For anyone new to bettas, it’s easy to assume that they don’t need much in the way of living space. When you first encounter bettas in the store, you will see endless rows of them living in tiny cups. Most of the cups are so small that they can’t even turn around comfortably. So it’s not a stretch of logic to assume that they need a similar sized aquarium to make them happy.
What they don’t tell you, is that bettas only survive in those tiny cups because they are loaded with medications to keep them alive. Not only that, but bettas are a tropical fish, and the lower temperature in their cups makes them sluggish, so they don’t eat as much and fowl the water.
It should come as no surprise that bettas are not happy in these conditions, and they would far prefer a more spacious, heated environment. What is so surprising is how unsuited nearly every betta bowl on the market is for betta fish. It’s like they looked at what the fish needed, and thought, “Let’s just design something that looks cool. Who cares if it makes the bettas miserable and will shorten their life spans considerably?”
In the wild, bettas inhabit rice paddies, drainage ditches and slow moving streams. No matter what you may be picturing in your mind, these are not small bodies of water. They allow the betta plenty of space to swim, establish territories, and usually offer quite clean water. You want to emulate this environment as closely as possible in the home aquarium, and you can’t do this with a betta bowl.
So you may be asking, what is a good aquarium for bettas then? Listed below are some of the best choices you can make to keep your betta fish in.
I know that it’s boring and plain, and it doesn’t look nearly as exciting as many of the betta bowls, but the absolute best environment for your betta is a 5.5 gallon (21 litre) aquarium. This is the perfect size for a single betta fish, and it allows you to maintain a steady temperature and stable water parameters. A betta that is in a heated and well maintained 5.5 gallon aquarium will lead a very happy, active and long life.
And just because the aquarium itself looks boring, doesn’t mean that the finished product has to look boring. You can easily add aquarium sand, driftwood, and live plants to make this a stunning habitat for your betta.
You can find great deals at Amazon.com on All Glass 5.5 Gallon Aquariums.
While a 5.5 gallon aquarium is by far the best choice for a betta, there are times where you may not be able to afford a 5 gallon, or simply don’t have one handy. The absolute minimum size for a betta is a 2.5 gallon (11 litre) fish tank. This tank size still allows you to heat the aquarium and provide a filter for it. Any smaller than this, and you will most likely run into problems with the water temperature, since aquarium heaters tend to overheat smaller aquariums.
You can find great deals at Amazon.com on All Glass 2.5 Gallon Aquariums.
3. Speciality Aquariums
Just because you decide to not use a betta bowl, doesn’t mean that the aquarium has to be boring. While the above examples are of the classic, rectangular aquarium, there are many aquariums out there that rival the sleek look of betta bowls. Below are a few examples for you.