How Often Should You Change Betta Fish Water

Last Updated on January 19, 2023

If you own a betta fish, you want to ensure that you give them the best care possible.

Besides choosing the best kind of water for your betta tank, you should also be aware of how often to change their water.

They are an essential part, so your betta remains healthy and happy!

In this blog post, we will explore exactly how often to change betta water and why it’s a must.

We will also discuss some factors you need to consider and common questions about water changes.

Why is it a must to schedule a betta fish water change?

Water changes are essential to maintaining a healthy environment for your betta fish.

Without regular water changes, the water in your tank can become polluted with toxins and harmful bacteria that can harm your betta’s health.

Changing your tank water helps to keep the water clean and free of pollutants, providing a safe and healthy environment for your fish.

Water changes also help to replenish oxygen levels in the tank, which is important for keeping your betta healthy and happy.

Scheduling regular water changes will help to ensure that your betta has a safe and comfortable home.

What’s the ideal water condition for betta fish?

The best water condition for betta fish is one that mimics the natural environment of Southeast Asia.

It means keeping the pH levels between 6.8 to 7.2 with nitrites below .5 ppm and nitrates at 10–20 ppm.

You should also keep the temperature of the water around 78-80° F (25-27° C).

Betta fish do best in a well-oxygenated tank and benefit from regular water changes with treated tap or spring water.

It’s also important to provide hiding places and natural decorations for your betta, like artificial plants, stones, and driftwood.

How often to change betta water?

If you opt for a 1-gallon aquarium, there will be an additional burden placed on you to ensure that the water is kept in optimum condition at all times.

how often to change betta water
How often to change betta water – image from

If your tank has a filter attached, perform a 15-20% water change once a week; if not, then a 30-50% water change per week should keep your betta’s home clean and healthy.

But when selecting a tank size for your betta fish, aim for at least 3 to 5 gallons if possible.

This will provide room for your betta to swim around and explore and reduce the chances of sudden swings in water parameters.

Additionally, you’ll do fewer water changes, as the larger volume of water will stay cleaner for a more extended period.

Things to consider when scheduling water changes

Before you settle on a water change schedule, you need to consider several factors:

Tank Size

Tank size is a crucial aspect to consider when scheduling your water changes.

Larger tanks require less frequent changes, while smaller tanks can experience a quicker buildup of harmful chemicals and toxins and need more frequent water changes.

For example, a 5-gallon tank should only have a 10-20% change once every two weeks, while a 1-gallon tank should have a 30-50% water change every week.

Feeding Frequency

How often you feed your fish and how much food you give them are essential for scheduling water changes.

Overfeeding leads to excess waste in the tank, which needs to be removed with more frequent water changes.

A good rule of thumb is to feed your fish only what they can consume within 2 minutes and no more than twice daily.

Filter and Tank Mates

If you have additional filters or tank mates, this can also affect how often you should do water changes.

Filters can help keep the tank clean by removing debris and other substances accumulated over time. Having a filtered tank will require you to change betta fish water less.

Likewise, having tank mates can produce extra waste in the aquarium, so monitoring their diet and health can help keep things clean.

What tools to prepare for a water change

To help you speed up the process of doing water changes, here are some few tools that you should have on hand:

A bucket to contain the new water

tap water – image from

When performing a water change, a separate container to put your tap water in is essential. This will help ensure that your betta fish tank remains clean and free of contaminants that can harm your fish.

Another bucket to hold the dirty water you siphoned out

An additional bucket is also a must-have for the old betta’s water. This is where you’ll put waste or debris while siphoning dirty water from your betta tanks.

This will help keep your tank environment healthy for your betta and protect against contamination from foreign substances.

A tank-cleaning siphon

A good quality water siphon is crucial for successful water changes.

It allows you to quickly and efficiently remove dirty or polluted water while preventing any spillage or mess around the tank area.

Water conditioner

water test kit and dechlorinator
water test kit and dechlorinator – image from

A quality water conditioner is essential to neutralize chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals in fresh tap water before adding it to your betta fish tank.

It helps create a safe and healthy environment for your pet and makes maintaining the proper pH balance easier.

Investing in a water test kit can help you get proper pH levels.

An aquarium thermometer

Knowing the exact temperature of the old and new water is vital for a successful water change.

It would be best if you used a high-quality tank thermometer every time you change to ensure you’re not harming your fish by introducing too warm or cool water into their home.

Cup for acclimation

An acclimation cup is necessary to slowly introduce your betta into the tank after a water change.

By floating the cup in their tank and gradually adding tank water, you can help them slowly adjust to the new environment without any shock or stress.

Brush for decorations and plants 

A soft brush is needed to clean any algae and debris from tank decorations or plants.

This will help keep your betta’s home looking nice and tidy!

