A Little Fin Room

We’ve all gone in the pet store and seen the rows of Bettas (Siamese Fighting Fish) stacked in tiny, little plastic compartment tanks. Usually 1-1.5 gallon. Since they’re displayed in these itty bitty holders a lot of people assume that you don’t need much room in a Betta tank, but that’s simply not true.

Single Serving Size

For a single Betta the ideal standard is 5 gallon. That’s not a deluxe hotel or anything, it’s just enough so that they can survive happily and not feel so confined that they develop any number of problems. From the 5 gallon size, you can obviously increase, depending on the amount of space (and cleaning time!) you have to devote to your finned housemate(s).

Decorative Don’ts

Another issue is tank decoration. You want it to be pretty, sure, but not at the expense of your aquatic buddy . Just consider filling your entire house with wall-to-wall furniture and decorations (hoarder style) and you can imagine what a cramped Betta feels like. The whole less is more bit is well applied here, so it’s good to keep in mind when you’re on your shopping tank-spree.

Multiple Betta (Females!) Tank

Now obviously if you’re looking at a getting more than one, you’re going to need to increase your tank size. While male Bettas don’t usually get along very well, females can live quite peacefully (we call a group of them a sorority) but again they need more room or they might just start stressing out on each other!

The current ideals for tanks size for multiple Bettas vary from expert to expert, but you’re safe in housing up to 5 finned ladies with a 20 gallon. More than 5 and you’re probably getting serious enough about your Betta enthusiasm that you’ll have discovered what sizes are necessary for an ideal Betta environment.

Length Counts

There are some really beautiful tanks that will still meet the gallon requirement, but rise in a vertical direction rather than sprawling. While these are often quite nice for human eyes, Bettas aren’t big fans. They want to go out and about and up just doesn’t cut it. Again consider having a home with really high ceilings, yay!, but basically no room to move around. Not really ideal for most of us humanoids and it’s no different for the finned.

So what happens in the too-small tank?

It’s not good and maybe you don’t even want to continue reading from here, because the truth is that life as a Betta in the wrong hands is really quite miserable. Consider that their tanks are also where they potty and how quickly too little water basically becomes all fish-toilet, not fish-tank. There are also chemical mixtures to consider and it’s pretty easy to imagine how quickly the wrong amounts of chemicals and water could be a recipe for disaster. In the end it’s pretty simple: For a happy Betta make the investment to give them the right home. If you do they’re likely to maintain better health, evolve brighter, and generally live a lot longer and happier too!

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