The 5 Best Guppy Breeding Boxes for 2021

Guppy Breeding Box
Guppy Breeding Box

When your guppies become pregnant, keeping the guppy fry alive is an essential part of the breeding process, as guppies are known to eat guppy fry once they’re born. Using a guppy breeding box, whether purchased or a homemade setup, is one of the easiest ways to ensure they survive.

A breeding tank is a separate container off of the primary aquarium that allows free-flowing water. It prevents adult fish from moving into the separate container and keeping the guppy fry safe.

There are plenty of excellent options for guppy fry breeding boxes, but here are some of the best.

Do I Need a Guppy Fry Breeding Box?

The short answer, yes! Guppy breeding boxes are an excellent alternative to creating a secondary aquarium when you have a pregnant guppy.

Save Money

Advantages of a breeding box include being less costly because you don’t need to invest in a second set of equipment, like filters and heaters.

More Convenient & Efficient 

It’s a more convenient option that requires less work, as you don’t have to work to match the water conditions. It’s also more efficient because you don’t need to waste time waiting for the secondary aquarium to complete a cycle before using it.

Disadvantage of Guppy Breeding Box

The main disadvantage to a guppy breeder box is that it’s only a temporary fix. Guppy fry can’t be in the box for an extended period. Otherwise, it’ll begin to impede their growth. You should only keep your fry in there for two weeks or until they show signs of stress.

You can then transfer them to an isolated tank or into your established tank if they are big enough.

The Best Breeding Boxes for Guppy Fish Reviewed

With these pros and cons laid out, here are some of the top breeding boxes for your guppy fish:

The Alfie Pet Breeding and Hatchery Box

The Alfie Pet box is a hang-on breeding and hatchery box that sits inside the aquarium. It boasts a sturdy and functional design, has plenty of room for two adult fish inside. Water can flow through the box, and there is an attached separator.

It’s perfect for being a guppy fry nursery or a separate space for aggressive fish or fish that need to be protected.

There’s no heater, pump, or filter required for this model. It has an excellent design and is sturdy enough for each purpose.

Alfie Pet - Rabea Hang-on...
  • Dimension: 3" long; 3.5" wide and high.

Marina Hang-On Breeding Box

This affordable hang-on breeding box is perfect for those who don’t want to invest in a filter or heater for a new aquarium. This particular model hangs off the exterior of the tank, and it has a multitude of uses. It has many uses, including a typical breeding box, a separate tank for isolation of adult fish, or an acclimation box.

Due to its excellent design, it’s incredibly convenient if any problems occur that you need to fix without disturbing the other fish. You can also easily monitor the guppy fry without disturbing tank mates.

The breeding box holds around half a gallon of water, but you can choose other sizes if you feel you need larger. The primary aquarium water cycles through the box. You will need to purchase a separate air pump, which can run anywhere from $10 to $70.

This model includes three removable plates to create partitions so that you can have three separate sections for all your needs.

Fluval Muli-Chamber Holding...
  • Safe & secure tank for breeding, isolating or acclimating fish

Pets Island Aquarium Fish Breeding Boxes

The Pets Island breeding box is placed into your aquarium and sticks to the glass with suction cups. The box has slits in the sides to allow for water flow, but they are small enough to keep the guppy fry inside.

The clear design allows for easy visibility to keep an eye on your guppy fry or separated fish. The lid is also transparent.

Included with the box is a removable partition piece that can create two separate sections for your fish. The Pets Island breeding box is smaller in size, so it’s great as a temporary option and should not be used for guppy fry beyond two weeks.

It’s affordable and can be used for multiple purposes, so it’s an excellent option for those looking for a smaller box.

Medium Size Aquarium Fishes...
  • Unique floating and transparent plastic cover designed to prevent the fish out of the isolation room to protect the newborn fish. It is ideal to be sick fish in fish and isolation space With sucker,...

Finnex External Refugium Breeder Box with Water Pump

Purchasing a box that can be installed on the tank’s interior is excellent if you have a sizeable tank with adequate space for a box without causing stress to your other fish.

The Finnex box is another hang-on guppy breeding model that can be installed on the inside of your aquarium. It’s ideal for smaller aquariums that don’t have space for a box without impeding the other fish. The Finnex is a perfect solution for those who have limited space.

Boxes installed on the outside of the tank are ideal for many reasons, including space-saving, easier to tend to maintenance, and easy to monitor your guppy fry or isolated fish.

It can also be used as a refugium filter and can be great for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. The included pump that comes with the breeder box is excellent at regulating the water flow.

It can also be manually adjusted so you can provide the best flow for your guppies. You can also install lights that clip on to create the best environment.

The Finnex box comes with all the accessories you’ll need, so you won’t need to purchase additional equipment.

Finnex External Refugium...
  • Multifunction Box: Breeder Box, Refugium, Quarantine

XMHF Nylon Mesh Fish Fry Hatchery and Breeder Box

The XMHF Nylon Mesh breeding box is an extremely affordable alternative to other breeding boxes on the market. If you don’t have the materials at home to build your own, this is an option when you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It has a plastic frame that is surrounded by a mesh net.

It attaches to the top of the inside of your aquarium with suction cups. When installing this breeding box, ensure the top of the net is above the top of the water. The net is used to keep the guppy fry separate from the mother and other adult fish.

Since the box sits inside the established aquarium, you don’t need to purchase additional accessories like a heater or filter, and you don’t need to worry about keeping the water parameters in check for two aquariums.

Along with housing guppy fry, the mesh box can house aggressive fish, injured fish, or weak fish from the others in the aquarium. It’s an excellent and affordable option and a great tool to have on hand if you ever need it.

XMHF Nylon Mesh Fish Fry...
  • Product Name: Aquarium Net Breeder

How to Save Your Baby Guppies Without Breeding Box

While a breeding box is an excellent and effective option, there are a couple of other methods that are doable if you worry about that breeder box causes too much undue stress.

Separate Tank

Having a separate tank set up for your pregnant guppies is a more expensive option than purchasing a breeding box or using live plants. If your aquarium is small, this may be the most suitable option for you.

A separate tank should mimic your established aquarium, with the same heater, plants, lights, filter, and same water conditions.

Once your pregnant guppy is close to giving birth, you can remove her from your aquarium and put her in a separate tank. You can tell that she is getting close when her abdomen becomes enlarged and she becomes reclusive.

Putting your pregnant guppy in a new tank can be a stressful ordeal, so transferring her carefully and keeping her environment as close to what she’s used to is key to a successful transition. Once she has the guppy fry, remove her from the separate tank and reintroduce her to the primary tank.

Once you have the guppy fry separated, you will need to take great care of them while growing. You will need to feed them properly with protein-rich foods like quality food and baby brine shrimp. Keep a strict feeding schedule. Guppy fry need to be fed frequently with small meals.

(You may be interested to know how to care for baby guppies?)

Live Plants for Guppy Fry

Live Plants

If you have an established aquarium, you likely already have plenty of lush plants, which is part of an ideal guppy environment. Having a well-planned environment for guppy fry can help them hide and save them from being eaten by the adult fish. Recommended plant types include moss, frogbit, and guppy grass.

A DIY Guppy Fish Breeding Box

If you’re not looking to purchase a breeding box, you can create your own homemade setup for an affordable price. If you have a plastic container, a net, and rubber bands, you can build your own DIY breeding box.

To create it, take a clean plastic container, put the mesh bag or net over the jar’s opening, and put a rubber band around it. Cut the plastic in half and place the meshed half onto the second half so that it’s face down.

You will then have a container with two layers that can be secured and held together with your rubber bands. The upper portion of the container sits upside down inside the bottom container.

Fill the container with aquarium water and secure it to the aquarium side with some strong and water-resistant tape. Add some plants, and you can put the pregnant guppy inside your DIY breeding box.

Once she gives birth, the guppy fry will automatically pass through the mesh netting, so they are separated, keeping the mother in the upper portion of the box. If you have all the necessary materials, a DIY breeding box is just as effective as a purchased one.

Here are some good tutorials:

DIY Guppy Fish Breeding Box:

DIY Aquarium Breeder Box Fry Keeper:


When can I put a pregnant guppy in the breeding box?

Once you notice that her birth time is nearing, you can keep your pregnant guppies in the box. She should be removed 24 to 48 hours after giving birth to prevent her from eating the guppy fry.

How long should I keep guppy fry in the breeding box?

Baby guppies can be left in the box for up to two weeks for them to grow big enough so the adult fish cannot eat them. If you keep them in the box beyond two weeks, it may stunt their growth. If you ensure that the water conditions are optimal, you’re feeding them the best diet, and they are not showing signs of distress, you could keep them in the breeding box as long as you need.

Can two pregnant guppies share a breeder box?

Two pregnant guppies should not share a breeder box once they’ve given birth to give the guppy fry the best chance at survival.

How do I use a guppy breeding box?

A breeder box is the best defense from having the guppy fry eaten by the mother. Breeder boxes are relatively easy to use and maintain, even for new fish owners. The breeder box is a container that has two separate tanks, so when the guppy fry are born, they are separated from their mother, so she does not eat them.

The guppy fry are isolated from her, so they can grow big enough that they can’t fit inside the mouths of the bigger fish.

Can guppy fry die in the breeding box?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why guppy fry die in the breeder box. To ensure you give your guppy fry the best chance at survival, keep them separate from their mother, keep the water conditions optimal and oxygenated, feed them healthily and adequately, and make sure they’re not stressed.

When can guppy fry leave the breeding box?

Guppy fry can stay in the breeder box until they are an adequate size to prevent being eaten by larger fish. As long as you have optimal water conditions and are not showing signs of stress, you can keep them in the box.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Do Guppies Need A Heater?(Complete Guide 2021)

Do Guppies Need a Heater
Do Guppies Need a Heater

Guppies are tropical fish known for their bright colors and larger-than-life personalities. They are an incredibly common fish in the aquarium hobby and are the favorites of many hobbyists around the world.

If you’ve been looking into adopting a school of guppies, you might be wondering how to properly care for them. Do guppies need a heater to survive? If so, how many watts should their heater be? What happens when the water temperature changes too rapidly or gets too high or low?

The good news is that we’ve got the answers to all those questions and more — and we’re going to share them with you in this in-depth article.

Do Guppies Need A Heater?

Guppies are tropical fish and as such, they definitely need a heater. In order for them to live a long, happy life their bodies need to stay warm. Having a heater in your guppy tank will help ensure that your water is always at the best temperature for your fish.

Ideal Water Temperature for Guppies

While guppies do need warm water to thrive, they can’t just be thrown into any warm water. Their water needs to be within a certain temperature range to be suitable.

Guppies need to be kept at a temperature that falls within the range of 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be kept at temperatures slightly higher or slightly lower without much concern, though. If kept at higher or lower temperatures for too long, though, their immune systems can become compromised, making them susceptible to illness and disease.

To ensure that your water is at the correct water temperature, keep a thermometer in the tank. Put it at the opposite end of where your heater is placed. This allows you to monitor how well your heater is heating the water.

A good rule of thumb is that if your water reads at a comfortable temperature when the thermometer is at the opposite end of the tank, your water is likely heated evenly.

Credit: towert7

What Happens If The Water Gets Too Cold?

Water that is too cold can be disastrous for your guppies. You’ll know when the water has become too cold when your guppies start to show the effects of the temperature.

Symptoms of this include:

  • Swimming sluggishly
  • Acting lethargic
  • Appetite loss

They start to display these symptoms because they are cold-blooded so when the water gets too cold, so does the water temperature of their bodies, which makes them sluggish and slow.

It also causes their body stress, which leads to a lack of appetite as it does in most other creatures on Earth. Paired with the resulting lethargy, appetite loss will weaken their immune system.

