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Choosing the best betta tank is one of the most important responsibilities you have to your new fish. 

But I am often amazed by the wrong and often deadly information found online about betta fish aquariums.  

When you mix wrong information and lack of experience, it is very easy to buy the wrong tank. Before I reveal the best betta fish tanks, it’s important that you learn a little more about their biology.

Best Betta Tank Quick-Find Table

Image Product
  • Works for all fin types
  • Comes with a filter
  • Budget friendly
  • Works for all fin types
  • Comes with a filter
  • Budget friendly
  • Cool curved design
  • Includes high quality filter
  • Includes LEDs
  • Cool curved design
  • Includes high quality filter
  • Includes LEDs
  • Shallow and perfect for bettas
  • Less accessories, but high quality
  • Requires a cover
  • Shallow and perfect for bettas
  • Less accessories, but high quality
  • Requires a cover
  • Unique setup
  • Visually stunning
  • Never need to change filter cartridge
  • Unique setup
  • Visually stunning
  • Never need to change filter cartridge

Common Betta Care Myths

I bought my first betta over 15 years ago. It was very common back then for people to stick them in vases or tiny fish bowls. This is just as wrong as putting them in big tanks with other fish. I always kept my bettas in a minimum 1 gallon bowl with a small filter, gravel, and plants.

best betta fish tank

Here are some common myths about Siamese fighting fish that you will see in many articles online, along with the correct information, based on my many years of experience:

MYTH #1: Bettas Do Not Need Filtration Systems

This myth got started because bettas can consume some oxygen from the air. 

However, bettas do need adequate aquarium filtration to maintain water quality, because ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and fish waste still build up in the water.  

It’s important to note that male bettas have very low tolerance for fast water currents. 

First, they are not strong swimmers and will get pushed around by strong water flow from a large filter pump.  

Second, male bettas are hopeless romantics. They will get depressed if the water current disrupts the bubble nests they build. Even if a female betta is not in the tank, males will spend most of the day building a nest.   

To ensure they can still build a nest with a filtration system in the tank, set a plastic ring so that it floats on the water surface. This will allow the betta to build his nest in peace even with stronger water currents.

MYTH #2: Bettas Need Heaters in their Tank

Bettas, like other tropical fish require water in a range between 75 and 80 degrees F. This does not mean you need to have a heater in the tank. 

Don’t use heaters if the room temperature does not go below 75 degrees F, or fluctuate more than 5 degrees in an hour. 

Adding a heater to any fish tank can be dangerous. If the thermostat fails, or is not properly set, the temperature may go too high and cook the fish.  Fish can also burn themselves, or get electrocuted by submersible heaters if the wiring is faulty. 

You are better off making sure the room temperature meets the needs of the aquarium.

MYTH #3: Bettas Need Large Tanks to Swim In

Putting a betta in a tank that is too deep or too large is just as deadly as putting them in a bowl!

I have seen bettas sink to the bottom of 5 gallon betta tanks because their fins are too heavy (more on fins below). 

Unfortunately, I have also seen bettas die from internal organ damage because their swim bladder and/or gills were too weak to take the water pressure associated with larger volumes of water.

MYTH #4: Bettas Do Not Need Plants or Toys

I have seen bettas do some amazing things. Some swim in time to music, while others will put gravel in their filter. Over the years, I have also trained bettas to swim through rings and do other tricks!

Bettas are quick minded and downright nosy creatures. They do best with live plants such as Marimo Balls, which are great for a small tanks and starter kits.

Bettas also like to lay around on “couches” or elevated areas in the tank.  Avoid sharp plastic or stones that they can scratch and damage their fins and scales on.

Just be sure to choose a tank mate carefully (or not at all!) if you want to entertain your betta with a friend. They may posture as aggressive, but unless they’re facing off against another betta, they are actually no match for most other fish, including tetras and goldfish. 

MYTH #5: Bettas Get Crazy in Cramped Spaces

When a fish “glass surfs”, it swims back and forth along the same area of tank again and again. Several authors claim that bettas will “glass surf” because they are distressed by cheap betta tanks that are too small. 

I have seen my male bettas do this several times, especially in a new aquarium setup.  Each time, I found it was caused by a mirror like reflection in that part of the tank. 

When a male betta sees a mirror reflection of himself in a glass tank, he will think it is another fish and try to fight with it.  Moving the tank, or blocking out the light causing the reflection will stop the “glass surfing” immediately.  

Reviews of the Best Betta Fish Tanks


#1. Tetra Water Wonders

Tetra Water Wonders Aquarium Kit

Tetra Water Wonders Aquarium Kit is the best tank for bettas, and is perfect for both new and established fish. 

All bettas will do well regardless of fin and tail shape, and it doesn’t take up much room, making it a perfect smaller tank that doesn’t take up much space.

The kit comes with:

  • 1.5 gallon aquarium in a cube shape (8.1 x 9 x 11 inches)
  • Lid
  • Overhead energy-efficient LED lighting system
  • Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter
  • Plastic plants (I recommend using live plants instead), and
  • A small amount of fish food

The filter is very good quality and works well. It works in tanks up to 4 gallons and is very gentle insofar as the water flow is concerned.

