How Big Does A Betta Fish Tank Need To Be? (And Other Ways To Care For Them)

Because the wrong sized tank can kill your Betta fish, you must get this right. Of course, you are going to make this purchase before you buy your fish so you have time to do your research. It starts with the tank but there are many other things to remember to ensure your Betta’s can live as long as they should. Although it is not a decision to take lightly, these vibrant and beautiful fish are great to have around so it is good that you are taking the time to get to know their needs a little. Let’s take a look at what you should know before you bring them home.

So, How Big Should Their Tank Be?

Although a Betta fish tank will be able to live in a smaller tank, we are not just trying to keep them alive here, we want them to thrive and be happy. This is why we recommend purchasing a tank that it no smaller than 2.5 gallons for a single male or female. It’s a sorry sight when you see them in smaller containers, on display at the pet store and yes, there are a lot of sub-2.5-gallon tanks available, but these aren’t ideal.

The better tanks are around 5 gallons to give them plenty of space so if you have the room to accommodate these, start with a 5-gallon tank.

How Else Should I Care For A Betta Fish?

A wide tank. Although you find a lot of vertically shaped Betta tanks, it is better to buy a longer, horizontal product for them to live in. Because in their natural environment, these fish like to swim sideways rather than up and down, this will suit them better.


For a lot of people, this is the fun part of Betta ownership but it also has its benefits. Everything from the gravel to the ornaments (both fun and practical – your choice!) should be considered, as well as plant life. The problem with a lot of first-time fish owners is that they like to go overboard with this stage. Remember that the more room you take up with decoration, the less space your Betta has to roam. There are other items you need to accommodate such as the filter and heater so keep this in mind.

The Lid

These might not be flying fish by they don’t need wings to jump. Bettas are known to be able to leap out of their tank and when you are not around tho help them back into the tank, it is a common cause of death. This is why it is important to buy a lid for your tank. If the product you buy doesn’t come with one then they can be bought separately.

Quality Food

Thankfully, Betta food is inexpensive so it doesn’t cost a lot to give them a quality food source. Feed them once or twice a day with flaked or pelleted food and supplement is with frozen shrimp to appease their carnivorous diet.

The Need Of The Type of Betta

Not all Bettas are the same so it is a good idea to make sure you know what you are in for by studying the specific type you are bringing home. For example, a King Betta grows to a larger size and will need a bigger tank.

Quality Tank Accessories

A lot of Betta tanks come with everything needed to get going so all you require is the Bettas and freshwater. However, these aren’t always known for their durability which is why it can be a good idea to buy additional filters of pumps separately. If you do buy a package then it is worth giving it some time before you replace the parts though, especially when you are getting used to Betta ownership.

Look For Signs Of Illness

Bettas are not immune to illness so it is good to be able to tell the signs. A common trait for an unwell Bettais a decreased appetite so look for when they are not eating as much as usual. In terms of behavior, a Betta might scrape their body on the stones and the bottom of the tank or on rocks and any discoloration or swelling can also mean something is not right.

Watch your Betta as they swim, if they are tucking their fins in then this can also mean they are unwell. At this point, it can be wise to test their water to see if this is a reason behind their illness. Usually, a pet store will do this for you if you take in a sample.

Can A Betta Tank Be Too Big?

This is the good news, there is no tank that would be too big for a Betta fish. They only grow up to 3 inches long but giving them more room is much better than going for something on the smaller side.

What Are The Risks Of Buying A Small Tank?

Although a Betta might not live as old as you might hope in any tank, the smaller products have been found to be more likely to cause early death. They are more susceptible to chemical changes which can impact their health and require frequent cleaning as their mess can build up fast. Other risks include aggressive fish, stunted growth which can both contribute towards an early death.

How Long Should A Betta Live?

Ideally, a Betta should live up to 3 years, sometimes more but this is about the average. With plenty of room, quality food, and clean water, you can hope to enjoy your Betta fish for this long.

Why Do Pet Stores Keep Bettas In Small Cups?

Let’s start by saying that not every pet store keeps their Bettas in small containers, some companies are more humane than others. The problem with. Bettas are that they do not cost a lot so they are more dispensible. Also, because the males do not mingle well, they are often kept separately. The. cost-effective solution to both of these points is that they are kept in small spaces.

As a result, a lot of people have a misconception that they can be kept in this way or don’t need much space. This is not true as you now know.

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