See our NECESSARY SUPPLIES page for a list and discussion of what is necessary for a basic betta tank.



Rinse tank, filter, heater, decor, and anything else that will go in the tank in plain tap water

  • Do not attempt to clean tank/equipment in soap, or anything other than plain tap water. It will be very hard to rinse off all residue from any solvent and this will be very dangerous to your fish.

Choose an appropriate location in your home for the tank/stand. 

  • Inappropriate locations include:
    • Near a window, as the natural sunlight coming in can/will lead to algae development, and the tank may be subject to drafts which could influence its temperature adversely.
    • Directly over/under or very near to a heating or air conditioning vent. These will cause adverse temperature fluctuations in the tank.
    • Immediately next to unprotected electronics. There will inevitably be some splashing/dripping from the tank as you perform maintenance, etc.
    • High traffic areas where the stand/tank may be bumped

Place the tank on its stand, a level surface that is specifically rated to hold the tank's full weight.

  • As a rule of thumb, a full, decorated tank will weigh 10lbs/gallon of water it holds.
    • So a 5 gallon tank will weigh approx. 50lbs when full, a 10 gallon will weigh approx. 100lbs, etc.
  • If your tank is acrylic, it needs to be supported at all points on it's bottom surface. 
    • It will need to sit on a flat, solid, table-top type of stand
  • If your tank is glass, it need only be supported along it's outer bottom frame
    • It can be placed on a table-top style stand, or on a wrought iron frame stand

Make a sponge pre-filter to cover your filter intake and attach it

  • See our MAKING A SPONGE PRE-FILTER page for instructions on how to do this.
  • Using a sponge pre-filter will catch detritus and protect the betta's long, flowing fins from being sucked into/torn by the filter intake.



Add the filter, heater, gravel and decorations to the tank, then fill it with water.

  • Remember to add your decholorinator/water treatement to the water
  • To avoid disturbing the newly laid gravel, place a small, clean plate onto it, and then pour water slowly onto the plate, allowing it to trick off of the edges to fill the tank. You can remove the plate and fill normally once the tank is approx. 1/4 full.


Plug in the heater and filter ("priming" the filter first if necessary) and allow them to run, checking that they are both functioning well.

  • The filter should continuously move water with minimal noise; and
  • The heater should gradually raise the water temperature to the point that you have set it at and maintain this.
  • Check the function of these devices over the next day or two


Allow the tank water to complete "outgassing"

  • Shortly after it is filled, you will see tiny bubbles building up on the walls of the tank. This is completely normal and is the process of "outgassing" wherein dissolved gasses contained in the water are released.
  • Once they've appeared, these bubbles will begin to disappear again over the next day or two - when they are gone, the outgassing process is complete
  • Fish should not be added before outgassing has completed. For an explanation of why this is so, see our page on GAS BUBBLE DISEASE.