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Minimum Size For A Betta Tank


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#1 Doohiky

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 04:59 PM

As above

What is the minimum size required to house one male Betta?

Thanks

#2 Platygirl11

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:10 PM

Some people say that the minimum is one gallon, but I wouldn't feel comfortable keeping a betta in anything less than a 2.5 - 3 gal.

#3 meguro

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:14 PM

As above 2.5-3g, or 8-12L.

#4 kizno1

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:17 PM

some people say 3g but 5g is alot better

#5 Nick16

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:19 PM

5 gallon is an absolute minimum. i prefer to have about 8g, which is 40L roughly.

when i had a clearseal tank, there was only 2.90 difference in price between a 5 and 8G tank. thats nothing really.

#6 meguro

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:09 PM

Obviously, the bigger the better. But he was after minimum which is really only a couple of litres. You should probably just go with the largest tank you can afford/accomodate, and as stated, tanks of these sizes aren't particularly costly.

Also 8g is closer to 30L then it is to 40L.

Edited by meguro, 09 June 2009 - 07:10 PM.


#7 Nick16

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:14 PM

i work in Uk gallons mate. 36.3 litres. hence the word 'roughly'

#8 kizno1

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:26 PM

Obviously, the bigger the better. But he was after minimum which is really only a couple of litres. You should probably just go with the largest tank you can afford/accomodate, and as stated, tanks of these sizes aren't particularly costly.

Also 8g is closer to 30L then it is to 40L.

the minimum is about 5g not a couple of litres. if they cant afford a tank the right size then they shouldnt get one

Edited by kizno1, 09 June 2009 - 07:28 PM.


#9 Honeythorn

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:58 PM

5 gallons. A tank that size can fit on a desk easily, or a small table, kitchen worktop ect. There is absolutely no reason or need to have anything smaller for a pet betta in a normal home or apartment. Ever.

The smaller the tank, the harder it is to filter and heat correctly, and the less water you have the faster waste builds up and water quality deteriorates.

If you have space for a bigger tank than 5 gallons then get a bigger tank. There is a limited number of nice tankmates you can keep with a betta in a bigger tank ( 8-10 gals + ) that you cannot have in a 5 gallon due to space and water quality issues.

Edited by Honeythorn, 09 June 2009 - 07:59 PM.


#10 Forestpisces

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:34 PM

Id say a five gal

#11 meguro

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:51 PM

i work in Uk gallons mate. 36.3 litres. hence the word 'roughly'

Well I use SI units so forgive my indiscretions.

#12 Chrissi

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:15 AM

I'd say 1-2 gallons is the minimum.

As you can see, this is a hotly contested subject. I think we can all agree that bettas should not be kept in the kind of conditions we find them in the pet stores... that's probably all we can agree upon.

The range of "minimum" sizes you'll get for bettas range from 1 gallon to 10 gallons. I simply can't fathom the reason why anybody insists that 5 gallons or more is a minimum of any sort. I've always kept my bettas in 3.5 gallons and they are fine. I first kept my first betta in 1 gallon and decided it was too small.. no room to swim... so went for 3.5 gallons, no problems, lots of swimming room, and still small enough to pick up and move to the sink for easier water changes!! You can't do that with a 5 gallon!! Well maybe you can, but I can't.

I'd say if you want to fully enjoy your betta you should at least go for 2 gallons.

Edited by Chrissi, 10 June 2009 - 03:16 AM.


#13 RockyRaccoon

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:29 AM

5 gallon is an absolute minimum.


I'd have to disagree. of course, a larger tank is ideal but i see no problem in keeping a single betta in a 2 and a half gallon bowl if it has regular water changes and what not... especially if you throw a couple low maintenance plants in there to entertain him a little bit. The way I see it, the typical male betta is kept in a 4-8 ounce jar until you come along. Life can only improve from there. I'd still avoid those 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon bowls commonly sold. My betta became very active and interested when I threw him in his 2 and a half gallon world. he seems pretty happy to me. i have a tiny heater in there for cold nights too.

#14 draco20288

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:30 AM

i have mine in a 1.5gallon setup and he seems pretty happy and content.i would say 1 gallon is the minimum especially if space is limited(eg. college dorms,etc.) but otherwise 5 or more would be better. but this all depends on your funds and space available. i think this also depends on the betta. i definitely wouldnt keep it in those little jars or pints that they come in..

#15 LauraFrog

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:32 AM

Personally I think that the suitability of a tank depends more on a) water quality and b) mental stimulation than size. It's important to understand that a betta would far rather be in a 2.5 gallon, warm, filtered tank with water that's always clean and plants and ornaments to keep him happy, than in a poorly maintained cold five gallon tank with nothing to interest him.

