How to Setup a Betta Fish Tank

blue betta fish

Bettas are some of the most brightly colored fish adopted as pets since their discovery; their long fins not only enhance their beauty but are also used to show aggression.

Bettas will flare their fins when they feel threatened; they are not the timid kind of fish and seem a little jealous of each other. This is so because they have been found to attack fish that have flowing fins.  

Betta Splendens is the full name of the fish meaning “beautiful warrior,” the genus Betta can be found in a variety of colors up to 73, however, the wild Betta is not as pretty as its family members. The latter features a dull grayish-green and the fins are short. The vivid colored beauties are thanks to selective breeding that also saw a change in the fin types of this kind of fish.

We will, therefore, give you useful insights on how to set up a Betta Fish Tank that will help promote its health and minimize its aggressive and anger outburst behavior. 

Characteristics of the Betta Fish

1. Intelligent

So as it turns out the betta fish are very intelligent because they are able to recognize their human keepers to the extent of playing with them. They can be a good type of pet for every member of the family and when you approach their home they will not run to hide but come and meet you. And if you try to run your finger across the aquarium they are going to follow it, a good way of establishing interest, making you eager to want to play with them. 

  10 Most Aggressive Freshwater Fish

2. Trainable

Apart from their fighting prowess, Bettas do have a huge personality and are not afraid to show off what they are made off, no wonder their territorial character. Bettas can be trained to play and will push a ball into the goal; they can also swim through hoops. And the good thing is that they have a long life span when kept in the right conditions of up to 9 years. 

3. Breeding 

The male Bettas are subtle, it’s a surprise that the women Bettas also tend to fully submit to the requests of the male without retaliation. The fishes breeding arrangement is unique because first the male will create a beautiful environment comprising of bubble nests at the surface of the water and attract the female to its humble aboard. 

Now here this beautiful place has been created by the male for courting and mating, after which the female will lay eggs. The aggressive male seems to think so lowly of its female companion and since they don’t stand incompetency the female is chased and the male retrieves the eggs and takes care of them until they hatch. 

betta fishes

4. Survival 

Bettas are the tough kind of fish as they can comfortably live long in water and will survive for a short period when not in water. The Labyrinth organ in the betta fish enables them to inhale oxygen when removed from the water. 

5. Are furious 

In recent times it is becoming clearer that animals are just as intelligent as human beings, now the betta fish when in pain will not hesitate to let you know and this they will do by rubbing their lips at the sides of the tanks while some will increase their ventilation rate. When kept in cramped places they will show their disapproval by flaring their fins. 

  Pictus Catfish Care Guide - Diet, Breeding & More

Even worse is that they will lash out at their family members by chasing and nipping on them and at times they may even kill each other. 

How to set up a Betta Fish Tank

As we have learned above the betta fish doesn’t like a cramped environment, it would thus be best if the tank you adopted could be a 5 gallon or even bigger. Each of the betta fish will need at least 24 square inches of water space and that is for a one-inch fish.

1. Filter type

 A filter in the fish tank is a necessary addition to help clean the tank and reduce the number of harmful bacteria that can cause diseases. 

Ensure that the filter doesn’t generate strong currents as the bettas long fins can hamper their swimming. Even better is if you can find a filter with adjustable flow settings so that you can control the flow of currents. 

2. Air pump and thermometer 

Oxygen and water temperature are what constitute the environment of fish among other things of course, but the two have to come in the right dosage. To this end, you will, therefore, install an air pump to help with the circulation of oxygen, and to keep the temperature within the recommended levels. You will also have to install a thermometer. 

Bettas prefer temperatures of up to 72-84 degrees Fahrenheit, but it also depends on the species of fish, however, 68 and 76 degrees would suffice. 

blue betta in bowl

3. Heater

Bettas originate from Thailand, an area that features tropical waters, you will, therefore, need a heater that will neither heat the water too much nor maintain the heat too low. The reason being too much heat will cause the fish to age faster and low heat will invite diseases. 

  How to Identify Male vs. Female Guppies

Therefore, the heater that you purchase should be submersible in water and incorporate a thermostat to help keep a tab on the temperature. 

4. Aquarium Accessories 

Bettas are not the docile type of fish and thus their home should be filled with exciting play and hiding equipment, also try to make the environment as natural as possible.  Incorporate some aquarium plants, rocks or ceramic objects that will not alter the PH of the water or affect the fish. 

5. Gravel requirements

Since bettas don’t have a specific area when swimming, it is better to get gravel that constitutes smooth particles. So that your fish doesn’t hurt itself, gravel made of large pieces of rock can attract and retain food and waste which will definitely alter the health of your water. However, the necessity of gravel is that it will assist in the growth of beneficial bacteria. 

Also don’t expose your bettas to too much light or loud sound from the TV, as it will startle them, tap water tends to be hard so you might want to use pure water with zero levels of chlorine and fluoride. 

Introducing the fish to the tank

Fish do get stressed out when not treated right and for this one, in particular, it would be best if it was first acclimatized to its new environment instead of just throwing it inside the new aquarium. When you first introduce the fish into the new water give it time to get accustomed to the new temperatures by floating it in its existing environment but inside the new environment at least until after the temperatures match.