Picture of How to properly house betta fish @ home
Betta fish are some of the most mistreated fish in the world. In this instructable i will show you how to properly care for them.

Step 1: Housing your betta

Picture of Housing your betta
To give your betta a good life don't use any tank smaller than 10 litres (2.5 gallons). Bettas come from large rice paddy fields and dont like small spaces. The tank also needs to have a lid because bettas jump.
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I agree 100% that betas are the worst treated fish on the planet and if you go to petco and see the betas in those itsy bitsy containers of like 2 cups of dirty de oxygenated water and I kinda of feel sorry for them eventhough they forgot they were in a tiny cage every 2 seconds :) this Instructable I great for anyone who is uncertain or just doesn't know how to care for fish. -Thanks
Betta's are what are called "Labyrinth fishes".  They do not breath the same way as other fish you may be familiar with, those rice paddies they originally came from (where they evolved) are stagnant, low-oxygen environments, so Betta splendens is right at home in low oxygen environments.  When you see them "gasping for air" at the surface, it's normal and nothing to worry about.  That is how they breath.

Don't worry about those little cups either.  As long as it's a reputable pet store (one that specializes in fish, unlike Petco and Petsmart, which I tend to avoid) the water should be clean (it literally takes a couple of seconds to change the water in those cups.)  But even the best of the aquarium stores keep their Betta's in those cups.  Betta's do not do well in large spaces.  I don't recommend keeping them in those cups when you get them home (because you need to change the water every day or two), but they are perfectly happy and healthy in a 1 gallon bowl, even a half gallon is sufficient for them as long as you make sure to keep on top of the water quality.  I do not recommend using a filter on a Betta bowl however!  They do not like any water circulation at all.  Just do your water changes and they will thrive.

And this is how I've been raising and breeding Bettas for a good 30+ years now.

sorry I don't agree, my betta is in a 100 gallon tank now, coming out of a 15 gallon tank, and it was funny to see, how he reacted at the space he got, and how happy he was. I think, a betta deserves a lot better as living in such a small half a gallon tank. And I really don't say everyone has to get a 100 gallon tank for his fish, but a little space to swim en spread its finns and tail it really shoud have, its a fish, and fish do like to swim, and for that, they just need some space.

  I have to disagree. I got my Betta a 5 gallon tank with a very low water cycle and he loves it. He purposefully swims into the current and then back around. The current is also low enough that he can "sit" still in other places in the tank.

 He seemed happy in his half gallon that he was given to me with, however, it became dirty VERY quickly. I also feel that people spend more time and take better care of their pets if they give them the best that they can.
A slow current is fine for bettas, especailly if there are areas where they can get away from the moving water if they want to. Occasionally you'll find one that likes to ride faster currents, but that's not common.
Were did you buy that tank =)
Petsmart. It's a Hexagon tank. Should be $40 or so wherever you find it. :)
You're welcome to disagree if you want to, but bear in mind I've over 30 years of professional experience dealing with this species of fish before you call me wrong. 

It is good however that you've got places for him to get out of the current, they just are not physically capable of dealing with it 24/7.  Good luck with your fish keeping! :)
  I am simply disagreeing because I see how my Betta likes it. You stated that they didn't like any current at all and this obviously isn't true. However, I also think it depends on the fish/animal. Each one is different and as they get older they may change what they like.

