Any of you keep a betta in less than 2.5 gallon

ap4lmtree

I realize that many have shock, stress and near heart attacks if they see anyone keep a betta in a tank less than 2.5gallon. However, it is better than at a fish store cup. In addition, there are tons of tanks that are less than 2.5gallon. Bettas can live in tanks less than 2.5g even though they might not be as happy as a in a bigger tank nor have as long as a lifespan. However, again, it is better than a fish store cup. Less than 2.5gallon tanks have the benefit of being able to fit more places in a room than a larger tank.

Rather than any tank size, plants, or anything, what is more important and significant to a betta or any pet is spending time with them and interacting with them. That means more to them and any other pet than housing. For instance, keeping a pet store cup at home while interacting with it is tons better than that pet store cup in the pet store. Likewise, keeping a betta in a pet store cup at home while spending two hours interacting with it each day at home is tons better than giving it a 10 gallon tank with lots of stuff in it, but never spending any time with it. That is also true of all other pets unless they can have a friend of their own species or another species that they spend time with each day.

So, what tank specifically or what size do you guys use if you use a less thank 2.5 gallon tank? IE, which is a good one?
 

Asomeone

Nah. disagree. fish are fish. It doesn't matter how much time we spend with them because ultimately theyve learned we give them food. As such they will interact with us for that purpose.
I do agree keeping them in our home enviornments is normally better than the pet store its a bad example. pet stores are supposed to perfom near 100% water changes on all their betta cups daily. Do they do this...well no...but theyre supposed to.
Spending "time" with the fish is imo irrelevant. We are nothing to the fish other than a food source. Their brains cannot process us as much more than this. They don't "play" as we as humans just associate their behavior as playing.
I would keep a betta in smaller tanks if the bio colonies of said tank are well established and have shown they are capable of handling the ammonia produced by a betta sized fish. maybe 1ppm per day.
Edit
better is also relevant. If...using your analogy...one was to keep a hamster in a 2ft by 2 ft cage opposed to the pet store environment of 1ft by 1 ft would that alone contribute to its "happiness"? Maybe? Unlikely since theyre many more factors at play here. If you keep the fish in a 20gal but do water changes once every 5 months then it probably was better off in its little cup getting changed daily. Its all perspective here but again I have to harp on the fact that fish could care less if we interact with them. If it was an octopus...okay...then I'll agree but its a betta.
 

ap4lmtree

Nah. disagree. fish are fish. It doesn't matter how much time we spend with them because ultimately theyve learned we give them food. As such they will interact with us for that purpose.
I do agree keeping them in our home enviornments is normally better than the pet store its a bad example. pet stores are supposed to perfom near 100% water changes on all their betta cups daily. Do they do this...well no...but theyre supposed to.
Spending "time" with the fish is imo irrelevant. We are nothing to the fish other than a food source. Their brains cannot process us as much more than this. They don't "play" as we as humans just associate their behavior as playing.
I would keep a betta in smaller tanks if the bio colonies of said tank are well established and have shown they are capable of handling the ammonia produced by a betta sized fish. maybe 1ppm per day.
Edit
better is also relevant. If...using your analogy...one was to keep a hamster in a 2ft by 2 ft cage opposed to the pet store environment of 1ft by 1 ft would that alone contribute to its "happiness"? Maybe? Unlikely since theyre many more factors at play here. If you keep the fish in a 20gal but do water changes once every 5 months then it probably was better off in its little cup getting changed daily. Its all perspective here but again I have to harp on the fact that fish could care less if we interact with them. If it was an octopus...okay...then I'll agree but its a betta.
If your premise that pet owners are little more than food givers to fish, then it would not be true that each of my bettas were more active and barked at me lots whenever I moved them closer to my desk rather than far away. This is true for a 1 gallon temp tank on my desk rather than a 20 gallon tank even right behind me. I have had 16 bettas, including four living right now. I have had many different setups, including different rooms and tanks.

My bettas greet me every time I am near the tank, but you would say it is because they want food from me. That is a rather cynical perspective. It would also mean that bettas live just to eat or that is the main thing they do.
 

