Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Picking Your Betta Fish: 5 Tips For a Healthy Betta

We all love betta fish. They're colorful and scrappy fish with beautiful fins. They can brighten up a room. There are some things that you should keep in mind when you're trying to pick out your betta.

1. Look at the available betta fish. Bettas come in all sorts of colors, with darker ones (especially blue and red) being the most frequently seen. Find one that has bright, vivid colors. If a betta looks drab or dull then it's probably not healthy.

2. A betta should be quite in tune to what's going on around it. Move your finger in front of the tank. The betta should respond by swimming more rapidly and possibly following your finger. Don't tap on the glass, that does nothing but stress the fish. If the fish you're looking at just sits at the bottom like a lump, it's probably not doing well. There's a chance that the betta could just be taking a break. Remember that they do see a lot of people over the course of the day while they're at the pet shop. However, if a betta appears lifeless then I'd go for a livelier one.

3. Look at the betta's fins. They should be well colored as well as long and flowing. If they look torn, brittle, or ragged then you might not want to pick that one.

4. Check out the betta's eyes. The eyes are an indicator of health and they're also frequently damaged. The eyes should appear clear and look to be in good health. Don't choose a fish that has cloudy or damaged-appearing eyes.

5. Give the fish an overall once-over. The body shouldn't appear damaged or have any strange lumps (which could mean parasites) on it. The scales should look intact. A fish with chunks of missing scales or tears in its body is at risk of poor health.

Spending a little bit of time screening your potential purchase goes a long way in keeping healthy bettas. A healthy betta doesn't need a lot of care, but a sick fish can be a heartbreaker. Some pre-selection minimizes that from happening.

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