Tips For Buying A Healthy Betta

Published Date: October 15th, 2006
Category: Fish

by: Tho Le

We all want a great looking Betta that won’t die on us after just a few days. Here’s a quick guide to help you find that healthy Betta.

First of all, make sure it’s alive! I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen dead Betta’s sitting on pet store shelves.


Look for bumps, or lumps of any kind anywhere on the body. A healthy Betta has smooth scales along its body. Any loose or missing scales are signs of sickness or previous trauma. A swollen stomach is also a clear sign of a sick Betta. If you notice any white patches anywhere on the body you’re probably seeing fungus.

Fin and Gills

Although this may sometimes be difficult to tell at the pet store where many Betta’s are stored in tiny bags or boxes, take a look at the fish’s fins and gills. Betta fins should be able to expand fully with no holes, discolorations, or tears.

The Gills should be smooth with no discoloration or lumps.


Bring your hand toward the Betta, without taping the bowl or poking the bag the betta is stored in, but just close enough and make sure the Betta is alert. Healthy Betta’s are alert and react to your movements. They may or may not flare at your movements.


Unhealthy Betta’s appear pale in color and may have discoloration along their face or body.

Keep in mind that this is only a guide. It’s important to remember that a healthy Betta will only stay healthy if you treat it right. After you purchase that Betta it’s up to you to keep it healthy, otherwise, your new Betta will end up on a magical journey down the toilet.

About The Author

Tho Le is an author and enthusiast of Betta fish. You can find regularly updated betta tips, news, and information on his betta fish blog:

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