The Betta Kit Handbook

The Betta Kit Handbook

Chapter 1 

Let's start by understanding what a Betta fish actually is!

For starters, there are over 73 recognized Betta species till today, but what most of us know are Betta Splendens or more so popularly called Siamese fighter fish. Brightly colored with spectacular fins, they are a sight for sore eyes with feisty personalities all packed into their little size. Bearing that in mind, it comes as no shock that they’re a pet favorite for fish enthusiasts from beginners to professionals and everyone in-between!

So, where did they come from? 

Betta Fish

Betta’s have been around for over 150 years in the aquarium hobby, starting with early fish keepers in Thailand. Kids back then would keep them together and watch them fight (so now because of this we call them Siamese fighter fish). It was after a king gave some to a Danish physician, who studied and bred them, that he named them what we use even to this day; Betta Splendens (which translates to “beautiful warriors''). They then made their entry into France and Germany around the 1890s and were found in the US and Australia by 1910. With time and through more breeding, they found their way into our hearts and homes all across the world! 

Betta’s are naturally found in rice paddies, river basins, and various small streams with thick vegetation. The water is shallow and slow-moving if not stagnant with low oxygen saturation. Because they are tropical fish, they are used to water that isn't very cold, given that temperature can reach 40°C. They tend to thrive in water with a pH between 6-7, with soft to moderate hardness. 

Part of the Anabantoid Family!

Betta Fish

In spite of these harsh conditions Betta fish have uniquely adapted to survive because of their labyrinth organ. While they do process oxygen from the water through their gills, having the labyrinth organ permits them to be more hardy and survive in their natural environments. As a member of the Anabantoidei family, the Betta has a folded organ (aka labyrinth organ) that performs similar to our lungs. Within the folds of their labyrinth organ they have plates with tiny membranes, which helps to move oxygen to their bloodstream. This enables the Betta’s to be able to come and take gulps of air at the water’s surface. 

The Variety of Betta’s 

Betta Splendens come in a variety of colors based on different layers of pigmentation on their skin. Based on the layers of red, black, yellow, iridescent green and blue, and metallic hues, in combination, make for the wide variety of colors we commonly see. On the other hand, wild Betta fish actually have short fins and are more often than not are known to be like a rather dull gray or green. These look far from the majestic colored underwater beauties we know! 

Betta fish with bubble nest

Another interesting fact worth mentioning is how male Betta’s are bubble nesters and mouth brooders. The first is with regard to how when male Betta’s reach maturity, build a cluster of small bubble nests on the water's surface. This is to get the attention of a fertile female Betta. They also take up the job of caring for the fertilized eggs, placing each into their own fish bubble. The latter refers to how male Betta’s choose to carry a mouthful of eggs until they hatch. 

Types of Betta Splendens!

Betta fish

Through selective breeding, Betta’s now come in a vast variety of colors, fin, and tail types! The Veiltail Betta is known for its asymmetrical long caudal fin which hangs down. The male of this kind is known to have  a long, downward sweeping tail. This is the most common of  Betta's we see.

The Crowntail Betta is one with a slender and long body. They have reduced webbing, so you can see there is a visible separation between each of their fins. This makes them look crown-like or spikey. 

The Halfmoon Betta has a long, more rounded tail that forms what looks like a 180-degree semi circle when the fish is flaring its tail and fins. Like what we see with a half moon in the sky. This distinct tail is where they get their name from and are not typically found in the wild. 

The Plakat Betta is similar to the half moon Betta but with shorter fins. They have a fan-like dorsal fin on their lower back, with a noticeably shorter tail fin compared to traditional Betta’s. They have short, stocky and more robust bodies like those found in the wild. This makes them more capable of dealing with injuries. 

Chapter 2 

The Betta Kit 

Why our Kit

In spite of how resilient these bright and beautiful creatures are, just like every other pet, they rely on us to provide the ideal environment for them to thrive in. More often than not, Betta’s aren't being kept in the best conditions. This results in them getting lethargic and depressed!  Bearing all their needs in mind, we’ve created a kit that keeps in mind their natural environment and everything you would need to keep your Betta fish healthy but happy! 

What’s in the Kit?

Starter Betta Kit

  • 9inch cube tank

This is the minimum tank size we think makes a great home for your Betta!

  • Substrate

The right substrate brings out the colors in your Betta!

  • Plant Pot

This gives your Betta hiding spots to feel safe and adds a spot of natural greenery to your tank!  

  • AST X3 Light (5w)

This helps plants with photosynthesis and filtration of water!

  • Congo Rock
  • Backdrop

This makes your plants and Betta stand out more!

  • Lid (Polycarbonate Sheet)

Being skilled jumpers your fish can use this talent to get out of your tank, so having a lid is the best idea!

