Goldfish and bettas, particularly male bettas, are both highly prized in the aquarium trade because of their flowing beauty and relatively easy care. However, they have different requirements for their aquariums. Aquascaping the tank for your fish's delight and knowing the proper care requirements will ensure happy, healthy fish.
Goldfish Tank Requirements
Goldfish are often quite large at maturity, sometimes longer than 10 inches, when allowed to live a healthy, full life. Because of this, a single goldfish requires at least a 10-gallon tank; larger, showy goldfish require 20 to 30 gallons per fish. Goldfish also prefer a squat tank, much wider than it is tall. Goldfish require a water temperature of at least 74 degrees Fahrenheit, so their tank might need a heater. Despite the common misconception that goldfish do well in a bowl without a filter, they are actually quite messy and require a filtered tank for a healthy life. An external filter will help keep your tank clean and your fish healthier.
Betta Tank Requirements
Bettas, unlike goldfish, actually do all right in a bowl, especially if you have one male in the bowl by himself. However, a filter is always a good call, for it helps keep the water clean and filters out any impurities. Bettas also love live plants and will sleep on them. If you plan on having a community of bettas, only one male should be in a tank of females. Males are known to fight, hence their other common name, "Siamese fighting fish."
Goldfish prefer to eat live plants and specialty goldfish flake food, and they need more carbohydrates than many species of fish. Your goldfish tank should also have plenty of plants, either live or fake, and decorations that don't take up too much room. They prefer a wide-open space to swim, but they also like the safety of hiding places instead of just a barren tank. In a large enough tank, you can keep several goldfish together to form a goldfish community.
Betta Care and Food
Bettas enjoy live and freeze-dried foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp. They don't particularly care for freeze-dried cubes. Your betta prefers water of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If your betta tank is smaller than 1 gallon, you should change the water completely every day. For larger tanks, perform 25 percent water changes once a week.
- Goldfish image by Lucy Cherniak from Fotolia.com