How to set up your Betta Fish tank?
The colorful and human-friendly betta fish is favorite fish for fish lovers. The betta fish tank setup is good for setting up your first tank. But we cannot recommend it for high-profile fish tanks with larger fish inside.
Betta fish love to stay in homes that carry caves and ornaments. They play behind the hurdles, rocks, and wooden pieces. So, you should take great care of the betta’s choices and preferences while building a betta’s fish tank. Of course, you should decorate the Betta home to keep it appealing to humans and fish.
We have chosen the easiest and quickest way to set up the betta fish tank. Follow these three steps consecutively and let your betta enjoy its new home:
Step1: Choosing Your Beta Fish Tank Setup Accessories
Before setting up the tank, you must select the required accessories and tool kit for the betta home. The tool kit for the betta’s tank is chosen as per the comfort and likeness of the fish. Fish size, water quality, and tank environment are necessary for choosing the best fish tank setup. Before moving to the main topic, you need to consider the essential aspects of a fish tank. Have a look at some of them:
Picking your betta’s tank: size matters!
Betta fish are mostly found in streams and narrow water passages. That is why most people consider a plastic or glass bowl enough for this beautiful creature. Nonetheless, when your betta friend starts growing, it may feel unhappy or even die in a small bowl. Furthermore, the glass tank is more comfortable and fish-friendly than the plastic one.
You can check the best betta fish tanks.
We shall recommend choosing a tank minimum of 5 gallons. But you can increase the tank size according to the number of fish. The bigger your tank size, the more natural and wider space you provide to the betta.
Usually, unprofessional aquarists keep small aquariums for the betta. It, undoubtedly, may fall the fish sick and cause a shorter lifespan. This is why betta dies soon when they do not have enough space to move and grow.
Another prominent reason to recommend a bigger fish tank is the nitrogen cycle. The bigger fish tank can establish a quick nitrogen cycle. But the process may get slower and takes longer to create a nitrogen cycle in a smaller water tank. As a beginner aquarist, it is better to understand the living necessities of the fish. Lack of nitrogen and plants inside the tank may increase the risk of diseases, fungi, and bacteria.
Last but not least, you cannot decorate and provide ocean objects within a small tank size. Ornaments, caves, rocks, hurdles, and other playing objects for fish need wider space. Beginner aquarists often make mistakes and choose improper fish tank sizes, which causes the betta to die soon. So, you should avoid this mistake and choose a happier living space for this lovely creature. The more natural and wider space you provide to betta, the more time this lovely fish will stay healthy and happy.
Do betta fish need a filter?
Yes, a betta fish needs a filter. You may wonder why beta fish need a filter as they are used to living in still water. Of course, natural still water has some other conditions, and you cannot compare the environment of lakes and streams with a tank life. A betta fish needs a filter for several reasons:
You can check the best betta fish filters.
|Hygger Aquarium Filter||
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|Tetra Aquarium Filter||
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|Pulaco Aquarium Filter||
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- Firstly, the filter in Betta fish tank prevents smelly and unwanted elements. Without a filter, ammonia and ammonium nitrates may start developing inside. It can fall the fish ill. Ammonia weakens betta’s immune system, and it may suffer from ammonia poisoning sooner with poor or no filtration.
- Secondly, the sponges in the filter allow beneficial bacteria maintenance in the water and keep the smelly substances away.
- Filters allow water circulation inside. Stagnant or still water becomes the reason to absorb carbon dioxide in water which surely increases the pH level of water. Consequently, it affects the betta’s health. Many people use airstone to keep the pH of the water normal. Surely, a water filter is the best option.
- Thirdly, the filter allows oxygenation inside the tank. Stagnant water causes deoxygenation. Though many bettas do not breathe from the surface of the water, you should think wider, and oxygenation is essential for all other types of fish wh breathe from the surface.
- Next, the filter keeps the water circulating and avoids harmful bacteria. So you need not change the water in the tank too often.
Now, you might have understood the need to install a filter inside a homemade fish tank. However, some fish tanks come with filters, while others need to install manually. It is quite easier to choose a filter for your fish tank. If you have been choosing a tank size of 4 gallons, you should choose a filter that can filter the water 16 gallons per hour. Choose the tank size and multiply it by 4 to know the capacity of the water filter.
If you find it difficult to choose, professional aquarists and filter providers can also guide you about the capacity of the filter.
Does betta fish need a heater?
Yes, a heater is imperative for a betta fish. Why? It is because betta fish comes from the warm waters of Thailand. So, a tank needs a temperature of 72 to 82 Fahrenheit. However, any temperature that ranges below or above this optimal temperature may make the fish sluggish.