A step-by-step guide to help you do a water change

Once you have prepared all the tools above, you’re ready to clean your betta fish tank! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

image from
  1. Turn off the filter and any other electrical equipment in the tank.
  2. Clean the tank water by removing debris, waste, and uneaten fish food.
  3. Use the siphon to start sucking old water from the bottom. Remove 10-50% of the old water, depending on your betta tank.
  4. Fill up a separate container with clean tap water. Make sure to add in your preferred brand of water conditioner according to the instructions on the label before adding in new water. 
  5. Check the temperature using a thermometer before pouring the new into the tank (it should match the previous temperature).
  6. Slowly pour new water from a bucket or pitcher into the tank, avoiding pouring directly onto live plants or fish. 
  7. If you’re transferring a betta, use a cup to acclimate them to the new environment slowly. (You can skip this one if the old and new water has the same temperature.)
  8. Test and adjust the pH levels as needed.
  9. Turn on any filters or electrical equipment that you turned off previously.

Remember that a partial change to betta’s water is much better than a complete one. The latter removes all beneficial bacteria from the tank and can shock your betta.

Although clean water looks more appealing, water changes are more than just about aesthetics. You’re doing it for the health of your pet fish.

A good rule of thumb is to do partial water changes every 1-2 weeks, depending on the size and condition of the tank.

Related: Can Betta Fish Live in Tap Water?

How long should water sit before adding betta?

Treating your betta fish tank’s water with a water conditioner is critical to keeping them healthy and happy.

Water conditioners work quickly, so you can add them to the water five minutes later.

However, you must take extra precautions when performing a water change to minimize stress on your fish from sudden environmental changes.

To achieve this, it’s best to keep the betta in its old water and perform the change gradually by removing old water slowly over time rather than doing a complete deep clean with a total water change.

It’s also essential that the new and old water have close temperatures; an aquarium thermometer is helpful for this task.

Let the treated tap water sit in the same room as your betta for at least 10-15 minutes before introducing it into the tank, and check if the temperatures are close (within 1 degree).

You can then add cool or warm water as necessary to meet temperature requirements.

Related: Betta Stress Stripes: Everything You Need to Know 

How do I keep my betta fish water clear?

Keeping your betta fish water clear is important to maintaining an aquarium.

How often should you change bettafish water

A good filter system is essential for removing excess food, waste, and other debris from the tank. So make sure to choose a filter with a suitable capacity for your tank size.

It is also essential to feed your betta carefully so that it can consume all of its food within 2-3 minutes.

You should remove any uneaten food immediately as it will increase ammonia levels in the water, making your fish sick.

I’ve experienced this firsthand. When I just started to take care of betta, I didn’t use any filter and didn’t know I needed to remove waste immediately.

I only realized something bad was happening when my betta started becoming lethargic and losing its color.

That’s why I recommend you clean it up after feeding.

Regular water changes are also necessary to maintain clear and healthy water in the aquarium.

Replace 25-50% of the tank’s volume every two weeks or so with freshly conditioned tap or spring water.

This will help keep ammonia levels and dissolved organic compounds at a minimum, resulting in better life for your betta and clearer, healthier tank conditions overall.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often to change betta water?

I’d recommend doing water changes once a week. You can do less depending on your tank size and whether you’re using a sound filter system for your tank. But I suggest you don’t wait any longer than two weeks as it could be dangerous for your betta fish.

How long can a betta go without water change?

Again, this will depend on its environment. The smaller the tank is, the more water changes you’ll need to make.

Feeding frequency can also affect the survival of your pet fish, as uneaten food will result in more waste and ammonia buildup.

Generally speaking, bettas with good tank conditions can survive up to two weeks without a water change, but you’ve got to consider the size of the tank.

How frequently do you change the water in a 2.5-gallon betta tank?

For tanks with a capacity of 2.5 gallons, it is recommended to change 25-50% of the tank’s volume every week with freshly conditioned tap or spring water.

This will help keep ammonia levels and dissolved organic compounds at a minimum, resulting in a better quality of life for your betta fish and clearer, healthier tank conditions overall.

How long can my betta survive in the same water?

Betta fish typically cannot survive longer than two weeks without doing any kind of maintenance on the tank, including regular cleaning and changing the water.

It is essential to monitor water quality regularly to ensure that your betta’s habitat remains safe and healthy, as unsuitable living conditions are one of the primary causes of premature death in these fishes.

What can I do to stop ammonia buildup immediately?

A large water change of up to 50% of the tank’s volume is one way to reduce levels drastically.

You can also use API Quick Start nitrifying bacteria. This beneficial bacteria will help kickstart the aquarium cycle and prevent fish loss.

It’s great to use when starting a new aquarium, after water changes or filter changes, and when introducing new fish to an existing tank.

It also converts toxic ammonia into nitrite and then harmless nitrate so that your fish won’t be affected by high levels of dangerous substances.

I’ve been using it for my own fish tank, and it has helped me keep the water clean and safe.

Wrapping It Up

Keeping your betta’s water clean and clear is essential to being a responsible aquarium owner.

Regular water changes are crucial to maintaining healthy, clear water in your betta tank and providing the best environment for your fish.

Not only will this help keep ammonia levels down, but it can also make a huge difference in your fish’s overall health and happiness.

Thank you for reading!