One half of any effective aquaponics system are the fish. Pick the right breed and your life will be made much simpler. Now, I wouldn’t recommend goldfish for example because although some people would say that goldfish are beautiful and delicate looking things, they are relatively difficult to care for, and aren’t any good for turning into food. For ease of care, there’s a kind of fish that’s even lower maintenance than the goldfish – it’s the Betta, and the good news is that learning to care for Betta fish is a snap – in fact , they don’t need any care at all.
And then the way they look! Look up images of Betta fish on the Internet right now. You’ll be surprised if you ever want to own a goldfish ever again, so delightful are the startlingly bright colors these fish wear.
But surely, you’re telling yourself, there must at least be a few instructions to do with how to care for Betta fish. Surely they can’t be completely maintenance free, can they?
Well, of course they need some care, so lets press on and discuss the matter in hand – how to care for Betta fish, even if there isn’t much to learn.
Let’s start with the most basic topic – how much water they need. At the pet store or the aquarium store, they’ll try to hype how little they need to live on, They’ll say that they will happily live in a glass of water but, of course, there could be a bit of an ulterior motive perhaps to this kind of irresponsible advice. Lets just say that its in the shops interest to see your fish give up the ghost so that they can sell you another one as soon as possible.
So, don’t listen to them; these beautiful fish need to be treated with more dignity. Put them in a tank that holds at least 2 gallons of water. Give them a little room to stretch their legs. And being selfish about it for a minute, this does make a lot of sense for you too. A large tank that holds a lot of water will need to be cleaned out less often.
There’s another reason why a large bowl makes a lot of sense. When there’s a lot of water in a tank, it tends to be heat up and cool down a lot more slowly. Your fish will be more comfortable this way. Temperature regulation is how you care for Betta fish.
Betta fish certainly are not better than goldfish in at least one way – they are very unfriendly fish. Put more than one fish in a bowl, and they’ll be at each other until one of them is dead.
You probably understood from the water temperature discussion above that Betta fish can be sensitive to the temperature in their environment. And so they are. They need the water at 80 degrees all the time. If you live in a cool climate, you’ll need a fish heater. Thankfully, they don’t cost much – perhaps $10 or so.
And finally, if at the pet store they try to sell you special water or water conditioner for your fish, don’t buy. Tap water is just as good.