Questions & Answers            VOLUME 5

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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: tank size for a betta 

Q: How big of a tank is too big for a betta? I have a 20 gallon tank already and would like to use it for my betta male (Only one)

TOPIC: live plants

Q: I'm upgrading my betta bowl. So, is it possible to have too many plants in your betta tank? I was thinking a 5 - 10 gallon tank with a FOREST of plants in it. And what plants are ok to use with your betta, and what will harm him?

TOPIC: signs that a betta is sick

Q: Hello!  I have a beautiful betta fish, but he seems "sad."  His color is vibrant, and yet his appetite isn't as it usually is.  He tends to just coast to the bottom and hang out.  He usually comes to the bowl and fans his gills at me... but not lately.  Help! :)

TOPIC: turning filters off

Q: I have a 3-gallon tank and the filter is to loud for my mom at night. Is turning it off at night going to hurt my fish?

TOPIC: freeze dried blood worms and betta diet

Q: Can my betta live only on freeze dried blood worms? Thank you...

TOPIC: betta spitting out his food

Q: My one betta fish usually spits out his food. I am worried he is not getting enough to eat. What should i do?

TOPIC: betta turning pale - betta changing color

Q: Do Bettas change color?  I have a Royal Blue Betta that appears to change color when I am replacing the water in his aquarium.  He turns gray and then turns back to blue.  Is this normal?

TOPIC: bettas resting on plant leaves

Q: Hello. I have a fabric plant that I placed in my Betta, Nolan's, bowl and sometimes late at night he'll rest up on top of it. Is that normal or unhealthy?

TOPIC: bloated betta

Q: My siamese fighting fish has suddenly become bloated. Can you tell me a reason for this and what is the cure?

TOPIC: partial water changes

Q: My betta is in a 1/4 gallon acrylic tank.  The fish wrangler at the pet store insists to NEVER change 100% of the water, always to retain 1/2 of the water with the new (I use bottled spring water), but your web page says differently. Please advise...

TOPIC: betta suicide, betta jumping out of bowl

Q: I'm the owner of several bettas.  I recently had my gorgeous split tail jump out of his vase and pass away :-(.  He had been acting funny for about a day before the "suicide".  I wonder if it was really suicide or was he trying to get in contact with one of female bettas in another vase?

TOPIC: betta injured in a fight

Q: Please help! My daughter's male betta has attacked her female. Her fin is gone and her tail is just about gone also. Since she was acting so sluggish the snail started pecking at her also. (Poor baby!)
I have since removed her from the tank. She has an open wound on her back/belly. Please tell me how I can help her heal.

TOPIC: untreated tap water

Q:  I didn't know that tap water was bad for my betta and I filled his tank up with it and put him in, he was in the untreated water for about 17 hours. A lady at the pet store told me "the damage is already done". Is there anything I can do to prevent him from dying?

TOPIC: male betta raising fry

Q: how does the father raise and protect the offspring, and for how long?

TOPIC: betta membrane, betta flaring

Q: Dear Faith,
I was wondering if It's normal for a betta's membrane (under the gill flap) to only come out halfway when he is flaring?
Thank you for your time...

TOPIC: allowing males to see each other and flare

Q: My co-worker at PetsMart believes setting up bettas so they can see and flare at each other is a bad set-up because it stresses them out and cuts their life expectancy down. However, according to your website, this set-up is GOOD because it helps prevent depression. What do YOU think about this set-up...yay or nay?

TOPIC: spawning bettas

Q: Dear me, 

I have been watching the live spawn on the webcam very very closely and would like for you to talk about it, in more details, and give us your thoughts about spawning bettas in general. Thank me,

TOPIC: untreated tap water and sick betta

Q: My adopted fish has velvet and fin rot.  I bought him a new tank and treated the water with aquarium salt, stresszyme, aquarisol and chlorine remover (he was living in unchanged tap water) and he seems happier but not healthier.  What do I do to save my fish?

TOPIC: overfeeding, feeding bettas

Q: Hey - I have 2 questions.  I recently got a Male Betta and gave him a tank to live in (2 gallons).  Why does he spend like 85% of the day swimming up and down a corner of the tank really fast?  Secondly, I try to feed him, but the food falls b4 he gets interested, and i don't ever know if he's eatin...water is cloudy.

TOPIC: goldfish as betta tank buddies

Q: Dear Faith,
I just got 3 gold fishes and added them to the fish tank that my betta Zeus was in. When ever the gold fishes are in his way he nips at them. When he gets used to them will he stop doing that? He also flares at them. Thanks

TOPIC: salt

Q: On your "water requirements" page, you mentioned adding aquarium salt to a betta's water.  A few lines later, you added that any changes in water quality should be done gradually.  Does this include using salt for the first time after several months without salt?  And, if so, on what schedule?

TOPIC: spots appearing on betta

Q: I can't identify my betta's problem even after reading your web page. He has three gray spots on his head for a month. More are coming. He also has a gold tone on his fins and red spot on his gill plate tips. I used BettaFix for a week and nothing happened. I've
used Mardel Maracide twice now but can't see any change. Help!

TOPIC: salt and water changes

Q: I keep my bettas in gallon jars, complete water change 1x/weekly.  I rinse jars several times with hot water, swish around, until water runs clear.  DOES THIS ELIMINATE SALT? SHOULD I ADD MORE SALT EACH TIME OR WILL IT ACCUMULATE? HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH SALT IS IN THERE?  thanks!

TOPIC: java moss, live plants and bettas 

Q: I was told keeping a plant in my betta's jar can help the water quality, but the jar is small and I do not use gravel. What plant would you recommend I use and can it really help?

TOPIC: pet store bettas not jumping

Q: I'm curious, since pet store bettas are usually in horrible tiny plastic cups, the water is in poor condition and there are no covers. Why don't they jump out? 

TOPIC: fishroom set-up advice

Q: I have just moved to a larger apartment and can now consider setting up a fishroom for my betta hobby. Any words of advice?

TOPIC: how to evacuate bettas in an emergency

Q: Please help! We are being told we may need to evacuate because of the hurricane heading for us... I have 12 bettas, what is the best way for me to pack them and take them with me? 

TOPIC: bettas and air pumps

Q: My son just bought a Betta Fish (male) and he is not eating. We have him in a 1 gal tank, it has a pump to it. Is this pump upsetting him? Do we even need a pump?

TOPIC: betta biting finger

Q: My sister has a 2 year old pet store betta. Ever since we bought him, he has been quite aggressive (he lives alone) and if you stick your hand in his tank, he will BITE it!!!!!! Is biting a normal behavior for bettas?

TOPIC: bettas biting finger poll results

Q: This week we are further exploring betta behavior and looking at our polls results :)