Betta Aquarium Setup in 4 Easy Steps

Correct Betta Aquarium Setup is critical to long-term health and happiness for your Betta Fish, and it’s simple to do if you follow our free instructions.

You need to set up the tank before you bring the Betta home from the pet store, this article will help you through the process.

1. Choose the right size Tank Size

Decide how many fish you’d eventually like to have and buy an aquarium that will fit them all. Betta Fish are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish (for a good reason), and the male Betta Fish are very territorial and should generally be kept in their own tank or they WILL fight. Females can co-exist better, yet you will still even find females in their own containers in the pet store. I recommend at least a 1 gallon tank/aquarium but a 3 to 5 gallon one is better. You can keep Betta Fish in smaller containers like vases and bowl’s but they definitely aren’t as happy, and if there is no filter then you need to change more water frequently. Ammonia buildup in the tank is the biggest problem and its produced by the Betta Fish eating. So the smaller the aquarium the quicker the concentration of ammonia builds up. Plus Betta Fish thrive when they have plenty of room to swim.

TIP: Get a good 3-5 gallon tank, not one of those decorative fish bowls you hang on the wall!

2. Get some tank gravel

dreamstimeextrasmall_49748810Your Betta Fish tank is a fragile ecosystem. Ammonia and nitrate buildup in the tank water are caused by your Betta Fish eating, plus excess food decaying in the tank. To help fight the ammonia and nitrate buildup you need beneficial bacteria, which is where the tank gravel comes in. Your tank gravel is where the beneficial bacteria can grow, which will help break down the ammonia and nitrates into less harmful substances. So its critical to have things like gravel, plants, and other things in your tank for this beneficial bacteria to grow on. Make sure to rinse the substrate/gravel when you get it home from the store – but only rinse it. Do not use any soap, it will be impossible to remove it all and that would harm your Betta.

3. Prep the tank water

water_conditionerChances are your tap water is full of harsh chemicals like fluoride and chlorine, not exactly ideal for a Betta Fish. You can buy water treatment for just a few dollars from your pet store, follow the instructions and it will tell you how much treatment to add based on your tank size. You can either do this the tank itself or if you have another large and clean container to prep the water in that’s fine. You’ll also want to bring the water up to room temperature and see if its warm enough. Betta’s are tropical fish and prefer temps between 78-82. So add the water to the tank and put a thermometer in it to monitor the temperature. If its too cold then you can buy small heaters for under $10 that lay under the gravel and raise the temp a few degrees. I purchased a small heater by Hydor and it got the temp up from 75 to 78. That may not seem like a big jump but it made all of the difference in the world to our Betta fish. I couldn’t believe how much more active and colorful it was after I added the heater.

TIP: Do this step a day or so before you bring your betta home, that way the tank water is the right temp and ready!

4. Add some plants to your Betta Tank

Betta Fish can get bored, so adding plants to the tank will be more visually appealing and satisfying to your Betta. Plus it adds more places for beneficial bacteria grow, and is also visually appealing to us humans!

Now you’re done with your Betta Fish Tank Setup and its time to add your Betta Fish!