Red Betta Fish Care Guide

red betta fish

Last updated on August 29th, 2022 at 11:20 am

Red betta fish are beautiful and intelligent fish that have been bred and raised as pets since at least the 1900s. This long history of breeding has resulted in a wide variety of color and fin variations, as well as distinct personality types and preferences, which makes selecting and caring for your fish an exciting endeavor!

If you’re thinking about getting a red betta fish, there are plenty of things to consider before buying your new pet. Many people choose red betta fish simply because they love the color, but the care requirements are not the same as other tropical fish species like angelfish or neon tetras, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before spending time and money on your new pet.

You might think that one pet fish would be easy to care for, but you’d be wrong! Betta fish need a lot of attention, and their peculiar anatomy can lead to serious health problems if they aren’t cared for properly.

A betta fish is one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby, and there are many excellent reasons for that. In general, they’re extremely easy to take care of, and they come in a wide variety of colors. Also, some of their physical characteristics resemble those of other popular tropical fish like guppies and angelfish, so it’s easy to see why so many aquarium hobbyists have chosen to keep them as pets!

No matter what color your betta fish is, though, these red betta fish care tips will help you keep it healthy and happy for many years to come!

Origin and descriptions

The red betta fish originated in Thailand and Vietnam. These small tropical fish are surprisingly sturdy for their size. Red bettas are one of only a few fish species that have lungs and can breathe air from time to time.

They are relatively rare and typically quite expensive, even when found in pet stores. The red color comes from a unique type of genetic mutation known as leucism.

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While not true albinos, red bettas retain all their pigmentation genes but still lack melanin production—the primary component of dark skin and hair. Red coloration is caused by higher amounts of eumelanin pigment along with lower levels of pheomelanin pigment than other common betta varieties. Red bettas have been selectively bred for thousands of years to reach their current vibrant hue.

Red bettas can be distinguished from other red-colored fish such as goldfish or koi carp by observing whether they have scales or fins that are also red in color. If these additional features are also red, then you’re likely looking at a red betta fish rather than another variety of similarly colored species.

Species profile

red betta fish

The red betta fish belong to the family of gouramis (Osphronemidae). They are known for their bright red color and their elongated bodies, which make them stand out from other types of tropical fish. In order to care for your red betta fish properly, you will need a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size.

This species of tropical fish will grow up to 2-3 inches in length, so you will want a larger tank if you plan on keeping more than one red betta together. They prefer warm water temperatures between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They should be kept in an aquarium with plenty of plants or decorations since they enjoy hiding amongst these objects when they feel threatened.

You can feed your betta fish red once or twice per day with high-quality tropical fish flakes or pellets; never give them live food because it could injure them. They also have a tendency to overeat if given food more frequently.


Red betta fish live in tropical climates, so you will need to have a water temperature between 73 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t live in a warm climate, consider using an aquarium heater or putting your fish tank outdoors during warmer months. Also, be sure to protect your fish tank from cold drafts as extreme temperature changes can stress out or even kill your fish.

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Red betta fish size

They can grow up to 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) in length.

Tank size

Due to their small size, the minimum recommended tank size is 5-10 gallons (19-38 liters).

Tank requirements

You’ll need a 10-gallon tank or larger for your betta. The tank should have an air pump and filtration system, preferably with an under-gravel filter that removes ammonia from unfiltered water and neutralizes pH (since many tap water supplies are alkaline).

Water temperature needs to be kept at 75 degrees F; lower temperatures can prevent your fish from developing its best colors. If you plan on keeping live plants in your tank, make sure they’re nontoxic.

Some popular live plants include Java ferns, Anubias barteri var. nana, and Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Tropica Green.’ There are also floating plants such as water hyacinth and frogbit.

Bettas love to swim around, so having plenty of swimming room is important. Your betta will also appreciate places to hide, so provide rocks or driftwood pieces it can use as shelter.

Tank mates

There are a few fish that betta fish red can live with. The first is other species of fish that require roughly similar care and water conditions, such as angels, rasboras, and discus. These tend to be small fish. Bettas are territorial, so don’t house them with large or aggressive tank mates, like larger cichlids or barbs.

They can also be housed with docile, bottom-dwelling fish like loaches and corydoras. However, bettas are known to bully these smaller species, so if you’re keeping a betta in a community tank, it’s best to keep only one per tank.


red betta fish

Similar to other fish in its genus, the red betta fish male is a paternal bubble nester. He builds its nest and he’s also the one responsible for ensuring the eggs, laid by the red betta fish female, have a safe place to hatch. After the young hatch, the male should be removed. There is no further need for parental care. From that point forward, the young are live food. The young mature quickly. Nevertheless, only fish younger than one year will mate.

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Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Betta fish red differs from other species of its genus because it is docile. These fish can be kept in pairs or community tanks. The reason they must be kept within a group of peaceful species with similar temperaments is that their fins are longer. They can be kept in pairs or in a community tank. There are times when they will flare at each other, but they aren’t as aggressive as the Betta splendens.

Red betta fish care

red betta fish

Red betta fish can live in many different types of environments, but it’s important to keep them in at least 6 gallons of water. As with any pet, it’s a good idea to change their water often and not overfeed them. Red betta fish require frequent feeding because they are omnivores; try cutting down on your feedings, but make sure you aren’t starving your red betta fish by cutting back too much.

In addition to proper food and water, you should also provide your fish with plenty of hiding places so that they feel safe when resting. The ideal place for them is an aquarium with plants or rocks for shelter. If you don’t have an aquarium, consider using a plastic tub or glass jar instead.

What they eat

Bettas are carnivorous, which means that they must eat other fish or animals. The most common food for bettas is tropical fish flakes and pellets—the same kind of food used for guppies and tetras. You can also use freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp as a special treat.


red betta fish

This fish species can live for 2-5 years.

Parasites and diseases

If you have a red betta fish, it’s important to keep an eye out for diseases and parasites. Most bettas come with a decent immune system, but they’re at risk of contracting anything from bacterial infections to parasitic cysts.

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Common parasites include anchor worms, flukes, and flatworms, all of which are fairly easily treated in fish stores with mild medication or by simply swapping their water out. Bettas are also susceptible to swim bladder disease, where their organs can become infected and cause them to float upside down.

This is usually fatal without treatment. Bettas also need to be protected against Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich), a parasite that causes white spots on your fish’s body. It can be treated using malachite green or salt baths (1 tsp per gallon).


Red bettas are a bit smaller than other betta fish and make it an easy target for predator fish. They should be kept in species-only tanks or with large enough companions (such as oscars) to keep them safe. Goldfish can also pose a threat, so it’s best to avoid keeping them with these popular aquarium fish.

Do red betta fish make good pets?

Absolutely! Red betta fish are terrific starter fish for beginners, and their bright colors make them interesting for experienced aquarium owners, too. However, these fish need a lot of special care to thrive in an aquarium. They’re pretty good at taking care of themselves if they have enough water and food, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about them—they still need your help to stay healthy and happy.