new one for her but don’t want this to happen again. What did I do wrong. I changed out the gravel and forgot to rinse it first. The tank is only 1 gallon. Could I have heated him up too quickly. The room temp he was in prior to heater ranged from 69-71. thank you

  167. Angela

    On February 9, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Also I used soap to clean out tank, but rinsed it with really hot water and I used fresh tap water but used 3 drops of the stress coat water conditioner. The drops for the “fur” are called bettafix and I used 18 drops of that (active ingredient is melaleuca). Thank you so much for your help!!

  168. Nancy

    On February 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    My 9 year old received a betta for her birthday. We have him in a 1/2 gallon bowl at present, looking to move him into a 3 gallon filtered tank (letting the tank run a few days). I am worried about the current of the water. The filter is a Marineland biowheel filter that came with the tank (”kit” aquarium setup) – water “cascades” back into the tank after running through charcoal filter and wheel. Do you think the filter will be too much? We went with the filter basically because I was hoping for cleaner/better water (and less work), but I don’t want to stress the fish. How often do you estimate I would need to clean the tank without the filter running? Thank you!

  169. Katelyn

    On February 10, 2011 at 1:37 am

    To Nancy
    I know I am not Mark, but I had the same issue with the filter being to strong. Here is a website on how to fix it and it is pretty easy.


    I even used a bigger bottle and it worked just shape it right so it fits with your tank. I hope this helps because it helped with my issue.

  170. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Angela, the fish was already in distress, if the fur developed right after you got it then I suspect there was a problem with the tank when you put the fish in, perhaps chlorine, or wrong temp.
    So many of these fish die in the first weeks because the people do not prepare the tank days before getting a fish and then dump it straight in rather than putting it in slowly to get use to the water. Mixing the tank water with the water in the bag the fish is in.

  171. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    to Nancy that tank is small, and a filter will upset the fish. I prefer to use NO filter and do partial water changes once a week, dumping some water out, and adding some new water, that has sat out for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

  172. Nancy

    On February 13, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Thanks Mark for your response. We did go ahead a day or so ago and put the betta in the 3 gallon and have not been running the filter, glad to know that was the right decision. The water is just a tad hazy, I wonder if perhaps I didn’t get the gravel rinsed good?? I swear I rinsed that stuff until it was nearly eating my nails away! (Maybe we’ll switch to the glass beads, they appear easier to clean.) There is a bit of a grainy feel on the tank interior. I don’t want to upset the fish since we just moved him into the tank so I think we’ll just do a partial water change next week and then look to maybe fully cleaning the tank a week after that. My husband thinks the water looks fine, so I’m probably just obsessing!! I’m debating keeping the hood on the tank. It came with a hood and light. I’m wondering if there will be enough air circulation, etc. with the hood in place without the filter running and I worry about him jumping. Thanks for keeping up with all the questions on the site!!! … Nancy

  173. N. Sun

    On February 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Great article! I love bettas :) They are so fun to have!

  174. dpb23

    On February 23, 2011 at 3:01 am

    hello.. i have a male betta in a half gallon tank now.. i’m going to buy him a 2.5 gallon tank soon which they say is the minimum size tank for him.. what are the things i need in this tank? do i need a filter? should i worry about ph levels? i think his water is alkaline, is it ok to suddenly change it to neutral or slighty acidic? how often do i need to change its water if i don’t have a filter?

  175. SheldonFTW

    On March 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    so, I have a little guy named Sheldon. He’s beautiful and loves to dance around :) I was wondering if I could give him a cricket as a treat? I feed them to my gecko(not wild crickets) is that safe?

  176. Lucas

    On March 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Hi mark, i’m new with betta’s and was just reading up on them, I found your website quite informational. I have a male betta that seems to be quite happy in the 3 gallon bowl he’s in, but from what i was told and thought that they were cold waterfish, since they do prefer warmer temperatures i’ve noticed that he likes to hide in the fake grass that i bought for him, I do have a 20 gallon tank that i am currently cycling so that i do not get “new tank syndrome” I was wondering if it would be okay to interchange the heater without damage to either tank or fish or (heaters currently off for cycle because coldwater fish are in it) and warm him up until i get a mini heater for the fish bowl to maintain the ambient temperature

    and as for feeding, I have been spoiling him every now and then by the sounds of it, I have aqueon betta food which tells me to “Feed several times daily in small amounts that will be consumed by the fish within three minutes” thus for feeding him normally 5-10 pellets a day depending how hungry he is, is that still to much?


  177. Lucas

    On March 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Also having evaporation issued due to baseboard heat and it still being winter, when i do a 25% change should i just add more water then what i take out?

  178. Mark Gordon Brown

    On March 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    depending on the food size. I would only feed 3 pellets a day with the food I use. 25% just add to take after letting sit by tank to get at same temp.

  179. Maddelin

    On March 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Hey , so Lucas & I’s Betta seems to be building himself a bubble nest , however it seems to that he is becoming a lot less active. Which in turn is making us very concerned , is this a huge issue? And if so , how should we go about fixing it up.?

  180. Rylee

    On April 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    hi Mark:) i have a Betta, his name is Mitch, I’m really worried about him, he hasn’t been eating, he’ll put it in his mouth, then spit it out. also, when you said bottom feeder, which kind of fish did you mean? i really want to get him a companion, even though i know it’s not a must. also, do you think that i should get a heater, our house is usually pretty cold. does it matter if i keep him in the dark, or does it have to be light? sorry for a the questions, i just want my fish to live a long and happy life. i appreciate your time:)

  181. monica

    On May 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    is it ok to put a rose in with my betta? I can’t find anything that says yes or no. People keep telling me it might hurt my betta, suggestions please

  182. Mark Gordon Brown

    On May 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm


    Since Betta fish like to get their air from the surface putting a rose in the bowl is not a good idea, as well if it has ANY chemicals on it, it could hurt the fish. It is best to ONLY use proper fish products.