  • Beneficial Bacteria *(Refer Chapter 4 - Nitrogen cycle)


  • Gene Eleven Micro Pellets *(Refer Chapter 3 -Feeding Betta Fish)
  • Sponge Filter + Airline Tube + Air Pump *(Refer Chapter 4 - Nitrogen cycle)
  • AR Betta Care Twin Pack *(Refer Chapter 5 -Maintenance: Water Changes + Water conditioners)
  • 25w Heater *(Refer Chapter 6 -Betta Temperature Requirements)

Premium Betta Kit

Everything from the Starter Kit + All the Add-ons

Chapter 3 

Feeding Betta Fish

What do Betta fish eat?

Carnivorous fish like Betta need a high protein diet. In the wild, Betta fish would hunt and eat invertebrates such as microscopic insects and worms. As pets we can feed them specialized Betta pellets, community pellets, frozen or freeze dried bloodworms, or live baby brine shrimp. Variety is important regardless of what types of fish you keep, as even carnivores benefit from some plant matter in their diet, and vice versa.

How much should you feed your Betta fish?

Betta Fish

A fish’s stomach is approximately the size of its eyeball. A general rule of thumb is to feed only what your fish can consume in 1 to 2 minutes. It’s always best to underfeed, especially in a new aquarium, as uneaten food can cloud your water and cause ammonia and nitrite levels to rise. When in doubt, start with a tiny quantity and observe how fast your fish consumes it. If it is completely consumed in less than 1 minute, give them a little more. Remove any food that remains after five minutes with a siphon hose or net.

How often should you feed your Betta fish?

During summers, if the temperature in and around your aquarium is warm, you can feed your Betta twice a day as the warm temperature increases their metabolism. We suggest once in the mornings and once in the evenings giving them sufficient time to digest between meals. During winters or the rainy season, when the temperature is low, you can feed your Betta fish once a day as their metabolism slows down with the temperature. We also recommend fasting your Betta fish one day a week as this helps clear their digestive systems. Try and keep the feeding time consistent.

Chapter 4 

Aquarium Cycling 

Nitrogen Cycle

What is Aquarium Cycling?

Fish eat and produce waste in the water that they inhabit, in order for them to live safely in this water, the toxic chemicals like ammonia needs to be removed. Nature has adapted plants and microscopic bacteria to carry out this exact task. The bacteria  breaks down the toxic ammonia and nitrites into harmless nitrates which are absorbed by the plants.

Sounds too complicated?

Don't worry! This is something that you don't need to stress about, with your Betta kit, we do the aquarium cycling process for you!

Chapter 5

Maintenance: Water Changes and Water Conditioners.

Betta Fish

The only maintenance that your Betta tank needs is a once a week 40% water change. This will remove any excess nitrates that were not absorbed by the plants.

When changing the water, avoid using it directly from the tap. Use day old water. Most city tap water contains chlorine to prevent microbes from growing and spreading through the water system. Unfortunately this chlorine is poisonous to your Betta fish.

Immediately after the weekly water change. Add 0.5ml of each liquid provided in the Betta Care twin pack with the included syringe. Aquatic Remedies Twin Pack helps you with two things. The first bottle makes tap water safe for your Betta fish, it helps with removing chlorine, ammonia, and heavy metals from the water. The added aloe vera extract reduces stress in fish during the water change process. The second bottle, with the Indian almond leaf extract, creates a natural environment that Betta fish are familiar with. It also increases their gut health and overall immune system. This prevents common diseases like fungal infections. 

Chapter 6 

Betta Fish Temperature Requirements

Fish are temperature sensitive. Your Betta fish is a tropical fish and as a result, they prefer a tropical temperature of 24-28°C. When kept in water at this temperature, they are more energetic and active. If the water temperature drops below this, it's possible that the stress of being in the cold water could make them more lethargic or even lead to them getting sick. Bearing that in mind, including a heater in your Betta’s tank can make them more comfortable and physically active!

Chapter 7 

Common Betta Illnesses 

Just like us, Betta fish can also get sick. The right environment, a good tank cleaning schedule, and balanced diet can avoid that and help keep them healthy. Understanding the symptoms will help you treat them in case something does happen.

Preventative Medication

  • Non-iodized salt

Helps with the healing of injuries, promotes the slime coating forming, improves gill function, and decreases osmotic stress. Using one tablespoon of salt to every 3 liters of fresh water can help prevent nitrate poisoning. A "dip treatment" is when parasites on the skin of fish are exposed to high levels of salt in water for a short span of time urging them to come off their skin.

