In elementary school, I remember desperately wanting a dog of my own. The media makes the impression that cats and dogs are the “ideal” companions. You can snuggle with them, play with them, walk with them, etc. And while it’s true that they can be really good pets, they can also require a lot of maintenance. Besides, there are many other animals that are just as worthy as belonging to a family.
In case your parents haven’t given into your begging to get you a dog–or you’re just a person wanting something that won’t require as much to take care of–I have a great recommendation for the perfect pet for you: a betta fish!
It’s pretty understandable if you are a little hesitant about this decision–some people don’t even consider fish “pets” at all. They pay no attention to their owners except when they have food in their palm, not to mention they can’t give affection. At one point in my life, I thought this, as well. But as an owner of three betta fish, I have come to tell you that these stereotypes are anything but correct when it comes to bettas. In fact, they’re almost like dogs in fish bodies.
Here is some of the information that I know about bettas–based on both my experience and research–to help all possible future owners of this elegant species. Let’s get started!
Betta fish, also named siamese fighting fish, are omnivores who eat insects and larvae in the wild. You can feed them pellets, fish flakes, freeze-dried, and live foods while fasting them up to one day each week. Adult bettas grow up to 3 inches long, and they live from about 2-5 years, although the longest a betta fish has lived in captivity is 9 years.
Bettas need a tank of at least 3-5 gallons in order to have enough space to swim. This applies to all species except the King Betta Fish, which need a tank of at least 6-10 gallons due to their larger size. Bettas must either be housed alone or with a tank-mate of a compatible species–not their own–due to their territorial nature around other bettas and fish with long tails.
Why are Betta Fish Good Pets?
One common assumption that is true about bettas (like most fish) is that they are fairly affordable to keep happy. All we need to maintain Peace’s tank is bottled purified water, a heater to keep the temperature of his water just above 80 degrees, a filter to keep his water clean, his food pellets, liquid prime to rid the tank of harmful bacteria, and some test strips to make sure the water PH remains at 7. All of our supplies that we bought when we brought Peace home hasn’t run out, proving how affordable and fairly low maintenance Bettas truly are.
2. Bettas are loyal
If I am sitting on the couch or another spot in the living room–where Peace’s tank is located–he will watch me as long as I’m within his eyes reach. Not to mention he gets excited whenever I come up to his tank. Similar to dogs, bettas tend to be very loyal to their owners. The more time you spend with them, the more inseparable you become.
3. You can teach Bettas a multitude of tricks
Within about a week, me and my mother were able to teach Peace how to eat on top of his leaf hammock; now, he already knows where to go once we open the tank to feed him his lunch. Occasionally, we even let a ping pong ball float at the water’s surface as Peace playfully pushes it around with his head. Betta owners have even taught their fish to jump or swim through hoops, jump up to get their food, and more! Betta fish are very intelligent, which allows them to be fast learners as you teach them new tricks.
4. Each Betta has their own personality
Betta fish come in a variety of colors and patterns, which makes them what I believe to be one of the most beautiful fish species in the world. And just like their appearances vary, their personalities do, as well. While my former betta girl, Easter, was a little more calm and reserved, my second betta Joyous was rambunctious and playful. Peace on the other hand, is really sweet. But he’s also really inquisitive, and he had to explore every nook and cranny of his tank before he really got cozy. Every single betta fish takes time to get to know, just like any other pet.
I had so much fun talking about my experiences as a betta owner: each of my bettas were such a blessing to me and my family, so I always enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about them in the process with my followers.
LET’S CHAT~Did any of the facts that I stated in this quick guide surprise you? Which one was it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
I thank God for another fantabulous day, and I hope it was for you as well! Stay blessed, everyone! ♡