When this happens, they’ll start spending more time at the bottom of the tank. If you happen to have more territorial fish that dwell near the bottom of your tank, your guppies can get picked on and injured.

If you don’t bring the water temperature up when it drops too low, your guppy is more likely to suffer from illness and disease thanks to the weakened state of their immune system. Diseases such as dropsy, fin rot, and swim bladder disease are common in fish that live in water that is too cold.

What Happens If The Water Gets Too Hot

Although it’s less likely, your aquarium water getting too hot also poses a risk to your guppies. When the water starts to get too warm, your fish will begin swimming erratically, which is what happens as your fish’s energy levels increase due to the drastic temperature rise.

The energy increase seems like it would be a positive thing but it’s actually a negative. The energy increase is going to stress them out the same amount as if the water were to get too cold. Their immune system can and will get worn down, leaving them vulnerable to health issues.

Luckily, though, it’s much easier to cool a tank down than it is to heat it up. To cool a tank down quickly, you can just add a cup or two of conditioned tap water that is cooler than the water in your tank. Or you could take the lid off the aquarium if you have one on. For long-term cooling, you could consider using a small fan!

How to Set Up a Heater for Guppies

When setting up your heater, try to place it as close to the filter as possible. This helps the heat from the heater to be dispersed throughout the tank, as the warm water is pushed around the tank by the current of the filter. If you place your heater too far from the filter, you could end up with cold spots within your tank.

Sometimes you might need more than one heater in a tank – for example, if you have a very large tank fish that require particularly warm water, or heaters that are too low of wattage to achieve the desired water temperature on their own.

In cases like this, place one heater on the end with the filter and the other on the opposite end.

What Type of Aquarium Heater Can You Use for Your Guppy Tank?

Hang-on Back

Hang-on back (HOB) heaters are the most common type of heater across the aquarium hobby. They are affordable and can be purchased as part of a kit of own their own.

This type of heaters hangs on the side of your aquarium, usually using a set of suction cups. The heating element is contained in glass tubing, which is the part of the heater that is inside of the water.

(HOB) heater is ideal for freshwater aquariums, like the one required for guppies, but shouldn’t be used for saltwater.


Submersible heaters are installed below the waterline, meaning that the entire heater is below the surface. It’s made of durable glass or plastic.

It can be positioned within the aquarium any way you choose. You could have it lying down on the bottom of the tank, leaning against a corner of the tank, or standing straight up and down.

For the best results, consider positioning this heater so that it’s on a horizontal or vertical angle, as these positions allow the heater’s internal thermostat to read the temperature of the water accurately.


Substrate heaters are installed below the substrate of your tank. It’s a great option if you have both live plants and fish in one aquarium. This kind of heater works by heating the gravel, which then heaters the water.

The best part of this type of filter is that you’re almost guaranteed to get an even temperature, as the heater stretches across the bottom of most of the aquarium. It’s also buried beneath the substrate, which does wonders for the appearance of your aquarium.

Heaters are a wonderful piece of technology. Their invention meant that fish enthusiasts could start keeping guppies in their homes without worrying about their health or safety. Today, heaters are very sophisticated and versatile.

Since your guppies need a heater, it’s important to ensure that you have a heater that is big enough for your tank and that is safe for all the inhabitants. You can choose between a few different types of heaters, as well as various sizes, so it should be relatively easy to find the best one for your set-up.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Do Guppies Lay Eggs? (3 Fun & Interesting Facts)

do guppy fish lay eggs
do guppy fish lay eggs

Guppies make good pets because they are fairly low maintenace, and they are really pretty to look at.  If you’re new to guppy fish keeping then one question you may be asking yourself is “do guppies lay eggs or give live birth?”

This is not a silly question, and many guppy enthusiasts have asked at one point or another. That’s why we thought it was a good idea to put together this helpful guide.

Do Guppies Lay Eggs?

Guppies do not lay eggs. Guppies are what are called “live-bearers” – they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs.

The majority of fish species lay eggs, with only 2% of fish species giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

Basically, the guppy eggs live inside of the mothers body and hatch inside her body. Only then are they released.

So, rather than laying eggs and waiting for them to hatch, a female guppy releases live guppy babies (called guppy fry) into the water.

A female guppy can give birth to between 10 and 120 guppy fry in 6 hours. That is a big range, and the amount of guppy fry depends on the individual mother.

Guppy Reproduction…How Does it Work?

Guppies reach sexual maturity at around 3 months of age. At this point, a guppy is ready to reproduce.

The gestation period of guppies, or the length of time that they are pregnant, is about 21-30 days.

As mentioned previously, one guppy can give birth to 10-120 guppy fry at one time.

All of these facts add up to guppies reproducing quickly, and often! They become mature enough to reproduce quickly, are not pregnant for long, and then can give birth to potentially a hundred babies at once!

Guppy have a tendency to eat their fry. Guppies do not care for their offspring like many animal parents do. Once the guppy fry are born, they are on their own!

It is likely that most, or all, of the fry will be eaten by the mother or by the mother or other inhabitants of the tank. Some of the fry may survive if there are enough hiding places in the tank.

How often Can Guppies Give Birth?

Guppies are also somewhat unique in the sense that from a single encounter between a male and female guppy, the female guppy can store sperm in her body for her lifetime, which allows her to reproduce even if there is not a male in the vicinity.

Once guppies give birth, they can theoretically give birth again about 21-30 days later if they mate with a male. As mentioned previously, their gestation period is about 21-30 days.

This means that your female guppy may give birth as often as once a month. If you have more than one female guppy per tank, you may be seeing hundreds of guppy fry every month whether they are mating with males or just using stored sperm at a later date!

How to Control Guppy Population

Since guppies can reproduce so effectively, you may be concerned about limiting the guppy population in your tank.

For the most part, even if you have females who are giving birth to fry every month, the population is likely to limit itself provided that you have a few things in place.

Separate males and females

This is the most effective way to limit guppy reproduction. If guppies cannot mate, they are less likely to reproduce.

However, we know that this is not 100% foolproof. You may buy female guppies that are already pregnant, or ones that have stored sperm away for a later date.

So even if you get a tank of all females, they may have the potential to give birth!

Have only a male guppy

If you want to avoid guppy fry all together, see about getting just a male guppy.

If you want several male guppies however, you may run into problems. If several male guppies live together without females, they can become aggressive and start fighting.

Introduce a predator

Introducing a predator fish, such as a betta fish, will help to limit the population even if females do give birth.

The betta fish will eat many of the guppy fry which will help to limit the total population.

If you do go for a betta fish, be sure to get a single female. Males can be more aggressive and may bother the adult guppies, but a single female will help to limit the population without bothering the adult guppies.

Introducing a fish that is sure to eat it’s tankmates may sound mean, but it is all part of the circle of life.

Get rid of hiding places

The guppy fry will survive if they have places to hide away from predators.

By limiting the hiding places (like live plants), the guppy fry won’t be able to get away from predators and the adult guppies (or betta if you decide to get one) will make food out of them.

Sell the guppies

If all else fails and you end up with a high population of guppy fry, you can try selling them.

Other people would probably love to buy your guppies, so try listing them for sale on your local buying and selling website.

You might also be interested in: How Much Do Guppies Cost?


Guppies can reproduce often and give birth to potentially a hundred offspring per month.

Female guppies can give birth to over a hundred guppy fry at one time, and can become pregnant immediately afterward.

They have a short gestation period and can also store sperm for later use – so even if you have a tank of only females, they may give birth at some point!

For the most part, adult guppies and other predators in the tank will control this population by eating the guppy fry. Yes – adult guppies will eat their own babies!

But, if you let the guppy population go unchecked, you could theoretically end up with thousands of guppies in your tank in a short period of time!

Guppies make popular pets because they are so eye catching and usually make good tank mates. It might be worth it to get a single male guppy to add in to your tank to see how you like them at first! Then you can move on to adding female guppies and see how they do!

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Everything you Need to Know about The Gold Nugget Pleco

Gold Nugget Pleco Care
Gold Nugget Pleco Care

The Golden Nugget Pleco is an incredible addition to any aquarium because of its unique colors and markings. They are relatively easy to care for, and they make great tank mates for your already established aquarium. For everything you need to know about the Golden Nugget Pleco, keep reading.

Species Overview

The Golden Nugget Pleco, or Baryancistrus xanthellushails from South America, mainly found around Brazil and Venezuela. In their natural habitat, they have access to caves and driftwood in the Amazon River, which makes them prefer darker conditions.

They are used to an aquascape that is abundant in greenery and thriving natural elements that shade natural light, so you don’t need to splurge on special lighting to have them in your aquarium.

The fish’s full name is Gold Nugget Plecostomus, which we refer to as Pleco for short. The suckermouth catfish is categorized as part of the Loricariidae family. They have been added to aquariums since the early 80s when they gained popularity in Britain when they started being exported in.

They may also be referred to as Golden nugget Plecos. They are often identified by their letter and number L-18 or L018. Since freshwater catfish species are abundant, this number is an easy way to distinguish them.

There are two other numbers associated with this fish, including L085 for medium-sized dots and L081 for tiny dots.

However, the Gold Nugget Pleco is a standout fish. The yellow-polka dotted markings make it immediately recognizable and visually pleasing to look at. You can spend plenty of time admiring the beauty of this fish.


Catfish are not always the best-looking fish, and the look of suckermouth fish can be an acquired taste, but the Gold Nugget Pleco is a striking fish.

It often has a dark green or black body and is covered in plenty of yellow polka-dots. They are typically uniform in size and evenly-spaced, and their dorsal and caudal fins are bordered with the same yellow.

They are built like a traditional pleco fish with an angled head with a suckermouth, built for proper scavenging. You’ll find that they are slimmer near the caudal peduncle and wider from their eyes to pectoral fins. Their pectoral fins are larger in size and feature a backward point. The caudal fin is a bit larger than the fan-shaped dorsal fins.

Average Size

On average, these fish measure anywhere from six to nine inches when they are bred in captivity, depending on their tank conditions. If you have accurate water conditions, a proper diet, and excellent filtration, they will be in the optimal conditions for the best growth and overall health.

If you provide them with a larger tank, they will grow more prominent as well. When they are added into a smaller tank with plenty of other fish, their growth is discouraged. They can grow to be thirteen inches in the wild, so a big tank with supreme conditions can lead to a thriving and healthy fish.

Genetic factors can play a role in their overall size, but tank size and a great diet as they are growing definitely influence their growth.


On average, a Gold Nugget Pleco can live up to five years in captivity. It’s not entirely clear how long they can live in the wild, but it’s reported that it might be an additional two or three years. If you’re providing the best care to your fish, with the best equipment and an excellent diet, they can reach six or seven years old.

There are no species-specific diseases that impact the Gold Nugget Pleco’s lifespan, which is a nice factor when comparing them to other freshwater fish. Some species have unique illnesses that can affect them.

However, there are the typical diseases that affect freshwater fish that Gold Nugget Pleco’s are not immune to. They may be low maintenance and relatively healthy, but they can still become ill with various sicknesses.

A common ailment that freshwater fish see are infections, including parasites and Ich. These can be caused by a variety of factors, and many of them have individual treatments.

The best way to reduce the risk of any illnesses or diseases to your Gold Nugget Pleco is to just keep up on the cleanliness of the tank, quality of water, and the quality of their diet. If you keep up on the maintenance, it’s the best defense against issues.

Keeping up with optimal care and being diligent about maintaining their environment will aid in living a long, healthy, and happy life in your home.

Behavior & Temperament

While you’ll often find your Gold Nugget Pleco keeping to themselves and being incredibly peaceful, there are moments where they can be not-so-nice to the other fish in your tank.

