Originally Posted by dancersmama79
ive always heard72-82 so i didnt know what was best...
I've been reading this post from the beginning and frankly, I've seen a few responses that really raise my eyebrow. I had to stop reading and set the record straight.
I've been breeding Bettas since 1965 both as a hobbyist and a commercial breeder and I am still breeding some today. Today's Bettas are not the same as yesteryears even tho they are from the same gene pool however, their requirements and history are still the same.
Here's what you need to know:
Bettas, in their wild form, came from shallow water/ rice patties in Asia. They belong to a group of fish called Anabantoids. They evolved to breath air because where they came from, oxygen levels in the water are low. (The same applies for some of the huge fish from South America.) Today's Bettas still breath that way because that's what the fish is, an AIR BREATHER. Gouramis are anabantids as well and can be kept in unairated tanks as well.
Tank size: Doesn't matter!!! I've raised Bettas in Baby food jars. Water quality matters most.
Temperature: while Bettas can be kept in a multitude of temperature ranges, they come from warm humid areas and will do best when that scenario is duplicated. (I have nests made at 76 degrees up to 85 /90 degrees but fish living 65 degrees.) The nice part about Bettas is that if you look and listen, they tell you when they are not happy. A happy betta will not be staying in a corner with clamped fins and not eating. If yours is doing any of those things, something's wrong. I have my Bettas in 4 different set ups depending on the situation. Some are in jars, some in filtered tanks, some in unfiltered tanks and some in a flow through system. Different ways for different situations. The most important thing you must do is keep them in cleaner water. If you are feeding 2x per day, you'll need to change the water about every other day if you don't have a good biological filter or chemical filter. For my jars, I make up water in advance and keep it in the same area as the fish to age. That's what I use to change water. Whether you're using well water or tap water, let the water age for a day while the temps get the same. Use 1/2 teaspoon of non iodized salt per 1 gallon of water and treat (if necessary) with water conditioners. (I only use salt in my well water.) I always have water ready to do water changes and so should you.
Food: Bettas are insectivors/ meat eaters. Their diet should be made up of mostly meat products. Betta Pellets, Freeze Dried Worms, even Tropical Fish Flake foods are all fine if your fish is eating them. If they go uneaten, STOP FEEDING it and switch to another choice. In my early days, Bettas NEVER would eat flake food. Now, I raise most of mine on it. If it has the right ingredients, the fish will eat it.
Disease: The 2 main diseases the fish suffer from are fungus, which they get mostly when they are too cold and bacterial infections which they get when the water is too dirty. Remedies are simple: if you see fungus, raise the temp and use a fungicide. If the fins are bleeding or deteriorating, change the water and treat with an antibiotic. Using the salt will help prevent most other Betta problems.
(in the case of your Betta with the spot on his head, if the spot was fuzzy, it is a fungus infection. Just doing water changes won't cure that. If it was just a discloration, water quality might have been the issue so raising the temp and changing the water would be the answer.)
Please note, I said before that the fish need cleaner water. The problem of doing too many water changes is that fish kept in an almost sterile environment succomb to diseases much more rapidly than those kept in slightly dirtier environments. You have to act accordingly.
Finally, Bettas are one of the easiest fish to take care of. Don't over do anything and you should be succesful.