If you’re serious about your betta fish care then it’s important to set up a great betta aquarium. While your fish can live in a small bowl or jar it will do better and be happier with more space. The problem with setting up a fish tank is that a lot of people think that it’s a hard or expensive process. Luckily for you the fish that you’re getting is pretty easy to take care of. Here’s the stuff that you’re going to need to make a happy betta home!
1. Get a small aquarium. They don’t need much space; so don’t worry about getting a big, expensive aquarium that’s going to take up your entire counter. A single betta will be perfectly happy in a 1-5 gallon aquarium, which can usually be purchased for $10.00 or so and are no bigger than a shoebox. Make sure you rinse your aquarium before setting it up. Department stores can be dusty! Don’t worry about using soap unless there’s an obvious reason to. If you do then really be sure that you’ve rinsed it all out before your betta fish goes in. They don’t like living in soap!
2. Install your filtration system. On a small tank like this there doesn’t need to be a big filter, so make sure you check it out before you buy it. There should be a tank size recommendation on the package, so make sure they match up. A proper filter will help keep your water aerated and clean so that you don’t need to change the water nearly as often. Don’t get too big a filter as it can keep your betta from swimming properly, which will stress them out.
3. Get some clean gravel. If you know what color betta you plan to get then you can coordinate your gravel color with your fish color! Avoid sharp, jagged gravel, as bettas will spend some time near the bottom. The sharp gravel will really tear at their fins. You’ll want about one pound of gravel per gallon-sized tank. It doesn’t hurt to rinse the gravel, either.
4. Add plants. There are all kinds of options as far as real, plastic, or silk plants. As long as you clean the plants and they are soft then all of those are fine. Make sure you get soft plants without jagged edges as the plants just like the gravel can damage the betta’s fins. Real plants obviously take more care, but can be beautiful.
5. Add distilled, treated water. Tap water can be full of all kinds of chemicals that can be harmful to your fish. By getting distilled water and then conditioning it (get some water conditioner from your pet store) you’ll be giving your fish a much healthier environment.
6. Let the tank run for a couple of weeks. This step is optional, but it helps the tank get going. When you have a new tank the helpful microorganisms that build up in the gravel and filter aren’t there. They take a while to get going. Until they get a foothold the tank won’t filter as well as a mature tank will. Letting the tank go for a couple of weeks without putting your betta in will help ensure a nice home for your betta.
There are six easy steps to building a low-cost, happy home for your betta fish that doesn’t have to take over the whole room. With a little bit of preplanning you can give your betta a pleasant place to call home, for both them and you.
By Isaac Wilkins
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