Asomeone

Well fish don't bark...but if you mean they swim up to the tank glass when u get closer then yes this is because they are accustomed to getting food when you are close. My cichlids do the same thing and they are much larger...the biggest is close to 8 inches. But I'm fully aware he just wants food. By your argument, a betta would have the neurological process to differentiate playing and food giving...but wouldn't you say an 8 inch fish would have a larger brain (they dont) then a smaller fish and be able to even further have the mental capacity to understand the difference?
There are plenty of scientific articles backing what I'm saying.
While it may be a cynical observation...its also accurate if you look into the anatomy of fish.
I would assume due to your views you also feed them when they swim up to the glass further strengthening the relationship they associate between you and food.
While I appreciate that you have kept 16 bettas...I could argue I currently have 68 fish in my tanks and they all perform the same act...cause I feed them when I'm near the tanks. that's why they will follow my finger around the glass....its a food source.
And yes I would say bettas...and fish in general...live to eat. Their minds are not complex enough to do much else then eat, rest, poop, reproduce, repeat. Your argument is really irrelevant because anatomy shows this. I will continue to try to show you this but...this is fact.
 

goldface

keeping a betta in a pet store cup at home while spending two hours interacting with it each day at home is tons better than giving it a 10 gallon tank with lots of stuff in it, but never spending any time with it.
I have to really disagree with this here, and it's a perfect example of problems I have when people anthropomorphize animals, particularly in the aquarium hobby. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'm thinking you just gave a bad example. But there was another member, not long ago, who staunchly defended fish having complex human emotions. This member also scooped her guppy out of the tank and clipped its fins to "punish" it for being a bully. So, what's the big deal if someone anthropomorphize fish? People can think whatever they want. Doesn't matter to me; that is, until they do something stupid at the expense of the animals health.
 

Asomeone

I have to really disagree with this here, and it's a perfect example of problems I have when people anthropomorphize animals, particularly in the aquarium hobby. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'm thinking you just gave a bad example. But there was another member, not long ago, who staunchly defended fish having complex human emotions. This member also scooped her guppy out of the tank and clipped its fins to "punish" it for being a bully. So, what's the big deal if someone anthropomorphize fish? People can think whatever they want. Doesn't matter to me; that is, until they do something stupid at the expense of the animals health.
I love this. SO much. I also had to look up what anthropomorphize meant....which is bad considering I'm going into the healthcare field. but YESSS. Even with parrots....we associate human characteristics to them and the bird is like hey man I just am trying to reproduce on your head.
 

PascalKrypt

I also do not agree with notion that fish need human interaction to be happy.
But I do agree that in many situations a smaller (perhaps smaller than ideal) tank that has some interesting/comfortable items in it, like live plants, a hide, some rocks, occasional live foods to chase, dark background, etc. is more ideal than a much larger, bare tank. Too much deference is given to blank space alone, which does not make fish happy. In fact plenty of fish will be stressed in a large, completely bare tank unless they are used to growing up in these and have a large group of conspecifics. But even then.

I think the minimum tank size for betta is very contentious because of this, and the fact that betta are popular with people who have little fishkeeping experience and so cannot be expected the difficult feat of keeping a small tank in balance.
It seems to me that betta (like many smaller, non schooling fish) feel better in a confined space because they well covered/safe, it not mattering if that confinement comes from heavy planting in a large tank or from black tank walls in a small tank. I once kept a betta for two days in a nearly empty, bare-bottom 50 gallon. The fish was absolutely horrified judging by the stress levels, kept pacing like mad against the back wall of the tank and I scooped it out the day after, when his fins were quite seriously tattered. (Fortunately it is a short-finned male and he recovered quickly). He seems happier in a blacked out 1/4th gallon cup that is WC'd completely daily, than in that weekly changed 50 gallon.
 

Coradee

Let’s not get too sidetracked on the behaviour aspect & forget to answer the Op’s question

So, what tank specifically or what size do you guys use if you use a less thank 2.5 gallon tank? IE, which is a good one?
 

