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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey! I'm a recent betta owner, I bought my baby betta about two days ago. He is very small, about 3/4 of an inch and doesn't have any color yet. I'm keeping him in a .5 gallon glass bowl, he has a bamboo stock, rocks, and a cute little house to hide in. He eats micro pellets and has been recently swimming around and blowing small little bubbles. I just want to know if I'm doing the absolute best for him, what does he need other than what I listed? Also, I am using tap water with conditioner drops. I'll appreciate any advice for my lil guy, thank you!

1,984 Posts
Let's see, here's a basic list of things:

1) 2.5 gallon tank, minimum. Unless you want to do 50% water changes every day. In my opinion, a 0.5 gallon tank isn't big enough for any fish, small or not.

2) Thermometer. Betta fish are tropical fish, they need water temperature that's in the 76-82 degree range

3) A heater, preferably adjustable, if it's not hot enough to maintain that temperature where you live

4) Water conditioner, which you already have. A water conditioner called Seachem Prime is the kind many members here recommend, it keeps ammonia and nitrites from being toxic to your fish

5) Cover in the tank. Betta fish like a lot of places to hide. Many members here recommend putting a few, or a lot of silk plants or live plants, plastic plants can tear their fins.

6) A test kit. You have to monitor water conditions. In small bowls or tanks, ammonia builds up quickly and will slowly poison your fish, and cause many health issues. Test strips are okay, but a liquid test kit called the API Master Test kit is recommended on these forums. Ones that will test ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are fine.

7) Water changes! In that tiny bowl, as I said, you need to change the water every day. Make sure you match the temperature of the water you're putting in to the water you take out, if you don't, you risk putting your fish into temperature shock. That's why a thermometer is very important.

8) Research! I recommend you look up information on the nitrogen cycle in fish tanks. It's very helpful, and it gives you a lot of information on caring for fish. Here's a link, it's a good read.
This is also good for information on Betta care, please give this a read when you can, too!

Good luck with your fish friend! A word of advice, since a see a lot of mistakes happen this way.. Don't listen to pet store people, do your own research. I'm glad you came here asking for help. Everything may seem a bit complicated and daunting at first, it was for me too, but it's very rewarding once you get the hang of things.

Any other members feel free to add anything I missed, or correct anything!

Super Moderator
22,070 Posts
Welcome to the Forum! :wave:

+1 ^

I do agree a bigger tank would be better. I tell anyone who asks to get the biggest tank they can afford and for which they have room.

There are many kits but in the long run I've found it cheaper to buy the tank and outfit it myself. PetSmart has a 2.5 with lid and PetCo has a 5.5 in-store-only tank. The PetCo tank doesn't have a lid but you can lower the water level. I like them and have four. Most kits don't have heaters so when comparing cost remember to factor in the heater.

A heater is more important than a filter so if you have to choose go with the heater.

If you can order online, this is a 25 watt heater many people use for tanks 5.5 and under:

I like this one, too. The 20 watt keeps my 5.5 at 79-80F; the 10 watt did the same for my 2.5. I've never had a .5 tank but presumably the 5 watt would do.

This is an excellent filter for either a 2.5 or 5.5. I use one size or the other in all of my tanks:

The larger the tank the easier it is to maintain. For instance, with a 2.5 or 5.5 you will probably only need to do one 25% water change per week...unless you over feed and there's lots of leftover food on the bottom. Your half-gallon will need 50% every couple of days. Removing 50% from a tank that small can be extremely stressful on a baby Betta. There is a thread in Betta Care titled "PetCo Baby Betta" you might want to check out.

If you can't budget in a larger aquarium use a turkey baster to daily remove any waste or leftover food. And get an API liquid Ammonia test kit. If Ammonia nears .25ppm in your baby's tank do a 25% water change.

Have fun!
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