Blue and red fighting-fish

What you have to know about Bettas

The siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens, is probably the most famous betta representative.
Because of its magnificent color and ostentatious shape of the fins
enjoying unabated popularity, but unfortunately, often spontaneous purchases are made that mostly every time end up with species-inappropriate housing what is more than unfair to the fish.

Betta Splendens
English name: Siamese Fighting  Fish
Group: Labyrinth Fish
Distribution: Asia / Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Gender Distinction:
Males of the cultivated form (siamese fighting fish) have much larger fins and more vibrant  colors.

Social Behavior:
Males can be kept together in an aquarium in no case.
No matter how big the aquarium is. Males always meet and fight each other.
The fins usually get crushed and in many cases fights only end if a rival is dead.
Females, however, can be kept together according to the space offered by the aquarium.

Light Blue and Red Betta Male in his Habitat

Housing Conditions:
Bettas theoretically can be put into a community aquarium.
But offering a betta male a tank for himself is preferable because Bettas are individualists. Small aquariums should work fine.

A betta needs warmth.
That is why the future aquarium should be equipped with a heater that gets the water to 75 – 86 °F.

An aquarium with dense plantation reaching to even under the surface of the water makes a Betta feel comfortable.
A cover of swimming plants also contributes to his well-being.

As a substrate dark gravel should be used because it doesn´t reflect the light. Otherwise stress reactions would occur.

Bettas don´t like stream. So this should be avoided by using adjustable internal filters.

The male builds a bubble nest on the surface of the water.
The optimal water level during breeding is about 6 inches.

Water filtration and aeration must be switched off to prevent the nest from being destroyed.

The first young fish will hatch out after about 24 hours and can receive powdered fish food as the first food.

The parents should be removed at this time.
The female shortly after donating oocytes and the male after larvae have hatched (24 hours).

You will find 11 valueable Tips on Betta Splendens Aquariums at the End of this Page.

Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

This aquarium comes in 2.6 gallons size and weighs about 10 pounds.
The tank itself is made of glass and for the light fixture aluminum was used which leads to a very stylish but also high quality look of the ensemble.

The lighting system consists of 31 LED lamps.
These lamps produce more than sufficient light for the fish, ornament, and everything else that´s in the tank.

The filtration system included with the tank is quite powerful and has a robust circulation pump with adjustable output nozzle so it keeps the waste where it should be, namely in the filtration chamber and not in the tank.

As I said, the LED lighting works as it should but I want to mention that LED is not
always the best choice when you want do have rich flourishing planting.
So you have to keep that in mind, even if most of the new tank kits “only” have LED lighting.

The 2.6-gallon size looks nice in most scenarios but the small volume could be a problem. It could be that there is too little space left for your betta fish to thrive, especially if you want to install a lot of decoration and/or plants.


  • Straightforward, classic design
  • Comes with Filter/Pump and Lighting


  • Could be too small
  • LED lights are not ideal for densely planted tanks

Tetra 1.8 Gallon Waterfall Globe Aquarium Kit

The Tetra 1.8 Gallon Waterfall Globe Aquarium Kit combines the classic „fish bowl“ shape with modern technical ingredients.
It has got a low Voltage LED Lighting that can be conveniently switched on or off
and a built in filtration system that uses filter cartridges and  is completely hidden
from the naked eye in order to grant a perfect look without messy cables, hoses etc.

The outlet of the filter serves as a beautiful waterfall which makes this kit unique and adds a calming touch to its surroundings.
As an additional benefit the waterfall oxigenates the aquarium water, so you don´t need to add an air pump.

1.8 gallons are not very big and the space is qucikly used up when you insert one Betta and want to add some decoration.
Also there is no heater in this apart from that completely equipped Betta Tank.
If you would add a heater that would perhaps detract from the overall consistent look
of this Betta Tank Kit.

If you can make friends with these two factors, you get a simple and inexpensive
but also stylish-looking and well-functioning Betta Tank Kit, especially if you are just starting out.
What makes it even more appealing is that this tank can also been seen as a decoration for your windowsill, desktop or even the kitchen counter and not solely as a container
to keep your pet in.


  • Looks sleek and is well equipped
  • Uniqe Waterfall Feature
  • Easy to find a Place to set it up


  • Has no Lid
  • No Heater included

Fluval View oval Aquarium Kit

The Fluval Oval View Aquarium is an acrylic 4 gallon tank coming with LED lighting and filtration unit.
As its name implies, it has a quite unique oval shape which is some kind of eye-catcher and also provides you with a good view inside it from a lot of angles.

