Questions & Answers            VOLUME 3

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Archived questions and their answers  
from our ever so popular column: 
"All you ever wanted to know about bettas" 

support our betta self help library! 

TOPIC: sudden betta death

Q: What happens when a betta dies naturally? Is it very quick- Mr. Betta is building a bubble nest, eating and flaring and then, poof, lights out? Or do they gradually wither away? I had a betta die very suddenly on me and he was happy and healthy. I fed him his evening snack and within ten minutes, he was dead. :(

TOPIC: selective breeding

Q: How can I get an opaque male betta by spawning different colored betta's. 

TOPIC: live ant diet

Q: I just got this male betta and I was told that he was raised on live ants.  Now he won't eat ANYTHING else and I can't always find his daily share or even know if this is healthy for him (doesn't look very healthy to me).  Is there any way to make him eat something else, I donít want him to get weak or die.  Thanks!!

TOPIC: eggs not hatching

Q: hello I have a question about my pair of fish. I mated them successfully but after 3 day and sumthing hours, the eggs didn't hatch. What could have happen. Please help me out. Thank you

TOPIC: bettas who flare at their owners

Q: My Jean Luc hates me! I have had him for 3 months. I keep him in a 2 1/2 g. tank and because I don't have a filter, I change his water every fourth day. I put aquarisol, salt & treat the tap water. I try to do right by him, but every time he sees me, he starts flaring:-(. Is this normal behavior?

TOPIC: change of color at night

Q: I have a male betta that has a blue body and a black head. I have noticed that at night his head turns red, is that normal??

TOPIC: butterfly bettas

Q: Is there a way to breed certain bettas to get a butterfly or is it just one of those things that pops up.

TOPIC: newly purchased betta not eating

Q: I bought my betta 3 days ago. He ate when I brought him home but now he will come to the surface when I feed him, take the food in his mouth and spits it out.  I find the food at the bottom of the tank untouched. I feed him once in the morning and before bed. What could be wrong with him?

TOPIC: water PH

Q: My water PH is 8.4 (very hard).  What is the HIGHEST PH level I can stay with?  I do not want to add any more of the Low PH product than I have to since it is acid to my fish. 

TOPIC: sick betta making bubbles

Q: My male betta has been at the top of his fishbowl for about a week now. He is normally a very healthy betta, but lately he just floats on the top, making bubbles. Is this normal? thank you for your time.

TOPIC: tumor

Q: I did a search of your site and did not find an answer. My Betta Bob has what looks like a tumor on the side of his body. Itís about the size of a pea and is directly behind his gill. He still swims around, eats and blows bubbles. What is this Ďtumorí and how can I save him? Does it hurt? Your help is greatly appreciated.

TOPIC: betta not eating, loss of color

Q: Is there any hope for my male Betta?  He hasn't eaten in two weeks and hangs out on bottom of his 1 gal. bowl.  Have been putting an antibiotic into tank daily and there's been no change.  He has lost his color and only dashes to top for air then goes back to bottom.  Refuses all food. No idea what's wrong with him!

TOPIC: bettas dying


TOPIC: paralyzed pectoral

Q: Dear Faith,
Hi. I have noticed lately that my blue male betta has only been using one of his pectoral fins, I wanted to know if this is a bad sign or if his "arm" is just tired? lol. Thanks!

TOPIC: mirror and bettas

Q: I gave my betta a mirror to look at himself.  Now when I take it away he seems sad and depressed.  Is it ok to leave the mirror for him 24-7?

TOPIC: moving betta to new tank

Q: I've had my Betta for about a yr now and he has been in a critter keeper tank (about 1 gal. approx.).  I recently bought a 2.5 gallon Mini Bowl tank.  Would it be ok to switch him into this tank?!?  Or should I just leave him in his original tank?!  Do you think this would stress him out?!  Thank you,  Becky

TOPIC: betta getting stuck to filter intake tube

Q: I have a 5 gallon tank with a filter.  The tank is clean, but my bettas fins are so long that he gets sucked against the filter.  He gets away after a few fin wiggles, but I'm afraid the filter will seriously injure him. What should I do to help my betta friend?

TOPIC: cold houses and bettas

Q: I have a male in a 2-gallon tank, with a bad winter coming. My friend lost his fish last year when his pipes burst. We have a cold house anyway, and I was already worried (and considered a small heater). I read here not to use a heater for less than five gallons-any other way to keep the fish warm when the house is cold?

TOPIC: bettas dying

Q: Hi: I recently lost three of my 15 male bettas.  They each have gallon vases that I change twice a week.  About two days before they died their long fins seemed to separate into "dreadlocks or spikes" for lack of a better term.  Please tell me what is causing this????? Thanks very much

TOPIC: life expectancy of bettas

Q: What is the average life expectancy of the average male betta? I have one now that will be 4 years old next month and I was told that's way above the average lifespan for them.

TOPIC: how much to feed bettas

Q: Dear Faith,
Could you provide me with details/graphic on what a well fed betta looks like?  I know you say you don't want them to look pregnant but I'm a newbie and I don't know what a pregnant betta looks like.  My conundrum arises because my "Blondie" betta eats sooo much more than "Big Blue".  Please help. 

TOPIC: vacations and bettas

Q: Can our little boys be left unattended for 4 days?  We are taking a vacation to Vegas soon.

TOPIC: best  small tanks betta set-ups

Q: I want to buy a small aquarium kit (clueless)- what would you recommend? I have two mutt bettas- 1 in a one gal with a under-gravel filter (dirty- I disassemble & clean every 3 wks);1 in a bowl. Saw your thoughts on the Explorer- how about Eclipse 3, 6 or a Mini-Bow (2.5, 5)?  Donít want to hurt my boy with a too-strong filter!

TOPIC: bettas biting their tails

Q: 3 of my 6 males have started to take bites out of their own tails in the last couple of days. They are in 1 gallon bowls arranged so they can see each other. Do bettas sometimes turn on themselves  when they continuously see other bettas which they can't fight?

TOPIC: females blowing bubblenests

Q: Do females blow bubblenests? =)

TOPIC: bettas and sucker fish

Q: Hi there I was wondering if my male betta would be compatible with a sucker fish.  Thank you.

TOPIC: bettas on planes

Q: Hello :) I have a sort of problem with transporting my betta. See, I have to take a plane to get home and I need to know how the differince in altitude/air pressure will affect him, and if it's good or bad. Help? Thank you for any help you give me in the matter :)

TOPIC: betta unable to swing down (floating)

Q: Hi - I cleaned my betta's water today, and since then, he has been acting odd.  He stays at the top, or when he tries to swim down, he bounces right back up, like he can't stay 'down.'  He reacts to seeing my other bettas, still (flares out), and ate his food, though.  Any ideas on what might be wrong with him?

TOPIC: betta unable to see food and to bite it

Q: It's difficult to feed my betta.  He can't seem to ever see the food (pellets) unless I carefully drop it one by one right next to him.  Are all bettas like this or is mine unhealthy?

TOPIC: bettamax

Q: Where can I buy BettaMax? I have asked around in the typical big chain pet stores and no one seems to know what that is. You mention it quite often so having some on hand sounds like a great idea.