Betta hammock has recently been introduced to the hobby and betta keepers are going crazy for it. If you are new to keeping betta, you might wonder is a betta hammock really necessary for betta?
Betta hammocks are not absolutely necessary for betta. However, if you get one, your betta will appreciate it.
Betta hammocks are not free. You’ll need to buy them from the store. However, there are some free and cheap alternate methods too. In fact, I prefer the alternate methods more than the betta hammock.
In this article, I’ll discuss what is actually a betta hammock, what benefits does it have and what are some of the cheap & free alternatives of betta hammock.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
What Is A Betta Hammock?
A betta hammock is simply a place for the betta to sleep or rest. It can either be large fake leaf or a real leaf.
Normally, betta hammocks are sold in the market as just one large fake leaf attached to a suction cup. With the suction cup, you can place the hammock at anywhere you want (preferably about 2 inches below the water surface).
These betta hammocks can cost around $5 to $10 depending on the style & quality.
What Are The Benefits Of Betta Hammock?
Though betta hammocks are not a must for keeping betta, they certainly have some benefits. Such as:
Perfect place for the betta to rest & sleep
Betta sleeps just as we do. When you turn off the light of the aquarium, your betta will get ready to sleep or rest. When betta sleeps, it likes to have a support underneath.
For that reason, hammock is the perfect place for the betta to sleep. It can have a good underneath support.
Also, hammocks are generally placed about 2 inches below the water surface. As a result, when necessary, the betta can quickly grasp oxygen from the air without moving too much from the hammock.
These two traits make hammock a perfect place for betta to sleep & rest.
Can be moved and cleaned easily
Store bought hammocks are very easy to use and maintain. As I have already said, the fake leaf comes attached to a suction cup. So, you can attach the hammock anywhere you want using the suction cup.
Also, when you need, you can remove the hammock easily. That’s great for maintenance and cleaning.
When you are doing your regular water changes, you can just remove the hammock from the glass, wash it under running water & place it again.
It’s that simple!
Betta can receive oxygen easily
Betta fish have an interesting trait. Unlike other fish, they have a labyrinth organ. Thanks to this organ, betta can absorb oxygen from the air.
That means, betta fish can absorb oxygen through 2 ways:
- Using the gills to absorb oxygen from water
- Using the labyrinth organ to absorb oxygen from the air
Both ways are important for a betta’s healthy growth. To absorb oxygen from the air, the betta needs to often go to the water surface and gulp air from above the water.
This process becomes extremely easy when the betta is resting on the hammock. As hammock is placed just about 2 inches below the water surface, the betta doesn’t even need to move too much for absorbing oxygen from the air.
Do Bettas Need Something To Sleep On?
You might wonder whether bettas need something to sleep. Like all other fish, bettas also sleep, although they keep their eyes open. You’ll find them becoming still and motionless while sleeping.
It is not compulsory to provide your betta something to sleep. Generally, bettas tend to float when they sleep. Sometimes, you may find them sleeping at the bottom of the tank. If you keep plants, logs, etc, your betta can find these support systems comfortable to sleep on.
So, it’s a pretty good idea to keep something where your pet betta can doze off.
You can also pay a visit to this article to know whether your betta fish is dead or sleeping.
Are Betta Hammocks Safe?
Betta hammocks are safe when these hammocks are used correctly. Also, you have to place the hammocks in appropriate zones of the betta tank.
When you buy a hammock, the hammock might have a metal wire inside the stem of the hammock leaves. You need to carefully remove the metal wire without damaging the leaves of the betta hammock.
Before setting up the hammock, you must rinse the leaves with hot water. Besides, you should regularly clean the leaves to remove the algae.
In addition, you have to make the placement carefully. Make sure to keep the hammock away from the heater or filter. Such safe fixation makes hammocks safe for bettas.
Are Betta Leaf Hammocks Good?
Betta leaf hammocks are good and a comfortable set-up for bettas. Hammocks provide bettas a suitable place to take a nap, relax, or play anytime.
Besides, these naturalistic leaves make bettas feel secure to sleep and reduce their stress. Bettas surely love these hammocks because of chilling in there near the surface.
In addition, hammocks do not take much space in the tank. Also, you can smoothly move hammocks. So, you need not take much hassle while cleaning the betta tank.
Where To Put Betta Hammock?
It’s essential to put the betta hammock in the right place. Otherwise, it may not be safe for bettas. Also, wrong placement can cause bettas not to use these hammocks.
1. 2 cm Below The Water Surface
Usually, the experts recommend keeping hammocks about 2 cm or 3/4 inches below the water surface of the tank. If your betta sleeps floating on the surface, keeping a hammock near the surface will be appropriate for your betta.
2. Value The Preference Of Bettas
Not all bettas tend to float while sleeping. If your betta sleeps at the bottom of the tank, it may not like such a high placement of hammocks. In this case, you need to adjust the hammock according to the preferences of betta.
3. Among Other Plants
Sometimes, bettas can find hammock leaves too exposed. Hence, you can have some other plants on one side of the tank. Keep the hammock among these plants. In addition, such placement will make your bettas feel more secure to sleep.
Where Not To Put Betta Hammock?
The purpose of adjusting a hammock may not get fruitful due to the wrong placement. Hence, you must know where not to put the betta hammock.
1. Near Filter Outlet
Do not make the mistake of placing a betta hammock near the filter outlet. The leaves of the hammock ruin fast because of keeping the hammock nearside of filter outlet.
