How to Set up a Betta Tank - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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How to Set up a Betta Tank

I keep betta fish, and I'm dedicated to ensuring that they have safe and enjoyable tanks.

Discover the recommended setup for your betta fish tank to ensure that your fish lead long, happy lives.

Discover the recommended setup for your betta fish tank to ensure that your fish lead long, happy lives.

The Best Betta Tank Setup

One of the most common questions that people ask when it comes to bettas is, "What's the best betta tank setup?" Alongside food, perhaps the most important factor that affects a betta's well-being is the quality of its water and its tank or aquarium setup. In this article, I'm going to discuss the importance of having a good tank setup for your pet betta and how you can maintain the health and beauty of your fish by giving him the best home he could have.

Tank Size Matters

While it's true that bettas can survive regardless of the tank setup (thanks to their labyrinth organ which allows them to breath oxygen even in small bodies of water), size still matters. Most betta experts agree that, in order for bettas to live full, quality lives, they have to be housed in tanks no smaller than 2.5 gallons. And with that, I mean housing ONE male betta per tank.

Bettas can live an average of 2 years, but I have heard of several accounts of bettas living up to 5 years because they have been kept in large tanks. To give you an idea on the best betta tank setup you can choose from, feel free to read along. We'll go over the types of tank setups from best to worst.

Here's a video of my red halfmoon betta swimming happily in his 5-gallon tank.

Best: Individual Tank (2.5 to 5 Gallons)

I believe, and most betta experts would agree, that this is the best tank setup for your betta. Filtered or unfiltered, what makes small individual tanks an excellent choice is that they are easier to clean and maintain. If you wish to include a filtering system, make sure you choose a model that has a flow control. Strong currents from power filters can hinder your betta from building bubble nests (which they love to do!).

Corner filters are also good, but stay away from undergravel filters as much as possible especially if you are using a tank smaller than 5 gallons. With undergravel filters, you are required to take everything out of your tank (pebbles, plants, accessories, everything!) every time you need to perform a full water change so it is not advisable.

Extra Maintenance Is Needed If You Don't Use a Filter

It's also okay not to put a filter on your tank just like in my case. However, you have to understand that dirt and ammonia can easily build up in smaller tanks especially when they are not filtered. Therefore, if you decide not to put a filter in your small tank, make sure you perform FULL water changes on a regular basis. For 2.5 to 4 gallon tanks, I suggest doing FULL water changes every 3-5 days. For 5 gallon tanks, you can do water changes every 5-7 days, provided that you replace at least 25 percent of the water once within that period to maintain the quality of your water.

Should You Add a Heater?

When it comes to adding heaters, I suggest you only add one if you are living in countries that experience cold seasons. Since I live in Asia, I don't put heaters to any of my tanks because the temperature ranges from 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. One advice in adding heaters: Don't add one if your tank is smaller than 5 gallons since most heaters can heat up water in small tanks really fast and may kill your betta.

Second Best: Individual Tank (1 Gallon or Less)

I consider this setup as second best because most of the breeders I know keep their bettas in tanks this size. This is the perfect setup if you are a breeder and are keeping 200 plus bettas in your home. You definitely don't have to put a filter for this setup since it's too small to have one, so that means you have to perform FULL water changes every 2-3 days.

Not so Good: Divided Tank

I haven't tried this setup yet but what I've heard and read from those who have is that it is not a very good tank setup for your betta. The problem with this setup is that even though two or more male bettas have dividers to separate them, they are sharing the same water. When one of your bettas get sick, there's a huge chance that the others will get contaminated. So if you're planning to go for this kind setup, forget it.

Not Recommended: Community Tank

This setup is pretty similar to the divided tank, only that it doesn't use any dividers. The problem with this setup is that your betta is going to share the same thank with other types of tropical fish, and since bettas are aggressive in nature, they can go and attack other fish smaller than themselves. Or if you put them together with other aggressive fish like tiger barbs, the tables can turn and they can fall victim to these fin nipping fish.

Finally, just like in divided tanks, your betta is going to share the same water with other fish, which means they have a higher chance of acquiring disease. While this kind of setup may seem to be attractive, I don't recommend it at all.

Another video of one of my bettas in a 5-gallon tank setup.

Performing Water Changes for Betta Tanks

Next to food, water quality is the best determining factor of the health and beauty of your betta. Most betta diseases are a result of poor water quality, and could be avoided through regular water changes.

