Picture of How to Properly Care for a Betta

How to Properly Care for a Betta Fish

This instructable will teach you how to properly care for a betta, a beautiful and hardy fish ideal for the beginner. And unlike other ornamental fish-related instructables, this one will actually give you legitimate facts about bettas that will allow your betta to thrive.

Check out my betta and general aquarium-related videos on YouTube:


My Simple Betta Breeding Aquarium Setup:

SUPER DELTA BETTA | Quick Aquarium Vlog:




Upgrading my 3 Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium:


Step 1: The Betta Background

Picture of The Betta Background

Bettas, aka Siamese Fighting Fish or Betta Splendens, originally came from the muddy ponds, streams and rice paddies of Thailand. The original betta splendens had dull coloring and short fins.

The bettas we know today have long flowing fins and come in all sorts of striking colors, due to genetic mutations while breeding. Their long flowing fins is a distinguishing characteristic that is only acquired by the male, female bettas are generally smaller and have short fins. Male betta's aggressiveness is another trait that sets them apart from female bettas. Male bettas are much more aggressive than female bettas, that is why male bettas cannot be kept together where they are in contact with each other. Once in contact, they will instinctively fight to the death, hence the name siamese fighting fish. It is very important that the owner understands to respect this animal's trait, rather than to use it as a form of entertainment.

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MattK172 days ago

You can check out more betta fish tail types here:


AshleyL61 month ago

is a one gallon tank okay? i also have a 20 gallon in my basement but is that too big?

Thanks! I'll start cycling the 20 gallon

UPDATE: If you are planning on adding other fish to accompany your betta, clown plecos are perfect for 20 gallon tanks! For more information click on this link: http://homeaquaria.com/5-best-betta-tank-mates/
What I read was the minimum required number of gallons is 5(you probably can do smaller but maybe that depends). I have a ten gallon tank for Marco, my betta, and he is doing perfectly fine. Marco seemed even happier in a more big and open space with lots more decorations than living in his 1 gallon bowl with only 1 decoration and a plant.

So basically, my answer is the bigger, the better. As long as you have a proper filter, a heater, and a moderate amount of decorations and he will be very happy! I was lucky he survived his first year and a half in that cramped thing!

Side note: I highly recommend buying one of those hollow log decorations you can get at PetZoo. The stay afloat beneath the surface and the betta can swim in and out of it. My betta was even happier than he already was when I put it in!

This was a long answer, and hopefully you read it all. If you did, thanks so much! This was my very first answer, and I hope I was of assistance :)
AuroraP129 days ago
Some of your info is wrong....if anyone truly cares for their the fish and want the best for their fish, join fishlore! Real plants are the best for them, and their are a few nice ones that are great for beginners and don't require high light, co2 etc. Also minimum should be 5 gallons, they need a heater and filter (low current of course). Fishless cycling is the best as it is more humane. To help cycled your tank without waiting to long THE BEST PRODUCT IS SEACHEM STABILITY! This product is great and been prefer my people with multiple tanks and years behind them. It also allows you to do water changes in the case where you already have fish and your ammonia or nitrites get high. Also if your really wanting to be a good pet parent invest in API master testing kit, NEVER RELY ON STRIPS! They are inadequate and most pet store use them. Also never rely on the pet store employee to give you the correct info...they are there to sell to you...could be a cashier just filling in. Do research or join legit forums (like fishlore, planted tank etc.). That is just quick basics, there are a lots more info fish parents should know. If you can't afford to care for them appropriately, then you shouldn't own them...simple. Fish keeping isn't just throwing them in a bowl and your done...lot of patience, work and money to provide them what they deserve. .a owner willing to take the responsibility to care for them. Btw, where they originally came from really don't have any valid point the majority of what you buy (speaking an bout betta's ). They are raised and breed in captivity...js. Happy fish keeping! =]

have a beta got him Thursday and i had a fish bowl today i got a half a gallon tank

and he loves! it

StephanieH81 month ago

There are only two ways to fully cycle a tank. 1: add a fish or 2: add ammonia to the tank to start the process. Adding the "Start Zyme" and "start right" or whatever, only kick starts the process but you still need to add a fish to produce the ammonia that is needed to form the bacteria..

i have betta just got her today i got heat filter gravel coditioner plants and flakes do i need anything else.

pfaulkner110 months ago

I'm interested in getting one or more Betta fish. Now is it true that you can have multiple females in one tank without them killing each other? Also, I've seen bettas being kept in flower vases - is that even good for them? I'm also having the problem that I can't fit a two gallon tank anywhere at my place (too small and crowded), but a gallon or better half gallon would fit. Now I know that ideally, the tank should be 2gal, but do you think that a single Betta would do fine in a half gallon tank with say a small plant in it?

TiaJ1 pfaulkner12 months ago
I wouldn't put more than one fish in that small of space. That's not very peaceful for them

no no no sorties need expirience so stick to one betta or none. YOU CAN FIND SPACE FOR A TWO GALLON. NO MORE VASES! Please do your fish a favor and upgrade!

I apparently didn't read your full post before responding :P Do not keep more than one betta in less than a 5 gallon tank. You're just asking for trouble if you do.

A single betta might do ok in a half gallon if absolutely necessary, but I'd never house them long term in less than a gallon. A half gallon is barely big enough for a full grown male to stretch his fins!

I never had luck with less than 5 females in a tank. I found it worked better if they were all added at once, so they all had an equal chance at claiming hidey holes and sorting out the pecking order. If I wanted to add new fish, I had to take them all out, rearrange the tank, and put them all in at once again. If I tried just adding a fish to the existing tank, she'd get picked on and sometimes killed. I only ever had one fish that was so agressive I had to put her in her own tank, though. I had a 10 gallon tank with 5-12 females in it at any given time for about 3 years.

