Make sure there is only one male Betta per tank, as multiple male Bettas would attack each other.
If you’re keeping female Betta, more than 2 per tank is okay, but be careful you are not inadvertently stocking with males that have female appearance, because of male aggression.
They do well in larger tanks. We recommend tanks that are at least 15L. The tank needs to have a heater and filtration; the filter should be low flow to mimic their natural environment, and allows the males to build their bubble nests.
Establish a biofilter before introducing fish (e.g. add nitrifying bacteria, run the filter, and feed the tank for ~3-4 weeks prior to adding fish).
Change 20% of water weekly, and siphon substrates and clean glass of algae.
Leave an air gap on top of your water level in your tank so that your betta can go to the surface and breath air, otherwise they would drown. They have a labyrinth organ which allows them to breath air, but it also means their gills are not as efficient as normal fish.
Betta fish have excellent jumping abilities so make sure there is a lid on the tank.
Provide floating plants, and plants in substrates (real or artificial), or other ornaments (perhaps ones that can be stuck on glass) about an inch below the water level so that your Betta can rest on them and feel safe to build a bubble net.
It’s normal for betta fish to not swim around a lot and rest on the bottom of your tank or on plants and ornaments. But if you have any concerns, get a vet check.
See also the fact sheet I helped the RSPCA put together – at this link.
Dr Richmond Loh
DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics & Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
Aquatic Veterinarian & Veterinary Pathologist
THE FISH VET, AUSTRALIA – PERTH | SYDNEY | MELBOURNE | TOWNSVILLE | BRIBIE ISLAND
Mobile Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.
- W: http://www.thefishvet.com.au
- Ph: +61 (0)421 822 383
- Mail: PO Box 5164, East Victoria Park, WA 6981, Australia.
- Skype: thefishvet
- President WAVMA 2014
- Adjunct Senior Lecturer Murdoch University