Don’t do these 10 things if you keep Betta Splendens!

10 things on the Don’t-Do list for Betta Splendens (fighting fish)

A few aquarium owners (inexperienced) who keep Betta Splendens always seem to make the same mistakes. Unfortunately these mistakes often repeat themselves because some people do not think about the requirements and future demands that Betta Splendens have before buying the fish.

So we have compiled a list of 10 Don’t-Do List for Betta Splendens (fighting) fish. You should avoid doing any of these 10 points if you want to enjoy keeping Betta fish.
If you have any additions, please post them as a comment under this article. 

Don’t do these 10 things if you keep Betta Splendens (fighting fish)

10 small measures that can extend and enhance the life of your fish.

1. Don’t keep two males in the same tank

The most important and well-known point in keeping fighting fish (Betta Splendens) is certain that one cannot, should and must not keep two males in one aquarium. The name “fighting” fish says it all. 

This is very important because two males will fight each other in an aquarium until one of them gives up mostly because they are about to die from their injuries from the fight. 

The size of the aquarium does not matter. EVERY aquarium, regardless of its size, is NOT SUITABLE for keeping two males!

Betta splendens fighting

2. Don’t use filters that generate a current

Fighting fish (Betta Splendens) live in their natural environment almost exclusively in small still waters, rice fields or flooded meadows. So you are not used to living in water with a current and are not trained for it. In short: fighting fish don’t like currents. 

Therefore, when setting up a fighting fish aquarium, you should always use filters that hardly generate any flow (for example air lift or nanofilters or filters where the water flow can be regulated). With these models, the smallest possible level should be selected and the water flow should nevertheless be controlled in such a way that no current forms in the pool.

3. Don’t use a CO² System

Fighting fish are known to belong to the group of labyrinth fish and are therefore atmosphere breathers. So that means they breathe oxygen as much as we do. That is why the use of a CO² system in the fighting fish aquarium should be avoided. 

The CO² flowing out is a gasand as such it leaves the water to collect under the Aq cover. If the fighting fish now gets up to take a breath, it involuntarily inhales CO² which can lead to the animal suffocating. I say “can” because this thesis is still quite controversial. But I consider them to be entirely plausible and therefore advise against CO² fertilization in the fighting fish tank.

4. Don’t put Betta splendens in a very small aquarium

It is terrifyingly persistent. The rumor that fighting fish do not like to swim and therefore require extremely little space. While it is true that fighting fish (individually and alone) can be kept in aquariums with only 12 liters. However, this is the absolute, lower limit. 

Those who like their fish should treat them to an aquarium of at least 20 liters. The fish will thank you. You can find more about this in the article “Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish) Ultimate Guide“.

5. Don’t use Betta splendens for socialization


Another topic that is often discussed is the correct socialization of fighting fish. Constant themes are probably fighting fish – guppy and fighting fish – neon. 

With the guppies it is their very lively nature and the large tail fin (through which the Betta Guppies could possibly mistake them for fighting fish and attack them) which makes them unsuitable for socialization. 

And in the case of neons, it is the bustling swarm that stresses the betta and can thus lead to a shortened lifespan. But I don’t want to go into this topic too much at this point because it would go beyond the scope. Otherwise one can say that one should make sure that the desired byfish does not have fins that are too large. And perch should be avoided if possible.

6. Don’t dial up the water temperature too high


Fighting fish (Betta Splendens) like it warm. That’s true. What very few people know, however, is that fighting fish tend to age faster at too high temperatures which logically shortens their life expectancy. 

The optimal temperature for keeping fighting fish is around 24 degrees (+/- 2 degrees). Temperatures above 28 degrees and below 22 should be avoided.

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Betta solendens

7. Don’t forget to add a lot of plant


As already mentioned, fighting fish occur in natural surroundings in rice fields, flooded meadows or in still waters. These are usually heavily weed and streaky. 

This fact should make it natural to design the fighting fish tank similarly. That means: as many plants as possible!

8. Don’t just feed them regular flake food

Fighting fish are carnivores and can therefore not be trained to become vegetarian! 

  • Choose the feed that you buy very carefully
  • Make sure that the feed contains as few vegetable components as possible. As a rule of thumb, do not feed any food that contains vegetable components.

Instead, you can use fresh live food or freeze- or sun-dried live food such as red mosquito larvae, daphnia (water fleas), krill or brine shrimp. That means you should have a varied and nutritious “meat menu”. There is also special flake food for Betta. This can of course also be used. 

You should avoid feeding them normal flake food which you can buy in large cans in every hardware store. 

9. Don’t overuse colorful aquarium furnishings


How about the new fighting fish aquarium with blue, yellow, green, pink or red gravel? And why not add the cute, colorful Spongebob figures as well? Um, don’t! 

Aquariums should bring a piece of nature into the living room and offer the animals living in them a natural environment. Have you ever seen a stream full of colorful gravel and colorful houses? Not really, right? But tastes are (luckily) different. However, animals have NOTHING to look for in colorful children’s aquariums.

10. Don’t unnecessarily propagate them


A very common scenario for beginners is: bought fighting fish, put in the aquarium, two days later bought females and put them in the aquarium as well. 

Then the expectation is that they can start breeding now. This scenario is missing the necessary knowledge. 

Please remember that every pairing of the Betta splendens is stressful. Therefore, fighting fish should only be bred by people who are familiar with them and who have a clear goal in their breeding. For example a certain color or a certain fin shape. But reproductions, only for the sake of reproduction, should be avoided in principle.

How to ptoperly breed Betta fish: Step By Step

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