Always Wondered About Betta Tank Size

Mary765

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,035
Reaction score
1,816
Points
148
Experience
2 years
Just something I've always been wondering...

I know betta fish are better off in a large tank, but how come you can keep them in a 2.5 gallon tank? It seems a little cruel, especially seeing as they have such large and delicate fins, wouldn't the tank size stress them out?

Furthermore, if betta fish are fine for a 2.5 gallon, How come there aren't any other species of fish suitable?

Just curious because I am considering a betta fish...
 

WTFish?

Well Known Member
Messages
3,628
Reaction score
3,003
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
I believe because they can breath air, people tend to think they don’t need space or a filter etc....they do survive (if kept clean) in those tiny bowls, however living doesn’t mean thriving, it’s very sad. Everyone has a different opinion, I believe nothing smaller than a 3gallon, but bigger is better. Remember even people can live in a small dog crate if given water and a slice of bread ever so often but it’s not an ideal living situation
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

Mary765

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,035
Reaction score
1,816
Points
148
Experience
2 years
WTFish? said:
I believe because they can breath air, people tend to think they don’t need space or a filter etc....they do survive (if kept clean) in those tiny bowls, however living doesn’t mean thriving, it’s very sad. Everyone has a different opinion, I believe nothing smaller than a 3gallon, but bigger is better. Remember even people can live in a small dog crate if given water and a slice of bread ever so often but it’s not an ideal living situation
Ohhhh ok! Thank you

But won't some fish gasp at the water surface (like guppies for example) if it's terrible quality? Surely that is breathing air...

I'm not implying I would keep a fish in a 2.5 g I am just too curious foe my own good, and what better place to ask fish questions that fishlore?
 

Paradise fish

Well Known Member
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
548
Points
93
Experience
1 year
I personally think anything above 2.5 gallons can house a single betta. Not 2.5 gallons itself. It depends on the amount of work you're willing to provide. A 2.7 gallon tank without any live plants may need 10% daily water changes, while having it stuffed with fast growing and high nutrient uptake live plants, floating plants, and even pothos growing out of the aquarium would only need 10-20% every week.
 

AZrodeo92

Well Known Member
Messages
1,267
Reaction score
279
Points
108
Experience
3 years
The more plants the better because they oxygenate the water and they're less likely to tear the thins of the bettas. The way I see it I use two different analogies to explain why I believe small tanks are not good tanks. One is Going Back To Nature, where would you find a 1-gallon puddle size of water that has everything a fish needs to survive including food, filtration, and a mate? The other analogy I use is it would be like a small person living in a dollhouse where a giant comes through and cleaned your room once a week and drops food in but you can never leave your room. It's big enough to survive but you'll be bored out of your living mind and your quality of life will go down and as a consequence your lifespan will shorten
 

WTFish?

Well Known Member
Messages
3,628
Reaction score
3,003
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Mary765 said:
Ohhhh ok! Thank you

But won't some fish gasp at the water surface (like guppies for example) if it's terrible quality? Surely that is breathing air...

I'm not implying I would keep a fish in a 2.5 g I am just too curious foe my own good, and what better place to ask fish questions that fishlore?
Yep, this is a great place to ask anything about fish, you will still always get mixed opinions. I know nothing about guppies but yes, I believe any fish gasping due to bad water is going to try anything to escape that environment. Even if water is always in pristine condition, space plays a big role as well...I also think every fish has a limit to what it can personally handle, they do have personality too. One might be ok and live for 7 years in a 2 gallon, the next might be stressed in a 5....like me, if I knew I was ever going to prison for something, I’d shoot myself in the head, lol, but others might be just fine in those conditions...mentally
 

BobNJerry

Valued Member
Messages
311
Reaction score
186
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
this is how i see it when it comes to Bettas.

we can survive cold in a box on the street and have food thrown at us. We won't dye but we won't be happy and thrive.
we can live in one room with nothing but a chair and have food thrown at us.. we won't dye but we won't be happy and we won't thrive.

but if you put us in a house with some nice couches, chairs, and lights, and a heater, a cleaning lady, a good meal.. and plenty of room to stretch out and relax and enjoy- we'd be much happier.. better quality of life, we'd be healthier and look better.

I think bettas should be treated with great care, i can't think of many fish that i would pay $20 and up for!

Also they are so pretty and i get so much joy watching my guys swim around their tanks with their fins fluttering and flowing.. why would you want to keep them in a little tank and miss that! that's what you pay for!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

Mary765

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,035
Reaction score
1,816
Points
148
Experience
2 years
Gotcha!

