How to Clean a Betta Tank: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Clean a Betta Tank: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Clean a Betta Tank: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Betta fish are very lovable and can become very smart and easy to care for pets. However, they eat and defecate like any other living creature. That's why aquarium cleaning is so important. Although your Betta doesn't need to go for a walk or go regularly to the vet, you do need to keep the tank and water clean so that she's happy and healthy.


Method 1 of 2: Preparing to Clean a Betta Fish's Aquarium

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 1

Step 1. Wash your hands

Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the aquarium. It is important that you do not accidentally introduce germs or dirt into the area.

If you use soap, rinse it thoroughly. This substance, if present in the aquarium, can make your fish sick

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 2

Step 2. Unplug heaters, filters or lamps before starting

It is important to keep all electrical appliances turned off and away from the tank during cleaning. Although they should have been manufactured for use in an aquarium, you should prevent them from accidentally falling into the tank or being submerged in water.

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 3

Step 3. Gather the necessary tools and materials

To clean the aquarium, you must first have a safe and clean place for the fish to stay. Find a clean cup or bowl where it can be placed. Take some of the water present in the Betta's current aquarium and put it inside. You just need enough to give him room to swim calmly. Also, you will need the tools to clean and refresh your aquarium water.

You will also need: a sink, a plastic cup to draw water and fish, paper towels and a sponge to clean the inside of the aquarium, a water conditioner (available at many pet stores and aquarium stores), a sieve to use for cleaning the gravel and a plastic spoon

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 4

Step 4. Drain the water from the tank

With a small cup, remove 50 to 80% of the water present in the aquarium. Set it aside to use it again in the new container. This is important because you cannot change all the water, which will shock the fish. Instead, you put the separated water back into the tank after it's clean.

  • If you bought your fish a short time ago, start by changing 50% of the water and work your way up to 80%.
  • Most of the dirt in a Betta fish tank is in the gravel at the bottom. Even if you remove the water from the top, you're getting rid of most of the dirt and grease by cleaning the gravel.
Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 5

Step 5. Remove the fish from the aquarium

Once you have removed some water from the tank, remove the fish using the same cup. Be patient and be careful with your Betta's fins. If you go very slowly, the fish may settle in the cup under the water, so you only have to lift it directly to get it out of the tank.

  • Place the fish in the cup or bowl that already contains the water in the tank.
  • During this procedure, it is important to take care that the fish does not jump out of the cup. Bettas are great jumpers, so put a lid on the container it's in.

Method 2 of 2: Cleaning a Betta Fish's Aquarium

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 6

Step 1. Empty the tank

Pour the remaining water from the aquarium through a sieve directly into the sink. This will prevent the gravel from falling down the drain.

Also remove any decorative objects present in the tank. You can simply place it over the gravel in the sieve

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 7

Step 2. Run warm water over the gravel

Take the gravel and shake it side by side to remove dirt, excrement and food debris. For more thorough cleaning, use your hands.

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 8

Step 3. Rinse the aquarium and decorative objects with warm water

Use a soft sponge to clean the glass. Dry the decorative items well with a paper towel and set it aside.

Never use soap on any object present in the aquarium or on the tank itself. Residues can remain and harm the fish

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 9

Step 4. Fill the tank again

Put the gravel and plants back in the tank before filling it. Then pour in the new water and condition it. Follow the instructions on the conditioner label to determine the amount needed to apply to the aquarium.

  • Use a plastic spoon to stir the water in order to mix the conditioner well with the fresh water.
  • Remember to reserve enough space for the original water that was removed from the aquarium. Pour out the old water stored inside as soon as the new one has been conditioned. Mix them well.
Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 10

Step 5. Wait until the water settles and reaches room temperature

The aquarium water must be at the same temperature as the previous one, between 18 and 27 °C. If you change her temperature too sharply, your fish WILL die.

It may take a while for the water to reach room temperature. Look at it after half an hour with a thermometer to make sure the temperature is similar to the room the aquarium is in. If it is not at room temperature, wait another half hour and check the value again

Clean a Betta Fish Tank Step 11

Step 6. Reintroduce the Betta fish into the tank

Slowly place the cup (where the fish was) in the tank and tilt it slightly. Your fish will slowly come out of the container on its own. Be careful in this process, or it can hurt your fins.

Keep an eye out for your Betta. Once out of the container, he will start exploring the aquarium. Leave it until the tank returns to the state it was in and rejoice while your fish swims and observes all the news that is in its new environment


  • If you have an aquarium, try cleaning it every weekend. Bettas need big tanks. Avoid buying a bowl or vase as they don't like small spaces. The bigger the better.
  • It is not necessary to have heaters in the aquarium, but try to keep the water at 27 or 28 °C. If you don't have a heater, always keep the water at room temperature. Bettas can live happily under these conditions.
  • It is important that there are no hard plastic plants in the aquarium, or they could injure or tear the fish's fins. If you have plastic plants, try taking the 'pantyhose test'. Rub them against a pair of pantyhose and see if they fray or tear at the point of contact. If this happens, it indicates that they could also tear off the beautiful fins and tail of your Betta fish. It is better to use silk or live plants, as live plants serve the fish as a resting place as well as being able to oxygenate the water.
  • The aquarium must have a capacity of at least 9, 5 l. If it is smaller, the fish may bite its own fins due to stress.


  • Always be careful when handling a Betta fish. If you're not nice, he could get hurt.
  • Never leave it alone during a trip (for more than three days). Ask a friend to come feed you and change your water.
  • Do not place the Betta next to any sunny window, ventilation duct, or dusty location. Sunlight can encourage algae growth, and dusty or windy areas can contribute to increased dirt in the aquarium.

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