So, you need to change and buy hammocks more often due to placing hammocks in such wrong place.
If you put a hammock near the filter outlet, your betta fish will struggle to sleep in such heavy water movement. Also, staying in such a strong flowing current can cause harm to the fins of betta.
Check out this article for the best betta filters.
2. On The Substrate
You might know that bettas love to spend more time at the middle and top of the tank. Also, these fish tend to come up for air to breathe.
If you keep the hammock on the substrate, your betta may spend most of its time at the bottom of the tank. To keep your betta more active and playful, you must follow the rule of keeping a hammock near the surface.
3. On The Surface
Although I recommend keeping the hammock a bit below the surface level, you must not keep it on the surface. Also, the hammock may come exposed to the surface if you keep the hammock pretty near the surface.
If the water level gets down for any reason, your betta will have trouble sleeping on the leaf of a hammock in the air.
4. Near Heater
Since betta fish thrive well in the water temperature between 75-80 degrees, you might have added a heater in the tank. So, you must remain careful not to place hammocks near the heater. The delicate fins of betta may get damaged if their fins come in touch with the heater.
There are several more reasons behind betta fin rot. Click here C to know more about its causes and preventions.
Why Is My Betta Not Using Its Hammock?
Despite keeping a hammock in the tank, your betta may not use it. There can be several reasons behind this. Such as-
- Your bettas may not be simply interested in using the hammock. Their personality and preferences put an effect on using their hammock.
- The placement of the hammock may be wrong. If you keep the hammock near the filter or heater, your betta will not feel comfortable sleeping on the hammock.
- Naturally, all animals tend to sleep in shady spots. If there are lights near hammocks, your betta will not be able to relax with ease. You can also click here to know whether betta fish need light or not.
- Some betta may not understand what to do with the hammock. You can leave food on the leaf of the hammock. Gradually, your betta may get used to sleeping on the hammock.
Is A Betta Hammock Expensive?
The answer is a no. Anyone can readily afford a betta hammock. Although the price varies depending on its size and color, you can buy a hammock for $3 to $6.
From my experiences of trying out several betta hammocks, I recommend everyone to give Zoo Med betta bed leaf hammock a try.
DIY Betta Hammock: How Do You Make Homemade Hammock For Betta?
Instead of buying a hammock from the market, you can DIY a hammock at your home. Let’s see how you should make a homemade hammock for a betta.
Firstly, take the essential materials to start the work.
You’ll need these:
- a scissor
- suction cup
- clumps of broad leaves from a silk plant
- and aquarium sealant
You have to cut off the leaves from the silk plants. Make sure to keep the stem along with the leaves.
Then, you should stick the stems into the holes of the suction cup. You can also add extra leaves into the holes so that the leaves can not budge out from the leaves. However, you can use a wee of aquarium sealant to secure the adjustment of the leaves.
That’s how you can smoothly DIY on your own.
Do You Really Need To Buy A Betta Hammock Now?
Till now, I have mentioned three benefits of a betta hammock which are pretty compelling to make you feel like you need to buy a betta hammock. While betta hammock has its perks, it is not a must to buy them.
In fact, there are cheaper alternatives to a betta hammock. And I think one of the cheaper alternatives is better than the actual hammock.
Cheaper Alternatives Of Betta Hammock
I’ll talk about two cheaper alternatives for a betta hammock:
I think this is even better than a betta hammock. I like natural stuff. I don’t like to buy fake plants. There is nothing wrong with fake plants, but I am more of a nature admirer. That’s why buying fake plants is not my cup of tea.
As store bought betta hammock is essentially a fake plant leaf, I don’t like it. I think real plants can do a much better job. In the below picture, you’ll see a marked leaf in my betta tank. This is the leaf my betta uses as a hammock.
As store bought betta hammock is essentially a fake plant leaf, I don’t like it. I think real plants can do a much better job. In the below picture, you’ll see a large leaf in my betta tank.
This is the leaf of Anubias plant. This is a large version of the Anubias plant. I think they are called Anubias Broad leaf. Their leaves work perfectly as a hammock.
Just when placing the plants, make sure the leaves are not too much down from the water surface. Try to keep at least one of the leaves within 2-3 inches from the water level.
Though real plants are nicer, they can be a hassle too. Real plants need attention & care to grow perfectly. They have their own requirements that you need to meet.
Though Anubias pretty much doesn’t need anything extra, still if you want the best growth, you’ll need to take care of the plant and provide it the things it needs.
If you think that’s too much of a hassle for you, don’t worry. Just buy some fake plants with large leaves like Anubias broad leaf. Make sure the leaves don’t have any sharp edges, otherwise they can scratch the fins of the betta.
If you decide to buy and use a betta hammock in your betta tank, please follow these precautions:
- After buying the hammock, don’t place it right away in the tank. Clean it with dechlorinated water thoroughly. Otherwise, the hammock might carry germs that can enter the tank with the hammock.
- Don’t place the hammock near heater or outlet of the filter. If the hammock is too near the heater, the betta might accidently burn itself touching the heater.
- On the other hand, bettas are not very adept in swimming, If there is too much water current near the hammock, the betta won’t be able to rest properly. That’s why don’t place it near the filter outlet.
- Make sure the hammock doesn’t contain any sharp edges. Sharp edges can be very dangerous for betta’s fins.
- Regularly clean the hammock for longer durability.
So, this is all about betta hammock and their necessity. I hope you found the article helpful. After reading this whole discussion, what do you think? Will you buy a hammock for your betta?