Betta fish can be complicated pets and are not ideal for first-time fish keepers. Just finding the best betta fish tank can be challenging. While bettas are territorial and will fight if kept in groups, a small enclosure will be boring for even a solitary fish.
This guide will discuss how to choose the best betta aquarium for your scaly pet. There’s plenty to take into consideration, so I’ll cover every element of what makes the best betta fish tank set-up. Follow this advice and your fish will have a long and happy life!
What is the Best Size Tank for a Betta Fish?
You should be looking for a tank of at least five gallons for a betta fish. You may be able to get away with halving this size. You’re playing with fire there, though. Betta fish are tropical, and flourish in an environment as close to their natural territory as possible. If anything, go larger.
Betta fish are energetic. Your pet will want to spend its days swimming and exploring its surroundings. This means that a small tank for a betta fish will quickly become crushingly dull. A bored fish is a stressed fish, and that’s not healthy. Smaller tanks are also tougher to keep clean, as toxins and waste will build up quickly.
Betta Fish Tank Reviews
If you’re looking to invest in a new aquarium for your betta fish, or upgrade on an existing tank, here are seven of the finest options on the market.
MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
As an all-rounder, this aquarium from MarineLand is my overall pick for betta fish. At 5 gallons in size it’s as small as I like to go with a home for a betta, but it ticks every box.
A 3-stage filtration unit is included with the tank, and hidden out of sight. This means that your view of your pet will not be encumbered, especially thanks to the rounded edges. It also contains LED lighting that responds will to ambient illumination. You can toggle these lights between white and blue.
Assembly and cleaning is simple, which is a big plus for novice fish owners. The filter is silent, and you won’t struggle to find replacement cartridges from any reputable pet store. It can be tough to reach, though.
Overall, however, this tank boasts sturdy construction. Considering the reasonable price point and two-year warranty, this aquarium is worthy of consideration.
- Easy to set up, easy to use, easy to clean (apart from the filter!)
- Portrait shape makes for convenient location.
- The cover leaves tiny gaps that a particularly small and determined betta may escape through.
- Filter can be tough to reach for cleaning and cartridge changes.
- The lights may be too bright for some.
- It’s a 5-gallon tank but holds more like 3.5 gallons of water for swimming.
Tetra GloFish 3 Gallon Aquarium Kit Fish Tank
If you’re shopping at the lower end of the budget scale, consider this Tetra aquarium. I’ll be blunt here – you get what you pay for. This tank is only 3 gallons in size, so it may not suit every betta, and its made of comparatively flimsy plastic. As a temporary or second home, however, it’s well worth a look.
The cube shape allows viewing from all angles, and the tank is equipped with a three-stage filter. As always with small tanks, this could be a little too powerful for comfort. If your betta gets trapped, replace this post-haste.
Overall, though, this a good-looking and cost-effective tank. You can obviously decorate as you see fit. If aesthetics are particularly important to you, save your money for decorations and substrate. Overall, this is a fine home for a low-maintenance betta and a suitably cost-effective first aquarium.
- Cheap and cheerful.
- Easy to clean and set up.
- Definitely at the smaller end of recommended tanks for a betta.
- Powerful filter, so some areas of the small space will be avoided.
- Made of plastic, so may crack or scratch.
- Some models prone to leaking.
MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit
Do you like the look of the MarineLand portrait glass thank that I previous discussed, but wish it came with a rail light? Well, you’re in luck! This aquarium is almost identical to my top pick, but it comes with an external light attached.
You can pick this design up in a small size of 3 gallons, though I wouldn’t recommend doing so small with a betta. The lights are big selling point here. They are rounded, rather than slim and bladed. They’re still blue and white, and they’re still blindingly bright if you don’t cover them at night.
Otherwise, this is pretty much identical to my top pick. If lights are a deal breaker for you, this is the aquarium to choose. If not, stick with the slightly cheaper Portrait 5-gallon.
- Those rounded lights do look pretty.
- Remains a solid, sturdy and simple design.
- Costlier than the Portrait with very little difference.
- 3 gallons is too small for a betta.
- External lights may be too intense for some owners.
- Filter is still a pain to reach.
Back to the Roots Water Garden
This tank is a lovely, eco-friendly idea. The practice doesn’t always live up the concept unfortunately, but if you’re of a particularly environmental persuasion, it remains worth a look. It’s also a great way to teach young fish keepers about nature.
The tank measures 3 gallons, which is definitely on the smaller side for a betta. However, the selling point of this aquarium is that it comes packaged with seeds. Basically, your grow your own plants in this tank. These plants also provide a self-cleaning service, as long as you maintain them appropriately.
Alas, this is an expensive project, especially for a betta. In addition to the outlay on the aquarium, you’ll need to purchase a heater and decorations. The pump is also pretty strong, so some bettas will struggle to swim against the tide.
File this one under cautious curiosity. When it works, it’s great. Just proceed with a little thoughtfulness. You may be better served experimenting with another fish first.
- Great for the environment.
- Educational for kids.
- Expensive – especially as you’ll need to buy additional peripherals.
- Some knowledge of gardening and plants may be required.
- Water pump is prone to breaking.
- Potentially too small for a betta fish to really flourish.
Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit
If strong and simple is your thing, look no further. This tank will not win any awards for innovation, but it’s a simple, effective and nice-looking home for any fish. At 5 gallons it’s also arguably an optimum size for a solo betta.
The aquarium is made of sturdy glass, which is a big plus. Yes, this means you’ll have to spend a little more. It’s worth it, though – this is a hardy home for your fish. The filter and heater (which must be purchased separately) can be slotted out of sight, no nothing is cumbersome.
