How to Make a Betta Fish Tank

Updated February 21, 2017

Betta fish are popular pets and it is easy to care for them. They are curious tropical fish that need to stay amused or they get bored and depressed. They also need to have the right temperature and pH water. Making a fish tank for a Betta fish is simple and helps keep them healthy and happy for a long time. It is well worth setting your fish tank up correctly, caring for it properly and keeping it clean.

Buy your fish tank. Bettas can live in smaller bowls, but they appreciate a larger environment. You want at least one-half gallon of room for each Betta in your tank, but they really do much better in a gallon of water each. The males are aggressive to all of their species, so be sure to use dividers if you want more than one Betta in the same tank. Females can live together so long as they have enough space.

Fill the tank with water. Tap water is fine, but let it sit out for a day before you put the fish in it to let the chlorine evaporate out of the water and bring it to room temperature. Bottled water is also fine, as long as it is at room temperature. Avoid distilled water, because some beneficial bacteria do need to grow in it.

Test the pH of the water and adjust it with Betta buffers to get it as close to 7.0 as you can. The fish are probably OK anywhere between a reading of 6.5 and 7.5, but the closer to neutral you get, the better.

Make sure the heat in your tank stays constant, ideally between 21.1 and 26.6 degrees C. Any temperature changes should be gradual. You can use a heater and a thermometer to monitor it.

Rinse a substrate in a container until the water coming out is clear. You can use smooth pebbles or glass beads from a craft store, aquarium gravel or plastic aquarium gems. Do not use rocks from your backyard or the street.

Place a cover over the top of your fish tank. Betta fish like to jump and can clear the top of a tank or bowl without a problem.

Introduce your fish. Keep the betta in the bag with the water and place the whole thing into the fish tank. Let it sit for a few hours and clip a hole in the bag. Let a little aquarium water mix into the bag for another thirty minutes. Let your fish out of the bag into the fish tank. Repeat this step with any other Bettas you want to introduce into the tank.


You do not need a live or plastic aquarium plant, but your Betta fish appreciates them. You only need an aerator if you use a tank larger than five gallons. You do not necessarily need a filtration system, but Betta fish appreciate them because they like swimming in a current.

Things You'll Need

  • Fish tank
  • Water
  • Betta buffers
  • Aquarium heater
  • Thermometer
  • Substrate (smooth pebbles or glass beads from a craft store, aquarium gravel or plastic aquarium gems)
  • Fish tank cover
  • Betta fish
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About the Author

Marissa Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English language and literature. She has extensive experience writing marketing campaigns and business handbooks and manuals, as well as doing freelance writing, proofreading and editing. While living in France she translated manuscripts into English. She has published articles on various websites and also periodically maintains two blogs.