  183. Nico

    On May 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Hey, I have a question concerning water temperature for my Betta…. Is there any way to warm the water because it feels really cold….

  184. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm


    you can buy heaters for their tanks, or put it in a warmer part of your house. In either case keep an eye that it doesnt get too hot.

  185. sarah

    On June 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Feeding them 2 to 3 three pellets a day is WAY to much!!! You don’t want to over feed your fish! 2 pellets every other day is perfect! They need at least a gallon tank.

  186. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I have seen pellets of different sizes, I am referring to the tiny ball ones, and for mature fish. You are correct a full gallon tank is best, some tanks are far too small for the fish. People should buy bigger tanks when they can.

  187. Julie

    On June 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    is it too much oxygen if i add a little bubble stone to my betta’s one gallon tank?

  188. little e

    On June 15, 2011 at 12:51 am

    my betta fish is looking weird usually she will chase my finger and eat her food but now she doesnt swim around alot she refuses to eat and is scared of everything! She looks like she lost color but im not sure. Is the food imfeeding her alright?? I think we overfeed her a bit also. I have a 1 gallon tank and i got her this christmas.

    FOOD:bloodworms freeze dry food
    which she usually eats

  189. little e

    On June 15, 2011 at 1:03 am

    excuse my name also its just a nickname

  190. little e

    On June 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    plz reply to my message soon cause i really dont know what to do i need to know if she is cureable

  191. Mark Gordon Brown

    On June 19, 2011 at 11:08 am

    to little e
    sorry it took so long to respond.

    Is the tank warm enough? Bettas swim less in cold tanks, and eat less.. do not panic if she does not eat for a day or two as this is normal, especially if you overfed her.
    There is really very little you can do if you have already done something wrong in that regard, or if you did a water change with bad water that is another problem.

    I hope your fish is okay.

  192. Whatsername

    On June 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I just got this male betta fish a few weeks ago and I was wondering if it is normal that he will sometimes flare at his food or get really active and start swimming up and down when I get near his bowl or sometimes even flare at me. I believe it has something to do with his food but I was wondering whether this is “normal” behavior and thank you.

  193. taylor

    On July 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    i’m about to get a male crowntail betta. What is some good information that will really help for a beginner . I’m getting a little help from my friend when i get it but i she just got one two days ago and i dont know if she knows a lot. Please help me i’m in need for some good useful information or facts from a expert or at least knows more than me. Mark if you get this please comment back fast cause i need to know before i get it and also stuff i need to get before i get the fish like what kind of materials i need. thx if you txt back. please help .

  194. Mark Gordon Brown

    On July 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Get a large Betta tank, keep in in a warm area, set it up 2 days before you get your fish and you should be fine. When you get the fish buy the same kind of food it is use to,
    Please do not buy the fish from a store that sells them out of small cups.

  195. Melvyn M. Sobel

    On July 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    My blue-beauty-of-a-Betta [named Fish] just died yesterday, after five plus years. A tumorous growth appeared on his left side and, within the week, that was it; but he was a trooper ’til the end. It’s amazing how a person can get attached to a fish! But it happens. A bigger “personality” you couldn’t ask for, and he loved to come up to the surface to be petted and stroked. Even as I write this, I can scarcely believe the little critter’s impact on me. I guess people do grieve for their fish. Fact is: Fish had more to like about him than most people I know. That’s sad.

  196. AMy

    On August 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    my betta crown tail male is always at the top of the tank breathing and i see him get air and the bubbles he does this all day and barely eats wht should i do does anyone know why this is happening? i got him 4 days ago and he does this

  197. Mark Gordon Brown

    On August 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    to Melvyn sorry about your loss we should really care about all animals, fish too.

    to AMy
    Bettas do not need to eat much as they are not an active fish, make sure the tank is warm enough, and that there is a lot of space on the surface so he can get air, if you are concerned call the place you got him for more help – you can ask how much food they were feeding the fish – you should feed the same kind because that is what the fish is use to.

  198. AMy

    On August 4, 2011 at 12:20 am

    hi this Amy again about the male betta crowntail and he is still at the top of the tank every day just sits there and hes in a medium size tank,and i got another one today in a different tank today and hes fine hes seems very hyper and happy but my other fish is boring and just always in the corner or top middle just sits there idk kno whts wrong. please tell me if you know. thank you

  199. FunMom

    On August 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I am pretty sure my beta, Bicycle (named by my then 3 year old daughter) is on his last few days. We have had him for almost 4 years. He is well taken care of, but began developing a tumor on the back left side over a month ago. It is huge now. He has lost color and is spending most of his time laying on the bottom of the tank looking like his gills are panting. Then he rushes to the surface every other minute to grab a breath and sinks back to the bottom. So sad. I hate to see him like this.

  200. Colleen

    On August 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    My son has had his beta for about six months. A few night’s ago, my husband did a full water change which, after reading many of your notes, we realize was not a good idea. Now, my son’s fish seems very lifeless and lays at the bottom of the tank. He is still breathing and seems to be trying to swim, though without success. My husband used tap water with conditioner and the thermometer says the water is warm. We obviously made a mistake with the change, but is there anything we can do now? Bob has been pretty lifeless for two days. Thanks.

  201. Mark Gordon Brown

    On August 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    to Colleen, is very difficult to reverse a bad situation. Either he will pull through and be fine, or, not. I am sorry to say but this is a common mistake.
    I prefer to change the water by filling a bowl with some water and letting it sit out for 24 hours to let the chlorine evaporate, and the water reach room temp. I hope the fish will be fine, just wait and see.

    to Funmom, I sympathize its tough to see them like that, are you sure its a tumor not a parasitic growth, the fish store might have a chart you can look at for fish medication but it might be age, 4 is a good age and he might be older depending his age when you got him.

