How To Choose & Set Up The Best Betta Fish Tank

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Blue Betta swimming (caption: How to Choose the Right Betta Fish Tanks)The Betta is a popular aquarium fish around the globe. From amateurs to professionals, there is something about these brightly colored fish that makes them appealing to many.

Before you dive into getting one, there are many things to consider when keeping a healthy Betta fish, including what type of betta fish tanks to keep the fish in.

Learn the factors to consider when setting up a tank to house a Betta fish including the size, water conditions and potential tank mates.

Article Overview

Betta Fish Behavior

Before we get into the specifics of what to look for in a tank, we should give a little more insight into the Betta fish behavior and characteristics.

Aggressive Tendencies

Red beta fish swimmingThe Betta fish is best housed in a solitary environment when kept in captivity due to its aggressive nature when confronted with other fish. Betta fish will attack and generally kill other male fish that have a more fantastic appearance to them. These attacks are typically preceded with puffing out of the fins in an attempt to make itself seem more prominent and then the fish will attack out of territoriality.

When Betta fish attack, it often results in the driving away of one of the other fish. However, in an environment like an aquarium where there is nowhere to run, the fish will often fight to the death.

Should You Keep Female Bettas Separate From Males?

While most commonly these fish are known for the male on male aggression displays, there are also many incidents of male on female aggression.

As a result, it’s generally recommended that male and female Betta fish be kept separated except for mating. Unlike the male, the female can thrive in a large tank with a couple of other females if the tank is large enough.

How To Choose The Right Tank Type

Now that you understand a little more about Betta fish, it’s time to select a tank that is a good fit for you and your lifestyle also taking into consideration your fish’s needs.

There are many things to look for, including:

  • The tank size
  • How much “decoration” to place in the tank
  • Water testing, filtration and heating
  • Other equipment to include in the tank

Since there are hundreds of different types of fish tanks and bowls on the market, deciding which to buy can be overwhelming. So here are things to keep in mind when it comes to shopping.

Optimal Tank Size

Red betta fish in tankBetta fish are typically sold in cups in pet stores which is fine for a short period. However, they do require adequate space to swim. While they would love a vast aquarium, sometimes space is limited, so a smaller tank is perfectly fine. A general rule of thumb is the bigger, the better (especially if you plan to have multiple fish).

Bettas like to exercise, and larger tanks allow them to do so. It’s better for their health to get activity and a larger fish tank also allows for higher water quality (smaller tanks get dirty faster than bigger ones). A betta fish tank should be at least one gallon, but ideally it would be five gallons.

Ideal Tank Shape

There are traditional aquariums, round bowls, bow front tanks, tanks with dividers, Zen looking tanks, advanced “bio” tanks… the list goes on and on. The truth of the matter is that the actual size of your fish tank is more of a concern than the type of fish tank that you use. The shape of the tank that you select is more of a vanity factor that concerns you more than it does your fish.

Best Betta Fish Tanks

Now that you know a little bit more about what to look for in a tank, here are some of our recommended picks for best Betta Fish tanks. All but one of the tanks below come in a “kit” that includes everything you need to get started. You still need to supply food and water. We also picked out our favorites for each category to make it easier to decide which is the right fit for you.

Best Modern Design: The Fluval Chi Aquarium – 5 Gallons

Fluval Chi II Aquarium SetView on Amazon

The Fluval Chi aquarium is not specifically designed for Betta fish, but it has everything any Betta fish owner could need to raise a healthy fish. This 5-gallon aquarium is large enough to allow any Betta enough room to roam. It has a small grass-like Zen garden in the bottom of the tank as well as a waterfall type filter that stands out of the top of the tank. It also doubles as a great home décor piece.

This contemporary tank kit comes with the aquarium and base, low voltage LED lighting and filtration system, décor tray with a plant box, foam pad, filter pad, low voltage transformer, transparent pebble holder, natural pebbles, water conditioner, biological aquarium supplement and an instruction manual.


