Ever thought of having an aquarium at home but too lazy to do the feeding? Perhaps the Betta fish or otherwise known as Betta Splendens or Siamese Fighting fish is the perfect pet for you.
This is because this type of aquarium fish is said to be low-maintenance when it comes to food as it doesn’t eat much so it can get by with every-other-day feeding. How’s that for a lazy head?
But the convenience stops there. Just like any other pet, owning one may also be costly and might need the same amount of care and maintenance, if not more.
Digging Deeper into the Real Cost of Owning Betta Fish
When buying a pet, there are many things that you have to consider; the pet’s wants, needs, survivability, maintenance, etc.
Unlike the dog market, gender does not make a huge difference in prices for the Betta fish market, although, some types of fish are much more expensive than the others due to the difficulty of breeding these types of fish.
In conclusion, the prices of the Betta fish rely on key factors such as color, type, and age. Let’s learn a lot more as we discuss everything you need to know about the expenses behind acquiring this aggressive type of fish.
Upfront Cost of Having Betta Fish
There over 32,000 known species of fish and they are known to be the most diverse group of any vertebrate animal. So, it is understandable that aquarium fish also follow the trend and can be expected to have varying costs.
That being said, the following are the different types of Betta fish and their current starting prices in the market:
- Veiltail Betta Fish – $2
This is the most common and the cheapest. It has tails flowing downwards and is a good choice if you are only just starting your small fish community.
- Halfmoon Betta Fish – $10
This is one of the most popular types. As the name suggests, the tail of the Halfmoon fish needs to form a complete D shape. This fish looks stunning in any color; be it blue or white.
- Plakat Betta Fish – $6
A fighter’s type, the infamous Plakat Betta fish has smaller fins compared to its cousins and round in shape. This type is a good breed for fighting due to the size of its fins and tails and perhaps this is why they’re notorious for being one of the most aggressive.
- Crowntail Betta Fish – $4
This is another popular type. The Crowntail Betta fish has fin rays extending beyond the webbing of its fins.
- Double Tailed Betta Fish – $6
This type has a caudal fin split into two which is one more compared to others. It can also be mixed with Halfmoon and Plakat Betta fish, creating a Double Tailed Halfmoon Betta fish or a Double Tailed Plakat Betta fish.
- Rosetail Betta Fish – $16
This fish is similar to the Halfmoon Betta fish. The difference is that this fish has excessive branching on its fins’ rays appearing like a rose.
- Blue Betta Fish – $3.69
This has a dominant blue color all over its body but sometimes they come with different shades of blue.
- Butterfly Betta Fish – $12.49
Its tail has a similar D-shaped tail to that of a halfmoon but the tail and fins have been trimmed in white and can sometimes be clear.
- Dragon King Crown Betta Fish – $20
This type appears as a royal aesthetic. Its tails flow and show like as if it is a crown, it truly has earned its name. It is very hard to find.
- Dragon Scale Betta Fish – $10.79
It earned its name because of its thick metallic looking scales on the body. The colors may vary and looks radiant to watch.
Dumbo Betta/Elephant Ear Betta Fish – $11.69
This type of betta fish is easily recognized by its caudal, dorsal, and anal fins and its large pectoral fin. The combinations of these tails and fins make it look like it has an elephant ear, hence the name.
- Giant Betta Fish – $25.99
Its name alone gives its dominating characteristics; a normal betta fish can grow up to 5cm but this one can exceed 15cm in body size. This type can only be acquired through manipulative selective breeding.
- King Crowntail Betta Fish
This is astonishing to look at and can dominate an aquarium with its huge size and huge fin rays extending beyond its fins. It has a variety of colors to choose from.
- Koi Betta Fish – $16.69
This is very similar to the actual koi fish which usually has a white background and vibrant red and black blotches.
- Paradise Betta Fish – $14.09
This has a distinct blue and yellow with orange color. Its maximum length is 3 inches.
- Rainbow Betta Fish – $40
This type has different colors in combination around its body. Its show quality and price highly depends on how its colors go well with each other.
- Spade Tail Betta – $15
This is similar to a round tail, but its tail finishing is with a point rather than a rounded edge.
- Super Delta Betta – $16
The Super Delta fish is similar to that of a Halfmoon Betta fish; the difference is that its tail can form to only about 120-160 degrees. It has a unique caudal fin that forms a triangle shape.
