Betta Fish Tanks: How to Keep Betta Fish 0 315

Betta fish tanks

The most commonly know type of betta fish is the Siamese fighting fish, but there are actually over 60 types of fish that fall into the betta species category. However, they all have many things in common and all betta fish tanks have similar set up and care requirements.

Bettas are fairly flexible in terms of appropriate tank, water conditions and care, and they can happily live within a relatively wide range of different tank environments.

In this introduction, we talk about what type of tank and living environment is best suited to keeping betta fish.

Betta fish tank size

The size of a betta fish tank will vary depending on how many fish you wish to keep. To keep one lone male Siamese fighting fish on its own, you will only need a small tank, but to keep a range of fish together, you will of course need something larger!

Generally, the ready-to-go freshwater aquarium set-ups that you can buy in a range of sizes are perfectly well suited to the betta breed, and the tank size will dictate how many fish you can keep within it.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to allow one gallon of water for every inch of fish within the tank. Bettas benefit most from shallow but wide/long tanks, similar to their natural living conditions in the rice paddies of Thailand.

Betta fish tank water conditions

Bettas are freshwater fish and therefore do not require the addition of salt or minerals to create a brackish environment within the tank.

The betta is relatively hardy when it comes to differing water conditions and normal freshwater parameters are fine. Condition tap water to de-chlorinate it before adding it to the tank, and add softeners if you live in an area with particularly hard water.

Necessary equipment in betta fish tanks

Betta fish tanks need all of the usual aquarium fixings and fittings, such as a tank heater, filtration and lighting.

The ideal water temperature for bettas is between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit (24-27 degrees Celsius), so if you live in a warmer area, the ambient temperature may be sufficient without adding a heater, providing that you can monitor the temperature.

Filtration should be added in order to clear waste and toxins from the tank and provide a gentle flow of water movement, but without any strong streams.

Decorating your betta fish tank

How you decorate your betta fish tank is largely up to you! Many owners prefer to keep the aquarium décor minimal, so that the colorful, bright fish themselves are the focus of attention, while others like to keep a highly decorative aquarium.

A gravel or sand substrate is recommended, though leaving the base bare is also an option, and live or artificial plants can add interest and hiding places for your fish.

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Should you choose a chameleon as a pet? 0 1670

Pet chameleon

Chameleons are not the easiest pet to take care of, and are more for the advanced reptile enthusiast. That said, they are beautiful creatures and they can thrive if well looked after.

Our pet care advice below will help you decide whether a chameleon is right for you:

Different types of chameleon

There are a few different chameleons suitable to be kept as pets: The Veiled or Yemen Chameleon is one of the easier species to keep. They can grow to two feet, so make sure you consider that when buying a cage.

Panther Chameleons are active during the day, and require a similar environment to the veiled chameleon. They grow up to about 20 inches.

Jackson’s chameleons are the smallest of these three breeds, and grow to around 10 inches. Some species of Jackson’s chameleons also have a horn.

All chameleons prefer not to be handled, and need to be housed on their own. If you want to breed your chameleons, make sure you look into this carefully.

Getting the environment right

A chameleon’s natural habitat is the humid rainforests and arid deserts, so they need a humid environment with enough space to allow for their tree climbing – the minimum size is three feet by three feet by four feet tall.

You’ll need to include lots of tree branches and foliage within the cage. The chameleon likes to bask, and you’ll need different basking spots, in a range of different temperatures, depending on your type of chameleon.

You’ll also need UV lighting that’s designed for reptiles as well as a misting system if you’re not going to be there to ensure humidity is at the right level. Misting needs to take place twice a day.

Feeding your chameleon

Chameleons are insectivores, and so a mixed diet of crickets, roaches, and worms is their preferred menu. Some also like vegetation such as fruits and vegetables.

Chameleons don’t drink from a bowl, preferring to take droplets of water from the leaves, so it’s important you’re misting twice a day, or providing a water system that drips.

With the right pet care, chameleons are a fascinating pet to keep, but are probably not for you if you want a reptile to handle. You’ll also need to put time into making sure their environment is right, as they can easily get sick if not.

Five snakes that are good for beginner reptile keepers 0 599

Pet Ball Python pet

Snakes are the most popular reptile pet to keep, but are they easy to look after? They do make unusual pets, but with good pet care – the right equipment, food and environment – they will thrive.

If you’re a beginner, what snake should you get to start you off? Here’s our rundown of five snakes that will make a great pet for first time snake keepers.

Corn Snake

Corn snakes are one of the most popular first time snakes to buy. They don’t grow too big – an adult corn snake needs a 20 gallon tank. They will live for around 20 years.

They’re easy to handle and to look after. They feed on mice. Corn snakes are quite active, so will need time outside their tank for exercise.

Royal or Ball Python

The royal python (also known as the ball python) can live for up to 30 years, and grow up to five feet.

Royal pythons are a timid species, so don’t appreciate much handling – they need somewhere to hide within their tank. For tank size allow 1 square foot to each foot of snake in length.

Royals eat mice or rats, depending on the size of their mouth.

King Snake

King snakes live for about 15 years. There are lots of different types, with some growing up to six feet.

King snakes are active, so will need time out of their tank, and can bite when cornered, but with careful and regular handling should settle.

They feed on mice and rats, and need the same sized tank proportions as a royal python.

Rosy Boa

Rosy boas are fairly docile, but can bite if caught unaware. Rosy boas grow to about four feet in length and will live for about 30 years. They need a reasonable size tank, and places to hide as well. Rosy boas feed on mice.

Garter snake

Garter snakes grow up to three foot long, and live to about 10 years.

They need around a 29 gallon tank to be comfortable. Garter snakes do eat mice, but prefer fish, and food like frogs, so it’s best to give them a varied diet.