Betta In 1/2 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by gilbertsmom, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. gilbertsmomValued MemberMember

    Hello! Yesterday, I bought my first betta fish. At the store, they sold a 1/2 gallon tank that came with food & water conditioner as well as gravel. I’ve been reading that bettas need at least 2 gallons, which has caused me to panic & feel guilty for putting him inside such a small tank. I was just wondering if he absolutely needs 2 gallons or if he’ll be able to survive in a 1/2 gallon for a while until I can convince my mom to bring out our larger tank. Please help
  2. itsaanyaNew MemberMember

    Even 2 gallons is, in my opinion, an absolute bare minimum. If it were me I wouldn’t go any lower than 5, although our betta has a 10g to himself. It doesn’t sound like you cycled the tank before you put the betts in which is a problem, and with it being such a tiny tank then it’s likely the water parameters will be unstable at the best of time. My advice would be to do daily water changes and keep testing your water so you know what’s going on, and see if you can get a 5g soon.
  3. gilbertsmomValued MemberMember

    If I were to move him to a bigger tank, how would I need to set up his new tank & transition him to it?
  4. FishKeeperCarrollNew MemberMember

    To transfer him buy the same things you bought but in a larger quantity if you get fake plants Get soft silk plants, After you set it up what i did is fill it up with water go to your local fish store and buy Seachem stability and a 5 to 10 gallon tank also cycle the tank until the stability is gone, wait about 1 week and then add the Betta fish the whole process will take 2.5 to 3 weeks. hope my answer helped you:).
  5. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Hate to disagree, but the parameters are going to be a lot worse in the tiny tank, it will be better to do the nitrogen cycle (click on the blue words) in a larger tank. You will have to do daily water changes, and the minimum is really 2.5, not 2. What do you use as dechlorinator? Prime works great, especially for fish in cycling as it can neutralize ammonia and nitrite up to 1ppm. To transfer him, you don't need to acclimate unless it has been over a week, or if you haven't been doing daily 50% water changes (which you should with such a small tank). Just use some kind of container, preferably what he came in (assuming he came in a cup) or something else that has never contacted dish soap to gently move him and some water to the new tank. Nets can tear betta fins. Silk plants are much better than others as they will tear the fins of the betta, but live plants (eg anubias, Java fern) are even better. Betta's need both a heater (78-80°) and a low flow filter. Most people have to baffle the filter, and I recommend cutting an aquarium sponge to fit over the intake.
  6. WanhiBettaValued MemberMember


    If you kee your betta in the 1/2 gallon, you absolutely need to change 90% of the water every day. Once you get your new tank, which should be a bare minimum of 2.5g (I personally would never go below 5g), be sure to put the a filter, a heater that will heat te water to 78-80 degrees and then slowly acclimate the fish to the new water by adding some of the new water to his old water.

    Dont forget to add water conditioner every time you change the water. You should definitely buy Seachem Prime because it will both protect your fish from chlorine and ammonia. Also, go read about the nitrogen cycle.
  7. gilbertsmomValued MemberMember

    Thank you.
    Thanks! Are plants/decorations necessary in my tank?
  8. WanhiBettaValued MemberMember

    Not absolutely necessary but the betta would feel safer with them.
  9. itsaanyaNew MemberMember

    Bettas also like to rest on the leaves of plants too, real or fake :)
  10. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    True, and it is easier for them, especially the long finned varieties, to reach the surface for air if they can sit close to it. I think they make something called Betta hammocks for this, "mine" loves his
  11. KamaileValued MemberMember

    Yes, your betta can survive in a 1/2 gallon tank until you get a bigger tank. I would advise changing half of the water every day in the small tank, making sure to age the water and ad dechlorinators before adding it.

    I would also advise a minimum of 5 gallons. I've noticed that bettas seem a bit listless in anything under 5 gallons and super active and curious in anything over 10 gallons.

    I would also advise putting your betta in the larger tank right away. You can cycle the tank with him in it, and it should be less stressful for both him and you. Make sure to get bottled nitrifying (also termed beneficial) bacteria/archaea to add to your tank so it will cycle quickly and with less toxic buildup. I always add more than the bottle says, too. It doesn't hurt anything and it makes me feel like the tank will cycle faster.

