What's new

Let's Have A Debate On Betta Tank Size.

What size tank do you recommend for a Betta splendens?

  • 6-8 ounces

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2-3 gallons

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • 5-6 gallons

    Votes: 17 56.7%
  • 10+ gallons

    Votes: 9 30.0%

  • Total voters
    30

Chad

Reef Tank, Crustacean, and Puffer Enthusiast
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
8,649
Reaction score
158
Location
US
Read the article below then post your thoughts. Remember this is the science section so keep it scientific. And as always, treat those who disagree with respect. 
 

 
http://www.reef2rainforest.com/2014/03/26/amazonas-videos-bettas-in-the-wild-what-they-tell-us-about-minimum-tank-sizes-for-bettas/
 
I for one am a fan of understanding biology and the needs of the fish to figure tank size. For marine keepers the "tang police" are a frequent nag but given the actual behavior of some tanks (kole, tomani, and yellow) the giant tanks often recommended are not needed.
 
In terms of our classic betta splendens can the inverse be true, that the small tank sizes are not correct? The article above certainly takes the stance that in the wild these fish are in pretty small spaces and during the shipping and breeding process as well. 
 
Does actual betta splendens behavior indicate for a larger or smaller tank? I'm on the side of 6 gallons filtered but that's me. What about you?
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,893
Reaction score
362
Location
US
Interesting topic and a great read.  Not enough time to answer at this time, but "I'll be back." :lol:
 

AmtotheBurr

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
347
Reaction score
36
Location
US
I think fiveish gallons is perfect for a betta and they do use all that space when they have it. The smaller the space, the more lethargic the fish from my own observations.
 

NickAu

Member
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
5,113
Reaction score
1,218
Location
AU
I think 5 gallon is the minimum size, 10 for novice keepers,
 
As you can see my Betta absolutely hates her 15 gallon LOL.
 
View My Video
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,893
Reaction score
362
Location
US
Remember folks... this is the scientific section.
 
 
To say that housing bettas in small unfiltered aquaria is cruel is a wholesale generalization—for bettas, it appears clear that small aquariums are only “cruel” when proper husbandry isn’t provided.

So if you’re unable to provide the routine husbandry required or if you’re inexperienced, it is obvious that a tiny, unfiltered tank isn’t appropriate for you. And certainly if you feel that a typical “Betta splendens” requires a larger tank, by all means please do furnish one. This is not to say that I encourage our readers to give their bettas the “smallest tank possible,” but to simply acknowledge that small spaces do work, in the right hands, with proper care, and the fish most certainly will be healthy and, with a little bit of snark, I dare say they may even be “happy”.
 
This final paragraph and the line right before it are really the biggest thing, and as such, there's no single answer to the question.

If we pin the discussion to the 'proper husbandry', then based on this article, it would seem that as little as 8 ounces could be acceptable. The difference for me between the wild and the standard 8 oz container is that in the wild, there is an abundance of water and vegetation removing ammonia from the water, but the standard small tank doesn't have that amount of vegetation available, nor the turnover of the volume of water that is in the container.



I'm guessing one feature that should be discussed a bit more is that we should replicate the 'natural' environment with much more vegetation in betta tanks than we normally see (if any) in a betta tank.[/color]
 

NickAu

Member
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
5,113
Reaction score
1,218
Location
AU
 
If we pin the discussion to the 'proper husbandry', then based on this article, it would seem that as little as 8 ounces could be acceptable. The difference for me between the wild and the standard 8 oz container is that in the wild, there is an abundance of water and vegetation removing ammonia from the water, but the standard small tank doesn't have that amount of vegetation available, nor the turnover of the volume of water that is in the container.


 
I think you hit the nail on the head
 
 
I'm guessing one feature that should be discussed a bit more is that we should replicate the 'natural' environment with much more vegetation in betta tanks than we normally see (if any) in a betta tank.[/color]
Couldn't agree more.
To me this is cruelty.
 

Far_King

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
645
Reaction score
147
Location
GB
Mine resides in a 7 gallon tank but I voted 10 as I still feel a slightly larger tank would be more beneficial.
 