 And thanks! It was an unexpected gift, but I like him!
They are a fascinating little fish, I've always enjoyed them myself :)
I wanna rescue them all now =( ....If my house was cleaner i could do that.
thank you for the excellent synopsis. I've been raising them for 25 or so years (haven't bred any in a long time, though) and it's just unbelievable how ignorant people are about bettas.
Oh I agree! There is too much mis-information out there about them being passed around, generally being spread by people who try to place human emotions on them . . . a human would not be happy or healthy in a small space, so they think a Betta would not be either.
how come you posted this in the future? i mean, seriously! time travel?
It must be because of Chuck Norris. And the fact it says March, not may. :P
............................. got me... ...dang it!..........
Because i magical!! Oh...and i have a DeLorean!!!!!!
Rafinn1 month ago
Hi, so I bought my fish from petco about a month ago while he was still a baby. Not sure exactly how old but very small. I have him in a half gallon tank and I use Kent marine betta water conditioner and I feed him three tetrabetta plus pellets a day. I've been waiting and waiting for his fins to grow but they have not much. I noticed recently his top fin is drooping to the side slightly. He is bright orange in color and has a bit of black shaded scaling all over his main body and find, so it is hard for me to tell if this is rot or just his color. He just began to flare occasionally and made his first bubble nest which I was told are signs of good health. Is there any way to tell if he actually does have fin rot, if his fins will grow more, and why his top fin is drooping? Please respond asap I'm very worried about the little guy.
nanja Rafinn1 month ago

Hallo Rafinn,

I think you really love your beta, and want to do the best for it. Your beta tank is way to small, a beta is a big fish, and can.t be happy in such a little space to live. Think, you have to live your life in a space, as litte as a airplane toillet. I'm sad to say it, but in this little tank, it will not live a long time. Just search at google about taking good care of a beta, and you'll find lots of instructions about the size a tank should have. It also needs a filter, to get all its waste out of the water, and keep the water fresh and clean, places to hide, can be rockholes, or high plants, so it feels save. I'm absolutely not judging you, some petstores don't care of they sell proper envirements for the pets, and don't give always the right information, they only think about selling. Others really take care, and give you a really good advise, as they all should do I think. I think your little fellow needs more space, some gravel on the bottom, a few plants, en places to hide. It is a tropical fish, so a heater would be nice, and a filter is really needed. If he gets this, I'm sure, you'll have a happy beta, wich has enough space to show all his beauty, and even is gonna come to you wenn you're near his tank. (sorry for my bad english :-)). Wishing you all the luck and lots of joy with you're betta.

scubasooo4 months ago

Hi there! My understanding is that bettas do not like a lot of current. I had him in a small bowl (due to bad information) but have since moved him into a 5.5 gal. tank and he's much happier. The filter that came with the tank does not have a flow adjustment option. Should I go ahead and keep the filter on at all times or should I turn it for to give him a break from the current? He has five live plants, a leaf hammock, and a floating log for him to hid in which brings me to my next question. Am I overcrowding him? I'd love to give him the best life possible. The picture is his current set up. Any help is appreciated.


Bitty Betta.jpg

*turn it off to give him a break

Do you have any tips for fin rot or tail biting? I bought a beautiful twin tail halfmoon betta at pet smart a few wks ago and about 10 days ago his tail fin started to disappear! I dont know if hes biting or if its fin rot, but now less than half is tail fin is there! He seems active and happy, but this is my first time keeping bettas :( I dont want him to die!!! the pic on the left was the day I bought him, the pic on the right is from this morning :( I am using stress coat and melafix right now and a couple grains of aquarium salt, but hes just getting worse after 4 days of this. I use betta ultimate water conditioner, he has an air hose but not a filter, he has a heater that keeps the water at about 78 degrees, His tank right now is only 1.7 gallons but I am working on cleaning out and then cycling a 40 gallon hex tank for him. I do need a new filter for the big tank as the one Ihave might be too strong for Houjin. Please help me!


The poor baby :( Glad he's feeling better! My baby recently had an outbreak of Fin Rot AND Ick. He was hiding behind the filter or heater and not really eating, not even when I gave him blood worms. After researching, I Placed my beta in a small .5 gallon tank to make medication and cleaning easier. Because there is no heater in it, I placed it a bit away's from a space heater to warm the water. All I did was clean his tank everyday, used Aquarium Salt ( 1/2 a teaspoon) for his medication, replaced him in after 24 hours and he's looking tons better since Wednesday! He's just a normal male betta that is purple and red. He looks like this http://www.myaquariumclub.com/replace-fish-469743.html#470887 you'll have to scroll down just a tad. He looks tons better than he did in that photo! His regular tank it a 5 gallon with a healter and Filter.

