How to Look After Siamese Fighting Fish
Siamese fighting fish, commonly known as Betta fish (or “biting fish” in Thailand) are a popular choice due to their unique and spectacular looks, but also notoriously difficult to deal with. If you’re thinking about keeping them in a tropical fish tank at home, it’s vital to have a good understanding of how to care for them – and how to keep the rest of your aquatic inhabitants safe.
The main issue is that Betta fish are highly aggressive, which makes them incompatible with a wide range of fresh water fish tank inhabitants that you might not guess without being warned. Males are highly likely to fight to the death, so it’s never a good idea to have more than one in a tank.
Female Betta fish can live together in a sorority tank, but in some cases even they will kill each other.
Keeping Betta fish in a mixed community tank might be a better idea, but it’s important to make sure the other inhabitants are calm and docile. Characins, barbs and other creatures with a tendency to go for anything with noticeable fins will most likely upset Betta fish, so they’re not worth the risk. Guppies are another notable one to avoid, because they look similar to the Betta fish who can confuse them for other rival males.
Examples of some more compatible options include corydoras, amano shrimps, tetras, catfish and other gentler sealife. It’s also important to ensure there are plenty of plants in your tank, and this will give your community a better chance of getting on swimmingly. Betta fish love to hang around the top of your tank, so real or plastic plants with high reaching leaves and even fish hammocks are great additions to make them feel more at home. Their favourite foods tend to include brine shrimps and bloodworms, but you can also buy special Betta flakes that enhance their natural colours, making them look even more impressive. However, they won’t always eat what you expect so check what your particular fish has been fed so far when you buy it, in order to avoid wasting money on expensive food it will only ignore.
It’s great to give your fish a pleasant environment to live in, but it’s also important to balance this with giving the Betta fish plenty of space. The males especially are extremely territorial and will fight fiercely to take over their entire habitat if they feel anxious due to lack of personal space.
Given these restrictions, the type of tank you go for is extremely important. A Fluval fish tank or a BiOrb tank of the right size are ideal thanks to the built-in, high quality filtration systems and smart, compact designs. They might require additional heating systems to serve as tropical fish tanks for Betta fish and other similar types, but this can work out to be good value if you ensure you set everything up correctly. Everything you need is available from our online aquarium shop, delivering UK-wide and offering top quality aquarium supplies from tanks to food to scenery and much more. Simply ask our experts at Aquacadabra if you’re unsure about what products you’ll need to make your aquarium plans come to life.