    Oh! And I haven't seen filtration or heaters mentioned (though I may have just missed it). Bettas do best at or slightly above 80°F. Temperature instability is also not good for any fish. So I always advise an adjustable heater (since I've never seen a present heater that keeps the temp high enough for a betta - most of them don't even keep the temp where they're advertised to keep it). Also, invest in a thermometer and some sort of filtration system. HOB (hang on the back) filters can work, but there are quite a few problems that they create for keeping bettas. (they can create a stronger current than bettas like, they can suck fins up or keep bettas trapped with the suction, etc.) Your best bet is a sponge filter (attached to an air pump) because they create the less water movement and don't really present hazards to the fish.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2018
  12. Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    Mine is in a 3.5 gallon tank from PetSmart and it seems big enough. He's very active and eats well. I got the special Betta heater they have which said it was for a 2 gallon tank but it does fine in the 3.5. The temp stays at a steady 77F which it was designed to do. 80 degrees seems very warm to me.Tank with hood and filter was $21.49. Here's a hint about PetSmart. Their prices online are lower than in the store so buy the product online with one hour pickup at the store. They will also price match the item if you can prove the online price.
  13. KamaileValued MemberMember

    I'm not saying that 3 is too small, I'm just saying that you'll be able to enjoy a much more active betta in a 5 gallon.

    While 80° may seem warm to you, it isn't too warm for your betta; 80°F is actually on the colder side of the temperatures they're best suited for. You see the most breeding behaviors at or around 85°F and the average temperature of December (the coldest month in their native habitat) is a balmy 79°F. Colder than 80°F is a bit chilly for them. But either way, constant 77°F is at least better than an incosistent temperature.
  14. 75g Discus TankFishlore VIPMember

    The Petco dollar per gallon sale is going in right now. Get a 10 gallon tank for $10.

    I would place the bare minimum for a betta at 10 gallons.

    If you think about it, in a moderately decorated tank, the swimmin space may be half due to things like gravel, heater, decor, etc.
  15. KamaileValued MemberMember

    I agree that 10 gallons on up is best for a betta, but smaller tanks can house healthy bettas, too (though arguably not happy bettas). Some people just won't get a bigger tank, but so long as they're heating, filtering, and cleaning properly I normally try to let the issue go.

    I recently put a male betta alone in a 20G long, and he seems absolutely overjoyed with the new arrangement.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2018
  16. InsanityShardWell Known MemberMember

    I only have a 10g myself, but when it comes to filtration, the bigger the better. The 200l per hour filter is too small and just not thorough enough, so I got one that does 800 liters per hour. I just need to find another elbow peice to make the current a perfect mild current with mild surface agitation. Bettas tend to like moderately to heavily planted tanks, though a half gallon I've never used... I did manage to cycle a 1g mini tank, mostly using gravel and ornaments with minimum light and the aforementioned filter that does 200 liters per hour.
    A tank for a betta has about 6 vital requirements if you want it to survive it's nice 6 year or so life: About a 5g tank, so they can hide and feel very safe but still boss around a big environment (they do NOT live in puddles!) a heater, a thermometer, a filter, plants, and air flow over the tank. You can find many guides to cycling tanks on the internet, though I find the importance of air isn't mentioned much for bettas. Since they breathe air, well, they need fresh air. My new 10g has a fully closed in hood, if I shut it and left the flaps shut he'd end up with stale air. They also like soft hiding places like plants. Exersize mirrors are bad, if left in they can stress the fish and sometimes really aggressive ones die from trying to bash it with their faces. There are a lot of different aquascaping options. Good luck!
  17. KamaileValued MemberMember

    I haven't found any info on whether "exercise mirrors" are really all bad, but I definitely wouldn't advise them for small to medium tanks. I'm not sure (I need to research this, but I'm so busy with school...) whether bettas recognize themselves in the mirrors, but I don't think they do. If they don't, they're going to be worked up about having to protect their territory, so if your tank is smaller than like 30 or 40 gallons they'll be frantically trying to protect a territory that's smaller than what they would stake claim to in the first place.
  18. GalathielWell Known MemberMember

    If you have to wait a bit to get a bigger tank, then I would pick up a plastic sterilite storage box at Wal-mart or somewhere similar. For less than $5, you can probably find something that is 2-3 gallons at least. Just transfer his stuff to it for now and then to the new tank when it's ready. If you have a Petco, you can get a 10 gallon for $10 and then just use the stuff you have for now until you can slowly purchase what you need.
  19. KamaileValued MemberMember

    Make sure you clean any new equipment well. And remember to AVOID SOAP! You can use salt (but it scratches pretty much everything but glass) or bleach (which needs to be used with caution - find good directions before trying it).
  20. LucineTValued MemberMember

    I've used white vinegar and water to clean out tanks but make sure to rinse it out properly.

    Also, with plants, whether real or fake- I notice betta fishes perking up a great deal with them. I think they enjoy exploring and swimming through them. With broad leaf plants, you might see your betta fish lying on them at night when the lights are out and he's sleeping.