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How Big Of A Tank Does Betta Fish Need

How Big Of A Tank Does Betta Fish Need

How Big of a Tank Does Betta Fish Need?

If you are thinking about getting a betta fish, you are probably wondering, “How big of a tank does a betta fish need?” This is the kind of question that you will get a broad range of responses from different people. In this article we will help clear up some of the myths and truths about the appropriate size of a betta aquarium.

Where Betta Fish Live in the Wild 

Our beautiful pet betta fish are descended from wild Siamese fighting fish. These fish are native to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. The waters that bettas inhabit in these areas are shallow and rich with vegetation. Some examples of common betta stomping grounds are rice paddies and swamps.

These habitats tend to be lacking oxygen. This could explain the need for the labyrinth organ which allows for utilization of atmospheric oxygen in these particular fish. Betta fish are unable to get enough oxygen from the water so they actually breathe in oxygen from the air.

How Big of a Tank Does Betta Fish Need?

A betta fish can live in a bowl or small container if you keep it very clean. But is this the best thing for your betta? No. Anyone who has bettas knows they can be quite active fish. They love exploring their habitat and swimming and exercising. Some are more active than others. I have a very happy active female betta in a 3.5 gallon tank and my other female shares a 10 gallon aquarium with a small plecostomus. All of my fish tanks are heated, with filters, and usually get 50% water changes every week.

I personally think 5 gallons is ideal for a betta fish, but you can also go with the rule of 1 gallon per 1 inch of fish and successfully keep bettas just like any other pet fish. Bettas are usually 2.5 to 3 inches at full size. In the most perfect world every betta would get a sweet 10 gallon pad with plants. But that isn’t probably the most practical thing. However, one thing I will note is that if space isn’t an issue, from what I can see the 3.5 and 5 gallon tanks are not much of a cost difference from the 10 gallon, so if you have the space go for it. You cannot give your betta too large of an aquarium. Although, it can potentially be too deep since these stunning creatures do need to come up for air every so often.

How Deep Can a Betta Tank Be?

12 inches is probably ideal, but there are definitely betta fish successfully kept in deeper tanks. If your tank is deeper, simply offer a betta log, leaf hammock, plant life, or decor that provides your fish with a resting spot close to the surface of the water. Since bettas breathe air, be sure to avoid overfilling your tank. Be sure there is at least an inch between the top of the water and the lid. 

Now you know how big of a tank a betta fish needs. They don’t necessarily need much, but for the best and longest life at least 1 gallon per 1 inch of mature fish is best. There are many ways to create the ideal environment for your betta fish, but there is some flexibility too.

I used to keep male bettas in large pickle jars with no heat or filter when I was young and clueless. And most of them were full size when acquired from pet stores and lived anywhere from 6 months to 2 years! I will report back to you on the more professional results of my pampered females when I have had them longer. Pretty sure my 3.5 gallon pampered princess is moving to a 10 gallon in the near future.

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