Betta fish are often regarded as an ideal fish to give as a gift because of their ornamental beauty and reputation for being low-maintenance. You might even see them given in small jars as party favors or Secret Santa gifts.
Unfortunately, this can turn into a tragic situation resulting in shortened fish life, especially if the unsuspecting recipient is not prepared for the responsibility or has received inaccurate care information.
Instead of being a spontaneous idea or surprise, the gifting of a Betta fish should be a process which includes the gift recipient in the planning and decision making.
The first step in this process is getting an aquarium that is at least five gallons set up in its established spot. Next, the tank will need to go through the nitrogen cycle which can take several weeks. Bringing home a Betta fish should be one of the final steps.
Sometimes, people will receive a Betta and a new aquarium on the same day. They may successfully set up the tank and add the fish, only to find that their Betta has died not long after. This can happen when a fish is added to an aquarium that hasn't been cycled which is why it is so important to view the giving of a fish as a process that the owner will need to be on board with.
With proper care, Bettas can live an average of 3 to 5 years -- and for the right owners their time spent with them will be a precious gift that keeps on giving.