Interview With Betta Fish Expert – Angelique Anne Bollettieri

Angelique Anne Bollettieri has been keeping fish for 20 years and has rescued over 150 betta fish. I’ve had a chance to ask her some beginner questions regarding betta fish care.

She was kind enough to answer them in detail.

Below you’ll get a summarize version of the Q/A with her. I have also included the exact Q/A later down the article!


Betta Fish Care Guideline From Angelique Anne Bollettieri

Optimal Tank Size and Setup

Contrary to the common belief that betta fish thrive in small tanks, Bollettieri emphasizes the importance of providing them with a spacious environment. In the wild, bettas occupy territories that can extend up to a 3’ x 3’ area in shallow waters.

Thus, a long bookshelf aquarium, mimicking these conditions with a minimum capacity of 8-10 gallons, is ideal. A well-set-up tank should include plenty of hiding spots, rest areas, and, most importantly, live plants.

Bettas have a natural affinity for heavily planted environments, which not only enrich their habitat but also support their health and well-being.

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Feeding Practices

Feeding betta fish a diet that closely resembles their natural intake is crucial. Live foods, such as black worms, fruit flies, and shrimp daphnia, are recommended for their nutritional value and the behavioral enrichment they provide through hunting.

High-quality pellet foods can serve as a supplement, but the core of the diet should focus on live foods to maintain the fish’s immune system and vibrant coloration.

Additionally, Bollettieri advises against feeding bettas bloodworms due to their potential to cause bloat and suggests incorporating a supplement like Vitachem for added nutritional support.

Recognizing a Healthy Betta

A healthy betta fish is characterized by its active behavior, strong appetite, vibrant colors, clear eyes, and well-maintained fins. These signs indicate a fish that is thriving in its environment, free from stress and disease.

Compatibility with Tank Mates

Bettas are known for their unique personalities, which can vary significantly from one fish to another.

While some may tolerate or even enjoy the company of tank mates, others may not. It’s crucial to monitor the interactions closely and be prepared to remove other fish if necessary to prevent stress or aggression.

Common Mistakes and Solutions

One of the most significant mistakes beginners make is failing to properly cycle their aquarium before introducing a betta. Establishing a balanced, live-planted ecosystem is essential for the health of the fish.

Moreover, providing an environment rich in exploration opportunities and adhering to a diet that mirrors their natural feeding habits are key factors in avoiding common pitfalls in betta care.

By following Bollettieri’s advice, aquarium enthusiasts can ensure their betta fish not only survive but thrive, displaying their full splendor and personality. Proper tank setup, diet, and understanding individual needs are the cornerstones of successful betta fish care.

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Question & Answer with Angelique Anne Bollettieri

Q1. What is the best tank size and setup for a betta fish?

Keeping in mind that much of the time in nature when room allows for it, their territory tends to be around a 3’ x 3’ area. Shallow water is always better then deep , so I really love the long bookshelf tanks for a betta. I see many people feel their fish prefer a smaller tank… that’s simply not true.

It’s because their tank is not set up properly. Betta are very curious creatures and they really thrive in a larger environment that is set up with lots of things for them to hide in explorer rest on etc. and I’m a firm believer and live plants.. bettas love a heavily planted live tank.

I really think they should be in nothing g smaller than a 8-10 gallons, more us even better but again, it must be properly set up. 

Q2. How often should I feed my betta fish and what should I feed it?

It’s optimal to feed your Betta fish very much like it would be eating in the wild, which means live foods, including insects. The exoskeleton of the insects is roughage for their digestive system, and helps keep things moving along..

I do not ever recommend bloodworms for Betta fish as their high iron content is notorious for causing bloat. I recommend black worms, fruit flies and shrimp Daphnia. Etc. frozen foods are another choice although not nearly as nutritious as foods.

The live foods give them a chance to act on instinct, in terms of hunting and chasing, and also gives them the most nutrition which keeps their immune system healthy, and their colors vibrant. You can supplement with a high quality pellet.

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Betta pro shrimp patty pellets and fluval betta bug bites granules are pretty good. If you’re feeding live foods, they can eat a lot more food. You have to keep an eye on their stomach and how active they are.

If the fish is super active, they can have more food also depending on their age etc..I also suggest a supplement… something like Vitachem, which can be added directly to the water or to their food. 

Q3. What are the signs of a healthy betta fish versus a sick betta fish?

A healthy Betta fish will be active with a voracious appetite, vibrant colors,clear eyes and healthy fins.

Q4. Can betta fish live with other fish or should they be kept alone?

Every Betta fish is different in terms of personality, and if they can have tank mates or not. You just have to keep a very close eye on your tank and the behavior of your Betta fish and always be ready. I have to pull the tank mates out if it doesn’t work.

Q5. What are some common mistakes that beginners make when caring for betta fish and how can they be avoided?

The biggest mistake people make is not properly getting their tank cycled and set up with the right environment. Live plants are really essential for a healthy tank and a healthy fish and lots of things for them to explore, sleep on, etc., also not providing them with the correct diet. 

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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