I've heard you should avoid putting a betta fish in anything bigger than 10 gallons. I was shopping for such a tank, and even attempted to purchase one...But stuff happened and the one I got, while not as small as I planned, wanted, and hoped for; still has a ton of bonuses. The one I got is 15 gallons... EEK! At first my betta was cool and swam the whole tank. Now he occupies about a third of the tank. He likes to hang out, out front, like he's bored or something and I'm supposed to entertain him. Occasionally, Sam the Betta, chases the tank mates (a school of neon tetras) or swims in circles around the heater. He's been hanging out in a front corner towards the bottom of the tank though. He brightens up whenever I get near. Seriously, is this fish trying to tell me his tank is too big. He used to swim all over his gallon tank. He has 15 gallons now... Why does he generally stay only in 1/3 of the tank???? He still loves his plants though and he still eats and chases my finger (even more now!)!!!!!
Do you have a filter? Maybe the current from the filter scares him.. there's a thread on baffling filters on here.
Also, if there is a lot of open space, it may be making him uncomfortable.. betta come from densely planted regions and don't appreciate "wide open spaces" as much as a little underwater jungle. Certain betta have certain preferences. Some will love a 20 gallon all to themselves, while others will go crazy and tail bite in anything bigger than a one gallon..
It's important to remember that they have really heavy fins, and having to swim all around a large tank can just prove too much work for them, so some will just prefer a section of a tank..
He's got big fins... I figured he was napping because he's lazy. Quite the contrary though when I think about it. The filter is plenty powerful.
I've caught the betta swimming in circles around the suction cup of his heater.... It was kinda funny to watch because it was an up and around a suction cup circle swimming between heater and glass going around the suction cup not the actual heater. The bastard of a fish did it for a good 10 minutes. Sometimes he gets bored spots the little tetras makes a half effort charge, and then goes back to swimming up and down, or lightly patrolling the 1/3 of the tank and "his lair". The filter is almost in the middle of the tank and the current is fine with the tiny neons, so I suspect the 3 inch Sam is fine too. He now has a lily pad like leaf in his domain too. I look forward to more surface leaves popping up in the future.
ADFs in the future... possibly. I'm going to wait for the plants to fill out first and I want to add some wood to the tank and a few more fish.
I hope Sam adapts, I've got plans for the 1 gallon tank. A baby fancy Betta. Sam was a cheapie but he's been with me along time now, 6 months, and he is in the "Platinum" (really nice) tank. He is also the only fish named, and the fish that takes priority over all others.
Is that why he keeps uprooting my plants always trying to get under them. It makes sense. In the small tank, there was a jungle. I transplanted and spaced all the plants out in the 15 gallon. There is a ton more space now, but some of the plants are growing extremely fast. One plant grew over 4 inches in 2 days, after transplanting. Scary fast because I know how small the one gallon is compared to the 15, and in less than 2 days the plant broke the surface.
Last edited by Cynical Fish Guy; 03-13-2012 at 02:19 PM.
Neons are small and have no problem in the fast current. A betta has a lot of problems with his fins in a current- think of how a parachute catches air, this is how a betta's fins work in a current. Baffling your filter wouldn't ruin anything and he might come out more. Also he may become more active once the plants fill in the tank more.
there IS too big... i've always heard 'nothing taller than a foot or so', which makes sense. too tall, and they'll have trouble swimming to the top. i'd personally never go bigger than a 29 long.... but that's just me. :B and, i'd not put a halfmoon in anything too big.... but a Veil, Crowntail, Plakat, HMPK... those, i probably would. -shrug-
then again, it depends on the fish. Lulu, my plakat, hates anything bigger than a one gallon. :I i tried. twice. might try again soon, just to see if she's changed her mind any.
Some bettas cope well with taller tanks. My sorority girls have an 18 inch tall tank and swim all over it, at all heights (I have one girl who thinks she is a cory). I'm going to be trialling Odysseus in it soon, though as he's a male halfmoon with a huge tail I'm not sure how well it will work.
Yes and no.... There is such thing as a tank being too big for the individual preference of a Betta. In a large tank one Betta might find it to be far too stressful while another could feel perfectly at home. Because of this, there is no definent x amount of gallons that is too big.
I have a "King" Betta (really a Half-Giant Plakat) who lives in a 10 gallon and uses every inch of the space. He's actually more active now than he was in his previous 5 gallon.