- Advanced quick heating system
- Built-in temprature control system
- Smart sensor system avoid overheating
- Explosion proof quartz glass
- The most adjustable and reliable fish tank heater
- Easily support big and small fish tanks
- High-quality glass that avoid explosion
- Temperature set dialer included for entire control
- Specially designed for betta fishes
- Easy and quick to install
- Automatic turning on and off when water reaches to optimum temperature
- Durable and safe to use
So, if you use a fish tank smaller than 5 gallons, do not install a heater. Though it is not recommended to use such a small size of fish tank, many aquarists do so. Furthermore, we strongly recommend keeping the tank size as wider as you can.
Further, heater type also matters. Heaters come with an immersible, submersible substrate, and filter. But the best heater for a betta fish is an immersible heater with a thermostat. The thermostat helps to adjust the temperature in the optimal range.
Moreover, heater installment is not enough to take great care of your betta. You need to check the water temperature regularly inside the aquarium. Usually, heaters have built-in thermometers that show the constant temperature readings for an aquarium. Truly telling you, the built-in thermometer does not give accurate readings. The usage of a separate thermometer is better.
Install a thermometer inside the tank and check the temperature of the aquarium.
Besides, too cold temperature can cause Ich disease, while too high temperature increases the aging process and lowers the lifespan. Betta fish cannot survive in extremely cold or hot temperatures. Balance of temperature and other parameters cannot be ignored for betta fish.
Betta fish are sensitive to unfavorable water conditions. So these little parameters are necessary to consider for the well-being of betta. Keep your fish tank at optimal temperature and adjust the temperature regularly.
Getting your gravel
Many people do not consider gravel necessary in setting up an aquarium. If you also think so, you are at fault. Before moving to the essential components of gravel, it is necessary to understand the benefits of gravel in a fish tank. For instance:
- Gravel gives a hiding place to the fish. Betta can take rest, sleep, or hide in the gravel.
- Gravel improves the aesthetic look of the aquarium. Different sizes, types, and colors of gravel are available in the market. So, you can choose among them per your aquarium’s color scheme.
- Beneficial bacteria can grow in gravel quite easily. it requires hard structures to neutralize the fish waste and other debris in the fish tank.
- Aquatic plants need some strong points to grow. Gravel gives strength and support to aquatic plants. Further, these plants can better absorb fish waste and keep the water healthy and safer.
Furthermore, gravel provides a safer place for fish eggs as well. If you talk about the betta fish, it likes to swim down near the bottom of the tank.
So, what type of gravel is suitable for a betta fish tank? Well, it depends upon the plants you choose. If you select natural plants, you need nearly two inches of gravel for firmer roots. On the other hand, if you choose artificial plants for a betta fish tank, it requires only one inch of gravel.
Be careful while selecting gravel. It should be free of large rocks as food particles, and fish waste can be stuck to it. Consequently, it may spoil the water quality and cause infections in the water. Prefer smaller plants that are friendly with the fish tank. On the whole, gravel is necessary to maintain a balanced ecosystem inside the Betta fish tank.
Plants and decorations for your betta fish
Plants and decorations not only improve the ecosystem of the fish tank but also refresh the tank’s outlook. The best fish tank plants are Java Fern, Anubia Nana, Moss balls, and water sprite. These plants require less maintenance and can survive in small spaces easily.
You can Check the Best Plants for Betta Fish.
Originally, betta fish is found in Thailand’s large puddles and streams. So, they find several small spaces to play, hide, and rest. It is the reason that betta loves plants and their shady spaces.
Moreover, plants are also necessary to oxygenate the fish tank ecosystem. You can recycle several ornaments, beads, and other decoration items in the fish tank. But aquarists must be careful when choosing plants and decorative material for aquariums. Make sure that the plants, leaves, and stems are safer for the fish body and it will not hurt betta or other fishes in the tank.
A popular fact about betta fish is that betta fish get bored sooner with the same surrounding. This fact is true about betta. Betta is a dynamic aquatic animal that loves to explore the living space. The fish gets depressed when it has to live in the same setting for longer. For the well-being of your lovely friend, you should change the aquarium setting. You can do so when you change the water in the tank. Add colorful plants, remove some older ornaments and change the place of caves and hiding spots for the fish. New decorations will energize the betta and make you live happier in the betta fish tank.
Lightning for your betta fish
In the rice field of Thailand, Betta is used to sleep and awake cycles just like humans. It wakes, searches for food, avoids predators in daylight, and takes rest at night. Thailand rice fields have sharp sunlight on the head of the betta. So, the betta’s light duration allows it to set its internal biological clock.
