What Do You Need For A Betta Fish?


Betta fish are beautiful and active creatures to have in your aquarium. Not only that, but they are also affordable and suitable for beginners. However, if you want them to be happy and live a healthy life, a question you may ask should regard their needs, what do you need for a betta fish?

If you don’t know yet, feel no worries. We will cover everything in the article below.

What Do You Need For A Betta Fish?

First And Foremost: Aquarium

Undoubtedly, the aquarium is the most crucial part since it will host the fish’s habitat. If you have seen bettas in small bowls at aquarium stores, you might have an impression that’s enough for them.

But that can’t be further from the truth. According to experts, the minimum size for an aquarium is 5 gallons (merely 20 liters) of water. This tank size ensures the fish have enough comfortable space and limits the number of toxin buildups.

Also, it would help if you didn’t overfill your tank with decorations. They will take all the space of the fish and make them feel cramped.

Heater And Filter

The following pieces of equipment to consider in terms of the environment are heaters and filters. They make sure that your aquarium is not contaminated or overheated. Sometimes, your aquarium might be already equipped so that mix-matching can be less of a worry.

However, if that’s not the case, you can choose a wide range of equipment based on your tank size. With filters, the types of installations don’t matter. What you have to take into account is their flow power. Ones with too strong of flow can mess with your fish’s swimming and make them uncomfortable.

You should consult the aquarium store for filters that are suitable for bettas. Additionally, choose a power level lower than your tank’s recommendation. Should the tank be 5-gallon large, choose a 3-gallon filter.

Bettas are tropical fish from rice paddy fields of South East Asia, so a heater is necessary to keep them warm. Low temperature can lead to sickness, even a shorter lifespan.

The recommended temperature is between 75 to over 80F, or around 24 to 30C. Of course, choose a suitable heater for your aquarium glass since you won’t want to boil the fish either.


One of the worst things you can do to them is to leave the light turned on 24/24. Too much light can mess up with their daily routines, and they won’t be able to sleep. They can become tired, sick, and eventually have a shorter lifespan.

Experts suggest that we give them at least 8-10 hours of light every day and then turn it off so they can rest. Direct sunlight is not a suitable light source since it makes algae bloom and creates all types of harmful bacteria for your bettas.

Besides, leaving your glass aquarium outside is a bad idea since water can heat up extremely quickly and cause severe harm. A preferable choice is to leave your tank in a room that doesn’t have direct sunlight and is dark at night. Of course, you still have to keep an eye on the temperature.

With artificial light, if you are willing to pay, LED lights are the no-brainers here. These lights can mimic sunlight pretty well, but they don’t nurture algae and affect the tank’s temperature.

Moreover, LEDs don’t consume much energy, are colorful to match your vibrant fish, and are easy to install. Any local aquarium store should have these lights, so it won’t be a problem for you looking for them either.

Water Quality

Water to fish is like air to humans; its quality is of utmost importance for them. Excrements, toxin buildups, dissolving leftover food can contribute to polluting the water. That’s why we also recommended using a filter.

Besides, the water source is also vital. Regular tap water can be more harmful than you think since it contains disinfectants such as chlorine, along with other heavy metals. They might not be enough to intoxicate humans, but fish are more susceptible than us.

Hence, mineral water like bottled water is your best friend here. Don’t use distilled water since it doesn’t contain beneficial minerals for your pet, like the old saying, “Water which is too pure has no fish.”

What To Eat

What do you expect? Of course, they need food just like any pet. For FYI, bettas are active and aggressive carnivores, not vegans, and their favorite food is insects and their larvae.

If you ask how much you should feed them every day, give a fish 2-4 pellets twice a day. If it’s flaked food, use an amount they can completely deal with in 3-5 minutes. The leftovers can build up in the bottom of the glass and cause foul water.

Sometimes, you can be generous enough to treat them with more ‘lavish’ foods such as daphnia, mosquito larvae, or even tinier creatures.

Also see: Why My Betta Fish don’t Eat

Plants, Decorations, And Substrate

Choose decorations and plants that are suitable for your little fellas too. As we mentioned, don’t overfill your tank with too many decorations. They should complement the fish, not compete with them.

What’s more, due to its lively nature, bettas love traveling around and exploring their environment. But like a kid, you shouldn’t leave sharp objects around them. Sharp edges from decorations and rocks can scratch or damage your fellas if they accidentally touch them.

With a 5-gallons+ tank, with or without plants, the preferable substrates are sand or gravel or planting substrates. They are friendly to your pet and also create a more scenic view, along with a platform for plants to grow.

Keep in mind that some types of substrates can affect the pH level of the glass’ water, so consider this and consult the sellers on it.

Also like: Why is My Betta Fish Turning White

Bottom Lines

We hope that our article is sufficient for your confusion regarding everything a betta needs. In short, what do you need for a betta fish? Environment (aquarium, heater/filter, water, lighting), food, and decorations/plants.

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