What are important rules for keeping a betta fish?

In this blog, we will discuss some of the basics of keeping a betta fish. 


In this blog

  • What are important rules for keeping a betta fish?
  • What rules should you follow before buying a new betta fish?
  • What rules should you follow after buying a new betta fish?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions

What are important rules for keeping a betta fish?

It is important to keep in mind some important things when keeping a betta fish, such as providing an environment that is as similar to their natural habitat as possible.

If you are thinking of getting a new betta fish, you have to think about certain things before getting them. We will discuss certain rules for keeping a betta fish. 

This blog will help new betta fish enthusiasts to make a list of things and follow certain rules before getting a betta fish and how to keep them once they get adjusted to their new home.

What rules should you follow before buying a new betta fish?

There are certain things to keep in mind before buying a new betta fish. I will list out the most important rules in this section:

Betta source

It is very important to know the source from where you are buying your betta fish. If you are buying it from online pet shops then enquire everything about betta fish health, age, size, tank size, temperament, how they deliver and how many days they take to deliver.

If you are buying it from physical stores then check their pectoral fins, observe their swimming patterns, coloration, and eyes and also try to know the genetics of the betta fish. Genetics plays a vital role in fish longevity.

It would be best to buy a betta fish from a betta breeder, as they are aware of fish genetics. There are various Facebook pages related to betta breeding and you can contact the breeders to know more about the variety of betta fish you are looking for.

What rules should you follow after buying a new betta fish?

There are certain things to keep in mind after buying a new betta fish. I will list out the most important rules in this section:

Appropriate tank size for betta fish

If you are getting a new betta fish, it is always important to choose the right tank size for your fish. The right tank size will keep betta fish happy and healthy.

For keeping a single betta fish (male or female)- A five-gallon tank is a must, anything lesser than this can directly impact their growth, movement, and longevity.

Small and compact tanks will restrict betta fish movement and will make them cranky too. Appropriate tank size is vital to betta’s health and longevity.

Betta fish acclimatization

Acclimation is a process where you give your fish time to adjust to the new surroundings. This is an important step because some people don’t realize the importance of this step and directly add the new fish to the aquarium.

If you don’t acclimate your fish then:

  • Your betta fish can get water shock due to different water chemistry
  • Your betta fish might die after adding directly to their new home.
  • Betta fish will hide often and will not interact with their owners.
  • They will reject food.
  • They will experience extreme stress.

So if you want to avoid the above-mentioned things, kindly acclimate your betta fish before adding them to a new tank. If you don’t know how to acclimate a betta fish, there are several videos available on youtube you can check those videos to know the acclimatization process.

Appropriate food for betta fish

Betta fish are naturally carnivorous and feed on various live food in their wild habitats. If you want to keep your betta fish healthy then replicate their diets in aquarium settings too. 

Bettas are easily trainable so you can train them to have various food other than live food too in aquarium conditions.

Best food for betta fish:

  • Betta-specific pellets- These are designed especially for betta fish, as it contains ingredients in the right amount to satisfy your betta fish hunger. Easily available in pet stores. Kindly check the expiry date before buying commercial food for your fish.
  • Live food for betta fish- It will be a treat for your betta fish, as they love to eat live food in their natural habitat too. Live food will bring out their natural hunting skills and is also considered a great mental stimulation for your fish.
  • Always quarantine live food, at least for two weeks before feeding your betta fish. Live food comes with lots of infections, to avoid this you must quarantine it before feeding your fish. If you don’t quarantine live food then there is a huge chance of infections in betta fish due to various microorganisms.
  • You can also feed your betta fish plant-based food, but betta fish don’t like fruits and veggies much. It can be fed occasionally but not regularly.

Aquarium heater for betta fish

Betta fish are tropical fish and live in warmer water in their natural habitat. Aquarium heaters are essential to betta’s health and survival. 

They need a certain temperature range (76-80F) to survive in aquarium settings too and it would be best to replicate that temperature in their artificial environment too.

You can install aquarium heaters along with a thermometer in the betta fish tank to maintain the right temperature in the betta tank. Make sure you are monitoring the temperature daily. 

Betta fish can get various infections and shocks due to sudden temperature dips or high temperatures. Avoid temperature fluctuations and temperature shocks in betta fish tanks. 

Appropriate filters for betta fish

Aquarium filters are essential components for bettas tank as it removes biological and chemical waste from the aquarium, making it much easier to maintain.

