Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for best betta fish tanks

With their distinctive, brightly colored appearance, bettas are some of the most popular aquarium fish available. These fish are often sold in small containers in pet stores, so many people mistakenly believe that bettas can be kept in cramped bowls.

However, bettas actually require a more spacious environment to thrive, which is why finding the right betta fish tank is so important. But there is a wide array of betta fish tanks on the market, so finding the best home for your fish can be difficult.

BestReviews is dedicated to taking the stress out of shopping. We do the product research so you don’t have to. If you’re looking for information to help you choose a fish tank for your bettas, check out our shopping guide.

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Make sure that your tank is set up and ready to go before you bring your betta fish home, so you can place the fish in the tank soon after you purchase it.

Betta fish tank features to consider


Betta fish are native to tropical waters in Southeast Asia and so do best in temperatures between 74°F and 80°F. It’s also important that the water be maintained at a constant temperature and avoid extreme fluctuations that can harm the fish. You should also pay attention to the acidity of the water. In order for the fish to stay healthy, the water should maintain a neutral pH level between 6.5 and 7.5.


Because bettas are tropical fish, you may want to purchase a tank that includes a heater, particularly if you live in a colder climate. For the most efficient heating, look for a heater with five watts of power for each gallon of tank size. Choose a tank with a heater that has a built-in temperature gauge for easy monitoring. If the water gets too warm, your fish could die.


Individual bettas like some room to swim around, which is why the tiny bowls they’re sold in are never good as a permanent home. Choose a tank that holds at least one gallon of water. However, if you have space in your home for a larger tank, a two-gallon or larger tank is the best option for healthy, thriving fish.


Most betta fish tanks are rectangular or square, but you can also find round bowls large enough to house a betta. If you want a unique look but have limited room, a half-cylinder shape is ideal because it enables you to maximize space. As long as the tank is the appropriate size for your fish, the shape is entirely a matter of personal preference.


The most important thing to remember about bettas is that, for the most part, they should be kept in tanks alone. They are very likely to fight with other bettas and may kill other fish that are kept in a tank with them.

If you plan to have two or more bettas, you need to keep them separated. You may not have room in your home for multiple tanks, so choose a tank with dividers. The physical barriers prevent the bettas from getting at one another but still enable you to keep them in the same tank. Also, if you add more betta fish at a later date, you can purchase tank dividers separately.

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Bettas are pretty adept jumpers, which can make them a risk for escaping the tank. To make sure that your fish don’t get injured, look for a tank with a durable, solid lid that can’t easily be moved off the tank.


Bettas can live in unfiltered water, but the fish will be healthier if the tank has a filtration system. However, bettas don’t do well with turbulence. Look for a tank that comes with a filter with adjustable flow, so you can play around with the intensity to find what works best for your fish.


Like people, bettas need cycles of light and darkness, and you can accomplish this with lighting, such as a white light to mimic daylight and a deep blue or purple light to mimic evening. Fluorescent lighting is traditional – it doesn’t give off a lot of heat and it’s inexpensive. Avoid lights that are too bright because these can irritate or stress the fish. Also, bettas are extremely beautiful, colorful fish, and a tank that includes a lighting system provides a more vibrant environment for your fish. Some tanks have an LED lighting system with a single light color (usually white or natural) while others offer multiple colors to create different moods.


There are extras, such as gravel and plants, that come with some tanks or you can add to the tank to make life a little more pleasant for your fish. For bettas, smaller gravel is better because waste can easily get trapped between large pieces of gravel. Choose natural-colored gravel to avoid irritating or overstimulating the fish. Betta fish like some decorative elements like caves or tunnels. Avoid ornaments with sharp edges because these can potentially injure your fish.


  • When you purchase a new betta fish tank, rinse it with water before setting it up. Don’t use soap, as it could leave behind residue that’s harmful for your fish.

  • If you have other pets, such as cats or dogs, place your betta tank in an area or room where the pets can’t access the fish. Even if your furry friends don’t want to intentionally harm your fish, they could easily jostle or even knock over the tank.

  • Bettas can get bored fairly easily. It’s a good idea to rearrange the accessories and decor in your tank every so often to keep them interested.

  • If you’re adding plants to your betta tank, lay down two inches of gravel for live plants and one inch of gravel for artificial plants. To make sure you can clearly see your betta, place the tallest plants at the back of the tank.

Betta fish tank prices

Betta fish tank prices vary based on the size of the tank and any accessories included, but you can expect to pay between $12 and $110 for a tank.

Half-gallon or smaller tanks: These tanks are usually the least expensive option. Those that don’t include any accessories range from $12 to $17. Small tanks usually don’t include a filter, lighting, and/or a heater. Small tanks that include gravel and decorative ornaments usually cost between $18 and $24.

Half-gallon to 1.5-gallon tanks: Betta fish tanks of this size that don’t include any accessories typically cost between $24 and $30. Tanks that include some accessories like gravel and decorative ornaments range from $30 to $35.

1.5- to 2.5-gallon tanks: Tanks this size that don’t include any accessories generally cost between $35 and $40. Tanks that include accessories like a filter and lighting cost from $40 to $45.

2.5-gallon and larger tanks: Larger tanks that include at least a filter cost from $45 to $65. Tanks that also include LED lighting and other accessories cost between $65 and $110.

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When choosing a spot for your betta fish tank, make sure that it isn’t in direct sunlight.


Q. What type of material is best for a betta fish tank?

A. Betta tanks are usually made of glass or acrylic. Acrylic is lighter in weight than glass, making it a better option for larger tanks. However, glass tanks don’t scratch as easily, cost less, and don’t yellow over time the way acrylic does. Glass tanks don’t have as much visible distortion either, so you can see your fish more clearly.

Q. Can I add live plants to a betta fish tank?

A. Live plants can be an ideal addition to the betta fish tank habitat because they help filter and clean the water. However, live plants can require significant maintenance, so they may not be the best option for beginners. Instead, you might prefer silk plants, which don’t require any maintenance but move like live plants in the water.

Q. How often should I clean my betta fish tank?

A. It depends on the size of your tank. Small tanks (2.5 gallons or less) require more frequent cleaning, so you should usually change out 30% to 50% of the water every two to three days and clean the tank once or twice a week. A larger tank (more than 2.5 gallons) requires less frequent cleaning. You should change approximately 10% to 15% of the water every week or so and clean the tank every two to three weeks.

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