Giving the gift of a Betta to inspire a budding aquarium enthusiast to enter the hobby can be a gift that lasts a lifetime. Adopting a Betta is not only fun but rewarding, particularly for children over the age of five. Plus, it can be a great way to help them nurture responsibility through the joy of a pet.
Before you head to your local store for a living birthday or holiday gift, it is important to remember that a Betta, like any furry, feathered, or scaled friend, are living creatures. They require constant care, monitoring, and can will require ongoing maintenance items that will have you visiting your local retail store from time to time. If you are in the market for a “first fish” for a young child, Bettas are ideal.
Bettas are beautiful fish that are easy to care for and great at interacting with their pet parent. Since they can be aggressive and fight, they must reside in a tank by themselves. They do best in tanks that have at least 2 gallons of water that can be constantly kept at around 80 degrees.
When setting up their tank, you’ll want to be sure that you purchase a small heater that will help keep their water warm. Proper water quality is important to ensure a long life. Part of the big responsibility of caring for a Betta is to monitor water health daily. In smaller tanks or bowls, it’s relatively easy for toxins to accumulate quickly. A simple 10% water change each week can make this process a snap! Be sure to use a higher quality water conditioner when you make your water changes which will help reduce the chances of pH spikes or the buildup of nitrites and ammonia. Betta Ultimate® is an excellent choice or Ultimate® in larger more economical bottles too.
This is where the responsibility of the gift giver (AKA, the parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt or cousin) comes in. You will need to avoid tap water as it contains heavy metals and chlorine that are harmful to your Betta’s health. Bottled mineral water can be an easy choice and talk to your local fish professional about how to go about choosing the right water additives for optimum success.
When choosing a home, be sure to include a hiding spot that allows your fish to feel safe and to get away from the outside action if they chose. We prefer substrate, like gravel, on the bottom of the tank or bowl with a small cave or plant to deliver that security.
For food a perfect choice is Betta Bio-Gold®. A floating pellet style of food, which is scientifically formulated specifically for bettas, offers a high concentration of desirable proteins, usable vitamins and minerals and lots of great taste is too! This superior color enhancing diet will enhance your fish’s coloration and help them live a long, happy and health-filled life while allowing them to show off the beauty bettas are known for. Best of all your child, relative or friend will find a friend for many enjoyable years. Fact of the matter is, here at Hikari®, we have had one betta live for more than 8 years feeding only Betta Bio-Gold® and using only Betta Ultimate® for regular weekly water changes!