They are rather interesting. Usually, they are calm and peaceful, hiding under their favorite dark spots or sitting along with the algae growth. You won’t see them much during the day as they are much more active at night when it’s dark. They are often in their own little world, and they ignore most other fish.

However, if another catfish species happens to come into their space, they can definitely become reactive and territorial. Since catfish tend to want to occupy the same spaces, they can become angry when they are opposed upon.

If you happen to have a massive tank, you might be able to get away with having another catfish species in there, but a smaller tank can be a challenging environment for a Gold Nugget Pleco.

Caring for The Gold Nugget Pleco

As mentioned, the Golden Nugget Pleco is a relatively low-maintenance fish, and they don’t require much from their owners. They are an outstanding fish for those who are just starting to build their aquariums and seasoned pros. Caring for them is not a very complex process.

They can become large fish, so you want to ensure you’re putting them into their ideal tank size. You need to provide them with enough room so they can thrive. Other than that, there’s nothing specific that they need in order to live a happy and healthy life.

Tank Conditions

It’s recommended that the minimum tank size that you should have for a Gold Nugget Pleco is a 55-gallon tank. Since they are larger fish that thrive in bigger homes, it’s essential to provide them with the best habitat. Bigger is better when it comes to the tank size used to house them.

It may seem like a smaller tank would be okay since they typically hang out in smaller spaces or near the bottom of the tank. Putting them in a small tank that’s not suitable for them and can impede their physical growth and overall happiness.

Fish who are bred in captivity still possess the instinctive desire for the natural environment they hail from, but since Gold Nugget Plecos are bred in the wild, their need for an environment that is as close to their natural habitat is critical. Typically, fish do much better in tanks that mimic their natural environments as closely as possible.

They like to have hiding places, so if you can decorate your tank with plenty of plants, driftwood, caves, and other decorations that allow them to hide in, that’s ideal.


When building your aquarium, you want to ensure you’re purchasing a high-quality filter. Gold Nugget Pleco’s can be sensitive to dirty water, so having a clean tank is paramount. Like all freshwater fish, they are susceptible to infections caused by water conditions, so to keep them healthy, you must keep their water clean.

Due to their size, they will produce a more considerable amount of waste than other freshwater fish. You will have to ensure you’re maintaining a regular cleaning schedule to keep up with the waste.


A sandy substrate that soft is ideal for the Gold Nugget Pleco because it’s the closest thing to their natural environment. They love to scavenge, so they will be digging through the substrate. Opting for rocks or gravel may cause injury to them, leading to stress and infections if they get cut.


There are plenty of reasons why Gold Nugget Pleco’s love plants. Lush greenery is an ideal addition for any tank because it’s not only beautiful to look at, but they offer plenty of benefits. Detritus that comes from plants is a source of nutrition, and they create healthier water.

The addition of plants simulates their natural environment, keeping them calm and minimizing stress. Plants are a great hiding place, which Gold Nugget Pleco’s love, and it creates a place for them to hang out where excess light is filtered out.

You can opt for live plants. In this case, they don’t eat live plants, but they will take care of the dead droppings. Plastic plants don’t provide nearly as many benefits either.


Decorating your tank is one of the most exciting parts of building an aquarium that’s ideal for your fish. As mentioned, the Gold Nugget Pleco loves to hide and hang out at the bottom of the tank, so any decorations that will cater to that are perfect for them.

Caves, plants, and driftwood where they can hideout and escape the light are ideal for them. When choosing a cave, make sure you’re picking one on the larger side to cater to their growth.

Water Conditions

The water conditions for the Gold Nugget Pleco’s are pretty easy to maintain, even if you’re new to owning fish. The ideal temperature should be between 73°F to 79°F. The ideal pH levels should be around 6.5 to 7.5, but you should aim for 7. The ideal water hardness is 5 to 15 dH.

The most crucial time to be very careful about water conditions is when you first introduce them to your tank. They can be susceptible to issues when they are initially introduced somewhere new, whether your tank is brand new or established.

During this period, you should be testing your water every day or every other day during the first two to three weeks once you’ve introduced your Gold Nugget Pleco to the tank. Once you’ve had stable conditions for a while, you can drop down to testing every few days. This is an excellent opportunity to get used to partial water changes as well.

Once everything is normal, you should be in the habit of taking regular water tests. This will ensure your entire tank is in harmony and your fish are healthy.

Food and Diet

While one of the most essential parts of the Gold Nugget Plecos’ overall health, feeding them the proper diet is one of the easiest aspects of caring for them. They are not very picky when it comes to food, and they will eat whatever you’re willing to feed them.

With that being said, you should still carefully plan out their diet for optimal health. In their natural habitat, they eat plenty of algae. They spend a lot of their time at the bottom of their home scavenging for algae and plants that they like.

They do require a more well-rounded diet beyond algae and plants, so it’s important to include some protein-rich food for them as well.

It can be easy to overfeed them because they constantly act like they are hungry, so you should have a planned-out system of how much food they get and when. Overfeeding is unhealthy for your fish, but it also wreaks havoc on your aquarium’s overall health and cleanliness.

With extra food breaking down in the water, it can significantly affect the quality of the water and the nutrient levels. Your fish will also be producing even more waste, requiring more time spent cleaning.

Their primary source of food comes from the matter and algae in the tank substrate, but you can include some sinking pellets to round it out. It’s vital to ensure the supplemental food reaches the bottom of the tank where they will likely be.

Beyond sinking pellets, you can add in bloodworms or tubifex every other day or so as a treat. This is a tremendous protein-rich addition that they will love.

Suitable Tank Mates

Having an aquarium full of a variety of colorful fish is something to admire. Luckily, there’s really only one rule when it comes to owning a Gold Nugget Pleco, and that’s to avoid catfish and other plecos. If you stick to that rule, your tank should be fine.

Just like how they react to catfish, they will become the same way around other Gold Nugget Plecos. They can become quite aggressive, and since they are such large fish, they will fight over space.

Unless you have a massive tank that has enough room for two plecos to claim enough territory, you may be able to get away with having two in a single tank. The more space they have to claim means there will be less aggression.

However, it’s really not recommended to do this. Err on the side of caution and have only one Pleco per tank for their stress levels and happiness.

Since they have such a great temperament towards other fish and only get territorial around other catfish, they are a great tank mate for various other fish. Finding fish that prefer to spend their time close to the top of the aquarium is excellent because Pleco’s like to stay near the bottom, and they’ll likely rarely cross paths.

Some of the ideal tank mates include Ember Tetra, Neon Tetra, Honey Gourami, Apistogramma, Pearl Gourami, Dwarf Gourami, Rummy Nose Tetra, Celestial Pearl Danio, Sparkling Gourami, and a variety of Goldfish. These are just a few honorable mentions, but plenty of other types of fish will thrive in the same environment as the Gold Nugget Pleco.

It’s not recommended to include snails in your aquarium as Gold Nugget Plecos. Sometimes they do become very hungry, and they will eat them, but that’s not a guarantee.


You may hear about breeding Gold Nugget Plecos, and there are some guides out there that suggest there is a proper breeding process for this fish, but they are not accurate. Unfortunately, there are no proven or safe ways to breed Gold Nugget Plecos in captivity. It should not be attempted at home.

Since there are unclear guidelines and insufficient information for fish owners, it’s recommended just to avoid attempting breeding altogether. Until there is sufficient evidence, research, and a fully-fleshed-out process, it’s only suitable for the most experienced aquarists with the proper setup and resources.

It’s important to the safety of your fish just to avoid it.


The Gold Nugget Pleco is a beautiful fish that is relatively low-maintenance. If you’re looking to add an easy and stunning fish to your aquarium that gets along well with your other fish, the Gold Nugget Pleco is an excellent option.

With some love and care, they can be part of your family for up to seven years. While there are plenty of excellent options to add to your home aquarium, the Gold Nugget Pleco should be a top choice.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Peacock Cichlid Care: Types, Size, Tank Mates & More!

Peacock Cichlid care guide
Peacock Cichlid care guide

Peacock Cichlids are some of the most colorful freshwater fish in the world, so it’s no wonder why they share the same name of a bird that’s also vibrant and chromatic. Their relative docility and beauty is difficult to resist. Peacock Cichlids are a friendly and peaceful addition to any aquarium.

Even though they’re easy to care for, brand new aquarists should practice with different fish. If you’ve been tinkering with aquariums and want to start on something larger, the Peacock Cichlid is perfect.

Peacock Cichlid Overview

The Peacock Cichlid is a freshwater fish from the Aulonocara genus. They’re an ancient species of mouth brooders who serve an important role in the ecosystem. They come from a small area of Africa, but reside in the world’s ninth largest lake.

Natural Habitat

Their main home is Lake Malawi in Malawi, Africa. This ancient body of water sustains 22 types of Peacock Cichlids. They’re bottom dwellers and can live between depths of around 19 to 131 feet.

They’re skillful, active swimmers who are always on the lookout for prey. They live in warm, deep water close to the bottom to stay as near to food as possible. They hunt into the sandy substrate beneath them and eject sand out of their gills.  When hunting for food, they hover above to detect movement from possible prey or dig their snouts around in it.

Appearance of Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlids are among the highest ranked freshwater fish in regard to their visual appeal. But, unlike many of their cousins, their color isn’t dependent on their mating status or mood; although these things can enhance their coloring.

They come in a great range of colors but all are iridescent. What’s interesting is that the part of Lake Malawi they originate from will determine their coloring. Females and juveniles are dull gray or mousy brown but, males, as they age, come in stunning shades of purple, black, blue, gold, orange, red and yellow.

Types Of Peacock Cichlids

Each variety is distinct in color and unmatched by other freshwater types. Even though Peacock Cichlids are a huge family of fish, only a handful of these species can make for wonderful pets in home aquariums:

  • Nkhomo-benga
  • African Butterfly
  • Flavescent
  • Maulana bicolor
  • Fort Maguire
  • Blue Gold
  • Sunshine

Although there are over 20 different types of Peacock Cichlids, here’s a list of the most popular found in home aquariums:

Blue Peacock Cichlid

As the name suggests, this Peacock Cichlid is blue all over with dark, elongated stripes from the front of the dorsal fins to the end of the caudal peduncle. The brightness and shade of blue depends on their location, age and gender.

Also known as the Emperor Cichlid, some varieties come in yellow. Most Blue Peacock Cichlids live at the southeastern end of Lake Malawi. These are one of the more popular varieties people keep as pets.

Dragon Blood Peacock Cichlid

Often confused with Strawberry Peacock Cichlids, the Dragon Blood variety is a bright, pinkish-red.

OB Peacock Cichlid

These are primarily red with patches of dark royal blue everywhere. The patches on their faces are brighter which extend into their dorsal and caudal fins. These are often hybrids and crossbreeds, which can present their own set of problems.

Red Peacock Cichlid

This is a variety of Flavescent Peacock Cichlids, often called Ruby Red or Rubin Red. They’re a manmade breed and the most popular type of cichlid. But, they’re beautiful with a vibrant red hue with bits of electric blue in the fins. It stands out in any tank and is breathtaking to look at.

Strawberry Peacock Cichlid

This stunning type of Peacock Cichlid is a vibrant candy reddish-pink with light spotting on their fins. These are some of the most rare to find. The dots on the fins is what separates this type from the Dragon Blood.

Yellow Peacock Cichlids

Yellow Peacock Cichlids have many other monikers: Nkhomo-Benga, Benga, Sunshine, New Yellow Regal or Baensch’s. The come from the western parts of Lake Malawi and favor shallower waters. They usually don’t go any deeper than 20 ft.

They are a bright, rich yellow with neon blue splotches and dots over their entire bodies. Some may have midnight blue bands on their sides.


