Buying Guide: Best Betta Fish Tanks
Betta fish tanks are designed to provide optimal comfort to a fish of their size and make sure your vibrantly colored pet thrives in its new environment.
Betta fish, also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, are highly prized for their flowy fins and vibrant scales, but they also have a reputation of being highly territorial. This results in an aggressive streak in male Bettas–which also happen to be more striking and more sought after of the sexes. Naturally, this impacts the breed’s requirements for living conditions. Male Betta fish can never be kept together in one tank, as their territoriality and high aggression levels would cause them to fight until one of the fish was dead, and that’s the last thing that any aquarist would want. So, to be able to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of Betta fish, hobbyists turn to fish tanks that are designed to accommodate one angry swimmer, or if they are displaying more than one Betta, a fish tank with separation that will prevent these aggressive pretties from ripping each other to shreds.
Unless you’re creating a breeding tank which will house a male Betta with a few females (which requires a much larger size of the tank), you’ll have to get a special aquarium to keep your pride and joy happy and stress-free. Betta fish tanks are designed to provide optimal comfort for a pet of their size, complete with all the accessories and equipment required to ensure your fish thrives and stays healthy in its new environment. To help you make the right decision and ensure the fish tank you’ve got your eye on is suitable for your Betta’s needs, we’ve put together this comprehensive buying guide on Betta fish tanks–so read on to find a perfect match for your little fighter’s needs.
To help you find what you need in no time, we’ve put together this list of the 10 best Betta fish tanks to suit anyone’s style. Just pick one and watch your fish living large in his new small home!
1. MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
In case you’re new to the world of keeping fish or simply want to set up a beautiful Betta fish tank with as little fuss as possible, this gorgeous portrait mode aquarium will be an excellent choice. The 5-gallon capacity is more than enough for your Betta to have space to happily swim around his new big kingdom, even when you add plants and decor to the tank. And, since this Betta-friendly fish tank includes a hidden filtration system and an LED lighting system, too, you’ll just need to buy a heater to get everything ready for your Betta to move in. The best part about these built-in goodies is not just the savings, but the fact that the filter has an adjustable flow pump which is perfect for Bettas and their love of current-free waters. The LED lights can be adjusted and switched from white to blue lights for different effects and light levels.
2. Tetra GloFish 3 Gallon Aquarium Kit
If you want something sleek and stylish that your Betta will also love, this cube-shaped fish tank fits the bill. The cube design gives your fish ample space to swim around in all directions and not just vertically, and you’ll get to admire their gorgeous delicate fins and vivid fins from all four transparent sides of the tank if you want. Additionally, you won’t have to invest a lot into additional equipment as this Betta aquarium comes with a powerful and whisper-quiet Tetra 3i filter and LED light included.
3. Aqueon Betta Falls Kit
Sometimes, one Betta just doesn’t cut it. I mean, how is one supposed to choose- from scarlet red to mesmerizing blue, vibrant yellow and a whole palette in between, hobbyists often want to keep at least a couple of Bettas which is not always manageable, considering they need to be kept separate. Well, the innovative design of this Betta fish tank helps with this little conundrum. Made to house three Bettas in one tank without them being in close contact, it will allow you to admire your beautiful fish without worrying about them fighting. And not only that the fish are separated by panels, by the panels are frosted so they won’t even see each other and try to attack through the plastic.
4. Tetra Half-moon Color Fusion Betta Aquarium
If your Betta is a young one and you need something temporary to hold him, or you have one of the smaller ones, this small half moon Tetra Color Fusion Betta Aquarium tank will be perfect. With a 1.1 gallon capacity, it will only be enough for fish that are about an inch big- anything larger than that requires more swimming space and therefore larger water capacity.
The half-moon shape allows 180 degrees of panoramic viewing and the cool bubble curtain adds a cool look and fun play time for your Betta. Tetra Half-Moon Color Fusion Betta Aquarium has a LED light that can change colors: blue, red, purple, green, pink, and yellow. It also comes with its own filter, but you will need to buy a heater for it. It also have a convenient clear canopy that makes it easy for feeding.
5. Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit
Who said that setup in a small fish tank can’t be on par with big pricey aquarium setups? The Fluval Spec III hides plenty of impressive features hidden behind its compact facade. This Betta fish tank gives your fish plenty of space to swim (it has a 2.6-gallon capacity) and the impressive 31 led lighting system will certainly put him in the spotlight- in the most literal sense. Also, this nano aquarium does boast a terrific 3-stage oversized mechanical, chemical and biological filtration but be warned that it can be too much for a fragile finned Betta. To remedy this, simply add a pre-filter sponge and set it on the lowest.
6. Tetra 29040 Hexagon Aquarium Kit
For a young, small Betta, this fun hexagon-shaped fish tank can be a perfect temporary home- plus it will look good in your apartment, too. The whisper-quiet filtration pump will keep the 1 gallon of water perfectly oxygenated and always clean, but you’ll have to get a submersible heater separately to keep the temperature at optimal levels. The auto-changing LED bubbling disk is also awesome addition- the fun bubbles won’t bother your Betta and you’ll love the way they look, especially at night.
7. MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light
This elegant fish tank with rail light will be a centerpiece in any room, especially if it houses a gorgeous, vibrant Betta. Available in 3 and 5-gallon capacity, it will be more than enough for any size Betta to strut his stuff around and display those gorgeous flowy fins in all their grandeur. The built-in LED lightning has two settings -daylight and moonlight- so your stylish swimmer will have a perfect atmosphere in his tank throughout the day. This Betta fish tank has a superior adjustable flow filter, so you won’t have to worry about cleanliness or the currents being too strong, but be sure to get a heater as well.
8. Cobalt Aquatics 14011 Microvue3
Sleek, stylish, and modern, this 5.3 gallon Betta fish tank is ideal for any living space. The cube-shaped glass tank gives you a view of your prized pet from all sides, and it will be perfect for displaying both the Betta and the living plants and the decor you use to create an inviting ecosystem for him. The Clear Vue 20 internal filter will oxygenate the water and keep it waste-free without creating too much of a current, and the LED light will give your Betta fighter just enough light to feel happy and look his best.
9. Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kit
The elevated base and curved shape of the tank make for a contemporary look that looks great in any living room, but especially when housing a beautiful Betta inside. Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kit is available in different sizes from 1 gallon to 5 gallons, so choose according to your fish’s size- usually, most Bettas feel best in 2.5 or 5-gallon size. The LED lighting that’s hidden in the hood and the Aqueon QuietFlow Filtration take care of most of your Betta’s requirements- the only thing missing is a good heating system.
10. Umbra Fish Hotel
With the Umbra Fish Hotel you can just dip your toe in the water with this mini two gallon tank aquarium. There is an outer ABS facade that fits snugly over the square aquarium tank and you can watch your betas swim by various windows. Or, you can really become a deep water architect and create a stackable fish city with various kits! You can stack multiple Umbra Fish Hotels and create a high-rise apartment. The outer shell is also paintable so you could create quite a diversified city. The shell is easy to detach and clean as the aquarium needs. It is still a small aquarium but if your love for fish keeps growing you can just build up. This is a great gift for kids or anyone who is starting out on the aquarium fish keeping journey.
What to Look for In Betta Fish Tanks
Contrary to popular belief, no fish can be happy and healthy in a tiny cramped fish bowl or vase. The idea that, just because they’re tiny and seem more undemanding than cats and dogs, fish don’t need any special care- is just plain wrong. Fish are very sensitive to their surroundings and require their unique needs to be fully met, otherwise they easily get sick and day. Needless to say, the first and foremost thing you should worry about when setting up a home for your fish is if it will provide your pet the same living conditions they would have in the wild. The best Betta fish tanks have ample space and are equipped with proper accessories to mimic the water temperature, level, and flora in the wild.
Just because you’ll be keeping one Betta in a tank, it doesn’t mean that they won’t need plenty of space to swim around and feel comfortable in their glass home. A good rule of thumb for all fish is that an inch in size translates into one gallon of water if you want to meet their most basic needs, but bigger is always better when talking about aquariums and fish tanks. Following this logic, a minimum size requirement for Betta fish tanks is 2 gallons and up, but sometimes a basic one gallon aquarium can do the trick as well- if it’s meant for temporary housing for a young fish or if your prized Betta fighter happens to be the “runt of the litter” and is smaller than the usual 2.25 inches.
