Originally Posted by DragonFish
I actually must respectfully disagree here....bettas are curious and inquisitive and active fish, yes, but they do like and prefer to have cover. No they don't often hide and aren't exactly 'shy'(though it depends on personality), but based on my own research and experience bettas do like to have a nice amount of cover to swim around and rest on and feel a little more secure with that cover.
While most bettas do often tend to tolerate open spaces alright, many do stress in more open spaces which is often why a betta will stress in larger tanks(which often are decorated sparsely)leading to the myth that they prefer smaller spaces.
I don't think we disagree. I didn't mean to say they are never shy and never need cover. I thought this was a temporary thing until plants arrived. Short term it's not going to be much different then if he was in a small cup. I'm not so sure transparent plastic will make a betta feel any safer than a few more gallons of water and a tank, but spending a lot of time in that will have its toll. Eventually some cover will make the betta much more stress free. I prefer to give all my bettas a plant with nice big leaves. They enjoy that to relax under. Usually anubias.
I use a 50 watt for my 5 gallon. It's really hard to find anything smaller that's adjustable. A lot of the small ones maintain the water a few degrees above room temp. That means if my room is 78, it will bring it up beyond that, which is obviously not my intentions.