A good quality filter for bettas are those that don’t make too much noise, take up very little space, have adjustable knobs to maintain the water flow, have good strength, and don’t suck bettas in.

Choosing right lighting in bettas tank

Betta fish are diurnal species of fish, so they need some light to bring out their natural behavior. Like humans, bettas do have a biological clock and they sleep during the night and remain active during day times. 

  • Standard aquarium lights are best for bettas.
  • Indirect sunlight to maintain tank plants.
  • Avoid too much brightness in the bettas tank.

Choosing the right tank plants in bettas tank

  • It is important to provide your fish with plenty of covers so they can feel safe and secure. 
  • Both live and fake plants are good for bettas.
  • If you choose artificial plants, always choose ones made from silk because plastic ones can be harmful to bettas’ delicate fins.

Maintain Pristine water conditions in bettas tank

  • Water pH level of 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature between 75  to 80 F
  • Water hardness around 5-20 DH
  • Ammonia and nitrite level of 0ppm
  • Nitrate level below 20 ppm.

Betta fish feeding frequency

  • Bettas should be fed moderately and on time.
  • Adult or mature bettas should be fed twice a day and juvenile bettas thrice a day.
  • Never feed live, freeze-dried, or frozen food regularly, it should be given as a treat to your betta fish.
  • Always defrost frozen food before feeding your fish.
  • Quarantine live food for two weeks before feeding your fish to avoid infections.
  • Avoid overfeeding as it can lead to various digestive disorders in betta fish.

Water changes in a betta tank

Performing water changes in bettas tank is essential to remove toxic and unwanted stuff accumulated in the tank. It should be done weekly or alternately depending upon the requirement.

Water changes should be done with proper planning as sudden and large water changes can be detrimental to bettas. 

Performing partial water changes is suitable for betta’s health. It will let bettas acclimate to their new surroundings.

Keeping bettas tank in a quiet location

It is always important to choose a quiet location to keep your betta fish because they get scared and feel extreme stress if they hear loud noises or sounds.

  • Avoid keeping them near television and radio sets.
  • Avoid keeping them near the windows of your house.

Choose tank mates wisely

Right tank companions are important for your betta fish’s mental health because if you keep them with the wrong mates they might end up hurting each other or may experience extreme stress due to incompatible tank buddies.

  • Choose less aggressive species
  • Avoid brightly coloured species 
  • Choose bottom dwellers 
  • Avoid finnippers

Maintain separate breeding tank

Never breed your betta fish in the main tank as breeding prowess requires different breeding temperatures. Male and female betta fish need time to bond with each other before breeding which is highly impossible in a tank full of other species too.

Keep male bettas in solitary tanks

Male betta fish are very aggressive and it would be best to keep them in separate or solitary tanks to avoid fights and clashes in the tank over dominance and territory. 

Male betta fish cannot tolerate other male betta fish, so it would be best to keep them separately and even better to house male bettas separately.

Bettas tank cleaning

  • Dirty and unclean tanks will cause many infections in bettas, which could kill them.You should clean your betta tank at least once a week to maintain good water quality.
  • Clean gravels, remove leftovers regularly using a gravel siphon, clean tank plants and other tank accessories to avoid the formation of bad bacteria.
  • Clean filters properly.
  • Tank glass should be cleaned everyday.
  • Make sure to clean gravels properly without removing the beneficial bacteria.

Hideouts in betta tank

Bettas hide when they are stressed. It is important to provide your fish with plenty of hideouts so they can feel safe and secure. Bettas love to hide in driftwood, plants, and caves, which makes them perfect hiding spots.

You can DIY hideouts on your own by watching some youtube videos.


  • Always buy bettas from breeders who are aware of their genetics.
  • Acclimate your betta fish properly before introducing them to their new home.
  • Feed them high-quality food and check the food labels to know the expiry date and how much to feed.
  • Filters and heaters are essential to bettas.
  • Water changes and tank cleaning should be done with proper planning.
  • Provide lots of hideouts in bettas tanks to make them feel safe and secure.

Frequently asked questions

Can you keep bettas in small and compact tanks?

No, never keep your bettas in a small and compact tank as it restricts betta’s movement.

Can you feed bettas whenever you want?

No, you should feed your betta fish moderately. Overfeeding can lead to various digestive and other health issues in betta fish.

Are hiding spots essential in bettas tanks?

Yes, hiding spots are essential in bettas tanks, because it relieves bettas stress and makes them feel safe and secure.