Betta Vase – Is it the Perfect Betta House?

March 10, 2013

Betta Vase – Is it the Perfect Betta House?

So, you’re thinking about buying a betta fish. You see them everywhere in a Betta vase, or small bowl, but is this type of Betta house conducive to long life and health? The Betta vase you got with your fish from the pet store may appear large enough for your little friend, but it is lacking three essential characteristics to make it the perfect Betta house your Neptunian buddy can be proud of.

Sad Betta Fish in Tiny Betta Vase

Sad Betta Fish in Tiny Betta Vase

1 – Betta Temperature regulation

Unlike you and me, your little Betta can not simply add a sweater, or change into shorts and a t-shirt to regulate his body temperature. He also can not adjust the thermostat in his Betta house. In the case of a Betta vase, there is no means of regulating temperature. To provide your fish with the best possible chance at a long, healthy life, a heater with programmable thermostat needs to be in place.

2 – High Betta water quality

The water in a Betta vase, even when changed frequently, is not nearly as disease free and clean as that in a Betta house that has a water filtration system. Aside from filtering the water to clean it, the filter breeds good bacteria in its reservoir that help control the ammonia levels in your fish’s habitat. This keeps your finny friend comfortable and healthy, and makes water changes and tank cleanings much easier.

3 – Space

Yep, your fish can survive in his little Betta vase, but he can only thrive in a Betta house that is three or more gallons. Your fish needs more room to swim and check out his new digs. He gets much more exercise in a larger tank. His personality has room to grow, and he will live longer and stronger. I prefer five gallons at least, but a three gallon is even a huge improvement over the tiny Betta vase he is in now.

Happy Betta with Lots of Room to Grow

Happy Betta with Lots of Room to Grow

A Betta vase may look fine, but it is very minimal in providing your fish with a healthy environment. The perfect Betta house is at least three gallons, preferably five, and has a thermostat controlled heater and water filtration system. The three secret ingredients to keeping your fish living well beyond the industry average of six months are clean water, disease prevention and comfortable habitat, and these items cover all the bases. Provide them for your fish, and you can expect him to live as many as five or six years.

“Want to know the Betta Facts for successful betta set-up and care? I have enjoyed raising healthy, happy bettas for over 20 years. Head to this special web site for some incredible betta care tips (and a limited time offer). See you there!”

Elizabeth Christopher

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Betta Tank Selection – Choosing the Right Betta Aquarium

April 15, 2010

Betta Tank Selection – Choosing the Right Betta Aquarium
By Elizabeth Christopher

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!

“Want to know all about Betta Tank Selection and total betta set-up and care? Check out this Betta Care Guide (currently on sale with 4 FREE bonus items). It is the same guide I use, and the ONLY guide I recommend.”
Elizabeth Christopher

I Want to Buy Betta Fish – Where Do I Start?

February 17, 2010

Before you buy betta fish, you should get their tank set up. Some aquarists new to the hobby buy betta fish from a pet store and leave them in the tiny betta fish bowls they are housed in. While your betta can survive in a small amount of water with little to no water circulation, they certainly will not thrive there. You probably chose bettas because of their amazing colors and fin plumage. If you want your fish to thrive and be the happiest, healthiest betta he can be, you will need to upgrade to a larger betta house when you buy betta supplies.

I buy betta tanks no smaller than five gallons, and prefer ten gallon tanks, because they make breeding, and adding betta tankmates and betta plants much easier. With a larger betta tank, you will also be providing your fish with many more chances to show off their individual personality.

Betta fish prefer shallow depths, so when choosing a betta tank, buy something lower and wider instead of deep. Not only will this make your water changes and maintenance easier, but it will also give your betta an environment most like his natural habitat.

Your betta has to eat. So, when you buy betta fish food, make sure that the food size is appropriate for your fish. I prefer flakes at first if the betta is small, and then pellets at later stages of his growth. There are a lot of options out there, but I prefer a standard betta flake food product. You can also use freeze-dried brine.

