How Often do You Clean Betta Fish Tank?

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Even if often advertised as low-maintenance pets which are great for beginner owners, these colorful fish still produce their waste as all other fish do, so cleaning their tanks is essential. But how often do you clean Betta fish tanks in the first place?

It is recommended to maintain your betta fish tank at least once a week, however this depends on multiple factors, such as the tank size, number and type of live plants, filter type and filter size, as well the feeding schedule.

However, there are some general rules that can be applied universally, and this writing is covering them all. Along with other handy suggestions.

How Often to Change Betta Fish Water?

Generally speaking, you should make water changes in every fish tank on weekly basis.

This usually applies to all, with the exception that smaller tanks, which might need more frequent water changes. Once per week is hence a universally accepted rule for water changes.

Such activity is crucially important to provide a healthy environment to your pet fish. Seeing that water is extremely clear and leaving it unchanged can bring to serious health complications.

With fish dropping their waste around the tank, or with food leftovers sinking down to the bottom, water may seem clean to human eyes when in fact it is not. Ammonia and nitrate particles are invisible but are surely present, and they can seriously increase their levels if water is not changed regularly.

This can, consequentially, bring to many different illnesses, as well as death, to your Betta.

How Much Water Should You Change?

For a larger tank with a proper filtering system, changing 10- to 20% of water is more than enough. However, if you are medicating your fish, it is suggestable to replace 50- to 70% of water after the medication process is complete.

Water changes of around 50% are recommendable for those owners who keep their fish into bowls, too (even if keeping Bettas in bowls is not good for their long-term health).

Whenever changing water to your pets, please make sure to always do that with the right amounts of water. Changing less water than necessary will simply not do the job, and there will still be higher levels of nitrate and ammonia than suggested.

On the other side, changing too much water can severely unbalance the aquarium ecosystem, which can finally bring your Bettas to too stressful situations.

Each tank has certain levels of temperature, bacteria (both healthy and unhealthy), pH levels, and other features such as water hardness. When taking away large amounts of such features from the tank and replacing them with completely fresh water, these levels will certainly be disarranged. By a lot.

When such highly stressful changes occur, most fish will simply not be able to adapt. And, unfortunately, it is not rare seeing fish die after a complete water replacement.

How Often to Clean the Filter?

Filters are surely one of the most important part of any aquarium equipment and keeping them clean is essential. The best is to always include filter cleaning into your water maintenance activities, so once every week. Depending on the tank size and filter type, it is also acceptable to clean filters every two weeks.

Canister filters are enclosed, so some owners use to clean them up a couple of times per year. However, all other filter types need to be cleaned more often, to avoid water contamination and health complications to your pets.

Whichever kind of filter you use in your tank, please always be careful not to clean it too thoroughly. Tank filters are, along with tank substrates, the best place to collect beneficial bacteria.

Beneficial bacteria almost act as a natural type of water filtration, so removing too many of those can seriously disrupt the tank ecosystem. That is the reason why it is highly recommendable to use aquarium water in rinsing the filters, instead of tap water.

How Long Can Betta Fish go Without Water Change?

The amount of time that a Betta can survive without water change depends on a lot of factors, from size tanks and types to the type of filtration and plants in them. However, it is known that they survive up to 3 or 4 weeks in a rather smaller tank, as long as they get such amounts of food which they can eat at once, leaving no food leftovers to sink.

If you happen to leave your fish pet for such a period of time without changing the water, please remember to change it gradually once you can.

Replacing super large amounts of water to compensate for the extended time of non-cleaning is certainly not a good idea. This can only bring to damage, so please make sure to rather change smaller amounts of water.

Can Betta Fish Survive Without Water Changes?

Ideally, Betta fish can survive without water changes in those aquariums which act as tiny and independent ecosystems. Providing enough aquatic plants, high-quality filtration systems, and filter media can eventually bring to a fully functioning aquarium.

However, even with such perfectly functioning tanks, occasional monthly 10% water replacements are needed.

Obtaining an ecosystem that can do all the cleaning performances by itself is not an impossible mission but is rather difficult to achieve.

If you manage to accomplish such task as a real pro would do, please keep in mind that you will need to replace that water which evaporates. And, as already mentioned, to do episodic smaller water changes.


Maintaining a clean tank for your Bettas is just as important as feeding them properly. All these conditions improve their well-being and bring to a healthy and long life.

Depending on the tank specifications, cleanings can be done from once per week, as long as all other rules are followed. Regular water changes also need to be performed correctly, or you can otherwise risk of their ecosystem to be either too stressful or not functioning enough.

Once you get used to it, weekly cleaning activities will take just a few minutes of your time but will prolong your pet life by much longer.

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.
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