How to Acclimate a Betta Fish

Setting up an aquarium at home is like opening the door to another world. Fish are among the most desirable pets in the world after dogs and cats, and the betta is one of the most favorite fish pets.

how do you acclimate a betta fish

It’s a perfectly splendid creature with a streamlined body and broad fins which comes in several colors such as black, white, rainbow, current blue, and copper.

To acclimate a betta fish, you need to slowly add water from its new tank to the water they are in when you purchase them. You can do this by dripping water from their new tank into the bag/container they are in when you bring them home.

If you are also planning to adopt a betta and looking for a complete guide to the whole process, then keep reading.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

Bettas are generally found in unclean water, mostly ponds and small streams. They can tolerate low oxygen levels, hence, it does not need a lot of maintenance.

A betta is mostly carnivorous, so it is imperative to choose its food carefully. Pellets can be the best food choice for it.

It is a highly territorial and aggressive fish. Male bettas must never be together because they may fight for hours and kill each other. Though, they can share the water with other species like Cory Catfish, Kuhli Loach, and Guppies.

The ideal water temperature for bettas is 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit and the pH level should be below 7.

Like other fishes, bettas can breathe underwater, however, it also comes up to the surface to get oxygen. Therefore, it must be housed in a wide-topped container or tank. The optimum tank size for one betta is 5 gallons.

Always use tap water in the aquarium as distilled water lacks the necessary minerals and can be hazardous for any fish.

Betta-Tank Setup and Acclimatization

It is impossible to create an appropriate atmosphere in the aquarium for any fish, but we must at least try to give them the best possible facilities. Humans are considered the most intelligent creations on Earth, and yet we take time to get used to any new change. In the same way, every other life form on this planet has its own tendency to adjust to any alteration in the habitat.

Here’s a quick guide on how to acclimate Betta:

Setting Up a New Tank

If you are planning to install a new tank, these are some important things you need to buy:

  • A wide-mouth tank – preferably without an air filter, as bettas can get oxygen from water as well as air.
  • A small size water heater.
  • Water de-chlorinator.
  • Fish food.
  • A water pH checker.
  • Gravel, sand, and other decorations.

Tank Placement

After you have all the primary things to give your betta a perfect home it’s time to assemble them. Find a place of your choice in your house that is not in direct sunlight for the tank.

acclimating a betta in their new tank

Make sure you choose something sturdy to set the aquarium on because the water will have some weight. One betta fish, especially in a 5-gallon tank won’t matter but if you get up above 10 gallons it is best to have an aquarium stand that is specifically designed for an aquarium.

If you can’t afford an aquarium stand then make sure whatever you set the aquarium on is sturdy. After you set the aquarium on its stand, you need to lay a leveler along the top to make sure it is level. An aquarium stand will have adjustable legs. If the legs aren’t adjustable, you can set some shims or something under one of the legs to adjust the height.

Install the heater, and cover the bottom of your aquarium with gravel, sand, and other decorating items like plants or toys. Add a teaspoon of conditioner into the water to dechlorinate it.

If you have one betta fish, you won’t have to cycle your water but keep in mind you will have to change the water a lot to keep your betta fish alive.

Hurray! You are ready to welcome your new betta fish to your home.

Bringing Your Betta Home

Always keep in mind, taking care of a fish is a lot more than just putting them in a tank and leaving them. You will have to keep their water clean and monitor their health.

Never adopt a pet if you don’t have enough time to fulfill its needs. Besides, you need to have a strong feeling of affection towards your pet to be an ideal guardian and the acclimatization process of a betta demands a lot of attention and care.

You can’t just buy a fish and throw it into the aquarium; it would kill your fish. Let’s look at these very simple techniques to acclimate your betta.

Techniques to Acclimate Your Betta

Floating the Betta In the Tank

It is the simplest way to introduce your betta to the aquarium. Check the temperature first and the pH level of the water in the tank, the bag, or the cup that contains the fish.

You can get a thermometer and water testing strops at the pet store.

Compare the results and if the readings match, gently take it out and set it free in the water. However, if the temperature and pH levels are different, follow these steps:

Steps for Getting Temperature and PH Levels the Same

  • Put the bag/cup into the aquarium and wait for 15 minutes. It will help the betta to adjust to the temperature of the water in the aquarium.
  • Add a small amount of tank water into the fish container to balance the pH level. Do it gently, and don’t pour the water directly on the fish.
  • If your betta is in a plastic bag, you need to hold it with your hand to complete the process. Keep the hole upwards to avoid unnecessary water flow into the bag.
  • After 15 minutes, add some more water from the tank into the bag/cup, and wait for 15-20 minutes.

Finally, it’s time to release the fish into the tank.

Do not feed the fish immediately after completion of the process as it is still trying to cope with the new environment. You need to be very patient here, some bettas do not eat for a whole week.

The Siphon Method

This will require only 2 pieces of equipment to perform this activity: a plastic bucket and an airline tube. It requires a maximum of one hour to complete this process. It helps the betta to adjust to the temperature and pH levels of new water at the same time.

Siphon Method Steps

  • Unpack the fish bag/cup into the bucket and make sure it has a sufficient amount of water for the fish to swim.  The bucket has to be placed at a lower level than the aquarium.
  • Use a new bucket and rinse it out with plain water – do not use soap. Always use equipment like the bucket that isn’t used for anything other than the aquarium so your aquarium water doesn’t get contaminated.
  • Set up the siphon using an airline tube. Use a pressure regulator to adjust the water flow from the aquarium into the bucket. It should be dripping at the speed of 1-2 drops per second. The slow flow will allow your new fish to slowly adjust to their new tank water.
  • Wait until half of the water from the tank is transferred into the bucket.
  • At this point, you can shift the betta from the bucket to the aquarium.
  • Do not add bucket water into the tank if it’s not clean.

In a Community Tank

A community tank means a tank that is already being used for other fish with the same specifications. As we discussed earlier, bettas should not be kept with another betta as they are prone to attacking each other. It is also recommended not to keep them with goldfish as well because betta fish need a high water temperature to survive.

Before setting the betta into a tank with other fish, it is important to quarantine it for 2-4 weeks. Doing this will minimize the risk of contaminating other fish with any disease or harmful bacteria it may carry.

Use the first technique to change the water. Do not let the water from the fish cup/bag mix up in the container you are going to use to quarantine your Betta. After quarantine, you can acclimate it using any of the above processes.


I trust this article has answered your questions on how to acclimate a betta fish. As you have read there are many ways to do this and each way involves different steps. None of these steps is better than the other it just depends on how much time you have and which step you would prefer to do.

By following one of these steps you will be successful at acclimating your betta fish to their new home.

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