Everyone that is a fish-a-holic wants to have a nice display in the tank but also provide a safe living environment for their fish. The betta owner is no different. Even though a betta can survive in just enough water to keep him wet, that does not mean he is happy there. The first thing we suggest is that you have at least a tank/bowl that is one gallon in size. A 1/2 gallon tank/bowl is ok as long as you do 100% water changes every 4 days. Yes – every 4 days.
Now, you have the betta, in lets say, a gallon bowl with some rock. The water has been treated and he eats betta pellets. The only thing missing is decor. It is not necessary but bettas do like to hide and a nice display makes for a great conversational piece. What is it the great chefs say about food – presentation is everything.
Items you purchase at a local fish store are all absolutely safe for fish. They will not sell anything that will pollute your tank. There are several different types of decorations you can buy to build a nice tank set up. Now, what if you don’t want to spend a lot of money? What do you have around the house that you can clean and use for your betta’s home?
Let us help you. Just remember everything you put in your betta’s tank needs to be completely sterilized by cleaning it in hot water – boiling it would be even better!
Use as ground cover:
Ground cover is important because it reduces the glare any light might throw into the water. It also provides a nice resting spot and a scratching area should he have a tiny itch.
buy aquarium rocks at the fish store
use glass marbles
Decorating with Rocks
Don’t just go and grab some rocks out of your yard. You might be actually grabbing something that is not healthy for your betta. Any rock you pour lime on and it “sizzles” do not use because it has lime in it. The best place to get rocks if you are not a “rock expert” is at the local fish store. If you are going to stack the rocks, glue them together with a silicon sealant. This will prevent the rocks from tipping over and smashing the betta. You can make some very nice formations with natural rock.
Anything you glue together for use in a tank needs to be glued with a silicon sealant.
The Panty Hose Test
All betta owners can see that their betta’s finnage is very delicate and one way to know what type of fake plants to put in the tank is to do the panty hose test. Take a pair of panty hose to the fish store and whatever plant you are going to buy, or any decoration for that matter, rub against the panty hose. If it snags the panty hose, it can snag and tear your betta’s fins.
Even though the “natural look” is a preference of many aquarium hobbiest, nothing can stop you from doing whatever you want. Here are other household type items that are safe for your betta as long as they are sterilized:
- Ceramic that is glazed (unleaded)
- Plastic with no glued edges
This opens up many options for decorating. I am thinking of putting together a lego castle for Kunja since the castles at our local fish store exceed 20 dollars each. You can use action figures, clay pots, figurines and anything else you can find.
The only boundary you have now is your own imagination!