Getting a betta fish is exciting yet stressful. Check out our list of starter supplies to keep your beautiful betta fish happy and healthy!
Your Betta Fish’s Tank
The most important thing you need to get your betta fish is a tank. This will be their new home. Do your research and check reviews before you buy the first one you see. According to Dr. Krista Keller from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “They should not live in bowls. Instead, they should ideally be in a 5-gallon glass or plastic tank or larger.”
Give your betta fish room to swim. Don’t buy a small tank. Your tank will need a lid, in case your betta fish is a jumper and a light, so they can see where they’re going. You also have to be careful when placing two betta fish in the same tank.
Some bettas are too aggressive to live with other inhabitants, but they can play nice with certain tank mates that are non-aggressive and do not possess any bright colors or long fins.– bettafish.org
What to Put Inside the Tank
Now that you have your tank, what do you put inside of it? Let’s go through the list step-by-step to make sure you’re getting your betta fish exactly what it needs. The following information about your tank’s supplies comes directly from bettafish.org, with the gravel information coming from PetSmart.
Water: Be careful about the water you’re adding to your tank. Betta fish can’t have water with chlorine or any other chemicals that might harm them. You can use tap water, but you need to purchase a betta fish water conditioner to remove toxic chemicals. You might purchase a pH tester kit to make sure your tank is safe. Betta fish prefer a pH range of 6.5 – 7.5.
Gravel: Add 1 1/2 pounds of gravel per gallon of water in your tank. You’ll want your gravel to line the bottom of your tank, taking up about 1-2 inches of the bottom.
Heater: Your tank’s water should remain between 76-81 degrees to maintain a tropical habitat. Purchase a heater to make sure your betta fish never gets too cold. Don’t change the temperature too drastically, as it can cause changes in your fish’s health.
Filter: To keep your tank clean, purchase a filter. It will help get rid of any harmful bacteria. Make sure the filter isn’t too strong, as betta’s aren’t the strongest swimmers. The last thing you want is for the strong current of the filter to harm your betta fish.
Decorations: You have to be careful when buying decorations for your betta fish’s tank. Try to buy silk decorations that won’t hurt your betta fish’s fins if they get too close. Check any decorations you put into your fish’s tank for sharp edges that could damage your fish’s fins.
Your Fish Will Need Some Food
Be careful that you don’t overfeed your betta fish, as this can cause serious health problems, and even lead to death. According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “betta fish are carnivores, so they require a protein-rich diet.” Make sure you’re buying food specifically for betta fish. Food intended for other types of fish might not agree with your betta fish and make them sick.
“Get on a regular feeding schedule, and follow these guidelines if you’re still unsure. If you decide to feed your betta twice a day, make sure to feed them about 2-3 pellets max during each feeding. Feeding once per day should be 3-4 pellets.”bettafish.org
Feed your fish once or twice daily. Bettafish.org recommends you feed your betta fish ‘freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp.’ If your betta fish isn’t eating, don’t get too worried. Betta fish won’t eat if they are stressed. A new tank can cause a lot of stress. Give them some time to adjust and don’t throw extra food in their tank. Stick to your feeding schedule to help them adjust to their new routine.
Can you think of any supplies we should add to our starter kit? Let us know in the comments below. For more information on the basic supplies your betta fish will need and how to set up your tank, visit PetSmart.