When you’re creating a home for for your betta fish, a proper betta fish tank should be your number one priority.

I can’t stress the importance of a clean, safe and roomy betta fish tank for a happy and healthy betta fish.

Due to the fact that it is such a popular betta fish tank, the basic five gallon aquarium is what I will use as an example.

Betta's Home
Betta Fish Tank Size

Is a basic five gallon aquarium the best choice for betta fish? The guideline to follow is quite simple, for each inch of adult betta fish, you need one gallon of water. Generally an adult betta is around two to three inches in length, so a minimum betta fish tank should be three gallons. Most caring “betta parents” will add an extra gallon just to be safe so this is why we recommend a three to four gallon tank. That is a betta fish tank that is adequate in size.

If you really care for you finned friend, than you are more magnanimous with his living space and offer a tank that is more than just the minimum, a size where he will gave more than enough room find areas to discover and hide, exercise his fins and avoid boredom. Keep in mind that a tank is a betta fish’s entire life, there are no strolls through the parks for him.

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This is why five gallons is the ideal betta fish tank size. A great starting tank for a single betta would be a five gallon aquarium. There are however a few things that must be done to prepare for the arrival of your betta fish. This is why it is recommended that you gather all your supplies about a week prior to when you are actually getting your betta.

Glass vs. Acrylic

Should you purchase a tank that is glass or acrylic? Both options come with their pros and cons. A glass tank is heavier and if struck with a heavy object, which of course is not recommended, they can break. Of both those materials, glass however is more hygienic. The fact that it is non porous is one of the reasons why traditionally many aquarists have chosen it throughout the years. Glass is also less expensive when compared to acrylic, being as it is scratch resistant you are provided with a clear and beautiful view of the inside of the aquarium for a long, long time.

There are however also advantages to acrylic, other than the fact that it weighs half as much as glass does making it very lightweight, the insulation it provides is around twenty percent better than glass, this means savings on your electric bill. This is why popular models are offered in acrylic.

The Perfect Location

I am assuming that once you set it up, you will not be moving your betta fish tank around. Water weigh quite a bit, a gallon weighs around eight pounds so put some thought into where you will want to set it up. You want an area where there is sufficient space for you to fit comfortably on, nowhere where it can easily be ran into or pushed off.
It should not be placed in direct reach of an air conditioner or heating unit or in direct sunlight. Keep in mind that one fo the most important factors in betta care is consistency of the betta’s water temperature. Place it where during the day it will receive enough light yet during the night, it will be dark and quiet. Bettas do sleep and they need their rest. You should also keep it away from constant vibrations, for example stereos or washing machines.

Sand and Gravel

If you are considering incorporating live plants, in order for the plants to grow their roots, you need a layer of sand in the bottom of the aquarium. Also look into whether the future tank mates for you betta enjoy burrowing in the floor of the aquarium, if this is the case, you will require sand for them. The best option is usually a good mixture of gravel and sand.

Your sand and gravel can be purchased at a pet shop near you or online. Purchase the stuff withi is “approved for use in an aquarium” or the betta will most likely be poisoned. The majority of these products contain chemicals and additives that you betta would not be able to tolerate.

Tank Decorations

Never place any metal objects in the betta fish tank. Most metals tend to let off chemicals that are poisonous into the water, fabric plants are another thing that should not be placed in your betta fish tank. In order to protect your betta’s fins, all tank decorations must be smooth.
Bettas could get stuck in small holes in tank decorations so watch out for that, they must be encouraged to explore in a risk free area. Bettas love privacy so make sure that there are decorations in the tank that they can hide behind.

Set Up Your Tank Before You Purchase Your Fish

The most important step of all is this one — purchase your tank, set it up and make sure that you age and condition the water at least one week prior to placing your fish in its home, if you can longer than that, even better. One of the most common mistakes rookie aquarist make is trying to do it all at once.


Photo courtesy of Kate Brady