Written by: Skylar Paige
Here’s my list of suggestions for setting up betta tank for under $100. Whether you’re completely new to bettas or an expert in the hobby, setting up a nice betta tank on a budget can be challenging, especially if you’re not into the cheap colored gravel or the “Gone Fishing” signs.
First step is to find a tank! If you have a Petco in your area, you’re in luck! Petco has a “$1 per gallon” sale multiple times a year on most of their Aqueon brand tanks. You can grab a ten gallon for $10, which is a perfect size to start your betta in. Although the minimum tank size for betta fish is 2.5 gallons, it is sometimes hard to keep the water chemistry stable in such a small environment. Ten gallons is also enough volume to add some tankmates as well (an example of a good tank mate for a ten gallon would be one or two nerite snails).
There is a common misconception that wild bettas live in small, dirty mudpuddles. However,
bettas are tropical fish that need warm, clean, gently flowing water. The way this is
accomplished in captivity is by adding a heater and a filter. You may find that most filters create
too much flow for your fish. This can be overcome by baffling a filter but that needs extra
supplies and doesn’t always buffer the flow enough. My go-to for filters is a sponge filter,
they’re small, relatively quiet, and create a great place for beneficial bacteria to live keep your
water parameters in check. They are also super easy to clean and set up, all you need is the
sponge filter, an air pump, and some tubing (see links below).
The heater is the one part of your betta tank that you don’t want to go cheap on. You don’t want a heater that will malfunction, almost all heater malfunctions are deadly to betta fish and many other types of fish. A stable temperature in your aquarium is very important, so getting a heater that is the correct wattage is key. I recommend using at least ten watts per gallon, so for your ten-gallon tank, you’ll want to use a 100-watt heater. I’d also recommend getting a heater that has an adjustable thermostat on it, which allows you to further control the temperature in your tank. See the link below for an adjustable 100-watt heater for $15.99.
The next thing you’ll need is substrate. Now the substrate can vary in price. Depending on what kind you get: options include gravel, sand, or even nothing at all (this is called a bare-bottom tank)! My suggestion is to get a substrate that is also meant for live plants. Live plants make the aquarium look more natural; however, they will need a good substrate to root in and grow. I live and breathe by Fluval Stratum. Even though it’s pricier, it’s amazing for all types of fish tanks and their inhabitants. You can typically get an 8.8-pound bag of Fluval Stratum for $22.99 on Amazon.
A good light is also needed to grow live plants, I’ve found that LED light bars that have both blue and white LEDs are the best options to grow live plants on a budget. However, they are only suitable for growing low-light plants such as anubias, java ferns, some crypts, anacharis elodea, most floating plants, and the like. You can get an adjustable Nicrew SkyLED Full Spectrum Light for $25.09 on Amazon (link below). I’ve found that they are great quality for the price and do great at growing all low-light plants and even some medium-light plants as well.
The last step for your budget aquarium is going to be adding plants. If you’re not fond of live plants or didn’t pick a substrate suitable for planting live plants, fake plants are always an option. I recommend using silk plants if you do decide against live plants. This is because they are soft and will not hurt your betta or their luscious finnage. If you do decide to work with live plants, check your nearby hobbyists to see if anyone has some good plants for a good price! However, make sure that they don’t have any pests in their tank, or you might end up getting some in your tank as well!
If you want to check out some live plants online, @marcusfishtanks has an amazing selection of all types of healthy plants for a great price and super cheap shipping. If you are looking for a jaw-dropping, show quality betta to live in your tank, check out my Instagram, @skyzthe1imit. You can also just go to straight to my website to see what’s available!
Shop for Beautiful Betta Fish: http://www.skyzthe1imitaquatics.com/store
Thanks for reading on ‘Setting up a Betta Tank for Under $100″. You may find our article on choosing a show quality betta fish valuable to you as well!
You can click the image below to see another one of our recommended betta setups that goes for only $119!