Beta fish, often known as betta fish, Japanese fighting fish, or Siamese fighting fish, are beautiful and can make for a wonderful addition to your home. Add a beautiful plant, a lovely decorated vase, and some decorative stones and you will have the perfect decoration for the center of your table or any other place where you wish to add beauty. It is also easy to keep, put together, and it is inexpensive to build and keep.
You will need a large vase. You can sometimes find these as Beta vase or decorative vase kits, complete with a small plastic tray that fits in the neck of the vase. If you find one of these, it will be easiest. If not, any large vase will do. You will want one with a neck so that the plant will be able to rest in there. It should be at least 2/3 of a gallon (about 11" tall and six inches wide), but the bigger the better. You will also need a clear plastic cup (if you don't get a vase with the plastic insert), a large bag of decorative stones (sometimes called gems), a wide ribbon or string of beads to decorate your vase with, and a Peace Lily or Philodendron (these are plants that are safe for the fish to eat, so you won't want to get a plant of a different type).
Of course you will want to pick out your beta as well. Males are usually prettier, but sometimes you can get fantastic female beta fish as well. You may want to color-coordinate your stones, ribbon or beads, and your beta fish as well. Finally you will need water conditioner (which will remove the chlorine from the water and make it safe for your new fish), beta food (usually found in the form of pellets), and a fish net.
The hardest thing about having a beautiful beta fish vase is the set up. Which isn't hard to do! You will find yourself with a beautiful vase that is easy to maintain.
- Wash the vase and stones. Wash the vase and the stones or gems. This will rinse off the dirt that clings to them as well as any tiny bits of glass.
- Add the stones to the bottom of the jar. Cover the bottom about 1" with stones. You don't want to use all of your stones because you will want some for the top. But you don't want to skimp out on the bottom.
- Fill the vase with water. Fill the vase with water till it is about an inch from the neck of the vase. This will let your fish have some room to breathe (they are top breathers) while your plant is taking up the space in the neck of the vase.
- Condition your water. Add about five to ten drops of conditioner to the water to remove the chlorine. This is important to make your water safe for your fish. You can use bottled water, but over time this can get expensive.
- Wash the roots of your plant. Soak the roots of your plant and rinse them very well. You will probably need to make some early water changes because it will take a while for all of the dirt to leave the roots of your plant.
- Cut a hole in the plastic tray or clear plastic cup. You don't want this hole to be too large, but it should be large enough to fit the plant through there.
- Put the plant in the plastic dish. Gently press the roots through the hole in the plastic dish.
- Gently place the fish in the jar. Gently scoop your fish up with the net and place it in the jar.
- Add the plant. Set the plant so that it rests in the neck of the vase.
- Fill the plastic dish or cup with decorative stones. This just adds a nice touch and helps weigh it down to make it something worth looking at.
- Finally, add the ribbon or beads. Finish your vase off by wrapping ribbon or a string of beads around the neck of the vase. This is the perfect touch for the perfect jar.
You will now have a beautiful decorative vase to place as a centerpiece or to use as decoration around the house. You can also use them to decorate at parties and then let them go home with guests who are interested in keeping them. You should feed them according to the directions. Once a week, stir up the rocks on the bottom, being careful of your fish. Gently dump off about half the water. Add fresh water conditioner and then fill it back up. Make sure to leave about 1 - 1.5 inches of room between the water line and the neck of the vase. Once a month, gently scoop up your fish and do a complete water change. It is as simple as that and adds beauty to your home.