Five Common Betta Myths

Betta fish are pretty awesome. The varieties and colors are almost limitless, and everything online says they are really easy to take care of! But are they really that easy?

Myth #1: Betta Fish Like Tiny Spaces

This is one that annoys me. At every pet store, I see the small 1/2 gallon containers advertised as a Betta tank, I wonder who actually thinks this is okay for them to live in. When I see them in the small cups on the shelf, I wonder how long it’s been since the water was changed.

Betta fish naturally live in rice fields and shallow streams. People often believe this means they live in small pockets of water. Aquarium companies have leveraged this, and now it is all too common for Bettas to be put in small containers. This causes severe health issues and early death. Betta fish should live 3-5 years.

Please get your Betta a proper aquarium.

Myth #2: Betta Fish Don’t Need Filters

Over time Bettas have adapted to live in lower oxygen conditions than most fish through a unique organ called a “labyrinth organ” which allows them to breathe oxygen straight from the air. This has led people to believe that Betta fish don’t need a filter and actually like dirty water (blows my mind).

Betta fish, like all other tropical fish, like clean water. Dirty water makes them more susceptible to diseases like fin rot.

Myth #3: Betta Fish Don’t Need Heaters

For some reason, a common misconception is betta fish can live in room temperature water. Betta fish like warmer water. If your tank is 75–82 °F (24–28 °C), your Betta will be happy! Get a heater!

Myth #4: Betta Fish Need To Be Alone

While keeping many female Betta fish in the same tank can have consequences (male Bettas should never be tank mates), Betta fish can get along fine with many species of fish. Fish like Tetras, Rasboras, and most bottom feeders. It is advisable to steer away from tank mates that have medium to large colorful fins.

Myth #5: Feed Your Betta Fish As Much As They Can Eat In 2-3 Minutes

If you dumped the entire container of food in the tank, your betta would probably eat it in 3 minutes. Betta fish should be fed a pea sized amount of food 1-2 times per day. Over feeding can cause a bloated stomach and over time causes excess fat which affects fish health and longevity.

Sources:, experience.

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