Males tend to be around six inches long while the females are no bigger than four inches long. Both sexes develop an oversized lateral line when they reach maturity. If you can mimick the conditions of Lake Malawi combined with consistent quality care, a Peacock Cichlid can grow bigger than the expected average.


Peacock Cichlids live for around six to eight years as long as they have everything they need. This includes maintaining water conditions, water quality and a well-balanced diet.

There are some reports of Peacock Cichlids living as long as 10 or 15 years. That means if you take your ownership of one seriously, there’s a great potential for them to be with you for a long time.

Behavior: Social Graces

Most species of Cichlids are aggressive but the Peacock is more docile and peaceful. The males tend to be territorial loners while females often gather in schools. If you plan on keeping them, the males can overtake other, more non-confrontational fish.  This will be especially true if there aren’t enough caves, space or females.


Although the males will often be alone, they are polygamous when it’s time for breeding. Once a male has claimed his bit of territory, the courting ritual can begin. He digs a nest near the entrance of his cave.

The male then begins to move in a dance-like pattern to get the attention of willing females with darting and quick, sudden movements. When one comes along, she enters his lair, lays her eggs and he then fertilizes them.

Once the female collects her eggs in her mouth, she remains in the cave for incubation, which takes about a month. After that time, a fry between one and four dozen emerge; anywhere from 12 to 50 hatchlings can appear.

Peacock Cichlid Care

Those who want to deepn their aquatic hobbies will find Peacock Cichlids agreeable to start. They’re low maintenance and very calm. But, they are sensitive to environmental changes, so it’s crucial to understand their ideal living conditions. You must dedicate yourself to keeping water conditions consistent.

Tank Size

The tank size you need will depend on how many Peacock Cichlids you’re going to have. A 55-60 gallon tank or larger will be sufficient for Peacock Cichlids. This is because they need enough room to practice swimming and hunting.

If you plan on having more than six Peacock Cichlids, you will need a 100 gallon tank or larger. Also make sure you have a horizontal tank rather than a vertical one. This will give the Peacock Cichlids the room they need to move, swim, hide and hunt.

Water Requirements

The water in Lake Malawi is warm and alkaline all year round. This means you should keep the tank temperature between 74°F and 82°F with the aim of maintaining the water at around 80°F. Maintain a pH level between 7.5 and 8.6 with a water hardness range of four to six.

To ensure the conditions stay constant, get a quality water test kit. The water must remain alkaline, clean and clear or the fish’s health will suffer.


Only add plants that are hardy like hornwort, anacharis or java ferns. You will have to anchor these. Peacock Cichlids are famous for digging, so they’ll disturb the roots of most foliage.

Floating plants are also another good option to consider for your aquarium. Peacock Cichlids won’t eat them like other species will; it’s just their digging that’s disturbing to plants.


Add some driftwood, rocks, caves and sand for them to hide and hunt. This will also prevent territorial aggression with other males in the tank.

Never use gravel because this can cut their gills. Anything soft and sandy will be best.  If you plan on having many varieties of Cichlids in your aquarium, ensure that you accommodate all their favorite things and conditions. Some species will like more rocky terrain while others will enjoy more silt and sand.

Ideal Domestic Conditions

The idea is to recreate, as best as possible, their native wild habitat. It is wise to study the conditions and environment surrounding Lake Malawi to make sure you get as close as possible. This includes light, season changes and fish mating habits.

One aspect to Lake Malawi is that it’s very big, very deep, very old and very warm. Because it’s a lake and not the ocean, the conditions don’t change much, including the chemistry that involves pH balance and water hardness. The water is very clear, alkaline stable and unpolluted.

If you are able to meet the conditions of their natural habitat, you will mitigate any stress a Peacock Cichlids can experience. This will contribute to a long, happy life for the fish.

Peacock Cichlid Food and Diet

You can feed pellets and flakes to them along with other meat and veggie supplements. They’ll eat live or frozen water fleas, Daphnia or brine shrimp. Don’t feed tubifex worms or mammalian meat as these can make Peacock Cichlids very sick with a condition called Malawi bloat.

A quality pellet designed for Peacock Cichlids should be the center of their daily feeding. Use meat and veggies as supplements and treats. Any flakes you give them should be appropriate to Cichlids, like spirulina flakes. Incorporate blanched vegetables such as spinach, zucchini and lettuce.

Avoid Overfeeding

To avoid overfeeding, give them several tiny servings each day. This will help maintain healthy water requirements and prevents obesity. Large amounts of organic material can alter the pH balance, water hardness and other parameters. Plus, Peacock Cichlids will eat anything and they can suffer from overweight problems if you feed them too much. They’ll lose their coloring and can even die.


Peacock Cichlids are omnivorous but they’re also impressive predators. They enjoy diving into the watery depths to sift through rocks and sand for invertebrates. They feast on things like insects, zooplankton, larvae and crustaceans.

If you’re looking to breed Peacock Cichlids, you need to have special, dedicated rooms for each male in your aquarium. Claiming space is part of the mating behavior. If there’s not enough room, territorial fighting will occur with other males.

This can end in disaster. So, if you’re going to have more than one male, make sure they each have their own caves or other kinds of hiding spots. The easiest way to work around the males going into combat is to have only one male. This makes success more possible because tension is low.

Since most spawning occurs in warmer water, raising the temperature to the top end of their limit (around 82°F) will help encourage breeding. But do this in slow increments because of how sensitive Peacock Cichlids are to the slightest change in their environment.

Peacock Cichlid Tank Mates

If you want some tank mates for your Peacock Cichlids, you have many options. Because they’re so tame and peaceful, any nonaggressive fish should house well with them. Although the males can be territorial, if there’s enough space for them to claim, there shouldn’t be too many problems.

Ensure the friends you want to add can handle the water parameters that the Peacock Cichlids require. Your best choices in that regard are other, nonaggressive Cichlids. The most adaptable is the Haplochromis Cichlid. There are several types:

  • Copadichromis
  • Nyassachromis
  • Placidochromis
  • Sciaenochromis

Additional Considerations: The Botia Loach is another species you can try too because they have a good temperament and require similar water conditions. But, anything that comes from Lake Malawi will make for good tank mates, for the most part.

Avoid some species of fish though, like Mbuna, Pseudotropheus, Petrotilapia and Labeotropheus. They are not friendly with Peacock Cichlids.

More Females than Males

It’s important to have more females than males in your tank to prevent territorial wars and encourage natural social interaction. Ensure you have three to four females to one male in the tank. This helps to create schools.

Common Possible Diseases

Like all aquarium fish, Peacock Cichlids are susceptible to certain diseases and health issues that can develop in the tank from overfeeding, underfeeding, changes in water conditions and other stressors.

Environmental Stress

Odors can stress Peacock Cichlids. This can come from anything like perfumes, sprays, cooking, construction and etc. If enough gets into the tank, it can change the water conditions.

Sounds and vibration can affect Peacock Cichlids because of how deep they go into the water. Their caudal fins means they’re very sensitive to sound and electricity when swimming around. This also makes them sensitive to changes in pressure provided by vibrations.

Lighting can also present a problem for Peacock Cichlids. If there’s too little light, they won’t be able to see their food. If there’s too much light, it throws them off because of how they prefer darkness.

Malawi bloat

Malawi bloat is a fatal condition that happens because of excessive meaty food. Abdominal inflammation, lack of appetite, difficulty breathing and staying at the bottom of the tank longer than usual are all symptoms of Malawi bloat.

Severe cases can harm the liver, swim bladder, kidneys and even cause death in less than three days. So, it’s crucial to take care of this the moment you see it.

Swim Bladder Disease

Intestinal gas or parasites that infect the bladder causes Peacock Cichlids to experience Swim Bladder Disease. Floating at the top of the tank and not remaining close to the bottom is the main symptom to look for.

Avoid feeding the fish too much dried food and protein but give them more vegetable fiber. This will help prevent the disease.


Tuberculosis is very infectious and can decimate your entire aquarium in a brief period of time. Frayed fins, sunken abdomen, lack of appetite and white blotches all over the body are symptoms of fish TB.

The moment you think one has TB, remove all other fish to another tank of clean water with an antibiotic. Quarantine the sick fish in its own smaller tank. Clean and disinfect the old tank or buy a new one altogether.

About Antibiotics

Make sure you purchase a prescription from the vet to treat any diseases with antibiotics. Anything of lower quality may hurt your fish and further worsen conditions in the tank.

Peacock Cichlids in Your Aquarium

Because of their tame, peaceful demeanor, having Peacock Cichlids in your tank can be an entertaining and beautiful spectacle. Their beauty and easy-going temperament combined with easy care is great for anyone wanting to expound their experience with an exotic aquarium.

But, if you’re not comfortable with or are unsure that you’ll be able to maintain the water parameters they need, then Peacock Cichlids may not be right for you. Try practicing on other fish to hone and build your skill before getting these little beauties.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Do Betta Fish Need a Filter in Their Tank? (Must Read)

Do Betta Fish Need a Filter
Do Betta Fish Need a Filter

Outdoor situations are generally the only time a betta fish can live without a filter. This is because filtration is inherent in the habitat. But for people who believe bettas could live in a bowl or other small tank, you may be wondering “do betta fish need a filter?”

Keep reading to have all your questions answered!

Do Betta Fish Need a Filter?

The short answer is YES. Filtration is essential for your betta fish to have the atmosphere it needs to live, so all betta fish must have a quality filter in their tanks. Very rarely will they be able to survive without it.

Reasons You Need a Betta Fish Filter

A filter is necessary is to keep betta’s watery home clean and pure. If there isn’t one, the water becomes cloudy and bad bacteria replicates fast. This stresses out your pretty fish, weakening its immunity and increasing its vulnerability to illness.

Filters keep the tank free of debris, decay, old food, chemicals, bacteria and fecal matter. All this, if it remains too long in their environment, will cause bettas to get very sick.

Even with a filter, though, you still have to change out the water on a regular basis, but not as frequent as you would without one. Regular water changes replenish vital nutrients and minerals bettas need. Otherwise, they’ll suffer, get sick and likely die.

Protect Betta Immunity

Filters remove and dilute a build up nitrates, ammonia and nitrites. When water becomes too contaminated, the betta will become stressed, thereby weakening its immunity due to sustained ammonia poisoning. This can kill the fish if ammonia builds up.

Special sponges in the water filter help remove these harmful substances from the tank, maintaining a clean and safe habitat for your betta. Even though bacteria will still grow in your tank, a majority of it will reproduce in the filter.

Water Flow ; Oxygenation

Filters keep water flowing around in the tank. If water becomes stale and stagnant, it will absorb carbon dioxide from the air. This affects the pH balance of the tank and causes illness for the betta.

Filters oxygenate aquarium water. Although this is not as much of a problem for bettas, because they breathe from the water’s surface, other plants and fish sharing the same space with a betta will need it. Oxygenation prevents water from becoming stale and, thus, stops the betta fish from becoming very sick and creating a horrible odor in your home.

Can a Betta Fish Live Without a Filter?

If you don’t use a filter, bettas will survive but only with frequent water changes and additions, like air rocks. But even with the of best efforts, their life be far too short. Without a filter, chemicals and bacteria will fester inside the tank.

Also, the water will never be as clean as it should be and the number of required water changes will stress the betta. What’s more, it will create instability within the tank. Good bacteria must also have room to grow and constant water changing will inhibit that process.