  202. Mercy

    On August 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I am a novice to owning fish. I bought a male betta (Fred) and a corydora. I had them together in a bowl and they were doing fine. I invested in a 10 gallon tank and they were esctatic! I then got a female betta and a botia and added them in. I did not realize that the female needed to be seperated at first before spawning. He has not been aggressive towards her but she has nipped his beautiful tail a few times. I got an used bowl to seperate her. I have just read not to use soap to clean the bowl. But I got this bowl at a yard sale and do not know what to clean it with before putting her in it. I do have betta bio active live gravel to put in her new bowl. So my questions are can I reintroduce them to mate at a later date. What are the tale tell signs that they are ready? How do I clean this used bowl? And how do I repair Fred’s fin? Thank you for your time.

  203. Mark Gordon Brown

    On August 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    to Mercy
    You can buy products at pet supply stores to stop the tail from becoming infected, but it should be fine and will grow back on its own.
    You can put them in the same tank IF it has a divider – some stores sell them, or you can use a piece of glass – they will see each other, and smell each other as water will get through the cracks around the glass or divider – when she is ready her color pattern will change, she will get stripes, you may even see eggs inside her – he should build a bubble nest which is very important, then you can put them together but watch them because it can get rough – he will appear to squeeze the eggs out of her and will put them in the nest, she needs to be removed because she will eat them and he will fight to keep her away.

  204. Angel skye halo ( this is a fake name )

    On October 9, 2011 at 1:00 am

    hi im a 12 yer old girl seeking for information tht i cant find any where! so i need to know these things:

    *my tank is only 9cmW 9cmD 12.15H is that enough room for breeding?

    * can i just put the female straight in there? as i dont have a barrier

    * if there is eggs can i still clean the tank out? ( no i bet )
    * after mating how long until she lays and how long until they hatch??

    thanks hope i get some answers

  205. hi im a 12 yer old girl seeking for information tht i cant find any where! so i need to know these things:

    *my tank is only 9cmW 9cmD 12.15H and its 0.75L is that enough room for breeding?

    * can i just put the female straight in there? as i dont have a barrier

    * if there is eggs can i still clean the tank out? ( no i bet )
    * after mating how long until she lays and how long until they hatch??

    thanks hope i get some answers

    Read more: http://therealowner.com/fish-aquariums/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-betta-fish-but-were-afraid-to-ask/#ixzz1aG3pzSlf

  206. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    hi Angel

    No you cannot use a tank that small, thats actually too small even for an adult Betta although I know those tanks are often sold for Bettas.
    If you put a female in with a male in a tank that small one would kill the other.

    You cannot clean the tank once the eggs are laid.

    Here is a link for more information.

    Do not breed unless you have many many containers for the fry.

  207. kiiwii

    On October 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Hi, ive had my beautiful male halfmoon betta for about 3 weeks now. I recently bought him pellets and he eats it but then spits it out and he does this repeatedly until the pellet is gone. Why is this? also i try feeding him freezedried bloodworm every once and a while as a treat and he doesnt eat them at all…i have him in my room in a 1 gallon fish tank…my house is pretty warm but i am worried that the water might be too cold for him…i just want him to be fine…please help :)

  208. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Some fish seem to do that with their pellets, as long as he is eating it that is okay, just be sure not to over feed your fish. Some have never had bloodworms before at the store, some prefer brine shrimp, some dont eat either. You can try to get him interested by wiggling it around in your fingers at the water surface.
    If he is swimming and active he is warm enough, if he is not very active at all, he may be too cold, find a place where sun might shine on his water. Sometimes near a window can actually be cold on winter days too.

  209. Corrina

    On October 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I want to try breeding bettas. I have been doing my research on them for the last 3 weeks and I can’t find out how long to leave them together (such as if they don’t mate). I know she has to have vertical stripes and he of course builds a nest. If the embrace occurs then I know I need to remove her after that. But I was wondering how long should I leave them together just a few hours or a few days? How long after I release the female with the male does it take to “do the deed”?

  210. jackie

    On October 25, 2011 at 3:42 am

    i left my betta in a fairly dark room for three days, now he is less active and darts around sparaticaly. did he stay in the dark too long?

  211. Maggiehalf

    On October 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Very sad story :( about a week ago, my betta named Red developed a growth on what i would think of as his chest. I thought it might be constipation so i gave him the peeled pea and waited. Nothing happened and the growth continued to grow. Now he hasnt eaten anything in days and it appears that the growth has come to a head. I fear that he is on his last days and im wondering if there is anything i can do? I kept his water warm and clean with food every other day! Please help,

  212. betta expert

    On November 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Ok people. First of all don’t buy fish from pet stores. Have you seen the bowls there in. Most are sick. Only buy if you are looking to save them and have expierence.

  213. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Sorry it took so long to respond
    Corrina, when they embrace the male squeezes the eggs out of her and she should be removed right after that, here is a link on Breeding Bettas

    Maggiehalf the pet store should have a picture chart showing what disease your fish might have and what treatment is right.

    Jackie if it is too dark it may also have got too cold hopefully your fish will perk up in a day or two.

  214. allie

    On November 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I have a crowntail betta and he has a sandy brown colored spot on his side the water is room temp and tank is clean he is not my first betta but this is the first time this has happened what is it and how do I heal it?

  215. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    to allie I am not sure of the problem with your fish but you can go to your pet supply store they will have a chart with pictures of different fish illness and medication to treat, it could be bacteria I hate to guess.