ap4lmtree

Well fish don't bark...but if you mean they swim up to the tank glass when u get closer then yes this is because they are accustomed to getting food when you are close. My cichlids do the same thing and they are much larger...the biggest is close to 8 inches. But I'm fully aware he just wants food. By your argument, a betta would have the neurological process to differentiate playing and food giving...but wouldn't you say an 8 inch fish would have a larger brain (they dont) then a smaller fish and be able to even further have the mental capacity to understand the difference?
There are plenty of scientific articles backing what I'm saying.
While it may be a cynical observation...its also accurate if you look into the anatomy of fish.
I would assume due to your views you also feed them when they swim up to the glass further strengthening the relationship they associate between you and food.
While I appreciate that you have kept 16 bettas...I could argue I currently have 68 fish in my tanks and they all perform the same act...cause I feed them when I'm near the tanks. that's why they will follow my finger around the glass....its a food source.
I was talking about bettas. I currently have 11 Java loaches, 9 kuhlI loaches, 8 bronze corydoras, 4 albino bronze corydoras, 8 emerald green corydoras, 17 harlequin rasboras, and 16 cardinal tetras or 73 community fish. However, my original post said animals that do not have any other species.

Your argument is not that fish cannot differentiate between feeding and not feeding, rather you say it lacks mental accutity or refinement in degrees based on brain size, but it isn't degrees of feeding and not feeding, it is different things.

Then, you argue from authority from something that could not be even mid range to being exhaustive, yet, you say it is accurate.

However, I will take your argument as arguing something that is not worth arguing against because I agree that fish do not have degrees of telling food and not food rather it is something or not something with no degrees.

When I say bark, I mean making a barking motion with their mouth. Some of my Betta fish do this often to me. You can construe that to be another way of saying they want food from me whereas it appears more tI me that they are happy to be around me unless as you say, they cannot realize that I don't constantly feed them every minute and second.

Really, I don't understand why you are arguing these things.
 

Asomeone

As the mod suggested I'll ignore the rest. and come back to my original post and continue the dialogue in PM with you. I'd suggest a well-established tank that is able to eat up at least 1ppm ammonia per day. This could be 1gal-2gal-3gal...it would strictly depend on your setup.
 

AcuarioAmazonico

Punishing a guppy! Oh lord.

I mean, I love keeping fish. I really like my fish and care for them as best as I can. But when I come downstairs and there’s a crispy fish on the floor I tap it on the counter to check it’s not recently flown the coup and still alive, and say “dead as a doorknob” and bin it.

I feel sorry for people who resort to anthropomorphism - particularly in relation to fish - but I think that can usually be attributed to other issues, or even perhaps a genuine care and affection for their fish and as such they want to see them as capable of emotionally returning their affections. I get it with dogs and cats (I do it) but with fish one laments the effort, the loss of a beautiful or playful component of an aquarium - and more often than not we lament the cost of the initial purchase as well as any possible replacement!

My two cents
 

NathJK

Sorry to burst your bubble but the fish doesn't care if you interact with it or not. It's not a dog. If it has the choice between you saying hI to it and a larger tank, I know which one it would choose. But hey it's not choosing is it, it's just a fish.
 

wolfdog01

I gotta admit, I anthropomorphize my fish to an extent. I hold my own little funeral and cry my eyes out when on of my guys die. I also mainly want a bigger tank with more plants and hiding places, just because I know it is bigger than a cup or a 1 gallon so they might feel they have more territory, plus there is some wiggle room with water changes. I just want my fish to be happy so sometimes I go a little overboard on their care. I used to keep my guy in a 20 long but recently downgraded to a 10 gallon. Makes me kinda sad but he doesn't seem to mind, I also made the plants a lot thicker and added more logs, so I know he feels secure with all those hiding spots. But I also agree that their pea brains don't process much beyond their natural instincts and stuff.
Honestly, I wouldn't keep a betta in anything less than a 2.5 gallon. Mainly due to tank maintenance and swimming space. The smaller the tank, usually the more water changes you have to do and more you have to be careful of parameters. Bigger tanks with low stocking are better, to me, because that means I can go away for a week and not have to worry about my nitrate going up so fast. Now that tank size only applies to the longer finned guys, if I get a female or a plakat male, you best bet I am going up to a 5 gallon AT LEAST because they have less weight on them so they can use up all that water space.
So that's my take on it.
 

Orion1066

I realize that many have shock, stress and near heart attacks if they see anyone keep a betta in a tank less than 2.5gallon. However, it is better than at a fish store cup. In addition, there are tons of tanks that are less than 2.5gallon. Bettas can live in tanks less than 2.5g even though they might not be as happy as a in a bigger tank nor have as long as a lifespan. However, again, it is better than a fish store cup. Less than 2.5gallon tanks have the benefit of being able to fit more places in a room than a larger tank.

