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What To Look For...


Snowflake
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Hi everyone I'd like to know what to look for when buying a new Betta. This info will be great for new people like me. I've never seen a Betta in a pet shop swimming around in a decent size tank and all of them live in tiny tiny jars, so how do you determine a healthy one, the age of the fish etc.

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Firstly, if the fish has the long fins you usually see on LS bettas you can assume it is at least 6 months old. If you want a younger fish you are best off purchasing from a breeder, who begin selling them at 3 - 4 months of age.

The fish should not have any obvious physical illnesses, such as jagged or damaged fins (finrot or injury), tiny white spots/powder (ich) or yellow dust (velvet).

It shouldn't have long stringy poo or a hollowed-out skinny body (probable worm infestation) or be breathing heavily or look distressed (possible ammonia burn or gill flukes).

It should flare vigorously when it sees its own reflection or another betta. Bettas get bored with their neighbours so try moving the jars around to see if he will flare at a new neighbour. Some just never flare at another fish but will flare at their own reflection, so a compact mirror in your handbag is a useful tool or betta hunting expeditions.

IMO all new bettas should be quarantined and wormed when you get them home before they are placed in any shared water systems. That is my view on any fish, not just bettas. It is easy to quarantine a betta. They only need about 1L of water provided that you change 50% of the water every day. The QT period I use is 1 week, then I examine the betta with a torch for velvet etc before he is placed in any of my tanks.

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