What are the Betta fish necessities?

In this post, we will answer the question “What are the Betta fish needs?”. We will also understand how they live in the wild and how they can be taken care of in aquariums.

What are the Betta fish necessities?

Betta fish is a type of ornamental fish that is simple to care for as it does not require much attention, time, and care on the part of the owner. Their needs are always associated with their natural conditions, such as habitat, vegetation, temperature, and other natural features.

The betta fish’s habitat should be a calm space without obstacles. The betta fish is usually raised in isolation (many people breed in glass coffee pots), and despite its fame and nickname, it can be a very docile fish. The betta fish can live harmoniously and peacefully with fish of other species, however, if placed with another male betta fish in the same tank, its aggressiveness will manifest.

Females can become aggressive when placed in a small aquarium, and the larger female betta fish takes the lead and dominates the other females.

Popular belief tells that betta fish does not need much space to grow and develop fully, and it could be raised in any place: a small aquarium or in small bowls, which can be adapted through coffee jars, mayonnaise jars, small jams and using creativity you can cut pet bottles and create small ponds for this species of ornamental fish. However, this is not completely true. Betta fish will require spaces of at least 5-gallons to grow healthily and thrive.

Betta fish in the wild

Betta fish are originally from Southeast Asia where they live in warm waters. In their natural habitat, water parameters vary very little, especially concerning temperature.

In the wild, Betta fish are found in large wetlands, rice paddies, small lakes, and they can also inhabit large rivers such as the Mekong River.

General characteristics

In their natural habitat, Betta splendens or wild Betta fish have a simpler colour (brown) that blends in with their environment, and their fins have shades of blue and red. They are smaller and less aggressive than domestic forms.

Betta fish in general are small and their size can vary from 1 inch for the Betta chanoides to 5 inches for the Akar’s betta (Betta akarensis).

Betta fish are territorial and can live in waters with low oxygen levels, as they can breathe atmospheric air thanks to organs called labyrinths, which make the air pass extremely close to the bloodstream, which make it possible to gas exchange with the blood through diffusion. 

In times of drought when water quality is impaired, Betta fish make full use of their labyrinth organs, making them temporarily adapt to this inhospitable environment.

After the end of the drought, everything is back to normal, and the Betta fish are back to having plenty of clean water with adequate levels of oxygenation.

Selective crosses of species created the opportunity to have specimens of Betta fish with different shapes and colours, but at the same time because of this genetic selection, these fish are more fragile than wild Betta fish.

One of the negative points about these crosses is related to the digestive system of the domestic Betta fish. If kept only on dry feed, these Betta fish can suffer from digestive problems, which wild Betta do not.

Domestic Betta fish become more susceptible to pathogenic agents infections when their needs are not met and this can cause their death more easily, while wild Betta fish are more tolerant of variation in water parameters.

Betta Fish Care

To provide a quality of life for your Betta fish, it is very important to pay attention to 3 points: 

·      Aquarium structure

·      Water parameters and conditions

·      Food availability

Aquarium structure

Choosing the right aquarium is the first step toward your Betta fish’s quality of life. Despite several discussions and divergent opinions from breeders around the world about the ideal size of the aquarium, it is advisable to have an aquarium of at least 5-gallons.

In small aquariums, Betta fish can develop obesity and atrophy, which considerably compromises their quality of life and development within the aquarium, and can even lead to death within 2 years.

Another problem that can occur with Betta fish in small aquariums is caudophagy, which is the self-mutilation of the caudal fin caused by stress due to confinement. Fish health is directly affected by infections caused by wounds.

The Betta fish is active and, in the wild, it roams a considerable area with room to develop, patrolling its entire territory in search of invaders.

This behaviour teaches us that Betta fish do not like small places, and therefore, the importance of offering an aquarium with the minimum size suitable for their quality of life.

Additionally, it is crucial to provide plenty of vegetation and hiding spots to mimic the Betta fish natural habitat. This will reduce their stress levels and improve their quality of life.

Water parameters and conditions

As already mentioned here in the post, Betta fish can live in waters with low oxygen levels, but that is not why we have to neglect a better quality of water for them, after all, you will want your fish to live as long as possible and with quality.

Water is a crucial factor in keeping Betta fish. It is very important to use a quality water conditioner to eliminate chlorine, chloramine, and other toxic metals.

It is very important to maintain the water quality with the correct parameters, so always monitor the parameters. It is essential that the pH of the water is kept between 6.5 and 7.0. Fish can adapt to alkaline pH, but this should be done gradually to avoid sudden changes. It is worth mentioning that some species such as the Crowntail have their fins stunted and curled in water with an alkaline pH.

Food availability

Feeding is a fundamental step for the development and maintenance of your fish’s quality of life. Betta fish have a stomach that matches the size of their eye, so we should not overfeed the fish.

How to Feed the Betta Fish?

When feeding your Betta fish, avoid freeze-dried foods, as they can eventually swell with liquid inside their stomach.

Pellets can be used in proportionate sizes, and flake feeds must be of a compatible size. The ideal is to buy grains that are approximately the size of a fish’s eye. You can feed your fish in small amounts up to twice a day, and whenever you feed, try to wet the food beforehand. Additionally, it is also possible to supplement the Betta fish diet with some blodworms and other live items.


In this post, we answered the question “What are the Betta fish needs?”. We also understood how they live in the wild and how they can be taken care of in aquariums.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the Betta fish necessities?

How long does a Betta fish live in the aquarium?

In captivity, Betta fish are known to live between 3 and 5 years if kept under ideal conditions. If they are kept under inappropriate conditions, they will probably live only a few months.

Why is the betta fish aquarium full of bubbles?

Male Betta fish build bubble nests during reproduction periods. It is very common for male Betta fish to build a bubble nest even without a female closer.

How does the betta fish aquarium have to be?

Ideally, the aquarium should have at least 5-gallons. However, the larger the container, the better the quality of life and the easier it will be to maintain the water parameters. Containers that are too small can cause stress, so depending on the shape and size, a slurry is bad for your fish. Also, there should be plenty of vegetation and hiding spots. The temperature should be warm and the water slightly acidic.

How many times should Betta fish eat in a day?

You should feed your Betta fish once or twice a day. However, it is recommended to fast for one day to avoid any constipation or other digestive disorder. 

Can you cover the Betta fish tank?

Not completely. If it is not opened somewhere, the oxygenation of the aquarium could be impacted. The disadvantage is that the opening can reduce the heat of your aquarium due to the environment and lighting, it is important to keep a lid always with air circulation.

Do Betta fish like the dark?

Betta fish need darkness to rest. They sleep with open eyes. Thus, having lights on would affect their resting time.


Song, M. (2006). Caring for Betta Fish. 

What Do You Need For A Betta Fish? 8 Essentials – https://www.itsafishthing.com/what-do-you-need-for-a-betta-fish/