  216. Catherine

    On November 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    We have had Betta for 2 months. Haven’t changed the water yet because not really sure how to do it. Whats that best way. We have a 3 gallon tank with a internal filter that oxygenates the water and flows through a carbon filter and then back into the tank. The filter hasn’t bothered Betta we have had the filter in for about a month. The original airator broke so we put in the filter. The tanks normal temp is around 72-74 degrees in the last few weeks it has dropped to 68 degrees at night. We bought an automatic heater made for a 2-15 gallon tank that automatically heats the water to 78 degrees because we were afraid we were freezing Betta. On the first day the heater was in Betta just hid behind the filter which was next to the heater then today Betta just lays at the bottom of the tank. Are we frying him? He use to be active anytime we would walk by the tank…we would dart to the top of the tank like he wanted to be fed. And whenever it was feeding time he would wait for you at the top of the tank. Now he doesn’t seem interested in eating or swimming. We took the heater out to see if he gets better but what should we do? I don’t want him to freeze but I don’t want him to fry either? He is our 4yr olds fish and his tank is in her room…I really don’t want him to die. I appreciate any advice on how to change the water and what to do about the water temp. Thanks in advance.

  217. Amber Johnston

    On November 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I hear you calling “blood worms” a treat… So, is it not ok to feed him blood worms all the time? He spits out his Betta pellets so I started feeding him the blood worms all the time (Once a day) He seems very happy with this but I don’t want an unhealthy Betta. Thanks for the info!!

  218. cait

    On November 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    i recently got a crown-tail betta (Prince Caspian) and he wont eat the betta pellets that i gave him. i gave him a different brand then i’m giving my other fish i even crush them because they don’t fit in his mouth and i don’t know how much hes actually eating so what should i do. My other fish (Noah) has tail rot (im pretty sure) so he has to tail and hes still doing good and i change there water at least once a week.

  219. EMILY_!!!_ :)

    On November 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    i bought a crowntail betta from petsmart in the summer and it is mid nov. now.i jst recently came back from camping and my dad was feeding my fish for me.i noticed when i went upstairs to say hi to him i saw these lil white bubble like things on the tips of his fins im worried cuz i love him lots and i dont want him to die i thought i could be fin rot but not shur!!!!
    PLZ HELP MEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

  220. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    He is you need to go to a pet supply store and ask to see a chart on fish illness this will tell you not only what is wrong, but how to treat it. It might be a bacteria growth which is easily treated.

  221. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    To Amber yes blood worms are okay as food too.

    to cait you can buy medication to help with fin and tail rot. Also some small fish have a harder time with large pellets, I have found some tiny ball shaped food is good too.Try to buy it in containers that are clear so you can see the size.

  222. Alyx

    On November 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I just got a betta fish and it ate the food as soon as I put it into the bowl. The only problem I have is that I gave it some pellets and the fish ate them but then spit them back up. Does the fish not like the food or are the pellets too big for the fish to eat??

  223. Mark Gordon Brown

    On November 29, 2011 at 12:59 am

    to Alyc
    Sometimes they do that, it might be playing, or you might have given it too much food, or they might be too big, but often it is just the fish’s habit. They dont need more than 2 pellets, keep a watch to see if it eventually eats them if not you might try smaller ones – but you should be feeding the same as the store was feeding it.

  224. Amber Johnston

    On November 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Thank you Mark!!!

  225. Kristin

    On December 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I have a female betta that is full of eggs. By full I mean she’s quite rounded and FULL. I tried to spawn her with a male whom I got with the same size body, but now that she has swollen up so much, he can’t wrap her. She’s still rounding out more with eggs. Is there a way to get her to drop? As big as she is I fear for her. My male can’t spawn her and I can’t find one big enough in the pet store. What else can I do or is there no reason to worry? Her belly is about the size of a regular glass marble at the fullest point.

  226. Mark Gordon Brown

    On December 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Sorry Kristin I have not encountered such a problem so I do not know what you can do, call a vet maybe they would know, I do know some people “milk” fish but not sure how to do that well enough to advice you on it. Good luck with your fish!

  227. Christie

    On December 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I’m pretty sure my fighting fish is sick. I’ve only had him 2 weeks, he stopped eating 3 days ago n has got less active day by day now he is a pale white colour all over his body. I did a 50% water change and I got water tested ammonia was 0.1 so I put in ammolock I also put in antibacterial stuff for fish oh and also I know this is gunna sound gross but 2 days ago I noticed him pooping it was kinda white so I thought he was constipated but now not sure,, I don’t know what wrong with him please help! His normal colors are black head blue body blue and red fins

  228. tomi

    On December 12, 2011 at 12:50 am

    what or is something wrong with my betta fish if it is just laying at the bottom of the fish tank on the side just breathing after i just brought him home today? what should i do?

  229. tomi

    On December 12, 2011 at 12:53 am

    can someone answer my question

  230. Sasha

    On December 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I have a male betta fish. When i first put him in the tank, he seem to like it and looks fine and healthy. The next day, he keeps going back and forth from the bottom of the tank to the top of the tank again and again. I’m not sure if he is ok.. and i’m not sure if it’s the ph of the water or the size of the tank because my tank is tall, narrow and has quite a small surface area. Oh please help me!! I’m worried about my fish.

  231. Jane

    On December 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    When you get a Betta how long are they supposed to settle in there new tank for.
    Thanks, please get back to me as fast as possible.
    Thanks again.

  232. Jessica

    On January 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    i’ve had my fish now for about 2-3 years and she seems like a happy healthy fish and shes been eating just fine but not lately. Ever since i bought new gravel (months ago) she hasn’t been eating that much because the next day i look and there are little piles of food or something on the surface where i put the food but the color i sucked out it looks like…is it maybe the gravel?…help?

  233. Mark Gordon Brown

    On January 4, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Jessica when buying new gravel you have to wash it many times. I would suspect it was the gravel since her problems developed after you added it, you can try making water changes since whatever was in the gravel is now in the water.

