Betta tank selection should be done before you buy any fish. Knowing which of the many offerings will make the best betta aquarium for your fish is not that difficult though. Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses of the different betta tank styles.
We have all seen the tiny betta fish bowls in the pet stores. “If it is good enough for a pet shop owner, isn’t it good enough for me?” you think. Unfortunately, pet shop owners do not always do what is best for their fish when it comes to tank size. If all fish had a labyrinth organ in their head like the betta splendens, and could survive in very little water with no water movement, they would all be in the tiniest betta fish bowls and cups they could find.
There are basically three decisions you face when choosing a betta tank. Size, material and shape of our betta aquarium are the three criteria we are going to cover.
Betta Tank Size – Tiny bowl or 50 gallon?
As mentioned previously, bettas are kept in tiny cups or betta fish bowls not because they thrive there, but because that is the cheapest way pet stores can display them. When a betta is moved to a larger betta house, he immediately begins to show health improvements.
His colors become more vivid, he gets much more exercise, and through his interactions with his surroundings, begins to develop a very unique personality. I have used all sizes and shapes, and recommend nothing smaller than a five gallon betta aquarium. A ten gallon tank is preferred.
Betta Aquarium Material – Plastic, acrylic or glass?
Most people do not think twice about the makeup of their betta tank. They grab one that is pretty or on sale. But the construction of your betta aquarium is super important. Never choose plastic! Plastic scratches easily, can fade in sunlight, and can become cloudy or foggy over time.
Glass is the most common, and sometimes the least expensive, but the only drawback with glass is it is prone to breakage if struck. Glass does give a great visual appeal to your betta tank, though. It is very clear and easy to view through. Acrylic is my choice here. Acrylic is not susceptible to breaking, lighter than glass, and does not get foggy. And if you ever need to get fancy and cut or drill your betta aquarium, it is much easier than glass.
Betta Tank Shape – Does this really matter?
The last thing on a new betta owner’s mind when choosing a betta house is shape. I mean, really, what matters? Does the fish really give a hoot what shape his betta aquarium is? The answer is a resounding YES! Betta fish live and thrive in shallow water in their natural habitat.
If you asked your betta, he would tell you that house structure and shape are very important. Do not buy a deep tank, because he will not appreciate the whole area. Purchase a rectangular tank that is long and low. A typical ten gallon aquarium makes an awesome betta tank.
Alright, we now have selected a betta tank that is rectangular and low for maximum betta fish enjoyment (easy cleanup too). We have an acrylic or glass tank so we will enjoy a clear viewing experience for years to come, and we have at least a five gallon tank so our fishy can build his biggest and best body and personality. Cashier, ring us up!