Pet Profile: Siamese Fighting Fish (aka Bettas)

Most people know what a betta is, it's a siamese fighting fish. Despite popular belief, a betta cannot live under a plant and eat strictly the roots. These fish are often treated horribly in captivity. The fish will reach around 3-4 inches in captivity. These fish can never be with another betta. Two male bettas will peck at eachothers' fins until the blood vessels leak and the fish bleeds to death. They are easy fish to take care of and they live to be around 2 or 3 years old. The fish are also very inexpsive and they come in a wide variety of colors. Bettas can come in all types of reds, purples, blues and white. Males are the colorful ones that you find in the pet store in seperate containers. You may think that a 1 gallon aquarium would be sufficient but you really need at least a 2 1/2 gallon tank which will cost you around $10.00 at the pet store. You can purchase these tanks at www.petsmart.com, www.petco.com and www.petland.com. You can also buy glass tops for┬áthe tank and put a light above it. Pet stores make it seem as if bettas should be in a very small container with no bubbler or filter. Is this the way that you would like to live? Bettas should always be kept in a nice size aquarium and should be fed betta food on a regular basis. Female bettas are much smaller and their fins are also shorter. They also do not come in many different colors like the males do. There are also different types of male bettas. The fish can actually jump out of the water so they need a secure lid. I kept 2 bettas next to eachother and both jumped out trying to get into the other tank to fight. You will notice that when the fish gets upset and wants to fight, all of the fins will puff up and the fish will make itself look larger than it actually is. You should never keep bettas close to eachother, even 5 feet is not enough space inbetween the tanks. Bettas make nice kitchen companions. You can place the bettas tank in the kitchen and watch the fish as you eat supper and cook the food also. They are also good pets to keep for children. Kids love fish and bettas are very colorful and intriguing. Make sure that your child is feeding the fish or take on the task yourself if you are concerned with the issue. Before purchasing a fish I would check the fish over for possible signs of disease or illness. Avoid buying a fish with white specs on it or torn fins. The fish has a bacterial infection commonly known as ich and fin rot.