I can see he's happily active in there but not stressed.
He has room to swim, and Betta do like to swim (and not just in small circles)
He has room to forage and investigate which he loves to do.
He had plenty of areas to rest when he wants to.
The water quality is more stable than in a smaller tank.
 
Just because an animal can exist in a confined space doesn't mean it should be kept in one.
 

Baccus

We are not born just so we can die
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
4,076
Reaction score
180
Location
AU
First of all I guess it needs to be made clear which gallons are being referred to United States or United Kingdom since there is quite a difference in the two volumes.
So assuming its US gallons then 5 gallon is around 18 Litres. Where as UK Gallons is around 22 Litres.
5-6 Gallon would be the minimum I would ever suggest, but to my mind 10 would be better. I have kept single male fighters( and at other times females) in 4ft tanks with other fish and the fighters have used and explored the entire length of the tank, about the only place they have not gone to is the bottom of the tank. Or if they have ventured down to the bottom of the tank, they have not remained for long and quickly go back to their surface habit. I have also kept single male fighters in 20 L tanks with shrimp and lots of plant life, heater and filter. Even in this rectangular tank the fighters have tended to remain near the surface most of the time. They would investigate the floor of the tank, but generally they where more interested in the surface area where live foods like mosquito eggs (or other insects may fall in and become food) would be laid or prepared foods will appear.
Most small "jars" that people end up keeping fighters in on a bench or table I find might have 10L but more usually only 2-4L of volume but too much depth for what is really comfortable for the fighter, since fighters are air breathers and naturally tend to hang near the surface rather than being bottom dwellers.
Therefore I suggest that fighters could actually have shallow tanks but with length, thus enabling the fighters to have the length to explore and  remain within easy reach of the surface, this to my mind is more inline with rice paddy, pool, puddle and backwater habitats that fighters are naturally found. I can actually envision tanks like the ones you see in Aquarium/ SeaWorld type places that are touch pools for visitors, shallow but lots of surface area becoming the "norm" for pet fighters.
 

Far_King

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
645
Reaction score
147
Location
GB
I tend to work in US gallons as in the UK we usually use in Litres :)
 
My Betta tank, 25 litres, as you describe Baccus - long and not too deep.  He explores everywhere : https://flic.kr/p/yvEADh
 
OP
Chad

Chad

Reef Tank, Crustacean, and Puffer Enthusiast
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
8,649
Reaction score
158
Location
US
TallTree01 said:
I don't see any problem with keeping them in little jars tbh.
Can you be a little more specific as to what size that would be and maybe share your thoughts on why that size is okay?
Baccus said:
First of all I guess it needs to be made clear which gallons are being referred to United States or United Kingdom since there is quite a difference in the two volumes.
Since I started the post it's US gallons. ;) I realized that this issue would come up when I created the poll but to be honest I was too lazy to Google the conversions. 
 

gmc1

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
593
Reaction score
50
Location
GB
The difference when I upgraded my Betta from 20 litres to 70 litres was night and day.more of everything he done plus added natural movements.hunting.hiding etc.was clearly a happier fish.I am not saying this is the perfect size but with more space available it seems the fish is having a better quality of life.
 
OP
Chad

Chad

Reef Tank, Crustacean, and Puffer Enthusiast
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
8,649
Reaction score
158
Location
US
Far_King said:
I recommend getting the app convertpad for your phone
 
I still wouldn't have done it. ;)
gmc1 said:
The difference when I upgraded my Betta from 20 litres to 70 litres was night and day.more of everything he done plus added natural movements.hunting.hiding etc.was clearly a happier fish.I am not saying this is the perfect size but with more space available it seems the fish is having a better quality of life.
That's been my experience as well. I've also gotten greater longevity as a result. 
 
Search tags for this page
20 litre betta tank big enough

betta fish in 20 litre tank

betta minimum tank size

betta tank size

betta tank size debate

mercedes-benz stadium
minimum tank size for a betta in uk
minimum tank size for sticklebacs
what size tank for betta fish uk

trending

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top