You will need to change the cartridge every 30 days, but the cartridges come in packs of 3 or more, and are cheaper than other designs on the market. 

To change the cartridge, just open the top of the canister, pull the old one out, and put the new one in. You can also do this during a water change.

Lid Considerations and Lighting Arrangements

Bettas can jump through a hole as small as 1 inch by 1 inch. That means lids on betta tanks have to be pretty much perfect.

On this Tetra tank, the feeding port and cutout for the filter are both large enough for a betta to jump through. 

I recommend using crafting plastic mesh canvas to cover both areas. I seal mine down with duct tape. For the feeding port, I tape just the back and one side, then flip a corner of the canvas up to feed the fish, so I can maintain easy access.

When compared to other glass aquariums for betta fish, this kit offers the best white LED lighting system.

The light and wiring are housed entirely outside the aquarium, so there’s no way for the light to get wet from condensation inside the tank. The LED array is also long lasting and provides a good bit of light.

Does the Tank Shape Make it Easy to Eliminate Mirrors?

Since the tank is in the form of a cube, it is very easy to block off extra light that creates a mirror. 

You will still need to check several times a day during daylight hours to make sure sunlight isn’t creating temporary mirrors. Try to avoid direct lighting, as this will also help reduce algae buildup in the tank, allowing it to maintain its low maintenance properties.

Best Bettas for this Tank

You can put bettas of all shapes and sizes in this tank, and it’s a good choice for female bettas, too.

If you are going to breed bettas, it would be better to put the pair in a 3 gallon tank (for example, the Tetra 3 Gallon fish tank Cube Kit). 

Just make sure both are acclimated to the larger water volume.

Overall Score: 10/10

The Tetra Water Wonders Aquarium Kit is not only very high-quality and sleek, but is perfect for all bettas and is easy to care for. The only issue I found was that the holes in the lid were a bit too big, but that can easily be taken care of with plastic canvas or another covering material. 

Highly recommended.

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Aqueon LED Minibow Aquarium Starter Kits with LED Lighting

If you’re craving a uniquely shaped aquarium for betta fish, the Aqueon Mini Bow is an ideal choice. You can choose between a 2.5 and a 5 Gallon curved shape tank.

The kit comes with:

  • 2.5 Gallon aquarium (11.9 x 9.8 x 11.9 inches) or 5 Gallon aquarium (15 x 10.7 x 15.4 inches)
  • Hood
  • Lights
  • Filter
  • Fish food samples
  • Water conditioner samples

Aqueon Quiet Flow Power filters are known for being high quality and having excellent performance. The cartridges for the Mini Bows are very easy to get to. All you have to do is open the hood, lift out the old cartridge, and put in a new one. 

Lid Considerations and Lighting Arrangements

The lid itself has an appealing dome shape. 

However, it does have a small feeding hole that is large enough for a determined betta to jump through. 

As with other lids found in betta aquarium kits, you will need to make a flap from plastic mesh canvas so the fish cannot jump out, but that’s pretty standard if you want to make extra sure your pet fish is safe. 

The light for the Aqueon Mini bow is a tiny array of LEDs located in the center of the lid. 

Now, I am someone that tries to avoid mixing electricity and water. There is no such thing as a fish tank that does not release condensation into the air. 

In this case, that condensation gets trapped under the lid.

I do not trust wires or lights in an area where water can build up on them. To make matters worse, the filter in this kit also releases water near the lid. 

In my opinion, for safety sake, I would not use the lights in this kit to illuminate the aquarium. Use an external back light instead.

aqueon mini bow top view
Top View

Does the Tank Shape Make it Easy to Eliminate Mirrors?

Since the front of the tank is bow shaped, you may have several visual problems. First, you may not be able to see the fish at all depending on the angle you look into the tank. This means you will have to do some extra work to see if your betta is glass surfing. 

Insofar as eliminating mirrors, you may have a hard time if you have to block light in relation to the bowed structure. Like my other recommendations, just make sure you observe throughout the day to see how light hits the aquarium and move it if necessary.

Best Bettas for this Tank

The 2.5 gallon model is suitable as in intermediate tank for bettas that are well adjusted to 1 – 2 gallon tanks. It can also serve as a permanent home for veiltail and other large finned bettas. 

The 5 gallon model is best suited for small finned bettas that have been slowly adapting to larger water volumes. 

Overall Score: 8/10

The Aqueon Mini Bow is an excellent choice for a wide variety of fishkeepers, because it comes in different tank sizes that give you an amazing option at either 2.5 or 5 gallons. 

The lid is also good quality, as is the filter. 

You may need to choose an alternative lighting option because of the way the light array and wires are exposed to condensation, but otherwise, this is both a functional, easy to operate, and attractive tank.

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#3. Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf

Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf Aquarium Tank Set

The long width compared to height and depth makes the 3 gallon Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf one of the best aquariums for bettas. 

Here’s why.

When you buy a betta at the pet store, there is no way to tell how long it has been housed in a tiny tub. This can spell disaster when you bring the fish home.