"Massive" Water Changes

Believe it or not, many betta experts agree that the best way to maintain the quality of the fins of long-finned bettas such as halfmoons and crowntails is by performing massive water changes. And by massive, they mean changing the water of your betta's tank as frequent as every day!

This may not apply to you if you are only keeping your betta exclusively as a pet, but if you wish to maintain the beauty of your show type bettas, then there's no other way around it but to maintain your betta's water quality through regular water change. So how exactly do you change the water of your betta's tank?

I have here a table of different tank sizes and how frequent you should change their water:

Tank Size Frequency of Water Change

1 gallon and below --------------------------------------------------------------2 to 3 days

2.5 to 5 gallons (unfiltered)----------------------------------------------------5 to 7 days

5 gallons and up (filtered)------------------------------------------------------Once a month (25% weekly)

Tips on Changing the Water

When performing water changes, I suggest taking out everything and changing 100 percent of the water. Unlike other tropical fish, bettas are selectively bred, and their fins are highly sensitive to dirty water. You also don't have to worry about stressing them when doing 100% percent water changes because the rule that says you have to leave at least 10 or 20% of the water unchanged does not apply to bettas.

Always use aged water for your bettas, and make sure to add water conditioner before putting your betta back inside the tank. Your tap water may contain chlorine and other elements that might be harmful to your betta, so you would want to treat it first with a water dechlorinator. Water dechlorinators are fast-acting and can eliminate chlorine and chloramines from the water within minutes, but still, aging your water or letting it settle for a day or two before using it is still necessary to ensure its quality.

Final Thoughts on Adding Tank Accessories

Tank accessories such as substrate, live/plastic plants, heater, and filtration system are a great addition to any betta tank. However, you have to consider your goal for keeping a betta first before deciding on adding them. Are you keeping bettas for the sake of a hobby? Or, are you breeding them to make some money? If your answer is the former, then I would say it's okay to add accessories to your betta tank setup especially if you're only keeping a few bettas (1-5 maybe).

However, if you are breeding bettas for a living, then there's no point in adding accessories to your tank since you're going to keep more than 200 hundred bettas once your breeding becomes successful. As I have said, most breeders keep their betta fry in tanks smaller than 1 gallon, and since they're going to dispose of them anyway, they leave their tanks bare. This a common practice among betta breeders in Thailand and other parts of Asia.

Meanwhile, here are some of the pros and cons of adding accessories to your betta tank setup:

The Pros

  1. Accessories make your betta tank attractive.
  2. Substrate such as pebbles can serve as biological filtration for your betta tank.
  3. Some accessories can serve as hideout for your betta.

The Cons

  1. Accessories can give you a difficult time cleaning your betta tank especially if you are keeping more than five bettas.
  2. Sharp edges either from plastic/live plants or from other add-ons can cause damage to your betta's fins.
  3. Betta tank accessories can be pretty expensive.
  4. Some live plants are not easy to maintain. When the leaves rot, they can be the cause of disease for your betta.

Furthermore, let me point out to you the only instances when you should add accessories to your betta tank such as filtration system, heater, substrate, plants, and more:

  • If you cannot commit to perform regular water changes for your betta tanks. (Your filtration system helps keep your betta tank clean for weeks)
  • If you are living in countries that experience cold seasons. (You will definitely need a heater to keep your betta water warm)
  • If you are keeping only a few bettas (what I consider few is around 1-5 bettas).

I'm not saying that you cannot add accessories to your betta tanks at all if you are keeping hundreds of bettas. I'm only suggesting that the ideal tank setup for them is the bare tank. Some breeders design a drip system for their bettas for easy water maintenance. In the end, it's up to you to decide what you think and feel is the best betta tank setup for you and your fish. And hopefully, you are fully aware of the pros and cons of each of the betta tank setup that you can choose from.

Betta Trivia: What do you think of this betta tank setup?

Most betta breeders, especially those from Thailand, keep their bettas temporarily in small bottles until they are ready for shipping.

Most betta breeders, especially those from Thailand, keep their bettas temporarily in small bottles until they are ready for shipping.

Feel Free To Drop Some Comments

Katie Anderson on April 15, 2018:

I have a 10 gallon tank (filtered) that is only for my betas. It has everything that a beta tank needs, except a heater. I have one beta in the tank and I'm getting another. She has been in there for a while and doesn't seem to be bothered by the lack of heat, in fact, when she has heat she gets very anxious. Should I buy a heater?

