By John Tullock, Wiley Publications (2006), 2nd Edition
This is a book review on the book Betta - Happy Healthy Pet. The Betta is that really colorful fish with long flowing fins usually found in the small cups in the pet store. It is very popular partly because of it's natural beauty and because it is very hardy and easily kept. We don't recommend keeping a betta in small unheated and unfiltered containers and we hope you'll treat this fish just like any other tropical fish. This book, Betta - A Happy Healthy Pet, will help educate you on nearly every aspect of keeping a betta fish. There really is more to it than just changing the water and feeding them.
Betta - Happy Healthy Pet covers a lot of ground and the author is an accomplished writer for some of the leading fish and aquarium magazines. Mr. Tullock has also written another excellent book for those interestd in reef keeping and we reviewed Natural Reef Aquariums a while back. You are sure to enjoy his writing style since he presents the needed information in interesting ways to keep the reader turning the pages.
What you learn about in this book:
Chapter 1: Jewel of the Orient
Information on the Betta Family, Anabantidae, their anatomy and the labyrinth organ is presented along with information on the fighting behavior of the fish and why you should not keep more than one male betta per tank.
Chapter 2: Betta Basics
Everything you ever wanted to know about the anatomy of this fish such as it's mouth structure, scales, swim bladder, fins, color, respiration along with more information on the interesting labyrinth organ.
Chapter 3: Bettas and Their tank mates
Hobbyists are often advised to keep bettas alone in a small tank. This chapter explains why this need not be the case and the author recommends some community type tank mates that could be suitable for your Betta. The beginning of this chapter details the many different varieties of bettas that are out there.
Chapter 4: Understanding Aquarium Equipment
If you already have a tank setup, you can probably breeze through this chapter. If you have never kept fish before, you'll find this chapter very informative since it will give you the necessary information on some of the equipment you'll have to decide on when setting up your betta tank.
Chapter 5: Ready for Setup
As you can guess from the title of this chapter, this one covers the setting up of your betta tank from start to finish. The important aquarium nitrogen cycle is covered in depth as well as tips on introducing fish to your newly setup aquarium.
Chapter 6: Plants for the Betta Tank
Your betta will really benefit from the use of live plants in it's living ecosystem. Aquascaping ideas are presented as well as some good aquarium plant choices for your betta aquarium. You'll also get some tips on keeping your aquarium plants healthy.
Chapter 7: Bringing the Betta Home
You will learn how to pick a good dealer, how to pick out a healthy betta, all about aquarium stocking (carrying capacity), how to acclimate your fish to your home aquarium and the importance of a quarantine tank.
Chapter 8: Feeding Your Betta
First the author uncovers the Betta's nutritional needs and explains how a varied diet can be key. A good staple diet is presented along with ideas for supplemental feedings. If your betta has appetite loss, you'll learn some things you can do and reasons why your fish may not be interested in eating.
Chapter 9: Healthy Tank, Healthy Fish
The importance of aquarium maintenance is discussed with some good ideas what you need to plan on doing periodically to keep you tank healthy. You get a run down on the most frequently encountered betta diseases. The symptom, cause and treatment ideas are given.
Chapter 10: Breeding Bettas
Did you know that some Bettas are mouth brooders and some are nest builders? If you're interested in breeding this beauty you'll get some good information on how to setup a breeding tank, what filtration types to use, substrates, water quality, etc. Getting your fish in breeding mode can be more difficult thank you might think. You'll need to pre-condition your fish with some different foods and you'll learn which ones to use.