Duration of light
So, when you talk about a fish tank, you cannot leave it in darkness. Betta feels stressed out without light. Consequently, it may suffer from infections, a poor immune system, and much more. So, you should switch on and off lights regularly at the same time. The duration of lights should be 10 to 12 hours. It is as easy as switching the kids’ room light to wake them up.
Furthermore, to automate the lighting system, auto-outlet timers are available. Program the timer, and the lights will switch on and off as you have set the time.
What type of light is required for the betta aquarium? Several types of LED lights are available in the market. They are best with their dim light for the betta fish tank setup. But avoid keeping the fish tank in sunlight. The biggest reason to avoid sunlight is the algae growing problem.
Algae get energy from sunlight to grow. It will surely cause a problem in the fish tank. The water quality and ecosystem of the aquarium get disturbed, and you will have to change the tank’s water frequently.
Further, never use incandescent light bulbs also. They throw heavy lights on the tank. Alongligtning incandescent bulbs and sun rays can increase the aquarium’s temperature. Consequently, the health of your betta will be stressed. As described earlier, betta cannot survive its health in unfavorable temperatures.
Step 2: How to set up your betta’s fish tank?
Now, you have understood the necessary accessories for the fish tank. So, arrange the whole tool kit for your betta aquarium and set up a fish tank. Whether it is a betta or any other fish, every fish like and survives in a more natural environment, the more natural the aquatic place you set, the healthier and happier the betta will be there. As betta comes from narrow streams and rice paddies, they can find several hiding places in their natural aquatic home. So, setting up a fish tank, keep all preferences in mind.
Preparing and placing the aquarium
Arrange a nice and suitable fish tank. Keep the standard size of the betta fish tank in mind while purchasing it. Clean it with a soft wet cloth. Avoid using soap. Now place it near a window and bright light, but remove it from there after setting up the gravel and other accessories inside. Further, place it higher enough to set all the accessories comfortably.
Meanwhile, choose a permanent place for the fish tank that is smooth and safer. Some people use the space in the walls to place the aquarium, while others use the aquarium benches or place an order for higher benches. The purpose is to keep the aquarium away from kids’ and pets’ access. If you have pets like cats and dogs, choose a room where pets are not allowed.
Avoid the place where direct sunlight may reflect on the fish tank. Surely, it can fluctuate the tank’s temperature, and betta may not feel healthier without optimum temperature. If you have chosen a wall, make space to adjust the aquarium. Do not attach it to the wall. Adjust it nearly 5-inches away from the adjacent wall. It is necessary to leave space as the filter needs extra space of some inches to get installed.
Further, choose the location of the aquarium very carefully. Keep it out of reach of pets and kids. Avoid the places where the aquarium can easily fall off with one hit.
Choose LED lights for the fish aquarium and decore your aquarium with them. Check out the connection system of lights. Avoid using bulbs or the reflection light of the bulb directly in the tank. See the instructions mentioned above for betta fish tank lightning. You can get the help of light duration, power, and suitable lights.
Install your filter
After selecting the place of the aquarium, you should install your filter. A filter is necessary to keep the water moving and cleaning in the tank. The more high-quality filter you use, the more quality water you supply to the tank. Before moving to the installation, it is essential to know the basic types of filters and how they work:
- Mechanical filters act like sponges, filter socks, and filter floss pads that can collect all debris from the water. Fish waste, extra food particles, and other pollutants are gathered inside the mechanical filter. Then, the fish owner cleans and throws out all the debris from the filter and places it again inside the tank. It is necessary to clean these filters regularly, just like you empty home dustbins to get rid of all trash.
- Biological filters are the bio-media or bio-rings that allow the useful algae to grow in the fish tank. This alga is responsible for absorbing all ammonia and nitrogenous compounds. Consequently, the fish tank environment remains free of toxic substances. Biological filters occupy more surface areas and allow beneficial algae to grow in larger spaces.
- Chemical filters use resins or chemicals to absorb all debris, pollutants, and waste. Once the chemical filters get saturated with toxic elements, the filter works no longer.
Every type of filter has its benefits and drawbacks. If you are confused about the selection of filters, a filter provider service will guide you professionally. You can get the best filter for your home fish tank with expert suggestions.
Moreover, the installment method of each filter is different. We cannot generalize the installation. So, we will advise you to read the installation instructions mentioned on the packaging.
Add your gravel
As described earlier, betta lives in narrow streams and passages. So, their natural habitat includes slightly acidic water. As a betta fish owner, you will also like to provide a natural setting for your lovely pet. It is necessary to keep your aquatic pet happier and live longer.