You of course will need to buy betta supplies like a net, lid for the betta tank, heater and filter. Buy a sponge filter, because good bacteria will grow in the filter collection area, and will provide the nitrates your fish needs to fight off diseases. When purchasing a heater, three to five watts per gallon will be sufficient. Hood selection and accessories like nets are not as important. Get what works for you.

Buy your betta an aquarium test kit, and cyle his tank before you add him. There are many good betta care guides that walk you through the water cycling process. This is the most important step in your fish’s young life! Follow the directions, and add fish. Be forewarned, cycling aquarium water takes two to eight weeks, so you will have to be prepared to wait. But, when cycled properly, your betta tank will have pristine water quality, and your fish can live up to five years.

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Betta Bowls, Betta Tank, Betta Aquarium or Betta Vase – I Am Confused!

February 6, 2010

Super! You have found a beautiful Betta Fish at the local pet store, and you want to rescue him from a life in a tiny betta vase. Good for you! But where do you start? I mean, the pet-store employee told you they can live just fine in a tiny betta vase, even with a betta plant taking up most of the room. They tell you that in the wild, these Betta Splendens can even live in a horse’s hoof print. If that is true, why should you worry about purchasing a Betta Aquarium instead of letting him live in his tiny betta vase?

Let me put it to you this way; you could live just fine in a ten foot by ten foot room, but you would not live nearly as long, and not nearly as rich a life as you do now. See what I mean? Let’s take a look at some different options, and find just the right Betta House for your new finned friend.

Betta Vase

Doesn’t it look too small?

Betta in Betta Vase - Does this fish look  happy or healthy?A betta vase is fine … if you want to raise a lethargic, unhealthy fish and shorten his lifespan by a few years. It is true that because of the labyrinth organ in a betta’s head, they can live in small amounts of sub-standard quality betta water with little air circulation. But that does not mean they should!

(Look at Walter in the betta vase above. Does he look happy or healthy? Now compare him to a similar male betta in the pic below that is being raised in a 10 gal. betta aquarium. Huge difference.)

Betta Bowls

If these are no good, why does the pet store use them?

(Look at the betta bowl in this pic. The betta is so embarrassed he is hiding!)

Betta Bowls offer the same negatives as betta vases, Betta bowls are easy to clean, sure, and they do not take up much space, but you probably purchased your betta to watch him swim, and ineract with his environment. You are definitely not getting that with one of the many betta bowls being marketed.

Refer to the above reasons in the betta vase example for examples of why you don’t want to buy a betta bowl.

Betta Tank (Betta Aquarium)

Now we’re talking!

Here we go!

(Look how vibrant and healthy this betta is! Not to mention the entire betta tank experience is more visually pleasing!)

There are lots of “betta aquarium” choices out there. They offer plenty of room for growth, adding a betta plant or two, and adding betta substrate (flooring), a heater and filter. The betta temperature can be controlled in a betta tank (one of the leading causes of betta stress is a cold tank), and water quality can now be monitored and effectively cycled.

Try not to go below 3 gallons. I personally recommend a 5 gallon betta aquarium at least, and personally use nothing smaller than a ten gallon betta tank. The benefits of choosing a betta aquarium (tank) are many :

1 – Better betta water quality
Because you can now add a filter, betta water quality can be monitored and kept at an optimal level in a 5 or 10 gallon betta tank.

2 – Betta temperature
The perfect betta temperature is between 78 and 82 degrees, with 80 being ideal. Betta heaters are inexpensive and effective. (Your betta will live longer and much healthier just because of this one simple addition!)

3 – Substrate (Tank flooring)
Substrate plays an important role in the filtering, and “good bacteria” process. Having a larger area for gravel, sand, etc. allows for a cleaner, healthier betta tank.


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Elizabeth Christopher
20 year Betta Enthusiast

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