Best Bowl-Shaped Tank: The biOrb Aquarium Kit – 4 Gallons

biOrb aquariumView on Amazon

The biOrb is a 4-gallon spherical tank that sits on a base and features a matching top giving fish a 360-degree view. Made from acrylic, this tank is stronger than glass aquariums but can scratch easily.

This unique round bowl features a 5 step filtration system that is patented by biOrb and guarantees to provide a crystal clear environment for any fish. This biOrb aquarium tank kit comes with the tank, halogen light, gravel, filter, air pump, water chemicals, fish food and an instruction booklet. This tank is available in many different colors.


Best For Small Spaces: Tetra LED Betta Tank – 1.1 Gallons

Tetra LED 1.1-Gallon Betta TankView on Amazon

As mentioned above, the ideal habitat for your betta is 2 gallons or more, but if you are working with a tight space, the Tetra LED 1.1-Gallon Betta is best. Its half-moon shape has a rounded and flat edge to create enough room for your Betta to swim around while also allowing you to put against a wall or window which is great for an office or apartment.

It features a repositionable and removable LED light that fits above or beneath the tank and a lid with a convenient feeding hole. The only downside is it comes without the pebbles and decorative items (sold separately). However, then you can get creative and select the items you wish.


Setting Up Your Betta Fish Tank

Once you have purchased your Betta fish tank, you might be anxious to put your new pet into place soon, but it is critical to ensure that the tank is set up correctly to create the ideal environment for your fish to thrive.

Step 1: Clean Your Tank

Before setting up your Betta fish tank, it is essential to clean it with warm water, reducing contaminants in the tank when you fill it.

Step 2: Clean Your Gravel

Gravel is an integral part of any aquarium, but frequently, when packaged for pet stores, dust will settle in the gravel. So it is essential to wash it thoroughly before placing it in your aquarium. Gravel can easily be cleaned using a small hole sieve or colander. Place the gravel within it and allow the water to flow through it.

While allowing water to pass through the gravel, use your hand to move it around to ensure it all gets cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom. Once it has been cleaned adequately, the gravel can be placed in the bottom of the tank.

Step 3: Add Décor And Plant Life

Editor’s Pick
Sinking Ceramic Betta LogSinking Ceramic Betta Log Cave

It is vital to add plants and décor not only for decoration but to provide spaces for your fish to feel like they are in their natural element. Excellent additions to your tank include “caves” that your Betta fish can swim through and use for shelter if they choose to “hide” and tall grass plants that allow your fish to hide within them.

You don’t need to fill your tank to the brim with décor and plant life. When placing your décor, remember that your Betta fish MUST have access to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. The fish breathes air not only through the water but also from its surface. A Betta fish tank that is too overcrowded is going to make it difficult for your fish to come to the surface of the water to breathe.

Step 4: Fill Your Tank

The best way to fill your Betta fish tank is to put tap water into a container and allow it to sit out for 24 hours. Letting the water sit out helps for a couple of reasons: to help reduce the chlorine content in the water and to enable it to come to room temperature.

Tap water usually has chemicals added to make it safe for humans to drink, but some chemicals may be harmful to your Betta. So depending on the quality of your municipality’s water, it may be a good idea to use a water conditioner or treatment to ensure that it doesn’t contain any elements that could be harmful to your fish (i.e. chlorine).

Another option is to use bottled spring water with the chlorine already removed, but you’ll want to make sure the PH levels are between 6.5-7.5 (see next step below).

Step 5: Check The pH Of Your Tank Water

Editor’s Pick
API Freshwater PH Test KitAPI Freshwater PH Test Kit

Betta fish have specific requirements when it comes to the pH of the tank. To keep a healthy tank, try to maintain a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. Most municipalities maintain water pH levels between 6.5 and 8.5, based on EPA guidelines. You can purchase pH testing kits that will allow you to test your water and adjust it as needed.

Step 6: Filter Your Tank Water

Every healthy fish aquarium requires a filter designed for the specific size of that aquarium (verify the size before purchase). Before placing your Betta fish in your tank, it is best to allow water to filter for a day or two and to test the water’s pH levels to ensure that your fish is not going to be stressed out by the levels of pollutants in its new environment.

