What tank set-up does a betta fish need?

In this article we will discuss betta fish tank set up ideas.We will also discuss tank types,filters types,tank shape and tank size too.This article will give you a clear idea about what is important in their tanks.


In this blog

  • What tank set-up does a betta fish need?
  • Bettas tank size
  • Bettas tank shape
  • Bettas tank types
  • Bettas filter types
  • What are some of the great filtration types for bettas other than sponge and hang-on-back?
  • Bettas tank water parameter
  • Bettas tank light intensity
  • Bettas tank substrate
  • Bettas tank decors
  • Bettas tank plant
  • Bettas tank cover or tank lid
  • What are the steps to be followed to set up a betta fish tank?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked question

What tank set-up does a betta fish need?

The betta fish tank setup needs: 

  • Spacious and horizontal tanks
  • Efficient gentle filters
  • Heaters 
  • Hideouts or hiding spots
  • Toys for mental stimulation
  • Live plants

Bettas tank size

  • Minimum tank size for bettas is 3 gallons.
  • Additional tank size for each fully grown bettas is 1 gallons.
  • The ideal tank size for single male or female betta is 5 gallons.
  • Bettas do well in spacious tanks.
  • Overcrowded tanks are one of the major reasons for bettas aggression.
  • Smaller or cramped tanks will reduce their lifespan.
  • Already their lifespan is shorter and if they are kept in smaller and overcrowded tanks,the stress will kill them.
  • They can be kept in plastic or glass tanks.
  • The biggest advantage of having a bigger tank is,they don’t get dirty quickly like smaller tanks. 

Bettas tank shape

  • Bettas like larger tanks with great open areas for swimming.
  • Bettas prefer tanks with more length than height.
  • Bettas like to swim,so a horizontal tank will provide more swimming space for them.
  • Bettas don’t belong to deep tanks,so avoid keeping them in such deeper tanks.

Bettas tank types

BiOrb aquarium for bettas

  • These aquariums keep the tank clean and fresh.
  • It has an effective filtration system and attached LED lights
  • Made up of acrylic 
  • This comes with other decorative stuff too.
  • The only drawback with these aquariums is they are not meant for dozens of fish.

Yellow submarine aquarium for bettas

  • These aquariums come with lots of decorative stuff and plants.
  • It gives lots of hiding space to bettas.
  • They come with a filtration system, aquarium heater and tank lighting.
  • It is quite spacious for free swimming and surface breathing.

DaToo 5 Gallon Aquarium for Betta Fish 

  • It comes with a low iron glass LED light and filter system.
  • It is rectangular in shape.
  • It has a good lighting system.
  • It has an effective filtration system.

Fluval edge aquarium with LED light 

  • It comes in both 6 gallons and 12 gallons.
  • Material-It is made out of glass.
  • Shape- Tank shape is rectangular.
  • Efficient lighting system for fish and tank plants.
  • Big enough for 6 species.
  • Separate door for feeding.

Fluval spec V aquarium kit

  • It is a 3 or 5 gallons aquarium
  • Best choice for your betta fish.
  • It keeps the water parameter stable along with live aquatic plants.
  • It helps with water evaporation too.
  • Design is quite unique and beautiful.
  • Good choice for newcomers.

Marineland ML90609 portrait aquarium kit

  • It is 5 gallon aquarium
  • It has a hidden filtration system.
  • It has a good LED lighting system.
  • Material -It is made up of glass
  • It is a curved glass aquarium
  • Mainly used for freshwater fish.

Tetra crescent acrylic aquarium kit

  • It is a 5 gallons tank
  • It has ultra activated carbon to remove bad odors/ discolouration.
  • It comes mostly in black color.
  • Material-It is made up of cotton.
  • Curved from the front.
  • It comes with a LED light,power adapter,internal filter and a medium shaped biobag. 
  • It can be kept in the kitchen,bedroom and living area.

Marina LED aquarium kit

  • It comes in 5,10 and 20 gallons.
  • Made up of glass material.
  • It has clip-on filters with quick change filter cartridges.
  • Great for beginners
  • Easy to maintain.

Aqua culture 10 gallon aquarium

  • It is a 10 gallon aquarium for bettas.
  • It can be easily kept on flat surfaces.
  • It comes with an LED lighting system.
  • Rectangular in shape.
  • Low profile hood.
  • Daylight effects inside aquarium water with lighting.
  • It has an effective filtration system,which removes aquarium impurities 24/7.

Bettas filter types

Bettas thrive well in stable water movement so install a low flow rate filter in their tank.Proper filtration is crucial for your bettas health.

So,the filter which you’re using should process all the water 4-5 times in an hour.There are two best types of filters that go well with bettas tanks.

Sponge filters for bettas

Bettas need gentle filtrations in their tanks,so sponge filters are best for them.In normal filters the bettas fry would get sucked in.Simple and best choice is sponge filters for bettas.It is considered as best betta filter.

Hang-on-back filters for bettas

It gives biological,mechanical and chemical filtration in bettas tanks. HOB filters protect betta fish from strong water currents.These are good for both newcomers and experienced aquarists.

