How to Transfer Betta Fish from Cup to Tank

Last Updated on September 17, 2020

Recently bought a betta fish?

You may get your betta fish in a cup or a plastic bag when you purchase them from a store. But a cup is too small for them to be their permanent home.

Transferring a betta fish from one place to another can be a daunting task not only for you but for your beloved pet, especially if you’re doing this for the first time. But, there are steps to help you to make this process easier.

So, if your betta fish lives in a cup temporarily, this article will help you introduce them to their new home.

Let’s talk about the best ways to transfer betta fish from a cup to a new fish tank below!

Why is betta fish in a cup?

Usually, store-bought betta fish are transferred to a cup for you to bring home. Some betta fish even live in just a cup for as long as they’re alive.

The size of these cups is typically twice as big as your typical coffee cup and according to Fishlab, the best size for a single betta fish is 5 gallons. Now imagine comparing the size of a cup to a 5-gallon one. It’s definitely a new change, in a good way, for your betta fish.

If you wish for them to stay in a cup for a few days while you set up your new fish tank, remember that you may put your betta fish at risk.

Betta fish, as they say, is not a starter pet. It requires dedication, and if you’re really serious in owning one, you should already have a new fish tank prepared before even buying a betta fish.

This also means that you should have enough space inside your home that can accommodate the size of its ideal tank.

So, if you only have little space and just a cup for your betta fish, it’s best to reconsider owning one.

How to transfer betta fish from cup to tank?

Knowing how to transfer betta fish from cup to tank requires patience and steady hands. Do not rush this process because doing so carefully will reduce the stress of your newest pet.

Step 1: Wash all fish tank objects

Thoroughly wash all the decors, filters, substrate, thermometer, and any other objects in its new tank. Remove any debris that may hurt your fish.

Step 2: Prepare your fish tank

Ready your fish tank and remember that the ideal size for betta fish is a 5-gallon tank.

Step 3: Keep the temperature in check

Measure the temperature and pH of the water in the cup. Also, measure the temperature and pH of the new tank you’ll transfer your betta fish into. Check if the temperature on both the cup and the new fish tank is the same. If not, move on to the next step.

Step 4: Introduce the cup to the fish tank

Let the cup float on your fish tank for 15-30 minutes to adjust its temperature. Add small amounts of the water from the fish tank to the now floating cup. This is done to slowly introduce your betta fish to the same pH level as the tank.

Step 5: Release your betta fish

Tilt the cup and slowly release your betta to its new home. Make sure to do this step slowly.

Once you’re done with all the steps check to see the behavior of your betta fish. Monitor any unusual behavior. For example, color loss, fin clamping, swimming abnormally, or if the betta fish is not eating are signs of stress.

Also, be careful in adding too many objects inside. To be safe, add one or two decors and plants and see if your betta is fine with it before adding more.

Why is betta fish acclimation important?

Why is betta fish acclimation important

When you purchase your new betta fish, aside from being in a way too small a cup, the car ride home adds to their stress. Try to drive carefully and avoid any bumps that can frighten your betta. The temperature is also difficult to manage, you can minimize this by covering the cup with a lid, putting it inside a box, or surrounding it with some clothes to maintain its temperature.

Bettas are sensitive to any adjustments in their home, and sudden changes can lead to stress. Stress is definitely not a good sign and can sometimes lead to disease or even death.

The betta fish acclimation is a process where your pet will be accustomed to its new environment. This includes the new water and the conditions of its new home, new plants, and substrate that you will add.

Betta fish care instructions

Do all these transferring steps slowly and carefully. Make sure not to rush the process to avoid stressing out your new betta fish.

The best care you can give for your betta fish is to keep them monitored as frequently as you can.

As a fish owner, you want to let them explore and keep them happy, but there are certain things to consider that you must keep in mind at all times.

  • Keep your betta entertained with some toys and plants for them to play and hide.
  • Monitor the proper pH and temperature of its aquarium whenever you can.
  • Make sure that your betta fish is well fed with proper nutrition.
  • Keep your betta fish in its original tank for 2-4 weeks before introducing it to a community tank.
  • If you wish to add a new tank mate to your betta fish, do your research first.

Betta fish have emotions and can experience depression and frustration with their environment. While some are fine living alone, others may enjoy having a tank mate, lots of plants, some caves, or a bigger aquarium to swim.

Also, bettas require clean and healthy water. Make sure that your fish tank has a decent filtration system too.

Being a hands-on pet owner can mean so much for your betta fish’s overall health. If you always check, you know any little signs that need to be taken care of at once.

Doing so will ensure that your betta fish is living its life happy and healthy with the utmost care you provide.


Being a good pet fish owner comes with tasks that you should be willing to do. If you ensure your betta’s health and happiness, both of you will enjoy each other’s companionship. A happy betta fish will surely thrive and live a long happy life.

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