Step 7: Heat Your Tank Water (Optional)

Editor’s Pick
Tetra HT Aquarium HeaterTetra HT Aquarium Heater

Not everyone chooses to heat their Betta fish tank. However, if you do decide to add a heater in your aquarium, it is critical to make sure that you place a thermometer in the tank as well to monitor its temperature.


A malfunctioning heater can quickly produce water that is too hot, possibly killing your Betta fish. You do not have to heat your Betta fish tank, but it is recommended to keep water temperature between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also want to place the tank away from any HVAC vents.

Step 8: Add Your Betta Fish

Last but not least, it’s time to add your Betta fish to its new home. It is important to remember that merely throwing your new fish into its fish tank will most often result in shock. So you should always acclimate your fish to its new environment. When you purchase your Betta fish, it will come with its own water that is likely to be significantly different from the water that you have set up in your fish tank.

Acclimating Your Fish To Its New Home

When you bring your new Betta fish home, allow it to remain in its original water and float them together in your aquarium. This will allow the temperature of the two bodies of water to reach the same temperature so your fish will not be shocked when placed in its new tank.

Once the temperature of the two water sources are the same, you should begin to add the new tank water to the original fish container a little at a time to adjust your fish to the new water. Once the majority of your fish’s water is new tank water, you can release your Betta fish into its new home!

Video: How To Introduce A Betta Fish To It’s New Tank

In this video by Creative Pet Keeping, you’ll learn how to introduce your Betta fish to a new tank safely.

Debate Between Real vs Plastic Plant Life

Plant life is important in setting up a Betta fish tank because they thrive in a “natural” environment.

There are 2 options: real or plastic plants. Real plants create a natural environment for your fish while also providing additional oxygen to the water. However, many people prefer to use plastic plant life because it keeps the tank cleaner. Plastic’s static nature doesn’t break down or contribute to dirt in the tank.

Choosing the right plants for your tank is easy, and any pet store that carries a good selection of fish and aquarium supplies will be able to help you in selecting the right one for your tank.

Additional Betta Fish Tips

Here are a few more things to keep in mind so you can make sure your new pet lives a long and healthy life.

Bluel beta fish swimming in tankDo Not Keep Your Betta Fish In A Vase

While keeping your Betta fish in a vase may look pretty, it is not the preferred environment for any fish. While fish can live for a period in stagnant water, it does not thrive and will not be as healthy as it would be in a larger pool of water. Keeping a Betta fish in a vase will result in rapid stagnation of water in addition to insufficient room for your fish to exercise, eventually resulting in an unhealthy fish.

Avoid Cheap, Flimsy Tanks

It is vital to make sure your tank is made from a solid, high-quality material that will withstand wear and use over time – not cheap plastic. Flimsy tanks do not hold up well to the use of a heater and can be extremely dangerous.

Do Not Aerate The Tank

Aeration with air stones might make a tank look pretty, but is not recommended for Bettas. Betta fish are used to swimming in still water and aeration can create too much turbulence for your fish, resulting in stress from the amount of strength needed to swim against the current.

Do Not Use Distilled Water

Many people believe that using distilled water is the best way to fill a tank because it creates a pure environment for the fish. This is not true. Fish require specific vitamins and minerals that can be found in regular tap water and distilled water filters out these essential elements, denying your fish life-sustaining nutrients.

Betta Fish Infographic

Check out this graphic we made that summarizes tips and how to set up your tank.

Betta Fish Infographic

To share this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below:

More On Betta Fish

Once you get your Betta acclimated, you will enjoy watching it swim around. However, if it starts acting unusual or showing signs of illness, you might want to reference our article on how to spot and treat common Betta fish diseases. We also have an article with some Betta fish facts.

Are you looking for a Betta fish tank? Had good results with one? Share your thoughts, feedback and advice below.

NOTE: While we have provided some information about recommended tanks, we are not certified fish experts, so we look to our community (in comments below) to help answer each other’s questions regarding specific fish tank experiences.