The filter unit is very quiet-running and is powerful enough to do its job.
Some people reported it would have a too strong current for keeping Bettas in it, but that is not the case when placing some rocks in front of the filters intake which is constructed as a kind of grid on the bottom part of the white filtration unit and
allocated high enough to not suck in the gravel or sand you might want to use as a soil.

Also noteworthy is the fact that one can take out the whole filter unit as one piece in order to do the maintenance work at a location of your choice, so you don´t have to do that inside of or even near the tank.

The light fixture is hinged, so that you can reach everything in the tank easily and in addition to that is serves as a handle to take out the whole filtration unit very effortlessly.
It has got 11 Led lights that are bright enough to light up the whole tank.
Some of these LEDs have a blue color and can be used to simulate moonlight at night,
it can operate in 3 modes:  On, Off or moonlight.

Due to its shape the 4 gallon tank provides sufficient space for a Betta and quite a lot
of decoration and because it is made of acrylic it is very light-weighted, so you don´t have to worry if the place you selected for setting it up would stand the weight.

This Betta Tank Kit doesn´t include a heater, too.
But Fluval recommends to use their 25 Watts compact heater which should fit
inside the filtration unit meaning that all technical equipment is completely hidden.

This review wouldn´t be complete without telling you, that the leaf-pattern-decoration on the top part and on the filter can´t be removed at all or even not easily.
So if you totally don´t like it you could put a big plant or ornament in front of the
filtration unit and add a self-adhesive decoration foil to the top make it look what
fits you best.


  • Good Filtration and Lighting
  • Appealing Shape
  • Lightweight


  • No Heater included
  • (Leaf Pattern Design)

Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

The ML90609 is made of curved glass and hold 5 gallons.
So it has a good size and glass is more scratch-resistant than plastic.

This Tank Kit comes with a hidden back panel filter, LED lighting, a glass canopy
and a pedestal.
But let´s take a closer look step by step:

Curved glass and a completely hidden filtration unit add to the pleasant look of this Kit, so does the black pedestal that fits in to this look like a charm.
If you don´t like that, you can just put the aquarium on a plain surface without using
the stand.
The “portrait” orientation allows you to add tall ornaments or plants leading to a unique kind of look of the whole Kit.

Coming to the filter one has to state that it is low-noise, but quite powerful.
That could be a pro or con, that depends on the viewer.
Its flow can be adjusted but it could perhaps be a little too strong for keeping a Betta
if the aquarium is not densely planted.

Some people did quite simple work-arounds for this and added, for example, an ornament or plant put beneath the filter output that serves as a baffle or stuffing a piece of filter foam into the outlet in order to reduce the flow.
Otherwise the filtration unit convinces with its 3-stage-system and also the completely hidden design.

The glass canopy can be taken completely off as usual, but you also can slide it back without taking it off what is quite useful when you only want to feed the fish at this moment.
Another small, but also useful feature are marks for min and max water inside the tank. You will appreciate this, when you setup the tank and also when doing water changes
or only adding water that evaporated which is normal over a period of time.

The lighting fixture is hinged, so you can conveniently reach into the tank.
It has 3 modes: on, off and blue, which imitates moonlight.
When turned on, it is reported to have a very high light output.

But keep in mind: Very bright light alone does not automatically mean also ideal conditions for flourishing dense planting.
The LED systems coming with most of the aquarium kits available on the market are simply not the first choice in regards of supporting plants growth.
But if you want to insert just a few and hardy plants, it will work just fine.

And while we are one this subject: This Tank Kit does not include a heater, too.


  • Made of curved Glass, Kit includes a Pedestal
  • Very quiet-working 3-Stage-Filtration System
  • Glass Canopy that is easy to slide back


  • Filter Flow seems to need modified to fit to a Betta´s needs
  • No Heater included

Marina LED Aquarium Kit

The Marina kit holds 5 gallons, is made of glass and with Led Lighting and a filter, too.
Using glass makes the tank quite sturdy and you won´t get the first scratches on it too fast.

The overall design is like what one is used to, meaning a rectangle shape with a black hood on top of it. So let us first take a look under the hood:

Like in most other Betta tank kits LED lighting is used.
But this one is reported to even work well for live plants.

So if you want to offer your Betta a feeling of comfort in a natural-orientated
habitat and don´t need any blue moonlight effect lighting, this could be the right choice for you.

The filtration system of this one is a clip-on filter using filter cartridges which allow a fast and convenient way of filter maintenance.
Simply pull on of the cartridges out and insert a new one.

