Betta Fish Tanks
Your New Betta Fish Will Need a Fish Tank, Do You Know How to Select One?
"What kind of fish tank do you want for your betta fish"?
That was the first question the clerk asked me at the pet store when I went to get a betta fish. I stood there kind of dumbfounded, then he asked me another, "are you going to need a water conditioner for the tank?" What was he talking about?!?
All I wanted was a betta fish and betta tank, because my wife asked for one for our anniversary I never even thought about the size of the betta tank, where I was going to put it, the shape or even the color, much less if I needed a heater or filter.
At that point, feeling very stupid, I wished I had done some research on bettas and their aquariums.
All I could think of, was a lady in the office, who brought her betta to work in what appeared to be a very large wine glass. I knew that was not the way I wanted to go and I knew it did not make for a happy betta.
You can get more information about selection of your fish and betta tank at Betta Fish Information
Learn About Betta Fish
What Sizes Are There in Betta Fish Tanks
What Size Aquarium Does My Betta Need
Betta fish tanks, or aquariums as some like to call them, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are round, some are square, rectangular, rounded in the front and flat on two sides and rounded on the other two. People put bettas in coffee cups, wine glasses, big salad bowls and almost anything that can be found in a home that will hold water.
To give you an idea of what is available, let's start with some basic sizes:
A one gallon tank will measure about 8" L x 10" W x 7.5" H these would be for small areas
A two gallon tank will measure about 12" L X 10" W X 7" H
A three gallon tank will measure about 15" L x 9" W x 11" H
One betta can survive in a one gallon tank, however, I would recommend a two gallon tank, in the large tanks you can put in betta fish plants, rocks and gravel to make the betta's life more interesting and stimulating.
Our Betta lived for three years in a tank that measured 8" L X 6" W X 6" H and when we traveled he moved into a smaller travel tank that was
6" L X 4" W X 5" H.
Remember that in the pet stores, bettas live in plastic cups, which is about the equivalent of a person living in a 6' X 6" room. Anything bigger than that will seem like a mansion to your new betta.
Don't let the betta information overwhelm you, at you can learn what you need to know to help your betta.
First Step Is a Good Tank
Be Careful Where You Place Your Betta Tank
The wrong spot could cause harm to your betta fish
When we first got our betta, we did what most people do....the tank was placed on a small table near a window, so he could get lots of bright sunlight.
FIRST BIG MISTAKE my wife discovered that a betta should not be placed in direct sunlight, even though they are tropical fish direct sunlight is not necessary for their health and the temperature of their tank can rise to a point that it will kill them.
Our SECOND BIG MISTAKE was placing the betta tank in a place that had a mirror behind it. Don't forget that these are fighting fish and having the mirror makes them think that they have a foe. They will try to attack the other fish (in the mirror) wearing themselves out and possibly doing some serious damage by constantly hitting the side of the tank.
We ended up putting the tank on an inside wall where he could get plenty of indirect sunlight.
He could still see movement around the house which gave him stimulation, even the dogs passing in front of his betta tank got him excited.
How do I know he was excited???? He would come to the front of the tank and waggle his fins at us as if to acknowledge our presence.
My wife found a very nice picture of flowers in a magazine, so we taped that picture on the back of the aquarium.
What a wonderful sight, a beautiful betta fish swimming in a crystal clear aquarium with colorful flowers in the background. I'm pretty sure that we had a happy betta!
Love The Betta Fish
The Most Important Thing To Remember
Always keep in mind that your betta is a tropical fish and needs to be in water that is about 80 degrees.
Despite what you may have heard, bettas don't generally live in dirty water, swamps or sewers. They live in moving water or water that is quite clean.
Keep your water warm and clean to make certain that you have a happy, healthy betta that you can enjoy for many years.
What Can You Put in Your Betta Tank
Something To Swim Around Or Hide Under Is Perfect
When you go to a pet store and see those betta fish swimming in a little plastic cup......
do you think they are enjoying themselves? Of course not!
A betta is no different than other fish or animal, they get bored when they have no stimulation.
Boredum can result in the fish doing things that could be dangerous.....like overeating, attacking the walls of their tank or just not moving until they die.
