What Is a Good Way to Keep Betta Fish Happy

Betta fish possesses many different names, including ‘Siamese fighting fish’, ‘Chinese fighting fish’, ‘Japanese fighting fish’, ‘Betta Spledens’, and ‘Beta’. And have you ever kept a betta fish? If not, do you know the kinds of betta fish? If you have kept one before, then do you know the signs of stress for bettas? Furthermore, do you know what they require and ways to keep them happy? If you do not know anything about it, the article will cover information about that.

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What are the different kinds of betta fish?

Betta fish are freshwater fish. And we can categorize them according to their tails, colors, and patterns.


The tails of bettas are appealing. And the bettas can be classified by the size and shape of their tails. Besides, the colors of tails, from short and spiky to large and majestic, are attractive.

  • Veiltail Betta

Veiltail betta is suitable for beginners, and it needs less maintenance. The male veiltail bettas are with long, and flowing downwards swooping tails, as well as various colors. Besides that, the female ones possess short fins and tails, and light colors.

  • Crowntail Betta

The crowntail betta has long fin rays and a small amount of webbing. Provided the webbing reaches more than 2/3 of the tail’s ray, it would not a crowntail betta. The male crowntail bettas possess striking colors, long fins, and tails, while the female ones have light colors and short tails.

  • Halfmoon Betta

The halfmoon bettas have large tails, with about a spread of 180 degrees, and the tails are similar to the letter D. Besides that, the anal and dorsal fins of halfmoon bettas are also wider than most bettas.


Some bettas are with one color, while others possess a mixture of different colors. Their colors include white, black, green, and more.

  • Blue Betta Fish

The true blue is famous as blue wash, which is easy to find. Besides, blue is one of the common colors of bettas. In addition, you can also find steel blue and royal blue betta fish.

  • Mustard Betta

Mustard bettas are bi-colored. The fins and tails of this betta are yellow or translucent orange, and their body is dark-colored.


The colors are arranged in various patterns on their body and fins. It makes betta remarkable. And some patterns are selective breeding.

  • Butterfly Betta

There is only one color of these bettas, but the color of the fins and tails outside is another one. The fins and tails are white or transparent. Moreover, there is a split shade in the middle of high-quality butterfly bettas.

  • Koi Betta

Koi bettas are bred carefully, but not found in the wild. They are also known as marble bettas. And there is no distinct color and they possess various brightness, richness, and colors. Besides, they are peaceful and suitable for the community tanks.

What do betta fish need in their tank?

Different fish possesses various requirement in tanks. And the proper care could improve their living environment and make them happy. So what do betta fish need?

Suitable tank size

Generally speaking, a 5 gallons tank is suitable, and it is the minimum tank size. But the larger, the better. And your fish will be healthier and happier. By the way, the Betta fish tank is a good option for bettas.

Aquarium heater

Betta fish are tropical fish, which need a water temperature of 78-80 ℉. So it is recommended to add a small heater to your betta tank in most areas. When you choose a heater, you should take the following factors into account.

Firstly, you should choose a heater with a built-in thermometer. So you can check the water temp in time. Secondly, pay attention to the rate of work, then you can choose one suitable for your tank. And you should know your tank size because the different sizes of tanks will need different heaters. For example, a heater with 100W may be for a 20-30 gallons tank, and a 50W heater can be used for 1-6.5 gallons, which is more suitable for betta fish. By the way, the larger the tanks, the higher the heaters’ working rate. Thirdly, a heater that can regulate the temperature automatically will be perfect.

Aquarium filter

To keep longer for clean water, an aquarium filter is a must. It is feasible to apply a gentle aquarium filter or one with an adjustable flow because the bettas dislike strong flowing water currents. A small canister filter or sponge filter are ideal options.

Aquarium lights and sunlight

Aquarium lights are not critically necessary for a betta. Bettas prefer a light and dark cycle, like a natural day. However, if there are live aquarium plants in your tank, aquarium lights will be needed.

On the flip side, bettas are fond of attention, and they dislike dark corners. You should stock your tank in place with no direct sunlight but remain visible and open. Furthermore, the algae will thrive if there is too much sunlight.


Bettas like swimming around the tank, so it is better to choose small or smooth gravel to avoid injuries to bettas. Besides that, beneficial bacteria may grow on the surface of gravel, which is helpful to decompose the waste. But you should avoid gravel which is made with large rocks because food and waste will be stuck in it.


Plants in tanks can provide shady space for betta fish. And the live aquatic plants can clean the water in tanks and provide a natural environment for bettas. But if you plan to apply fake plants, it is better to choose silk plants, not plastic ones. By the way, there are some ideal plants for betta fish tanks, such as Anacharis, Java fern, and Amazon sword plant. Bettas also like to rest on the larger leaves.

If you want to learn more about plans for betta fish tanks, you can read another article – What Are the Best Plants for Betta Fish Aquaponics?

The signs of betta fish stress

Generally speaking, happy bettas will be active, keep curious and move in aquariums. However, they also feel stressed sometimes. The stress can kill fish exactly. So how can we know fish feel stressed? There are signs.

  • Dull colors

If fish feel stressed, their colors will be dull. There will be one or more horizontal stripes on the middle of the fish, which are called stress stripes. The stress stripes only appear for the sake of severe and repeated stress. However, you should not be confused with the stress stripes and breeding stripes. The former is horizontal, while the latter is vertical.

  • Loss of appetite

Fish will show less interest in food. Nevertheless, lacking appetite may also be a sign of illness, constipation, or depression. So carefully observation is critically necessary.

  • Lethargy and inactivity

If your fish get stressed, they will become lethargic and prefer lying on the bottom of aquariums. Besides that, Bettas will hide frequently.

In summary, if you notice one sign above, you should observe your fish. If the signs continue for 3-5 days, your fish are likely to get stressed.

Some good ways to keep betta fish happy

After learning how to determine whether fish feel stressed, it is time to know how to keep them happy. Next, we will share some ways about that.

Adequate space

Bettas are fond of swimming around the tank, and they need room to play, hunt, and hide. They are curious about their surroundings, and like exploring. So it is necessary to provide adequate space. Moreover, a large tank is beneficial to keep the stable water quality by changing the water regularly.

Suitable water quality

Suitable water quality is crucial for the health of betta fish. And toxins from uneaten food or feces of fish will be accumulated easily. In such a case, a canister filter can play an important role to keep water quality stable. In addition, it is recommended to change the water regularly, at least 20-25 percent of the water once a week. Moreover, cleaning the filter regularly is also needed. On the other hand, it is better to test the water once a week. The nitrite and ammonia levels should be 0, while the nitrate level should be less than 20 ppm, and the ideal pH level should be 6-8.

Properly decorate aquariums of bettas

You can apply live plants to aquariums. Because the live plants can oxygenate the water in the tank, and provide shelter and shade for bettas. There are recommendations for live plants, including Marimo moss, Water sprite, and Vallisneria.

Ideal tank mates

You can introduce tank mate with your betta. But you should be careful because bettas are instinctively territorial. And there are some ideal tank mates for bettas, such as Cory catfish, Platy fish, Molly, and the fish about the size of betta that swims faster.


A balanced and high-protein diet is ideal for bettas. You can feed them with live, frozen, or freeze-dried meaty food, such as daphnia. But do not overfeed. You can feed them twice a day, and feed them that they can finish eating in about 2 minutes.


Have you enjoyed reading? By the way, bettas are carnivores, if you want to know more about what bettas eat, please read another article – What Do Betta Fish Eat – Brine Shrimp for Bettas. Finally, thanks for your reading!

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