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How to Set up a Betta Fish Aquarium

Aquarium Size

Betta Fish Aquariums usually vary in size, ranging from small fish bowls to bigger, full-sized aquariums. To fully comprehend the requirements of a betta, we must look at their natural environment as a basis. Bettas come from the slow moving streams, ponds, and rice paddies of Asia. And those conditions should be replicated in order to effectively rear bettas. So, to mimic those conditions, Betta fish tanks should range from 5 to 10 gal.

You can get a larger aquarium, if you'd like. Your betta will not complain. There really isn't an upper limit to the aquarium size, if you provide enough hiding places, but too little space will shorten the life span of your betta at best, and at worst will create conditions under which it will simply not survive.

A larger, 5 to 10 gallon tank would be beneficial to both you and the betta, since the temperature in a bigger body of water tends to be more stable and would only change slightly when ambient temperature changes. The bigger tank would also benefit you since that means less frequent water changes. Contrary to popular belief, larger aquariums are much easier to take care of than small ones.

Aquarium Water

With the size of the tank out of the way, we need to settle the other aspects of our betta fish aquarium. The type of water is vital to a betta's survival. Using distilled water isn't the best for bettas because of the filtering process that removes most minerals in the water. Tap water is usually sufficient for bettas, provided that you treat the water to remove chlorine and let it sit for over 24 hours before adding it to your tank.

When you first buy the tank, let the water sit for a few weeks to get the biological filter cycle started.

Aquarium Filters

Filtering the water could also be an issue. Bettas are quite used to the tranquil or slow moving water in ponds and rice paddies, which means that using a high flow filter inside your betta fish aquarium is not advised. These types of filters will cause too much turbulence and the betta would find it stressful to come up to the surface to catch a breath (Bettas have a specialized organ called a labyrinth that allows them to breathe air).

Aquarium Heater

When you buy a heater for your aquarium, make sure to also get a thermometer. You will need to monitor the water temperature carefully, because sudden fluctuations can be deadly for your betta. Choosing the right heater will depend on the tank size as well as the temperature of the room where you will keep the aquarium. And even if you buy a high quality heater, you will probably have to replace it every year, so monitor it closely and replace it right away if it stops working.

Aquarium Gravel

You must also obtain a natural looking substrate or gravel to put inside your betta fish aquarium. Taking gravel from your backyard simply isn't going to be the best reproduction of its natural milieu. You must also sustain the tank's temperature to closely resemble their native climate of more or less 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Thoughts

Building appropriate betta fish aquariums is not that difficult a task. The first thing is to have a tank that is satisfactory in size. Keep in mind though that the suggested size is for one betta fish. If you would like to add a compatible fish, you may have to upgrade your tank's size so that they can be properly accommodated.

Aside from the proper size of a betta fish aquarium, you must also learn how to maintain the right levels of ammonia, nitrites, and pH. This is important so the water doesn't become lethal to your betta.

Before actually bringing your betta home, give yourself enough time to test all your equipment - the filter, the heater, etc. Make sure that the water as well as the entire set up is what it needs to be before introducing your fish to it. Number one mistake of new aquarium owners is trying to do too many things at once.
About Author Mischa Hill :

Mischa Hill is a Betta fish enthusiast. His website compares prices on a large selection of betta fish aquariums - <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Also, sign up for Mini-Course on Betta fish care here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Thursday, November 5, 2009
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