New Era Bettas

Its been awhile since we have owned bettas, but i recently made a trip to the local fish store and picked up 3 nice bettas and awhole bunch of memories.

Since I have been out for so long, there has been alot of advances in the new era of bettas. Certainly one can go down the street and find a larger chain store that is selling bettas that at one point were only accessable via internet. My recent trip has lead me to obtain a very nice and clean yellow veil tail betta male, a clean yellow veil tail female, and petcos rendition of a giant betta, called their king betta.

Just from my trip to petco, they are selling many types of bettas. You can get halfmoons, deltas, female crowntails, king bettas, double tails, crowntails, and veils. This is quite an assortment for a large chain store and while it does vary on quality from store to store, my interest in petco’s new king betta has lead me to venture into their store and inspired me to write this page.

So for this first update, i want to discuss their king betta. Giant bettas are truely giant in size, often plakats but they are very heavy in body and can reach about 6 inches long. While you can order very fancy giants online, i suggest making a trip to petco to buy one of your own. They are rahter expensive as a betta is concerned but for avaliblity you cant beat going down to petco and buying one of their king bettas. King bettas are very easy to care for, just like any other betta. Im currently studying how my new king betta interacts with my standard veil. He is certainly larger and has adjusted well to his new home. Flaring and showing off his massive body.

To close for now: there has been great advances in coloration since i left. You can see alot of metallic bettas and certainly alot of dragon bettas.

On a final note: There is going to be alot of controversy about my decision to embrace petco, yes while some stores need a kick in the pants to improve their stock and care for their animals. It does vary from store to store, so it is unfair to judge or be prejudice against them. I personally recommend if you have a good store, to check out their new stock of bettas and certainly this is your chance to get a once priced giant betta for 14.99 USD.

Betta Fish Anatomy

Fish anatomy includes fins, gills, bones, skin, and internal organs. The gills have a cover over them called an operculum and it is used to protect the gills. Agnathas, which are jawless fish such as Sting Rays and Sharks, have gill slits. The water enters through their mouth and then over the gills of the fish. When water passes over the fish’s gills, it allows oxygen to enter the bloodstream and then get sent to various parts of its body. Sharks and Sting Rays both have nostrils, but these are only used for smelling out their next meal, not for breathing.

Another part of fish anatomy are the fins. The fins are used for stability, steering and swimming through the water. There are two fins in particular that help the fish stay stable and keep it from rolling. Those are the anal fins and the dorsal fin. The caudal fin is used to help them to steer and move forward and the pectoral fin also helps them to steer as well as brake in the water. The pelvic fin is used like a leveler to keep them level in the water.

Fish anatomy also includes the shape of the fish. Fish species have about six main body shapes. The flat body shape is found in Flounder, Sting Rays, Sole, and Skates. The fusiform body shape is found in Salmon, Tuna, Barracuda, and Sharks. Round body shapes are porcupine fish while ribbon shapes are found in cutlass. The compressed body shapes are seen in Angel Fish and Butterfly Fish. And the elongated body shape is found in eels, needlefish, and lamprey.

Fish anatomy is not all that complex. They have five senses just as man does, with the exception of the lateral line. The lateral line is simply a series of scales modified by a pore. This pore connects with another system of nerve fibers and sensory cells. The lateral line runs from the gills to the tail and can be seen from the outside. It is the darker line that runs across the center of the fish. It can detect electrical currents in the water and is also used as an echo location in order for it to identify the surroundings. One of the five senses of a fish is vision, which is very limited depending on the conditions of water and lighting. Fish have a highly developed sense of smell and taste which enables them to find their food and know if it is good or not. Fish have a very elevated sense of touch as well. Fish are known to be deaf but some believe that they can hear, although they are not sure whether it is only vibrations felt through the water or actual hearing.

Betta Fish Illness

Bettas like most fish rely on their slime coat to provide them a source of protection against paracites.  When the animal becomes stressed or is touched by ojects that can remove slime coat, the scales are exposed.  Which can lead to internal and external illness.  Certainly bettas and other fish can get cancer. Im not really the one to ask when it comes to fish sickness, but the following is what i would do.  Please refer to my forum, where the people can help you better than i can.

Paracites- For fish in general, paracites like velet and ich are common and treatable. Paracites can be spotted by the naked eye as little whitish dots on the external part of the fish. While their can be internal paratcites like worms, most of the common paracites are external.  One of the best ways to treat is to use aquarium salt. Alot of freshwater paracites can not handle saltwater. So by giving your fish a saltbath, or just adding aquarium salt to the fishtank will be all for the best.  Remember not to use table salt.   The next thing to do is increase the water temp.  Paracites will speed up development in heated water. This is good for ich.  There are plenty of medications out there for fish and are effective on bettas.  Also their are products out there, that can be used to treat internal paracites by coating the fish food with this kind of medications.

Fungal- Fungus can develop on open wounds.  You can remove the fungus by hand with a net or tweezers,  but the best thing to do is add salt and treat with medications. 

Heaters and Filters For Your Bettas

Bettas come from the hot waters of thailand. These rice paddies can get very hot due to the shallowness of the water. Bettas have a wide  tolerance range when it comes to water temperature. Their have been reports of the bettas lasting the night in peoples cars.

Bettas can also handle warm temps such as 90*F.  Room temperature is just fine for bettas, but remember the basics.  The warmer the water, the more active the betta is, and the faster the metaoblism rate is. Heaters come in a wide range of wattage and sizes. So there are a few out there good for ten gallons or smaller.  While it is a good thing to have a heater, it isnt really required when it comes to bettas.

Filters are not required, but like heaters they are recommended. Filters are great because they help keep the aquarium water in the best condition for your fish.  Long fin male bettas however, have special needs.  The current that power filters create isnt all that great for bettas. Their long fins often get stuck in the filter intake and cause the fish to have swimming problems.  Gentle filters such as sponge filters are best for bettas. These filters pick up solid waste in the water and also provide some chemical/ biological filteration.  Being air powered these filters can be adjusted to fit your bettas needs.  They dont pose any threat to bettas and would be a good addition to any betta tank.

Acclimating Your Betta

When you get your betta in the mail, you should carefully take the bag out, but in low light.  Bright light might freak the fish out and it could go into shock.  Your going to need to float the fish in its need tank for a few hours.  The fish must have been use to a different water temp thoughtout shipping.  Again floating will allow the temperature to equalize and avoid shock.  

After a few hours, cut open the top of the bag and slowly pour some of the tank water into the bag.  Doing this process for a few hours will again be best for the betta.  After the betta is doing good and breathing normally, then turn off the lights and aloow the betta to swim out on its own.  Leave the lights off, and if there are fishes in the tank already, feed them. 

What seperates acclimating shipped fishes over petstore fish, is the amount of time. Your going to need to give the shipped fishes alot more time than petstore shipped fishes.