    It might be old age too though.. or the new gravel stressed her?

  234. Sudie

    On January 5, 2012 at 1:02 am

    My son just received a betta as a gift. We received him in a small bowl. We purchased an aquarium that comes with a glass cover. Is it better to use it or leave it uncovered, or possibly purchase a screen? Thank you.

  235. Kaitlyn

    On January 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Hey, I bought a Betta yesturday that I named Gilligan and I purchased flakes to feed him. Are they okay to have? how many should I feed him? The store said a pinch, but I feel that may be too much. He is not too active, but I feel that that is because of the cold midwestern weather. This is my first time having a pet fish.. Do you have any major advice (besides to buy a book) that I should take into consideration?

  236. Kaitlyn

    On January 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Aso, does it matter what type of rocks I put at the bottum of his bowl? I have the trasparent like jems in it now.

  237. cara

    On January 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    hi my name is CARA and i have a male betta and he is at the top a lot should i worry plus.. do i change the water if there is worm leftovers on the bottom of the tank i read it is bad and i don’t got any fish to clean it off the bottom.. im thinking of getting one..
    so please help me ..

  238. Mark Gordon Brown

    On January 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    to Cara, you should try to get rid of the uneaten food, and do a 1/3 or 1/2 water change because the food will have put waste into the water already, of course you know to remove the chlorine and make sure the new water is warm. You may be feeding him too much so cut back on that too.

    to Kaitlyn. As long as they are proper aquarium rocks you should be fine. I found my Bettas preferred pellets, and gave them 2-3 a day, if yours eats flakes a small pinch is fine. Find a warm place for the bowl, like on a table that gets some sun but not close to the window where it would be cold, they are less active when chilled.

  239. ngfhdfgs

    On January 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    how do i know if my light colored female betta has eggs inside her if you can’t see the vertical lines on her back?

  240. Raghu Ravindran

    On February 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I am Raghu writing to you from India. I found your article to be very helpful and informative. I recently bought some betta fishes from a country side fish aquarium in India. They were growing these fishes in a big muddy pond, which had lots of water plants as well. I am now confused thinking whether I need to buy a glass water aquarium or shall I buy a cement pond, so that I can put some mud and plant some aquatic plants as these fishes are used to the muddy water. If I put these fishes in a normal glass aquarium with clean water, will they survive. Or do I need to put them in the muddy water only. And also, if its muddy water then how do we ensure that its bacteria free and in a good condition. I require your kind advice on this and would highly appreciate your revert. Thanking you in advance.

  241. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    to ngfhdfgs the lines will be on her side, they will be slightly darker than her body, you should see them, she needs to be in the tank with the male but separated with a divider until that time

    to Raghu They will be fine in the glass aquarium but you need to not just dump them into the clean water as this will be too much of a shock for them. The are probably in a bag, you put a bit of your tank water into the bag, wait 20 minutes and do this again, eventually you can pour the fish out.

    I have never known anyone to keep them in a pond but you could, mostly its goldfish people keep in ponds, if your pond is too small you could only keep 1 fish in it, if you have a big pond you can keep more but need to make hiding places so they can get away from each other and wont jump out.

    Not sure how to make sure the mud does not have bacteria unless you boil it for 20 minutes and let it cool

  242. Jenise

    On February 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I have two female Betta and two males. My male Half moon and female (don’t know what kind she is) are close to each other so they can see one another. They both flare at each other, and the male seems to then turn to the side while flaring, like hes showing off his fins to her. What kind of interaction is this between them?

    ~also, as another question if it can be answered: How can I tell what type of female Betta I have since their fins wont grow out the exact same way as a males?

  243. Danielle

    On February 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    can betta’s see in the dark? do they mind being in the dark? i have a light by his tank throughout the whole day so that he can see, but at night when i’m sleeping i turn it off and i feel bad because i feel that he can’t see anything or might be scared. especially because my room is pitch black, i have dark shades so there is absolutely no light that comes in. i’m just worried he gets scared or something :/

  244. mahlanimahlani

    On February 12, 2012 at 2:51 am

    hi, Mark 2 weeks ago i got a male betta and he has been blowing huge bubble nest because i have his tank next to my female betta Abby, but he would stop blowing hi nest and his nest would get smaller so the next 4 months do you think i can breed them

  245. mahlanimahlani

    On February 12, 2012 at 3:05 am

    ooh and Abby is albino and when color (my male betta) started blowing his nest she got dark lines on her body

  246. Mira

    On February 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Dear Mr.Mark,
    I’ve have my male betts for over two years or so, and I noticed that he’s loosing some scaling in patches over his body, and his fins are loosing them as well. Anything will help.

    - “Sharkies” Momma

  247. Nuggets Owner

    On February 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I have a brand new fish in an incredibly small bowl. I was unaware they needed more room and will soon remedy the problem. My question however concerns the glow in the dark pebbles at the bottom of the bowl. He is moving them around at least 8 total hours a day spending the rest of the time resting. I think he is trying to get the food underneath. despite the conditions he still appears healthy. Although i plan on moving him to a laarger tank soon my question is would this much exercise be good for him. the pebbles are approxmately half his weight but he moves them easily. could this possibly be a form of strength training. i dont plan on fighting hi m anyone who does tha tshould be punished severly. i just want to have the strongest healthiest fish i can.

  248. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    to mahlanimahlani you can put her with him if she has the stripes but watch them closely sometimes they will fight – remove her as soon as they have mated or she will eat the eggs.

    To Mira – it sounds like some sort of disease or problem with your water – your pet store will have a picture chart showing you want it could be and what medication is needed – it could be age too if your fish was a few years old when you got it.