Color and objects in their aquarium will make life a lot more interesting for your betta.
Remember the picture of flowers my wife taped onto the back of our bettas tank? Even that made his life a little better.
Putting colored gravel in the bottom of the tank is a good start.
We put river rocks in the bottom of our aquarium. Each rock was about 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide and varied in thickness.
Some were placed on top of others (in a secure manner) so he had a couple of hidy-holes to retreat into and swim around.
We also put some artificial plants in the tank (real plants seemed to make the water scummy).
If you add other objects, like the little deep sea diver figures or sunken ships, you will give your betta more places to swim around and be interested in.
The more stimulation, the more active your betta fish will become.
Give Your Betta A Happy Home
Should You Heat Your Betta Tank
Only If You Want To Keep Your Betta Alive
A fundamental thing to remember about betta fish is this.....they are a tropical fish and are used to living in waters that are about 80 degrees.
We first got our beautiful little betta in the winter. Our house was kept at 75 degrees during the day and 70 at night. We noticed a real sluggishness in our fish in the mornings before the house warmed up.
As the temperature increased, the activity of our betta increased.
This should have been a "no brainer" but it never dawned on us that the house temperature was causing the sluggishness.
We went away for a week, set the temperature at 65 degrees, had a neighbor come in every 3 days and feed the fish and thought everything was OK.
When we returned our poor little betta was on the bottom of the tank, not moving or showing signs of life. The temperature at the aquarium was right at 65 degrees. We thought for sure that he was dead, until the temperature in the house got back up to 75 degrees and he started to swim around again.
This time we did a little research and found out that 80 degrees was a good betta water temperature for keeping your betta alive, 65 degrees certainly was not.
From then on, if the temp at the aquarium was going to be below 75 degrees, we would turn on a lamp and put it next to the tank. This kept the water at a good temperature and the little fish hugged that side of the tank.
THE BIG LESSON LEARNED was that a tropical fish needs to swim in tropical temperature water.
Most aquariums that you purchase will have the option of having a heater connected to it. This would be a whole lot easier for you to do then having to turn on a lamp when it got cold.
For the sake of your little betta.....get a tank heater and keep the water around 80 degrees. Your little friend will love you for it.
Now It's Time to Clean Your Betta Tank
How To Keep Fish Tank Clean And Extend Your Betta Fish Lifespan
Just as with any other pet, a betta fish needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis, especially if you have gravel, rocks and plants in the tank.
My wife used to clean out our tank about every two weeks, unless it got particularly scummy from various types of foods, then it was weekly
The first thing she did was to fill up a large water jug with tap water and set it aside, usually overnight to get rid of the chlorine.
Then she would take a plastic cup (the 8 oz kind) and dip it into the aquarium to fill it with some of his current water. This eliminated the shock of being placed into water that could still have chlorine or some other chemicals if taken directly from the tap.
The fun part came next.....trying to catch the little guy in a 3 inch fish net. This might take quite a while, especially if he has places to hide under the rocks.
Sometimes, the rocks had to be taken out before the catch was successful.
After being netted, our betta was placed into the cup of water from his tank, while cleaning was done.
Basically what would happen is this:
....rocks and gravel would be dumped in the sink and boiling hot water poured over them
....the rocks would be scrubbed with a stiff brush, then more boiling water poured over them. This would get rid of any scum and help keep
the tank water clean.
....the glass tank itself would be cleaned by filling with hot water and adding a liquid dish washing detergent.
....the sides and bottom were then scrubbed with a soft brush and the whole thing was filled with hot water and rinsed twice.
Once everything was clean and dry, it was time to put it all back.
....first the gravel, then the rocks.
....a water conditioner was added to the jug of water and the tank was filled.
....our betta was "poured" into the net and lowered into the clean fresh aquarium.
Then it was time to relax, the cleaning was done and both owner and fish had survived the process.
A Clean Betta Fish Is A Happy Fish
Note to Self
1. Get a tank big enough for one fish
2. Get a tank heater that can keep the tank at 80 degrees
3. Clean out the tank twice a month
4. Add a water conditioner