Pet Betta Fighter Fish (Siamese Fighting Fish) Care Sheet

Author: Kristy Walker  

BETTA SPLENDENS (Siamese Fighting Fish)

Bettas, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are a popular and beautiful tropical fish commonly kept by aquarium hobbyists.

They are known to be full of personality and can even be trained to do a number of tricks!

While bettas can be an easy pet to take care of, they thrive in an appropriately sized tank, good water conditions with the right temperature, and do require some set-up and maintenance to thrive.


Your Betta should be housed in a minimum 20L tank, and a male Betta should not be kept with another Betta unless it is for temporary breeding purposes. A ‘sorority’ of female Bettas can live together in a 40-75L tank. The sorority should have a minimum of 5 female Bettas to prevent fighting.

Your Betta’s tank will need a filter, heater and thermometer to help keep the tank at the right conditions for your fish. You can also add live or silk plants and other decorations to brighten up your tank and provide hiding spots for your Betta.

Bettas are a rare labyrinth fish, meaning they can breathe oxygen. It’s important to never block the surface of your betta’s tank, as he will often swim to the surface to take a breath. However your tank should be covered at all times, as they are also known to jump out of uncovered tanks!page2image3536 page2image3696 page2image3856


For best results, your betta’s tank should be cycled before bringing him home. Water cycling involves setting up your tank without any fish in it and monitoring the water until the ammonia and nitrate levels are undetectable. You can monitor and test your water conditions using a Freshwater Test Kit .

Once your tank has successfully cycled, you can bring your fish home. Introduce him to your tank by sitting his closed bag in the top for a minimum of 15 minutes, allowing him to adjust to any changes in temperature.

Ideally, once your tank is up and running, you should test your water conditions once a week to identify any water quality issues early. In a cycled and filtered tank size of 20L or above, a weekly water change of 15-25% is recommended. A water conditioner should be added during each water change. During the water change it’s a good idea to use a gravel vacuum to clean any signs of detritus on the substrate to help keep your tank clean.


Your betta is a tropical fish who will thrive in a water temperature of 25-27°. A thermometer and heater are recommended in your tank to monitor your water and keep your new betta in his optimal environment.

In Australian summers, you may be able to turn your heater off, but you should never allow the temperature to dip below 24°, as your betta may become lethargic.page3image1424page3image3528 page3image3688 page3image3848


Bettas are a carnivorous fish, and they should be fed a betta-specific pellet high in meat or fish based ingredients. A live or frozen treat of bloodworms can also be given.

Your betta should be fed carefully, as they are prone to overeating. If you’re unsure about the quantity, pellets can be fed one at a time. Overfeeding can also result in excess tank waste and should be avoided, or the excess removed from the tank.


A male betta fish should never be housed with another betta, except temporarily for breeding purposes. Female bettas can be house in a sorority size of five and up.

However, your betta fish doesn’t have to live alone! Depending on your tank size, he can be housed with a small school of corydoras, tetras or even a catfish. As bettas can be quite aggressive, it’s recommended not to add any fish that are too ‘frilly’ or colourful, as this can attract the betta’s wrath. You should also keep an eye on his new tank mates, especially at first, to make sure everyone is getting along.


Your betta will appreciate places to hide - including small caves and leaves or ledges to rest on. Decorations and ornaments should be checked carefully for sharp or jagged edges, as these can snag your betta’s fins and tear them.

Live and silk plants are usually soft to the touch and can be a wonderful, attractive addition to your tank. New decorations, even when purchased from a trusted aquarium store, should be rinsed prior to placing in your tank.page4image1424page4image3528 page4image3688 page4image3848


If well cared for, a betta fish has a life span of 3-5 years and will grow to roughly 7cm in size.

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