How to Put a Betta Fish in New Tank

Thinking of changing homes for your Betta fish?

Well, moving a Betta fish into a new tank can be a bit tricky, especially because they are such delicate creatures.

As a fish owner, you must be super careful when handling your Betta. Even the slightest change in behavior can be incredibly stressful for them.

Let’s discuss the steps you have to carry out to move your Betta into a new tank.

New Tank Preparation

Before you make the transfer, you must have the new tank ready and cycled for your Betta.

Here are some requirements you have to follow to ensure your Betta’s optimal health:

Tank Size

A rule of thumb is to provide every Betta fish with at least five gallons of water. Anything less than that can be detrimental to a Betta’s health.

At the same time, the tank should also not be too large for a single Betta as a vast empty space can also be stressful for them.

You must consider why you’re making a move to a new tank in the first place? Is your new tank bigger or smaller?

Are you trying to merge your Betta with other tank mates? Are you planning on breeding your Betta fish?

These could be some of the common reasons why one would want to move a Betta fish to a new tank.

If you have a group of three female Bettas, you must provide them with a new tank that can hold 15 gallons of water at least.

Crowding your Betta fish is not a good idea because they require a substantial amount of place to move around, explore, and be active.

Overcrowding a tank can lead to several problems such as lethargy, inactivity, improper distribution of food, etc.

While female Bettas can live in a sorority, male Bettas should be kept apart at all times.

There shouldn’t be more than one Betta male in a tank because they cannot live in harmony. Their overly competitive behavior can be injurious to their health.

Even for the purpose of breeding, male and female Bettas are kept in separate tanks till they reach mating age.

Hence, make sure that you are providing your Betta fish with an adequate tank size depending on the number, gender, and situation.

Water Quality

Good water quality is essential for a Bettas health, which is why you cannot resort to tap water to fill your tank.

Make sure that the water in the new tank is de-chlorinated with the proper liquids/tablets.

Do not use distilled water for this process because even though it is clean, it lacks basic nutrients Betta fish require.

Water for the new tank should be cycled at least 24 hours before you decide to put in your Betta fish.

If you place your Betta fish in chlorinated water, the harsh chemicals can make them sick and may even cause them to die in severe cases.

Water Temperature

Another important aspect is the water temperature in the tank. The ideal temperature for a Betta fish is between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you live in a hot climate, then putting your tank in a warm part of your house can keep the water temperature how Bettas like it.

However, if you do not live in a hot climate, invest in a water tank heater. The heater will be able to regulate the temperature of the water according to the Betta’s needs.


A filter is essential for keeping the water clean so that it doesn’t have to be changed as frequently.

Invest in a filter that is adjustable according to the needs of the tank.

If your filter is too strong in terms of suction and waves, then it may not keep the Betta fish comfortable. It can also be dangerous for baby Betta fries as a strong filter can suck them up.

An adjustable filter can keep the water in the tank clean and calm at the same time. Calm water is enjoyable for Betta fish, especially when they want to play or mate.

Tank Décor & Plants

Make sure you properly wash everything you are about to place in the new tank to eliminate any bacteria and germs.

Don’t skip out on tank decorations and plants because they give the Betta fish something to play with.

They like hiding places and resting their fins on plants, so any decoration and plants in the tank is a good move on your part to make your Betta’s new tank more enjoyable.

Scoop Out Your Betta

Once you feel that your new tank is cycled and ready, you must prepare to scoop out your Betta fish from the old tank.

You can either use a net or a large cup to scoop your Betta fish out gently from the water.

Don’t be very quick in your movements as it can shock your Betta fish. Do this process patiently and gently.

If you have more than one Betta fish in the old tank, then you must scoop them out gently one by one and not collectively, as this can damage their body.

Making the Transfer

As you’ve lifted up your Betta in a net or cup, you can gently place it on the water surface of the new tank.

It is absolutely crucial for the water temperature and pH of the old and new tank to match because it can lead to extreme stress for your Betta if it doesn’t.

In case you are making a transfer from a cup or plastic bag right from the pet store, make sure you pour some tank water into the container to acclimate the Betta.

Let it sit in that water for a few minutes before gently placing it in the new tank.

Make sure that you cover the container to stop your Betta fish from jumping out.

Monitor Changes

After the transfer is done, you must monitor the changes to ensure that everything went swimmingly – quite literally.

You should check your Betta fish’s behavior and eating habits to point out any signs of stress or shock.

If your Betta is swimming around and carrying on with usual activities, then it has easily accepted the change.

However, if there is a shift in behavior like refusal to eat food or excessive hiding, then there is something your Betta fish cannot adjust to.

Try checking all aspects of the tank to make sure that you are doing everything right from your end.

In terms of monitoring, always keep a close check on the water temperature because sometimes heaters malfunction.

You may not find out until after a day or two that the water has become cold for the Betta fish.

It would be best if you prevented this from happening by checking the water temperature almost daily to ensure your fish is comfortable in its space.

Stressful Activities to Avoid

Here are a few things that you should avoid because they can stress Betta fish out:

  • Do not skip the tank preparation process. Placing your Betta in a tank that hasn’t been cycled can be dangerous and stressful for the Betta.
  • Always acclimate the fish before moving it from one tank/container to a new tank. Skipping this process can cause extreme stress in the Betta because sudden temperature changes are incredibly stressful for them. They can become sick instantly with changes like these.
  • Do not move your Betta fish frequently. It is not okay for you to keep moving your Betta fish from tank to tank. The moves should be as less as possible.
  • Water changes should be frequent but not that frequent. A good filter can keep the water clean for quite some time. This is why you do not need to disturb your Betta’s environment unless you absolutely need to.
  • Place your tank in a comfortable environment where the Betta fish can feel safe and secure. Loud noises and bangs can shock a Betta fish, which is why it is best to avoid extremely noisy locations.
  • Betta fish tanks should not be in the absolute dark. Betta fish enjoy a bit of light, but not too much light either. The lighting of the area where you place the tank should be adequate – not too dark, not too bright either, just right.
  • Do not compromise on tank space and water quality because it can be detrimental to your Betta fish’s health. You should only opt for a Betta fish if you have space for it.
  • Do not place your male Bettas in one tank just for the sake of it because they will fight – and it can get ugly!

The Bottom Line

Placing a Betta fish in a new tank is not as challenging as it seems.

Just with simple steps and rules, you can learn how to care for your Betta’s needs like a pro!

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