Known for their striking looks and playful nature, Betta fish can be wonderful pets. To thrive, though, they need a tank that is both the proper size and outfitted with health- and mood-boosting features.
The Size of a Betta Fish’s Tank
Betta fish require a tank that gives them enough room to swim around, explore and hide. Additionally, a tank that is too small may contribute to toxin buildup. That’s why experts recommend a glass or plastic tank that is at least five gallons or larger.
Positioning and Filling the Tank
Your tank will be quite heavy and tough to move when it is full of water, so be careful when picking where it will go. Choose a sturdy platform for it, and then fill the tank once you are sure about the position.
Do not use unfiltered tap water to fill the tank. Instead, use water that has been treated with aquarium dechlorination fluid or spring water that is the proper pH (more information on that topic is available here). Be sure to perform a fishless cycle before adding the Betta.
Keeping the Water Clean and the Fish Healthy
Equipping the tank with the proper accessories will help the Betta fish stay safe and the water healthy. For instance, consider these necessities:
- A lid. This will keep the fish from escaping.
- A gentle filter. Betta fish may find strong currents tough to navigate. Good options include sponge filters and hang on back filters.
- A heater. As tropical fish, Bettas absolutely require warm water. The heater should keep the tank between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Heater models with thermostats will make it easy to monitor the water’s temperature.
- Smooth or small gravel. This will keep the Betta from hurting itself on the bottom of the tank.
Decorations for the Tank
Beyond the necessities, certain decorations can make your tank a wonderful place for the Betta to live. Plants are a great addition, as are ornaments. (Be sure to choose ornaments that do not have potentially fin-snagging features.) Setting up plants and decorations is a way to give the Betta places to hide, look around and rest. As a bonus, live plants make for cleaner water.
Finally, timed LED lights can mimic a natural light cycle, helping the betta fish sleep, and making it easier for you to enjoy your fish!