HOW TO KEEP BETTAS IN SMALL TANKS
Disclaimer: I am by no means advocating for this. But as Lucy said it is better to have information on the best way of doing it than none at all. I also hope that this article is important because most people are not going to dig through old forums trying to find the answer. And if you have the space for 2+ gallons that really would work better. I also know this article is going to be very controversial but this is just my experience and if had you different one, please tell me about it. I do not want to negotiate with anyone who is just quoting the opinion that Bettas need 2.5+ gallons without actually keeping the fish in a one gallon tank. I do not think that Bettas should be in anything less than a gallon.
Setup: The tank should be long and low, not high. Bettas like horizontal swimming space, not vertical. It should NOT be a bowl. Bowls are the wrong shape since Bettas like to swim side to side, not in circles. Therefore the tank should be rectangular. Most good one-gallon tanks have a built in filter so that’s not an issue. If the tank does not come with a filter a small sponge filter will do the trick or a small internal filter. Most small tanks do not come with a heater and small ones are notoriously expensive. But an Aqueon Adjustable 10 Watt Heater will do the trick. But really any 5-10 watt heater will work.
Maintenance: Frequent water changes are a must. I would do a 50% water change twice a week.
Tank Mates: No other fish would work. 1-2 snails or a few shrimp would work.
Getting the Right Fish: You should get a full-grown fish that is a smaller type of Betta. A Dwarf Veiltale or Crowntale rarely exceeds one inch and is appropriate for a one-gallon tank. A small female Betta would also work. A Placket or Dragontale needs a much larger tank.
Thank you so much for reading. Again if you had a bad experience with keeping Bettas in a one gallon tank, then tell me about it, and why you think it didn't work.
How to keep Bettas in small tanks
Keeping a betta in a one gallon the right way.
Please do not keep bettas in a one gallon, because they come from rice patties in Thailand hundreds of miles long. It is simply not natural. Also, if I tried heating a one gallon to 80 degrees the only result would be fish soup in my experience. Bettas shouldn’t have any Tank mates in a tank less than 10 gallons, and even then only snails and shrimp are acceptable. I would reccomend a 2.5 gallon bare minimum.
I get that your just trying to help the bettas, but this is really very short. There isn’t much explaining as to why, despite what most recommend, a 1g is suitable. Others who have the opinion of 2.5g have reasons as to why only 2.5/5g are the minimum, but I don’t see that here. I’d also be pretty nervous trying to heat a 1g tank to 80F, seems like one small mistake or heater malfunction could easily kill the fish.
I can see your point of view that there will be people inevitably in the future who will buy a betta and have it live in a 1 gal, however what you should have done was at least try to inform them that this is wrong and ways they could improvise. For example a 3 gallon high tank would have virtually the same footprint as a 1 gallon long tank so they occupy the same space but at least the betta has more room to swim in if said people absolutely only had the space for a 1 gallon. This would be the bare minimum at least for trying to keep a betta in anything under a 5g
I do not, by any means, agree with this. If you're even considering keeping a betta in a tank that size, there should be absolutely nothing else. A filter and 78-80 degree water/a heater are essential to having a happy Betta. This is like with goldfish, just because they can fit in a tank that small doesn't mean that they're going to be happy, healthy, etc.
- Merryn O'Shea
Basically, don't buy a Betta if you can't afford the appropriate space for one. Don't keep a pet fish in a one gallon aquarium. That's ridiculous! If it is a pet then they deserve an aquarium much better that that. At least 20 litres (about 5 gallons). The only reason that people may keep them in one gallon objects is because they may be breeders, and the fish will be sold and move to a better tank.