Think about what would happen to your muscles if you had to lay in bed all week without moving much. Your muscles, lungs, and heart would all become weaker. It is no different for a betta. Their swim bladder, gills, and swimming muscles become weak from lack of use. 

If you try to put them in water that is too deep too suddenly, they may not be able to breathe or move. 

This is why a shallow tank is so important for bettas. 

The Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf offers plenty of height for good quality filtration without putting the betta at risk from an internal organ point of view.

Unlike other tanks on the market, the Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf offers far less in accessories.

The kit comes with: 

  • 3 Gallon aquarium (18 x 5.5 x 7.1 inches)
  • Overhead LED light, and
  • Internal filter

While the filter is very robust, I recommend replacing it with two pump driven Penn Plax World Aquarium Filters (one on each end of the tank), unless you want to add a filter sponge to cut down on the current generated. 

Use one circulation pump, and then check valve and air flow valves to regulate the amount of air going into each filter.

The Penn Plax filters will generate a milder water current and are also easier to clean. 

You can also add your own activated carbon/zeolite and filter floss by cutting the old cartridges open and resealing them with fishing line. 

As an added bonus, you can put a little of the old floss back into the cartridges and regenerate the biofilter faster.

Lid Considerations and Lighting Arrangements

The Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf does not come with an aquarium cover. Since bettas like to jump, you will need to make a lid from plexiglass if you intend to use the LED lighting array.

Do not forget to add some holes along the back or near the filter so that air can get into the tank. 

Contrary to popular belief, aquarium filters do not add oxygen to the tank. Rather, it is the disruption of surface tension that enables oxygen to get into the water. 

The LED light is a sealed array. Avoid allowing condensation on the array because it is electrical equipment.

Does the Tank Shape Make it Easy to Eliminate Mirrors?

Since the tank is rectangular in shape, you will find it easy to eliminate mirrors by blocking off light sources that cause them, which makes this very useful for eliminating your fish’s stress

Best Bettas for this Tank

The Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf Aquarium is good for veil tail and other large finned bettas that have done well in 1.5 to 2 gallons of water. They will enjoy a longer swimming area without swim bladder issues that usually come with deeper, large betta tanks. 

Overall Score: 7/10

The Mr. Aqua Mini Bookshelf tank is great for bettas, and I say that even though it doesn’t come with the all-important lid. 

Despite not having a lid, the tank is very easy to customize. It also comes with a good quality filter and lighting system. 

Its biggest advantage is the length vs height ratio, which is why I love this tank so much. 

While it may cost more than other large betta tanks, it is well worth the money. 

If you are committed to using a larger tank for bettas with larger fins, this tank is a necessity.

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#4. Back to the Roots Water Garden

Back to the Roots Water Garden

Back to the Roots is a novel aquarium that uses aquaponics, which basically combines gardening with fish keeping. 

The kit comes with:

  • 5 Gallon tank (13.4 x 13.4 x 9.5 inches)
  • Lid with grow pots and everything you need to plant a micro green garden or a herb garden
  • Water cycling “filter”
  • Coupon you can use to buy a betta

Unlike other 5 gallon betta tanks, you will never need to change the filter cartridge in this tank thanks to the power of aquaponics. 

Water from the tank runs through the roots of the plants growing on top. The plants take nitrogen and waste from the water. Finally, the clean water drops back into the tank. It’s like the ultimate multi stage filtration system!

As long as the plants on top are healthy, the water in the tank below will remain clean.

Lid Considerations and Lighting Arrangements

The lid for the Back to the Roots Aquarium is very safe for bettas because there are no holes to jump out of. As far as lids go, its one of the few perfect ones out there. 

Since there are no light arrays, you will need to keep the aquarium in a sunny location for the health of the plants. 

This can be a problem if you overfeed the fish and algae build up. Alternatively, use plants that grow well in the shade. Make sure the plants growing on top do not release chemicals that may be poisonous to the fish!

I also do not recommend growing edible plants using ornamental fish. These fish may have diseases including fish TB and other germs that can make you very sick. 

Ornamental fish are also routinely treated with carcinogenic antibiotics and other chemicals by breeders. 

If you do want to use this tank for growing food, make sure you choose a betta that is certified safe for this purpose.

Does the Tank Shape Make it Easy to Eliminate Mirrors?

As with other cubed or rectangular shaped aquariums, you will find it fairly easy to eliminate mirror reflections by controlling light direction and intensity, making it perfect for your betta’s mental wellbeing.

Best Bettas for this Tank

This tank is best suited for medium and small finned bettas that have been acclimated to larger aquariums. 

It may not be the best option for veil tails or other larged finned bettas, especially if they have not been placed in progressively larger volumes of water.

Overall Score: 6/10

The Back to the Roots Aquarium is one of the coolest betta fish tanks because you can combine gardening with fish keeping. 

You must still be careful with this tank and make sure you know how to remain safe from fish diseases in case you’re growing edible plants. 

Other than that, it is a well designed betta fish tank kit that almost anyone can use right out of the box.

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