Gravel provides a natural ground for your fish tank. Some elements in the gravel are used to maintain the outlook of the fish tank, while other elements in the gravel benefit the fish biologically. It helps the fish to survive in the natural watery place. So, if you are loyal to your betta friend, choose gravel carefully. It is essential for the survival and health of betta.
You can find the best gravel formulas from the local market. Thinking economically, you can build up your fish tank gravel manually. But manual gravel may be full of flaws and lack beneficial elements for the aquatic environment. So, we recommend choosing commercial gravel. It carries useful elements in its recipe that keep the fish happier and healthier. Furthermore, as a beginner, it is good to go with ready-made gravel.
Before adding gravel, you should clean the fish tank with running water. Soak it and add gravel to the bottom of the tank. Follow the instructions in the manual to add gravel.
Set up your plant and decorations
Decorating the Beta fish tank is the activity’s most fun and entertaining part. For this purpose, you can choose several DIY activities to perform. If you are excited about fish tank decoration, and you might be, browse the internet and get hundreds of ideas for free.
Beginning with selecting plants, decide on natural or artificial plants. You can choose natural planting or an, artificial one, or both of them. But decorate the plants so you can easily see your betta from outside the tank. The view of the fish tank should remain clear and without blockage.
In the case of natural plants, you need gravel 2 inches higher than the tank or more. Thus, you can anchor the roots of the plants inside the gravel. Using some artificial plant stems and roots, you can place them in the corners of the aquarium. Whatever you choose, be careful that these plants are safer for your betta. Some plants are hard and have sharp stems that may hurt the fish instantly. So, fish health is your priority.
Furthermore, hundreds of decoration items are available in the aquarium market. You can utilize sea sand items, artificial homes, stones, caves, and pearls to give it an aesthetic outlook. But avoid the decoration items that may block the view of your fish tank.
Another important feature of the decoration of the aquarium is how many decorations and plants can be adjusted. You cannot abandon the plants and decorations in a small fish tank. The purpose is to enhance the outlook of the fish home, not to fill it with plants and other accessories. So, choose only those items that may facilitate the fish to move easily.
Fill the tank up
Now, it is time to fill up the tank with water. You cannot flood the water inside when you add decoration, plants, and gravel. Remain calm, and put a plate or any hard material over the gravel. It will prevent the gravel from moving into the surroundings or getting spoiled. Start filling the tank with a water pipe or other tool.
Do not fill it over the top. Leave a space of 2 inches or more from the top. Space is necessary as betta fish love to jump and swim. While jumping, betta fish can come out of the water, and even it may fall out of the fish tank. So, leave some space for fish to enjoy its water games.
After filling the tank, check out that there are no leaks. All sides of the tank are safer and free of leakage. Now, see the plants and decorations. Without water, they were in the place where you installed them. Adjust them as you wish to see the plants. It is better to place the pearls, rocks, or any other hard material later on in the tank after filling the water.
Betta fish has a labyrinth in its body that helps the fish to inhale oxygen, just like humans. So, you cannot cover the top of the betta fish tank. Leave some space uncovered from the top. It will provide your fish tank an oxygenated air, and your betta can enjoy healthier and refreshing air.
Turn on your filter and install your heater
To select the heater, aquarists follow a rule of thumb. For 55 gallons or smaller, a 5 watts per gallon heater is required; for 60 gallons or a larger one, 3 watts per gallon is recommended. However, fish tanks smaller than 5 gallons do not need any heater. The users can choose a 3-watt per gallon heater for the fish tanks placed near doors or windows. When a fish tank is exposed to cold weather, the larger capacity heaters are more beneficial.
The material of the heater also matters in selecting the heating capacity. Acrylic and glass heaters are mostly used in fish tanks. Glass is a poor insulator compared to an acrylic heater. So, acrylic heaters are durable and best to work if you’re not under budget. Acrylic heaters are expensive but work best for fish tanks.
Another type of fish tank heater is a substrate heater. They are waterproof and are installed under the substrate of the tank only. They are undoubtedly easy to use, install, and money-saving.
Other types of heaters can be installed anywhere. It will work best if you install it near the filter where water flows and moves. Thus, heat can be transferred to the whole tank by moving water quickly. Aquarists often recommend two small heaters in larger fish tanks to keep the aquatic environment warm and balanced in all corners of the fish tank.
So, heater installation is delicate; it can damage the fish tank if the temperature increases. The aquarium glass can shatter and crack if the heater does not work at optimal temperature properly.
In the case of filter and heater, we recommend getting the help of experts. You can ask to get complete service of heater and filter installment from the aquarium heater providers. Finally, turn on the filter and install the heater in the fish tank.