Cje on April 08, 2018:

So my son has everything he needs for his tank and all of his fish keep dying

KM123 on January 20, 2017:

Hi, I am a new Betta owner, and I was just wondering how to properly perform a full water change.

betta addict (author) on June 21, 2014:

@nyorker99: Hi Stacy! I'm so sorry for the late reply...got caught up at work and had no time to visit my page. About your question, the best filter for a 5 gallon tank would be a mini hang-on-back filter. You can get one from Amazon. Or, you can fill the tank with live plants. With them, you won't need any filtration. Good luck!

nyorker99 on May 21, 2014:

Help please....I would like to know what you think the BEST filtration /filter is for my betta in a 5 gallon tank....I have moved him from a 2 gallon into his 5 gallon (which is arriving this week), and I want the best filter possible for him. Any thoughts? Thanks much! Stacy

betta addict (author) on October 06, 2013:

@patricia-c-carlson-3: Hi Patricia! Thanks for the kind comment. This lens was written more than a year ago and some of the stuff I said here, I don't agree on anymore. It's a good thing you noticed them because that means I have to update this lens soon. With regards to keeping bettas in community tanks, for instance, I actually started keeping bettas in one. Right now, I have a betta kept with zebra danios in a heavily-planted community tank and it's doing great. The tank follows the Walstad method, which means there's nothing in it, but water, soil, light, and life. I'm going to post pictures of it soon. Again, thanks for the comment and I'm glad you liked my work.

patricia-c-carlson-3 on September 29, 2013:

Hi - I really appreciate your tips. I think many people think that it's okay to keep bettas in small cups because (sadly) that's how most pet stores sell them. I was glad to hear you say they DO need some space to live a happy life. And, just because they "can" breathe in filthy water does not mean they should, nor does it mean they need filtration. What they need (as you said) is CLEAN, TREATED water VERY often. I think some people are misunderstanding how these animals live in the wild - calm waters - meaning heavy filtrations systems is actually horrible for them. So, using ONLY a filter (if you use one) with a flow control to set it at the lowest flow would be the only humane thing to do. Finally, while I absolutely enjoyed all your excellent tips, I did disagree with one. That was the one about the community tank. What I've found is that OTHER fish are the problem, NOT the betta. Of course NEVER put a betta in with another betta (ever). However, if you put a betta in with even a docile goldfish the betta will end up with horribly shredded fins (or dead), because bettas are slower than almost any other aquarium fish and it WILL be picked on. Having said that, I have had bettas live very nicely with plecostomus (plecos) and also with corydorases (cory catfish - sweetest tank fish EVER!). If you choose to try to put either of the other two fish in with a betta, you do have to have filtration and it MUST be set to LOW flow and you DO need to change the water often (just as mentioned in the article). I have happily kept 1 (ONE) betta, 1 cory and one placo in a 10 gallon filtered tank set on VERY low flow.Bettas are one of the most beautiful and easy to keep fish and also one of the most abused fish kept. Thanks again for the great article helping to clear up much bad information.

'Vikk Simmons from Houston on September 08, 2013:

When I was a kid I loved Bettas. Haven't had any since but I've often thought about it. Great information.

betta addict (author) on June 12, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Skasha. Filers are good, but they are not always necessary. Try searching for Walstad aquarium setup online and you'll see that this setup works perfectly and includes nothing but garden soil, lots of aquarium plants, and a good number of fishes.

betta addict (author) on June 12, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Lori! Thanks for sharing your opinion. I wrote this lens some two years ago, and over time, my ideas about betta tank setups have changed a bit. Today, I believe there are pros and cons to each of the setup. In the end, it all comes down to what works for you. Continue using whatever setup works for you. Good luck!

anonymous on June 12, 2013:

I disagree with your claim about divided tanks; it should be number two on the list. My two bettas live in a divided 20 gallon long, so each has about 10 gallons worth of space. They are big, healthy boys. If you're a good fish owner, your fish will not get sick, or at least you'll catch it early enough to remove the betta and treat it in a hospital tank.

anonymous on May 18, 2013:

Betta should only be kept in tanks with filters! It is cruel to do so otherwise.

betta addict (author) on March 28, 2013:

@anonymous: I use bio filters for my breeding tanks...they're the best option...good luck!

anonymous on March 28, 2013:

Hi,I need a filter for breeding tank can u suggest which will be good.

