Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Transport Betta Fish (Tips & Tricks)

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

Betta Fish in a Bowl

Transporting your betta fish can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Bettas can be transported easily, whether in a car or simply by moving the tank to a different area of the specific environment. There may be a time when you need to move your betta, such as moving house or relocating them to a new environment. Traveling with your betta fish can be nerve-wracking, but it can be quite simple if you learn the simple tricks to keep your betta stress-free and content during the entire transportation method.

This article will provide you with expert knowledge and tips and tricks to easily transport your betta without making major changes to their physical environment.

aquarium plant divider

How to Safely Transport a Betta Fish in a Car

Transporting betta fish should be a simple process that is kept as simple as possible. Here are some tips on how you can safely transport your betta fish inside of a car.

  • Make sure that the tank or container is over 5 gallons to ensure that the water quality can be maintained during the entire trip.
  • Use a battery-operated air pump to run an air stone that can oxygenate the water.
  • Place plenty of hiding places in the tank so that the betta fish can hide if they feel unsafe.
  • Make sure to keep half of the old tank water in the transport tank so that you do not shock the betta fish with an entirely new system of water.
  • Use an anti-stress medication to minimize the amount of physical stress your betta fish will endure.
  • Place a seatbelt across the tank so that it does not move around in the vehicle. If that is not an option, they stack soft bags or pillows on either side of the tank or container to keep it stable.
betta slendens in aquarium_panpilai paipa
Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock

The Length of The Trip

The duration of the trip should not exceed 24 hours because the container will not have a properly cycled filter running during this time. The waste your betta fish produces will accumulate in the water and cause an ammonia spike. This can quickly harm your betta at levels as low as 0.1ppm. General travel time with live fish should not exceed a few hours.

Tank Type

The type of tank or container that you use to transport your betta fish is important. The shape of the tank should not be overly tall or vulnerable in shape. A standard 5-gallon tank is recommended for transporting betta fish. Alternatively, you can use a large plastic container or shallow bucket to transport your betta fish.

Tall tanks and containers can easily tip over and not only cause immense stress to you and your betta fish but also mess with the surrounding area. For this reason, it is recommended to keep a separate smaller container with you in case the main transportation tank fails. Leaks and cracks are a huge problem during traveling and can happen out of nowhere. It is always good to be prepared in case this situation does occur.

The Number of Fish

If your betta fish is kept with other types of fish or invertebrates, you should make sure the tank is large enough to support the number of fish that will be transported in it. Keep in mind that the higher bioload can cause the water quality to foul quicker. You can also try to split the number of livestock into two different transportation tanks or containers if each one has an air stone for a supply of air.

betta and cherry shrimp in aquarium
Image Credit: Alex DeG, Shutterstock


Preparing to Travel with Your Betta Fish

The day before you plan to travel with your betta fish, you should feed them in the morning and then pack the remaining food in a travel bag. The fish should not be fed during the trip to reduce the amount of ammonia in the tank.

A travel bag should be prepared beforehand and should contain various medications, food, and the emergency container in the case that the main transport tank does leak or pose an issue.

Keeping the Optimal Water Quality

If the travel time is exceedingly long, then you should carry out minor water changes when you make a stop. About 20% of the water should be changed every 4 hours. This will keep the water parameters within the right levels.

If you are worried about the ammonia rising in the transportation tank, then you can bring a water testing kit with the test of the levels every couple of hours.

hand holding PH test
Image Credit: M-Production, Shutterstock


One of the biggest problems people face when traveling with their betta fish is maintaining the right temperature. The temperature can rapidly change inside of a car or vehicle. This can be controlled by using 24-hour disposable heating pads that will slowly release heat during the trip.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to keep another disposable heating pad in case the used one fails. Bettas are tropical fish, and the temperature should be kept between 77°F to 84°F the entire time. Try to keep the temperature within the average tank temperature your betta fish will experience. If the car naturally stays between that temperature, then the heating pad will only be necessary for nighttime.

You can get a disposable heating pad for reptiles from your local pet store. They should be placed against the outside of the tank and controlled using a standard aquatic thermometer.

aquarium plant divider

Final Thoughts

Traveling with your betta fish does not have to be a stressful experience and there are many ways to keep it as rewarding as possible. If you follow the right procedures and try to keep the travels comfortable for the betta fish, then there will be a high success rate during the whole procedure.

We hope this article has helped guide you to comfortably transport your betta fish and make the travel as fun as possible.

Related Read: How to Transfer a Betta Fish from Cup to Tank

Featured Image Credit: Sardo Michael, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database