Meet Francis! – Betta Care Tips

You guys!

I’m so excited to introduce to you the newest member of our family: Francis!

Francis in his Tree House holding glass, waiting for his home to be cleaned.
Francis in his Tree House holding glass, waiting for his home to be cleaned.

Francis is my new crown tail betta friend. In addition to presenting him, I wanted to share with you some important information about bettas and their care.

Now, MomFOD wasn’t looking for a betta but, as she puts it, their eyes met and she knew Francis had to come home with her. She went home and left him at the store so she could have a night to prepare and make sure it was the right choice – bettas require a lot of care – and, after sleeping on it, decided it was.

If you want to have a betta friend, here are some things you should know:

  • Bettas can breathe air. This is good and bad. It’s good because it allows them to be adaptable – for instance, if they hop out of their tank, they’ll be ok as long as they don’t dry out. The bad is that people think that means they can live in dirty water. This is not so, which brings me to my next point.
  • Bettas need clean water, regardless of what marketing campaigns want us to believe. Fish waste creates ammonia and ammonia is poisonous to fish. Your betta’s water should be cleaned out frequently, depending on the size of the tank.
  • Tank size is important. Would you want to live in a glass? Unlikely. Please don’t put your betta in anything less than one gallon. More swimming surface equals a happier betta. Hidey holes, soft plants, and a place to nap are essentials.
  • Bettas are carnivores. They do not eat plant roots. Have you heard of betta lilies? They are a gimmick. You must feed your betta and change his water. Please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Many bettas have died because of this silly “novelty.”
  • Bettas are jumpers by nature. Make sure your tank has a cover that allows air flow. We are presently using a stocking.
  • Bettas can learn tricks! They recognize faces, will follow your finger, will jump for food, and will even swim through hoops. Spend time with your betta to see his personality really come out.
  • You cannot house more than one betta together. They will kill each other. You can, however, use secure dividers to keep multiple bettas together, but remember that that will stress them out eventually because they will constantly be flaring.
  • Bettas “flare” to show dominance, but it’s also good for them! It gives them exercise. Use a small hand mirror for a few minutes a day to get your betta to flare.
  • Bettas do NOT make good wedding centerpieces. Please don’t treat them like decorations.
  • Male bettas care for the eggs and the young. That’s why they build bubble nests!
  • Bettas can live several years with the right care.

Bettas are really awesome, smart little fish.  Here are a few more photos of Francis:

Francis in his little home. He has a two gallon all to himself with a little house, tree, and hammock.
Francis in his little home. He has a two gallon all to himself with a little house, tree, and hammock.
Francis napping in his little hammock.
Francis napping in his little hammock.

We are on the lookout for something a little more spacious for Francis, but for now he’s happy! We carry him from room to room to change his view so he doesn’t get bored. Please join us in welcoming him to our home!

Did you like this post? Let us know if you’d like more information on bettas! MomFOD’s really into them.

For more information, you can check out: Betta Care 101   Betta Fish Forum   or Betta Talk



PS. Please remember to vote for the Inheritance. Rocky doesn’t want his 80’s portraits to have been in vain.


  • Multiple bettas in one tank without dividers is possible (I know because I have done it). How else would they survive without going extinct? Most people keeping multiple bettas together without dividers will do so as a sorority or harem tank (5+ females or 5+ females and a male). A harem betta tank will most of the time have its alpha female and/or male so to say (alpha female and male will breed when conditions are right). It is possible to have multiple male bettas in a tank as well but will be much more difficult to acclimate them, as well as having to watch them even more carefully (yes I have done this too. I had 3 males and 6 females in a 50 gallon community tank together without dividers). Although I do not suggest you try this unless you know how to acclimate them to each other and are willing to keep an eye out for trouble. It is also much much easier to acclimate them from a young age rather than trying acclimate some you have already had for a while but kept separated. Also as all fish have different personalities you may get a betta you can not acclimate to the others. First you need to have a tank that is big enough for multiple bettas (typically at least 20 gallons minimum as they are territorial). Second you have to allow them to get used to each other to the point they feel they are not a threat to each other. Thirdly you have to introduce them in to the tank all at the same time. Yes there may be a little fin nipping at first but if they have been acclimated to each other properly that will subside after a few days. You can also teach your bettas to do tricks too!!! This is possible when they are kept in a tank by themselves (I have never been able to get them to do tricks when kept with multiple fish). I have worked in a tropical fish store and do not recommend you trying this unless you know what you are doing.

  • That’s the only way you’ll find them. They aren’t able to be housed together, so the little cups are their temporary homes. Look for a place that has clean water and the bettas look healthy. I wouldn’t recommend walmart or other chain stores. Local pet shops are the best. Some even have little bubblers to give them a constant supply of oxygen while they wait in their little cups. Honestly, it’s kind of a sad situation and I wish people hadn’t cashed in on it. Sometimes you want to rescue them but then you realize you’re supporting the trade. Sigh. – Crepes.

  • I’ve always wanted one, but I’ve never been a fan of stores that sell them in little more than a dixie cup.. and I’ve never seen them sold any other way.

  • Aw, Francis is so cute! 🙂 Glad you got him a 2 gallon tank. So many people house these guys in tiny little cups, it’s really sad.

  • two werds for ….crepes…niles…rocky…mrs peabody….prob ablee doodle two..
    LUNCH BRAKE !!!!!!!

  • We didn’t know much about bettas before this. We think it would be great to have one so we could watch it swim around. 🙂

  • Beautiful fish! My Mom has a very good friend who raises angels – they’re gorgeous too. I have a hard time NOT thinking of fishies as floating food though….. 😉

    Hugs, Sammy

  • Our Momsy has had a few bettas in hers lifetime and really likes them! Francis is a very handsome fishie! Thank you for the care tips. The Mom learned a few new things today 🙂

  • My human is kind of relieved because one of her favorite things when she is at a pet store is to go over to the bettas with a hand mirror and get them riled! She kind of worried she was stressing them out, and she’s relieved to know it is good for them.

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