Hi! I’m starting something of a series on basic betta care. This first post will be about setting up your tank and keeping costs low.
Can you afford a betta and a tank?
A lot of people like to get betta fish because they don’t require a gigantic tank and are relatively low maintenance pets. Also, fish are pretty cheap to keep as the only maintenance costs you’ll pay throughout your fish’s life is their food and tap water conditioner (both of which are inexpensive — food is usually around $3-6 and tap water conditioner (500mL) is usually around $10. Both last a long, long time before you run out, too). The most expensive part of keeping betta is the initial set up costs. I hope this post will help you be economical with your purchases, while also providing the best for your new betta!
The standard equipment that you will need for a happy and healthy betta fish are:A tank (of course!) Please do not fall into the trap of thinking a betta likes small tanks. They like lots of plants and hiding places, which I guess started the myth that betta likes small spaces. There’s some debate about the minimum size, with some saying as low as 1 gallon. Most people will say 2.5 gallon, with 5 being much more ideal. If you can get 10, even better! Those little betta cube tanks simply don’t cut it. You might ask, can a betta be in a gigantic tank? Like 20 gallons, or 30 or whatever? Yes they can, I’m sure they’ll love the room! Just be sure to fill it up with plants to swim around and caves to hide in. Also, be aware, that bettas do much better in long/wide tanks, as opposed to tall vertical tanks. A heater + thermometer Bettas are tropical fish and require their water to be around 78 degrees Fahrenheit (give or take). If you live somewhere warm where the water can stay around that temperature without a heater year round, then you just need a thermometer. I live in Canada and need a heater during the winter, but my tanks stay warm without the heater turned on in the summer months. The thermometer is in case your heater goes crazy and breaks or something, without you knowing — and it DOES happen! A filter Bettas like still water, so try to get one that isn’t too powerful. Look up ‘how to make a water baffle’ on Youtube if your filter is creating too much water movement. In very small tanks, some say you don’t even really need to use a best fish tank filter, but you would have to do more water changes.
Other things that aren’t TOTALLY necessary but of course, would make your betta happy and be more aesthetically pleasing:Gravel Decorations With decorations, keep in mind that bettas like to swim around the surface a lot, as they get air from there, so tall plants that reach the surface water are great. Also, try to avoid pointy plastic plants (find silk plants, if you are using fake plants) as they can tear your betta’s fins (although, I must admit, I have several plastic plants in my tanks and my bettas have never torn their fins on the decorations … but still, err on the side of caution). Aquarium light
A lot of people sell their used aquarium tanks on Craigslist, so if you want to keep costs low, I suggest checking out your local Craigslist postings. Most of the time, these are people who are upgrading their tanks to bigger ones, and getting rid of their smaller 2.5, 5 or 10 gallon tanks, which are perfect for bettas. I have seen many posts where people will include a filter, decorations and sometimes a heater as well. You can looking for the best led aquarium lighting here.