But everything has its two sides. These filter cartridges don´t offer real biological filtration but a functioning quite well as they are.
Despite from that, the filter unit works very quietly and has a pleasant flow.
Pleasant meaning just right, if running on lowest position, for using it in a Betta tank setup.
This can become a huge advantage if you are just starting out with fishkeeping
or want an aquarium kit that you can use right out of the box without any fiddling
or work-arounds for taming the filter output.

This kit also comes with a lot of accessories.
You get a net, fish food, a water conditioner and another liquid adding to a better biological water quality.
Getting all of that is great for a beginner but of course the manufacturer´s intent
behind it is also to introduce you to more of their products implying you would need
all of these in order to keep your fish happy and healthy.

What would have been better in my eyes is adding a heater to this kit, because most aquarium fish need certain temperatures or even mentioning this fact before purchase.

But this is a disadvantage of nearly all Betta tank kits and aquarium starter sets…
There is no heater inside and you have to get and insert one, if you want your Betta
to feel comfortably warm.

So what is the best Betta Tank for 2017?

This question can´t be answered easily because there are a lot of technically based factors that one could
or even should take into consideration.
Apart from that, the final decision depends on you and your preferences when it comes to design, your skills
and willingness to modify technical equipment or improve its function when needed and even your budget
could be an issue.

First of all I want to say, that I only added products to this page if they are reliable and suitable for keeping
a Betta fish. I looked at many more options, but decided to stick to these 5 because they all can represent
the “Best Betta Tank”, dependent on your actual circumstances.
And by the way, that was really not the case with all tanks I researched for this page.

Perhaps you would like to again take a look on the summary boxes I added under every single review.
They point out the in my eyes most important facts and can serve a guideline to realizing what matters most to you and decide which Betta tank kit will fit you best.

Another point could be the “character” of your Betta fish.
Being individualists, they all behave a little different and have different likings.
If you already own one of them, you probably know exactly what I´m talking about.

In that case it´s obvious that you take this knowledge into consideration.
If it is your first tank, one can´t tell what your future Betta would be like, of course. So you don´t have to pay any attention to this and can focus on other factors for your final decision.

To cut a long story short and also to not perhaps make you feel “left all alone in the dark”, I would put it this way:

white man leaning on a question-mark

01 Aquarium
Perhaps the most important point for a perfect Betta Fish Aquarium is, of course,
the aquarium itself.
There is a wide range of offers in almost any size available, so you can choose.

But which one should you buy?
Basically, it is quite simple: Make sure that your aquarium has 5 gallons.
And please, do not try to use glass vase or things like that.
Too many people have already tried it and none of them had long lasting success
with it, just believe me.

Instead you perhaps want to go with one of the various Nano Aquarium Sets.
Nano Aquariums do already come relatively cheap as set with filter, lighting and
a hood or lid.

As Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens breeding form) are individualists, do not bother to house a single male in an aquarium of 5 gallons just by himself.
He will feel just fine.

Here, however, you should refrain from adding any other fish as tank mates.
(By the way, snails are usually not a problem.)
In addition, I would advise you to go without shrimp, too.
In most cases, these will only end up as expensive live food.

It is also important to make sure that your aquarium set has a cover pane, lid or hood.

Betta fish are quite good jumpers and can also jump out of the tank in one take.
With a cover pane, you are able prevent this.

In addition, this pane is useful to warm up the air between itself and the water surface. Your betta fish are atmospheric breathing and should not necessarily
inhale cold air directly.

02 Location
This item really belongs to the most basic knowledge of general aquaristics.
The location for an aquarium – and as a rule it does not matter which size it has
or which spiecies you want to house in it – should be chosen very carefully.

Think well, where you put the aquarium. Because when it is filled up, it is very difficult or even impossible to move it to another place.

But this is not, of course, the only factor.
You should also avoid the following:

Do not place your fish tank near a window.
Particularly with nano-aquariums, the sun can cause the water to start uncontrollable algae growth – especially during the noon hours.

If the aquarium on the other hand is opposed to the morning sun for only a short period of time, is not that tragic. So think about where your aquarium could
be placed and watch a few days as the light incident is in place.

The proximity to a radiator can also lead to uncontrolled heating of an aquarium. That is why you should avoid that too.

Behind a door is not a good place for a fish tank, too.
Just imagine:  door – door handle – opening door- aquarium – glass – broken – bad!

Also unfavorable are places where there is a lot of “transit traffic” and often
people walk in front of the aquarium. This can stress your Betta unnecessarily.

And please, if you have children in the household, please tell them not to knock
on the aquarium. This also applies to your guests.

03 Gravel
Now that your aquarium has found a suitable location, it is time to set it up.

Everything is basically open to you.
You only should avoid bright or colorful gravel.