Rather than any tank size, plants, or anything, what is more important and significant to a betta or any pet is spending time with them and interacting with them. That means more to them and any other pet than housing. For instance, keeping a pet store cup at home while interacting with it is tons better than that pet store cup in the pet store. Likewise, keeping a betta in a pet store cup at home while spending two hours interacting with it each day at home is tons better than giving it a 10 gallon tank with lots of stuff in it, but never spending any time with it. That is also true of all other pets unless they can have a friend of their own species or another species that they spend time with each day.

So, what tank specifically or what size do you guys use if you use a less thank 2.5 gallon tank? IE, which is a good one?

I wholeheartedly agree. My Perry lives in a 5 gallon tank. Two months ago, I upgraded from a 2.5 gallon. Anytime anyone takes a Betta home from a Pet Store, they are better off. Clean water, aeration, warmth, a healthy
diet and resting/hiding places are more important than ‘Gallon’ absolutes. Time spent with your Betta, and stimulating activities, also have a beneficial impact on a Betta’s wellbeing.
 

cantremember

Anthropomorphizing dogs works a lot better because they are much closer to humans biologically, sharing many similar emotions and in reverse they dogiphize the human environment, seeing his owners as his pack leaders, the house as his 'territory' etc.

Fish, I think they care little for human interaction, because they are also not very social creatures by nature besides displays of attraction or dominance. Spending time with them doesn't satisfy their social needs
 

cantremember

I gotta admit, I anthropomorphize my fish to an extent. I hold my own little funeral and cry my eyes out when on of my guys die. I also mainly want a bigger tank with more plants and hiding places, just because I know it is bigger than a cup or a 1 gallon so they might feel they have more territory, plus there is some wiggle room with water changes. I just want my fish to be happy so sometimes I go a little overboard on their care. I used to keep my guy in a 20 long but recently downgraded to a 10 gallon. Makes me kinda sad but he doesn't seem to mind, I also made the plants a lot thicker and added more logs, so I know he feels secure with all those hiding spots.
Imo this isn't exactly the same as anthropomorphizing because territory and safety etc. Are things the fish probably do care about, their thoughts are very alien to us but imagine they do possess the feelings of being miserable or content. Regardless of them not thinking of us in the same way they are living creatures nonetheless so mourning the death of a fish in the world you created for them is normal
 

david1978

Ok I will put my 2 cents in but I want change. A friend of mine keeps bettas in gallon tanks with heaters. She has 3 or 4 at a time. Hers last about 6-8 months. I have 19 of them in a 55 gallon tank. Most are 2-3 years old. So to me that's a big difference.
 

christiangrenier

I realize that many have shock, stress and near heart attacks if they see anyone keep a betta in a tank less than 2.5gallon. However, it is better than at a fish store cup. In addition, there are tons of tanks that are less than 2.5gallon. Bettas can live in tanks less than 2.5g even though they might not be as happy as a in a bigger tank nor have as long as a lifespan. However, again, it is better than a fish store cup. Less than 2.5gallon tanks have the benefit of being able to fit more places in a room than a larger tank.

Rather than any tank size, plants, or anything, what is more important and significant to a betta or any pet is spending time with them and interacting with them. That means more to them and any other pet than housing. For instance, keeping a pet store cup at home while interacting with it is tons better than that pet store cup in the pet store. Likewise, keeping a betta in a pet store cup at home while spending two hours interacting with it each day at home is tons better than giving it a 10 gallon tank with lots of stuff in it, but never spending any time with it. That is also true of all other pets unless they can have a friend of their own species or another species that they spend time with each day.

So, what tank specifically or what size do you guys use if you use a less thank 2.5 gallon tank? IE, which is a good one?

Hi, I have a Rose Petal betta in a 5 gallon.... all he does is sleep! I also have a Dumbo Crowntail betta in a one gallon and seems to use it much more than my other betta does. Want to get bigger tank, but earthquake area....
 

jinjerJOSH22

I wouldn't personally put a Betta in anything less than 5 gallon but I like having the space to play with the scape. I know lots of people keep them in smaller. If you can maintain water quality and the fish has space to swim I don't see why not. I don't think it's important to interact with your fish as long as they are fed. Maybe it would be better to interact with a Betta in a cup but a less than ideal situation is still a less than ideal situation. I suppose it warrants the question, Why do you keep fish? Is it for the sake of keeping them, breeding them, science? There are innumerable reasons and to each their own.
 

