TOPIC: tank size for a betta 

Q: How big of a tank is too big for a betta? I have a 20 gallon tank already and would like to use it for my betta male (Only one)

Question submitted by Vinnie, Calgary - Canada

A: Well... Huh hum.... When I saw this question I thought to myself: This is going to be a quick (but oh so much fun ;) ) one. hehehehehehehe... Then again it is 4 AM and it is like minus 10 degrees in the house right now cause our heater broke right the day (wouldn't you know it) of Thanks Giving. Repair tech will not be by until later today, so meanwhile, it becomes a bit hard to be quick and wits are at an all time low right now, cause information cannot travel along snowed in brain pathways. LOL. Brrrrr... It's cold in here! Yesterday I was in the fishroom handing out blankets and warm chocolate to all the bettas who then decided to all jump into one jar to snuggle and keep themselves warm ;)... (yop, that would be the day!). "Wait" (one of you mumbles). "Where did she say she lives again?.... What? SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA??? Hah! Wussy girl can't take a little cold, he? Wussy girl thinks she is having it rough he?" (etc etc I'll spare you the rest).

OK, OK, so maybe it is not THAT cold, but I like whining a little every now and then ;)... Besides, the Boober (our rottie) seems to think it is cold, too cause she is lying next to the portable heater (there!). Ooops... Wait. Did I just give away the fact that there is a heater in my room right now? Shocks... :) 

Well kiddos, frozen or not here I come! Vinnie (who knows what REAL cold is LOL) asks: "How big is too big?"... Mmmmmm... Well.... (blush) Vinnie, I am not sure that I am really at liberty to discuss this here LOL but here is my two cents: Here is the answer you guys were all hoping for: SIZE DOES NOT MATTER (then here comes the aoutch part) BUT (yes there is a but) THE BIGGER THE BETTER.

There. I've said it. Resent me for it if you will, this is the truth so live with it. hehehehehe...

On a more serious note now, almost everything I said above is true. (Aoutch X2).  When it comes to housing your finned friends, there is no such thing as too large of a tank/jar (what did you think I was talking about, he?) . The larger your tank, the higher your water quality will remain and the healthier your betta will be! Further more there has been evidence that bettas kept in large tanks lived very long (up to 5 years in some cases). Your betta is more likely to exercise (cause ina large tank you will have room to set up a betta Gym, with work out bench, weights, and all) and this will help its longevity. 20 gallon you say? In Domine patris blablablus I give you my blessings :)). Granted, in a larger tank, it might be harder to spot your betta. It will be also hard to place another betta near it to trigger some reaction. But me personally if all I had was one betta I would want it to have a very nice environment and surely a 20 gallon tank would qualify as such! Remember you will have to heat this tank, and will need to select a heater of adequate size. The colder your room, the bigger the tank and the more powerful the heater will need to be. (well unless you live in Southern California that is) (hehehehehehe). In Southern California, all we need is a blanket and a hot chocolate and the bettas are happy ;). 

Now before you use your 20 gal tank for your betta make sure your tank is safe. You mention: "I already have a 20 gal tank". So let me touch up on an important topic here: For all of you who are using tanks or bowls that have housed fish in the past: You must make sure they are properly sanitized first! (To learn how to sanitize a used tank/jar click here.)  This is true of used tanks you purchase at a garage sale, or of tanks you have owned for years yourself. The thing is: If it has been in contact with fish in the past, it may still have bacteria in it today. Yes, even years later. Some strains of bacteria are very resilient and will survive in a dry environment, in the sun, in the light, in the cold, in the heat... They'll just sit here, patiently, for yearrrrrrs until the day come when you grab that tank, add water and fish and the opportunity to KILL KILL KILL presets itself once again for the ever so patient bacteria. In a way, they work sorta like vampires. Get the idea? So even if your tank was air dried for 100 year, I would STILL sanitize it before re using it. Your best bet is to sanitize it a bit ahead of time and really give it a chance to be rinsed 3 times and if you can, and to be put in the sun for a few days. Granted, some of us (like the real wussy spoiled ones who live in southern California) have more sun than others.. ;). Sunlight will help neutralize any residual bleach left. As an alternative, or if you are really anal retentive (like me LOL) you can fill your tank with water and add a heavy dose of amquel in it and run your filter so the filter will also be purged of residual bleach. For larger tanks, you can make a small amount of 50/50 amquel / water and simply use a clean sponge to spread it on your tanks' glass etc... and let it sit. I would let it soak for a day and then rinse it one last time. Now your tank is as good as new!

OK kids, it's almost 5AM and I a going to go back to sleep. Sweet Dreams from Wussy girl :)).