About The Author:

Sadie is a vegetarian and an avid recycler who loves riding her bike and practicing yoga. She is passionate about the planet, conserving life’s precious resources and making the world a better place for generations to come. A big fan of up-cycling, Sadie loves yard sales and vintage stores to find new uses for old things. She loves to cook, clean and enjoy the many parks and outdoor spaces in DC where she currently resides with her husband.

Her expertise has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, and other regional news organizations.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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January 4, 2020 9:55 pm

I have a male and female in my 123 gal tank, naturally planted, established eco system with guppys, zebra danios, black skirt and red tetras, khuli loaches And shrimp..all are doing fine. My male lets everyone do their things. Most enjoyable for me, even with doubters. But each is a different experience. I also have approx.20 yrs personal aquarium experience in fish keeping tropicals.

September 4, 2019 7:23 am

If you don’t have the space or money for a proper tank (5 gal or more) then you should not have a Betta or any fish.

August 11, 2019 8:06 am

I have a five gallon tank with a filter, plastic bonsai tree in middle. I don’t have a heater. I clean hen it gets dirty. That’s about all I do and my fish “blue” has a 4year birthday today!! I have never had a fish before and didn’t know he would live that long, but blue has become just like a dog or cat to my son and I.

February 18, 2019 12:26 am

Hi. Some of your info was nice, and your review on different tank set ups was a help. However:
1) A betta really does need about 5 gallons (more is better)

2) Plants should NOT be plastic. Silk is acceptable, but with plastic you run the risk of damaging their fins. The best option is live plants. They actually make the water cleaner for the fish. It may look dirtier, but it takes more upkeep. Even looking dirtier, though, it has better oxygen.

3) Yes, a betta does need a heater. Unless one lives in a warm climate. The water needs to be in a range right around 76 degrees (F).

Can a betta SURVIVE in the conditions you described? Yes. Should it? No. It would be much like a person living their entire life in a jail cell, but without ever having a chance to do so much as visit an exercise yard. A person CAN survive like that, but it would be miserable and unhealthy.

Stuart Stephens
January 28, 2019 7:15 am

I feel the luxury tank #2 has limited access to water serfic . Betta actually have “lungs” and need access to the serfic. I know I am not spelling serfic right.

December 10, 2018 12:00 am

I had a Betta Fish several years ago and enjoyed “Fish” for two years. I had him in a 1/2 gallon tank without filtration or a heater and he seemed to love it. THen I heard these fish need a filter, so I moved him to a 1 gallon tank with a filter. He hated the current and sat behind a live plant 24/7. After a month, I put him back into his smaller tank where he swam happily.

I changed 50% of his water weekly and cleaned the tank. Now I hear all this stuff about 5 gallon tanks, heaters and filters. Is this something new?

August 21, 2019 11:27 pm
Reply to  Lassie

The movement of the water with the addition of the filter made my betta in a ?5 gallon tank miserable. He stayed near the bottom and didn’t fair well either. I turned filter down low but it was awful. I still will try again with a new betta. You tried, at least.

Mauricio Rendon
March 7, 2019 2:16 pm
Reply to  Lassie

I think you don’t love your Betta… A half gallon of water it’s a terrible prison for any fish. With no filter you have to change the water at least every 2 days, because the ammonia levels going up fast in bowls or small containers without a filter and the ammonia it’s the most dangerous chemical for the fish. Nowdays there are some good 3 gallons fish tanks for $50 with everything: Lights, filter and pump. I think your betta deserves it.

November 25, 2018 6:54 am

To really be an Earth Friend you shouldn’t advertise those horrible little containers they put Bettas in. 5 gallons is the bare minimum. Otherwise the tank is too small to cycle and the water quality it’s too difficult to control. These fishes’ beauty has been their downfall. They aren’t ornaments or things you can forget. They’re living things. I have mine in 29g / 110 litre tank and he loves it. They’re very intelligent fish that need stimulation.

Sarah Jin
August 22, 2018 6:11 pm

Hi, I recently got three female betta fish from my friend. I’m really worried about one of them. She is laying at the bottom of the tank every time I see her. I got them about ten days ago, and at first I could see her swimming around sometimes. Then I went away for a week while my brother fed them every day. When I came back, she was like this. A couple days ago, her eyes developed white spots on them. I also think her fins are clamped; they look shriveled up. Today, I noticed that her gills are a bit red as well.

The tank I keep them in is 20 gallons with a filter. I use conditioned tap water and do a partial water change every week. I don’t have a heater or testers but my house temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit on average. There are no plants or ornaments since I just got them, but I am planning to get some along with other fish of different species. There is no tank lighter either. I feed them about 15 pellets every day, but I haven’t seen the sick one eating. The friend that I got them from did all the same things as me except she also used aquarium salt, is that the problem? I tried to do some research but none of it really helped. I can’t tell if it’s clamped fins, cloudy eye (the eye doesn’t seem to be protruding outwards), inflamed gills, or all three. How do I treat my betta?

Thank you so much for helping!

January 2, 2019 12:40 am
Reply to  Sarah Jin

“sorority” set ups place an incredible amount of stress on female bettas especially when they aren’t heavily planted. that is likely the reason for her lethargic behavior. i would strongly recommend seperate tanks and certainly not introducing any more fish into an already stressful and territorial environment (also I notice now that this comment is a quite a few months old but still i hope this information is useful to you or to someone else)

July 17, 2018 7:02 pm

I have been researching beta fish and what they need to survive as i have been planning to get one for a while. I have had beta fish before but it has been a while and there are new products that help take better care of them. I have a 1 gallon tank(it is round and looks a bit like a large vase, it is not a vase i was assured it was safe for a fish) already and am planning on buying a live plant as well as a rock cave so the fish can live more comfortably, but i have been told it is highly reccomended i get a filter for said tank. Sadly due to the round shape of the tank and smaller size i am unable to find a good filter that would fit comfortably in the tank do you have any recommendations.

Troy Tholen
November 26, 2018 7:45 pm
Reply to  Riley

Get a different tank…

January 2, 2018 10:58 pm

Do Betta fish need to have heaters to survive and stay healthy?

I got my Betta fish today and he seems to be happy but I’m wondering if the water is too cold for him!

March 3, 2018 7:03 pm
Reply to  BettaFishLover

25.5°C-26.5 C apparently but I think it’s somewhat larger than that, what’s your room temp and does it have any sudden changes?

December 27, 2017 10:53 am

Also, how long should i run the tank before i get my fish?

December 27, 2017 10:36 am

I got a 5 gallon hexagonal tank for my betta for Christmas, my mom keeps saying I don’t need a heater. Is the tank ok for my betta, and does it need a filter?

April 28, 2018 2:06 am
Reply to  holly

Your does need a heater and a filter. Make sure the water temp is 25c to 28c and the filter flow is not too strong as this will stress out your betta

October 23, 2017 4:15 pm

i Just got a betta fish, she is a female and her name is pumpkin. I clean her tank every other week . I had her at the window with two balloon plants in her tank , after about three weeks i noticed that algae started growing in the tank and it was caught in her fin. I was a bit concern until a colleague of mine told me to remove her from the window. I did and i got her a bigger tank, she is now on my desk and is doing beautiful. I enjoy watching her swim. She is beautiful but sometimes she scares me when she stay still in the tank for a period of time.

September 27, 2017 10:51 am

my betta is in a 10 gallon and he loves it. but i dont use a heater, i have had him for a year and he is always active even tho the water is cold.

July 3, 2018 1:24 pm
Reply to  addison

Hi, your fish may be living but that doesn’t mean it’s thriving. You’ve been lucky. Shame on Amy Brennan! It is extremely irresponsible to tell people that you do not need a heater for Betta fish. To state an opinion and inform people it is just an opinion is one thing. To mislead people by stating a heater is optional can cause Betta fish to live miserably and possibly die. This is a tropical fish and and need to be kept at tropical temps to live happily and thrive. Look elsewhere for your advice! Humans become very active when they’re freezing and don’t want to die of hypothermia. I’m not an expert by any means but this woman doesn’t know what she’s talking about. A quick search of other sights will tell you how important it is to keep your Betta at consistent tropical temps, what they should be and so on. Please do your Betta a favor and look it up elsewhere. No where else have I read that it’s not important to make sure your water is heated to a certain range and stay there.

