Siamese Fighter (Betta)
Care Info For Your Siamese Fighter (Betta)
Please read the following carefully as it contains important information about the care required for your Siamese Fighter. Please also refer to our Legal Page, and for any further information, assistance or advice, please contact one of our stores.
Small tanks are ideal for Fighters because the Fighters have a labyrinth breathing system (meaning they do not need oxygen in the water like most fish). The Fighter fish is extremely territorial (another reason why small tanks are great) and they will defend their territory very aggressively. We recommend between 1 and 8 Litres as being appropriate.
Fighter's will, like all fish, require specific water conditions to survive. The water needs to be maintained at 20-25°C with minimal fluctuations. You may require a small heater for your tank or to move the tank in winter. We have some small thermometers to help monitor the water temperature too.
You need to treat tap water before the Fighter can use it. For this, you need three products.
Firstly, you will need a Water Ager to remove Chlorine, Fluoride, Chloromine and heavy metals, which are all hazardous to fish and these can be found in all tap water and tank collected rain water. Filtered water and tank collected rain water is too soft (not enough minerals) and does not have enough natural good bacteria. It is best to start with tap water and treat it to remove the nasty (to fish) chemicals.
Secondly, a specific Fighter Water Conditioner is used to add minerals, reduce ammonia and nitrite components, and enhance the water quality leading to a more colourful (less stressed) fish.
Thirdly, you will need a Natural Bacteria Booster which is "good bacteria" in a bottle. This bacteria break down the ammonia that the fish secrete and would normally take at least 8-12 weeks to build up to adequate levels naturally. This should be added when any tank water is replaced. For a new tank set-up, double the initial dose and add a normal dose every 2-3 days for the first 2-3 weeks.
The above three points need to be adhered to whenever water is added to the tank.
You must change one third of the tank water at least once every two to three week period. Please do not change too much water as it will remove the good bacteria which feed on the Fighter's waste products.
Other essentials are gravel, live plants (to break down ammonia and provide shelter), ornaments as places to hide, and perhaps an aquatic light to encourage plant growth and show the Fighter's colour.
To clean the tank, we recommend a Fighter siphon kit which will allow you to draw out a small amount of water carefully to remove their waste and not disturb the fish.
For exercise, every few days you can put a mirror against the tank and the Fighter will attack his reflection. Keep a lid on the tank or do not fill it up to the top as they can jump.
There are great food products for Fighters: Betta Food pellets, dried Bloodworms, and frozen Bloodworms that should be interchanged to vary the diet. A sign that the diet needs changing is if they are having long hanging faeces, or cannot swim properly. You should feed the Fighter 2-3 times per day (ideally). Do not over-feed them (food should never be allowed to sink to the bottom and stay there). Like all fish, the Fighter is a grazer, so small quantities more often is best. Generally, whatever they can fit into a 2 minute meal is considered enough. Pellets are really the best developed food for Fighters. Pop one at a time into the water and watch them gobble it up. You can keep popping them in until they no longer eat. It may take only 1 or 2 pellets in winter, but perhaps 6-8 in summer.
It is recommended that a net always be used when needing to move the Fighter - never touch your Fighter.
When taking a Fighter home, float the bag for 5-10 mins to stabilise temperature differences. After this time, you can open the bag and pour the contents, including the fish, into the tank. Note, this is NOT the same procedure for other types of fish.
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We believe that this will give you the best chance at
having the kind of pet you want.
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