Although betta fish are often sold in a small glass or plastic containers, such habitat is not suitable as a long-term option. If kept in such a restrictive environment for a prolonged period of time, betta fish may become stressed due to poor water quality and are likely to get sick and die.
In such a small tank, toxins will accumulate rapidly in the water and, unless you change the water several times a week, these toxins will soon poison your betta fish. A larger volume of water will not only dilute these toxins to a more tolerable level but will also give your betta fish room to grow and swim.
If you plan to keep a betta fish as a pet, it is advisable to know the recommended tank requirements to ensure that your betta fish is kept in the ideal environment to encourage optimal growth and vitality.
Preferred Tank Size
Although betta fish can be kept in tanks as small as 4 or 5 liters, the recommended volume range is between 5 to 10 gallons (20 to 40 liters). However, if you plan to keep a betta fish with other fish, it is advisable to select an even larger tank.
A larger tank will provide the betta with adequate space so that it does not feel threatened by the other fish in the tank. Because betta fish are sold in such small containers, many inexperienced hobbyists believe they should be kept in small tanks, that betta fish do not perform well in a larger habitat.
Although they can be aggressive with other males of their kind, betta fish are actually quite nervous and can be stressed in a large tank. In their native environment, betta fish are accustomed to having a large amount of aquatic vegetation to use as a cover, so unless you reproduce this type of environment in your home tank, your betta fish may have trouble adapting to the increase of the swimming space.
Due to the proliferation of small “betta fish tanks” specialized in the market, many aquarium hobbyists mistakenly believe that betta fish do not require a tank equipped with a filter or a heater.
Although bettas are a hardy species, well equipped to handle these conditions, they are unlikely to thrive unless your tank is properly equipped and maintained.
Betta fish prefer tropical waters with a temperature range between 75 ° and 86 ° Fahrenheit. These fish also prefer a pH between 6.5 and 7.5, as well as a water hardness between 5 ° and 25 ° GH.
In a small betta fish tank, water quality should be maintained by frequently replacing the entire contents of the container or container. However, in larger tanks, weekly water changes of 25% are sufficient.
If you don’t refresh the water in your betta fish tank, the toxins in the water will simply continue to accumulate and water quality will not only decrease, but the water will become more difficult, which makes it an inappropriate environment for your betta fish.
Filtration, Heating, And Lighting
As is the case with any fish tank, proper filtration is the key to maintaining high water quality. Aquarium filters come in a wide variety of designs and can also perform a variety of functions.
Mechanical filters remove solid waste particles from water, while chemical filters also remove dissolved wastes and toxins. In a betta tank, it is advisable to select a filter that incorporates mechanical and chemical filtration. This will ensure that the water chemistry in your tank remains stable so that your betta fish is healthy.
When selecting a filter for your tank, you should consider the size of the tank. Do not buy a filter that is too small for your tank or you will not be able to keep up with the biological load.
While examining options at your local pet store, consider buying a filter that is larger than you really need. This will not only ensure that the filter is a proper size to handle your tank, but it will also save you the cost of buying a new filter if, in the future, you decide to upgrade to a larger tank.
A quality aquarium heater is another important piece of equipment to keep your betta tank working properly. While betta fish can survive in unheated water, they are more likely to thrive and show their optimal coloration in warm, tropical waters.
To achieve this type of temperature, you must install an aquarium heater in your betta tank. The two most popular types of aquarium heater are the submersible and the hanging aquarium heater.
Submersible heaters can be hung on the back of the tank, fixed with suction cups, but they can also be completely submerged in the tank to provide better heat distribution.
Hanging aquarium heaters are perfectly functional for a small tank but in larger tanks, they may not be able to heat the largest volume of water in the tank as evenly as a submersible heater.
When selecting a heater for your tank, you should check the size of your tank again. Most aquarium heaters have the recommended tank size printed on the packaging. If you are not sure which type of heater would be best, ask one of the store’s professionals for recommendations.
Once you take your heater home and install it, set it to a temperature between 75 ° and 86 ° Fahrenheit. Some heaters have a light that turns on when the heater is plugged in so that the fan knows that the product is working. If your heater does not have this feature, control the temperature of the tank with a thermometer inside the tank.
Because betta fish come from a native environment in which natural light seeps through the surface and marginal vegetation, they often prefer tanks with dim or dim lighting. In many cases, it is sufficient to place your betta tank near a window to allow natural light to seep into the tank.
However, if you place your tank in direct sunlight, you may experience a problem with algae overgrowth. Another option is to configure a fluorescent lamp next to or above your betta fish tank. If your aquarium has a hood, you can also install a fluorescent tube directly into the tank hood.
Keep the lights on in your betta tank for 8 to 12 hours a day. Not only will this be good for your fish, but any live plant in your tank will require this amount of light to grow.