Basic Types of Aquarium Filtration

There are three purification modes that keep the tank water safe and tidy for your beautiful betta. These can be separate mechanisms for the aquarium or there are some filters available that encompass all three:

  1. Chemical Filtration removes chemicals that shouldn’t be in the tank. Often, this cartridge comprises activated charcoal or carbon, designed to absorb the most amount of impurities possible. Most unknown and unpredictable chemicals come from tap water.
  2. Mechanical Filtration removes built up filth and makes it look clean. Replace these cartridges every other week or every month. The size of the filter and tank will determine how often it needs changing. Failure to change this will result in a marked difference in tank-water flow and movement. This is due to the fact that water can’t permeate a clogged cartridge.
  3. Biological Filtration removes harmful bacteria and is arguably the most important part of an aquarium filter. Bio sponges give good bacteria the impetus to exist in the tank, which is crucial in the nitrogen cycle. This helps breakdown decay so the water doesn’t become toxic to plants and fish.

What Is The Difference Between Ammonia, Nitrites ; Nitrates?

Understanding the nitrogen cycle of your betta’s tank allows you to comprehend what’s happening and why it’s important to have a filtration system.

Fungi and bacteria in the aquarium breaks waste down into ammonia. This includes rotting food, dead plants and organisms, fecal matter and any other biological or organic substances. This ammonia is detrimental to everything living in the tank.

Another bacteria, Nitrosomonas, breaks down ammonia produced from waste into nitrite. Nitrites, although not as deadly as ammonia, can still cause stress and disease issues for your betta fish.

Nitrobacter, yet another bacteria, then further breaks down nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates aren’t as toxic as ammonia or nitrites to betta fish, but water with heavy nitrates will cause algae blooms. This will present a danger to the fish.

The Importance of the Nitrogen Cycle

This cycle is important because it allows for good bacteria growth in the aquarium. The biological filtration system is what helps this process along. Keeping your ammonia and nitrite levels at zero parts per million (ppm) is an absolute must! To ensure algae blooms don’t develop in the tank, make sure nitrate levels stay at 20ppm or less.

Types Of Filters For Betta Fish

Filters are an important part of the aquarium’s ecosystem. There are many different types to choose from, with their own sets of benefits and pitfalls.

Power Filters

Hanging on the back of a small to medium-sized tank, Power Filters are the most popular and provide all three modes of filtration. They have a siphon to conduct good water flow in the tank. This mechanism also allows water to pump back into the aquarium once cleaned.

Filter clogging occurs if cartridges go unattended, creating a build up of toxins in the tank. Washing or changing the filter on a consistent basis is the only way to handle this. If the filter is a higher quality, the cleaning schedule will be less frequent.

Getting a biowheel for your Power Filter may be a good option to try too. Biowheels spin water passing through it. Because it sits a bit out of the water, each part comes in contact with air so good bacteria can grow in a large area.

Canister Filters

If you house many fish alongside a betta in an aquarium holding 30 gallons of water or more, a Canister Filter may be your best option. They are often installed under the tank and remove water through an external filter containing many tubes. A high-pressure pump pushes water through all three filters.

The maintenance and upkeep of these filters are more demanding than other kinds because of the various tubes. And, because the filter is on the outside of the tank, many parts and pieces will need cleaning once or twice a month. This will ensure everything operates right and extends the life of the filter.

Undergravel Filters

These filters are discrete and use many tubes pointed up toward the water’s surface. Placing a powerhead or an airstone on top of the tube will force water through the gravel. This operates as the mechanic and biological filtration in the filter. Debris from the tank gets trapped and the oxygenation from the airstone creates an ideal environment for good bacteria.

The major downfall of an undergravel filter is its inconsistency. Some spots in the water will have more debris than others because the water flows through varying areas at unpredictable rates. So, you have to use a gravel vacuum. If cleaning goes unattended, hydrogen sulfide pockets develop and these become poisonous to a betta. So, this type of filtration requires a little more dedication but the results are impeccable.

If you have plants growing in your aquarium, don’t use undergravel filters. The disturbances in the water from constant cleaning will upset them.

Internal Filters

Internal Filters sit inside the aquarium, either laid across the substrate on top of the tank or hung by a suction cup on a wall inside tank. These often need an airline outside the tank with a pump.

Air comes in through the bottom of the filter via the cartridge and then air bubbles of clean water generate from the top of the filter. There are two main kinds of internal filters:

  1. Sponge Filters – These provide only mechanic and biological filtration, so you’ll have to have an extra filter for chemicals. Sponge Filters also need an air pump for oxygenation. If you have a small tank for one betta, are using the tank as a hospital or creating a breeding tank, this may be a good option.
    1. To remove dirt and debris and keep the good bacteria, cleaning must be a weekly event.
  2. Corner Filters – These small, discrete devices sit at the bottom corner and come with an air pump for water. Corner Filters comprise all three modes of filtration. But, because oxygen levels tend to be low, the water pumped through isn’t as effective as other filters are if you have fish along with your betta.

A small tank with one betta is best for use with a Corner Filter.

What To Look For In A Filter For Your Betta?

As with anything requiring a certain investment of time and money, you want to make sure the filter reliable, high quality and solid. Cheap knockoffs and unknown manufacturers can put the health and life of your betta in danger. So, it will be worth it in the long run if you spend the extra cash on a filter that’s going to last.

First, decide how much work you are willing to commit to putting in the care and maintenance of your aquarium. Be honest with yourself and determine what kind of time and opportunity you’ll have to stay on top of consistent water changes and filter cleanings. A Canister Filter is going to be a lot more work than a Power Filter, for instance.

Regardless of your determination and dedication, make sure the filter is generally easy to clean. Parts, lids, tubes and other little pieces should be easy to dismantle and subsequently replace after cleaning them. The filter should be easy to remove and replace with little disturbance to the tank. This will, in turn, reduce stress to your betta fish.

Water Flow ; Modes of Filtration

Then, make sure the filter will produce a slow flow of water. If the pump creates too powerful a current, it will shove your betta around the tank against its will. This is going to stress out your fish. Bettas like a gentle flow of water in their environment, so get one that runs slow or one with a water-flow adjustment.

If the filter doesn’t have all three modes of filtration mentioned earlier, your betta will become stressed and sick. Biological and mechanical filtration systems are not optional, you must have them for your betta.

Even though a chemical filter isn’t an absolute necessity, you don’t know what kind of chemicals are lurking in tap water. So, it’s best to err on the side of caution and use a chemical filter.

About Biological Filters

A greater amount of surface area will hold more bacteria, fostered by the oxygen levels going through the filter. All bacteria produced through the nitrogen cycle depends on this high level of oxygen.

So, you want to make sure you have a large enough sponge exposed proportional to an equal amount of air. The goal is to get the most amount of oxygen into the sponge to cover the biggest area you can.

Do You Need a Filter for a Betta Fish?

If you want a your betta to live a long and healthy life, you have to use an aquarium filter. Filters remove dangerous substances via the three modes of filtration. Without one, the tank will become cloudy and filthy which is starting your betta on a path to destruction by poisoning.

If you don’t, you’ll decrease your betta’s lifespan and destroy their quality of life, however unintentional. Without a filter, many changes of water will have to occur and will stress your betta along with preventing good bacteria from growing.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Betta Fish Spitting out Food: Why Does It Happen?

Betta Fish Spitting Food Out
Betta Spitting Food Out
Credit: Lisa Percival

Betta fish are absolutely charming in their appearance, and their quirks give them their unique personality. This interactive fish is a bundle of joy and entertainment for their owners, and they quickly make their way into your heart. A common concern amongst new betta owners is betta fish spitting out food.

While this seems alarming, the reasons behind it are things you can quickly treat. Bettas tend to be greedy with their food intake, so spitting out food is not something to be worried about.

Here are a few reasons behind why your betta fish is not swallowing food and how you can help in resolving the problems.

Why Does My Betta Fish Spitting out Food

When your betta fish starts spitting out food, the situation can obviously be alarming; however, the reasoning behind them is not as dangerous as you may think. Here are some of the most common reasons why your betta fish is spitting out food and how you can help them.

Portion Too Big For Your Betta Fish (Most Common Reason)

One of the most prevalent causes why your betta fish could be spitting out food, is due to the size of the food itself. The size of the stomach is as large as the eye, so their capability to digest food depends a lot on the size of the food they consume.

Certain pellets are larger than the size of the betta’s eye so they might spit out the food that is simply too large to digest. However, this does not mean that the betta is not consuming food at all. In fact, it might be taking tiny bites from the food that is easier for it to swallow. The spitting process may actually be the betta trying to break off the food into digestible parts.

Your Betta Fish May Have Digestion Issues

Another reason behind any betta fish spitting out food could be digestive issues. Digestive problems are pretty common amongst bettas, so it is possible that your betta might be going through the same. This is not something you be worried about.

For most cases, the digestive issue at hand is constipation. You can easily deduce whether your fish has constipation based on its defecation schedules. If it hasn’t been regularly defecating, then there is definitely a case of constipation. To treat this, you need to make sure that your betta fasts for 2 to 3 s days and then proceed to feed it daphnia.

Check out our full guide on constipation, or more information on why daphnia are so good for bettas!)

The Betta Fish Is Still Young

If you’ve recently brought a new betta fish, there’s a chance that your betta is still relatively young. Young bettas are only to be provided with live food for easy digestion, however, if you’re serving them pellets and flakes instead, there’s a high chance that they might not be accustomed to digesting this type of food.

You should switch up the diet of your fish. Often brands offer different kinds of sizes and quality of food that you can try out to find the perfect fit for your betta. Once you’ve found a suitable variety, then you can slowly build up with venturing into different types of pellets and flakes. Again, size is essential when feeding your betta, so make sure you’re choosing appropriately sized food when feeding your betta.

(Check out the ultimate betta fish feeding guide.)

Their Stomachs May Have Parasites

Occasionally, betta’s stomach can get parasite infested. These organisms can hamper the digestion of food significantly. So, even if your betta is hungry, it may not be able to gulp food properly and might spit it all out.

In case you think that your fish has an infected stomach, it’s best to quarantine it in a separate tank, so it doesn’t affect other fish. One other symptom of having a parasite is trouble while swimming. In this situation, it is always best to contact a vet to make sure that the situation is handled correctly, and the betta is dewormed effectively.

An Unaware Betta Fish

Aside from the large betta size of the food, another common cause why your betta fish spitting out his food is your betta simply being unaware or dumb. Most times, the betta can be unaware of the fact that what he is being fed is actually food and needs to be digested. This is a common situation amongst most bettas.

The only way to contest this is by feeding him whatever you’re providing as usual. While the betta may reject it at first, the hunger will force it to start consuming the food over time.

Just be careful that if the betta refuses to consume the food within the first 10 minutes, it’s best to remove the food from the tank. This is because if you do not get rid of the food from the container, the food will decay slowly and cause a rise in the ammonia levels within the environment of the tank, which could affect the fish adversely.

Betta Fish Spitting Food Out
Credit: Diana MacPherson

What Should I Feed My Betta Fish?

One way you can avoid all food-related problems for your betta is by selecting the right kind of betta fish food. Pellets and flakes are popular options that swell in size after consumption. Additionally, a protein-rich diet is necessary to fulfill the needs of the carnivorous betta.

In wild habitats, betta fish rely on insects and larvae as their primary diet. Alongside some plant matter, the protein intake was mainly through the exoskeletons of insects and their wings. You can mimic this diet by using frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and even mosquito larvae.

Maintaining an appropriate diet for your betta is a great way in making sure that there aren’t any problems with digestion of the food and that the betta doesn’t spit out the food.


Most times the issue behind the betta fish spitting out food lies in the nature of the food itself. By maintaining a good diet and getting frequent checkups with the doctor, you can be assured that the food spitting issue is nothing to be too worried about.


Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Do Betta Fish Need A Heater? (Top Picks and Reviews) 2021


You may know the betta fish as Siamese Fighting Fish. They are popular household pets because of their bright colors and easy maintenance. Although they are easy to care for, these brightly colored fish have specific needs in order to thrive.

