Betta Fish Facts: 5 Facts About Betta Fish 0 1222

Betta fish facts

The beautiful, vibrantly colored betta is one of the most distinctive and visually impressive freshwater aquarium fish, and one that many fish keepers and hobbyists aspire to own.

As well as being visually appealing, bettas are interesting to keep, relatively easy to keep healthy, and providing that you do your research before buying, a perfectly good fish for the first-time keeper.

Read on for 5 interesting facts about the betta fish!

Our Top 5 Betta Fish Facts

1. The Siamese fighting fish is not the only betta

While the best-known species of betta is the Siamese fighting fish, this is by no means the only variety! There are around 65 individual types of betta fish, although the Siamese fighting fish or ?Betta Splendens? is by far the most commonly domestic-kept betta.

2. The betta originates from Thailand

As the ?Siamese? part of the name suggests, the Siamese fighting fish and other bettas originate from Thailand, previously called Siam. In their natural environment, bettas live in the shallow, marshy fields of rice paddies. For this reason, they?thrive in a shallow tank with a large surface area.

3. Siamese fighting fish were originally fought deliberately

When people in Thailand realized that two male bettas together would put on impressive threat displays and fight each other, they would often actively select and keep fish with significant fighting prowess, and use them to fight other fish in competitions. This ?hobby? died out towards the end of the 1800s.

4. Bettas are carnivorous

While most domestic fish are omnivorous or vegetarian, meaning that they either eat a mixture of plant and animal matter or plant matter only, the betta is an obligate carnivore, meaning that the main or entire part of their diet must consist of animal matter in order for them to thrive.

In captivity, the betta prefers to be fed food such as brine shrimp and blood worms, but they will also eat specially prepared pellets and flake food designed to meet their needs. You can even buy pre-prepared food mixes specific to bettas, which provide for all of their needs and help to enhance their bright, vibrant colors.

5. Bettas can breathe oxygen

Unlike the vast majority of small fish, the betta species has an organ within their heads known as the labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe oxygen from the air rather than solely from the water.

This evolutionary advantage helped the betta to survive in conditions that are hostile to most other fish, such as very shallow rice paddies and slow moving streams. However, your betta does of course need to live within the water, and should never be removed from the tank!

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 1288

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 1799

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.