anon
Lv 4
anon asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

Is my 2 gallon tank too small?

I am a new betta fish owner and I purchased a 2 gallon tank for him. It has an air pump, undergravel filter, and light hood.

I have found that the light heats up the water very fast so since I live in florida found it easier just to leave it off.

Part of the tank has a large silk plant for him to hide in as well...

but I have heard that 2.5 is the minimum????? Is 2 gallons too small?

Update:

I am more confused than before lol

13 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You have two separate things to address in your question - one is the tank size, and the other is the lighting.

    As far as the lighting goes, the fish only need enough light to be able to see to eat, and this can come from elsewhere in the room. Bettas are tropical fish, and should have a water temperature between 76-86oF. It's also good if the temperature remains relatively constant, not getting a lot warmer when the lights are on, and colder when they're off. If you have a heater, or the room temperature is such that you can maintain the water temperature in the range above, then you may turn out the light as long as there's enough ambient light that the fish can see during the day.

    You will see different recommendations for tank sizes, and partly this is based on experience - both of the person answering and of the person keeping the fish. Obviously, bettas shouldn't be kept in the little cups they're sold in for an extended period. And someone made a good point about keeping the males in larger tanks with strong filtration, where the water can catch the fins like wind catching a kite. Females have shorter fins, so this isn't a problem for them.

    I keep my bettas in 2.5 to 5 gallon tanks. They can certainly be kept in larger tanks as long as there's no strong current. Keeping them is smaller tanks, especially if there's no filtration, can be a touchier situation. The smaller the tank, the faster the wastes build up. So you may need to do water changes sooner than you would with a larger tank. And experienced fishkeepers will recognize the signs of stress in their fish and know it's time for a water change where as a new fish keeper might not.

    And if you don't use a filter or airstone in the tank, there's poor oxygen circulation to the bottom. This may not be as important to the betta, as they have a labyrinth organ with allows them to breate air from the surface as well as use their gills to get it from the water. But there are bacteria that live in filtered/aerated tanks that convert toxins like ammonia and nitrite from the wastes into nitrate which is much safer for your fish. In an unfiltered or unaerated tank, there won't be as much oxygen in the water, and the bacteria that detoxify the wastes need this to live. So you get bad water quality happening even sooner. Also, the larger the tank, the more stable the water temperature will be.

    So the real answer to is keeping your fish in a 2 gallon tank instead of a 2.5 gallon, or a 5 gallon is how dedicated you are to keeping up with the tank maintenace, how stable you can keep the temperature and water quality, and what equipment you're using. Always, bigger is better in terms of tank size (just maybe not filtration).

    And if you look at these websites, you'll even see different recommendations in them:

    http://www.bettatalk.com/housing.htm 1-5 gallons

    http://www.nippyfish.net/choosingatank.html - 2.5 gallon

    http://www.firsttankguide.net/betta.php - 10 gallons

    http://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-Betta.htm - 2 gallons or more

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  • 4 years ago

    I didn't see this question before I answered your one about the flowerhorn, sorry. No, that flowerhorn shouldn't even be in a 4 gallon tank, they get 6-8 inches and the oscar will grow 14 inches. The flowerhorn by itself would be alright in a 30 gallon tank until it is bigger, but for an oscar you need at least a 55 while it is young and even then you will eventually have to upgrade to something like 100 gallons. These are fish that get very very large and cannot handle living in small spaces. They are also very messy eaters which pollutes the water and makes it hard to keep the water clean unless you have a very large tank. Let me know if there's anything I can help you with. The two fish would get along in a larger tank, that's what I have in my 150 gallon and they are great together.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Okay, sorry Anna, but people are going kinda crazy here. It is the general consensus that 1 gallon is the BARE minimum for bettas. But some people don't tell that to new fishkeepers and tell them to get a big ol 5-10 gal MINIMUM. Now, it's fine and dandy to keep your betta in a large tank, in fact, it will enjoy it, but that is by no means a minimum tank size. 1 gallon tanks must be cleaned twice weekly and are difficult to heat, so you normally say to just go out and get a 2gal, those need to be cleaned once weekly. I have MANY 2 gals and my bettas are doing fine. The only thing is you have to heat them, because bettas are tropical. Without heat, they are much more susceptible to disease and become lethargic. You can buy a 25watt heater and that will keep your 2gal heated fine. Just be sure to clean out the water 100% once weekly, and keeping a betta in a 2.5 gal tank is perfectly okay, don't worry. lol

    Also, bettas in the wild lived in shallow (but by no means small or dirty) rice patties/streams. That is all. The water was clean. Plus, those are WILD bettas, not the domesticated betta splendens you see in pet stores. The bettas you get in a store have never lived in a rice patty, nor will they.

