Hello Nippyfish Readers (new and returning) and welcome to the busiest time of the year to be a Betta Fish blogger. Mid December kicks off an upswing of visitors to the blog and the Nippyfish main site as people receive well-meaning (if not poorly-planned) bettas as holiday gifts. The first flood of people are those who have turned to the web to learn how to care for their new pet and have landed here. I say to you, Welcome and congratulations on receiving your new betta fish.
First I should tell you that Nippyfish.net was born in 2004 as a place for me to assemble reliable betta care tips and advice based on science and personal experience. There is so much misinformation out there on the web that I was finding myself overwhelmed. I vowed to put together my own site where facts are listed as facts and opinions are noted as just that. You can take from it what you want and hopefully it will help ease the stress of learning to care for this complex and sensitive animal. Here are a few links to get you started. Also, this blog is a good resource as there are hundreds of Q&A and helpful articles listed. Use the search bar above to find what you are looking for or browse the drop-down menu to the right.
Bettas 101 – The basics about Betta Fish
Choosing a Tank – Don’t be fooled, a small open bowl or vase is not a safe environment for any fish
All About Water – Learn the basics of water testing and need-to-know water chemistry info for betta fish owners
Feeding Bettas – Overfeeding or underfeeding are common beginner mistakes. Learn what bettas eat and how much to feed.
The second flood of visitors to this site will come in January. This group I affectionately call the “ALL CAPS, HELP! PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL” group of Nippyfish readers who have rightfully worked themselves up into a panic because the betta they received for Christmas/Chanukah is sick or dying. The reason they are in this situation is not their fault and is usually the result of a well-meaning friend or relative who gave them the fish and relayed inaccurate advice from the fish store clerk about its “proper care.” Don’t get me wrong, I love fish store clerks – many read this blog and passionate ones often know more about fish keeping than I do. For every one of those clerks, however, there are 10 who have learned everything they know about bettas from 8.5×11 pamphlet provided by their store (if they’re lucky).
If you have found yourself here with a sick fish I first want to tell you that I was you once and totally and completely feel for your situation. Chances are you received this fish because your friend/family member recognized that you are an animal lover and saw you as a responsible pet owner. Because you are loving and caring of animals you are freaking out and either blaming yourself, the fish store, or cruelty of the universe for the sickly-state of your betta. Hang in there, many betta fish diseases are curable and even if the worst happens and he doesn’t make it, you should be proud of yourself for doing the right thing and researching the needs of your pet.
You should start by reading the links in the section above and then check out our disease info here:
Sick Betta– A guide to the most common betta fish diseases and treatments.
Ok my friends. The holidays are almost here and I am anticipating your emails. I will be traveling a lot enjoying my time off but will do my best to get to as many emails as possible. Please don’t overstress and do enjoy your new pet. Bettas are extraordinarily interesting animals and have a lot to teach us. But a word of warning- they are addictive.