That said - the bigger the better. The smallest in which it is possible to keep a betta healthy is one gallon or four litres, and that's with daily water changes (because it's virtually impossible to filter anything so tiny.) They are NOT an option in cold climates because they cannot be heated and bettas REQUIRE warm water. Personally I don't think a betta can really be happy in this little space because he has little swimming room. My betta tanks are approximately 2 gallons, the entire room is heated (rather than the individual tanks) and they are not filtered but I use ammo-lock and change the water twice a week so that ammonia never affects the fish (the reason we recommend filtration is to remove this ammonia - if you don't understand the nitrogen cycle I suggest you read the pinned topics in new to the hobby, they're really helpful.) My bettas are perfectly happy in these conditions. Obviously tank mates are not an option in this setup.

I'd prefer to give them more room, and the reason I can't is because I a) rescue bettas from appalling conditions in pet stores, most of them would die otherwise. And b) breed and this is the only way I can realistically house all my breeding stock as I usually have somewhere between fifteen and twenty males.

If you're going for one or two betta tanks, where the bettas will be pets (display, not breeding or rescuing) I recommend five to eight gallons, for these reasons:
- These tanks can be easily filtered. You don't have to muck around with the filter so much, as bettas are still water fish and filtration systems for smaller tanks often require considerable modification to reduce the current enough.
- More water = more stable water quality and temperature. It's easier to keep water clean in a larger tank and it reduces your workload in terms of water changes.
- Easier to heat. Some people use reptile pads under small tanks to heat them. This works but it is wasteful of electricity. It's virtually impossible to heat anything less than four gallons using a conventional heater (submersed in the tank.) It's not electrically safe, or safe for the fish, to use a 25 watt heater (basically the smallest you can buy) in any tank under 4-5 gallons. You NEED to heat your betta's tank, no ifs or buts (unless the entire room is centrally heated)
- Option of adding tankmates. In 5-8 gallons, you could consider adding 3 or 4 pygmy corydoras or harlequin rasboras. A lot of people suggest using otocinclus but I don't recommend it, as ideally they should be in 10 gallons + and groups of 6 +, and they are extremely hard to look after. Note that if you add tankmates, advantage 2 goes out the window, it's back to 40% water changes twice a week.
- The tank looks better. It's easier to create an attractive and aesthetically pleasing tank when you have more space to work with. If you want the tank as a display, this probably matters to you. Also, your fish will thank you for it.

If you get a tank of more than 8 gallons you'll probably want tankmates as a single betta tends to get a little lost in such a large space. Personally I don't recommend keeping bettas in more than a 15 gallon tank. This is because bettas are not able to be kept with the majority of tropical fish - so you take what could be a nice community tank, stick a betta in there and rule out the vast majority of fish you might want to keep. There's nothing WRONG with keeping a betta in a big tank, none at all, it's just that you wouldn't be able to have most of the sort of fish that make larger tanks look interesting. The betta would tend to get lost in there.

So in summary: Absolutely no less than one gallon. 2-2.5 gallons is the preferred minimum. 4-5 gallons is the minimum in a cold climate (when a heater in teh tank is required) and probably about the ideal size for a single male betta anyway. You need 5-8 gallons if you're going to consider adding tankmates. Larger than 8 gallons can work provided tankmates are chosen carefully. More than 15 gallons is overkill, the betta tends to get lost in this much space and having the betta in what could otherwise be a well stocked community tank, seriously reduces your fish choices.

#16 CTlovesKS

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 12:14 PM

Personly I would say 3-5 gallons. But as other people have said if you have the money and space for a bigger tank then please buy it. You can put more shrimp and corys etc in a bigger tank then you can with a 5G. 5G is really only lettig you put 1 male betta and maybe (Pushing it) some snails. the bigger the tank the happier the betta too,

Sorry to high-jack your thread but would a 4G be alright for 1 male on his own. Alot of people sais it should be fine, just making sure really :)

#17 kizno1

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:17 PM

i think 3g is the min there a lot happyer i use to have on in a 1g tank and it used to bearly move but the one i have now is in a 3g and seems alot happyer
hears his tank
Posted Image

Edited by kizno1, 11 June 2009 - 06:18 PM.


#18 tanzen

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:03 PM

Every betta i've ever owned as been very happy and healthy in a minimum of 2 gallons.
As long as they're not kept in a betta bowl or vase/plant and given very frequent water changes, (when i kept one in a 2 gallon i did 100% water changes daily, every other day at the most. he's in a 55 gal now.)

But of course, the bigger the better.
Any fish will always be happier in a bigger tank.
The rumor that bettas prefer smaller tanks is a myth.

Edited by tanzen, 11 June 2009 - 10:04 PM.


#19 DiscusKeeper403

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:42 PM

I got a 2.5 gallon and it looks plenty large enough for one betta. I wouldn't do anything smaller though.