    To Nuggets Owner, yes he could be looking for food, do not over feed him, they normally need only a few pellets a day 1-3 for small fish is plenty, if some are sinking to the bottom that is what he is looking for or maybe just keeping himself entertained. It is good that he is active.

  249. megan

    On February 24, 2012 at 1:29 am

    i have my beta in the container he came in, clear two cup cup with a lid with holes in it until tomorrow night and i put him in my 10 gallon tank i have. i decided to keep him in there for now because my tank got cloudy overnight for some reason. anyways, he hasnt been eating much so i tried some frozen brine shrimp but he didnt eat that either… so his cup got really gross so i decided to change the water for him since he will be in it for another day. but when i put him back in his cup i saw a brown mushy swirled up looking type of thing at the bottom. it almost looks like a bodily organ or something. but ive been reading other sites and it may just be poop . i dont know what it is and im worried that i hurt him somehow when i changed his water. oh aand i used stress coat in the water too so it was safe for him. please help. and thank you!!!

  250. Mark Gordon Brown

    On February 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm


    if it was long brown string it was poop.

    It is normal for a fish not to eat after being stressed from a move, if you put in too much brine shrimp it would mess up the water, only a tiny bit is needed.

    Hope your fish is okay.

  251. Ashley

    On March 6, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Hey mark, I got a crown-tail Betta yesterday from walmart such a beautiful fish I named him Bruce Lee. Any how, I got a one gallon tank for him and I had the air pump in it but and had some these jewel things in there for you know decoration… but then I learned that bettas don’t like to be seen when they are sleeping… so my sister let me borrow her fake reef thing but it was covered in gross so I had to clean it with soap… but ran it under hot water until there was no smell or anything of soap and got him some new rocks… and I put my fish in a bowl with the same water that was in his tank… I dumped out his old water and put the rocks and stuff in there and but water in there at 74* that isnt going to hurt him is it from his old water that was at like 69* 70* and when I put the new water and all his new toys in there I left out the air pump and there are lots of tiny bubbles all over the tank in the water that isnt nothing is it? and should I BUY a pH meter and a ammonia tester? what should I get for him… My first fish and I am already smitten by it
    thanks Ashley

  252. Ashley

    On March 6, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Also should I buy a heater it gets pretty cold in my room and should I keep the light off in his tank? do they like the light or the dark?

  253. Danielle

    On March 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm


  254. Mark Gordon Brown

    On March 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Danielle – I do not think so but they can sense water movements.

    to Ashley – sorry it took so long to get back to you, I have a hobby farm and have been busy.
    Get rid of the air pump, they do not need it and do not like the disturbance of the water. I have never heard that they do not like being looked at when sleeping – how would they know?
    Your room is probably cool at night, but where they live it would get cool at night too, as long as it is warm in the day. Turn the light off for at least 8 hours.

  255. Deschanel

    On March 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    So I have 3 female bettas currently living together and also two male bettas (separated of course). I want to breed a female, she’s ready and all but will it destroy the pecking order if I remove her? There’s a possible solution if i put the females in different tanks for when i remove the breeding one. And if I put all the females in separate tanks for when one courts, will it be possible to put them back together again?

    P.S. I’m aware of all the betta fry I’ll be housing and know how to breed bettas, introducing etc.

    Thank you!

  256. Nima

    On March 23, 2012 at 6:57 am

    My fighter fish doesn’t eat the food
    What should I do??

  257. Deschanel

    On March 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Please answer soon.

  258. Deschanel

    On March 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Please answer soon. Thanks.

  259. Deschanel

    On March 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Heh, sorry for posting that twice. I forgot the thanks.

  260. Megan

    On March 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Mark ,your website has been very helpful in the past and i need help now I have had 2 bettas in the past four years and they have always done well and live about a year or longer i recently bought a fish from walmart and he died after only 7 months is this normal?Should i buy fro a local pet store??? Help Me REPLY SOON THKS!!!

  261. Mark Gordon Brown

    On April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Hi Megan, only buy from good pet stores where they are not in tiny cups. Never buy from a place that sells them in tiny cups. Walmart where I live does not even sell fish any more because customers refused to shop there for them.

  262. Julia

    On April 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Hey mark, I just got my male betta fish today, he don’t look that bright though. And since I got him today, I’m not sure if he is ok and if that’s his normal dull blue color. Also, I don’t have a thermometer but I do plan on getting one tomorrow. I think the water may be to cold. I don’t want to get a heater because I don’t the water getting to hot. I have never owned a betta fish before. I am also very confused about the water changing. I got this water conditioner stuff called “BettaSafe”. Do you know if this stuff works and what is actually does?
    - Julia

  263. Deschanel

    On April 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    So I have 3 female bettas currently living together and also two male bettas (separated of course). I want to breed a female, she’s ready and all but will it destroy the pecking order if I remove her? There’s a possible solution if i put the females in different tanks for when i remove the breeding one. And if I put all the females in separate tanks for when one courts, will it be possible to put them back together again?

    P.S. I’m aware of all the betta fry I’ll be housing and know how to breed bettas, introducing etc.

    Thank you!

  264. Emily

    On April 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I thought my fish Stew was dead. He was at the bottom and his gills were not moving at all. I even touched him and he didn’t move. Then i put him next to a heater and he came back to life. How was he still alive?

  265. LauraB

    On April 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Hi, you have a great site here. Two days ago we purchased a male Betta and have him in an one gallon tank with light and filter. He appears to be doing well, as we have followed all of the pet store’s instructions. Should I remove the filter? How long do I leave the light on every day/night? Thanks for the advice.

  266. Mark Gordon Brown

    On April 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    to Laura – thanks, normally you would turn the light off at night. I would suggest removing the filter, they do not like the motion.

    to Emily, when chilled their metabolism slows down – very lucky, they would die if cold for too long.

    to Deschanel – here is an article on breeding

  267. miranda

    On April 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    My betta needs to be moved and I was wondering if I could put his tank under a t.v.

