What environment would be optimal for a betta to thrive in?
I know that the minimum suggested is 2.5 gallons, but what's the size that a betta thrives in? I am asking because the hubby & I are thinking of re-doing some set up here to fit in more tanks for more betta's!!! (YAY, happy anniversary to me!)
It is not the size, it is the water quality. The cleaner you can keep the water, the healthier your fish will be. They have done studies (or at least I have heard people quote this or that study, haven't read it myself) that say something about bettas that were exercised live longer. So obviously tank size will have some effect on their ability to exercise. Though probably just like humans, some fish will be more likely to swim than others. You give one a 5 gallon and they might swim back and forth all day, you give another 500 gallons and they might just sit in the corner.
Personally, I do think a betta can thrive in 2.5 gallons. To keep water quality spectacular I think the easiest way to do this is split a 5 gallon into 2, or a 10 gallon into 3. Then you can have a cycled/filtered tank (so less maintenance and less sucky for the fish if you miss the water change day).
I am sure someone will probably come and say that bettas could really thrive in a 5 gallon tank (all to themselves), but I think that goes back to the fish's individual preferences. Some fish LOVE a giant tank and seem to want to die if they are put in something smaller, others are shy and would prefer a smaller area with lots of hiding spots.
Good luck and congrats on getting to expand your betta family!
Yes we definitely keep clean water for them! Do all the proper tests to make sure ammonia, ph, temp, etc are all in line. Both our boys are currently in 10's as of right now. Mine loves it, the hubby's doesn't seem to be as active - though that may just be his temperament...though he had been sick for a bit too, so his true colors (so to speak) may remain to be seen. Thanks for the info (:
Awesome guys! The hubby & I were just curious so we knew what to shoot for....... eventually, once we get a house of our own. We are having to move around our tanks a bit to add a new addition (the addiction has set in) which is going to involve a little down sizing (moving our boys from 10 gal's to 5 gal's) and in our conversations that question came up. He said "what do your fishie friends say?" since he knows I always go here first! Hehe.... so I thought I would ask!
Oh, and to expand on what Ollief said about the dim lighting, adding tannins (I think that is the right word) with Indian Almond Leaves, or oak leaves would be a way to dim the light without actually dimming the lights.
Not to mention all of their supposed healing properties. :)
Awesome advice!!! Each of our boys (including today's new family members - YAY!) have 5 gallons to themselves. I will look into the items you had mentioned as well. We do have good hiding spots and silk plants in all of their tanks so they can all feel safe & secure. I just wanted to make sure so we can do the best for them. I have only been into the hobby for about 3 weeks, so I am definitely a new fish parent & soaking in everything I read here, hehe. Thanks again for all your words of wisdom!