Tips For Taking Care Of A Half Moon Betta Fish

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By Linh Nguyen Updated on 02 Feb 2023

It's easy to fall in love with the majestic beauty of a half moon betta fish, and there's no doubt that keeping these eye catching species as pets can be quite rewarding. However, it is important to remember that proper care is essential if you want your pet half moon betta fish to thrive. Halfmoons are likely the most challenging type of betta to raise. It is essential to remember that longtail bettas, and are domesticated fish so they not be optimally adapted for survival in the wild. Thus, Halfmoons will need more attention and space than a typical short-tailed wild betta.

All betta keepers need are knowledge and practice. In this guide, we'll go through everything you need to know about caring for half moon betta fish - from diet and water parameters right down to habitat needs and health concerns - so you can ensure your pet has the happiest possible life!

A beautiful halfmoon betta

A beautiful halfmoon betta

1. Tank size

Halfmoon bettas are larger than other betta varieties, necessitating more space to swim and spread their large fins. The minimum tank size required should be 15cm x 15cm x 20cm with the water level kept above 10 cm, ideally above 15 cm.

You should choose a box-shaped aquarium instead of a circular one, as the latter will distort the fish's image, thereby losing its aesthetics and limiting your ability to observe. I will show you how to make a box aquarium in my next article.

Halfmoon betta tank

Halfmoon betta tank

2. Water quality

90% of fish diseases have the same cause: poor water quality. The trick lies in using as large a tank as possible for your halfmoon and changing the water regularly. Unfortunately, the best way to maintain a halfmoon is something most of us don't have time to do - 100% water changes every day! 

If you can only do a partial water change, some bacteria will remain in the jar along with the fish, putting additional stress on your fish and making them more prone to illnesses. If you cannot change all of the water every day, try changing it every other day or every 3 days depending on the size of the jar. Vacuuming out dirt from the bottom and then filling up with clean, treated water daily is the best way to go. Remember to use dechlorinated water in order to remove any harmful chlorine or chloramines that are not present in natural ponds. 

Water pH should stay between 6.5 and 7.5 as well. Additionally, adjust the pH of the water to a level that is familiar to the fish. Commercial pH-boosting or lowering medications can be used for this purpose if necessary. 

Halfmoon bettas are a type of tropical fish that require special attention when it comes to their water quality. These aquatic creatures need warm, clean, and well-oxygenated water in order to stay healthy and thrive. The ideal temperature for your betta’s aquarium should range between 78°F - 82°F (25°C - 27°C). 

The waste produced by the fish and any uneaten food should be removed to prevent ammonia or nitrite spikes. To make sure your betta has a safe environment, you’ll also want to check the nitrogen cycle regularly with an aquarium test kit.

Overall, it is important to understand that halfmoon bettas require good water quality for them to thrive in an aquarium environment. By providing proper water conditions and following a regular maintenance schedule, you can ensure that your fish have the best chance of staying healthy and happy.

See our guide to water treatment for bettas for more details.

3. Habitat

When setting up the aquarium for a halfmoon betta, make sure to provide adequate lighting. This will help keep the tank at an optimal temperature and it will also allow you to view your fish in its natural habitat. 

Aquatic plants are a great choice for your betta tank. Much like in nature, they help to remove phosphates from the water, which can accumulate with partial water changes. Although phosphates are not toxic to fish, they do promote the growth of unsightly algae in your tank. 

I recommend Java Fern as an effective way to reduce phosphates in your betta tank. Before adding them to your aquarium, ensure that any plants associated with driftwood have been removed from it, as driftwood typically has sharp edges which can damage and tear delicate betta fins. Additionally, plants absorb nitrates to make their own food too! 

Make sure there is sufficient space for both your betta fish and the plants to move freely. Monitor the amount of space as the plant grows, and prune plants as necessary to maintain a balanced aquarium. Use the same plants that you used when raising fry. 

Finally, if you purchased your fish from another breeder, ask them what water condition they used while raising it and do your best to replicate this in order to ensure success!

4. Food

Feed your HM fish quality food, such as larvae, worms, bloodworms, or anything that can fit in its mouth. If you cannot find these kinds of food, buy fish bran pellets which contain a high amount of protein and essential vitamins.