    Source(s): www.ultimatebettas.com
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  • 1 decade ago

    No....2 gallons are sufficient for one betta......some people are cruel and put them in cups so they dont even move but 2 gallons is good if u can keep it clean....But u should not leave the lights off its unhealthy and some fish kept in darkness develop bent spines ....if it heats the water up too quickly try opening it for sometime not all the time but if I were u i would buy a weaker light so it wont heat the tank up...if u cant do this just make sure to put the tank in a room that gets plenty of daylight.Good luck.

    Source(s): Fish hobbyist and Show Guppy Breeder.
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  • 1 decade ago

    My last Betta I had for 3 years in one of those triangular tanks from Wal-Mart and it was just under 1 gallon. I don't know about these 3-5 gallon tanks, because the one I had before this last Betta was a good 4-5 year's old when I moved and it passed. And that was in the same tank. Hope you have fun with your new fish!!! =)

    Source(s): Previous owner.
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  • 1 decade ago

    ok yeah thats plenty i agree with the mystery snail and you could also add a ghost shrimp or two they are really cool and cheap like 14cent a piece maybe less for you since they are breed in florida btw snails and shrimp dont count as bioload so you dont have to worry about the 1 inch per gallon thing lol aslo btw keep the light on makes the betta look a lot prettier a lot of people dont know but betta thrive on heat

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  • 1 decade ago

    i agree tha is perfect i have 3 bettas and they are in the 1 gallons .they live in very small amouns of water in the wild. as small as a large animal footprint full of water.

    now i live in fla too and the lite just adds the right amount of heat for the bettas. temp it and see it should be 75 to 80 degrees. good luck bettas are beautiful fish

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  • JC
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    yes it is really small...I would suggest 4-5 gallon tank..depending upon temp in Florida..I would also suggest checking if you need the heater ON all the time...check the temperatures at different times of the day..If it stays in mid 70s then you should be fine...and with a 5 gallon tank..the water won't get warmer so easily...and the water won't get dirty soon...bettas really need clean water or else it leads to diseases like fin rot...

    A lot of people would say small bowls are enough too..but if you want the fish to live its life properly and probably as long as 4-5 years then I think you should give him the best setup..a 5 gallon tank can occupy the same space as your 2 gallon..it isn't too heavy..so a sturdy study table or end table works great...I have one on an end table and its absolutely fine...

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  • 1 decade ago

    5g filtered and heated is the minimum to keep A HEALTHY FLOURISHING BETTA. In a 2g or even a 2.5, the Betta will live and just get by, dont expect him to be happy, you may think he is .

    DO NOT LISTEN TO GUILTYCHOPSTICK

    Bettas temporarily live in rice paddies and puddles during flood season, they depend on the weather and water to bring them back to the large bodies of water or else they die. Bettas do better with filters on there tanks! As long as it's not a huge filter on his tank, he will be fine.

    YOU PEOPLE HAVE BEEN LIED TO. BETTAS DO NOT LIVE HAPPILY IN 2G TANKS OR BOWLS

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  • 1 decade ago

    THAT"S PERFECT! people don't realize when they see betttas in little cups that the betta's natural environment is in puddles and rice patties!!! what would be cruel is to put a betta in a huge tank with a huge filter and watch him spin around all over the tank. bettas are not designed to live in large bodies of water and are incapable of swimming in fast moving water.

    leaving the light of is not bad as long there is some kind of light in the room. however if you want to have a light try and get one of those little fluorescent bulbs. produces less heat and looks better.

    hope this was helpful.

    Source(s): 5yr experience in aquatics 2yrs pet shop manager (specialty aquatics) own 20g lobster tank 29g planted community tank 75g turtle tank w/ 14inch oscars 60g aggressive tank
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