- White Betta – $16.69
The White Betta fish is a very rare type due to the fact that its color is encoded by a recessive gene.
- White Dragon Crown King Betta – $20
As its name suggests, it has a body that is dominated by the white color and tails that spread out like a crown.
There are a lot more Betta fishtail types due to intercross breeding. The show quality does not entirely revolve around the breed; it’s more like how well the Betta fish’s looks go well with its fins, tails, colors, and breed.
Aside from the cost fish itself, there are two other costs to take care of a Betta fish that you would be dealing with upon purchasing your newest pet and they are the following:
There are a lot of things to consider when you plan to transport your fish. You can transport it in a container that has a lid and has no chemical contamination that may damage your fish.
One of the most common containers is the fish bag. It is important to fill your container with only a third of it as water, giving two-thirds of it as space for air. This strategy is implemented in order for oxygen to be present for a period of time while the fish travels.
Do not feed your fish for 24 to 48 hours before you transport them as feeding them may cause the fish to contaminate its own habitat along the way which could lead to serious issues. A fish should be fine if transported for about 12-18 hours. If you plan to transport your fish longer than that then you may have to purchase oxygen tablets which may cost you $3.46 per kilogram.
In order to sustain a Betta fish, you would need a fish tank at least 2.5 gallons in size followed with a filter, heater, gravel, decoration, plant and a net. These pieces of equipment fish can be bought in various pet shops with different prices varying on quality.
Some of the cheapest deals found online as of writing are the following:
- Betta Fish Tank – $10
- Heater – $10
- Decoration (Hiding Places) – $7
- Net – $3
- Gravel – $6
A budget fish tank can be easily made as long as you find the cheapest parts. You can build a small paradise for your buddy for at least $52 or even lower.
It is also even possible for you to find a Betta fish starter kit that has all the essential parts to sustain a Betta fish close to this price.
Betta fish are known to live longer in bigger fish tanks. With this in mind, it is highly suggested that you purchase a bigger house for your aquatic buddies if you have plenty of money to spare.
What Comes with It
Betta fish is one of the labyrinth fish or Anabantoids which can survive being out of the water for a few hours because of their labyrinth organ which gives them the ability to breathe atmospheric oxygen once the oxygen in the water depletes or becomes polluted.
Therefore, you would most probably be taking home only your fish in the bag and nothing else that may be intended for long transport heading home. That is unless you have found yourself a good deal and availed some freebies especially with the more expensive variety of Betta fish or you have completed the aquarium paraphernalia before you leave the pet store.
Regular Cost of Maintaining Betta Fish
No amount of quality supplies, devices, and tools can beat being a responsible pet owner when it comes to taking care of your aquarium babies. And being one always comes with a great deal of sacrifice especially in terms of budget and time.
Below are the three of the recurring cost of owning a Betta fish that you can expect to face day in and day out:
Depending on quality, you can buy containers of Betta pellets for around $2-10 depending on quality and brand. You can also feed bloodworms (frozen or live) as they are carnivorous. They also like fish flakes and frozen dried foods.
A Betta fish should only be fed 2-4 pellets or 2-3 pieces of live/freeze-dried food a day depending on its size. With this small eating schedule, you should spend no more $20 per month.
- Power Consumption Costs
The costs should not worry you that much, because it still also depends on your pieces of equipment such as lighting, bulbs, pumps and the size of your fish tank. Larger tanks need larger pumps, larger watts from your heater and larger light bulbs.
You should know how much kWh your fish tank is requiring. From there, you can calculate your energy expenses. But typically a 50-100 gallon only cost about $30 to $50 a month, so if you have a fish tank smaller than that, then it should be a lot lower.
Now, this is the “dirtiest” part. There are a lot of things to consider when taking care of aquarium pets such as the water temperature, water filtering, water changes, etc.
To check the water temperature, you are definitely going to need a thermometer which costs around $3.49 to over $15. Water filters start at $7.49 while water test kits to check whether there is a need to change the water come at over $7 for the cheapest.
Changing the aquarium water with 100% tap water may also be possible through the use of conditioner which costs around less than $3 for the 1.7-ounce bottle.