Do Betta Fish Need a Heater?

Surprisingly a lot of people think it’s okay to house their bettas in a bowl or vase. Yes, the fish will survive in these conditions but that doesn’t mean they are doing well. If you look closely you may notice those fish are stressed out which causes them to pass away sooner than a fish in the right environment.

Betta fish are tropical fish so they don’t do very well in cold water. Especially if that cold water is dirty. If your Betta gets too cold(water temperature is below 74°F), your betta becomes more stressed. Sometimes, you may notice that your betta avoid eating as his immune system is weakening because of the stress.

If you want your bettas to remain healthy then your fish need a heater. The heater is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can get for their tank.

Remember that bettas are used to tropical waters so they will always do best when their water temperature is warmer than room temperature. The temperature of your home isn’t reliable for your fish tank because it fluctuates throughout the seasons.

A heater will ensure the betta fish’s environment always has a steady temperature. This will make up for the difference in temperatures in your home, especially if you use an air conditioner in the summer.

What You Need To Know About Betta Fish Heaters

When it comes to betta fish heaters, the first thing we should talk about is your tank. If you use a tank that is too small then you could overheat the water with a heater and likely kill your fish. Always make sure you use a tank that is 5 gallon tank or larger.

(Check out the best tanks for betta fish.)

That being said, you should also monitor the water’s temperature and the heater’s settings just to be on the safe side. This will help you make sure your fish is happy in their environment. Here are some things you should know about betta heaters before buying:

do you need a heater for a betta fish

What Is The Best Temperature For A Betta Fish Tank?

Bettas are happiest and healthiest when they live in water temperatures between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This is closest to their natural tropical environments and easy for betta to adjust to. Temperatures outside this range will affect the fish’s lifespan.To put this in perspective for you, the average house has room temperatures between 66 and 72 degrees which is way too cold for a betta. Not to mention a lot of people allow their house to drop in temperature at nighttime to the 50s or 60s.One more thing you should know about the temperature of your betta fish’s water. It needs to be kept consistent, so avoid keeping it around 73 one day then 79 the next. That will cause the fish just as much stress as cold water. Remember, massive stress will weaken your betta’s immune system.(If you need to know more about the ideal temperature for bettas, such as what happens when it becomes too hot or too cold.)

Figuring Out What Watt Size You Need

In order to keep the water in the tank consistently warm enough for the betta you will need to find a heater that has sufficient wattage. The ideal heater will have 3 to 5 watts per gallon of water.

If you have a larger tank it’s recommended that you use two small heaters instead of one larger heater. This way you can provide a more even flow of heat at both ends of the tank.

Avoid Cheap Heaters

You will notice that there are a lot of different heaters to choose from out there. It’s a good idea to get a high-quality heater for many reasons, but one in particular is adjustability. Adjustable heaters are a must-have, especially if you live in a climate where it gets really cold in the winter.

Easy To Read

Your heater must have a readable temperature scale. This makes taking care of your betta fish’s environment a lot more simplistic. You will always know when your fish’s tank is at the right temperature and can adjust it if it’s not.

It’s a good idea to keep a thermometer near your tank too. Sometimes the water sitting around your heater is warmer than the rest of the tank, so the heater doesn’t always display the correct temperature. Using a thermometer in another area in the tank can give you a better reading.

Easy To Use Too

You don’t have time to waste messing around with a confusing heater. To make sure your heater is never going to play complicated games with you, always choose one with a large-sized control knob. This way you won’t be fighting with it to get the right setting when it’s submerged.

Make sure your heater is easy to set up by looking for either a hanging feature or suction cups. They will help your heater stay in place once it’s in the water.

Must Be Safe For You And Your Betta Fish

When you are picking out a heater for your bettas, always choose one that has been rated to be safe for full submergence. If you can’t submerge it in water then there is a good chance that both you and your betta fish could get electrocuted.

Another key safety feature that good quality betta tank heaters have is a safety-off feature. If anything happens when you are not there to deal with it, such as water dropping below the heater, it will automatically shut off.

Accidents can happen, so it’s a good idea to make sure your heater is both shatterproof and shockproof. Most heaters are designed to be both. These features are lifesavers if you ever accidentally drop the heater.

One more thing to consider is your betta fish’s safety. Make sure the heater you choose has some sort of safety guard or even a protective case. This will keep your pet from getting near that heating element which can get very hot.

Shape Of The Heater

Fish tank heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes however, the smaller-sized ones are more commonly purchased. The most common style is a torpedo-like shape that sticks to the side of the fish tank.

That isn’t the only style available. You can find rounded heaters that are designed to stick to the bottom of a fishbowl. Among the many styles, you can also find rectangular and flat heaters. There are heaters designed for pretty much every tank.

Betta in a one gallon tank

Our 5 Best Betta Fish Tank Heaters

Now that you know more about betta fish heaters and what features to look for in a good heater, let’s show you five of our favorite betta fish tank heaters. These safe and trusted heaters are the most reliable ones for creating a healthy and happy environment for your betta.

We know that there’s a vast variety of betta heaters available on the market. When you go shopping you will probably come across so many different heaters that seem like they could be the right choice. We’ve narrowed it down to 5 of the best heaters to make shopping easier for you.

Fluval M 50-Watt Submersible Electronic Heater

This submersible electronic heater from  Fluval is a favorite among customers. It’s best when it’s used with a tank that is around 15 gallon tank. It easily blends into its surroundings so you don’t have to worry about this heater bothering your betta.

Fluval is a trusted brand for fish tank heaters, and this M 50-watt submersible heater is no exception to that. Its exceptional performance will do its part to keep your fish happy with their home. Your fish will most likely enjoy the reflecting colors it creates.

The thermostat is computer calibrated so it’s very easy to adjust. You’ll be able to monitor the water temperature throughout the day. There’s no need for your fish tank’s temperature to drop just because you need temperatures to cool down in your home.

You can set the water temperature from the top of this heater, which makes it very easy to adjust as needed. A blue light in the front will let you know when it is heating, and it will shut off once your betta tank is at the right temperature.

Fluval M50 Submersible Heater,...
  • Aquarium heater that blends into the aquarium environment with built-in reflective technology that mirrors the surrounding colors

Fluval E300 Advanced Electric Heater

Fluval makes our list of favorites once again with their E300 advanced electric heater. This heater has dual temperature sensors which is how it is able to give you the most accurate temperature reading of your betta fish’s tank.

The thermostat can be adjusted to read in either Fahrenheit or Celcius, making it easy for everyone to read. You can always get the right water temperature because this heater has a range between 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit.

You never have to worry about your betta’s safety because there are integrated fish guards to protect them from the heater. There is also a safety-off feature with fast technology that acts to shut off your heater when it needs to be.

This heater also comes with a mounting bracket making it very easy to set up. It won’t take long before you get your fish’s house to the right tropical-like temperature. The display alert system lights up, making it easy for you to read too.

The Fluval E300 is a 300-watt heater, making it a great choice for tanks up to 100 gallons. It comes with a 5-year warranty just in case your fish isn’t happy with it.

Fluval E300 Advanced...
  • Aquarium heater with dual temperature sensors provide accurate and real-time water temperatures

EHEIM Jager TruTemp 300-Watt Approved Fully Submersible Heater

This heater from EHEIM is simplistic and very reliable. It comes with suction cups, making it easy to attach to the side of your betta tank. Within a couple of minutes, you will have it up and ready to make a cozy environment for your fish.

 This incredibly durable heater is made of shatterproof glass. It’s one of the safest heaters available, as the shut-off feature will kick in as soon as it’s low on water. The running dry protection will ensure that your fish stays safe.

 EHEIM Jager TruTemp 300-watt heater comes with a TruTemp dial and readjustment ring that allows you to adjust the water temperature so it’s always precise. No more fussing around or fiddling with an underwater dial that just won’t co-operate.

Many customers have given this heater a 5-star review and claim that it is the only type that will use since they made the switch. They are long-lasting which is why so many customers trust this model. The extra-long cord of 5’6 is very convenient too.

Eheim Jager TruTemp 300 Watt...
  • TruTemp dial with readjustment ring allows the user to calibrate the heater for a precise temperatur

Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater

This submersible aquarium heater by Hygger is great for betta’s tanks. It is a 300-watt heater that is best suited for tanks that are between 30 and 60 gallons.

If any faults occur while you’re away you won’t have to worry because of the automatic safety shut-off feature. You can also make sure your betta tank is at the right water temperature because it will stop heating up once it reaches the temperature you have set.

The temperature range is between 75 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit. You can easily set the temperature by adjusting the dial, which allows you to set it at odd numbers within the temperature range. The built-in thermometer will help detect your water temperature.

This waterproof heater needs to be fully submerged when it’s on. It is heat resistant and explosion-proof, making it one of the safest heaters to put in the betta fish’s tank. The reliable and durable design is one of the most trusted heaters out there.

Aqueon Adjustable Pro Aquarium 50-Watt Heater

The Aqueon Adjustable Pro Aquarium 50-watt Heater is the most accurate heater on this list. It is so precise that it can get the correct water temperature within 1 degree. You will never have to guess if your betta fish is in the right temperature.

The design is shatterproof and nearly indestructible. To guarantee this, they offer a lifetime warranty. Although betta fish aren’t destructive fish, it’s still nice to know that this shatterproof heater will remain safe when getting moved around.

One of the greatest things about this heater is that once you set the temperature and the water reaches that heat it will automatically shut-off so the water doesn’t overheat. To make it better, the heater will kick back on when the water cools off.

This slim betta tank heater has a simple, but safe design. It is easy to set up and doesn’t take up a lot of space. The non-corrosive shell provides extra strength and an even heat distribution.

You will know when this heater has kicked on because the LED power indicator will light up red.  This 50-watt heater is best when used in a 20-gallon tank.

How To Pick Out The Best Betta Fish Heater: Which One Is The Best One?

You don’t have time to shop through every type of tank heater on the market, so we narrowed it down to the top 5. Of course, they can’t all be the best heaters and only one can best take the top spot. When it comes to positive customer experiences, the Fluval E Electronic Heater is the winner.

It is by far the most outstanding fish tank heater you can buy today. Not only do they offer a wider temperature range, but you can also adjust it to temperatures within 0.5 degrees. Many of the other leading heaters don’t allow you to get such a precise temperature.

This heater is also much more sleek and smaller than the other heaters. It isn’t bulky in the fish tank so it looks good without getting in your betta fish’s way.

Since keeping your fish’s water at the right temperature should be one of your top priorities, this is the best heater because of the color-changing system. It lets you know when the water gets warmer or cooler. This will help you keep your fish comfortable.

Other Things You Should Know About Betta Fish Heaters

The pH Levels

Did you know that betta fish are at their best when they are living in water with pH levels between 6.8 and 7.5? You can make sure your fish have the right pH balance by keeping the water temperature in the right range. This is another reason why you don’t want the water level to drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just Like Home

Your betta fish need a heater to keep the tank’s water warm so it is closer in temperature to the water where these fish originate from. Bettas are native to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. All of these are very warm countries.

The shade in their natural habitat helps to keep the heat in. When in nature, a betta fish thrives in areas that are covered by shrubs and trees. That shade helps to keep a consistent heat for their environment, similar to what the heaters do for the tank.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Betta Fish Tanks: The 7 Best Options in 2020 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

Best Betta Fish Tanks

Best Betta Fish Tanks

Bettas are the perfect starter fish for beginners. Because they are so easy to take care of, many beginners will assume that fishbowls, mini fish tanks, and novelty fish tanks are ok for Bettas to live in. However, this is untrue.