Bright, because your betta fish generally likes somewhat darker surroundings and the radiating light from the bright ground is a stress factor.

And colorful you should forgo because … no let us start differently:
An aquarium basically reflects the habitat of your fish. Is thus a piece of nature.
Now honestly… How often have you seen pink, yellow, red or blue gravel in a streambed in the middle of a forest?

Aquariums are much more beautiful with natural colors. There are very nice sorts
of gravel available, which are not that bright.
Just look out for river gravel etc.
(Of course you can use brownish gravel or even black, too.)

If you want to do something good to the plants in the aquarium, you should also
use some Soil for the ground.
This contains some important and useful nutrients that significantly help with
the plants´ growth.

04 Filter
Of course you can also go without a filter.
But this means a water change of about 70% of your aquarium water every single week.
Do you really want to do this as a beginner (I guess you are one)?

So you better use a small filter as a beginner.
It should preferably be small, quiet, reliable and at best: adjustable,
simply because your betta fish does not like a strong current.

05 Heaters
Do I really need a heater?      Yes, you should get one.

The ideal temperature for Betta Splendens is about  75 – 86 °F.
Less will make your fighting fish slow down with all its movements.
And that´s just simply because it is too cold.

Higher temperatures can lead to a faster aging of the fish.
80 °F, on the other hand, have turned out to be ideal.

When breeding, however, other temperatures should be considered.
But breeding is a completely different story.

06 Lighting
In addition to a filter and heater, light is also an important point.

Above all, you should pay attention to the right light for your plants.
If you buy an aquarium-set, there is usually a lamp included that is sufficient for the aquarium size.  

My tip: Get LED lighting, if available.
It does not only last longer than fluorescent tubes, but also saves a lot of money thanks to its lower power consumption and, as I see it, will replace the fluorescent tubes in aquaristics sooner or later.

07 Decoration
Like gravel, this has probably been a matter of taste since the discovery of kitsch
and sometimes leads to lengthy discussions.
Here, too, I remain with my opinion: Stay natural with wood, stones etc.

 If you are looking for a special decoration at the pet store, please stay away from colorful plastic decoration, glass balls (a very popular decoration especially
in the U.S.A.) ) or gimmicks producing air bubbles.

Make sure to place everything inside your fish tank in a way that it cannot fall over. This could not only become a deadly trap for your betta, but also a real issue when, for example, a big rock tilts and hits your aquarium pane.

08 Plants
Plants are absolutely essential in a perfect betta  aquarium.
I use, for example, Vallisneria. They grow rapidly, cover the water surface and are easy to shorten. That´s ideal for the beginning.

But of course other fast growing plants are adding to your betta tank, because
bettas like it densely planted.
You can also use swamp plants to make everything somewhat darker, but please make sure that you take into account the requirements of all selected plants.

09 Water Conditioners
Now you should have set up your aquarium so far. What comes next?

Many traders advise you at this stage to the most interesting – chemical – products to use your aquarium almost immediately. But do not be deceived.

Avoid water treatments that promise, you can insert your fish after a couple of days.
The only thing I use now and then is Aquasafe to bind heavy metals in the water.
But that´s about it.

Instead, allow your aquarium just about 3 or 4 weeks of cycling time (next point)
in order to form bacteria, which keep the water flora in order.

10 Cycling Time
New aquariums need a certain time to form the bacteria necessary for
the water flora inside the soil and filter.
Please provide this time to your betta aquarium.

The cycling time is generally about 4 weeks. You can monitor the development of your water with the help of water tests.

11 Water Tests
PH and Nitrite values ​​can vary widely, especially in the first weeks.
Your aquarium water just develops into a habitat for important bacteria, which keep these values ​​in a stable range.
Regular partial water changes and monitoring with water tests will help you to check this development.

As with almost all aquaristics, there are also various approaches in water tests.
From a simple test strip to the high-end test device, you basically can possibly
get everything that your budget would allow.

My favorites are test-kits like these, because I had some bad experiences with test sticks.

When using sticks, your results will sometimes falsified by running or blurring. 
This cannot happen to you with the test-kits mentioned above and that´s why I like them best.

Ok… that were some of the basics.
Of course, I could have done one or the other point even further, but then we would never have come
to an end here. So many points – such as plants, flooring, decoration or the cycling phase – are topics,
which can be studied in much more detail in different specialized articles.
But as a beginning, this list should give you a good start.

So I am hoping you found the above helpful and enjoy the aquaristic hobby as much as I do.

Bye for now,
Dirk (

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