How to Care for a Betta Fish in a Vase

Last Updated on October 8, 2020

There are arguments on the use of vases as containers for betta fish. It is said that buyers lose their fish within a few weeks of keeping them to vases. Water temperature, diet, and breathing are some of the dilemmas in this kind of living condition.

While this might be true, this article will help you on how to take care for a betta fish in a vase. We will also discuss how to ensure that it will be safe and will grow in this kind of environment.

In this post, you will learn about:

  • Setting up the vase for the betta fish
  • Getting the fish acquainted with the water
  • Taking care of the betta fish while in the vase

Set up the betta vase

For this set up, you will need a vase that will serve as your tank and a tray. You can also include a plant and aquarium decorations.


Betta containers should not be less than one gallon, make sure to select a large vase and rinse it well. A larger tank means more room for your betta to swim around. This also means a happier and healthier betta.

Aquarium Accessories

At the bottom layer of your tank, you can put aquarium safe decorations like stones or marbles. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly before putting in the vase.

Flower pot or Tray

Prepare the tray that will fit into your vase. Since bettas are jumpers, you need a tray to keep them from jumping out of the vase. Place the tray above the water surface.

Cut a hole in the middle of the tray where you can insert the roots of your plant. Assess the size of the hole, so you can add stones and marbles on top without them falling onto the vase.


Tropical plants that do not require much sunlight or water to survive are your best bet for this situation. You can opt for a Peace Lily or other Spathiphyllum plant.

Afterwards, rinse the remaining soil off the roots. Check if the roots need trimming – you should be able to slide it through the hole and reach down into the water.


Fill the tank with warm water or at room temperature. Use filtered drinking water or dechlorinated tap water. Avoid using distilled water as it doesn’t contain natural minerals for your betta.

Acclimate your betta to the water

Once your betta is in a closed plastic bag, let it sit beside the vase for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then transfer the water from the vase to double the water in the bag. Remember not to get any water from the bag into the vase.

Allow it to sit for another 15 to 20 minutes on the tray. This will allow the temperature in both containers to equalize.

Gently net your betta fish out and release into the vase. Using a net guarantees that the water from the bag won’t be mixed with the tank water. Afterwards, put on the tray with the plant and rocks.

Lastly, place your vase in a location without too much noise and direct sunlight. Noise and heat have a big impact on your betta’s health.

Stress and fin rot are some of the effects of too much noise. While excessive heat can affect the water temperature.

Temperature should be kept at around 75 to 80F.

Related: What is the Best Water Conditioner for Betta Fish?

Care for your betta in vase

Now that you have everything in order, here are the things to note on how to care for a betta fish in a vase.

Feed your fish regularly

Betta fish are carnivores. They couldn’t rely solely on eating plant roots as it contains no proper nutrients for them. They will get sick and eventually die.

Feed your betta fish with a small amount of high protein foods once a day. It could be worms, brine shrimp, betta pellet, or flake. While live foods are your best bet, you can also feed them with frozen foods.

Change your water frequently

As the vase is unfiltered unlike a fish tank, plant and fish waste can build up in the water. Temporarily transfer your betta to a clean container. Remember to be careful when relocating your fish as you clean and change the water.

Wait for the tank to reach room temperature before you transfer back your betta fish using a net.

The frequency of water changes also depended on how big your container is. 3 days for 1 gallon vase, 5 days for 2.5 gallons, and once a week for 5 gallons.

Related: How Often Should You Change Betta Fish Water

Clean your vase and accessories

Clean your vase every water change together with the aquarium decorations. Remove any scum or algae and wipe your vase clean with cloth or paper towel. Clean the stones and marbles as well.

Moreover, you can also attend to your plant’s needs. You can do so by trimming off dead leaves and checking its roots.

Take note to avoid soap as you clean the vase and accessories. Soap residue can mix with the water and can be ingested by your betta.


The steps above are just some of the ways to care for a betta fish in a vase. Make sure to always keep an eye and observe your betta’s appearance and behavior. Some of the signs that your betta is unhappy is the changes to their color, behavior, or fins.

Once you see these irregularities, it is better to visit the pet store for advice or change its environment completely.

Separate the plant from the betta and put it to a more livable container.