Betta Fish – Habitat, Care, Feeding, Tank Size, Breeding

The Siamese fighting fish, better known as the betta fish, is one of the most popular fish in the aquarium world. Just as the name suggests, these fish are known to exercise a lot of aggression.

The situation is more serious among the males placed in the same tank as they all tend to be territorial. That is why it is not advisable to put two male bettas in the same aquarium/space.

Even with being said, there is a lot of joy that comes with keeping such fish in your living space. Of course, all the finer things in life require a little bit of work, and so does having betta fish as pets. Let us understand deeper on better fish;


The betta fish is known to grow to a maximum length of about 2.8 inches.

Over the years, there has been a disparity in the appearance of betta fish in the wild and those in tanks. Let us look at each of these types in-depth.

In the Wild

The natural colorization of most betta fish is green, or sometimes brown. You may also find others with grey-colored bodies. The only time when they display strong colors is when they are agitated. Betta fish in the wild are known to have short fins.

In the Tank

Over the years, aquarium-bred betta fish have displaced a wide range of colors. Some of these colors are; orange, super blue, and gold. Here the fish do not have to be agitated to display such colors because they are selectively bred to do it.

Betta fish in aquariums/tanks are known to have large and flowing fins.


In the wild, betta fish are commonly found in standing waters in floodplains, canals, and rice paddies.


As earlier stated, betta fish are colorful creatures. One of the things that help them maintain their vibrant body colors is a healthy and balanced diet. Therefore you are required to ensure that you feed them properly. Here is what you need to feed betta fish.

  • Live food
  • Flakes
  • Betta Pelletts
  • Frozen food
  • Freeze-dried food

Feeding Rules

  • Feed the fish twice a day.
  • Avoid overfeeding your betta fish. Only give them food they can eat and finish in 5 minutes.

Don’t Overfeed Your Betta Fish

One way of knowing that your betta fish has overeaten is looking at their swimming patterns. When they start swimming in a strange way, that is a sign. When this happens, do not feed them for a day.

Betta Diet in the Wild

Betta fish in the wild have a slightly different diet. They are known to feed on insects and invertebrates.

Water and Tank Requirements

The most important part of keeping any fish is setting up their tank. This process starts with selecting the right tank size for the kind of fish you would like to keep. Since we are talking about betta fish, the minimum size for one fish is 5 gallons. 

Once you have the right size tank, you should always try and keep it away from direct sunlight. You should also keep the tank in an area or room that is quiet. This is because too much noise stresses betta fish.

Tank equipment is also necessary when setting up a betta fish aquarium. One of the things that should not miss here is a filter. It will help filter out any impurities and keep the water clean.

You should also install good lighting. This is because betta fish love a lot of light (not sunlight). However, too much light may promote the growth of algae, which is not so healthy for this kind of fish. Therefore you should always go for LED Lamps.

At the bottom, you would have to add a substrate. The best option would have to be a fine form of sand like fine gravel. This is because any coarse gravel could injure your fish. Make sure you do not forget the golden rule to adding any substrate. Carefully wash it and get rid of sharp objects/granules.

A betta fish aquarium would be incomplete without a heater to heat up the water. This is because it will make them feel as if they are in their natural habitat. Decorations are not that important, but you can add them too. However, this should be done with a lot of caution.

  • Water Temperature: Make sure that the temperature of the water is within 75.2 and 80.5 °F.
  • Water Hardness: The hardness of the water should be between 5 and 35 dGH.
  • Water pH: Make sure that the pH of the water is between 6 and 8.


At this point, we all know that betta fish are pretty aggressive creatures. Therefore adding other animals to the tank should be done with a lot of caution. Here are some of the fish that are compatible with betta fish:

  • Cory Catfish
  • Guppies
  • Kuhli loaches
  • Neon Tetra
  • Ember Tetra

Non-Compatibility Fish

Avoid adding fish that nip fins of others into a tank with betta fish. This is because betta fish are known to respond aggressively when bitten by fin nippers. Some of these fish are;


For successful breeding, you first introduce the female betta to the breeding tank.  You then give the female time to settle in and relax. After about 30 minutes, you add the male. If they are both interested in each other, they will start to perform a dance. This will continue until the female is ready to spawn.

Once she is ready, the mating dance starts. Here the male flips the female upside down and wraps himself around her. He does this so that he can fertilize the eggs as she releases them.

Once she lays the eggs, the male takes them to a nest he usually builds specifically for this purpose. Thereafter the male releases the milt to fertilize the eggs externally. Within 36 hours, the eggs will hatch, and young betta fish will emerge.


It is no doubt that Betta fish are among the most beautiful and colorful fish in the world. Even with that being said, you must also put into account that they are very territorial and violent.

Therefore every decision you make here should factor that in. If you do this, your fish will stay healthy and grow properly.

Updated: March 8, 2020

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