Bettas thrive in tanks that are at least 10 gallons and larger because they have plenty of space and open water to swim around. Because of their aggressive natures, people tend to keep them in tanks by themselves, which is another reason people keep Bettas in small tanks.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about fish tanks and review some of the more popular betta tanks available on the market today.

Everything You Need to Know When Choosing a Betta Fish Tank

Some of the factors to take into consideration when looking for a fish tank will be:

  • Buy a filter and Fluval water heater to go along with the tank.
  • Provide plenty of hiding spots with rocks, caves, and live plants such as Java Fern and Java Moss.
  • Do not choose a substrate that has hard or sharp edges that can damage your Betta’s fins. Instead, choose fine gravel or sand.
  • Break down a new tank’s nitrites and ammonia and establish the right kind of bacteria in the tank by completing a full cycle before adding any fish.

Appropriate Tank Sizes for Bettas

There is a misconception about keeping Bettas in small novelty tanks less than 5 gallons. This misconception probably originated from people believing that because Bettas originated from the shallow streams and rice paddies of Asia, they would be suitable for the small novelty tanks.

Although their native waters were shallow, they were extensive. This allowed them plenty of room to swim around and travel. It is not humane to put Bettas, or any fish for that matter, in anything smaller than a 5-gallon tank.

With the smaller tanks, it can be challenging to maintain stable water parameters. Because there’s not much water in the tank, ammonia spikes are common, and when they happen, they can happen very quickly.

Tanks that are larger than 5 gallons will give your Bettas more space to swim around in, which is more pleasing for you to watch. In small novelty tanks, Bettas can’t swim around, which isn’t very visually stimulating for you.

If you are only keeping one Betta, a 10-gallon tank will be the perfect size for your Betta. Not only will the water parameters remain more stable, but it will not need as much maintenance as a smaller tank would. The larger tank also gives them plenty of room to swim around.

There are many different Betta species, in which all of them require at least a 5-gallon tank. However, there are some species that will require a larger tank, so you will want to do your homework on the species you wish to keep.

You might also be interested in: Types of Betta Fish – By Tail, Pattern and Color

The Need for a Tank Filter

Another common misconception concerns the acceptable water conditions in which Bettas can live. Many people believe that because Betta’s lived in shallow waters, they are conditioned to live in dirty water. But this is far from the truth.

The Betta’s native environment contains various plants and organisms which create large biodiverse ecosystems. These plants and organisms keep the water naturally oxygenated and cleaned.

In their native environment, Bettas can jump from small bodies of water to larger bodies of water. Because Bettas are labyrinth fish and can breathe oxygen from the air, they are able to do this.

People wrongly assume that their tank size doesn’t matter because of their ability to breathe oxygen from the air. However, any time they are forced to take oxygen from the air, it should only be a temporary situation for them.

Although Bettas are able to survive in small puddles, it is mistaken for people to believe they will do well in small bowls and cups. Bettas that are kept in small containers will not thrive, they will possibly get sick, and they definitely will not live for very long.

A filter will provide the oxygen-rich environment your Bettas need in order to thrive. Although we don’t recommend it, if you chose to go filterless, you would need to perform a 40% partial water change every three days to keep the water clean and the water parameters healthy.

Another thing you might need to consider when using a filter, you may need to use a pre-filter, such as a sponge over the outlet, to keep the water flow from becoming too harsh.

The Need for a Tank Heater

In their natural habitat, Bettas live in the warm waters of Cambodia and Thailand. Because of this, they will thrive in tank water above 76°F. In order to maintain water temperatures above 76°F, you will need to install a heater in the tank. Unless, of course, you live in an area of the world where the climate is warm year-round and your fish tank will stay at a constant temperature about 76°F.

Install a thermometer opposite of the heater, at the other end of the tank. With the use of the thermometer, you will be able to ensure the tank’s water remains at the proper temperature throughout the tank.

Reviews Of The 7 Best Betta Fish Tanks Available

1. The Best Aquarium Starter Kit: Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank

You can buy the Aqueon Starter Kit in either a 10-gallon tank or a 20-gallon tank. Everything a beginner needs is included in the Aqueon Starter Kit, making it the perfect setup for a beginner.

Included in the starter kit are:

  • Complete easy to follow instructions
  • Glass aquarium with LED lights in the hood
  • Fishnet
  • Fish food
  • Heater, preset and submersible, shatter-resistant with auto safety shut-off
  • Water conditioner
  • Filter with an LED light that flashes when the cartridge is ready to be changed

The Aqueon Starter Kit is the perfect, no-fail setup for the beginner aquarist all in one complete set. All you need to do is add the Betta, substrate, and decorations.

Tank Dimensions: 20.25 x 10.5 x 12.5 inches.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Affordable
  • Perfect starter kit for beginners
  • Small feeding door in the lid
  • Complete kit includes everything you need


  • Does not have hinges
  • Cleaning is challenging
  • Low lighting
  • The filter is noisy
Aqueon Fish NeoGlow LED...
  • 10 Gallon Glass Aquarium with orange fluorescent silicone

2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

The Marina LED Aquarium Kit is the perfect setup for beginners and pro aquarists alike. This complete kit includes everything you need to get your aquarium started:

  • Marina Slim S10 clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges promotes biological filtration, traps floating debris, removes pollutants, discolorations, odors, and toxic ammonia.
  • Long-lasting, natural daylight effect LED lighting module is seamlessly incorporated into the aquarium canopy for an unobstructed view of your aquarium. The LED lighting enhances fish and plant colors and is perfect for low light plants.
  • Fluval Max fish food to keep your fish healthy and happy.
  • Fluval Aqua Plus Water Conditioner to make tap water safe for fish.
  • Fluval Cycle Biological Supplement to create a biologically safe environment.
  • Aquarium environment Fish net, made from fine soft mesh to protect delicate fins.
  • Aquarium Care Guide that includes advice on how to set up and maintain your aquarium.

All you need to do is add the fish!

Tank Dimensions: 20″ L x 10″ W x 12.5″ H


  • Filter is quiet
  • Double boxed for safe shipping
  • Filters are inexpensive


  • Does not come with a heater
  • The LED light does not have a nightlight setting
  • Side pieces are refective, could cause your Betta to want to fight his reflection.

3. GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank with LED Lighting and Filtration Included

For a complete aquarium starter kit, the GloFish Aquarium comes with a great starter price for everything that is included:

  • Glass tank
  • Comes with curved corners
  • Tetra hidden filtration
  • Adjustable flow filter pump

The GloFish aquarium kit comes with optimized blue LED lighting to make your fluorescent fish shine! The hinged LED lighting cycles through four modes:

  • Sunlight mode
  • Twilight mode
  • Moonlight mode
  • Midnight mode

Package Dimensions : 19.3 x 14.1 x 13.5 inches; 16 Pounds


  • It takes up less space than longer tanks
  • It cycles through four lighting modes
  • Filter is quiet and easy to replace
  • Sturdy base
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to setup


  • Self-contained filter is a pain to prime
  • Filter is noisy
GloFish Aquarium Kit 5...
  • INCLUDES ALL THE ESSENTIALS: This 5 gallon kit includes a curved-corner, glass tank, Tetra Hidden Filtration with an adjustable flow filter pump, GloFish Cycle Light with four modes.

4. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit

This sleek, contemporary tank features an overhanging light system. It also comes with an efficient filter and pump included in the aquarium kit. With the aluminum trim around the edges giving this glass tank a stylish look, it’s perfect for home or the office.

Sporting 37 LED lights, the overhanging light system lights up the tank perfectly, highlighting your fish’s coloring to the best advantage. The circulation pump is adjustable and powerful. It also comes with a three-stage filter that has a foam block with biomax rings and activated carbon, which ensures the filtration system is effective mechanically, chemically, and biologically.

If the flow that is created by the filter is too powerful for your Betta, you could try using a pre-filter sponge to help reduce the water flow.

Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 inches


  • The sleek, narrow, contemporary design fits well on smaller surfaces.
  • Quiet pump.
  • Excellent lighting
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • The filter has a separate compartment


  • Water flow might be too powerful for some Bettas
  • No ideal place to put the heater
  • Have to remove the light bar when performing maintenance work
  • Lights may not be strong enough for most plants
Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit,...
  • 5 gallon Nano aquarium

5. Aqueon 10 Gallon Black Aquarium

Although this is the least expensive option in our review, you will need to take into consideration that this is not a kit. You will need to either buy or add your own equipment to this tank. You will need to add a lid, heater, lights, and filter.

If you are looking for a simple, but quality aquarium, this glass aquarium is perfect for you. Especially if you already own all the equipment you will need to add to this particular aquarium. Or, perhaps, you have a specific brand in mind for the filter, pump, lights, etc. and you want to customize your tank.

Dimensions: 20.25 x 10.5 x 12.5


  • Simple shape
  • Affordable
  • Sturdy, quality tank
  • Customize by adding your own equipment
  • Perfect option for a quarantine tank.


  • Lid not included

You will need to buy heater, filter, lights, etc.

Aqueon Standard Glass...
  • High quality glass construction

6. Fluval Flex 57 – 15 Gallon Nano Glass Aquarium Kit

This aquarium kit comes complete with everything you need for the large 15-gallon tank, perfect size for your Bettas. This kit invludes a sturdy 3-stage filter that efficiently cleans the water through biological, chemical, and mechanical media.

The unique and striking curved front has a contemporary feel to it and contrasts pleasingly with the straight sides. Included in the kit is the LED lighting and remote control, making it convenient to increase and decrease the lighting when needed. There are also cool lighting effects, such as a lightning effect and a faded cloud effect.

This high-quality tank comes with a few innovative extras that you will appreciate, such as a grid pattern along the top of the tank that reduces the water line’s visibility.

Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 15 inches


  • Striking design with a curved front wall
  • 15-gallon capacity gives your Bettas plenty of space to swim around and play
  • The wires can be stored and hidden behind the tank
  • Includes ample space for adding additional filtration or heater
  • Several cool lighting effects to choose from


  • The hood might be flimsy
  • The back of the black plastic shows scratches
  • Boring black background
  • Filtration creates a strong current
Fluval Hagen HG Flex Aquarium...
  • The 15 gallon Fluval Flex Freshwater Kit is one of very few freshwater aquarium kits to incorporate brilliant illumination and multistage filtration with convenient aquarium features and contemporary...

7. Life 15 Aquarium with LED Light

This is by far the most expensive aquarium on the list. If you are into luxury contemporary, this is the perfect indulgence for you. It comes in several different sizes to meet your needs.

Made from acrylic rather than glass, it is 10x stronger than glass, plus it’s 50% lighter. The contemporary design includes a molecularly bonded, visually seamless aquarium. Acrylic also has a 93% transparency rating.

This kit includes a genuine five-stage filtration system: Oxygenation, water stabilization, chemical, mechanical, and biological.

This aquarium kit includes:

  • Acrylic Aquarium
  • biOrb 12V Transformer
  • biOrb Air Pump
  • Airstone
  • 2 pounds / 900 grams ceramic media
  • Filter cartridge
  • 5 ml Water Conditioner
  • 5 ml Beneficial Bacteria liquid
  • Intelligent LED Light unit

Dimensions: 7 x 10.5 x 15.75 inches; 11.7 Pounds


  • Low voltage, 12v transformer
  • LED lighting – long lasting and low voltage
  • Comes in 4, 8, 12, and 16 gallons


  • It’s pricey
  • Filtration system does not handle tannins well
  • You have to remove the top of the aquarium to feed the fish
  • Challenging to set up
biOrb Life 45 Aquarium with...
  • Filter cartridge – a true “one size fits all” Filter for the biorb aquariums


Bettas are majestic and beautiful fish that come in a wide range of patterns and colors. You have learned that Bettas do NOT do well in small tanks and bowl that are less than 5 gallons. Instead, they prefer lots of room to swim, play, and hide in.