What are some of the great filtration types for bettas other than sponge and hang-on-back?

  • Five great filtration 
  • Tetra whisper internal filter 
  • Aqueon quietFlow LED pro aquarium power filter
  • Aquaclear cycle guard power filter
  • Penn-plax cascade aquarium canister filter
  • Eheim classic 250 external aquarium canister filter

Bettas tank water parameter

Bettas prefer calm water in their tanks.They do well in optimum temperature conditions.If these parameters are not maintained then they will become inactive and can become sick.

The levels of ammonia and nitrite should be 0ppm and nitrate should be <20 ppm in their tanks.

  • Water type-Freshwater type
  • Water temperature-75F-80F
  • Betta breeding temperature-78F
  • Water pH-6.8-7.5
  • Degree of water hardness-3 to 4 dGH and 3 to 5 dKH
  • Water movement inside the tank-Calmer water
  • A good quality heater attached with a thermometer will help to maintain the internal environment exactly like their natural habitat.

Bettas tank light intensity

Betta fish like both natural and artificial light in their tank or aquarium and they need enough light during day time and proper dimness during night time.

Exposing them to direct sunlight can increase algal growth in their aquarium.

Bettas need 8 to 10 hours light and 8 to 10 hours darkness.Bettas don’t like total darkness in their tank.

Bettas tank substrate

Bettas don’t need substrate,as it doesn’t really matter in bettas tanks.

They don’t interact with the bottom that much.Some sand or gravel substrate would be fine.Black gravels make them look beautiful by enhancing their colouration against a dark background.

Flat marbles can also be used as substrate for betta fish.They are not a great choice for betta fish but can be used if black gravels are not there.

Avoid using coloured gravels as it can pollute the tank.Gravels should be cleaned with the help of a gravel siphon to keep the substrate healthy.

Bettas tank decors

  • Smooth Rocks, driftwood or malaysian wood and caves can be added in their tank.
  • Avoid sharp and edgy decors in the tank, this can hurt their beautiful flowing tails.
  • Clean all decors before adding them to the aquarium.

Bettas tank plant

Live and overhanging plants are best for your bettas as they act as a natural oxygen purifier and can help them to conceal themselves to avoid aggressive tank mates or predators.

It also provides a good hiding space for your bettas when they feel threatened or stressed.

  • Betta leaf hammock
  • Silk aquarium plants
  • Sinking ceramic betta log
  • Marimo balls 
  • Hydrilla aka waterthymes can be used in bettas aquariums because it gives bush- like views in the tanks. 
  • Indian almond leaves are recommended as they can keep their immune system strong.
  • Anubias nana
  • Cryptocoryne
  • Water Sprite
  • Betta Bulb
  • Sword Plant
  • Vallisneria

Bettas tank cover or tank lid

Tank lid or screen tops are not required in bettas tanks,but to be on the safer side it would be better to keep a screen top in their tanks.If bettas feel overwhelmed then they can jump out of the tank.

Bettas breathe on the surface of the water so tight tank tops are not advisable.Keep screen tops several inches higher than the water surface.

What are the steps to be followed to set up a betta fish tank?

  • Always pick a good location away from direct sunlight.
  • Tank preparation should be done by cleaning the betta tank without soap or detergents.
  • Efficient filtration system should be installed.
  • Addition of gravels on the bottom of the tank.
  • Addition of live aquatic plants and tank decors should be done.
  • Water should be filled.
  • Filtrations should be turned on.
  • Aquarium heater should be installed.
  • Addition of neutralizer 
  • Performing fishless cycle.


  • Betta fish do well in large and spacious tanks.
  • Shape of the tank does matter for bettas,a horizontal tank will give them proper swimming space.
  • Bettas need an efficient filtration system.
  • Black color gravels are best for bettas fish as it will enhance their colouration against a dark background.
  • Their aquarium should be placed away from direct sunlight.It doesn’t mean they like darkness.
  • They don’t like darkness either.They are attention seekers and need proper attention from their owners.
  • Addition of Indian almond leaves will keep them healthy.
  • Avoid keeping a mirror in a bettas tank as it makes them aggressive everytime they see themselves in the mirror.
  • It is usually done to distinguish bettas’ gender and the test is known as mirror test for bettas.
  • Never keep bettas in tank size below 5 gallons.
  • Always quarantine new fish for at least 20 days before adding them to a community tank to avoid various infections.
  • Smaller and overcrowded tanks are not good for bettas as it could trigger aggression in them and even limit their overall growth and lifespan too.

Frequently asked question

Can we keep bettas in rounded tanks or common fish bowls?

Bettas should never be kept in rounded or common fish bowls because it will hinder their growth and reduce their lifespan too.

Can bettas swim against the current of water?

Bettas like calmer water flow in their tanks and it would be better to not let them flow against the current of water.

Do betta fish need air pumps in their tanks?

No betta fish don’t need air pumps in their tanks,as they breathe air on the surface of the tank due to their labyrinth organ.

How much time does it take to complete a nitrogen cycle?

Nitrogen cycle can be completed in 24 hours by adding bottled bacteria.