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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

eaglesaquarium

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Ch4rlie said:
 
So, the new question is likely best described as:  "What is the minimum optimum size tank for a LONE betta?
 
This is probably the main debate that Tcamos is asking for.
 
As per previous answers given already, there is a range of 'optimum' tank sizes that these folks would personally set up.
 
However, I like this statement from our own member, Wildbetta, she has written an very good article on care for betta splendens for this forum, and as she is a very experienced betta keeper and breeds rare species.
 
Size: The minimum size tank that a single betta can be kept in is 2.5 gallon. 5 gallon tanks and above are easy to heat, need to be cleaned much less often, and result in a happier and healthier betta. Contrary to popular belief, there is no maximum, and bettas do not like small spaces. Bettas kept in larger tanks are healthier and less prone to problems such as ammonia burn, bacterial infections, and obesity.
 
 
Betta Splendens Caresheet
 
I think that is a good starting point for finding what are 'optimum' tank sizes for a lone betta.
 
 
Yup, I've read that plenty of times, but this is the science section, and as much as I agree that WildBetta is highly regarded and experienced, I don't believe that her opinion by itself is 'authoritative' enough to completely end the debate.  
 

Ch4rlie

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eaglesaquarium said:
Yup, I've read that plenty of times, but this is the science section, and as much as I agree that WildBetta is highly regarded and experienced, I don't believe that her opinion by itself is 'authoritative' enough to completely end the debate.  
 
Yes, I agree, hence why I said :
 
 
Ch4rlie said:
I think that is a good starting point for finding what are 'optimum' tank sizes for a lone betta.
 
Did not say anything about ending the debate.
 
:p
 

eaglesaquarium

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Ch4rlie said:
 
Yup, I've read that plenty of times, but this is the science section, and as much as I agree that WildBetta is highly regarded and experienced, I don't believe that her opinion by itself is 'authoritative' enough to completely end the debate.  
 
Yes, I agree, hence why I said :
 
 
Ch4rlie said:
I think that is a good starting point for finding what are 'optimum' tank sizes for a lone betta.
 
Did not say anything about ending the debate.
 

 
 
So you did... that's what I get for multi-tasking!  :lol:
 
 
Even then, WildBetta's comment is purely in reference to 'minimum'.  The 5 gallon she seems to posit will result in a healthier betta... though I would question the validity of that argument, if we concede that the water quality is not a factor, as a variable... in other words, assuming that the proper size and frequency of water changes are completed to keep the proper water quality.  
 
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Chad

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Yes, that's it. I realize it's an odd way of phrasing it but it's important that it's not just minimum tank size. We all know that can be a cup, but that's not optimum. What is the size in which the fish is most likely to thrive? I've said for a while now that it's the 5-6 gallon range. One of the standard tank sizes here in the US is 5.5 gallons. I think that makes a great betta tank and have had my fish to quite well in that size. 
 

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eaglesaquarium said:
Even then, WildBetta's comment is purely in reference to 'minimum'.  The 5 gallon she seems to posit will result in a healthier betta... though I would question the validity of that argument, if we concede that the water quality is not a factor, as a variable... in other words, assuming that the proper size and frequency of water changes are completed to keep the proper water quality.  
 
 
So are we also ruling out other variables?
Are we conceding that the temperature will always be in the optimum range?
That filtration is always going to exactly what a lone fish requires and the flow rate is exactly what a betta would like?
That the food is always exactly what they want for their diet at any given time?
That there are live plants and hiding places so they can rest and not feel stressed?
 
Are we purely focused on the question in hand here which is tank size?  Or are all the other things mentioned above relative to tank size as well?
 
Personally I think it all goes hand in hand and you can't have one without the others.  Therefore all variables must be considered.
 
That being the case, we naturally diverge from the original question asked which was purely which tank size would you recommend.
 
If you're only taking size of tank into account as per the original question, then you also need to recommend someone takes proper care of the fish regardless of the tank size so further recommendation for fish care are required.  Some of them basic in regards to all tropical fish, some of them specific to this species.
 
I don't think we can reach a specific answer within the parameters of the original question posed without identifying another set of specific criteria to go along with the recommendation.

As already discussed in this thread, long term for a Betta, a cup, a jar,5 litres and so on is not going to be acceptable.  Short term, possibly but I know that as intelligent and characterful fish I want to see them able to spread their fins and interact in a larger environment and I'm sure anyone here who has kept one would feel exactly the same.
 

eaglesaquarium

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Far_King said:
 
Even then, WildBetta's comment is purely in reference to 'minimum'.  The 5 gallon she seems to posit will result in a healthier betta... though I would question the validity of that argument, if we concede that the water quality is not a factor, as a variable... in other words, assuming that the proper size and frequency of water changes are completed to keep the proper water quality.  
 