However, be sure to turn off the lights at night, to avoid overgrowth of algae and give your betta some time to rest.
Plants and tank decorations
Betta fish are typically found in shallow and very planted waters. In order for your betta fish to thrive in the domestic aquarium, it is advisable to replicate these conditions as much as possible. Cover your betta tank with a dark and natural substrates such as mud, sand or fine gravel.
Dark substrates will not only mimic the natural environment of the Betta fish but also highlight the best coloration of your Betta fish. Most of the decoration for a betta tank should be in the form of live aquarium plants, both stem plants, and floating plants.
Popular stem plants for betta fish tanks include Hygrophila, a plant native to Asia, as well as the Java fern and Java moss. Other stem plants such as Anubias, Microsorium, Vesicularia, and Cryptocoryne work well in low light and are therefore perfect for the betta tank.
Supplement your stem plants with a variety of floating plants to cover your bettas near the surface of the water and dim the lighting in the tank. Recommended species of floating plants for the betta tank include Salvinia, Riccia and even water lilies.
In addition to live plants, floating wood and dry branches are the ideal natural decorations for the betta tank. If you cannot find any of these materials, you can use beech or oak pieces, provided you first remove the bark and dry it completely.
Betta fish can also enjoy overturned terracotta pots for additional hiding places in the tank along with plastic pipe pieces or empty film containers. If you choose to use any of these items for decoration in your betta tank, be sure to clean and disinfect them first.
Recommended Tank Mates
Although betta fish are known to be aggressive and territorial, they can be kept in tanks with certain other species of fish. While it is not advisable to place two male betta fish in the same tank, female bettas often work well in groups with three to six of their own species.
Other compatible tank mates for betta fish include small and peaceful species such as Dwarf corydoras or Otocinclus catfish, small cyprinids such as Barbs and Rasboras, as well as minnows and some tetras.
The key to keeping betta fish with other species is to avoid housing them with fish that have long or colorful fins: male bettas can easily confuse these fish with rival male bettas.
If you keep your Betta fish in a tank with other fish that are too small, your Betta can eat the smaller fish because, after all, they are carnivorous.
How To Introduce Betta Fish Into A New Tank?
Once you have gone through the process of selecting a healthy betta fish, you need to safely introduce into your new home. Never store a betta fish in the small container in which it was sold; This environment is too restrictive and does not provide adequate space for a betta to thrive.
In order to safely introduce your betta into your new home, you must help it acclimatize to the new water conditions.
Do not rush this process: if the water chemistry in the new tank is drastically different from that of the betta vessel, the fish could experience shock and, consequently, die.
- Remove the lid of the container in which you bought your betta
- Pour or remove approximately 1/4 of the water from the container
- Replace the water you removed from the container with water from the new tank of your betta
- Wait ten minutes for your betta to adjust to the new water
- Repeat the process of replacing 1/4 of water in your betta’s container with water from the new tank at least three times, waiting ten minutes between each time
- Net your betta and release it in the new tank
- Watch your betta for the next 24 hours for signs of stress or difficulty acclimatizing to your new tank.
Moving Betta Fish
In the event that you end up moving to a different house, you may wonder what to do with your betta fish. Instead of pawning your betta off with a friend or abandoning it completely, consider bringing it with you.
Moving a betta fish is actually a relatively easy process, much simpler than moving a sensitive species of fish like many cichlids. The key to moving your betta fish successfully is to make the transition as smooth as possible and minimize the amount of stress your fish experiences during the movement.
Tips for safely moving Betta Fish
- Fill a large plastic container with water from your betta tank (choose a container with a lid to prevent your betta from jumping)
- Place your betta in a net and drop it into the container that ends Prepare
- Empty as much water as possible from the tank into portable containers such as plastic buckets so that you can refill the new tank with the water your betta is already used to.
- Pour the tank substrate into another plastic bucket and cover it with water to keep the bacteria beneficial. living in the live substrate
- Transport the empty tank along with the water from the tank, your betta fish and all your equipment to the new location
- Install your betta tank in its new location
- Pour the substrate into the tank and fill the tank with the largest amount of original water from the tank that was able to transport
- Fill the tank the rest of the way with freshly dechlorinated tap water
- Set up your tank equipment including your filter and heater and allow the tank temperature to stabilize at the preferred level
- Transfer your betta fish to a smaller container and pour out about 1/4 of the water in the container
- Replace the water you poured out with water from the new tank and wait about ten minutes to give your betta time to adjust
- Pour out another 1/4 of the water in your betta’s container and replace it with water from the new tank a second time, again waiting ten minutes for the fish to adjust
- Repeat this process once or twice more
- Net your betta and release it into the new tank
Keeping Male And Female Betta Fishes Together
While some freshwater aquarium fish can be kept safely in tanks with the opposite sex, this is not true of betta fish. It is widely known by aquarium hobbyists that male betta fish are extremely aggressive and It cannot be kept with other males of the species.
