The Siamese fighting fish (commonly known as betta fish) is a common beginner level freshwater fish. However, this doesn't mean this fish is only for beginners. Betta fish are stunningly beautiful fish native to southeast Asia, and the male betta fish is easily recognized by his brilliant colors and large, flowing fins. 

Aggressive Nature 

The Siamese fighting fish does not get it's name from how docile it is! Males in particular are prone to high levels of aggression and will attack each other if housed in the same tank. If no exit is present, this will turn fatal for one or both fish. Female betta fish are generally calmer, but are still known to be territorial to one another if kept in a small enclosure.The perfect betta home will include only one better per tank! For the purpose of breeding, a pair can be kept in the same tank temporarily. If you have tanks side by side in non-reflective glass, it is important to put a separator like cardboard between the tanks so they cannot see one another. 

Tank Size

it is a common misconception that betta fish prefer to be living in a small bowl rather than an aquarium. While it is true that these fish live naturally in small rice paddies in the wild, they these paddies are part of an overall large body of water with a complete ecosystem. We recommend keeping your betta fish in nothing smaller than a 5 gallon aquarium. The water quality can be effected faster in a smaller volume of water, which may lead to excessive algae growth and other health concerns. Bowls can be more difficult to fit with heaters and filters, another must-have for a healthy betta ecosystem. Pisces recommends the Fluval Chi 5-gallon aquarium for its aesthetic look, bright lights and built in low-flow filtration.

Perfect Water 

As mentioned above, your perfect betta tank will require filtration and heating. If you are choosing to go with a large glass bowl or an aquarium tank that does not have built in filtration, your best option is a sponge filter! Sponge filters are low-flow and rest on the bottom of the tank, so it may be used in any shape of enclosure. Perform a 25% water change weekly and fill with treated water (Pisces recommends: Aqua Pro Betta Step 1 & Step 2) to keep down ammonia levels. The ideal water temperature for your betta tank is between 25.5° - 26.5°. This temperature can be achieved by placing a small heater inside of your tank. Pisces recommends: Marina Betta Submersible Heater. Place a small thermometer on the outside of your glass to measure the water temperature. This will help you decipher if your water is too hot, too cold, or just right!

Feeding

Feeding a betta fish is very easy! Feed your betta sparingly, only 3-4 pellets once per day. Do not overfeed, betta fish eat from the surface of the water and will not eat food that has fallen to the bottom. Any food that falls to the bottom will only pollute the water and result in poor water quality and more frequent water changes. Pisces recommends: Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets.

Decoration

Time for everyone's favorite part, decorating! How you choose to decorate your perfect betta tank is entirely up to you, and your only limit is your imagination. An ideal betta tank will be pleasing to the eye, yet functional. In the wild, betta fish are surrounded by overhanging plants, creating lots of shade and hiding spots for your betta to feel safe. This will reduce stress and make your betta feel protected and safe. This can be achieved using live plants or silk plants. If you choose to use live plants, make sure to use adequate substrate and lighting for plant growth. A small cave or shelter for your fish to hide is also a good idea. 

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