FinalFins

I would say 5 gallon is optimal but a 2.5 is ok if the WC are more frequent.
 

ap4lmtree

One of the arguments is that anything is better than a pet store cup. Even taking a pet store cup into a person's house is better than it being at a petstore.

Thus, if the option were not to adopt a pet or adopt a pet but have a small tank such as even a pet store cup at a home or say a 1 gallon tank at home, then it would be better to do the latter, taking it home and keeping it in a pet store cup or a 1 gallon tank. That is a common argument and reasoning for those who keep bettas in 1 gallon or 1.6g tanks too.

However, I get as one person mentioned that a 55 gallon or very large tank likely increases their longevity a great deal.
 

aquafrogg

I realize that many have shock, stress and near heart attacks if they see anyone keep a betta in a tank less than 2.5gallon. However, it is better than at a fish store cup. In addition, there are tons of tanks that are less than 2.5gallon. Bettas can live in tanks less than 2.5g even though they might not be as happy as a in a bigger tank nor have as long as a lifespan. However, again, it is better than a fish store cup. Less than 2.5gallon tanks have the benefit of being able to fit more places in a room than a larger tank.

Rather than any tank size, plants, or anything, what is more important and significant to a betta or any pet is spending time with them and interacting with them. That means more to them and any other pet than housing. For instance, keeping a pet store cup at home while interacting with it is tons better than that pet store cup in the pet store. Likewise, keeping a betta in a pet store cup at home while spending two hours interacting with it each day at home is tons better than giving it a 10 gallon tank with lots of stuff in it, but never spending any time with it. That is also true of all other pets unless they can have a friend of their own species or another species that they spend time with each day.

So, what tank specifically or what size do you guys use if you use a less thank 2.5 gallon tank? IE, which is a good one?
My betta is in a 10 gallon, so I'm guessing you aren't going to like what I have to say lol...

Fish themselves are prey animals when it comes to their relationship with humans. I don't think that interacting with humans is what they want most in life. They only know what their instincts are, such as fight, flight, hunger, pain, and mating desire. Yes, bettas are more domesticated than say, a schooling tetra, but they are still fish. The only things they want are proper food, clean water, simulation of their natural habitat (planted, tannins, tons of hiding spots), enough space to explore and swim, and enough space to rest. In my humble opinion, this can only be adequately provided by a 5 gallon tank, but the bigger the better.

Comparing the emotions and needs of a fish to the emotions and needs of many other pets humans have domesticated is simply inaccurate. You can try to anthropomorphize fish all you want, but the truth is, providing them with the closest thing to their natural habitat as you can is what they desire the most.

One of the arguments is that anything is better than a pet store cup. Even taking a pet store cup into a person's house is better than it being at a petstore.

Thus, if the option were not to adopt a pet or adopt a pet but have a small tank such as even a pet store cup at a home or say a 1 gallon tank at home, then it would be better than living the betta in the store.
Yes, it would be better, but it would still not be ideal. It is our responsibility when we take living creatures' lives into our hands to provide them with the best (and most natural) care possible.
 

FinalFins

One of the arguments is that anything is better than a pet store cup. Even taking a pet store cup into a person's house is better than it being at a petstore.

Thus, if the option were not to adopt a pet or adopt a pet but have a small tank such as even a pet store cup at a home or say a 1 gallon tank at home, then it would be better than living the betta in the store.

But it will still be condemned to the same fate, to die in a tiny, unsuitable tank. It's not adopting if you keep in almost the same conditions it was at the store. You can theoretically "adopt" a dog that was sickly and kept in a small crate, but then you "adopt him" and put him in a slightly bigger crate, I don't consider that responsible adoption.

IME, all bettas are actually more active than most people think. My bettas zoom around all day, and when I had a betta in my 20 long, it used all of the space and I saw a clear level of increased activity.

I remember somewhere that bettas in the wild (Male specimens) have 1 square meter of territory, and the volume of that space can change from 200~gal to 40~ depending on the season. So why should we have the right to minimize that to a 6x6x5 sized "aquarium"? Now saying this I have no objection to fish in captivity, but as long as the fish is being kept in the right conditions and is responsibly taken care of.
 

aquafrogg

But it will still be condemned to the same fate, to die in a tiny, unsuitable tank. It's not adopting if you keep in almost the same conditions it was at the store. You can theoretically "adopt" a dog that was sickly and kept in a small crate, but then you "adopt him" and put him in a slightly bigger crate, I don't consider that responsible adoption.