Add neutralizer and perform a fishless cycle
A neutralizer is also known as a de-chlorinator. A neutralizer is essential for your fish tank if you use tap water. Betta cannot survive in tap water as it contains more chlorine. A neutralizer removes the chlorine and chloramine from the water source of the aquarium. It keeps the biological filter and tank water safer from the polluted water’s harmful effects.
A neutralizer is necessary to operate the fishless cycle. Add neutralizer and perform a fishless cycle. Consequently, water will get free of chlorine and harmful elements. Further, beneficial bacteria start growing in the aquatic environment.
A fishless cycle requires 6-8 weeks. For anxious aquarists, it is a longer period, but you will have to wait for the betterment of your betta friend. When water gets completely free of chlorine and converts the ammonium compounds to nitrates and nitrite, it is safe to place the betta in the aquarium.
Step3: How to introduce Your Betta to its New Tank 50-180
Now, the fish habitat is ready to accept the betta. It is time to show a new home to this lovely creature. Your new pet love to enjoy swimming and roaming about in the aquarium. Let us see how to choose the best betta friend and how to place the betta safely inside the newly-prepared fish tank.
Buying your Betta: How to choose a healthy Betta
Now, you might have ended your search for different types of fish and finally decided to buy betta. We appreciate your decision to choose betta. It is active and human-friendly.
The next question is how to choose the best betta. For this purpose, you can move to large aquatic animal stores. We never recommend visiting the larger stores. The reason is straightforward. You cannot get a healthy Betta from there. Many cases are observed with dead fish in the large fish tanks, poor fish feed, and polluted water tanks.
The aquatic platforms that are involved in fish trading at larger levels are often part of animal cruelty. They do not care for the cleanliness of the fish tank.
For the best betta fish, the local pet stores are ideal. They regularly sell and purchase fish at their stores. Further, they claim great care. To judge the care and proper nourishment of fish, you can observe the cleanliness of the fish tank in the store. Never buy a fish from a tank that carries polluted water, waste, and dead fish. Undoubtedly, it might have disturbed the health of all other fish in the same tank.
You can check the health of betta by tapping on the tank walls. Betta will flare its fins and swim around. Check out any deformities like the eye or any body part missing. Choose the brighter-colored betta with complete body parts.
If you are not satisfied with betta’s health, you can change the seller and go to other stores. Choose a mature betta, as younger betta cannot survive in the homemade fish-tank climate.
Finally, introduce your Betta fish to its new tank.
Finally, the wait is over. You have waited for a long time to see your betta in your homemade fish tank. Hold for some minutes more. You must read all precautions before placing the fish in the fish tank.
Popping the fish directly into the fully cycled fish tank is not recommended. The temperature and environmental change may depress the fish. Fish are sensitive to climate change. So, they need some time to adapt to a new environment. Immediate location change may make the fish ill and die sooner.
When you buy a betta from a store, they provide you with a fish bag with water inside. The water in the fish bag is different from that in the fish tank. So, take the fish bag and let it float in the fish tank. It will take some hours to settle the fish and fish bag temperature inside.
As the fish bag gains a temperature similar to the fish tank, the fish is ready to pop into the fish tank. Now, many beginner aquarists may make the mistake of leaking the bag into the fish tank and letting the fish join the water tank. We never recommend this.
The safer thing is to keep the fish out of the bag and let it jump into the fish tank. Another way is to seep the water from the fish bag somewhere else and then let the fish pop into the fish tank.
Thus, you will see your betta happier in the new adaptable climate. Betta swimming and exploring in the new environment will amuse you. It requires many accessories and efforts to keep your new pet healthier and happier.
Betta fish tank setup is a fun-filled activity. Artists and animal lovers enjoy having such activities. Furthermore, welcoming your new friend is also an exciting activity. Though it requires great patience and waiting, it is essential to get a sensitive pet healthier.
If you cannot provide and care for the aquatic animals, never bring them home. Setting up a tank and feeding the fish is not enough. The actual responsibility starts now. As aquarists, you should care for the tank’s maintenance and cleanliness.
The setting of the plants and decorations should be changed every month. Thus, you will provide a new and safer place for your betta.
Furthermore, the water quality, acidity, temperature, and pH should be monitored regularly. You should change the 20% of the water every month. Water is the life of fish. If you understand the importance of quality water for your betta, you can keep your betta alive for years.
Understand the importance of companions. You can increase the number of betta in a fish tank.
To conclude, fish is a sensitive aquatic specie. You cannot leave it unattended like other pets at your home. So take great care of fish and their habitat. I hope this article will help you set the best home for your betta.
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