Resident-Nerd on February 25, 2013:

Very nice lens. I really like bettas and have a few tanks myself. Thanks

betta addict (author) on February 07, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Ken! You have no choice, but to find a tank for each of them. :D

anonymous on February 07, 2013:

I just bought my bettas this after noon hmm. I got 3 ,1crown (male),2 Halfmoon (male and female) hmm there in aaquarium like 1 big glass and i want to transfer them in a 3gallon tank with filter and pump but i can only have 1 3gal tank what can i do to the other 2 cuz if ill put them together they'll fight

betta addict (author) on January 28, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Elena! First off, the frequency of water changes depends on the size of the tank. For a 1 gallon tank, I would recommend changing 100% of the water every 3 days, unless you're using reverse osmosis water, in which case you can change 100% of the water once a week. If you don't want to stress your betta, you can just remove 90% of the water every 3 days so that you won't have to transfer him each and every time. As long as you can siphon the poop and debris out, your betta's going to be fine, and there's no need to remove the gravel. About feeding, twice a day should be ideal, but once a day should be enough, especially if he's quite old and already in his full size. Thanks for dropping by!

anonymous on January 28, 2013:

Hello! i need some help. Im in college and so i have to keep my betta in a one gallon tank. i was advised to change the water every 2 weeks and to only change 75-80% of the water.. is this true? or do i really need to change it every 2-3 days? And when i do change the water i take my fish out and put him in the container he came in.. but when i change the water am i not supposed to clean the gravel at the bottom or the décor i have in the tank? do i just pour some of the water out and leave some in and then add conditioner into the water i add? i am confused because i have heard so many different things. I just would like to know when and how i should change the water for my betta. and also am i supposed to be feeding him once a day or twice a day because again i have been advised two different things. your help would be very appreciated. thank you!

betta addict (author) on November 24, 2012:

@troykhooim: Yep, that's the Asian way of keeping bettas...although personally, I keep mind in 5 and 7 gallon tanks since I only have a few of them now...Thanks for dropping by!

betta addict (author) on November 24, 2012:

@BillyPilgrim LM: You're welcome BillyPilgrim!

troykhooim on November 24, 2012:

I used to keep bettas in the Asian traditional way, keeping them in glass bottles.

BillyPilgrim LM on October 31, 2012:

Good tips! I'm just starting to keep fish so this is very useful. Thanks x

betta addict (author) on October 15, 2012:

@bettafishlovers: hi bettafishlovers! Thanks for the kind comment...I'm really passionate about bettas, and when you're passionate about something, it shows up in whatever you do. =D

bettafishlovers on October 14, 2012:

Hey guy, i like your lens. I don't easily leave comments but with your great content here i was force to. Keep on the goo job. thanks

betta addict (author) on October 02, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi John. First of all, what's the size of your betta tank? If it's smaller thank 3 gallons, you need to perform 100% water changes every 2-3 days. Can you show me a picture of your fish so we can properly diagnose it? More often than not, bettas get sick when there's a sudden change in water temp., which can be caused by water changes. This is the reason why you should get a 5-gallon tank or bigger so you won't have to perform regular water changes. If he's not active as he used to be, then he's probably sick. Send us the photo so we can take a look at it. Thank you!

anonymous on October 02, 2012:

I have a divided betta aquarium from TopFin with a light. I just bought this betta a few weeks ago as the betta that preceded him had died. I have since then performed several complete water changes. And the betta has been doing well and has been actively swimming in his side of the tank and eating well. Recently, however this betta is now staying near the bottom and hasn't eaten for a few days. He just hides in the decorative aquarium stones. He doesn't appear to have any discoloration or cloudiness in the eyes or scales. Is he sick? If so what should I do?

betta addict (author) on September 22, 2012:

@anonymous: a 15L tank would be okay for a betta. And yes, get plastic plants that have no sharp edges.

betta addict (author) on September 22, 2012:

@sherioz: Thanks for dropping by! =D

anonymous on September 21, 2012:

About the fact with plastic plants, you could get silk ones right? And, is a 15 litre tank okay for a fighter fish?

betta addict (author) on August 28, 2012:

@sherioz: And by the way, congratulations on the LOTD! =D

betta addict (author) on August 28, 2012:

@sherioz: Thank you for dropping by and blessing my lens sheroiz. =D

sherioz on August 28, 2012:

I hope to have a new fish tank soon. This is great information.

betta addict (author) on August 27, 2012:

@eduguy1: Hi eduguy1! that's partly correct. But if your fish is in a tank 2 gallons or smaller, you should do full water changes every 3 days to maintain water quality. Most breeders here in Asia keep thousands of bettas so they usually keep them in small containers before selling them. No time to put them in a fully-functional aquarium.

eduguy1 on August 27, 2012:

You shouldn't do full water changes because it stresses the fish. Partial water changes are better.