When you’re keeping any kind of fish, an aquarium filter is one of the most basic pieces of equipment you’ll have to get. The basic function of aquarium filters is to remove all waste and decaying matter that would otherwise produce ammonia and eventually poison your fish. Also, filters oxygenate the water and make it more habitable for fish. Betta fish are no different- they also require clean and optimal water in their tank. In nature, Betta fish live in still waters and wouldn’t do well in an environment with strong currents (those delicate flowy fins are not made to fight the waves!).
Some Betta fish tanks come with built-in filtration systems, others need to have one installed separately. In either case, there are plenty of different aquarium filter types you can expect to see sold for Betta tanks (mechanical, biological, and chemical filtrations are the only available options, though). The most important factor for filters in Betta tanks should be the flow they create when operating. Ideally, the filter you choose would have flow control to prevent the forming of currents in the tank, but that’s not always doable. Instead, most hobbyists opt to go the DIY route and install something like a flow baffle that would reduce the currents to a Betta-friendly level.
Originally, Bettas are tropical fish. This means that these gorgeous fish need warm water to live in, as their bodies aren’t used to low temperatures or even biting cold of streams and rivers. As a result, Betta fish tanks have to have a heater installed–it’s not an optional thing, unless you live in a tropical climate yourself, so the water in the tank would be warm due to high outside temperatures. The optimal temperature range for Betta fish tanks is between 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (or between 25.5 and 26.5 degrees Celsius if you prefer metric).
To achieve this water temperature in your Betta aquarium, you’ll need to buy an aquarium heater designed for your tank’s size. As mosts Betta fish tanks are compact and come in sizes under 10 gallons, you won’t need anything too big or with heavy-duty power performance. Most hobbyists that keep Bettas decide on compact submersible tank heaters that can ensure the water temperature doesn’t fluctuate and stays within the recommended temperature limits.
If the key to your fish’s well-being is mimicking their natural surroundings, this includes the lighting as well. The amount of natural sunlight that a fish has in water will depend on the depths it frequents–and it should be replicated with artificial lightning in a tank. For Bettas, who are used to shallow waters in the wild, this means that 8 to 12 hours of light in the tank is a must. Their activity will be influenced by the shift between day and night, so it’s important to provide a good balance between light and dark in the aquarium. For best results, experts recommend LED lighting for Betta fish tanks, as it is economical, provides plenty of light, and won’t heat the water.
Setting Up a Betta Fish Tank: Plants and Decoration
The right choice of fish tank for your Betta is half of the job done- you’ll need to properly set up everything to welcome the new inhabitant in. And that’s not just about purchasing additional equipment such as a filter or a heater. Nope, there’s more to Betta fish tanks than “just” keeping the water at optimal parameters and making sure your fighter fish is not frustrated and apathetic due to the lack of space in a cramped tank. Like it is the case with almost any living being, Bettas like their home to be cozy and well-decorated.
To start with, pour fine substrate on the bottom of the tank. Bettas swim on all levels of the aquarium, including the bottom, so choosing something with chunky and large pieces could cause injury to your fish. Good choices of substrate for Betta fish tanks include sand, pea gravel, or even marbles, to name a few. Next, it’s time to add some flora backdrop for your stunning vibrant Siamese Fighting Fish. Bettas prefer fish tanks with living plants, so it’s important to choose those that won’t be toxic to them and that will thrive in the same water conditions as your Betta will. The selection of the plants that fit these parameters includes java fern, marimo balls or dwarf hairgrass. Finally, you can add some small fish tank decor for your own sake–after all, you’ll want a beautiful Betta fish tank you can enjoy the same as your pet will, so you can add a touch of your style to the mix, too. Just make sure to pick something size-appropriate for the small Betta fish tanks.
Now that you know what kind of environment Bettas thrive in and how to create a perfect underwater home for your prized flashy fighter, the only thing that remains is finding a tank that will fit their needs, and your preferences and budget.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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