Bettas need at least 5 gallons! What are you doing putting him in a .5 gallon? Bettas come from rice patties and their territory is about 10,000 gallons. Im not surprised he has fin rot and ick because they are very prone to deceases in very small tanks.

Pet store bettas are, unfortunately, usually sick when you get them. The best thing to do is read up on them before buying and see if you can find one that's relatively healthy. You can also ask someone at the pet store when they normally get more bettas and try to get one from a new shipment.

If you're using melafix, use half or less of the recommended dose. There is another product by the same company called "bettafix", which is essentially the same but diluted. Melafix is actually pretty toxic, and bettas are affected by it more than most fish.

I always treated fin rot with just clean water and aquarium salt - about 1 teaspoon per 2.5 gallons of water. I'd put them in a smaller tank (my 2.5 gallon one instead of my 10 gallon one, usually) and change the water every day.

Here you can see his tail fin has started to grow back, we still have black but it is improving. He seemed to get worse before he started to get new growth.
IMG_20141014_093118_174.jpgIMG_20141014_091016_206 (1).jpg
I have been treating him for several weeks now, his fins are starting to regrow. I currently have him in a 1.8 gallon hex tank. He gets a daily dose of the melafix at .165 ml and the same dose of stress zyme, He developed a secondary infection which I am treating with API fungus cure. I change his water every 48 hrs and I am seeing a lot of improvement rapidly since I began adding in the fungus cure. He has remained active and friendly, always coming to show off for me no matter how many times a day I stick my face in front of his tank. When I see that the black yuck is gone from his fins i will be moving him to a 10 gallon. My husband thinks Im crazy since I have spent 10x the money treating Houjin than what I paid for him. But I love the little guy and I am determined to see him better. I am pretty sure he was past fin rot and onto fin melt, but he does appear to be improving. I see less blackened melty fins, a good amount of new growth and the weird off color patches that started showing up have disappeared since I started the Fungus Cure. Speaking of Houjin, it's time for his water change. thanks for the tips!

I have 10 litre tank and I only have one betta fish a little hammock and a honeycomb house inside. But now my honey comb house is really bubbly because I always left the light on and I'm only 9 years old so how am I supposed to know.

I have a 45 gallon tank and have both my male and female betta in there all the time! They seem to get along just fine! They enjoy the space and deeper cleaner filtered water. They both have places to hide and ample access to the top of the tank for air and food!! They are happy and healthy fish! Even the people that we got them from are impressed with the fact that we can keep them in there without damage! It can be done but again bettas are like people and depends on the fish I guess we just got lucky!!
komecake3 years ago
I actually walked in a Petland a couple of months ago and found Betta's in old ALCOHOL BOTTLES. There was an advertisement that said, "Buy one drunk betta, get one drunk betta free!". HORRIBLE! Not just because of that, but mostly because the air hole at the top of those bottles is TINY. How would you like to be stuck in a closet with only that air to breathe for the rest of your life?! Ugh!
I'm sorry to say you are a little bit uninformed you do want to change the filter cartridges but make sure you don't change the water at the same time but it is kind of important to at least replace every once in a while and its like dusting your house with a dirty cloth just not going to work
Aqua-Man (author)  spiritwolf79846 years ago
sorry to say this but i think you are the uninformed one it is just the chemical filtration you need to change the biological just needs to be washed in old tank water
Actually, you will need to occasionally change your filter cartridges because eventually they will wear out. Not so much for undergravel filters, which are very common in betta tanks.
Undergravel filters are VERY junky. The guy at petland said "Undergravel filters are from the stone age."
So the petland guy is the Ultimate Authority? I kinda doubt that. Undergravel filters are very useful, and the current they produce is minimal as long as the air isn't turned up very high, which makes it good for a filter in a betta tank. Same goes for sponge filters, especially in a tank with fry
When you replace the filter cartridge, a good tip is to just stick the new one in with the old one for a couple days to seed it with the beneficial bacteria. Then throw away the old one.
f.serrano944 years ago
I like it
manro764 years ago
Are the pictures yours. If so you should make an Instructable on how to take pictures of fish.
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