Michelle6267 on August 16, 2012:

@betta addict: Thanks. I'll make the extract instead of just keeping the leaves in a bag. It will probably last longer too. Thank you so much for answering my questions. I'm always nervous about adding anything other than conditioner to my betta's tank, and I feel much better about it now. :)

betta addict (author) on August 16, 2012:

@Michelle6267: I guess so, since moisture is what usually spoils the leaves...go ahead and make some extract. Just pour in 5 cups of water in a pot and throw at least 5 leaves and let it boil for 30 minutes.

Michelle6267 on August 15, 2012:

@betta addict: Making an extract sounds like a good idea, especially when the fish is sick and you need it to work fast. I read somewhere that the leaves can last up to 6 months or longer if put in a cool dry place. Do you think that's true?

betta addict (author) on August 14, 2012:

@Michelle6267: I actually stock some IA leaves sometimes and just leave them in one place sometimes for a month and they're still ok. Personally, I wash the leaves I use in hot water just to be sure since I pick them up directly from the ground. Sometimes, I get at least 10 leaves and put them in boiling water to create an extract. I put the extract inside small bottles and keep them refrigerated. When I have to use the extract, I just pour enough amount to make the water turn brown...

Michelle6267 on August 14, 2012:

Hi. I have some more questions about the Indian Almond Leaves. I was wondering if I had to wash the leaves before putting them in my fish's tank. The seller on ebay said in the description that she washes the leaves, so would just rinsing them off in tap water be ok, or should I soak them in hot water to kill off any bacteria or germs that could be on them? I was also wondering what the shelf life of these leaves are. If I kept them in a dry place in a ziploc bag, would I be able to preserve them for a long time? Thanks.

betta addict (author) on August 10, 2012:

@Michelle6267: You're welcome Michelle. Feel free to ask questions if you have some. Thanks for dropping by. =D

Michelle6267 on August 10, 2012:

@betta addict: Thank you for the advice. I spent 5 dollars on 5 leaves, but that includes shipping. I won't put them in his water every week, just in times of stress and sickness. Thanks so much, you've been very helpful. :)

betta addict (author) on August 10, 2012:

@Michelle6267: Just put a leaf enough to make the water turn light brown like tea. My advice, though, would be not to spend too much on those leaves. They have healing properties, but if your betta is not sick or is not being conditioned for breeding, such leaves are not necessary. As I have mentioned, there are many Indian Almond trees from where I live and I don't use them for my betta fish, unless when I'm preparing them for breeding. Good luck! =)

Michelle6267 on August 10, 2012:

@betta addict: Sorry, I have trouble figuring out some of this computer stuff. :) I'm glad that you could still see the pictures. Thank you very much for your help. Luckily those red spots are disappearing now, the ones on his tail are almost gone. They tend to pop up once in a while, and usually when they heal they do turn a white color. Right now, because of the damage to his tail, he's having a little trouble swimming. I hope the new fin tissue will grow back soon. I'm hoping the Indian Almond Leaves will help speed that up, and to keep the fin rot from coming back. How many leaves should I put in a 5 gallon tank? I ordered 5 big leaves, and I will order some more if my fish likes them. I was thinking of putting half a leaf in every week, when I do the 100% water change. Would that be good?

betta addict (author) on August 09, 2012:

@Michelle6267: The link you gave says 'Page not Found' so I had to cut it down to http://members.shaw.ca/anime7 to see the images. Anyway, the red spots are not something you have to worry about. You see, when the fins of a betta get damaged by fin rot, it won't get back to its original color. Sometimes, a red colored fin will have white edges. They're like scars in a sense. I can see you have a veil tail there. Congrats for taking care of your betta for 2 years!!! Anyway, Indian Almond Leaves may help in getting rid of stress, and they also have healing properties. There are plenty of Indian Almond trees here where I live. However, I also found out that maintaining water quality alone is enough to keep the fish healthy. =D