However, not all hobbyists understand that it is not even safe to keep them in a tank with female betta fish. In order for breeding to occur, of course, both sexes must be placed in a tank together, but it must not be a permanent arrangement.
Male betta fish are very territorial and are likely to feel threatened by any fish that enters their territory, even a potential mate. When it comes to breeding betta fish, the male and female should stay together in a tank, but it is advisable to monitor these encounters.
If you decide to breed your bettas, create a breeding tank equipped with many places for the female to hide in case the male becomes too aggressive and the female needs to rest from her progress.
In some cases, providing hiding places may not be enough: the male betta can search for the female betta and continue to antagonize her. This situation can be extremely stressful for both fish. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the amount of time that male and female bettas spend together in the tank.
Proper Maintenance For Betta Fish Tank
Like all aquarium fish, betta fish will live longer and healthier lives if their tank is kept clean. Cleaning your betta tank does not necessarily have to be an important task: if you perform some routine maintenance tasks on a regular basis, your tank should be kept clean.
Water changes and water tests are the most important aspects to keep your betta tank clean. For larger tanks, you may only need to perform these tasks once a week, but if you keep your betta in a small container without a filter, you may need to do some extra work to keep the water quality high so that your Betta can thrive
Water Changes Of The Tank
A water change is simply the task of removing a portion of the water from your betta tank and replacing it with fresh, chlorine-free water.
Over time, your betta will produce waste and these wastes, along with any unconsumed fish feed, will accumulate at the bottom of your tank. Once this waste begins to decompose, it will begin to produce ammonia, a substance toxic to fish. If the level of ammonia in your tank is too high, your betta could get stressed, it could even suffer from ammonia poisoning.
Replacing some of the water in the tank with freshwater is a simple way to help keep ammonia levels in your tank under control.
It is likely that other toxins also accumulate in the water in your tank and, over time, the water may become too difficult for your betta’s liking. If you simply refill the tank to compensate for the water that has evaporated, it will not solve the problem. As the water evaporates from the tank, some toxins and chemicals will remain.
To improve the water quality in your tank really need to extract some of the dirty water and replace it with clean water.
The best way to remove water from the tank is to use a gravel vacuum. These tools generally consist of a large plastic tube connected to a plastic hose. The nose of the tube, or vacuum cleaner, is inserted into the substrate and, as it absorbs water, it also absorbs debris and accumulated debris.
To maintain a healthy betta tank, it is recommended to replace 25% of the water weekly. For small and unfiltered containers, more frequent changes may be necessary, up to 5 times per week. Replace the water you have removed from the tank with freshly dechlorinated tap water.
How to make a water change
- Place the gravel vacuum in your betta tank and drop the end of the hose into a large plastic bucket to collect dirty water
- Push the mouth of the vacuum towards the substrate in the bottom of your tank
- Move the mouth of the vacuum around the substrate, vacuuming debris and debris accumulated along with the water in the tank
- Remove the gravel vacuum from the tank when you have siphoned out the appropriate amount of water
- Refill the tank with tap water that has been treated with a dechlorinating solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Water Quality Tests
In order to ensure that the water quality in your betta fish tank remains high, you need to know what the chemistry levels in your tank are. To do this you will need to perform regular water tests.
Water tests have been made easy through the widespread availability of aquarium water test strips that you can pick up at your local pet store. These strips will give you a reading of your tank’s water hardness and pH levels and some may even provide the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
Test your betta tank after it has been cycled and your betta fish has acclimated. Use this reading as a base reading for your water chemistry and compare future tests to these readings to determine whether adjustments are necessary.
The Effect Of Salt On Betta Fish
While bettas are freshwater fish, there are some cases where you can benefit from adding salt to the water in your tank. Aquarium hobbyists often use salt to treat parasitic infections and it is also rumored to relieve stress.
While it has not been scientifically proven that adding salt to a betta tank can relieve stress, betta fish infected with parasites that were submerged in a salt bath showed signs of improvement.
When it comes to adding salt to your betta fish tank, you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy “aquarium salt”; regular unionized table salt or Epsom salts are equally effective.
To mix a salt bath for your betta fish, simply add a tablespoon of salt per gallon. Betta fish can be safely immersed in this solution for five minutes but must be removed if the fish begins to show signs of stress.
If your entire betta tank has been infected with a disease like Ich, it may be convenient to treat the entire tank instead of the individual fish.
To treat a full tank with salt, add a teaspoon of salt per gallon of aquarium water. The lower dose of salt makes this procedure safe for longer periods of time, but again, the fish must be monitored for signs of stress.