How To Choose A Betta Fish – The Right Way

choose betta fishSo, you have decided to get a betta fish as your new pet. Excellent choice!

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish is one of the most popular pet to keep after dogs and cats, and for good reasons. Betta fish are pleasing to the eye, and the way they swim is beneficial in that it reduces stress, and watching them swim around the tank can be very relaxing.

This species of fish is ideally low-maintenance, making it ideal for busy people who do not have the time to tend to the needs of a cat or dog.

However, picking a healthy and happy Siamese fighting fish calls for a bit of research. The last thing you want is to pick a sick pet, forcing you to spend time and effort trying to treat it.


In this post, we are going to mention a few tips on how to choose a betta fish the right way.

Where to Buy a Betta Fish

When searching for a pet store to buy your new friend, recommendations from colleagues, co-workers, family members, etc., are the way to go. It is always best to contact a breeder or a pet store that’s highly recommended by someone you know and trust.

Find A Clean, Well-Run Pet Store

If you do not know of someone who has bought a betta fish in the past, then you’ll need to do a little more digging. Go to different pet stores and chat with the staff. Check whether their fish are happy and if the aquariums are well-maintained.

When you enter the premises, take note of the overall appearance. Are there other pets for sale? If so, what is their condition? Are the isles or everything neatly stacked on the shelves? Are the cages clean? What about the staff? Are they friendly and helpful?

Attentive Staff, Clean Aquariums

A clean and well-maintained pet store with attentive staff is a good sign that you’re in the right place. Don’t forget to check the aquariums. They should be clean and free of algae. The fish should also be happy and healthy, swimming around rather than sitting at the bottom or the top of the tank.

You should be able to tell a lot about the pet store by overall cleanliness and how knowledgeable and attentive the staff is.

If the answer is yes to the above concerns, chances are you’ve found a good place to make the purchase.

Research The Pet Stores Online

You can also do your research online. Review sites and social media sites present excellent platforms for finding out more about businesses, and you’ll know where to go and which pet stores to avoid while at the comfort of your home.

One area that’s usually overlooked is where the fish is bagged. It’s usually a counter with a sink. The area should be clean and dry, free of liquids, clutter, and gunk.

Picking The Right Betta Fish

Now that you have assessed the pet store, the next step is to choose a betta fish – your new friend. Do they seem lively? Are their colors bright? Inspect their fins for tears and do this in a good light. Betta fish shouldn’t have cotton-like substances or salt-like crystals.

Also, inspect the eyes to ascertain that they are clear and not bulging. Regardless of how much you like the fish, refrain from buying it if it has any of the symptoms mentioned above. Also, do not buy any betta that has been in the pet store for less than 3 days. In some cases, it takes a while for diseases to develop.

Here are a few other tips that will help you pick the right betta fish.

First and foremost, never purchase a betta fish that’s new to the store. Ensure that you pick one that has had at least seven days of quarantine. This period helps determine whether or not the fish is healthy.

If you come across a dead or obviously¬† diseased fish in the store’s aquariums, don’t buy from that particular tank. Wait for at least a week and check the same aquarium. If the fish are healthy and happy, then you can continue with the purchase.

Last but not least, when searching for a betta fish, refrain from picking one with a humpback. This means that the fish is old and won’t last long.

pet store

Maybe the wrong pet store to choose a betta fish?

Tips To Identify a Healthy Betta Fish

There are a number of things that help you ascertain whether the fish you intend to purchase is healthy:

  • Brightly colored
  • No evident skin issues
  • Dark waste product
  • Clear eyes
  • No scars or wounds
  • No torn or ragged fins
  • Smooth, flat scales
  • No swollen abdomen

The tips above will almost certainly help you pick a healthy fish, but to be 100%, it’s advisable to inspect the tank habits as well. A healthy betta fish will:

  • Swim effortlessly
  • Be able to swim through the tank’s entire length
  • Won’t stay at the bottom of the tank or hide
  • Swim with the head high, horizontally
  • Breathe normally without gasping or heavy breathing

If you follow these easy and straightforward tips, you will certainly pick a healthy and happy fish without too much effort or regret.

Yes, we may have stressed more on the pet store being clean, well organized, and run by friendly people, but chances are you won’t find a pretty, energetic, and healthy betta from a dirty, cluttered, and poorly run pet store.

A happy and healthy betta will give you all the joys of keeping one as a pet.