August 1, 2017 2:36 am

Really 5 gallons is the minimum. Anything less is definitely putting stress on your fish and making maintenance unnecessarily difficult. Especially in your date is tell type is especially large like halfmoons or double tails. Most people never think of it but the more space your fish’s tail takes up the more room they’ll need to maneuver around. Not to mention you have King bettas which are normally particularly large in body and require even more space than usual. Also your article should make perfectly clear that any tank less than 10 gallons is probably not suitable for a community or sorority tank. Bettas need their space and the larger the tank once you start adding other fish, the better. Also your article should explain that aquariums absolutely need a lid because bettas are Infamous for jumping out of their tanks.

December 27, 2017 10:37 am
Reply to  Rose

Is a 5 gallon too small?

July 20, 2017 4:32 am

Can you please at least correct the minimum tank size? Putting a betta in a 1-gallon tank is just animal cruelty.

Also, a heater is only optional if your climate is warm enough even at night.

Lilla Murazo
June 24, 2017 1:40 pm

so much information in this article is wrong. Bettas need a heater. They are tropical fish and come from Thailand. If you get a thermometer then you can watch it make sure that your tank isn’t too hot or too cold. Bettas need 2.5 gallons as a minimum anything less is cruel. I would never call 6 gallons a “luxury”. The best tank that you could get is a 10 gallon. Buying a 10 gallon, filter, lid, heater, and decorations would cost less than any of the tanks you show. Finally, you need to test more than pH. Don’t get me wrong, pH control is important but just as important (or even more important) are Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

June 28, 2018 4:12 pm
Reply to  Lilla Murazo

I’ve had my Betta, Oscar, for almost 4 years in a round 2 gal bowl, no filter, no heater. He’s just fine… I change his water every other Friday. He comes to the top of the water when i walk by. He’s awesome!

August 1, 2017 2:24 am
Reply to  Lilla Murazo

Right. I bought a 10 gallon tank at Walmart for my female juvenile betta to grow into and it’s cheaper than any tank kits I saw under 3 gallons at Petco

June 13, 2017 3:32 am

Modern Fish Bowls designs come with very amazing features. They come with many decorative possibilities. The glass fish bowls are the modern introduction on the market.

June 11, 2017 5:44 pm

Why on earth would you say a heater is optional, and emphasize it? Bettas can survive cooler temperatures, but in order to thrive they need stable temperatures (emphasis on STABLE) and minimum 76 degrees up to 80 degrees. I hear so many folks complain that their betta isn’t active – it’s because it’s too cold. You can’t leave a light on to warm the water, first it’s not capable of maintaining stable temps and second, the fish need dark to sleep properly. The recommendation of 1 gallon as a minimum tank size also wants to make me put the author in a cold closet, throw her a chicken wing from time to time and see how she fares. Survive? Sure. Thrive? I doubt it.

Some of the content here is good – let’s not throw the baby out with the 68 degree water – but please revise it so that it accurately reflects what the fish needs.

May 25, 2017 12:34 am

it must be remembered that the Beta is found in rice patties, and although only knee deep, stretch out in length and width forrounded distance , and has both short term and long term memory capabilities.
It is not a fish you can leave alone for hours at a time,day after day.
Mine loved car trips to watch the ocean waves, and an occasional viewing at the computer web videos of underwater scenes at home. He would swim with the video and then swim up into his homemade floating couch where he would fall asleep watching the video. I loved him so.

May 25, 2017 12:00 am

I’ve got a rescue in a 2.5 gallon tank now, and looking for a bigger forever home for him. I’ve heard good things about the Fluval Edge, I love the surface area, but the price tag made me hesitate. It really looks to be the best, though, and I just love the way it looks.

