How To Set Up Betta Fish Tank

To set up a betta fish tank, you will need an aquarium, water, a filter, heater, substrate, and live plants. Follow these steps to set up a betta fish tank using the above items:

Betta fish.

Prepare Aquarium

Clean out the aquarium with water. Do not use soap or any detergent. After, find a place to set the tank. Make sure that the tank is not exposed to direct sunlight.

For bettas, a tank that can hold 5 gallons or more water is best. Never go below a 5-gallon tank. You can get some ideas in our best betta fish tanks article.

Add A Filter

There are different types of filters and each has a different installation procedure. Once you purchase a filter, you can use YouTube to find out how to set it up.

Try researching different filters for bettas on YouTube before you buy one. Always go for a filter where you can adjust. Once you settle o a filter, go ahead and install it in your betta tank. But, don’t turn it on until you fill the aquarium with water.

Add A Filter  to  set up a betta fish tank properly.

Add Substrate

If you’re using gravel, rinse it with water to get rid of dust and other debris. Again, do not use soap or any detergent. Just water.

Also, consider getting another substrate like soil to place beneath the gravel if you’re going to use live plants in the fish tank.

Add Plants

Root live plants in the substrate. However, do some research on the type of live plant that you use because not all plants need to be rooted.

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For example, there are floating aquarium plants that thrive when left suspended in the water. You can also check out easy to care for freshwater plants for beginner aquariums.

Some plants are best suited for the back of the aquarium, for example, tall plants like Amazon Sword. Read about the different types of aquarium plants.

Add Water

Place a piece of glass, mirror, or another flat object on top of the gravel and gently pour water into the tank. A plate can also do the trick. This helps stop the gravel or other substrates from being scattered. Remove the object once done.

How To Set Up Betta Fish Tank 1

Fill the tank leaving about 2 inches of free space at the top. Do not fill the tank to the brim. The betta can jump out of the tank in such cases. Also, bettas need to breathe air from time to time so the added space at the top allows them to do so.

After you fill up the tank turn on the filter. Check to ensure that the water circulates smoothly. If not, adjust the settings accordingly.

Install Heater

Most heaters have a suction cup that you use to attach them to the side of the aquarium (on the inside). Check to the instruction manual or search for a YouTube video for a how-to to properly install your filter.

For betta fish, a temperature between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Set the thermometer in a position where you can easily keep an eye on the temperature of the betta tank.

Perform A Fishless Cycle

Use a neutralizer to remove chlorine from the water if you filled the tank with tap water. This is an important step before starting the fishless cycle.

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A fishless cycle is simply the nitrogen cycle without any fish. So, beneficial bacteria can grow in your tank. These bacteria will help convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate. Both ammonia and nitrite are toxic. Nitrate is non-toxic. Don’t skip the nitrogen cycle as, without it, your fish will your fish.

Add Betta Fish

Once your tank finishes the cycling process (usually 1-2 weeks) you can add the betta to the tank.

To safely acclimate the betta to its new environment, float the container that your betta came in in the tank. This is to ensure that the water in the bag or container reaches the same temperature as that of the tank.

It can take about an hour for the temperatures to match. Once they do, add small amounts of the tank water into the container.

How To Set Up Betta Fish Tank 2

Your Betta is going to come in a bag of it’s own water, which is going to be different from the water in your tank. Keeping the bag closed, float it in your aquarium until the water in the bag reaches the same temperature as your tank.

This can take around one hour, so be patient. Once the water in your Betta’s bag reaches the same temperature in your aquarium, begin to add small amounts of your tank water into the betta’s container.

Once the container is filled with mostly water from the tank, release the betta into the tank.


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