Thank you all do much! :shame: If I ever do decide to get a betta, I will be sure to house them in at least a 5g tank!! I Would rather go for a 10 gallon betta tank except I'm a little tight on space right now
 

AllieSten

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,687
Reaction score
3,612
Points
448
Experience
2 years
When I first set up my betta tank, it was a 5 gallon, and it was the perfect size. It was a bow front, and was really pretty. I hated the lid, it was a cheap tank, so I decided to upgrade to a 10 gallon, and to divide it, and get 2 bettas. Omg the worst idea ever. I swear it was much much less room than the single 5 gallon. It was horrible to try to get in there and clean. No room at all. They both ended up getting their own 10 gallon tanks at the end of the day.

It has more to do with the footprint of the tank, than the actual volume of the tank. Although with 2.5 gallons, you really can’t get a very big footprint. But with a 5 gallon, you can definitely find a tank that seems really small, and one that seems quite a bit bigger.

On a side note, one of the 2 bettas absolutely hated his 10 gallon tank. It freaked him out to have too much room. I ended up putting the divider in his tank for a couple months and slowly increase his space. So it does depend on the fish for sure. They are so used to being kept in such small containers. Giving them too much room can also be stressful.
 

BobNJerry

Valued Member
Messages
311
Reaction score
186
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
AllieSten said:
.

On a side note, one of the 2 bettas absolutely hated his 10 gallon tank. It freaked him out to have too much room. I ended up putting the divider in his tank for a couple months and slowly increase his space. So it does depend on the fish for sure. They are so used to being kept in such small containers. Giving them too much room can also be stressful.
that is interesting. i have had my bettas in the aqueon five gallon tank with the light and hood- they were both happy but i wanted better quality tanks with lights and a little more room for them- i got them 7.5 gallon tanks. My one betta seems ok- but my other guy is freaking out.. tank surfing i can tell he's stressed. I almost regret changing his tank. =(

I put some almond leaf with him, the tank is fully planted with drift wood and lots of hiding places. i picked up some dwarf lettuce thinking the cover might relax him a little more. it did for about 5 minutes.. then right back to tank surfing.

thought maybe my numbers were off...but the water is perfect.

my poor little guy- hopefully he'll adjust soon it's only been two days in the new tank.
 

AllieSten

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,687
Reaction score
3,612
Points
448
Experience
2 years
Pamela1224 said:
that is interesting. i have had my bettas in the aqueon five gallon tank with the light and hood- they were both happy but i wanted better quality tanks with lights and a little more room for them- i got them 7.5 gallon tanks. My one betta seems ok- but my other guy is freaking out.. tank surfing i can tell he's stressed. I almost regret changing his tank. =(

I put some almond leaf with him, the tank is fully planted with drift wood and lots of hiding places. i picked up some dwarf lettuce thinking the cover might relax him a little more. it did for about 5 minutes.. then right back to tank surfing.

thought maybe my numbers were off...but the water is perfect.

my poor little guy- hopefully he'll adjust soon it's only been two days in the new tank.
It took about a month to be able to remove the divider all the way. So just give it some time. Maybe decrease the light times to just a couple hours in the evening, and increase the times slowly over a couple of weeks. See if that helps. Couldn’t hurt.
 

RobinWhiskers

Valued Member
Messages
286
Reaction score
73
Points
73
Experience
2 years
2.5 gallon tank is the rule of thumb, but there's less water than that with filters, heaters, decor, etc. I keep my fish in a 2.5 gallon tank because that's the only space I have, she's a female Veiltail and she's very active and healthy. If you can afford or have the space for larger, I definitely think you should.
 

KaderTheAnt

Well Known Member
Messages
1,002
Reaction score
498
Points
118
IMO the minimum should be 5 gallons because believe it or not betta fish actually swim! (Who knew?) in all seriousness I find that most bettas are pretty active and after you add decorations, a heater, a filter, and gravel to your 2.5 the actual amount of water it’s holding is more like 1.5 gallons.
 

MattS99

Well Known Member
Messages
3,155
Reaction score
1,693
Points
123
Experience
More than 10 years
Some bettas like smaller tanks, some LOVE having more room. I've had them temporarily in tanks as small as 1.6 gals and thrive.
 

david1978

Fishlore Legend
Messages
13,535
Reaction score
9,844
Points
758
Experience
More than 10 years
I could never do that to any fish. Thats why i never had bettas till now. Every thing i was told was wrong. I now have 14 of them and they love their big tank.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom