Betta fish are common aquarium pets. They make excellent pets for both amateur and experienced aquarists, so we are not wondering why you might find interest in them, too.
Taking care of betta fish comes with a lot of responsibilities. So we rounded up everything you need to know about these fish and setting up the best betta fish tank.
If you want to skip directly to the top 5 fish tanks for betta fish, you can choose "Best Betta Fish Tanks" in the table of contents.
Also known as the Siamese fighting fish, bettas can swim solo in a little bowl. This raises a question of whether they are a big fish in a small puddle or just a little fish that can fit tiny containers.
Both make them ideal home aquarium pets for beginners. Here are other physical traits to convince you so:
- Their iridescence makes them experience dramatic hue changes (tangerine, blue, white, pink, green, etc.).
- The female betta has dull colors compared to male bettas
- When threatened, male bettas puffs up a glorious beard.
- Come in a variety of bright colors
- Have different majestic tails (veil-tail, half-moon, crown tail, etc.)
- Flat and tapered
We can find these fish easily in Southeast Asia, where they learned how to adapt changes in natural conditions like frequent storm flooding and droughts. Our research also says that during those times, they made homes in ditches and paddy fields.
That is why it makes sense that they can survive in tiny fishbowls. We are familiar with how goldfish, for instance, cannot even last a full week in a fishbowl most of the time.
Aside from that, these fish were warriors back in the day, hence the name Siamese fighting fish. Over a century ago, children would collect these fish in Thailand, which was still Siam, to watch them brawl and bet on them as people do in cockfights.
It wasn’t long until the popularity of these contests reached the King. He gave a few fish to a man who presented them to the Danish physician, Dr. Theodore Cantor, who studied and bred the fish in Europe.
He made a scientific paper about these fish. However, once he realized there was already a fish existing by the name he had given these warriors, Charles Tate Regan renamed them Betta splendens. The name stands for “beautiful warrior,” which is the reputation these fish live up to even to this day.
We understand that it intrigues you to find out how these warrior fish behave. Are they as aggressive as the term implies, or are they merely mischievous little aquatic pets?
Well, we found out that it depends on their gender. Female betta fish possess some distinct personalities from the male ones.
Male Betta Behavior
As expected, the male betta fish are antagonists. That is why they need to be the only male betta in a community aquarium, or else they will get aggressive with other bettas.
We also advise that you take preventive measures when putting them together with other fish. Male bettas are well-known for their aggression, but other fish still pick on them because of their size.
Female Betta Behavior
Female bettas are very peaceful tank mates for both male bettas and other fish. They have an irresistible charm that they use to establish dominance in the fish tank.
Think of it as a wiser way to rule other fish in the aquarium. Other fish can be submissive to the female bettas, which then creates order and quiet in the community.
Just avoid adding new fish in the tank once they have already marked it, or it might get a little rowdy again. These female bettas are quite the Cleopatra of the underwater, aren’t they?
More Interactions to Expect from Bettas
- When another male betta intrudes a male bettas’ space, the invaded will flare his gills to appear larger.
- Attacks (usually splashing water against each other) may or may not follow the activity above, but neither will get injured with strikes from their sides and tails.
- Female betta will never enter a male betta’s nest if it isn’t ready to spawn.
What They Eat
Bettas need to eat high-protein foods, so they are most likely to eat meat. They have upturned mouths too, so they feed on the water surface and need meals that float on there.
Here are the foods that make up that diet:
- Frozen / dried/ live bloodworms
- Brine shrimp or daphnia
- Commercial pellets
- Boiled peas to eliminate constipation
Bettas can also eat tropical fish food flakes, but they are plant-based, and bettas need a meaty diet. As long as these tropical flakes do not make most of their diet, they won’t suffer from bloating and swim-bladder disease.
By now, you might already be familiar with the slightly violent trait of bettas. That means that they don’t do well with tank mates.
Most betta fish tank sizes are not even fit for over one betta. They enjoy solitude and would only love the company of the opposite sex, and that is only when the female is “ripe.”
