My wife purchased a Betta from a local big-box store for our nine year old daughter's birthday. After speaking with one of the clerks, she bought a smaller aquarium (under two gallons) for our newest addition to the family. I checked a number of online sources regarding proper care and was bothered by the seemingly insufficient size, heat, and filtration of the tank. I am considering purchasing a larger tank to improve the care of our little buddy, but want some advice as to the correct size, facilities, etc. Are their any standard approaches to the care of a Betta that will enhance his life?
A 2 gallon or bigger tank,a heater set to 80, some live plants, a leaf hammock, and some quality food, omega one betta buffet is good so is new life spectrum betta formula, both great foods, both in the pellet form. So that's the basics feed him twice a day and have a one day fast in the routine, do water changes often either do 2 50% water changes weekly to play it safe or get a test kit, we could discuss the naturally planted tank where the water changes can be way less often but that's a whole new ball game. So heater food water changes and plants for him to hide in and a leaf hammock, what more could a betta ask for?
Welcome & what stone said! My advice gomas big as you can, I have my males in 10g, 5.5g & 2.5g tanks, depends on the Betta & where I had space. The bigger you can go, 10g or more, you have more options for tankmates & its easier to keep the water parameters stable. If you decide on a tank with a filter read up on the nitrogen cycle, it sounds daunting but its really quite simple. Keep asking questions, we'll help where ever we can!
I have come to the conclusion that 2.5 gallon is the absolute minimum. I have one male betta in a 5.5gallon and he is super happy! Blows bubble nests pretty much every day. You could always go up to a 10gallon and divide the tank. I plan to in the summer since I caught the betta bug.
In reality, one gallon is the minimum as it is the smallest tank you can safely heat. However, bigger is usually better - more stable water temperature, better water quality, and more options for tankmates. :) However, if your tank is over a gallon, you don't need to be in a huge rush to upgrade. What is more important is that you have a heater, a thermometer, water conditioner (I highly recommend Prime) and a good quality betta pellet (make sure it has fish as the first three ingredients, not wheat).
In a small tank, filtration isn't a must. If you would like a filter, I suggest looking for a sponge filter with a gang valve so you can adjust the flow. :) These have a large amount of room for bacterial colonisation and are just great for small tanks. :)
You can't go wrong with a 10 gallon. I have a 5.5, 10, 20, 29 and 46. I started with a 0.5 and well, looking back I wish I started with something better. Think to the future.. If you ever decide to sell the tank for any reason it's easier to get rid of or if in a couple years when your betta gets to be an old man (assuming you got a male) then if you don't want another betta it's easier to get other fish for the same tank. Lots more options for stocking a 10 gallon then a 2.5 (betta only really) or a 5 (nano fish/betta) ..
Also think about accessories .. Heaters/filters/etc for smaller tanks cost the same, if not more than ones for 10 gallons. As I've read.. 10 gallon aquariums are the "cockroaches" of the aquarium world. They're extremely easy to come by and are the most popular starter tank. Just a word of the wise, if you do decide on a larger tank, if you get a kit (like a 10 kit from a big box store or online classified ad like craigslist) if the filter is rated for 10 gallons do some research on the brand. Some are really crappy, some are great. (I can't say enough about Aquaclear 20's..)
Hope this helps. I wish someone told me this 8 years ago
I have had a 5 gallon tank for about a year now and wish that I had at least a 10 gallon. My boy is very active and he does prefer the larger sized tank. When I take him to visit my parents' house with me at the bottom of the state, he sometimes has to come. When he does, he has a vacation house waiting in my parents' home that is a 2 gallon fish tank. I notice a difference in his behavior when he is in a smaller tank than in his bigger tank.
Having live plants can also add to the quality of your little buddy's life. There are many things you can do depending on how much you are willing to spend/dedicate time to!