We're All Bad Betta Owners

Now, let me preface this by saying that I am in no way an expert on Betta fish. However, in my time owning a Betta fish, I’ve learned that what most people think, is about 100% wrong.

Now, most people, (i.e.pet deprived college students) who get a Betta perch them in little decorative bowls in their bedrooms, on their desks, etc.

This can actually kill your betta fish.

Betta fish can breathe through their gills as well as breathe the air like we do. Since they get some of their oxygen from their gills and the water they need a filter in their tank. But the filter can’t be too strong because of their delicate fins, which if ripped, can cause a multitude of other problems.

Another thing Betta fish require is heaters, yes, heaters. Bettas are tropical fish so they need to be kept in water that’s around 77 degrees warm. So your poor little Betta could be freezing on your cold Boone desk.

Speaking of tanks and things, that little cute bowl from the craft store? That doesn’t cut it. Betta fish require a three (preferably five) gallon tank to feel happy and secure. A Betta tank also needs hidey holes for your aquatic friend as well as plants (real or silk so they don’t rip their fins).

Keeping your betta in a tank thats too small or sports no decorations can stress them out which can lead to fin biting (the fish version of nail biting I suppose). And a Betta in a tank with hard plastic plants or sharp decorations can lead to rips in their fins.

Normally, a small rip in a fin should go away on its own. But if your water is too cold, dirty or you betta is stress biting, the small rip could become fin rot. Fin rot is something that eats away at your Betta's fins and if nothing is done, it can spread to the body and kill it.

Now that I’ve scared you a bit (I’m very sorry I also scared myself when I found all of this out via the Betta tag on Tumblr), I’m going to tell you some things that can be signs of a happy Betta. If your Betta has become more vibrant in color since you’ve acquired it, or it blows bubble nests at the top of its tank, this is a sign of a happy, secure-feeling Betta, so you may not have done too bad, my friends.

As a now educated Betta owner, I sincerely hope you think about getting your little guy a bigger tank or a heater.

For more information on how to properly care for you fish, I highly recommend the Betta tag on Tumblr because they have some impressive stuff on there let me tell you.