Hopefully, this review has helped you choose a suitable tank that will make both you and your Bettas happy, whether it’s one of the aquarium kits or just the tank.

There are several to choose from. One is perfect for you that will fit your budget perfectly but will also look good in your space. If you already have your own equipment, or you’ve done your research and you know the best heater, pump, and filtration system you’d like to buy, then we recommend buying just the Aqueon 10 Gallon Black Aquarium. This will allow you to customize the tank any way you want.

However, if you want an all-inclusive aquarium kit, we recommend The Best Aquarium Starter Kit: Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank. Everything you need is included in the kit. All you need to add is the fish.

If you prefer the luxurious and contemporary look, and don’t mind the price tag, then the Life 15 Aquarium with LED Light is perfect for you. This aquarium kit comes with everything you need to set up your tank. The rich, sleek design will have your friends and family mesmerized.

We hope that this review leads you to find the perfect tank that fits your budget, your space, and your fish.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

The Underrated Female Betta Fish

Female Betta fish
Female Betta fish
Faris Algosaibi

The ever-popular Betta fish continues to be in high demand due to their personality and beautiful finnage and coloring. Although some people might avoid Bettas because of their aggressive behavior, you don’t need to as long as you know how to handle them. 

People tend to gravitate towards buying the male Betta rather than the female because of the male’s ornamentalism. However, there are many reasons you should buy a female instead. This guide will cover everything you need to know about buying and taking care of your female Betta fish.

Overview of the Betta

Many people know Betta fish as Siamese Fighting Fish. This moniker came from the male’s aggressive and extremely territorial personality and their tendency to attack and fight other males, even unto death. Because of this, the Siamese people domesticated the Betta for use in fighting contests throughout Thailand.

The female Betta does not have the elegant finnage that the male Betta does, but they do have the vibrant coloring that comes with being a Betta. But because they aren’t as ornamental as the male, they aren’t as popular for hobbyists.

The males’ aggression towards one another has caused many hobbyists to seek out female Bettas. The female Betta is less aggressive and more peaceful than their male counterparts. Because of this, they can get along peacefully with other female Bettas, allowing hobbyists to keep a group, or sorority, of females in the same tank.

The female’s lifespan is the same as the males; they only live for about three years. In their natural habitat, the Betta is vulnerable to predators and other male Bettas. But in captivity, they are more successful and have been bred extensively. Professional breeding has resulted in many different varieties of Bettas, all with distinctive coloring and looks.

The Betta is a member of the Gouramis (Osphronemidae) family and does well with these species as tank mates, as well as Paradisefish.

Typical Behavior of the Female Betta Fish

Bettas are most famous for their aggression, and because of that, they were bred to fight other Bettas, giving them the name Siamese Fighting Fish. However, it is not illegal to fight Bettas.

Although the female is less aggressive than the males are, they are still prone to aggression. They will establish a hierarchy and stake out their own territories. When the females fight each other, they tend to be less violent than their male counterparts, and the likelihood of injury is greatly reduced because of this. The female Betta tends to direct her aggression towards other female Bettas but will get along with other species quite well. 

Bettas have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to take oxygen from the air at the tank’s surface. Although they usually occupy the upper and middle levels of the tank, you will see them occasionally go to the surface of the water to breathe air, despite having gills as well. If you see your Betta gulping air at the tank’s surface more than normal, this is a good indicator that the water conditions might be poor. 

Female Veiltail Betta


Telling the male Bettas from the female Bettas is quite easy. For Bettas, the males are slightly larger than the females, growing up to 2½ to 3 inches, while the female only grows to be about 2¼ inches.

When comparing the male and female Bettas, the females have smaller dorsal and anal fins, and their tail fin is thinner than the male Betta’s.

There is a species of Bettas called the Plakat, where both the male and female have short fins, causing the males to resemble the females closely. To determine the sex of a Plakat Betta, you should look for the “egg spot,” which is where the eggs are released through the ovipositor tube and a small hole while mating. If you look at the Betta’s underbelly between the tail and fins, you will find this spot.

Although not as vibrant, you can find females with the same coloring as male Bettas, including Koi, reds, purples, blues, blacks, and whites. This species comes in many different varieties, with the differences being more prevalent in the males than the females because it’s usually the finnage that are different between the species.

There are, however, a few variations where the female’s coloring is just as vibrant as the males. Plus, depending on her mood, the intensity of the female’s coloring can change. For example, during their mating season, her coloring tends to get darker than normal.

In the wild, the females will have their brightest color displays when they are asserting their dominance over another female Betta in order to establish their social hierarchy.

The Female Betta's Habitat

All throughout the wilds of Asia, you can find Betta fish. By looking at their natural habitats, we can recreate it, designing an aquarium that is perfect for your Betta.

Bettas prefer the warm, slow-moving, shallow waters of rice paddies and river basins. Their hardiness, along with the help of their labyrinth organ, gives them the ability to withstand poor water conditions.

Setting Up Your Female Betta Fish's Tank

When setting up your Betta’s tank, start at the bottom of your tank with the substrate. You want a substrate that won’t harm your Betta, such as sand. The fine grains of sand will not scratch your fish if they are eating or digging at the bottom of their tank.

Next, you want to add some plants and vegetation all around the tank in groups. Not only will the plants oxygenate the water, but they will also give your female Bettas enough room for each of them to stake out their own territories. You can also create or buy cave decorations for that purpose, as well. 

A hardy plant that is perfect for your Betta’s tank is Hornwort, which can either be planted or floated on the tank’s surface. Remember not to put too many plants in the tank and thereby block the surface of the water. Your Bettas need easy access to the water’s surface to feed, breathe, and even breed.

Bettas are used to calm slow-flowing waters, so air and water pumps aren’t needed to create a current. You will need a filter to keep the water clean, as well as a heater to keep the water temperature in the 75°F to 80°F range. As far as the water conditions go, you will need to make sure the pH levels are between 6 and 8, and the water hardness between 5 and 35 dGH.

What is the Best Size Aquarium?

Do not put your Bettas in anything smaller than a 10-gallon tank. In fact, a 10-gallon tank is the perfect size for just one female Betta. If you plan to keep a sorority or put them in a community tank, you will need a much larger tank

How Many Female Bettas Can be kept per gallon?

Starting with a 10-gallon tank for one female, anytime you add another female, you will need to add another 5 gallons to the tank size. You need to give them enough space to stake their territories and stay out of each other’s way and not fight.

Female Halfmoon Betta

Tank Mates for your Female Betta

Choosing the right tank mates is the key to having a peaceful community with female Bettas. A great option to consider for a tank mate is a group of smallish shoaling fish. Because they stay in a group, it’s unlikely that one will be singled out and picked on. They are also fast swimmers and can quickly escape by darting away. Some more good options include:

  • Swordtails
  • Mollies
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Rosy Barbs
  • Neon Tetras
  • Zebra Danios

Fish that prefer the lower region of the tank are a great option, as well. These include:

  • Yoyo Loaches
  • Zebra Loaches
  • Kuhli Loaches
  • Corydoras Catfish

Oscars should be avoided because they are territorial and will fight over space with your Betta. In fact, it’s a good idea to avoid any other territorial fish. You also want to avoid any fish that even vaguely resembles a male Betta because they might stress out your female Betta.

Keeping Female Betta Fish Together

Unlike male Bettas, you can successfully keep females Bettas together. Most female Bettas tend to be more peaceful, although occasionally you will run across an overly aggressive female Betta. However, the fights aren’t usually as dangerous or frequent as they are with the males.

A sorority is a group of 4 to 6 female Bettas. In order to keep a sorority, you will need a bigger tank, at least 30 gallons. You should also create different territories using plants and decorations for each of the members of the sorority.

The Best Diet for Your Female Betta

Bettas require a carnivorous diet full of protein in order for them to stay healthy and strong. In their natural habitat, both male and female Bettas dine on a variety of plankton, small crustaceans, and insect larvae.

At home, the best way to replicate their carnivorous diet is by feeding them frozen and live foods. Some of the most popular options include bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. The nutritional value of these foods is higher than other options.

The problem with dried food is that it loses most of its nutrients during the manufacturing process. Pellet and flake foods may be more convenient in the long run, but you still want to supplement with live and frozen foods several times a week. You can’t solely rely on pellet and flake foods.

However, there are dried foods made for Bettas, specifically, which contain a higher level of protein. You will still need to supplement with live and frozen foods to ensure your Bettas have a well-balanced diet with the nutrients they need.

Feed your female Betta twice a day. When feeding your Betta, you only want to give it a small amount that can be eaten within two minutes. Remove any food that is left after two minutes. Otherwise, your females will continue eating until they’ve eaten everything, potentially overeating. By giving them a small amount to eat twice a day, their digestive system won’t need to work as hard.

Caring for your Female Betta Fish

Because the water conditions in their natural habitat tend to be poor, Bettas have evolved into a hardy fish species. Despite their hardiness, you still need to keep the tank clean, maintaining the water quality with the help of a filter and regular water changes. Tanks that are not kept clean can cause a variety of health problems for your Betta, including diseases.

Your females can also pick up diseases from injuries inflicted during a fight with other Bettas. Although fighting is less common among females than males, it does still happen occasionally. 

If you see symptoms of an illness of any kind, you will want to remove that fish immediately and put it in a quarantine tank so that the illness or the disease does not spread to the remaining fish. 

Unclean water conditions can lead to fin rot, which is a bacterial infection. It can also be introduced into the tank by adding a new fish or using second-hand equipment in the tank. Inflammation and irritation are the main symptoms of fin rot. As soon as you notice these symptoms, you should begin treating it with medications that you can buy from the pet stores. 

Bloating is another issue you see a lot of with Bettas. It causes the abdomen to swell up and can cause secondary issues such as loss of appetite and breathing difficulties. 

The most common cause of bloating tends to be overfeeding. Try rationing your female Betta’s diet until the bloating goes down. If that doesn’t work, the bloating could be caused by a bacterium, a virus, or a parasite, all of which can be treated with medications.

Breeding Your Female Bettas

When breeding your female Bettas, you will need to choose a male Betta to introduce into the breeding tank. The only time you should put a male Betta and a female Betta together is when you are attempting to breed them.

When it comes to mating, Bettas are very picky and will not mate unless conditions are perfect in their environment. They should have clean water that is around 80°F. Their diet should consist of high-quality foods, and they should eat frequently, about two to four times each day.

When the male and female become interested in mating with each other, the male will begin building up a bubble nest at the surface of the water consisting of saliva covered sticky bubbles, while the female’s coloring will darken significantly.

If the female approves of the nest, the pair will begin courting. The courting ritual involves biting and chasing each other. However, if they begin to get too aggressive towards each other, you will need to separate them.

During courting, the female will flip over to where she is upside down, and the male will cover her by wrapping himself around her as he fertilizes her eggs while she releases them. The male will then move the eggs to the bubble nest.

Immediately remove the female from the tank afterward because she might eat her eggs. Within two to three days, the fry will hatch, and you can begin feeding them infusoria and other tiny foods.

Are Female Betta Fish for You?

Compared to their male counterparts, the female Betta is much easier to care for, making them the perfect choice for beginner aquarists that are trying to avoid aggressive fish.

One drawback to buying a female Betta rather than a male is you don’t get the same amount of ornamentalism that the males possess. Some aquarists are willing to put up with the male’s aggression in order to have the vibrant coloring and elaborate finnage of the male.

Don’t discount the female’s beauty, though. She may not be as fancy as the male, but she is still beautiful. Plus, you can keep a sorority rather than just one Betta, as you would be forced to do with a male, making them an enjoyable alternative to the male Betta.

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.