IME, all bettas are actually more active than most people think. My bettas zoom around all day, and when I had a betta in my 20 long, it used all of the space and I saw a clear level of increased activity.

I remember somewhere that bettas in the wild (Male specimens) have 1 square meter of territory, and the volume of that space can change from 200~gal to 40~ depending on the season. So why should we have the right to minimize that to a 6x6x5 sized "aquarium"? Now saying this I have no objection to fish in captivity, but as long as the fish is being kept in the right conditions and is responsibly taken care of.
Well said.
 

ap4lmtree

So there are two topics in this thread, one is about fish tank size and the other is about pet behavior with human interaction. I created a separate thread for the latter. However, I don't agree that pets don't care about interacting with their owners, including beyond food feeding and tank cleaning.

Here is the other fishlore thread:
Betta fish caring about human interaction - Betta Fish 428456
 

FinalFins

Ya know, when fish are at the front of the tank, they most likely want food.

Again, do you have any scientific papers/journals to back up the credibility of your claim?
 

Mr. Kgnao

I've known a few people who bred bettas, and they used these square plastic containers with a round opening, I think they were originally meant to be packaging for peanuts, maybe. I'll admit that's a pretty vague description, but you could maybe find them at a restaurant supply store or something like that. Anyway, they were arranged in racks, sitting on some kind of roll out heating pad (I think it was meant for reptiles), each had a little sand in the bottom, a few stem plants, and they were all sharing water out of a sump underneath. A pretty neat little set up, if you want dozens and dozens of bettas.
 

aquafrogg

I've known a few people who bred bettas, and they used these square plastic containers with a round opening, I think they were originally meant to be packaging for peanuts, maybe. I'll admit that's a pretty vague description, but you could maybe find them at a restaurant supply store or something like that. Anyway, they were arranged in racks, sitting on some kind of roll out heating pad (I think it was meant for reptiles), each had a little sand in the bottom, a few stem plants, and they were all sharing water out of a sump underneath. A pretty neat little set up, if you want dozens and dozens of bettas.
Those are only used for mass betta breeding and for selling though. It’s not a proper setup, and the breeders hardly ever advise you house them the way they do
 

ap4lmtree

Ya know, when fish are at the front of the tank, they most likely want food.

Again, do you have any scientific papers/journals to back up the credibility of your claim?

If fish are interacted with only to give them food, then it makes sense that is also the only one reason they would interact with someone in return, for they have not learned other behaviors in interacting with humans. However, I discovered pet fish keepers in this forum want the onus and burden on fish to initiate and learn to do things on their own that no one taught them.

I could not find scholarly articles one way or another on betta and human interaction behavior even though someone told me here that there are some.
 

FinalFins

If fish are interacted with only to give them food, then it makes sense that is also the only one reason they would interact with someone in return, for they have not learned other behaviors in interacting with humans. However, I discovered pet fish keepers in this forum want the onus and burden on fish to initiate and learn to do things on their own that no one taught them.

I could not find scholarly articles one way or another on betta and human interaction behavior even though someone told me here that there are some.
We interact with them to watch them, and care. For all the fish knows, we are they guys that get food for them.

Once you find some scientific journals/reports I will be obligated to belive you
 

Mr. Kgnao

Those are only used for mass betta breeding and for selling though. It’s not a proper setup, and the breeders hardly ever advise you house them the way they do

Maybe, but some of the best looking bettas I've ever seen were in those racks, granted the people rearing them were incredibly experienced, but the fish's basics needs must have been satisfied in order for them to have grown to those sizes and developed that finnage and coloration.
 

aquafrogg

Maybe, but some of the best looking bettas I've ever seen were in those racks, granted the people rearing them were incredibly experienced, but the fish's basics needs must have been satisfied in order for them to have grown to those sizes and developed that finnage and coloration.
Yes and no. They were specifically bred to look that way. Their BASIC needs were met (clean water, proper food) but it is in no way a mentally stimulating or proper housing environment. It is okay temporarily but simply not suitable for their (ideally, in the right conditions) 5+ year lifespan. You'll see people buy bettas from breeders and get put into a proper tank and the bettas don't know what to do with themselves because all they have ever known is cups. They don't understand how to do proper betta behavior such as exploring, defending/patrolling territory, bubble nests, resting/hiding on plants, etc (until instincts kick in eventually of course) because they were in tiny volumes of water with no simulation of their natural habitat or mental stimulation that encourages them to display these behaviors.
 