#20 Platygirl11

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:19 PM

How does one heat a 2.5 gal? Without boiling the fish...

#21 DiscusKeeper403

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:22 PM

How does one heat a 2.5 gal? Without boiling the fish...


You heat the room instead...

#22 Platygirl11

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:25 PM

Doesn't matter Too much to me. I have a betta PLAN:
Step 1-
Get the 5.5 gal from LFS
Step 2-
Gradually save for equipment, while running filter in existing tank.
Step 3-
Betta!

Three steps! (And the tank is only $15!)
I sorta feel now, that if it's that easy, why put the fish in a teeny tank? In the 5.5, couldn't you have cories? Depending on the betta?

#23 DiscusKeeper403

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 12:44 AM

Doesn't matter Too much to me. I have a betta PLAN:
Step 1-
Get the 5.5 gal from LFS
Step 2-
Gradually save for equipment, while running filter in existing tank.
Step 3-
Betta!

Three steps! (And the tank is only $15!)
I sorta feel now, that if it's that easy, why put the fish in a teeny tank? In the 5.5, couldn't you have cories? Depending on the betta?



5.5 is kind of small for cories. You might be able to get away with a small group of pygmy cories, as they get about an inch in size. You would definitley have to do very frequent water changes though.

#24 Platygirl11

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 12:57 AM

Good point. Sooo. Maybe leave out the tank mates bit, except for some cool snails. :)
Shrimp... I don't know, I feel like the betta will think I gave him some new live food... What do you think?

#25 Honeythorn

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 05:18 PM

Larger shrimp such as Ghost shrimp and adult Amanos should be fine. It would be better to add the shrimp before the betta though, he's less likely tothink it's feeding time that way.


I sorta feel now, that if it's that easy, why put the fish in a teeny tank?


You are right, there is absolutely NO reason for anything smaller than 5 gals . It's the easiest small size to heat and filter, equipment for this is readily available and fairly cheap.

5 gals gives the fish plenty of room to swim, and you can have invertebrate tankmates like shrimp and snails if you like without upsetting your water quality.

With a filter, you do not have to subject the fish to daily water changes, and you are MUCH less likely to have your water suffer from ammonia or nitrite spikes due to waste being processed by the bacteria in the filter.

Having the filter reduces the need for water changes since it does the work of processing waste. With a stable mature filter you only need to do 1-2 , 25-50% water changes a week.


Seriously no need not have 5 gals filtered and heated. It's a hell of a lot safer for the fish, more stable, and still fits in small spaces like desks/worktops ect.

Edited by Honeythorn, 12 June 2009 - 05:25 PM.


#26 Honeythorn

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 05:22 PM

How does one heat a 2.5 gal? Without boiling the fish...


You heat the room instead...



Which, unless you are a breeder with a fish room, or you live in an extremely hot country is insanely impractical and pointless. Getting a much bigger tank that can comfortably hold a 25 watt heater and a small sponge filter ( this would be 5 gallons oddly enough ) is easier and better for the fish and yourself.

Edited by Honeythorn, 12 June 2009 - 05:22 PM.


#27 loraxchick

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:57 AM

i have three bettas. one in a 6 gal with some cory tankmates, and two in 3 gal tanks. all three tanks have diy sponge filters and 25 watt heaters. every fish is happy as pie and nice and healthy. also plenty of room to swim and explore. real plants in every tank and snails in every tank.
three gallons is a perfectly acceptable home. there is a lot you can do with the space and PLENTY of room for a sponge filter and small heater. in fact, the boys in the smaller tanks are MORE active than my red boy in the 6 gal.
if you can provide a filter and heater and the fish can swim around and have things to explore and occupy themselves, whatever tank you use is fine.
this is a never-ending battle on this board. of course bigger is better, but dont feel guilty about a smaller tank if you can provide a quality home that has a filter and heater!
cheers

#28 griddlebone

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:17 AM

Hm, 5 gallons is definitly easier,I have 2 males in that size and they seem to like it and i can put more shrimp in it , but i also have 2 males in 3 gallons each and they are just as happy.

#29 Honeythorn

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:38 PM

I'll never ever agree with keeping one in anything smaller than 5 gals when I know for a fact, the average home and even a small apartment has space for 5 gals. I have no time for poor space management through laziness with fishkeeping.

I have a 3 gallon spare under my bed ( for a future shrimp project ) . I'd smash it rather than keep a betta in it. *shrug*

Edited by Honeythorn, 13 June 2009 - 05:08 PM.


#30 meguro

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 05:24 PM

I'll never ever agree with keeping one in anything smaller than 5.5 gals when I know for a fact, the average home and even a small apartment has space for 5.5 gals. I have no time for poor space management through laziness with fishkeeping.

I have a 5 gallon spare under my bed ( for a future shrimp project ) . I'd smash it rather than keep a betta in it. *shrug*




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