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I have a 5 gallon tank and I would love to get another betta! I don't have too much room for another tank with a fish so I was wondering if I could divide my 5 gallon? Or would that be too small for the fish?
 

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A 5gal is pretty much the smallest tank that you can divide, imo. Some people don't like dividing anything less than 10, but dividing a 5 still gives a fair amount of space for each and can definitely handle the bioload.

So from my point of view - sure! Just be aware that this size tank can only be divided once, and that you *still* need a way to quarantine a new guy before adding to a community tank.
 

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I would say no to dividing anything smaller than 10g... why take from your existing guy comprimizing his quality of life to give to the new? it just dont seem fair when dealing with such a small tank and the fact that the guy you have now is used to having that space :(

I would not buy a new fish until I could afford getting a new tank ^_^
 

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I had two of my longest lived fish in a divided five gallon. It can absolutely be done,with good results.

I am doubtful that fairness or quality of life are really significant factors in this case. They're fish, and we have to be careful not to personify them. Also, a point that could be brought up is that while it may reduce the living space of the first fish, the second fish will be a lot better off than it would likely be. If all of their needs can be met- which certainly can be done in a divided five gallon- I see no reason not to. Be sure to quarantine before adding it to the tank.
 

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This is all just my personal opinion:

As a (very) temporary tank, sure.
But, as a permanent betta home, no way.

A split 5 gallon, with substrate, equipment, and water level lowered to prevent jumping the divider gives each fish less than 2 gallons each. The prevailing opinion on this forum seems to be that 2.5 gallons is the bare minimum required for a long-term betta home.

The way I see it, I have more of an obligation to provide the best environment I possibly can to the fish I currently own rather than trying to "save" other fish.

Sad as it is, I have accepted that, in general, being a petstore betta fish sucks. Most will either die in their cups or die shortly after purchase due to the poor care they receive by whomever buys them. Good betta owners are rare. And as a good betta owner myself, I have had to accept that I cannot save them all.
 

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@Artemis - yes, but a 2.5 gal tank doesn't give a betta 2.5 gallons when accounting for substrate, equipment, and water level either. My 2.5 gal tank has roughly 1.5 gal of water in in based on what I can estimate with water changes. Given those factors, the divided 5 gallon would likely provide *more* space for each fish than a 2.5 gallon with all of those items in there individually even accounting for a slightly lowered water level (but assuming the divider comes up to the top of the tank). If you put a jump guard in, water level then doesn't have to change that much.

The 2.5 gallon rule as I understand it applies to tank size total, not water in the tank.

I really don't see a problem with a divided 5gallon, even as a long term home. As I said above, it is the *smallest* I would consider dividing. But that doesn't mean that if done properly, 2 betta can't share a 5 gal permanently.
 

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Greenapp1es, we will just have to agree to disagree on the divided 5 gallon tank issue :dunno:

But, that difference in opinions is just one of the many things I really like about this forum.

There is no absolute "best" or "right" way to do things when it comes to fishkeeping. I like that different ideas can be offered here (for the most part) without people getting their proverbial "panties" in a bunch :roll: So often nowadays, too many people see differing opinions as "bullying" or "personal attacks" instead of just the judgement-free words that they are.

I would never criticize or fault someone who is already using a divided 5 gallon tank. But, if someone is only considering it and is looking for opinions/thoughts (like this thread) I will definitely voice an opinion. I enjoy reading different points of view on an issue I am considering.
 

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I don't want this to come across as aggressive in the least, just want it to be thought about... Has anyone who thinks this is a bad idea actually kept a divided 5g tank? Tested the water? Observed the fish? Etc... I'd bring up the same point in tye ever present 1-2.5g minimum tank size debate, having actually (successfully) kept both.

I don't use substrate in my tank, and raise the divider instead of the water to prevent jumpers (I use a lid of course). I'm confident that even with a small amount of substrate, a properly divided tank will really only hold slightly less than its empty volume... An insignificant amount with small bioload fish like betta. In addition, a lot of "five" gallon tanks are actually five and a half gallons... In fact I think the standard is 5.5 and not 5.
 