One quick thing, though….

Heating is optional for a betta? You don’t have to heat the tank to have a healthy betta?


I don’t keep my house at 80 degrees, do any of you? If you don’t, the tank needs to be heated.

I mean, I guess it’s not super necessary. I suppose you could get lucky and have a betta survive in cold water. Sure, it happens.

My mom ate nothing but Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches for two years and didn’t have major physical health issues because of it.

But I wouldn’t go as far as saying you don’t have to eat anything else to remain healthy.


The first thing you need to know before owning a betta: keep them separate. Yeah you could do a sorority, but if you don’t have tons of experience, you’re going to kill all the girls, so don’t try it. Keep them apart.

The second thing you need to know before owning a betta: 1 gallon is the absolute minimum, and expect it to kill your fish after 2-3 years (yeah, the 3-5 year lifespan is straight garbage, they can live up to 8-10. I have a 7-year-old female right now). They need AT LEAST 2.5, preferably 5, and it needs a filter.

And the third thing? HEAT THE DAMN TANK.

That’s not optional, unless you’re cool with abusing intelligent, sentient animals who remember and recognize faces, show preferences for food, toys, and people, can be trained to do surprisingly complex tasks, and express an array of emotions. One of my boys can literally count to 3. They can also problem solve and have been trained to figure out how to solve mazes.

They’re not particularly smart, but they’re smarter than most people realize. They’re not dumb.

If you’re cool with keeping a Great Dane in a 3-foot kennel for its entire life, then by all means, get a 1 gallon, unfiltered, unheated tank for your betta.

August 1, 2017 2:29 am
Reply to  Jen

If you want to look for an affordable tank don’t forget to search thrift stores. You’ll be surprised when you can find. You might find a tank as big as 10 or 20 gallons for a fraction of the price they would go for at any pet store. You might or might not need to add yourself but it’s worth it for a bigger tank. I found a 29 gallon for $12 complete with a filter and a hood. Granted the light needed to be replaced as it turned out but it wasn’t nearly as expensive as then 10 gallon tanks at the pet stores I was previously considering. And it enabled me to have a nice peaceful community tank

April 14, 2017 5:35 pm

Please do NOT use plastic plants for your Betta. The roughness of the plastic can tear their fins to shred. Live or silk plants are best. If you absolutely have to use plastic, it needs to be able to pass the hose test. Aka, take some pantie hose with you to the pet store. If the plastic catches or snags on the hose? It’s too rough.

December 27, 2017 10:25 am
Reply to  LSama

Yeah and if they do tear their fins they can get fin rot and other diseases. If you want plants, silk plants or real ones are the options.

December 27, 2016 4:02 pm

is disgusting. If you have a budget and all you want is look, get a damn rock. Do not have an animal suffer in a tiny little tank because you think it’s /pretty/.

January 6, 2017 11:02 pm
Reply to  Silja

That’s what I thought!!! some of the tanks are TOO tiny for the betta. half a gallon??? really? even a gallon is small. absolute minimum size is 2.5 gallon, but 5 gallon is minimum for betta. But chi aquarium is not good even tho it is 5 gallon. tiny surface for betta to get to surface and catch some air. Flow seems strong too. I wish this article goes down. Terrible choice for betta fish.

January 10, 2017 10:11 pm
Reply to  Song

Crap……… mine is 1/4 of a gallon

December 27, 2017 10:40 am
Reply to  Guest

Hurry up and get a bigger one! I hardly know anything about bettas, but they need a much bigger space than that.

March 22, 2017 1:19 pm
Reply to  Guest

Now is not too late to get a larger tank for your Betta! I would recommend a 10 gallon– the smaller the tank, the more concentrated the bacteria. I recently lost my Betta to ammonia poisoning in a 5 gallon. My mom had the same trouble with her Betta but we were able to save hers because he was in a 15 gallon and therefore didn’t get such a high dose of ammonia.