Mr. Kgnao

Yes and no. They were specifically bred to look that way. Their BASIC needs were met (clean water, proper food) but it is in no way a mentally stimulating or proper housing environment. It is okay temporarily but simply not suitable for their (ideally, in the right conditions) 5+ year lifespan. You'll see people buy bettas from breeders and get put into a proper tank and the bettas don't know what to do with themselves because all they have ever known is cups. They don't understand how to do proper betta behavior such as exploring, defending/patrolling territory, bubble nests, resting/hiding on plants, etc (until instincts kick in eventually of course) because they were in tiny volumes of water with no simulation of their natural habitat or mental stimulation that encourages them to display these behaviors.

I'm not going to belabor the point, because this is really more a matter of opinion, but:
a. There's a difference between genotypes and phenotypes.
b. The bettas I saw seemed to be exhibiting pretty normal behavior just on a smaller scale.

I'll admit I don't particularly care for bettas, so maybe I'm just more comfortable seeing one kept in a smaller tank.
 

aquafrogg

I'm not going to belabor the point, because this is really more a matter of opinion, but:
a. There's a difference between genotypes and phenotypes.
b. The bettas I saw seemed to be exhibiting pretty normal behavior just on a smaller scale.

I'll admit I don't particularly care for bettas, so maybe I'm just more comfortable seeing one kept in a smaller tank.
I guess this is simply just where we disagree. Yes I know there is a difference between genotypes and phenotypes. Breeders still breed for a specific look, and keep the water clean and feed good food, which allows the bettas to show their desired traits (good form, desired color) better but doesn't necessarily mean the bettas are in an environment that is best for them in the long run.

The bettas showing a minute form of natural behavior in cups still aren't living in an environment that is the MOST suitable for them and would better display and encourage these behaviors. It is our duty as people who have chosen to take the life of a critter into our own hands to provide them the best lives possible. They didn't ask to be under our care.
 

PascalKrypt

Yes and no. They were specifically bred to look that way. Their BASIC needs were met (clean water, proper food) but it is in no way a mentally stimulating or proper housing environment. It is okay temporarily but simply not suitable for their (ideally, in the right conditions) 5+ year lifespan. You'll see people buy bettas from breeders and get put into a proper tank and the bettas don't know what to do with themselves because all they have ever known is cups. They don't understand how to do proper betta behavior such as exploring, defending/patrolling territory, bubble nests, resting/hiding on plants, etc (until instincts kick in eventually of course) because they were in tiny volumes of water with no simulation of their natural habitat or mental stimulation that encourages them to display these behaviors.
I don't know, maybe this is a contentious point but aren't we just projecting what we are expecting to see on a situation? Personally I have seen no evidence of depression or a failure to develop natural behaviour/instincts in betta that were kept in a small (<1 gallon) environment - in the proper way, with good water quality, no temp fluctuations, etc.
In fish that come from a cup in a pet store it is no surprise, consider the water quality and temperatures they have been kept in, plus the buzz in a busy, brightly lit store without hides.

It is just that ... why would you buy a betta if you plant to keep it in a cup long-term? It is an awful lot of maintenance and no fun because you don't get to see the fish do much except respond to you when feeding/passing by (and I have had betta blow bubble nests in larger cups. Good maintenance is the key here). The only reason breeders do it this way is because no one has the space for that many tanks when you don't have (all) of them for display anyway.

So actually back on topic to some extent - this is why I actually prefer keeping a sorority in a very large, well-planted tank instead of housing each individual girl in a 2.5 gallon, beyond the space constraints. Even though keeping the girls in a sorority is controversial, they do have a lot of space and interactions.
 

aquafrogg

I don't know, maybe this is a contentious point but aren't we just projecting what we are expecting to see on a situation? Personally I have seen no evidence of depression or a failure to develop natural behaviour/instincts in betta that were kept in a small (<1 gallon) environment - in the proper way, with good water quality, no temp fluctuations, etc.
In fish that come from a cup in a pet store it is no surprise, consider the water quality and temperatures they have been kept in, plus the buzz in a busy, brightly lit store without hides.