  • Tannins (Tannic Acid)

Tannic acid is a natural substance that comes from new wood or leaves after they are added to the aquarium. This even happens out in nature too and is why we view many freshwater rivers as having a brown or yellow tint. Forming almost like a tea-stained color that tannins produce, it is also often referred to as the 'blackwater effect'.

Causes and Treatment!

  • Velvet (Fungal infection) 

Betta Fish with velvet

Velvet is caused by parasites in your fish tank water, they will rub their bodies against anything in the tank and you may notice twitching. The presence of gold coating due to your fish producing excess mucus, in order to try and fight the infection. 

If your fish has velvet, you can do a few things to help treat your fish. Start by increasing the temperature of the water by just a few degrees. Dim your aquarium lights for a few days. The best treatment of choice for velvet is copper sulfate for 10 days.

  • Fin Rot (Antifungal infection)

Fin Rot is caused by either the Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, or Vibrio bacteria, where your Betta’s fins fray and get damaged and become lethargic. The edges of your fish’s fins will begin to discolor, appearing milky on the edges.

To treat Fin Rot, first check the water parameters with an aquarium water test kit to ensure all levels are normal. Clean the aquarium your Betta was in and remove as much of the fish waste as you can. Then add in methylene blue as it is an appropriate antifungal treatment.

  • Ich (Parasitic infection)

Ick or 'white spot', is an external parasite that latches onto the body of a betta, causing irritation, itchiness, and malaise. White spots emerge on your Betta's body, they become agitated and rub against objects. Bacterial Infections are when their scales become red and inflamed, their eyes are cloudy and they lack energy. 

Stress is the main cause of Ich. This can be due to poor water conditions, overcrowding, or illness. When your fish is stressed, it leads to a lower immune system and allows this protozoan parasite to take over. Common things used are medicated fish tanks with aquarium salt, potassium permanganate or copper sulfate.

  • Bloat (Internal bacteria or Fungal infection)

Bloat is when your Betta visibly has a bloated, swollen, protruding belly. This can be on any side of the fish and makes swimming hard, also gives the impression of your fish being lopsided. Poor appetite and less fish waste in the tank are also other symptoms. 

Treating bloat is fairly easy and is usually caused by constipation. Increasing the temperature in your tank and fasting them for 2 to 3 days should permit them time to get back to regular bowel movements. Post which including fiber into their diet is a good idea!

  • Swim Bladder disease (Bacteria infection)

Swim bladder disease is when your Betta is incapable of swimming normally. It will be very noticeable that they are having trouble trying to maintain their balance and swim. They may even have difficulty swimming to the top or bottom of the tank. The problem is usually due to a bacterial infection caused due to poor water quality, or injuries sustained during transportation, breeding, or fighting.

Treating Swim Bladder disease involves moving your Betta to a far more shallow tank where the water line will only be a few inches above their top fin. Then you can treat the water with an antibiotic, as well as, do daily water changes until recovery.

Chapter 8

Betta Tank Mates 

Betta with tankmates

As territorial and macho as they can seem, Betta’s are an intelligent fish. Without sufficient interaction and stimulation, they can get bored and lethargic. It just so happens that they are mostly territorial with their own kind and there are quite a few compatible tank mates suitable for your pet Betta fish. Try keeping Nerite snails, about 1-3 of them. They are great at keeping your glass clean. How about 1-3 Khuli loaches? These bottom feeders will eat the uneaten leftover food.

In a larger community tank, you can add a group of Tetras of a single species (nothing with long fins). But every Betta has their own temperament, so bear that in mind when adding companions to your Betta’s tank. 

Chapter 9

The importance of Interaction with your Betta 

Betta fish

Interacting with your Betta fish every day beyond just watching him swim about and feeding time, helps build a strong bond. Betta’s can learn to recognize their owner and even do a few tricks with practice!

You can teach your Betta to flare when it sees another Betta.This is something you can work on for 5-10 minutes a day by holding a picture of another Betta or mirror close to the side of your Betta’s tank. This makes them think there is a live fish and get reactive! You can also get them to follow your finger or a pen. This can be done by rewarding them when they do follow along, and can be done a couple times a day as part of a routine. Make sure not to overwork your Betta as they can get stressed and is not the outcome you want to see!


  • Don't catch your Betta with your hand
  • Don't tap on the aquarium glass and scare your Betta fish
  • Don’t put anything other than fish food and water conditioner in your tank

(doing this will either stress out or harm your Betta fish and you don’t want that)


With your Betta’s and fish keeping in general, our biggest nugget of advice is to remember that their care depends on you, so the home you set up for them ultimately determines their happiness! Always trying to learn more about their needs and what you can do to improve their lives can make them only live a longer, healthier, and happier life, which will only leave you immensely satisfied. Taking proper care of them and ensuring they have a happy home can make all the difference for both you and your new little pal!

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