How to Ensure That Your BetaFish Will Live a Long Life

How to Ensure That Your BetaFish Will Live a Long Life

Alexa McClain, Journalist

Growing up, many of us have had a childhood fish, or should I say fishes… plural. Your parents bought you the standard BetaFish to satisfy your childish itch to take care of something living except for you couldn’t actually keep it alive. Now, at the age of maturity, we think of a pet fish as a joke. We wonder, “Why get one? It’ll just die.” Well, today is your lucky day! I have discovered how to actually keep a fish alive longer than a month. 


Just for reference, however, understand that I didn’t really set out on a mission one day to buy said fish. A couple weeks after my sister bought a fish for herself, she was going to donate it to her class for an experiment. I had no clue what the experiment was and felt bad for what the fish might have to go through. I bought the fish from her so that he wouldn’t be the class guinea pig. I found out quickly after that the different fish used for their experiment ended up exploding. 


But I digress; here are foolproof ways to keep your fish alive:


Give it a good name

When I was younger, I named all of my fish something basic like Bubbles or Gill. Those fish didn’t stay alive very long. Don’t do that. Make your fish feel special! Make him feel like there aren’t other fish in the sea. Name your fish something like Sharky Shark Boy Shark Bait Shart Bait Ava Sushi Tuna Ally Megan. That’s my fish’s name. It’s pretty long but guess what, no other fish has that name. All of the fun names in there are ones that I made up, meanwhile the human names are the names of people who took care of him for me while I was on vacation or something. I call him Sharkie for short. 


An old fashioned tank 

Nowadays, everyone likes to do what is convenient for them and get a fish tank that has a filter in it. From my experiences, I would advise not to get a self filtered tank. I have noticed that every tank that filters its own water hasn’t kept my fish alive as long. My current long living Beta Fish lives in a cookie jar! I like to think that he probably appreciates the fact that I clean his fish tank every week or two. That is probably one of the reasons why he is still alive…because he likes the constant elbow grease that I put into making sure that his home is all tidy. 



My fish, Sharkie, has an endless amount of decor for the inside of his home. I just began to feel bad for the fact that he is stuck in the same place all of the time so I thought, “Hmmm, why don’t I change up his environment a bit?” I’m willing to bet that fish get so lonely or bored by their surroundings that they die because their hearts aren’t fulfilled. That is why every single time that I clean my fish’s tank, I add to it or change it around. I have the options of a neon orange plant, a mini wooden barrel, and a plastic shark! Sometimes I even add fun looking shells or pebbles to the base of his sea floor. 



So this one may sound kind of strange or weird, but stick with me. My fish has a routine and I truly believe that he somewhat depends on it. Every night before I go to bed, I turn on my lava lamp which sits on the same dresser as he, and then I feed him. When I wake up in the morning I then turn off my lava lamp and then feed him for the day. I have noticed over this time that he automatically comes up to the surface of the water when I flash on and off the lamp. He is actually able to comprehend that step of the day and I think that it gives him something to look forward to.  


I hope that by all of this, you don’t think that you need to name your fish some insanely long name or that you must go out and buy a lava lamp. These are simply just things that have worked for me and my fish. I do hope, however, that you got something out of this and that you can maybe form a better mindset while having a pet fish instead of thinking of it as a chore. Alrighty, now go out and have fun with your friend who has scales!