It is best to opt for frozen food over dry food since it is fresher but does not contain pathogens like live food. Feed the HM fish sparingly yet often enough so that they finish their meal within five minutes; otherwise, leftovers may introduce more ammonia in the system as they decompose.

There are two ways to feed them: if you have little time on your hands, put in a worm the size of a peanut in the morning and make sure it's all eaten by 4 pm; if you have more free time, divide the worm into two meals a day. Remember not to feed your HM fish after 5 pm, as it increases the risk of them developing diseases or fungal infections. Even breeding specialists advise against feeding past this time.

If you feel like your HM fish is becoming too fatty, put it on a diet for three to four days and then feed it less than usual afterwards.

Experts have certified that bathing bettas in the sun for about one hour a day every morning is a great way to bring out their vibrant colors. Furthermore, this gentle sunlight in the early morning helps keep them more active and content. Additionally, don't forget to supplement their diet with vitamin D as well.

Food of halfmoon betta

Food of halfmoon betta

5. Practice

Get your fish to stretch its fins every day by training it with its own reflection or with another betta. This is important because the HM's thick tail needs regular exercise in order to strengthen the caudal fin tendons and ensure a strong, "winged" tail shape. 

If you must keep the fishes in close proximity, block their sight of each other using a card or any other visual blocker, or shift the jars around regularly so they are always changing who their neighbours are and have to re-establish the swarm order. Be aware that fish with large fins should not be trained for too long, as this can cause them to blow their fins; they should be limited to one hour of training at most.

Practice with halfmoon

Practice with halfmoon

6. Tank mates

Halfmoon bettas can be kept with other fish, although they should not be mixed with aggressive or territorial fish as this could lead to stress and fighting. Depending on the size of the tank, it is possible to keep small schools of peaceful compatible fish such as Danios, White Clouds, Neon tetras, and Corydoras catfish alongside a halfmoon betta. If you are going to mix species in a community tank then ensure that all inhabitants have enough space to swim around freely and have hiding places provided by aquarium decorations like rocks, tunnels and plants. Furthermore, it is important to monitor water parameters regularly because when multiple species are living together in an aquarium their waste can quickly increase ammonia levels which can be toxic for all inhabitants. Lastly, it is important to feed the fish separately so that all inhabitants can get enough food. By providing appropriate tank conditions and following these guidelines, a halfmoon betta can be kept successfully with other species in a community tank.

7. Common diseases

7.1. Fin and tail rot disease

This is a common disease amongst aquarium fish which can be caused by unclean water or inadequate care. Symptoms of infection include torn fins and tails, as well as damage leading to rot.

When symptoms of these diseases in aquarium fish are detected, it is essential to separate the affected fish and place them in a clean water environment. Cleaning water specifically for fish should be used along with treatments for any fin or tail damage. If left untreated for too long, the fish may begin to show discoloration, become lethargic, stop eating, and eventually die.

Read the article: Betta Fish Fin Rot: What Is It, How To Treat, And Prevention Tips for details.

7.2. Popeye

Popeye in HalfMoon Betta Fish is a common disease caused by bacteria found in water temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees. Symptoms include lethargy, disorientation, eye damage, bulging eyes, sores and loss of appetite. 

To prevent Popeye in fish, it is important to clean the tank regularly and bathe new fish with diluted salt water before stocking them at an appropriate density. To treat this condition, reduce the amount of food for the fish and place them in a separate tank for soaking. Antibiotic eye drops can also be applied over 2 to 3 days to significantly reduce symptoms. 

Read the article: What Is Popeye Betta Fish? Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment for details.

7.3. Fungus 

Halfmoon bettas are particularly prone to this disease; Fungus spores can enter the fish and cause infection if they experience stress or injury. Often as a result of poor water quality.

Read more: Fungus On Betta Fish: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment


Betta fish are beautiful creatures that come in a variety of colors and patterns. The half moon betta is one of the most popular breeds because of their unique appearance. HM bettas require a lot of care and attention, but they are definitely worth it. If you're thinking about getting a half moon betta, make sure you do your research so that you can properly take care of your new pet. Have you ever owned a betta fish? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!

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