7 Busted Betta Fish Myths

These fishy friends actually require a lengthy amount of steps in order to ensure that they live their best lives with their owners.

7. They Are Easily Accessible

Busted Betta Fish Myths

Betta fish are shipped from Asia to several other parts of the world to be the entrancing backdrops of every pet shop. However, during transport, they are housed in tiny plastic bags with no room to swim and are mostly kept knocked out with a chemical that keeps them fairly sedated. Unfortunately, the demand for these vibrant pals keeps the fish in a constant cycle of being taken from their habitats. The best option here would be to avoid supporting pet stores that sell bettas and to avoid contributing to their demise. However, if you already have a betta or receive one from a friend, be sure to value them a little extra—they went on a tumultuous journey to get to you.

6. They Do Not Require Heaters

Busted Betta Fish Myths

Betta fish come from warm climates, so maintaining a tank temperature that mimics this is crucial. Your friend would prefer something in the range of 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be monitored using a thermometer. Betta displays and the overall marketing of these beauties can be confusing because there are so many simplistic bowls with photos of bettas on them. However, a cold betta is less likely to move, and will slowly suffer as it struggles to get warm. As well, bettas should also never be placed in direct sunlight as a cheaper alternative, as this will also send them to an early grave.

5. They Do Not Live Long

Busted Betta Fish Myths

If housed properly, a betta fish can live for three to five years. However, inadequate care has led to many people believing that their lives are much shorter. While this lifespan is short in comparison to our own, many betta fish die within a few months when taken into uneducated households. However, the blame should be placed on companies that market the fish with this knowledge. According to the 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, there are over 150 million pet fish owned in the United States alone! People love the tranquility of fish tanks, and your fish are sure to keep your mood elevated when they feel at peace in their home.

4. They Do Not Care About Interior Design

Busted Betta Fish Myths

Fish might not be able to choose floor plans and wallpaper, but they do long for an environment that keeps their mind stimulated. Betta fish will thrive with the proper plants and non-toxic décor. Ensure that everything you add to your tank is secure, and will not fall and harm your friend. Betta fish have delicate fins, and sharp ornaments can easily rip them, or snag at the fish. All animals are curious, and your betta would prefer to explore more than just a few colorful beads at the bottom of a tank. Bettas are omnivores, and can actually gain nutrition from certain plants that you place in the tank.

3. They Only Need Basic Fish Flakes

Busted Betta Fish Myths

As mentioned above, bettas eat a wide variety of foods. They will benefit from a diet that ranges from plants to freeze-dried bloodworms, and even crickets. The documentary Pet Fooled actually discusses the lack of regulation in the pet food industry, so you’ll want to do your research before buying the generic flakes that are placed next to the betta section in pet shops. Bettas need a range of nutrients and enjoy a varied diet. Be careful not to overfeed your fish as well, which is more common than underfeeding. Overfeeding can lead to sickness, and leftover, rotting food will pollute your tank. A bulge in a betta’s stomach means it is overweight. Although some food will instruct you on how often to feed your fish, it is sometimes a marketing ploy to get you to buy extra food. It’s best to only give them small amounts that they can consume within two minutes.

2. They Can Be Disposed Of In Toilets

Busted Betta Fish Myths

Although it seems like an easy option, fish should never be flushed when their time with us comes to an end. This can actually contribute to diseases in water. Unfortunately, some people even flush their scaly pals when they are still alive. Donating them is a much better option for everyone if you decide that you can no longer host your fish. There are reports of people discovering goldfish that become oversized after being released into waterways through pipes. Fish deserve nurturing just like any other pet, so please do not be careless and dispose of them inappropriately! Maintain the quality of the water around you, and find better alternatives.

1. They Never Get Sick

Busted Betta Fish Myths

Just like us, fish are prone to illness. Bring your betta to the vet with a sample of tank water if you notice anything wrong. There are infection remedies on the market if you see your friend looking sick. A betta fish that is under the weather will be lethargic, scratch itself against the walls of the tank, and even have clamped fins. Incorrect tank temperatures contribute to many betta issues, and it’s best to slowly raise the temperature at intervals until you reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Fish cannot signal their problems to us as easily as cats and dogs can, so keeping track of their behaviors is crucial. Although owning fish is not as easy as it sounds, it is a rewarding experience, and your fish will surely appreciate the care!