However, we figured that a lot of you would love to accompany them if you own a big betta fish tank, for example. Here are the exceptions to bettas’ territorial attitude:
- Corydora Catfish-These fish ranks first in the best overall community fish tank mate list. The following reasons prove so:
- Prefer to live in schools
- Do not invade other fish’s nests
- Low maintenance
- Different patterns and colors
- Can only grow up to 2.5 inches
- Kuhli Loach- Many people, including us here, mistake this fish for an eel. Despite their different looks, they get along well with any species.
- Stay proportionally tiny (maximum size: 4.5 inches)
- Prefer to live with at least three other fish
- Lives on sand or smooth gravel substrate like bettas
- Bristlenose Plecos- These are the most armed fish that can surpass the pickiness of bettas. Plecos have sturdy plates on their bodies that can protect them from any harsh attack in the betta aquarium.
- Require little to zero maintenance
- Help in cleaning the aquarium by eating algae and leftovers
- Do not interact with other fish
- Love isolation
- Harlequin Rasboras- Among the recommended roommates on this list, these are the only ones bettas are friends within the wild. The colors of the Rasboras also sprinkle more animation to the display.
- Maximum growth: 2 inches
- Thrives more with 6 or more fish
- Ideal betta fish tank size for a healthy relationship with bettas: 20 gallons
- Easy to take care of
- Ember Tetras- We think these Tetras are the best starter for a betta fish tank mate. Tetras are natural schooling fish that do well with five or more tank mates.
- Maximum growth: 1 inch
- Low to zero maintenance needed
- Not picky eaters but need fine/crushed food
Water conditions are a significant part of keeping a betta aquarium. Even though bettas have lived through harsh habitats before, it is still necessary for them to live in specific settings.
We listed down the qualities that comprise a stable betta fish tank.
- 78-80F or 25-27C
- Too cold can slow down your betta’s metabolism and make them sickly.
- Too hot can heighten your betta’s metabolism and cause it to grow old fast.
- Neutral, 7.0
- Slightly acidic: 6.8-7.4
- The general requirement for survival: 6.5-7.5
Kind of Water
- Bottled water
- Tap water treated with water conditioner
- Direct contact with your betta can cause burn
- Add to the water in small amounts
- Dilute the salt in the water before pouring into the aquarium
- Kills fungi and parasites
There are multiple kinds of filtration systems for betta fish-keeping. First, we want you to learn the following filters in a healthy betta aquarium:
- Biological-for fish health
- Chemical-removes toxic compounds or wastes
- Mechanical-keeps the water clean and clear
It is not enough to invest your time in selecting the best betta fish tank size in choosing a home for your betta. You need to consider the betta fish tank filter too.
We made a list of betta fish tank filters to make this easy for you.
Corner Box Filter
- Rests on the substrate
- Has a single airstone (releases oxygen bubbles into the tank)
- The airstone connects to a pump that pushes water through charcoal and filter floss.
- Comes in a variety of sizes
- Hold 1 or 2 entries for fiber pads containing activated carbon
- Pads are at the back of the tank
- Debris from the tank water goes into the pads
- Several compartments to hold the pads
- Rapid water turnover
- Best choice for large betta aquariums
- Standard filter
- Uses plastic plates that settle on the bottom of the tank
- Requires extra maintenance as debris only hides in the gravel
- Vacuuming the gravel can fix that
Fluidized Bed Filter
- It uses sand as the primary material
- Chemical-removes toxic compounds or wastes
- Mechanical-keeps the water clean and clear
- Offers quick cleaning solution
- Bacteria can multiply fast in the sand’s surface.
- Biological agent: sponge
- Simple use
- Ideal for hospital conditions
Best Betta Fish Tanks
We saved the best for last. You need to know the best betta fish tank for you and your pets.
You need to provide them a home that can fit right in yours. Given the many guidelines for a stable habitat for bettas, deciding in this part is tricky.
We listed the top five fish tanks you can choose from. Let’s make every step easy, shall we?
Cobalt Aquatics Aquarium Kit
If you are looking for a sleek design for a betta fish tank, this is the answer. The 14010 Microvue 3 is available in 10 liters, 20 liters, and 30 liters.
