Are you thinking of getting one of the beautiful longfin betta variety's? Well read this before your buy one to hear why they can become extra work for you!
What are Longfin Bettas
These betta are a variety of Betta bred specifically for their longer fins. There are many different tail types of long fin Betta. Halfmoon, Veiltail and Super Delta to name a few. These fish have been bred by specialists to look this way so you won't find long finned bettas in the wild. You can get many colour variant's of this type, all of which have been specifically bred. These long tail Betta are a very cool variety to keep but do come with some flaws compared to the smaller tail counterparts.
What are potential issues?
So lets get into the some of the potential issues that come with long fin bettas. Their finnage or long fins are the epicenter of the problem. Long fins can easily be caught or ripped and can take a lot of energy for the betta to swim with. Once ripped or torn the fins can easily acquire a fungal disease called fin rot. As the name suggests this disease eats away at the finnage. The fact these fins are so long means they are constantly waving or in motion. This means even when fin rot is being treated the movement of the fins may keep the splits open and may rip them more.
Now lets move onto the tiring aspect of the long fins. Longer fins are more flimsy and less powerful when used to propel the betta through water. So this means these betta types will use significantly more energy when swimming. This means they will be sluggish and tired as well as have less energy to help them fight infection and diseases.
How to help keep Long Fin Betta healthy
You've now heard the problems that can occur when keeping these bettas, so lets discuss how to prevent or limit issues. In regard to fin tears and fin rot, ornaments with no sharp edges should be used and water quality should be very highly looked after. If fin rot or disease is to occur effectively treating the tank in the early stages is crucial. A varied diet of bloodworms, flakes and specialized pellets will also help keep these bettas plump and more energized when fighting diseases.
To combat a tired or sluggish betta, a lowered tank height can be used to allow the betta to not have to work as hard to get to the top of the tank. Betta fish can breathe oxygen and it is a normal behavior so making it easier will help increase your fishes health and mood. Decorations like floating logs are also a good idea to give your betta a place to safely rest that is near that oxygen exchange point. Enrichment is also a good routine to get into and is achieved with small infrequent use of mirrors to flex their muscles and build up strength. Even simple finger following is adequate.
This piece of info is key to any betta keepers success so listen up. Make sure bettas have a very soft to little flow! Any betta that is blown around the aquarium or has to use extra strength just to swim, is an unhappy one. This flow can be best achieved with a low powered sponge filter.