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@Artemis - yeah, there will always be a lot of differing opinions on this. I think expressing both are valid, as it gives everyone multiple angles to look at an issue. So long as everyone is respectful to each other's point of view, differing thoughts on how to approach a problem give someone asking a good base of information to choose from. :)

@Matt - yeah, I'm pretty sure that the standard 5 gal size is 5.5. I know that in my 5.5 gal tank (some substrate, some plants, heater, relatively bulky filter) I have around 4 gallons of "swimmable" water as estimated by what I see when I do water changes. As noted above, my 2.5 gal probably has somewhere around 1.5 gallons of "swimmable" water.

That's actually part of where I'm drawing my conclusion from. Even adding a divider in, water volume would be roughly ~2 gal on each side with a divider and looks that it would give more than my smaller tank.

That said - a 10 gallon REALLY isn't that much bigger than a 5.5 when you really put them side-by-side. Bigger is always better, so divide the largest tank you have the space and resources to divide.
 

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Trust me, personifying fish and other animals is the last thing I would do. I absolutly hate anthropomorphism. I still can say that it is unfair for the fish having half its living area taken away, its not the fish that thinks that you know, but me. Not making it anthropomorphism at all. I still believe in taking care of the fish you have before buying new ones.

Take my tank for example, it is 8gal, but I would NEVER buy a new fish and take space from Trevor by dividing the tank. We give bettas so little space to live in as it is keeping them in small tanks that I think they should get the biggest tank you can get for them and not divide small tanks to soothe your egosentric urge to get a new fish :)

It may take more time having to buy a new tank, but for your fish that would be the best :)

I think a 10g is alot bigger than a 5g, its dubble the water volume, which I know you know helps keep things stable and its easier to maintain :)

Lol I always get really messy posts xD sorry! I like this topic alot tho! And I am glad one can agree to disagree! :D
 

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To Matt's point, I have had my best luck with minimal or no substrate, it makes water changes much easier. As for my advice, if your current betta is not a feisty, active swimmer, go for it, with quarantine of course. However, as Axeria mentioned, if you have a healthy, strong swimmer, it might be best not to risk it, and wait till you have space for a new tank. I have 4 bettas right now, and if I had to, Niran and Adonis could split a tank, but Tricky and Muggsy are much too active, and use their space to its limits as is.
 

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That is a really good point! Bettas have different personalities for sure and you need to take the specific fish in mind when deciding things like this :)

For my Trev dividing would not be good, I can clearly see that he enjoy having space to swim and explore and he does so alot! But a lazier fish might tolerate to be in a divided tank. Tho I still think 5g is too small to divide imho :)
 

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This is a great discussion!

I agree that the individual fish's activity level is a factor to definitely be considered in dividing a tank.

@ Matt
No worries - I didn't take your question as aggressive at all.
I have not ever actually tried using a divided 5 gallon (or any other size) tank. I am personally not a fan of divided tanks at all, for a multitude of reasons. But, that isn't the topic here (another good discussion topic :) )

I guess it comes down to, for me, it isn't so much about the volume of swimmable water, but the amount of horizontal swimming space. All my research indicates that bettas prefer horizontal swimming space rather than lots of depth. Most methods of dividing tanks results in spaces that are much deeper than they are wide. Reminds me of a small room with a really high ceiling. Plenty of air, but not much usable room, kwim?

In the end, though, maintaining stable, clean water is hands-down the most important factor. A well maintained split 5 gallon is always better than a dirty, neglected 10 (or bigger) gallon.
 

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^+1!

I am also not a fan of divided tanks for that reason! Bettas seem to prefer horizontal swiming space rather than vertical. I actually get knda sad when I see people keep their bettas in divided tanks where each betta only gets a little slit of the tank... I do see many good divided tanks on here tho, but they are bigger than 5g for sure ;)

I am also agreeing with Artemis on the fact that the quality of water is really important.
 
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