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Half gallon or larger
Add plants that need low light
Low light best
70 to 80o
Overfeeding, dirty water, velvet, and rough nets
Clean water. Add a little salt.
Container Size: Give your bettas ½ gallon or larger bowls. Smaller containers need more frequent water changes. We keep ours in six-ounce rose bowls and plastic cups because of space restrictions. If you keep fewer than a 100, give them more room.
Water: Use aged water. We like to add one teaspoon of salt per gallon. Marine salt works best. Avoid table salt. It makes your water cloudy.
Plants: Various strains of Java lance fern thrive in betta containers. Plants provide cover and “eat” some of your betta’s wastes. Java fern and bolbitis need very little light.
Pouring (Krok Pla): Avoid netting bettas. We find that netting encourages the growth of an impossible-to-cure fungus all over their bodies. Use a gravy scoop, handmade plastic net, or plastic bowl. Familiarize your betta with the scoop by dipping water from his tank then pouring it back in. Daily, scoop him from one container to another. After a few days, he won’t run from the scoop when you try to move him.
Angry Stick: Some Thai breeders use an “angry stick” to exercise their bettas. A two-foot dowel with a black tip will work. Or use the non-writing end of a black ball point pen. Slowly push the angry stick across the front of your betta’s bowl. Most bettas learn to enjoy attacking the black tip.
Carding: Put sheets of cardboard between your bowls. Bettas get bored when kept next to the same neighbors all the time. Remove the cards several times a day to make your males “flare.” You can do the same with a mirror. They flare to warn off other males. You can do the same by moving their bowls around, but it takes more work.
Chasing (Parn Pla): Scoop your male into a larger container containing a half-dozen smaller females plus some vegetation for them to run behind. (Most females will not fight back or injure him.) Allow him to chase them about ½ hour per day.
Teasing (Yawk Pla): After a week of chasing, put him in a container with a ripe female this time. He’ll swim around her showing off. Allow him about five minutes of this fooling around before removing him. This also helps condition the female for breeding. She’ll fill up with more eggs and start showing her “I’m ready bars.” Keep these sessions under five minutes. Meanwhile, his urge to fight increases.
Running Laps (Pun Pla): Daily, scoop your betta into a large round container – like a plastic bucket or ice cream container. Swirl the water with a stick or by hand. Some betta keepers use a power head to swirl the water. Swirl it slowly or you may tire him. Let him swim laps about five minutes.