Factors That Can Affect the Betta Fish Price Near You
- Show Quality
All things being constant, the price range of Betta fish will range from $2 to $40 depending on the breed. But the actual pricing for each breed would highly depend on show/beauty quality.
You might think that the price revolves around the Betta fish’s fin, size, and tail design but it isn’t all about those. Say for example, if a veiltail is born with unique colors such as white and red, then people are likely to appreciate this particular color aesthetic.
We mentioned early in the article that gender doesn’t really affect the pricing that much. However, male Betta fish are known to be quite aggressive over territory and food.
As a result, it may cost you an extra tank if you have more than one. A number of female betta fish, however, can be placed in the same tank but make sure it has enough space for them.
Watch out for Betta fish sales promotion in your local stores and online shops as they tend to give discounts to bulk buyers of fish. But remember not to buy more than one male betta fish if you only have 1 container.
If you plan to order on sites or shops that are farther away from your home, then, it is expected that you are to pay extra fees. This is because the packages the fish travel in may need to be resupplied with oxygen due to long travel hours.
Also, the pricing may be affected by the cost of living and cost of doing business in the area.
- Unique Personalities
Just like humans, a fish’s attitude can’t be generalized. Although most Betta fish will be aggressive, some won’t be. If your fish is showing signs of depression due to loneliness, then maybe you’ll have to purchase another warm body in the tank for your fish.
Do keep in mind that when you choose a friend for your friend; make sure that the newcomer does not have an aggressive nature as aquatic creatures have attitudes too.
It is also possible that you might be encountering the opposite. For example, if the relationship of two aquatic creatures in the same tank is not working out, you may have to get the other another tank.
Tips for Betta Fish Buyers and Owners
Each breed has a different show quality and you can find most of them from Petco and Petsmart.
There are other sites that have Betta fish for sale such as aquariumfishsale.com, gobetta.com, creativepetkeeping.com, and local stores depending on your location. It is suggested to shop by popularity and review if you intend to buy online to avoid shipping disasters.
If you’re planning to build an aquatic community then it is suggested to ask a fish breeder since they know which types can co-exist with these beautiful creatures.
- Maintaining a Betta Fish
Now that you’ve chosen your finny buddy, you’ll have to maintain it as if it were your own children. Betta fish do not require that much extra care, but there are things that you should take note of.
- Care Requirements
Do not keep a Betta fish in a small vase or bowls that hold less than a gallon. It is too small and will affect their health. A Betta fish could live as long as 5 years if under proper care. The minimum size of tank for a Betta fish is 2.5 gallons with heater and filter.
- Water Quality
When cleaning the fish tank, make sure to only take out a third of the water each time and replace it with fresh water. It helps with the homeostasis of the Betta fish to its environment. This should be done every 3-4 days. If your water is chlorinated, make sure to add the right amount of dechlorinator before adding it to the habitat.
- They prefer to be alone
Keep in mind that most Bettas prefer to be alone. They may fight the other fish regardless of its gender. They also need a comfortable place to hide to feel safe.
- A Healthy Betta Fish
If your Betta fish is active, is eating regularly, has vibrant colors, and reacts aggressively to outside stimulus, then your friend is doing just fine. But if your fish has cloudy eyes, mouth filled with spots/fungus, bloating, experiencing weight loss, elevated scales, and has a loss of appetite, then, your friend might not be doing okay.
Common Health Problems
- Standard Water Condition
If the Betta fish’s fins appear frayed or rotten, then, this is a sign for you to improve your water quality, check the ph scale (it should be in between 6.5-8), and check your water temperature (should be between 76 and 82 Degrees Fahrenheit). If symptoms still exist, consult your veterinarian for treatment.
- Fungi Infection
If the fish’s eyes appear to be discolored and experiencing a cottony growth then it may have a fungus problem. Contact your shop for an antifungal remedy and quarantine your Betta fish.
- The Ich
If your Betta fish has Ich or white spots appearing on its body, then you must quarantine your fish immediately. One of the best solutions for this problem is to remove all of the fish in your tank. After removing your fish, raise the temperature of the water to 80. With this tactic, the organisms responsible for the Ich will be dead in 2-4 days.
You should know by now that maintaining a Betta fish requires commitment, but overall it should be really worth it since fish tanks provide many benefits for you.