In my opinion I think a 1.5 gallon tank is large enough for 1 betta. In the beginning when I got my first betta I read on numerous sites that the general rule of thumb was 1 gallon per inch of each fish. I do believe its to small for 2 betta's. There also nothing to suggest that having a larger tank makes you take betta care of your betta. Lets face it even people with larger tanks don't always treat their pets the way they should. I have read many posts in this forum and cannot ever find fault with a college student, school kid, elderly person living in assisted living facility for keeping a betta in a 1 gallon tank. If you are doing your best to properly care for and treat your betta I feel that's all that matters. Yes some will say spend a few dollars more and get a bigger tank but most people will get what they can afford. Yes some will say if you cannot afford a bigger tank you should not get a betta. At the end of the day who cares? If you care for your pet and give it a good home I'm happy for you. I'd rather see a betta in a loving home with someone who cares for them rather than a tiny bowl in a pet store swimming in their own waste.
One of the most important things for me is a consistent source of heat. Bettas are tropical fish, and there is no getting around that. I notice a massive difference between the health, colour and activity level of my fish when I have a heater malfunction or forget to plug one back in.
Fluctuating temperatures can cause problems like ich and velvet, and water temperature is important in regards to things like digestion of food. Just because your thermometer reads 79 degrees Fahrenheit doesn't necessarily mean it remains that temperature consistently throughout the day.
Clean water and adequate space are also important. Fatty liver disease is a problem in bettas that are fed too rich a diet, and bettas are quite an active fish once given more than a few cupfuls of water to move about in.
Personally, I think there is no real reason for a betta to be housed in a container less than 1 gallon if you are the average hobbyist. If you do not have the funds to provide at least the basic essentials (and yes in most places a heater is a basic essential) I feel you should not purchase a betta. You would not purchase a dog if you could not afford its care so why are fish any different?
I will not keep a betta in a tank smaller than 2 gallons. The 2 gals that I have are hospital tanks. The smallest tank that always has a betta in it that we own is a 3.5 gal which houses 1 male pet betta.
All of my breeding males are in divided 10 gal tanks except my yellow dragon HMPK who has a 5 gal. I have 2 females who each have a 10 gal tank.
A heater is needed. The amount the temperature changes during the night is bad for your fish. They are tropical and so NEED warmer temps. If you were told that they do not, that person was badly misinformed. Fall and winter are on their way here in the US. Not having a heater could be very bad for your fish once that happens. Especially in states that are known for colder winters.
Water conditioner is a must. Leaving water to sit isn't enough. I use Prime. Lasts quite a long time despite all my tanks. I use it in every one of them. Along with proper water changes, this helps keep my fish healthy. I change water at least 2 times a week if my hospital tanks are empty and every day if I happen to have a fish in a hospital tank. Ammonia builds up quickly and harms your fish.
Do you know your water parameters in regards to ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Can you ensure your water isn't fluctuating by more than a few degrees each way over the course of 24 hours?
Those are the two most important questions for me in regards to anyone who owns a betta. Unless you have a test kit you are essentially in the dark in regards to the quality of your water. All you have to go on is the behaviour of your fish, and bettas are usually hardy enough they can go for quite a while living in poor conditions. That is why they can be put into small containers and bowls.
I have no issue with a betta being housed in a 4L/1 gallon tank. That to me is the absolute minimum for long-term housing. Fatty liver disease is an issue in fish that are inactive and overfed, and in anything under 1 gallon there is really not enough swimming space, particularly once you add gravel and decorations.
While your methods may work, this is just my experience in keeping bettas. It's just you do need to be mindful that heat, clean water and a certain level of activity are all very important aspects of proper betta husbandry.
Okay, I know most people on here will say "you betta needs to be kept in at least a 2 gallon tank ect..." But my whole thing, is it really bad to keep them in a bowl that is 1-1.5 gallons?
I've had two Bettas before, one male and the other female, both common VTs from Wal-Mart of all places. I kept both in I want to say 1.5 bowls, maybe 2, and both lived for several years. Neither had a heater, water conditioner (I let their water sit for at least 24 hours) or anything. I just put stones from Dollar Tree and a fake plant in there with them. I changed their water about 2-3 times a week and fed them once a day.
This topic is not meant to start a war, it's merely to discuss opinions, success stories and the like. I do not want this to turn into a flame war or a post for bashing other members.
Please keep in mind, when I did the above, I was young and knew next to nothing about keeping Bettas or their "requirements."
I feel that 2.5 gallons or more is ideal but anything less than 1 gallon is ridiculous. So 1 gallon is the absolute minimum I will endorse.
I do in fact believe heaters are necessary. Unless of course you keep your house set to 80 degrees all year long.
Only a few years ago when I was 11 I got my first betta (I'm 15 now)
I pretty much provided the worst care because I wasn't properly educated on the subject of betta keeping. My poor betta lived in a 1/2 gallon tank, unheated in our 72 degree house, I only fed him the lowest quiality flakes once a day and I only changed the water 100% once a week. What a big improvement- now I have a female betta alone in a 10 gallon tank, heated to 80 degrees, she is fed high quality pellets twice a day and I do a 50% weekly water change since the tank is cycled.
I have learned a lot from this website. I do know some people come off a bit rude when endorsing better homes for bettas, but deep down all they want to do is ensure another betta has a good life.
Last edited by teeneythebetta; 08-13-2012 at 06:57 PM.