  268. Brandon

    On April 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Hi i just bought my first betta the other night, i think it’s a half moon but i’m not sure. i looked them up online and their tails are big and beautiful but the betta i got is very tiny and does not have the similar shape tail. So will his tail fill out and acquire that shape or will he just grow up looking like he is?

  269. Danielle

    On April 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Hi! I have two male bettas that I have kept in separate bowls nowhere near each other. I just bought a 10 gallon tank and put them in there (obviously with a divider). They’re doing everything they can to get through the divider and I’m worried that they’re not sleeping enough and are getting overly stressed out. Are they just entertained or stressed out and want to kill each other? Thanks!! This blog is soo helpful!

  270. Danielle

    On April 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Hi! I have two male bettas that I have kept in separate bowls nowhere near each other. I just bought a 10 gallon tank and put them in there (obviously with a divider). They\’re doing everything they can to get through the divider and I\’m worried that they\’re not sleeping enough and are getting overly stressed out. Are they just entertained or stressed out and want to kill each other? Thanks!! This blog is soo helpful!

  271. Tyler

    On May 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    So you let the male and female reproduce. then you remove the female and let the male do his thing. will the male attack the offspring when they hatch? and how do you know if the male will attack the female or reproduce when first reproduced. and when they are finished reproducing can i put a divider in or will that upset the female because she can still see?

  272. Tyler

    On May 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    So you let the male and female reproduce. Then you remove the female and let the male do his thing. Will the male attack the offspring when they hatch, and how do you know if the male will attack the female or reproduce when first introduced? Also,when they are finished reproducing can i put a divider in or will that upset the female because she can still see?

  273. rhianna

    On May 14, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Are betta fish scared of the dark?

  274. arden

    On May 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    i have a female betta besis my male betta and how do i know they like each other

  275. FishCareForU

    On May 30, 2012 at 2:33 am

    I would just like to mention, I am a Betta breeder and when I first got my Betta it was a long time ago when I was a kid. And I named him “Corey” he was such a calm Betta and was not very aggressive, but would when another male came. I first started out with a 1.84L tank yes you may say “That’s cruel! What are you doing?” I didn’t know since I was a kid, and let me tell you my betta would swim around each day and eat properly. He was a lovely red, I DID get him at a pet shop and he was dying I had to help him. I do understand I supported a pet shop, but why should I let him suffer? Yes they may get more money but the government needs to step up and help animals from Pet Shops, and actually have owners who care. He was low on health, and after a few days he was lifting his self, swimming and he was recovering. After 3 years I gave him to my younger cousin and he took great care of him till he was 4+ years old lived for a year and 6+ months. It was quite suprising.

    Now what I do in my spare time is buy Bettas from Pet Stores, recover them & sell them for over $5.00 or more depending on size, colors, how long it took to recover, supplies…I never go over $25.00 on my fish. Unless I have special Bettas they will and could be over $50.00 but I rarely do that. I know I am supporting pet stores, but I am making more money then them selling them to many people for value. I don’t care about the money, I just care if the fish is fine & To make money for some more supplies to rescue more fish. $2.50 – $4.99 for a fish + food + an extra 1.84L tank – 2.5 Tank – 5 Gallons tank.

    I will keep buying Betta’s from the Pet Store, if you do think I am doing something bad I am sorry. Why let them suffer? I go to my local pet store to look for a puppy for my sister, family, wife and I can never find the right one and I come each day [Waiting till there birthdays.] And all I see is Bettas in cups never looked at just dying down, begging & waiting for someone just to help them.

    Not to mention, betta’s live in muddy area’s and tiny ditches including puddles. They don’t 100% need a 5 Gallon tank, as long as they are properly cared for & have a BIT of dirt they don’t get stressed out. I would clean my tank each week then after that week wait 2 weeks and then after two weeks clean one time a week then 2 times a week So my fish are happy, it alternates. I have 9 18.9 L tanks and a few 5 gallons and 10 Gallons, community fish and let me tell you my fish get a long nicely.

    I hope everyone supports “my opinion” not dislike and hate it. I am just stating what I think is much more helpful, I don’t mind spending $50.00 for the hole pet store of Betta’s as long as I can recover them and find them a home. Go on Youtube and put “Catching Wild Betta” all people do is just step in a puddle and scoop with a basket and they catch a basket, that’s how SMALL area’s they live in.

  276. LaiJ.

    On June 7, 2012 at 2:38 am

    May I offer my 2 or 3 cents’ worth of comments to help keep Bettas Healthy?1

    Mine were also like that at first they cover in a corner, listless, inactive, stationary most of the time, refusing to eat too, even enticed with ‘delicious “protein laden Tubifex( I know some people do not encourage using Tubifex because they might contain disease or retading organisms…..best flushed them with fresh water a few times first!?)…. but after reading the net about the usage of IAL, and putting them in use… my betalmost half dead bettas flared up, even went to the poiunt of spitting bubbles to build nest….. latest i am trying to add a bit of Rough typed aquarium salts too, because i see my faVOURITE PET SHOP0 DOPING SO, EVIDENTLY IT (SALT ) IS TO OSMO REGULATE AND KILL GERMS?!…HOPE THAT HELPS BUT SORRY TO SAY IN THE FAR EAST ALL THESE GOOD POINTS ARE NOT IMPARTED, BECAUSE THEY TEND TO PLAY monopoly, KEEPING PRICES SKY HIGH!

