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6 DIY Betta Fish Tank Set-Up Ideas You Can Create Today! (With Pictures)

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By Lindsey Stanton

Betta fish tank

Whether you’re new to betta fish ownership or an experienced betta keeper, setting up their tank can be a big part of the fun and excitement of getting a new fish or updating your current fish’s digs. There are lots of things to consider when setting up a tank for your betta fish. You can go with a theme or just fill the tank with plants and items your betta fish will enjoy. You have plenty of options! All you need to do is make a plan ahead of time to limit the stress on your betta fish.

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Keep in Mind

Betta fish have long, flowing tails that are beautiful and delicate. These fins can get snagged or torn on rough tank décor. This can take away some of the attractive appearance of your betta fish, as well as risking injury, stress, and illness. Items to avoid include sharp driftwood, rough aquarium ornaments, and coarse rocks. If you notice your betta is having trouble with any decorations you’ve put into their tank, remove them.

The 6 Betta Fish Tank Set-Up Ideas

1. Lucky Bamboo:

Lucky bamboo makes a great tank addition! It’s tall, fast-growing, and loves water. Lucky bamboo can be grown partially submerged, making it ideal for aquariums. If the leaves are kept above the waterline, then it should thrive. You can use multiple bamboo stalks to create a bamboo forest for your betta fish to swim through. Add in some sand paths and a pagoda or temple to create a calming scene.

2. Floating Log:

Betta fish love to find floating items in their environment and just hang out. Floating betta logs are no exception. Bettas love the sense of security they get from hanging out in the log and it’s open enough that it doesn’t block your view of your betta. Purchasing a pre-made floating log is probably going to be your best bet since these are usually made of lightweight plastic. You might be able to make your own using aquarium-safe materials at home, but keep in mind that wood will become waterlogged and sink eventually, so longer-lasting items like aquarium-safe silicone and plastic may work better.

3. Grassy Plants:

One of the most important aspects of a healthy tank for a betta is plants. Plants help bettas feel safe and secure and they provide a source of entertainment and exploration for your fish. Tall, grassy plants are a perfect addition to your betta’s tank. Plants like vallisneria and aponogeton get tall and create the grassy, seaweed-like environment that brings comfort to your betta fish.

4. Floating Plants:

If tall plants aren’t your thing, maybe you’d prefer some floating plants. Some plants, like dwarf water lettuce and Amazon frogbit, create long, dangling roots that bettas enjoy swimming through and hiding in. Floating plants have the added bonus of creating shade within the tank, decreasing algae blooms and sheltering low-light plants. Floating plants often encourage bettas to create bubble nests and may even lead to breeding in pairs.

5. Leaf Shelf:

aquarium driftwood with plants
Image Credit: Praisaeng, Shutterstock

A great alternative to floating logs is leaf shelves. You can purchase pre-made leaf shelves that suction to the side of your tank, allowing your betta fish a place to rest and relax. A leaf shelf often has the same effect as floating plants, creating a sense of security that may encourage bubble nest building.

6. Four Seasons:

If you’re feeling especially creative, a “four seasons” tank theme can provide you the opportunity to do multiple themes or designs, all within the same tank. This can be achieved with different substrates equally distributed, each in its own section of the tank. In these different substrates, you can add different types of plants from the other sections, creating the illusion of changing seasons or different environments from section to section.

This may be difficult to maintain and once the substrates mix, there’s no unmixing them. Rocks, pebbles, or ornaments can be used to separate the different substrates to cover any blurred lines between them. Some people even use tank dividers so they can keep multiple fish in one tank, all with their own unique environment. Get as creative as you want!

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Providing an exciting, enriching environment for your betta fish doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated! You pretty much have free reign over designing your betta’s tank in a way that makes both of you happy. Lighting and plants can be used to create variable environments and aquarium décor can be changed out from time to time to create new and exciting environments.

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Featured Image Credit: Kosit Pajuthai, Shutterstock

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