Acquired: Fish / pet store
Posted Jun 26, 2013
I've had several bettas over the years. Though they have not all lasted as long as I would have liked, they always brought something nice to my fish tanks.
Appearance: Males are bred to have long tails and pectoral pins, can come in many different colors and different tail shapes, and sometimes come in different sizes. Females are also sold, and they are not quite a brilliant, but can be just as colorful and charming. I've owned two females in my time.
Compatibility with it's own species: Two males cannot get along together unless they have a huge tank to get away from each other. Most people do not own a large enough tank for this to happen. Females can get along in small groups, but it's a little iffy, as they can fight amongst each other as well. And males and females can only be placed together once it is definite that they want to mate. So overall, not good to be housed with it's own species.
Compatibility with other fish: I've actually never had a real problem with betta's beating up other fish. I think I've had one betta who has beaten up other fish in the tank and needed to be separated, and that alone makes me list them low on compatibility, but it's a case by case basis.
Easy to keep: Too easy. Too many people buy betta BOWLS when they need a tank just like other fish! I keep my betta's in no smaller than a 3 gallon filtered tank with heater. I prefer, however, to keep them in my ten gallon tank by themselves. They actually are pretty easy to keep, though. Very hardy species.
Activity level - You can see your betta exploring or rushing up to get some air. A lot of the times, however, they are just resting.
Visibility - Most bettas are bright enough that they stand out in their tank. Unless you have a complex series of decorations for your betta to hide in, they should be easy to spot. But they do hide. I actually love it when they hide, because it's so cute.
Health/Vigor - Bettas a very hardy, but very overbred, so their health is not top notch. They are also susceptible to fin rot, which can be hard to tell because their fin can break apart with the wrong decorations or rocks in a tank.
Interaction with owner - They will come and check you out sometimes, but they mostly keep to themselves.
Easy to acquire - They are EVERYWHERE.
Low cost to own - Extremely. Give them a starter ten gallon tank, purchase sand (not rocks), and plant the aquarium along with buying some hiding places. Have medicine for fin rot on stand by, and be sure you have the heater set right. Then enjoy your sweet little betta.