  277. LAIj

    On June 7, 2012 at 2:43 am


  278. LaiJ

    On June 7, 2012 at 2:56 am

    ANOTHER THING I NOTICE WHETHER MY male BETTAS ARE IN GOOD HEALTH AND READY TO MATE OR NOT…is THAT, ONE HAS TO OBSERVE , if he has bubbles ready, and is flapping hi ears like mad, he is ever ready…also, i use a piece of styrofoam as in those use to pack home food bought outside…. if it is too big, one will not notice if the pair has mated or not, because the bubbles and the eggs are also white/ almost transparent the .. if the styro foam is cut concave shape d and small, one can dedect some eggs by the side, thus knowing they have spawned, if so quickly take out the female which usually is not active anymore then and should be hiding from the furious /protective husband! sorry for using capitol letters, my computer is a million years old! i would like to contribute more but do not know if at all they would be helpful/appreciated…. I hail from the Far East, in Ipoh, Perak, West Malaysia ! Greetings all…Happy Betta Keeping/Breeding, which I find most enjoyable!

  279. battatontonton

    On June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    hi i have a question im only a kid but im researching a lot on betta fish I know all I have to know about them I have been researching for a year before purchasing one but i have a few questions I have not found out yet can they live with a African dwarf frog and ghost shrimp and neon tetras in a ten gallon tank or would the betta chase them causing them to get stressed and is it alright to buy a betta from breeder trough shipment?

  280. morganlennie

    On June 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    can we bring a betta in da same tank cuss i want more fish

  281. Jorge m

    On August 6, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Hello I got a batta and put her in the bowl I was wondering did I feed her too much since the water is dirty should I change it soon

  282. Analyse

    On August 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    okay im super freaking out right now i have had 2 bettas in the past and they have both lived healthy after my last one passed sadly i got a new one i have had this one since january in a 3 gallon tank with everything he needs i recently went on vacation for a week and my dad fed him 4 pellets a day i came back and noticed a large balloon like thing on his gut or under his gills it is not extremely large but it could be growing i know of the disease dropsy but he dosent have pine cone scales or anything else i need to know if he is sick or just fat I really have become attached to Apollo and would hate to lose him please email or reply back i need some help thank you so much god bless!

  283. Angela

    On August 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    We just got our second betta. Our first betta is 4 years old and doing great. My son wants his new betta to live in his room by his bed. Problem is, my kids room is very dark and never really gets sunlight. Is this bad for our betta?

  284. Angela

    On August 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    We just got our second betta. Our first betta is 4 years old and doing great. My son wants his new betta to live in his room by his bed. Problem is, my kids room is very dark and never really gets sunlight. Is this bad for our betta?

  285. Angela

    On August 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Have you tried giving your betta a few bites of the inside of a pea?

  286. courtney

    On September 9, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Hello Mark, I have a a question i think my fish are weird and act diiferently then most bettas and how everyone says they are so aggressive i have a 5 gallon tank with four male bettas,four female bettas, and a few guppies and we have had them for a little over a year in the same tank they swim around and run into eachother alot we haven’t had any fights or deaths in our tank this whole time the males sometimes do there flare up like they are sizing eachother up but then after that they swim off and the females just swim around and the guppies just go everywhere so my question is why are my bettas not aggressive like everyone is saying the should be all my males have all there tail fins and everything along with the females and guppies so any info on why they are okay with eachother would be greatful.

  287. Mark Gordon Brown

    On September 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Are you sure your aquarium is only 5 gallons? That is a very small tank, really only big enough for 1 or 2 fish total. It is about the size of a toaster, and not big enough for 10 fish or what ever you say you have. A rule of thumb 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of tank

  288. Allie

    On September 25, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Really cool place! I\’m a new betta mommy and love mine already… Learned interesting facts! Just wanted to say it. :) bye!!! -Allie and Tré the betta

  289. Thunder

    On October 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Uhhhhh…. Retailers have limited space. Small cups are only temporary!!! Everyone, feel free to buy a Betta in a cup anytime! Just make sure they go into a spacious tank. Geez, Bettas can’t be mixed together and putting them into plastic box inside tanks is obstruction of tanks viewing. So, yeah, duh, duh, duh, Bettas will be sold in cups. Its much easier that way. Just support those that actually take care of the water in the cups and feed them, other than that, it is not a crime to temporarily keep them in a cup for sale. Get real, people, geez.

  290. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    No, I have seen some stores sell them in decent size containers, there is no excuse for small cups.

  291. happydeb

    On January 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I have had my veil tail betta for a at least a couple of years with no problems. A few months ago he started to do his usual \”shark attack\” when I fed him (betta pellets) but he would overshoot the food, back up, and try again, overshooting the food again, sometimes as many as a dozen tries before he got a piece to eat. Sometimes he would back up numerous times after overshooting the food, and finally give up without eating anything. Then he got to the point where he was not getting anything to eat, and he stopped trying. He no longer cares when I feed him, and I end up removing the food. I honestly think he may have gone about six weeks without eating ! He looks thinner, and has started spending most of his time on the bottom, only going up to the top for a gulp of air now and then. What is wrong with him? He is showing none of the signs of the usual betta illnesses, and was swimming fine at first. I had done nothing different. He was eating and \”pooping\” just fine. I tried asking for help at pet shops and fish stores, but the best anyone came up with was swim bladder. He was not leaning on his side, had no trouble swimming, or going up and down in the water, so I question that. I have always alternated him among three different brands of betta pellets for a varied source of nutrients.

  292. Courtney

    On March 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Where would you buy the fish then??

  293. Mark Gordon Brown

    On March 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Courtney some stores sell them in good sized containers not small cups, you can buy from those pet stores.

  294. CT

    On March 25, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Why do petstores tell you that a betta can live in room temperature and dont need a heater? And why do they tell you to feed them 2 days a week and feed them 6 pellets each day. That is WAY too much.

  295. Chrissi

    On March 25, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Why do pet stores tell you a betta can live in room temperature? And why do they tell you to feed them 2 days a week 6 pellets each time?

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