Taking care of a baby Betta fish can be a challenging task. This proves especially true for those new to keeping them as pets.
You should get a Betta fish that is at least a year old to ensure you get it right.
Baby Betta fish are fragile little fry with weak immune systems.
They need a super clean environment and a consistent live food diet to grow up healthy. Hence, they require vigilant care and efforts.
Let’s look into how you can take care of baby Betta fish to ensure their growth and optimal health:
Keep a Separate Housing (Tank of 1 Gallon or More)
The first few weeks of a baby Betta fish are crucial. Even though baby Betta fish are tiny, they need at least one gallon or more space in a tank.
Ensure that you provide each baby Betta fish with a separate one-gallon tank for them to grow.
If the tanks are smaller than a gallon, you may risk the health of your baby Betta fish. Smaller tanks also stunt growth; hence, each Betta fish needs its personal space.
At the same time, extremely large bodies of water can also become an issue. Each baby Betta fish should not be kept in more than 2-3 gallons of water separately.
Other than growth, a baby Betta fish needs to be kept alone to reduce stress or harm from other fish you may have.
Even harmless creatures such as snails can be harmful to a baby Betta fish. This is why it is better to keep it separate.
A baby Betta fish can remain calm in a separate gallon tank and grow to its full size. You can move it to a larger tank with its mates once your baby Betta fish has grown to its full size.
Fish fries are fragile little beings that already have trouble reaching maturity. Sadly, some of them will inevitably die even in the most pristine conditions.
Live Food > Dry Food
A baby Betta’s diet is more diverse compared to an adult Betta fish. While an adult Betta fish can survive on dry food intake, but baby Betta fish can most certainly not.
In order to maintain your baby Betta fish at optimal health, you must feed it more than crushed dry pellets.
Consider purchasing white worms, blackworms, grindal worms, tubifex worms, and even mosquito larvae.
If fed properly, baby Betta fish will grow faster. They should be ready to take on larger foods after three to four days.
Live food is crucial for baby Betta fish as they are in their growing age. The nutrition in dry food is not enough to sustain their health and help them mature healthily.
Live food has several vitamins and fat contents that help a baby Betta fish mature faster.
There are some excellent non-live food options you can use along with live food for a nice healthy balanced diet.
You can use frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, and freeze-dried tubifex worms.
Freeze-dried tubifex worms are an ideal choice when it comes to dry food. They are available in most pet or fish stores.
Additionally, it creates the least amount of mess as baby Betta fish fry tend to spit out worm shells once they’re done consuming the insides.
Still, frozen, dried foods are low in nutrition. They shouldn’t be the main food source. You can use it as a treat or provide it alternatively.
On the other hand, frozen shrimp brine seems to work well on baby Betta fish compared to other foods.
If you have several fish to feed, then it may be a good idea to invest in gel food so that your fish can easily graze on it all day.
However, if you own one or two Betta fish fries, then sticking to the regular feeds highlighted above is a good way to go.
Both regular baby and adult Betta fish need warm water to survive.
These particular fish species are used to tropical Asian waters, which is why you have to try your best to mimic that environment for them.
The ideal temperature for a baby Betta fish should be around 24-29C or 76-84F. The temperature depends on the tank you are using.
Cold water is stressful for baby Betta fish and can lead to sickness. Hence, ensure that the tank’s water temperature stays consistent to avoid any mishaps.
Suppose your living conditions cannot maintain the water at 24-29C/76-84F all year round, 24 hours a day.
In that case, you must invest in a water tank heater to keep your baby Betta fish healthy.
Inconsistent water temperature can lead to disease and inactivity in fish, especially when they are in their growing stage.
There are several types of tank heaters available in stores and online. You can purchase a mini heater if your tank is smaller than 5 gallons or a larger one if not.
Although heaters are a huge help, make sure that you always monitor the water and keep a regular check on the machine as there is always a chance of malfunction.
Ensure Proper Water Change
Like any baby species out there, baby Betta fish are messier than adults.
This is because they eat more frequently, and fish feed can make the water tank musty. Hence, baby Betta fish tanks need extra water changes.
After replacing the water, you can use a large size dropper or turkey baster to suck out any extra unwanted materials floating around like fish waste or old food.
You can have a set schedule for water changing depending on the size of the tank. With frequent water changes, you may not need a filter for your baby Betta fish tank.
Exposing your baby Betta fish to chlorine tap water can kill them. Your fish need chemical-free water to thrive and grow to their optimal health.
You can use tap water to fill your baby Betta fish tank and use a water conditioner to remove the harsh chemicals found in it.
Without using a water conditioner, your baby Betta fish will not survive in the water tank.
Another process often used is to age tap water for more than 24 hours (this means to leave the water standing to make the chemicals evaporate).
This may leave the water chlorine-free, but chloramines do not evaporate this quickly. Hence, a water conditioner is necessary to maintain healthy fish.
Some fish/pet stores sell particular ‘Betta fish water’ for a high price. Purchasing this water is a waste of money because it is the same as using a water conditioner.
Invest in a bottle of water conditioner, which will last you longer than the water from the fish store.
Fish keepers worldwide use water conditioners in their fish tanks to ensure high water quality for their fish.
The water conditioner is extremely concentrated and can condition one gallon of water with only one or two drops.
Ensure you follow the instructions on the label to ensure a healthy and safe environment for your baby Betta fish.
If you want to install a filter in your tank, you must opt for a sponge filter.
Power filters produce strong currents and pressure in the water that can either suck up a tiny baby Betta fish or injure it severely.
Water tank filters are a good investment for tanks with adult fish who do not make as much mess as baby Betta fish do.
With adult fish, you don’t need to change tank water that frequently.
Also read: Can Betta Fish Live Without a Filter?
Keeping all the water changes in mind, you must understand that it is quite easy to stress a baby Betta fish.
Make sure that none of your methods are stressful for your baby Betta fries as they can impact their overall health.
Hence, you must be extremely careful when handling them or removing them from the tank for maintenance.
The Bottom Line
Caring for a baby Betta fish is not a task suitable for everyone.
Unless you have experience handling baby fish or Bettas before, consider buying baby Betta fish for your fish tank.
Several pet stores sell baby Betta fish who aren’t even a few weeks old. This is dangerous and extremely risky.
Not everyone has the skill, time, and equipment to properly care for a baby Betta fish. It isn’t right to subject fragile Betta fries to harsh and inconsistent conditions just for the sake of decoration or joy.
Before adopting any pet, especially fragile baby fish, always make sure you know what you are doing.
Most importantly, you should have enough time on your hands to properly care, clean for, and feed your baby Betta fish.
If you feel like baby Betta fish may be too much for you right now, start with an adult fish, then maybe work your way from there.
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