This article has some misinformation in it.
What to do:
1.Get a tank, filter, thermometer, and heater. I wouldn’t recommend starter kits, they are usually lower quality and break easier. Also, the filter has to be low powered since Bettas aren’t strong swimmers. I read online that you can put panty hose on the filter suction to stop the Betta’s fins from getting caught and ripped. The thermometer has to heat between 76-82 degrees. I think 78 is perfect.

2. Get decorations/gravel: If you’re going for fake, get the Nat Geo silk plants. Be very careful. Bettas are very fragile and any plastic plants will rip their fins. I had that problem with soft plastic grass.

3. Get Betta Safe/ Safecoat: makes tap safe for Betta. (Yes, tap is better for Bettas) Bettas are adaptable fish and can survive in basic water, even if they prefer acidic.

4. LET YOUR TANK CYCLE FOR 2 WEEKS: The article doesn’t mention this. Newly set up tanks don’t have beneficial bacteria that breaks down ammonia and waste. Also, new tanks have air pockets. These can harm and kill your Betta. I didn’t know about that when I got my first Betta, luckily he didn’t die.

This should increase your Betta’s life span by years

Good Luck! 🙂

My Aquarium Club has good information. Check it out if you need any help.

July 29, 2019 10:22 pm
Reply to  Younce

Hi! This is rather old i know, but I am looking at getting beta for my room. I’m reading this and finding out i went about it VERY wrong last time i had a beta, (he lived for two years in a small tank with no heater, no filter and no light) is there a way to get a link to the aquarium club you mentioned?
Thank you,

December 27, 2017 10:26 am
Reply to  Younce

i think i will

Masood Rayan
October 11, 2016 11:19 pm

Contrary to popular opinion, fish bowls and vases are NOT easy to care for. Remember, any container under ten gallons, whether it is sold as a “tank” or as a “bowl,” and whether it is filtered or not, is small enough that it should be treated as a small tank or bowl. Also, any tank that is not filtered, regardless of its size, should be treated as a small tank or bowl.

October 10, 2018 10:52 pm
Reply to  Masood Rayan

yeah, I was lucky I got a little beta when,I was 10, it was just a little plastic tank with one decoration in it, I’m surprise (looking back) that he lived so long

March 22, 2017 1:25 pm
Reply to  Masood Rayan

I agree!

Bowls have to have their water changed twice a day. My tank is infected so I am keeping my new Betta in a bowl. I do not reccomend!!! It is a pain to maintain. Not to mention it shortens their lives by years when in small, unfiltered, unheated tanks.

I just had another Betta die in my 5 gallon tank. Bacteria/ ammonia/ nitrates/ nitrites are more concentrated in smaller tanks. Both my mother’s tank and mine suffered from ammonia poisoning AND fungus from introducing new fish. Her Betta survived, however, because he is in a 15 gallon tank.

Hanabi です
October 10, 2016 4:29 am

Should I have a lid of my betta fish bowl?

December 27, 2017 10:42 am
Reply to  Hanabi です

Yes! They are infamous for jumping out of their tanks.

March 22, 2017 1:33 pm
Reply to  Hanabi です

Bettas can jump 3 inches. My family learned that the hard way. I am temporarily keeping my Betta in a Bowl because her tank is messed up. I kept it partially covered first with a washcloth partially covering the top at first, then I covered it with two thin peices of plastic wrap just narrow enough to keep her from jumping out, but wide enough to feed her and for her to breath. I think the washcloth is safer since it is softer. There are other solutions though, you just have to use your resources. 🙂

If possible, I would upgrade your Betta to a tank. It will increase his/her life by up to 3 years. I have heard of Bettas living up to 10 years. One thing this articles doesn’t mention about setting up tanks is that the tank should be left vacant and running for 2 weeks to cycle it and get bacteria in it that eats ammonia and waste. It is also inadvisable to put the Betta in right away, since there are air pockets in new tanks which can kill the fish. (I got lucky with my first Betta when I did that)

Sadie Cornelius
October 10, 2016 10:11 am
Reply to  Hanabi です

It’s probably a good idea to keep the fish protected and safe!