Michelle6267 on August 09, 2012:

@betta addict: Here are 2 pictures from either side of my fish. http://members.shaw.ca/anime7/fin1.jpg and http://members.shaw.ca/anime7/fin2.jpg The rip in the middle of his tail may look terrible, but it's actually not part of the problem. He's had that for 2 years now. When I just got him, I had an accident with him when I was cleaning his tank. He got washed over the side of the container I had him in. He wasn't hurt in the fall, but I had to pick him up with my hands and that's what caused that huge tear in his tail. It never healed, I guess there was too much damage. Maybe that's why he keeps getting fin rot, because of the damage done to his tail fin. But as you can see in the picture, he has a little red spot on the end of his anal fin as well. Part of the top of his tail was eaten away by the fin rot where the blue color is, but it has stopped now. His tail and anal fin are not getting any shorter, so that's the good news. And the red seems to be a bit better today than yesterday. I don't want to do daily 100% cleanings because that would stress him out too much, (I did a 100% on Tuesday), so I cleaned 25% today, and I'll try for 50% tomorrow. I hope just clean water will heal this problem like it has before.

I ordered some Indian Almond leaves on ebay. I think that would help with the fin rot, but it's going to take 2 or 3 weeks for them to get here.

betta addict (author) on August 08, 2012:

@anonymous: If you want to keep the water in top quality, you will need a filtering system, even just a regular hang on back filter. In my case, I use one for my 5-gallon betta tank. The rest of my tanks are 2 gallon tanks that are all bare so I just change the water every 3 to 4 days (full water changes here). It's quite time-consuming, but that's part of the hobby. I'm not sure about the red spots. Is it possible for you to show us some pictures of your betta fish so we can diagnose it properly? Thanks, Michelle!

anonymous on August 08, 2012:

@anonymous: I always use our drinking water from the tap. Do I need a filtering system? I always do regular water changes, so I'm guessing he could be getting the fin rot from the tap water being dirty, even if it is drinking water. I just hate having to deal with this stupid fin rot! It takes so long for it to go away, and I don't want to put anything in his water, not even aquarium salt, unless it gets really bad. Right now there are three small bright red spots on the tips of his fins, 2 on his tail, and one on the end of the bottom fin. They don't seem to be getting worse, but they're not clearing up either. :(

betta addict (author) on August 08, 2012:

@anonymous: Believe it or not, I use Reverse Osmosis water...My fish never suffer from fin rot. Fin rot is usually caused by dirty water and RO water is drinking water so there's definitely zero dirt in it. And when you use RO water, there's no need to put water conditioners in it.

anonymous on August 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks Merl. I use Prime conditioner, and I have both Maracyn 1 and 2. I also got the Mardel treatment for external parasites. The only problem I've been having with my betta is mild fin rot, (the tips of his fins are bright red in a few places), which has happened a few times before and always cleared up with water changes. I keep his water very clean, so I'm guessing it's from stress. I'm going to move him next week to a quieter place so hopefully that will be the end of his chronic fin rot.

anonymous on August 07, 2012:

@betta addict: Thanks, so much for your help! If I ever come upon any other questions I'll be sure I ask.

betta addict (author) on August 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi there Josh...here in Asia (at least where I live), most hobbyists keep their bettas in bare tanks - no filter system, no gravel, no nothing. This means ammonia buildup is a lot faster and this is the reason why frequent full water change is required for this setup, especially if the tank is 2 gallons or smaller. For your setup, I think 30 percent water change once a week is enough to keep water quality optimum. You have a filter and that helps regulate ammonia buildup. But since the tank has only 3 gallon capacity, 3 percent once a week should be ideal. Using a siphon vacuum is good for getting rid of poop and other dirt that accumulates on the surface of the gravel. Good luck with your fish Josh.

betta addict (author) on August 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks for the insights Merl. =D

anonymous on August 06, 2012:

@anonymous: Buy only betta safe gravel or untreated pebbles that will help filter the tank. Regarding diseases Mardel Maracin is a good line of products, as in Jungle. Water test kits by API for Nitrates, Ammonia, and Ph are good. Kordel Amquel plus API Stress Zyme work great together as water conditioners; SeaChem Prime is also a great water conditioner.

anonymous on August 06, 2012:

