Caring For Your New Betta Fish

On Arrival

Upon receiving your new betta (fighting fish), you'll have to bear in mind they would be stressed from being transported. Hence, the acclimation process to their new home is of utmost importance.  

In normal scenarios where the fish arrives overnight as per usual, floating the unopened bag in the home tank for 15-30 minutes is generally enough. This is to prevent shock from a large temperature fluctuation.  Once that is done, remove the betta from the bag with a net and place into the home aquarium. Do not place any of the bagged water into your aquarium. Water from the bag will contain an excess of waste products produced whilst the fish was in transport. This can alter the water parameters of your home aquarium. 

 

Late Arrivals / Cold Weather

In the event of late arrivals or in colder weather conditions, there are a few things to bear in mind. When the bettas arrive cold, be it from colder than expected conditions, broken eskies or late deliveries by the courier, a very slow and gradual acclimation process is required. 

Bettas as well as most other fish regulate belong to the group ectotherms which includes amphibians and reptiles. This means their body temperature is regulated based on the temperature of their environment. When the environment is cold, the fish begins to slow down, sometimes almost into a state of hibernation. Thus, slowly bringing the temperature back up to normal is important to the health of your betta. A quick spike back up to normal temperatures will lead to shock and a decline in the health of your fish. 

The recommended way to acclimate in this case is through drip acclimation. 

 

Drip Acclimation

Required Items:

  • Air tubing
  • Bucket
  • Peg
  • Air Valve (Optional)

Steps

  1. Set up the air tubing so that water from the home tank will flow into the bucket. With the peg, hold one end of the tube in the home tank and siphon water into the bucket.
  2. Using the valve, you can set the flow rate of the water into the bucket to drip slowly. If you do not have a valve, you can tie a few knots into the air tubing to slow down the rate of water flow.
  3. Once the above is set up, open the betta from its transport bag and pour into the empty bucket. 
  4. Allow water to slowly drip into the bucket over a period of time. 

Reasoning

With a drip acclimation, the water parameters will gradually change to that of the home tank where the betta will end up. This provides ample time for the fish to get accustomed to the new parameters without too much stress.