In many respects, this may be only tank you ever need for a betta fish. You’ll obviously need to replace parts periodically, but the structure itself is solid. Some may say it’s a little overpriced for what it offers, but I still consider it a top-end aquarium.
- Sturdy and tough – this tank will last years.
- Peripherals, such as filter and heater, are hidden out of sight.
- Needs more cleaning than some competitors.
- Filter and pump are slightly noisy.
- Metal strips on the corner restrict view from certain angles.
- Slightly narrow dimensions – ensure any store-bought decorations will fit.
biOrb Halo 15 Aquarium
The biOrb Halo is arguably the most visually striking tank available for any fish. There is no denying that this bowl-shaped aquarium – available in 4-, 8- or 16-gallon sizes – is beautiful. Alas, aesthetic splendor comes at a price.
I’m not just talking about the financial outlay, though that is not insignificant. Rather, the fact that is a high-maintenance aquarium. It’s made from acrylic, and is backed by a two-year warranty, but it requires plenty of cleaning. Be careful while you’re doing so. It’s easy to scratch this beautiful bowl.
In addition, the current from the in-built filter is quite strong. It may be too strong for a betta fish to feel entirely comfortable. You’ll likely need to replace the filter with an alternative, at more expense.
If you’re prepared to do so, you’ll be rewarded. The LED lighting of this tank offers a range of sixteen colors, controlled with a wireless remote. Just ask yourself if you’re ready to tolerate fussiness in the pursuit of beauty.
- Glorious to look at.
- Silent filtration.
- Betta fish may grow bored in a round bowl.
- Requires a lot of maintenance.
- Scratches easily while cleaning.
- Filter current may be too strong for a betta fish.
Penn Plax Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit
This tank is ideal for first-time betta owners, as it contains almost everything you’ll need as standard. It comes packaged with a filter, thermometer and net for catching your fish when it’s time for cleaning. You’ll just need to add decorations and a heater.
The tank is also made of a sturdy glass, while the design of rounded. This makes it visually appealing – you’ll be able to see your betta fish from any angle.
This aquarium is really designed for small spaces. This, obviously, should not be a consideration with betta fish. If space is limited, you may wish to reconsider keeping a betta. However, the tank is available in three sizes. The 2.5 gallon is really too small, but the 5- or 10-gallon options are fine.
Overall, this is a fine starter kit. You’ll likely want to upgrade at a later date, but you won’t break the bank on this initial investment.
- Great for viewing your fish.
- Complete package at a reasonable price.
- Not really a permanent solution for betta fish.
- Probably more suited for small fish or shrimp.
- Looks a little basic and, dare I say it, childish.
- No heater or spare filter cartridges included.
How to Set Up a Betta Fish Tank
Once you have chosen a tank or aquarium for your betta fish, you need to start populating it. This is the basic list of essentials that you’ll need to set up your pet’s new home.
- A high-quality, powerful filter and air pump. Ensure both are tailored to the size of the tank.
- A heater that provides appropriate tropical water temperature. Again, ensure this can cope with the size of your tank.
- A thermometer so you can keep an eye on that temperature, ensuring it remains appropriate.
- Plants and decorations. Include hiding places for your betta, such as caves.
- A hood for the tank and appropriate lighting.
Once you have these in place, your betta is ready to move into its new home.
How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank
Cleaning a betta tank is hugely important, but it can be time-consuming. This is one of the reasons that bigger is better when choosing a betta fish aquarium. Smaller tanks will get dirty faster and require more regular cleaning.
Wear rubber gloves while cleaning the tank and start by removing all decorations. You’ll need to hand-clean these with a toothbrush to remove any traces of bacteria. If necessary, apply a diluted bleach solution and wash it off afterward. You need these decorations to be spotless.
Turn off anything electrical and start scrubbing algae off the tank walls. If your aquarium is made of glass, you can save time by using a razor for this. If your aquarium is plastic, use an algae scraper to prevent scratches.
Once the algae is clear, clean up the substrate. A gravel vacuum is best for this. You’ll also suck up some of the dirty water in the process, which is a bonus. Finally, if necessary, clean the tank filter. This will probably not be necessary every time you clean the tank. Do ensure that your filter gets regular maintenance, though.
You can now reapply everything to the tank – including your betta fish!
Betta Fish Tank FAQS
Is a 1-gallon Tank Big Enough for a Betta?
Absolutely not. Betta fish need to space to flourish. At an absolute minimum, a tank must be 2.5 gallons. Ideally, you should not be looking anything smaller than 5 gallons. Small tanks a boring for betta fish and will quickly fill with toxins. You’ll have to clean a tank of this size daily.
Can a Tank be Too Big for a Betta?
Betta fish are curious by nature, so they flourish in large tanks. Just avoid a tank that is too deep – the betta fish should be able to swim to the top of the tank. You should also provide plenty of decorations and hiding places. Betta fish love to explore, so the more additions to the aquarium the better.
Can a Betta Fish Live in a 10-gallon Tank?
Betta fish will love living in a 10-gallon tank. Your pet will enjoy all the space provided, and you will not have to clean the aquarium quite as much. You could even add some friends for your fish. Just avoid any more bettas – there is a reason this territorial breed is also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish.
I hope this has answered all your burning betta-related questions. If you’re taking on one of these fish for the first time, check out the MarineLand Portrait 5-gallon tank. This will meet all your needs, at least initially. You can also upgrade to something more spectacular at a later date.