I change 1/3 or 30% of my water once a week for my 3 gallon tank. I have an under gravel filter with air pump, heater, and filter. I have a betta fish and a Chinese Otocinclus algae eater. Should I be changing the water differently? I was told by a fish adviser that it is never a good idea to change all the water because that gets rid of the good and bad ammonia and then it's harmful without a balanced level of each. I also use a siphon vacuum to clean my tank and take out the plants. Is this also a correct theory?

betta addict (author) on July 31, 2012:

@anonymous: my pleasure to help you. don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions. =D

anonymous on July 30, 2012:

@betta addict: Thank you for the information. I have aquarium salt, and I got some other medicines in case of serious illness that I hope I never have to use. I'm going to try to find the Indian almond leaves too. Thanks again. :)

betta addict (author) on July 29, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Michelle! Actually, most betta keepers here in Asia keep their fish in bare tanks - no gravel, plants, decorations, etc. I keep most of my bettas in bare tanks as well and they are perfectly fine. If there is one factor that determines the health of a betta, it's water quality. As long as you keep your water quality good, your fish won't have any problems at all. When it comes to medication, I usually just treat my fish with rock salt and methylene blue. Indian Almond Leaves are also excellent first aid treatments for any betta diseases. If you are after details, though, try visiting this site: http://bettatalk.com/betta_diseases.htm

And by the way, bettas don't need bubblers because they breath using an organ called 'labyrinth'. Although you can use one if you're treating a sick betta

Thanks for dropping by!

anonymous on July 29, 2012:

I've had my betta, Hikari, for 2 years now. He's in a 5 gallon tank, heated but not filtered. I have a bubbler in the tank, but I control it with a gang valve so only one bubble comes out at a time and creates no current. I have it to cause ripples on the surface to keep a film from forming. I used to keep Hikari in a 2.5 gallon drum bowl, but decided to upgrade about a year ago since I think a tank is much better. I clean his water just like you say for an unfiltered 5 gallon tank, 1-100% and 1-25% weekly. I have a question about keeping gravel in a tank without a filter. I have decorations in the tank, but no gravel because the kind I bought clouded his water and even changed the color. Will he be just as healthy without gravel or should I put some in? I was also wondering if you could suggest some medications to get for a betta first aid kit so I can be prepared in case he gets sick. Thanks.

betta addict (author) on July 28, 2012:

@goo2eyes lm: LOL...thanks goo2eyes!

goo2eyes lm on July 28, 2012:

beautiful fish. are they wearing tu-tus?

betta addict (author) on July 25, 2012:

@SgtCecil: Indeed. Thanks for the kind comment SgtCecil.

Cecil Kenmill from Osaka, Japan on July 24, 2012:

Beautiful vids. Great info.

betta addict (author) on July 22, 2012:

@WriterJanis2: Thanks Janis...I love them, too. =D

WriterJanis2 on July 22, 2012:

Love these fish.

betta addict (author) on July 21, 2012:

@meloyelo: It is genius indeed and kind of economical, although I don't suggest it to beginners because it has a lot of risks with it. Thanks for your kind comment meloyelo! =D

meloyelo on July 21, 2012:

I'd never seen a divided tank before, that's genius!

betta addict (author) on July 14, 2012:

@Gypzeerose: Thaks bloomingrose. Obviously, bettas are one of my passions. Hehe

Rose Jones on July 14, 2012:

Very interesting - this is really a lens with a lot of authority as you obviously have a lot of experience. Angel Blessed.

betta addict (author) on July 14, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Blank! I believe you should do at least 30% water change once a week for you 2.5 gallon tank even if it has a filter system. Smaller tanks are more prone to having ammonia spikes so better be sure than sorry.

anonymous on July 14, 2012:

But what if you have a 2.5 gallon tank filtered how many water changes is that?

betta addict (author) on May 01, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Carol! Thanks for sharing. 1 gallon tanks are "okay" for bettas, but that would mean you would have to perform 100% water changes every 2 or 3 days, which can be stressful for you and for your bettas. It's a good thing, though, that you're planning of getting larger tanks for them. Keep us posted and happy betta keeping! =)

anonymous on May 01, 2012:

@anonymous: I just recently bought both my children a betta each and a 1 gallon bowl with lid for each. I was worried about heating and I bought a seedling mat with a digital thermostat. The mat is big enough to place both bowls on it and i placed it under the bowls. Set temp to 82 and once it get to 82 it turns off and once it goes down 2 degrees which is 80 it turns back on. The seedling heat mat plugs into the digital thermostat and the thermostats has a stainless stell probe which is placed in the tank to monitor the water temp. So ar it has worked great for a month now. I am in the process of buying larger tanks for each betta and I plan on using my seedling heat mat and digital thermostat to heat the tanks. Though I would share because I had the same question so after researching I discovered this heat mat and digital thermostat that works perfectly. I also keep a thermometer insider each tank and this is how i know the heat mat is working.