If you do start a sorority tank, try to find a local-ish breeder (most will ship overnight if you're close enough), don't go to the pet store. Usually breeders are trying to breed show fish and will gladly give you a good price for the fish that aren't show-worthy, and you know those fish have been well taken care of, there's no telling what you're getting from a pet store.

CandyP pfaulkner18 months ago

If you decide to have 2 females together when you are putting the other female in have an extra tank/cup beside you in case they start fighting. If they do start fighting take out one and put it in the tank/cup. If they don't then they will be fine.

JayF2 pfaulkner19 months ago

Yes, females usually can be kept together however it isn't rare for one female to be aggressive and unable to be housed with another female. I find that vases are very cruel and they do not have enough space to thrive, as well as not having a heater which is essential for a healthy betta. They can survive but they will be very lethargic and in bad shape over time. They can be housed temporarily in vases but they can not live permanently in one especially not when the whether gets colder. I would say anything less than 2.5 gallons for a single betta is cruel and a half gallon tank is even more so. It'd most likely become incredibly bored and depressed. It's like you living in a closet for your entire life. If you don't have space for a big enough tank then I wouldn't buy a betta because it's unfair to them.

roy.bachtell4 months ago
When I bought my betta I had him in a 2L tank he loved it so when Xmas came I bought him a 13g tank so that I can spoil him with it and after a month or two he had hert him self on one of the deco so I had removed it out changed his water and he did start healing so after a month I had noticed he was only getting worse so I had put him back in his old tank and his did another water change and after a few days he seems to be more active he seems like to be in there better but he is still not healing I had tryed betta fix but then stopped using it when I found out it will hurt him more so if anyone can help me I really am trying everything I can think of to help him any helpful suggestions would be great.
I would continue with the betta fix. And after it wears off in color a lil bit. I would do about 1/8 of a tsp of aquarium salt
ryan37th3 months ago
Hello. I am from the Philippines. I fell inlove with the fish because of the simple reason that it is beautiful and it is less stressful to maintain it, plus the fact it wont need air pumps as it will use electricity (an issue in our office). I just want to ask if my bettas are all male? For now, I am using mineral water. Will it harm them? How about the tank? It is the only thing I can afford for now.

Thanks for the comments and help.
TiaJ1 ryan37th2 months ago
The all blue one is a female
TiaJ1 TiaJ12 months ago
I usually buy spring water for my betta and treat it still and he loves it

Funny this says they need a heater but my fish store says they do not hmm

Actually my friend is sorta an expert at betas haha, and she said that you don't need a heater if your room is at 75 degrees

So tell me, is your home constantly at 75 degrees Fahrenheit? Almost no one's is. Be kind to the animal you're responsible for and get a heater, please.

i have a betta heater in my fish tank and hes happy

Most people at pet stores have no clue what they are talking about! Better to do your own research before hand.

They are tropical fish, so they are happier when they're warmer, but I've found it depends a lot on how they're raised. A lot of them are raised at room temperature and are therefore used to it, but I've had a few (from a breeder I don't normally deal with) that were raised in a heated tank, and they really needed heaters. One was a beautiful peacock blue crown tail, and if the tank dropped two degrees he'd turn bleach white!

jmunny4 months ago
Hmmm, my two betta fish have been living in a 1 gallon tank for four years now and they are doing just fine. Dont waste your money on a large and elaborate tank. Just saying.
Laura527F jmunny3 months ago
Betta's thrive in larger tanks. They swim around back and forth, up and down. If you can afford to and have the space a 2.5 or 5 gallon is really great for one betta.
ryan37th3 months ago
Are they all males?
ryan37th3 months ago
Are they all males?
roy.bachtell4 months ago
He's a butterfly betta idk if that information you might want to know
roy.bachtell4 months ago
He's a butterfly betta idk if that information you might want to know
roy.bachtell4 months ago
Oh a list of what I use is just stress coat & water conditioner
And I have a real plant in the 2L tank as well and I use pellets give him 5 pellets once a day except for Sunday and Wednesday for fasting

My Betta fish seems to be hiding or resting a lot lately. And so,stokes I get worried because he's my first pet in America. I got my fish from pets smart and I don't know if I have a big enough fish tank. I know my dad doesn't like to spend so much money but I really want my Betta fish to be happy.

Who ever said that Bettas need to be kept in smaller tanks. This is so not true! I had bought a blue half moon betta in a 1.5 gallon tank he looked miserable! He wouldn't come to eat he would always hide and he loved the flirter as well. My partner wanted to et a bigger tank and some fish. We decided to et a 30 gallon with a red tail shark 5 tetras, 5 zebra danios, and 2 femal Bettas. They all love each other and the betta loves the new tank. I had them all over a year now. People mistaken these fish and day they need a small tank and no water filtration. That's all bull! They need room to swim just like all the other fish do!


Aquist19797 months ago
My 5 yo son got a Betta fish as a Christmas gift. It came with the fish, a tank with water pump, plastic plants, gravel and betta food. He named it Fire because of it's red fins. Fire likes to hide under the water pump. Doing this has caused him to lose quite a bit of fin. Fire doesn't seem quite active and only really comes out for food. I believe his whole tank setup is wrong and needs a complete do-over. In doing some research on Bettas, I think I'm going to clean out his tank, add some water conditioner, buy some silk plants and some medicine for his fins. I would hate for Fire to die as he was a gift for my son. I would appreciate any positive advice. Thanks!

Yes! I believe you will do great. The pump also might be too strong but if you hide it it might help. Good luck

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