1. Personality – These small 3 inch fish are packed with big personality. They zoom around their aquarium with a pouty look on their face exploring every nook and cranny. It won’t take them long to recognize you too. Soon, each time you near the aquarium your betta fish will approach and wiggle his tail in anticipation of a treat.
2. Style – There are hundreds of color/tail combinations of Betta splendens available through your local fish store, aquarium club, online fish auctioneer and even the big pet retailer are now getting a variety of fancy and colorful bettas in stock. No two bettas look alike and you are sure to find one that suits you.
3. Compact – Bettas don’t require large aquariums. An adult male betta can do great in a small 5 gallon desk-top tank and with proper care you can keep 3 to 5 females in a tank as small as 10 gallons.
4. Low Cost – Aquariums, with their sophisticated lighting, advanced filtration, water test kits, and accessories can get expensive fast but doesn’t have to be the case. A small 5 gallon betta aquarium kit can be purchased for under $50 and for savvy shoppers; a decent betta tank can be set up for just a few bucks or even free through Craigslist, eBay, garage sales or local aquarium clubs.
5. No Pets Allowed? – No problem. While many apartment buildings don’t allow cats and dogs many still permit small aquariums or fish bowls. Even college dorms often allow fish where they prohibit other pets. Just because you can’t have a dog or cat today, doesn’t mean you can’t have a companion at all. Check your housing regulations before buying your betta.
6. Ease of Care – Though not care-free, bettas are pretty easy to care for. Once your aquarium is set up and established, bettas require only an hour or two of work each week to clean their tank or bowl, test their water quality, check their temperature and just a minute for daily feedings.
7. Learning Opportunity – Like anything, you get out what you put in. Your betta can be simply a companion but he can also be used to learn all about chemistry, science, math, genetics and art. Parents use betta fish to teach their children about fish care and responsibility. Because of my bettas, I learned all about web design and blogging. That’s one smart little fish.
8. Competition – Once you get the hang of caring for bettas you might get the itch to compete. I don’t mean fighting bettas of course (that’s illegal) but you can compete for Best in Show in betta breeding competitions.
9. Compatibility – Already have an aquarium? It is commonly believed that betta fish have to be kept alone. While it’s true that you shouldn’t keep more than one male or a male and female together, bettas of both genders can often be integrated successfully into a community aquarium. Bettas have been known to great with other tropical species like cory catfish, otos, African dwarf frogs, apple snails, ghost shrimp and neons.
10. Support – Just five years ago, when Nippyfish was born there was very little reliable information on the web about betta fish, except for a few dedicated web-savvy breeders that were sharing their knowledge. Most of us had to go to our local library to find out how to care for bettas. Today there are tons of great resources including websites, blogs and web forums. Though myths still sprinkle the web (how about the one recommending bettas be kept in Peace Lily vases), thanks to dedicated betta fish hobbyists, many of those myths have been squashed and replaced with good responsible betta fish care advice.