Changing of Betta Fish Water - Essential Info
Betta fish, also referred to as Siamese Fighting Fish, come from a very
unique environment, and as a result, their needs with regard to water are a bit different than they are for,
say, a gold fish.
Native to Thailand and Southeastern Asia, Betta fish originate in shallow pools of water in rice paddies. The
environment they live in is rich with nitrogen, oxygen, and other nutrient-fixing plants in the water, and is also
tropical in nature.
When it comes to the actual water used, tap (with considerations to be discussed below), is the best way to go.
Distilled water has had all nutrients removed from it in the distillation process, and is, therefore, not a good
Betta fish water.
Many think that bottled water is a great choice, but this is not recommended, as there is a lot of trial and
error involved. Bottled water comes from a huge variety of sources, and while some might work just fine for your
Betta, others could be found to be lacking or overridden with nutrients and actually be harmful to your Betta. So
the best choice is stagnant tap water.
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The best way to prepare water for your Betta is to let the tap water you intend to use stand out, at room
temperature, overnight. This allows many of the impurities to evaporate. However, as Betta's are very sensitive to
certain chemicals that are often added to city tap water - such as chlorine and chloramine - some chemicals still
need to be removed. Drops and pellets that can remove these chemicals from the water are readily available at pet
Water temperature and pH levels are also pretty important as well, so a thermometer and pH testing strips are in
order. You want the water temperature to be between about 75 and 85 degrees, and the pH level should range between
6.5 and 7.5. A substance often referred to as "Betta conditioner" is something that needs to be added before the
Betta is ever introduced to the bowl, as well as with each water change, as it will help to prevent common fungal
and parasitic conditions.
It is best to never actually completely change your Betta fish water. If you have an unfiltered tank, you will
need to refresh the water weekly (this can also be referred to as a partial water change). If you use a filtered
tank, refreshing the water every other week is sufficient. When you have a large tank, you do not even need to
remove the Betta from the water, which makes it less stressful on the fish. With each partial changing, have your
stagnant water prepared, remove about a quarter of the water, and add the new water.
With a smaller bowl or tank, you may have to remove the Betta to partially replace the water. To do this, fill a
small container with some of their existing water. Carefully, using a small fish net, transfer the Betta to the
smaller container and proceed with the cleaning process. It might seem complex, but these special fish are worth
the extra effort it takes to keep their environment healthy and pure.
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