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The Half Moon Betta Tank: Stocking Your 3 Gallon Tank Right

Updated on October 25, 2012

The 3 gallon aquarium is a compact and easy to maintain tank that is ideal for beginners, a desktop decoration, or someone who wants an aquarium on a low budget. There is, however, a major drawback in that they can be easily overstocked, making your options for choosing a fish very limited since the ideal setup for an aquarium is one gallon for every inch of adult fish. Tetras and guppies are an attractive choice, but they are schooling fish and are best suited in groups of 5 or more. Goldfish should not be an option, as a single adult would require a much larger tank. So, which fish should you choose? The answer is the betta, or Siamese fighting fish.

Why Should I Choose a Betta?

Bettas grow to up to 3 inches long and can thrive alone, making them the ideal inhabitant for a 3 gallon aquarium. The tank provides room for your betta to swim around gracefully and even have a place to hide, if you choose to provide one. There are many options in decorating this tank both horizontally and vertically, since they prefer to rest near the water's surface and are active there as well. I will show you an example of how well a 3 gallon betta tank can work with my project below.

Setting Up the Tank

As a base, I used the Tetra 3 Gallon Half Moon LED Kit, a good choice since it included the air pump, filter, and lights. Some people will say that filtration is mostly unnecessary with bettas, but I disagree. Better water quality will help prevent diseases, so I recommend filtering the tank as if any other species of fish were in there. The only thing missing from this kit is a heater, which is necessary for any tropical fish. A 50 watt heater for 2-15 gallons is ideal and can be easily found. After setting up the filter, lights and heater, the next step was to place a bottom layer. I went with four 10 oz. bags of glass pebbles since I planned on adding artificial plants. If you choose to go with real plants, then 2 pounds of gravel should be more than enough for the plants to root into, and then you can add a layer of glass pebbles or gems if you choose to. Once it's set up, the water can be added and conditioned for you fish. I recommend BettaSafe solution for conditioning as it only takes seconds for it to be mixed into the water.

My completed project, featuring a temple ruins piece, a leaf hammock, an artificial plant, and a Buddha statue.
My completed project, featuring a temple ruins piece, a leaf hammock, an artificial plant, and a Buddha statue.

Decorating the Tank

This is the part that was most enjoyable for me. To make the betta happy, I added a castle ruins piece, giving him a place to hide, and a leaf hammock as a place to rest. The only thing left was to add some aesthetic touches. My choices were the artificial plant that I planned on adding and a Buddha statue, which suits the theme of the betta's Asian roots.

Once it's all ready, you can start getting the tank ready for your fish. I hope my project helped show the potential that a 3 gallon tank has. I look forward to hearing about some nice projects!


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    • profile image

      Moira Brennan 23 months ago

      What kind of filter would you recommend for a 3 gallon aquarium with a betta fish?

    • D B Martin profile image

      Dustin B Martin 5 years ago from Baton Rouge, LA

      Thank you!

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 5 years ago from Midwest

      Welcome to HubPages! This is a well thought out and organized hub!