This line of aquarium comes as a complete set. The items in it:
- Crystal clear glass cube tank
- Clearvue 20 internal filter
- 6-watt LED light
- Glass top
- Under-pad foam
This aquarium is not only for bettas but also for other nano fish and plants. The brand has betta fish tank sizes that can cater to different settings and personal preferences.
Personally, I would love a 10-liter version of this in my working space. The elegant design of the tank can fit formal surroundings.
If you are a professional or just someone who loves elegance, I suggest you buy this one. You can have an unparalleled view of your fish here.
The LED light would make a great study lamp substitute too. It has high brightness that can optimize your view of the bettas’ different vibrant patterns.
Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium
This starter kit is for children betta owners or those who are just young at heart. It reminds me of a small aquarium with a toy fish in it.
This Aqueon tank model seems to touch that aesthetic. The design of the aquarium is contemporary.
Both kids and adults can find amusement in watching their bettas from this aquarium. The model offers ideal beginner betta fish tank sizes from 1 gallon to 5 gallons.
Despite the amateur tank set reputation, this aquarium has reviews of high betta life sustainability. These are the key features that ensure that:
- Low profile LED energy light hood
- Built-in QuietFlow Filtration
- Replaceable cartridge for food
- Step-by-step betta aquarium setup manual
If you want a high-technology betta aquarium, you will like this EcoQube tank. The key feature that sets this aquarium apart from others in this list is the wireless remote control.
The remote allows you to change LED hues and set automatic timers for it from a distance. You can relax on your couch while adjusting the lighting’s mood.
I think this is perfect for couples who have a thing for romantic light settings. I love illumination effects that I can control without standing up too, so you bet I’m getting this if I had a betta fish.
Let us proceed to the package EcoQube offers its happy customers. The product has high ratings, so I believe this tank provides more luxuries than the lighting and remote control.
- Aquaponics filter
- Aquarium Sand
- Glass cover
- Mountain rock decor
The Aquaponics filter is famous among expert aquarists, so this little tank has high-level tank accessories. Isn’t that as neat as the aquarium’s smooth design?
Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit
This aquarium’s design goes back to the classic horizontal orientation. This is not common for betta tanks anymore.
If you prefer that kind, this is the best in the market. Betta fish tank size varies in liters and gallons, but the orientation still allows you to do more.
Add these features, and I think we have got ourselves a winner:
- 37 LED lighting system
- Etched-glass tank with aluminum trimming
- 3-stage filtration system
- Kit includes foam block, activated carbon, and BioMax bio rings for sharp maintenance.
I think a horizontal betta aquarium will never get old, so this new option is to die for. This space is excellent for creating your mini version of the sea.
We can’t experience the same with vertical tanks, although their displays are exceptional in their way.
Umbra FishHotel Mini Aquarium
The last but not the least in this option is this condo-like betta aquarium. Have you ever seen an aquarium this creative?
For those who like architecture like me, this is for all of us. I live in a condominium in the city, so having a pet live in the same style is just fun.
The framing of this tank is clean and sophisticated, unlike standard hotel-themed tanks that look like toys. This one seems like an expensive decor.
You can also remove the frame if you want a seamless view of the fish. After all, I think minimalists are top fans of this, so why not have a new minimalist look, right?
This unique aquarium has competitive features too.
- You can stack over two of them to create a mini fish apartment complex.
- Award-winning design
- Functional bowl removable for cleaning
- Can carry up to 1.8 gallons of water
- Measures 7.5” x 7.5” x 8”
Betta fish are survivors of the worst imaginable living cases. Taking care of them allows you to treat them with some luxury.
We see it that way as they require living setups that sound even more secure than our own. The options we gave you for the best betta fish tank are all affordable not to compromise your personal living expenses.
Betta fish-keeping is a lot of work in many aspects. Money is even the least of its concern.
Just remember the guidelines we gave you, and you’ll be fine. Let’s keep the experience fun despite the few complicated parts of this activity.