JoshK47 on April 19, 2012:

Nicely presented info! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

betta addict (author) on April 18, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Nikki! If there is one brand of aquarium that's truly "zen" like, it's Fluval Edge. It has a unique setup that allows you to hide the filter and "wires". If you scroll down, you'll find the Fluval Edge Aquarium Set, Matte Black, 6-Gallon at the bottom of the page. I believe it's the perfect tank for any betta fish. Good luck!

betta addict (author) on April 18, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Nikki! If there is one brand of aquarium that's truly "zen" like, it's Fluval Edge. It has a unique setup that allows you to hide the filter and "wires". If you scroll down, you'll find the Fluval Edge Aquarium Set, Matte Black, 6-Gallon at the bottom of the page. I believe it's the perfect tank for any betta fish. Good luck!

anonymous on April 18, 2012:

I bought a little 1/2 gallon cube tank and a betta last weekend. But my house is cold, we keep the AC set under 70*, so I'm sure he's cold. I guess I need to buy him a larger tank in order to use a heater, but everything I find looks so clunky. I didn't want lots of wires and visible filters. I wanted something that was very minimal "zen" like. Any recommendations?

betta addict (author) on April 09, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Angelica! With your setup, 20% water change once a week is enough to keep the tank healthy. You can even do a 50% water change once a month, provided the filter is well established and tank has been properly "broken into" or cycled.

anonymous on April 08, 2012:

I have a 10 gallon aquarium for my Betta, it has a heater filter,plants,gravel and decoration;How often should i clean it out and how much?

betta addict (author) on March 30, 2012:

@spellbindingsis: The water change regimen depends on the size of your tank. The smaller the tank, the more often you need to change the water. =)

betta addict (author) on March 30, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks Crownfish!

betta addict (author) on March 30, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks Crownfish!

spellbindingsis on March 29, 2012:

Dang, I didn't know I needed to change the water that often :( I feel like a bad Mommy.

anonymous on March 19, 2012:

Great Read, I've learned a few things, thank you

betta addict (author) on January 26, 2012:

@kathysart: Thanks! I just have to warn you, though, that bettas are very, very, very, addicting! LOL!

kathysart on January 26, 2012:

Ya know what? I have actually been thinking about getting one so this is timely that I ran across your lens.. yay! Angel blessed.

betta addict (author) on January 02, 2012:

@collectors-corner: Indeed. Thanks for dropping by! =)

collectors-corner on December 03, 2011:

I love bettas, they are such beautiful fishes

betta addict (author) on September 28, 2011:

@anonymous: great to hear that Betta82...As for us here in Asia, we need not worry about the temperature...I keep my favorite bettas in planted 5 gallon tanks complete with a filtration system...However, most of the betta breeders here in our country keep theirs in 4x6x8 individual tanks. This is because they keep more than a hundred bettas and these bettas do not stay there for long since they are sold eventually..

anonymous on September 28, 2011:

I keep my bettas in 7ltr tanks with individual sponge filters which i have made specifically for these fish. The flow is slow but the water stays clean enough for me to only have to do a 25% water change once a week. I am also using a matured substrate to aid in filtration. I live on the UK and our winters are drab to say the least. My tanks are sat on a 25w heat mat running of a thermostat keeping my water at a steady 81. Best thing with this set up for me is that 1 air pump and 1 heat mat can do 5 tanks, leaving me with more time for my wife kids and my oeandas and ryukins.

anonymous on June 24, 2011:

How sad that most people keep betas in a small bowl and they really deserve to live happy lives in in a larger tank....very well done once again!

betta addict (author) on June 18, 2011:

@anonymous: thanks for dropping by! =)

anonymous on June 18, 2011:

Very colorful fish. Nice lens!

betta addict (author) on June 17, 2011:

@rezchez: thanks rezchez! they do. =)

rezchez on June 17, 2011:

Interesting Lens, fish make great pets