 
So are we also ruling out other variables?
Are we conceding that the temperature will always be in the optimum range?
That filtration is always going to exactly what a lone fish requires and the flow rate is exactly what a betta would like?
That the food is always exactly what they want for their diet at any given time?
That there are live plants and hiding places so they can rest and not feel stressed?
 
Are we purely focused on the question in hand here which is tank size?  Or are all the other things mentioned above relative to tank size as well?
 
Personally I think it all goes hand in hand and you can't have one without the others.  Therefore all variables must be considered.
 
That being the case, we naturally diverge from the original question asked which was purely which tank size would you recommend.
 
If you're only taking size of tank into account as per the original question, then you also need to recommend someone takes proper care of the fish regardless of the tank size so further recommendation for fish care are required.  Some of them basic in regards to all tropical fish, some of them specific to this species.
 
I don't think we can reach a specific answer within the parameters of the original question posed without identifying another set of specific criteria to go along with the recommendation.
As already discussed in this thread, long term for a Betta, a cup, a jar,5 litres and so on is not going to be acceptable.  Short term, possibly but I know that as intelligent and characterful fish I want to see them able to spread their fins and interact in a larger environment and I'm sure anyone here who has kept one would feel exactly the same.
 
 
 
Optimum means 'optimum'... so yes... meaning all other variables are in their 'optimum' condition as well.
 
Proper temp, proper lighting, proper water chemistry, proper cover, etc.  
 
 
Limiting to a single variable is tough, but scientifically, that's what would need to be determined, all other variables are held constant to isolate the one being investigated.   Each of the other variables have their own 'optimum' range as well.  
 
 
In other words, proper fish care isn't about just one thing, and no one has ever claimed that it is.  But, the question posed is about tank size.  All the other variables can affect that, like larger volumes of water are less prone to fluctuations in temp, or water quality remains more constant between water changes, etc.  But, we are discussing 'optimum tank size', and as such, the other variables play second fiddle to that.
 
 
 
The case can be built that larger tanks are just 'easier' to take care of for a novice fish keeper, but that's kind of getting away from the intent of the question, I believe.  A 100 gallon tank full of plants, with lots of hidey holes, a static temperature and frequent water changes would certainly make for a very 'happy' betta... but that really doesn't deal with 'optimum' when you look at all the variables... like would anyone ever use a 100 gallon tank to house a single betta?  
 
 
I'm trying to keep the discussion narrow so that we can actually drill down into the heart of the question rather than getting caught up in the weeds.
 

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As previously mentioned (not by me), different Betta prefer different environments.  Some prefer a smaller space, some prefer a larger body of water.
 
There may be no exact answer to this question as the preferred tank size for each fish varies dependant on the fish.
 
Some people love living in cities, some prefer living in the wilderness.  Which is optimal?  It's down to the person.  Same here, it's often down to the individual fish.  I think the best we may be able to do is exclude those that are most definitely unsuitable rather than identify the one specific size that fits all, because IMHO it doesn't exist. Or perhaps define a sliding scale which would suit Betta best within reason.
 
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Far_King said:
Some people love living in cities, some prefer living in the wilderness.  Which is optimal?  
It's not quite the same. All fish love living in water and each species has it's built in habitat. Also, we aren't quite sure that fish "like" anything. Though there are some species (like puffers) that seem to be more intelligent most fish, as far as we currently know scientifically, don't have the emotional capacity to like. This means we have to judge based upon a more quantifiable matrix for their needs. 
 

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I think I may have found some real empirical evidence for a factor that doesn't seem to have been considered much yet, at least not in the terms of concrete verifiable evidence, I'll just need some time to trace the article I found it in back to the original research findings, and double- check on which sites are ok to link with the mod team.
(And to be perfectly honest , I'd also like to overhaul/redo my tank journal, that thing is an near-incomprehensible, disorganized mess.)
 

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Well, this is rather embarrassing, I can't find the references...
I got so exited seeing the word "autopsy" in an article, after having read so many articles on both sides containingmostly either opinions (granted many were expert opinions) or anecdotes, that I didn't bother to actually check the possibility that the referenced autopsy may have itself been an anecdote. 
   
Although just because I cannot find the original autopsies, doesn't neccesarily mean they don't exist.
  
Here's the article:
http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/articles/better-bettakeeping.htm
The autopsy in question is mentioned in the second paragraph of the section titled "bigger is better"
Perhaps someone here knows how we could contact Philip A. Purser, the author of the article, and try to track down his sources from there.
 
Although on second thought, even if those autopsy reports are proven true, that just confirms there is a minimum tank size, not where exactly to draw the line...
 

NickAu

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I do not see a problem with what Philip A. Purser says, Minimum tank size 10 gallon, filter,  live plants including floating ones, good quality pellet and a variety of live and frozen food, Low lighting, heated tank, combined with lots of clean water.
 
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