It is just that ... why would you buy a betta if you plant to keep it in a cup long-term? It is an awful lot of maintenance and no fun because you don't get to see the fish do much except respond to you when feeding/passing by (and I have had betta blow bubble nests in larger cups. Good maintenance is the key here). The only reason breeders do it this way is because no one has the space for that many tanks when you don't have (all) of them for display anyway.

So actually back on topic to some extent - this is why I actually prefer keeping a sorority in a very large, well-planted tank instead of housing each individual girl in a 2.5 gallon, beyond the space constraints. Even though keeping the girls in a sorority is controversial, they do have a lot of space and interactions.
I see your point, but I for one have personally heard about it all the time on this very website of people who upgraded their bettas' tank sizes (from already established tanks) and have seen many positive effects on their fish such as increased activity. The bettas might do okay in a very small tank if their other needs are met but there have been many examples of how a larger tank is more beneficial. The way I see it as, we should always strive to give our pets the best lives we possibly can.
 

Sheldon13

Let me start by saying that I fully intend to upgrade the size of the tanks my bettas are in and am planning on purchasing 5 gallon tanks at the after holiday sales.

That being said, I started out with 1.4 gallon tanks (didn’t know better) for each of my 4 bettas. One of them was a terrible fin biter. I did have a single 3.4 gallon tank so I moved him over to it. The fin biting stopped. They do know the difference.
 

BettaNgold

Would you be happy stuck in an 5X5 room all your life. You could live but would you thrive? Do you think it would affect your quality of love fe or even shorten it?
 

rhyan

My first two bettas are kept in a container meant for small beetles and lizards but when one died I decided to move her in a 2.5g tank since what I researched is the minimum size for them to thrive. I would house a betta as a temporary tank or a QT reason not in a long run because if I we're in my bettas situation I wouldn't want to live in a small area. Now when I look at my tank I kind of thinking that it was too small and want to upgrade in a 5 or 10 gallon tank but I consider the area in our house to put it since even my 2.5g is a bit of a problem to me to where I'll put but managed to do so.
 

rhyan

Sorry to burst your bubble but the fish doesn't care if you interact with it or not. It's not a dog. If it has the choice between you saying hI to it and a larger tank, I know which one it would choose. But hey it's not choosing is it, it's just a fish.

I'll somewhat agree with you, we know our beloved bettas are quite intelligent but I can't compare it with other pets that we have. My fish is just excited when I come near his tank because he thinks it is feeding time, our dog even if I didn't come near them they'll zoom fast towards me and give me lots of smooches, licks and saliva they also knows when to eat or when is playing time. My fish just swims around and flares at me and just incorporates my hands as food dispenser whenever I was cleaning his tank, he gives me flares, pecks and stares. Our dogs gives so much attention to his surrounding while my fish he just looks at me at give me a pouting lips as if he's not giving any f's about what I'm doing in the room =-D
 

goldface

I think most longtime members here know I'm pretty lenient when it comes to stocking and tank sizes (some may even say too lenient), so it's a rare moment when my opinion on it is swaying the other way. Whether keeping bettas in a 1 gallon or 1.5g, it's certainly better than being inside a delI cup. I certainly agree there. Add some easy, fast-growing plants, like frogbit and wisteria, some substrate, wood, rocks, and a few leaves to that 1.5g and it's, in my eyes, 100x better (I should know, as I've done this). Now that doesn't mean I feel a 2.5g is 100x better than that 1 gallon or 1.5g tank (at least, not significantly better). But arguing that a betta is better off getting daily human interaction--all the while kept in a mayonnaise cup--to be healtheir than being left alone in a well-planted, scaped 10 gallon tank that has plenty of cover and room to swim in sounds incredibly irrational. We're talking about a cup, the approximate size I use to dispense ketchup into at McDonald's or get served coleslaw in at Popeye's.
 

Coradee

I’m closing this thread as it’s become yet another debate on betta tank size going round in circles rather than answering the Ops original question which was...

“Any of you keep a betta in less than a 2.5 gallon” per the title & “So, what tank specifically or what size do you guys use if you use a less thank 2.5 gallon tank? IE, which is a good one?”
 

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