To each dedicated fishkeeper, the goal is to make them happy. Happy fish equals a happy aquarist. It is that simple!
You have set up your tank, the water quality is just right, and ensured your betta is acclimatized. You now want to know if your betta fish is happy.
Signs of a happy betta fish
In the aquarium world, emotions are easy to decipher. One is either happy or stressed. It is thus relatively easy to notice signs of a happy fish, even from miles away.
Without further ado, here are the telltale signs of happiness in our bettas:
Honestly, fish appetite is the single most telling sign of ‘fish mood’. Betta fish are known for their ravenous appetite. They will gobble as much food as they can given a chance. They don’t know what enough is.
Aquarists are usually concerned (rightly so) when bettas refuse to eat. It is a sign of severe stress, and it should tell you that your fish is not very happy at the moment.
Therefore, a ravenous betta is a happy betta.
Bettas are bred to have vibrant colors. Bettas are one of the most beautiful fishes in captivity.
Happy bettas will fully flaunt their magnificent colors for all to behold and enjoy. Every movement they make will enhance the beauty. The fins will always be open for maximum locomotive efficiency, further illuminating vibrance.
A betta that can match the description above is most certainly happy and healthy. The opposite of a vibrant betta is worrying. Be keen to observe changes in the appearance of your fish. They are a direct sign of how your fish is doing in the aquarium.
Highly active bettas
Active bettas are just the most endearing and cute little creatures. At least mine is!
Bettas will swim towards you every time you approach the tank. They will keep to the surface of the water, clearly demanding food. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just fed them or not; bettas will always eat.
If you see your betta scouting his/her territory, reacting actively with people, and swimming around for long periods, your goal is realized. Active betta fish are comfortable with their environment and, more often than not, perfectly healthy.
Stressed fish are lethargic, sluggish in swimming, and will be cooped up in an isolated corner of your aquarium.
Floating bubble nest
Have you ever seen loads of bubbles floating (in a nest-like form) on the surface of your tank water? That is what we call a bubble nest.
Male bettas will spit numerous bubbles that will float on the water surface to attract female bettas. The little guy will hang around the nest waiting for willing females to mate with.
This is a good sign. I mean, stressed and unhappy bettas will not even think about mating or breeding if you please.
Bubble nest should give you two reasons to be happy and feel all nice. One, your bettas are happy and doing well. Two, possible young bettas are on the way.
Be on the lookout for a bubble nest if you want to figure out how your fish is doing.
How to keep betta fish happy
We will now look at the things we can do to make sure bettas are happy in our tanks. There is nothing new really that can be said to add to what you already know. For this reason, too, I intend to give quick tips to freshen the edges and keep you on your toes.
Below is a shortened list of what you should do to ensure betta happiness:
- Setting your tank right – the most basic and aquarium 101 thing out there. You should make sure that your fish tank is qualified to house a betta. It would be best to confine such a beautiful creature to a dark, dirty, or cloudy watered aquarium.
Meet all the requirements of a standard fish tank. Get the right filter, decent heater, air pump, and cool lights to accompany your tank. The water in the tank should be well cycled and of good quality.
Bettas are happier in well-decorated environments. Aquariums with hiding spots, aquatic plants, and all the nitty-gritty of the aquarium environment will heighten the chances of your betta being happy and healthy.
- Healthy feeding habits – I sincerely can’t stress this enough. Fish in aquariums depend on their guardians for food and efficient feeding regimens. Efficient because you dont need an overfed betta, nor do you wish for an underfed one. Only a good regimen can achieve this. Take your time to establish a good one for your fish with all related factors considered.
- Provide as much space as you can – although we essentially cage the fish we keep, it doesn’t have to feel that way (in fish’s perspective). Giving your ample fish space for roaming and swimming around should be on top of your bucket list: the more room you can provide, the better. Large aquariums are also easier to maintain than smaller ones. It’s a win-win for both the fish and aquarist.
- Compatible tankmates – in my opinion, isolation of fish is horrible. I have seen loads of people house one betta in a tiny aquarium, and I can’t help but pity the fish. I think social interactions generally make fee=ish more comfortable in aquariums.
Caution should be taken while picking tank mates for your fish. You don’t want aggressive fights and deaths in your aquarium. Choose compatible tankmates for betta fish like feeder guppies, mystery snails, and neon tetras.
Keeping your betta fish happy is not as difficult as you might think. They can learn, so it’s essential to keep their brain stimulated and challenged with new things. You can tell when they’re in a good mood because they will swim around more freely or show off that beautiful coloration by swimming up to the top for food! If you want to learn how best to take care of them, check out our blog post on keeping your betta healthy and happy.
Jesse is the principal author of this blog. He is an avid fishkeeper with rich experience spanning several years. He is here to share his knowledge and ensure you also have a guiding compass, as he did with his father.