How To Set Up Betta Fish Tank

To set up a betta fish tank, you will need an aquarium, water, a filter, heater, substrate, and live plants. Follow these steps to set up a betta fish tank using the above items:

Prepare Aquarium

Clean out the aquarium with water. Do not use soap or any detergent. After, find a place to set the tank. Make sure that the tank is not in direct sunlight.

For bettas, a tank that can hold 5 gallons or more water is best. Never go below a 5-gallon aquarium. You can get some ideas in our best betta fish tanks article.

Add A Filter

There are different types of filters, and each has a different installation procedure. Once you buy a filter, you can use YouTube to find out how to set it up.

Try researching different filters for bettas on YouTube before you buy one. Always go for a filter where you can adjust.

Once you settle o a filter, go ahead and install it in your betta tank. But, don’t turn it on until you fill the aquarium with water.

Add Substrate

If you’re using gravel, rinse it with water to get rid of dust and other debris. Again, do not use soap or any detergent. Water is all you need. Consider adding soil beneath the gravel if you’re going to use live plants in the fish tank.

Add Plants

Root live plants in the substrate. But, do some research on the type of live plant that you use because you do not need to root all plants.

For example, there are floating aquarium plants that thrive when suspended in the water. You can read easy to care for freshwater plants for beginner aquariums.

Some plants are best suited for the back of the aquarium, for example, tall plants like Amazon Swords. To learn more, read about the different types of aquarium plants.

Add Water

Place a piece of glass or a flat object on top of the gravel and pour in water. A plate also does the trick. Doing so helps stop the scattering of the gravel or other substrates. Fill the tank leaving about 2 inches of free space at the top. Do not fill the aquarium to the brim. Remove the object once done.

The betta can jump out of the tank in such cases. Also, bettas need to breathe air from time to time, so the added space at the top allows them to do so. After you fill the tank, turn on the filter. Check to ensure that the water circulates. If not, adjust the settings.

Install Heater

Most heaters have a suction cup that you use to attach them to the side of the aquarium (on the inside). Check to the instruction manual or search for a YouTube video for a how-to to properly install a heater.

For betta fish, a temperature between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Set the thermometer in a position where you can keep an eye on the temperature of the betta tank.

Perform A Fishless Cycle

Use a neutralizer to remove chlorine from the water if you filled the tank with tap water. It is an essential step before starting the fishless cycle.

A fishless cycle is the nitrogen cycle without any fish. So, beneficial bacteria can grow in your tank. These bacteria will help convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate.

Both ammonia and nitrite are toxic. Nitrate is non-toxic. Don’t skip the nitrogen cycle as, without it, your fish will your fish.

Add Betta Fish

Once your tank finishes the cycling process (usually 1-2 weeks), you can add the betta to the tank.

To acclimate the betta to its new environment, float the container that your betta came in in the tank. It is to ensure that the water in the bag reaches the same temperature as that of the tank.

It can take about an hour for the temperatures to match. Once they do, add small amounts of the tank water into the container.

Your betta is going to come in a bag of its own water, which is going to be different from the water in your tank. Keep the bag closed and float it in your aquarium until the water in the container reaches the same temperature as your tank.

It can take around one hour, so be patient. Once the water in your Betta’s bag reaches the same temperature in your aquarium, begin to add small amounts of your tank water into the betta’s container. Once the container fills with mostly water from the tank, release the betta into the tank.