Betta Fish Center > Aquarium Setup > Guidelines to Setting Up Your Tank
When setting up your Betta's tank, it’s important to remember they need room to swim as well as clean water. The minimum size tank for your Betta should be ten gallons unless you decide to set up an individual Betta bowl which can be much smaller. Your Betta’s house should be at least 3 or 4 Betta body lengths in diameter and have all the tank equipment necessary to keep him healthy.
“Betta in a Vase”
Bettas are enjoyable to watch if they are happy with enough room to live comfortably. The "Betta in a Vase, " a recent fad, which involves placing one Betta in a vase along with a peace lily and some marbles, should be considered inhumane and avoided. Although beautiful to look at, this fad is very unhealthy for the Betta and usually the fish dies after a short period of time.
Betta fish can jump and will jump when the opportunity presents itself. It is a good idea to place a cover (with sufficient air holes) over the Betta tank to prevent this from happening. Bettas obtain oxygen from water, but also from the atmosphere. For this reason, it is important they have access to fresh air and oxygen from outside the tank.
The filtration system in your tank should not pose a threat to your Betta’s safety. Be careful upon setup, that your Betta cannot get its fins stuck at the point of air intake and that the filter is set at a fairly low level. The fish get stressed when there is rapid movement in the water because it is very unlike the betta's natural habitat.
Bettas thrive in waters that are between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer frequently to ensure to maintain an optimal temperature range for the water. Rapid, drastic temperature changes stress Bettas and make them prone to fin rot and other diseases.
There are many types of thermometers available. Floating or submersible glass thermometers are alcohol-based and easy to use. There are also liquid crystal strips that stick on the tank which are also a good choice. The advantage of this stick-on thermometer is that it is placed outside the tank, but the disadvantage is that it is not as reliable. The immersible or floating thermometers are very precise and accurate and are placed inside the water in the tank. The only downside is that it must be regularly cleaned as you would any other tank decoration or ornament.