15 Best Betta Fish Tanks: The Ultimate List

Betta fish make excellent, relatively low-maintenance pets. Properly known as Siamese fighting fish, bettas are the brightly colored, fan-tailed fish you often see in those little cups at the pet store. These little guys often exhibit personalities well beyond their relatively small size. If you’re considering making a betta your pet, discover the best betta fish tanks to give your colorful friend a great place to live.

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Bettas tend to live between two to three years, though occasionally upwards of ten years, with those longer life spans a product of proper care and tank choice.

How Big Does a Betta Fish Tank Need to Be?

While it's popularly thought that bettas prefer to live in very small, shallow enclosures, the truth is that they are very athletic swimmers who will thrive with a bit of space to move around in. Because they need to live alone lest they attack a tank mate, there's some balance here. Sure, a betta would love a 20 gallon (or even larger) tank in which to roam, but a tank of this size for a single tiny fish really isn't practical.

When shopping for a betta tank, two gallons is often stated as the minimum, with five or more preferable. There are a great number of bowls and interesting containers out there allegedly designed for bettas that are quite a bit smaller. Sure, your betta can tolerate these, but they'll tend to be sickly, with duller coloration.

Additionally, while a betta can, indeed, breathe air, this should be seen as a temporary solution. Oxygen-rich water environments provide the best home for bettas, which means if you opt for a smaller tank and skip the filter, you should be replacing 1/3 of the water every three days.

Doing this adds oxygen back into the tank without shocking your betta with a massive temperature or pH swing. Speaking of temperature, a heater is really non-optional. Bettas prefer a temperature range of 76 to 82 degrees. They can tolerate extremes outside of this, but they won't thrive in those conditions.

All that said, I've known bettas who lived happily in smaller tanks. If you're on top of water changes and keeping their environment clean, you might be able to go a bit smaller. If nothing else, you could start small and upgrade later if your fish doesn't seem thrilled with the life you've given them.

While we're on the subject, the bubble nests they make don't necessarily mean they're content. It means they're getting ready to spawn. This is still a good sign, since it signifies that they aren't stressed and are comfortable enough to nest.

While you're shopping for a tank, you can also consider decorations, but even these need to be carefully selected for bettas. wikiHow has a good explanation of how to choose decorations, but the basic gist is that you should choose silk plants and smooth structures to keep their fins safe. You could also consider live plants, which will keep the water clean and full of oxygen.

What Do Bettas Eat?

As for food, the pre-made pellets are actually quite good, combining the three things these fish are most likely to eat — bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Whatever you opt for, make sure that it's no less than 40 percent protein in very small pellets.

Typically, you'll feed two to three pellets twice per day. It's very common that bettas will learn their meal times, or even "beg" for food if they see you come near the tank.

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