How Big Should a Betta Tank be?

Last updated on June 7th, 2021 at 10:24 am

Bettas are a popular option for pet owners because they’re inexpensive, colorful, very low maintenance, and are one of the most common fish in a home aquarium. You may have seen them on TV, or you’ve been told that they’re just a “dorm fish.”

But did you know that there should be the right size to choose for betta fish tanks? They need to live in an environment where their needs are met and they can thrive. This article is going to break down how big your tank should be for a happy and healthy betta!

Is a 1-gallon tank enough for bettas?

how big should a betta tank be

Seeing betta fish being sold and kept in tiny containers in shops will make us think they can live in such conditions. This is an unfortunate effect. Pet stores do this to conserve space and lessen operation expenses.

The question shouldn’t be what is the minimum tank size for your fish. Instead, you should ask how large should you get so that they could feel that they are in their natural environment.

A beginner getting into the hobby of caring for betta fish can safely get a 5-gallon tank like the Fluval Spec V and have peace of mind that the environment for your betta is wonderful.

If a betta lives in a 1-gallon container or less, then this would require a more frequent water change to keep ammonia levels as low as possible. It will also not give your pet enough room to explore and swim freely which your betta fish need.

Keep in mind the one-inch per gallon guide. If you take that into consideration then 3 gallons is the bare minimum at least. As a betta fish keeper that wants to care for and give the best life to your pet fish, provide the best environment possible.

Furthermore, any decoration put into the tank such as gravel, rocks, and plants will displace water so do not make it too crowded if you get a 5-gallon tank. This will ensure that there are at least 3 gallons of water inside the aquarium. Always remember that surviving differs from thriving. We want our pet betta fish to thrive.

Related: Do Betta Fish Need a Lid on Their Tank?

Why larger tank is better than a smaller tank size?

By the look of it, it seems that a small tank requires less work than a larger tank. However, here are some reasons why a bigger aquarium is the best tank for your pet:

Bigger aquariums are more stable

There are many things to consider when choosing the size of your betta fish tank. A smaller fish tank volume will be more difficult to maintain to keep water parameters stable. This is because a smaller amount of water will have an increased chance of sudden changes in parameters and water quality.

Poor water and an increase of ammonia in the water can be deadly for your betta fish. In smaller tanks, it will increase more quickly and could become toxic to them which damages their gills and internal organs.

More room for other fish

Another reason why a bigger tank is better than smaller tanks is that overcrowding will not be too much of a problem. For example, if you’re not monitoring your betta tank closely, it can be easy to overstock a 10-gallon tank without realizing it.

However, in a larger aquarium, this isn’t an issue as there is plenty of space available for all your bettas, baby guppies, or goldfish that may need more room than what their standard bowl provides them!

Temperature won’t cause too much problem

Bettas need warm water temperature considering that they’re tropical fish. This won’t be an issue if you choose a big aquarium since external temperature affects a smaller fish tank a lot more and dramatically.

In big aquariums, it will take more time for the temperature to fluctuate that’s why it is also recommended that you include a heater in your betta fish tank.

Your pet won’t be too much aggressive

If you want to make sure that your betta is the only one in charge of his aquarium, get a big tank as possible. Because he’ll have more space for himself and less chance of being bothered by other fish!

How many bettas can live together?

Bettas, especially males, are highly territorial and are fine living on their own. Never put males together because they may end up killing one through stress from constant territorial disputes.

On the other hand, females of around 4 to 5 in number can make up a betta sorority. A lot of hobbyists go on the safe side of providing at least 3 to 5 gallons per female betta. For example, if you want 4 female betta fish in a sorority it would be great to have a 10 gallon to 20-gallon tank. This will let them set up their territories.

Breeding is an entirely different situation. The male and female betta fish never occupy the same tank for a lengthy period of time.

Can bettas live with guppies?

Male guppies have long vibrant tails and fins which may make a betta think it is another male betta. This can make the betta fish very aggressive towards the male guppies. Some female guppies are also very colorful and the betta may attack them.

Aside from this, betta fish loves to hunt! This may pose a danger to guppies who find themselves in a betta fish’s hunting ground.

As much as possible it is better to avoid such situations by not putting guppies with betta fish in small tanks. But, if the aquarium is huge enough with plenty of plants to act as sight breaks, then it is possible to have them as a community. 

It is still very unpredictable what may happen though if the guppies stray into betta fish territory. This also depends on the temperament of your pet.

Best betta fish tank size

The size of the tank is an important thing to consider before you decide to bring home your pet fish that is why keep in mind the one gallon of water per inch of the fish guide.

This guide helps fish keepers choose an aquarium size. The average length of an adult betta fish is 7.5cm or 2.95 inches which roughly translates to 3 gallons if we follow the inch per gallon rule.

Consider too that bettas are highly territorial and will constantly guard their surroundings. A small aquarium will not let a betta do this. Most betta fish enthusiasts mention 5 gallons and higher as the minimum size tank for a betta fish to thrive.

If you have a community tank, it is important to take into consideration the 5 gallons for your little friend and also add in the gallon requirements of all other tank mates. Putting a betta in a community tank is not advisable for a beginner unless you have done thorough research on the compatibility and requirement of each community member.

Each betta is unique just like you! Some may be more friendly and passive than others. Always stay on the safe side and see their behavior to avoid unwanted scenarios. Have a spare tank ready in case this attempt fails.

Related: How to Decorate Fish Tank

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