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Helpful Tips on Choosing the Best Betta to Bring Home

beautiful red female betta

6:00 PM - January 21, 2013 by Adam Short

If you’ve decided to add the beautiful Betta fish to your family, congratulations! You will find many Betta lovers here at Betta Fish Center. With the correct care, your Betta will give you many years of enjoyment.

Maybe you haven’t purchased one yet and you aren’t sure of the questions to ask or what to look for when choosing your Betta. Hopefully, we can help.

Where to Buy Your Betta


Like anything else, acquiring a referral to a great tropical fish dealer has many advantages. It will give you confidence in the information you receive and more than likely, friendly customer service.

If you don’t have the luxury of a recommendation from a Betta owner, you may need to do some more investigating. Visit several fish dealers or pet stores. Talk to the people who work there. Ask questions. Compare answers. Check all of the betta aquariums. Are they clean and well maintained? Do the fish all look healthy? A quality dealer will make you feel comfortable, give plenty of advice and display aquariums full of happy fish.

Choosing a Healthy Betta Fish


Before you choose your Betta, do some research through reputable online resources, books, and talk to some Betta owners in our Betta Fish Center forum. Common sense and knowledge are the best defense against bringing home an ill fish.

Also, abide by a few simple rules:

- Do not buy a Betta that just arrived at the pet shop. There needs to be a quarantine period of about a week to determine the condition of the fish. If the fish dealer won’t allow that, move on.

- When inspecting aquariums, if you notice a dead fish in one of them, do not buy any fish in that particular fish tank. You could be dealing with a number of betta diseases. Revisit this store one week later and re-inspect that same tank. If all of the other fish look healthy, there isn’t much to worry about.

- Do not buy a Betta that looks “humpbacked”. This is a sure indication of old age. Of course you can purchase this fish, but its life expectancy will be much shorter than a younger Betta.

Characteristics of a Healthy Betta


When choosing your Betta, make sure you purchase one that has the following characteristics that are signs the betta is in good health:

blue halfmoon betta fish- Bright and rich colors on its body

- No visible skin problems

- No scars or visible wounds

- No visible parasites on the skin (small white or "copperish" color dots)

- Eyes that are clear and do not bug out

- Waste product that is dark

- Scales are flat and smooth

- No abdominal swelling (although a rounded belly is normal)

- Fins should never be ragged, torn, cut or even missing

Tank Habits


As you observe the above, make sure the Betta you choose is healthy in how he looks within that environment.

A healthy Betta will:

- Swim in a horizontal fashion with its head elevated

- Swim the whole aquarium length

- Swim effortlessly

- Never hide in the corner or behind a tank decoration at the bottom

- Breathe in a normal fashion; no heavy breathing or gasping for air

By following these criteria, you can choose the perfect Betta for you and your family. As time goes on, you will develop a continuing relationship with your fish dealer. This is important for future questions, feeding protocol, disease control and for the overall health of your fish.

Have you brought home healthy bettas?

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