Although Betta fish are often celebrated as a low-maintenance fish to keep, they still require regular care. In addition to feeding, the other main task that goes into keeping your betta fish alive and well is cleaning their tank.
We’re explaining how often to clean a betta fish tank and how thorough you need to be with each clean. This guide also reviews the best ways to clean the tank and some of the consequences that can happen if the tank is not cleaned regularly enough.
While your fish doesn’t need to be walked twice a day like a dog, they still need some effort from you to stay healthy and happy. Read on for our best advice for cleaning and maintaining your betta fish tank.
So, How Often To Clean A Betta Fish Tank?
The short answer to the question is once per week for the best results. However, this frequency can increase or decrease depending on several factors, such as the size of the tank, the number of fish, plants, decorations, and more.
If you have a single fish in a completely bare tank (without plants, rocks, or other decorations), you will be able to go a bit longer in between cleanings. Without objects to collect debris and algae, the tank will stay cleaner for longer. Even with minimal decor, you should still aim to clean the tank once every two weeks.
If you have a surplus of items crowding the tank, you must keep a closer eye on buildup and consider cleaning twice weekly.
Keeping more than one fish in the tank will also affect how often you have to clean. The buildup of waste in the tank is one of the main reasons harmful bacteria develop and fish get sick.
A higher fish population means more waste is produced daily, ultimately affecting how quickly the tank gets dirty and needs cleaning.
Should You Get a Filter for a Betta Fish Tank?
While a filter is unnecessary to ensure betta fish are healthy in their tanks, it can make the cleaning burden much more manageable.
With a filter in place, you can likely get away with a light cleaning every other week and deep cleaning once a month. Remember to change the cartridge on the filter when doing the deep clean to keep it working effectively.
In addition to or instead of a mechanical filter, you can add some all-natural cleaners! There are certain species of snails, shrimp, and crabs that feed on algae and thus help keep the tank pristine. However, not all algae-eaters are compatible with betta fish. Be sure to research beforehand to determine which species can comfortably coexist with your betta.
How Do You Clean a Betta Fish Tank?
No matter how often you clean the fish tank, you will follow the same general steps each time.
1. The first thing you will do is remove around half of the water in the tank. Completely changing out the water can put your fish into a state of shock and result in their death.
2. Carefully remove your fish from the tank and place them into the bowl of the reserved water. Bettas are known to jump around out of the water, so a container with a lid is recommended.
3. Remove any rocks, plants, plastic coral, and other decorations from the tank. Then, pour the water out of the tank through a strainer to collect the gravel from the bottom.
4. Rinse the gravel with warm water while agitating the pieces with your hands to remove waste, algae, and other debris. Set aside. Use more water to rinse off the decorations and furniture.
5. Use a scrubbing brush and warm water to clean the inside of the tank. Never use soap or any other chemical cleaner inside a fish tank. Fish are extremely sensitive to their external surroundings, and even the slightest trace of a chemical in their environment can be harmful.
6. Place the gravel back in the tank and refill the tank halfway with fresh water. Condition the water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the reserved water back to the tank, and wait for the temperature to regulate before putting your fish back in their home. Tropical fish need to be kept in water between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This guide should help you understand how often to clean a Betta fish tank. Ideally, you’ll clean your Betta’s aquarium once a week following our general guidelines.