Betta fish are best known for their bright and striking colors that captivate one’s attention. They’re very hardy and can survive a range of water conditions. Their soft yet volatile nature makes them the saltwater fish of choice for beginners.
Wild betta fish have a dull grey-green appearance with shorter fins.
On the contrary, homegrown betta fish are visually different with vivid colors and diverse fins. You’ve got extensive interbreeding to thank for that. It is a given that these stunning fish will hold your attention for hours on end.
Betta fish belong to the Osphronemidae family that includes at least 70 other species. This naturally raises the question: how big do betta fish get?
How Big Can Betta Fish Get?
The average size of Betta fish is around 2.25 to 2.5 inches (5.7 to 6.3 cm). On rare occasions, they can reach a maximum length of up to 3 inches max (around 7.5 cm).
The size of the Betta would eventually depend on how it can be kept and fed. The right environment (such as tank size and water quality) will make sure that your Betta achieve full growth
I got this chart online where you can see how long can betta grow and the time it takes them to go from egg to full growth (source: www.waynesthisandthat.com)
Their average life span is about 2 to 4 years in captivity.
This is a sexually dimorphic species, making males and females easily identifiable. Males are brighter with well-defined tails and fins. Males also possess larger and thicker bodies than females. Females are less colorful than their male counterparts, but they are attractive, nonetheless.
You can find betta fish in a wide range of fins. These include the double tail, delta, vein, Halfmoon, and a lot more. The most popular subspecies often always have vibrantly colored fins that resemble unique shapes. One popular example is the Veiltail betta with a long tail that swoops downwards.
As a hobbyist, you want what’s best for your betta fish. You want them to eat healthily and reach an optimal size.
At the same time, you don’t want them to suffer from overeating and bloat up.
8 Tips to Make Your Betta Grow Faster
Here are 8 ways to make your betta fish grow faster using ethical methods.
Provide Betta Fish With Good Nutrition
They have upturned mouths that allow them to feed on the water’s surface. In general, you will have to provide them with a good diet and water conditions.
In the wild, Bettas eat animals that are small enough to fit their mouths. This includes shrimp, bloodworms, larvae, insects, and other fish.
In captivity, you can feed them pellet foods and flakes. You can find all the nutrients that they need from pet stores. It is a good idea to supplement their diet with freeze-dried foods. However, you should try to provide them with a combination of frozen and live foods.
Betta fish are known for their insatiable appetites and will eat until there’s nothing left. This is why you should be careful not to overfeed them. Leave enough food in the tank that they can scoop in under 3 minutes.
It is recommended to feed betta fish at least two to three times a day. This is more optimized for their smaller digestive systems.
Want your betta fish to grow larger and healthier? Firstly, make sure they get proper nutrition. Secondly, keep them in larger tanks with good quality water. A large volume of water and a steady food supply is key to their growth rate.
Keep Them in a Larger Fish Tank
Putting your betta fish in a larger aquarium gives them more freedom to swim around.
Smaller tanks, by comparison, restrict their activity. This means your betta fish won’t be able to exercise as much. That could lead to stunted growth because lower activity levels hinder various biological processes.
On a similar note, do not overcrowd your tank with other fish.
This could increase the nitrite levels in the tank and lead to nitrite poisoning. While betta fish are really tiny, they need around 10 gallons of volume. You’ll need a larger tank if you keep other fish. Females in general can live in 5 gallons. But more is always better.
Acclimating Your Betta Fish to Their New Home
If you’re transferring your betta fish to a larger aquarium, try to acclimate them first. Your betta fish is used to stability and abrupt environmental changes could lead to stress.
This means your betta fish need to adjust to their new place through acclimation. For betta fish, the difference between life and death could be acclimation. So you have to take this seriously.
With that said, the acclimation process is easier than it sounds. Put your betta fish in a plastic bag that can float in a new aquarium. Let the fish float for about 40 minutes. Introduce a small amount of water from the new tank so they can properly adjust.
Provide Your Betta Fish with the Tank and Conditions
Try to mimic the natural habitat of your betta fish in your aquarium. This means warm, slow, and shallow water with lots of vegetation. Cover the bottom of the aquarium with fine gravel as a substrate.
The temperature of the water is extremely important here. Make sure it is between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Higher and/or lower temperatures could cause them undue stress and disease. Regulating the temperature may be hard if you live in a tropical country. People living in colder temperatures can get a heater to control the temperature.
The pH value of the tank should be around 6 to 8 and the hardness should never exceed 3-5 dGH.
Since they come from slow-moving waters, you should provide them with a filter. Don’t worry, you don’t need anything fancy. Just a normal filter that can provide small currents in the water will do fine.
Adding the Right Things in the Aquarium
Betta fish usually come from areas with lots of vegetation. This makes it important to introduce a few plants around the aquarium. Plants provide betta fish with shelter from the sun, other fish, and improve oxygenation.
There are various options to choose from, including Hornwort, Fava Moss, and Java Fern. These plants are easy to maintain and very hardy.
You can also buy LED lights because betta fish receive 12 hours of sunlight in their natural habitat. They have pronounced daylight and nighttime cycles. Careful not to provide them with too much light because it can overstimulate the fish.
Do not keep your aquarium closer to sunlight because it accelerates the growth of algae. This almost always causes problems for your betta fish, leading to bacteria and infections.
Monitor the Quality of Water
Your tank’s quality of water can greatly affect your betta fish’s health. Harmful toxins and dangerous substances can take a dramatic toll on their health. It prevents your fish from growing faster and may even result in their death.
This means you should monitor the water quality of the aquarium. You will need to use various water testing kits to check for different chemicals. It is also possible to tell the water’s quality by making a few observations.
Cloudy water with more waste than usual requires your urgent attention.
You shouldn’t sit back and relax while your betta fish slowly die in the tank!
Regularly Change the Water in the Tank
It is important to regularly change the water in your aquarium. A high-quality filter can do much of the leg work for you. In general, however, you’ll have to change the water once a month.
Changing the water will purge fatal substances from the tank, including nitrite and ammonia. Also, try to improve the visual clarity of your aquarium.
As a general rule, never change more than 50% of the water in the aquarium. Only replace about 25% to 50% of the aquarium’s water.
Anything more will stress out your betta fish. They may enter into shock and in the worst-case scenarios, end up dying.
Completely changing the water also inadvertently gets rid of the good bacteria. This is essential if you want to get rid of ammonia build up in your tank. Changing too much water often means having to repeat the cycling process all over.
Clean Your Tank Regularly
A dirty aquarium with lots of algae will hurt your betta fish’s growth and affect their health. In most cases, it may outright kill the fish.
Hence, we recommend cleaning the aquarium often. The cleaning process is generally easy. You can buy algae cleaners from pet stores to help with cleaning. You’ll also have to scrub the tank every now and then.
Use a gravel siphon to remove uneaten food and waste from the tank’s bottom. You can also use janitor fish, such as snails and shrimp, for natural cleaning. Going the natural route is better because it creates an effective ecosystem for your aquarium.
If you provide your betta fish with the ideal conditions, they’ll grow big and strong.
The trick is to provide them with a large tank that is clear and clean. You’ll also have to be prepared to invest in quality food for nutrition. Looking after your betta fish is an ongoing process that requires effort from your end.
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