Are Betta Fish Good for Beginners? 5 Things You Should Know

Disclosure: I may earn a commission when you purchase through my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. – read more

If you are considering joining the community of proud tropical fish owners, you certainly stumbled upon Betta fish. These tiny fish of spectacular shapes and colors are surely one of the most popular ones and present the top choice among many experienced breeders. But are Betta fish good for beginners, too?

Briefly said, they make an excellent pet for those who have zero experience with aquariums. However, purchasing such fish and placing it into a simple bowl with no or few maintenances is wrong and cruel.

If you are thinking of adopting this fantastic fish, there are a few things you should be aware of before making the final decision.

Tank Size

As just mentioned, some owners decide to keep their Bettas in a glass bowl or a jar. Others get suggestions to place them into 1-gallon tanks. And indeed, such size could fit when compared to the size of the fish, but it is far from ideal and could lead to several complications.

Tiny tanks are very complicated for maintaining stable water parameters, especially for beginners. That said, a Betta should never live in a tank that is smaller than 10 gallons.

Adding to that, a larger tank leads to many other advantages. One of them is having more space for planting some aquatic plants in it, as these fish simply love having them around. Real vegetation offers amazing and natural spots for playing, hiding, and resting.

Water Temperature

Water temperature is another topic with a lot of misleading information, unfortunately. Some people may state that a Betta can live in room-temperature water.

That is not entirely wrong, but it is more about surviving than living. Bettas are tropical fish and therefore require tropical water temperatures to grow normally and live happily.

The easiest way to obtain that is with the help of a heater. There are many which are extremely simple to set and do not present much of an investment, but it definitely is something to keep in mind. And along with a heater, you will also be needing a high-quality thermometer, to ensure constant levels.


As for any other living being, a proper diet with all necessary nutritive values is essential. With Bettas being little carnivorous, standard flakes for tropical fish will just not be good enough.

Their diet needs to be based mostly on healthy proteins and not providing that can bring only harm to their wellbeing. Adding to that, they will also require some delicious treats consisting in daphnia, bloodworms and other.

On top of that, they need a human parent who will take care of the food quantities they eat. Bettas can be the ferocious little eaters sometimes and will often follow you around the tank asking for more food.

Having a strong attitude is therefore a must, because overfeeding a Betta can quickly lead to deathly consequences. Indeed, if they accept the extra food, you are risking of them becoming constipated or even obese.

On the other side, if they let the food leftovers to sink to the bottom of the tank, this can promptly turn into ammonia spikes across the water, which can ultimately bring to irreparable damages when not spotted on time.

Tank Mates

People are in love with Bettas not just because they look stunning, but also because of their individual and peculiar character. Most Bettas like spending their life alone, especially males.

If placed into a tank with other fish, they can become quite the aggressive attackers and can therefore hurt either others or themselves.

There are several species which can share a tank in harmony with Siamese fighting fish, but they need to be carefully selected and introduced, so this is something to better leave to truly experienced owners. For the rest, the safest solution is to keep a single Betta in the aquarium.

Filter & Water Changes

Bettas are extremely sensitive little creatures and can suffer from permanent consequences if living into dirty or unstable water. That is why it is important to be prepared for regular water changes, but also occasional substrate vacuuming, along with other cleaning activities.

To ease that up, it is highly recommended to set a simple filter. This is not mandatory, but it will certainly make life easier both to you and your fish.

If your tank owns a filtration system, this will reduce the necessity of water changes by much (but not avoid them completely). Additionally, filters are an amazing way of improving the oxygenation inside aquariums.

But not only, as filters will also create a small current, which is ideal for Bettas- not too strong for their likeness, but just the right amount to keep the water flowing and making it resemble to their natural habitat.

How do You Know a Betta Fish is Happy?

If you are uncertain of how you are going to communicate with your fish as a first-time owner and know if it is happy, there is absolutely no room for worries here.

Actually, Bettas are surprisingly interactive pets. They will swim around the tank actively; they will learn to recognize your voice over time and to follow you and will spend hours and hours playing around plants.

Bettas that are healthy have vibrant colors and spend most of their time either at the middle or at the top of the tank. And you can be sure: a fish which fits such a description is super-happy.

If your pet ever gets sick, it will show that to you- behavioral changes, faded colors, visible modifications or injuries across their bodies are all signs that something may be wrong.

Wrapping Up

We hope this writing has not dispirited you in adopting a wonderful Betta fish. Yes, they are great for beginners, but they are not as simple as some sites like to wrongly inform us.

A bit of research, a proper aquarium that can recreate their natural habitats and a fair dose of love and attention is all you need to keep your new Betta happy. And we wish you all the luck with it.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *