Are Betta Fish Tropical Fish?

4 min read

Betta fish are a very popular aquarium fish because of their wide array of bright colors and flowing fins.

Betta fish are pretty easy to take care of because betta fish are tropical fish from southeast Asia which has a tropical climate. Betta fish live in warm waters with a temperature of 76°F to 81°F. The tropical climate forces the betta to live through droughts that may dry much of the water, forcing betta fish to sometimes live in tiny puddles with little to no oxygen, making betta fish very hardy.

Betta fish are also known as freshwater tropical fish because they are from rivers in southeast Asia that have freshwater and not saltwater like oceanic saltwater tropical fish.

are betta fish tropical or freshwater

What Is A Tropical Fish?

Basically, a tropical fish is just a fish from waters within the tropical zone around Earth.

When it comes to aquariums, you could just say tropical fish usually require a heated tank with the temps between 76°F to 81°F.

Most aquarium tropical fish today are freshwater tropical fish because they are much easier to take care of, mainly because of the difference in the water.

How to Make Saltwater and Fresh Water

Saltwater – To get saltwater for a saltwater tropical fish tank, you have to order or buy expensive saltwater or prepare your own.

To prepare your own saltwater, you would have to add sea salt and constantly monitor the salinity of your water because some of the salt will evaporate.

Freshwater – To get fresh water you just mix some aquarium water conditioner like ‘prime’ with your tap water.

So freshwater tropical fish are way easier to upkeep and more accessible.

This is because the huge fish farms that mass produce aquarium tropical fish are in Florida, the far east, or inland from the ocean. These places have tropical temperatures which makes it much easier to breed such a large amount of aquarium fish that require a higher temperature.

Because of this mass production, the price is pretty cheap to purchase freshwater tropical fish as pets.

betta fish are tropical fish

The lower price coupled with ease of care has made freshwater fish the most popular aquarium fish.

The most expensive freshwater tropical fish are breeds that are still caught in the wild because they are too difficult to breed in captivity.

The most expensive freshwater tropical fish that are bred in captivity are some Cichlids and Arowana fish.

Do Betta Fish Need A Heater?

Betta fish are from a tropical climate which mainly means that it is warmer than the rest of the world. So, most likely, your betta fish will need a heater depending on where you live. If you live somewhere that is always warm then you need to make sure the temp is between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you choose a heater for your Betta aquarium, you need to choose one that is 5 watts of power for each gallon of water in your aquarium.

If you have a large aquarium, then you may need a couple of heaters to keep your aquarium warm enough for betta fish.

betta fish are tropical water fish

If you live somewhere that is too hot you may need a chiller, but usually not likely.

Here is the key: a heater will heat the water to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and then shut off. When the temp drops below 74 degrees, the heater will turn back on to heat the water.

A chiller is the opposite, whereas it would turn on when the temp gets above 82 degrees to chill the water until the temp drops below 74 degrees and then shuts off.

To summarize, if you live somewhere that is too hot for betta fish then you need a chiller. If you live somewhere that is too cold for betta fish then you need a heater.

Can You Mix Betta Fish With Tropical Fish?

In their natural environment, betta fish are known as very territorial and aggressive.

Most people choose to keep bettas by themselves in a tiny aquarium. While bettas will be happy by themselves we recommend 1-3 gallons per inch of fish, but if you only have one, you might as well get a five-gallon tank.

  • If you want a larger tank with more fish, then bettas can be kept with other tropical fish as long as you follow some general rules:
  • Don’t put a male betta with another male betta.
  • Don’t put your betta with cichlids, gouramis, guppies, and angelfish. It’s not worth the trouble trying, and will save you a lot of trouble.
  • You can put your betta tetra, white cloud minnows, rasbora, kuhli loach, and snails.


I hope we showed you that betta fish are tropical fish, why, and what to do about it.

Remember that whenever you put fish in an aquarium that you are trying to mimic its natural environment.

Written by:

Pet Aquariums

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