Skip to Content

How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank (Easy Guide)

How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank (Easy Guide)

A few minutes of looking at an aquarium with fish helps us to relax and relax and what we can offer to the fish in the aquarium is a clean environment, care, and attention.

A clean environment ensures that fish are healthy but also that the aquarium and decorations will last long, as well as a pleasant smell in the room.

When we think of aquarium fish, one of the best-known and loved species is Betta or, as it is called, the Siamese fighter fish. You surely know them, they are present in all specialist stores and almost all pet shops. They are those fish, brightly colored, with very large fins for males and as strongly colored.

Another way to recognize them is through the extremely small size of the aquarium in which they are kept, especially in stores. Together with the classic golden quartz, these two species are probably among the most abducted in the aquarium world. This is especially true when it comes to the size and complexity of the aquariums in which they are kept.

If we look a little from where this species comes from, which decides correctly bed-tah and not like the Greek beta, we will better understand why they are being abused. It comes from Thailand and Cambodia and inhabits the ponds where rice grows, shallow lakes and slow rivers.

These are complex ecosystems with a large area. In nature, a male may have a territory of one square meter, which is far more than a normal aquarium for betta.

It is true that in the dry season, for a limited period, this species can live in extreme conditions, ie very limited space, dirty water, and little food. But that does not mean they prefer to live in such conditions!

If you offer them a generous aquarium with natural or fake plants, as well as beautiful stones and aquariums, they will feel safe and have a more natural way of exploring and interacting with their environment, which will make them be happier and healthier. On the other hand, we, as observers, will enjoy a dynamic and lively corner.

How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank

Cleaning the aquarium may seem a complex process for a beginner, but in time, gaining experience will become easy to accomplish. Secrets that provide us with a clean, orderly and beautiful aquarium are patience and passion.

It is recommended that we change between 10 and 30% of the aquarium water weekly and not all at once because such a change is too strong and stressful for fish. This amount of water can be removed from the aquarium with a hose and another container, and also with water, it is ideal to remove the dirt from the bottom of the aquarium.

For better water quality and for a clean aquarium, it is best to use filters and pumps with a filtering capacity adapted to the size of the aquarium.

At the same time, when you change water, do not insist on cleaning plants, substrate or pump sponges, because you can remove bacteria that are useful in the aquarium ecosystem.

We can greatly reduce the amount of dirt in the aquarium and so enjoy a clean aquarium for a long time, giving fish the best amount of food, never more so as not to leave debris in the water that will rot and alter the water.

To avoid the appearance of algae, we’d best put the aquarium in a sunless area, but we’re buying a light bulb in the aquarium. When cleaning the aquarium, use only cold water, no detergents or other chemicals.

There are special vacuum cleaners for the bottom of the aquarium, so you will remove the deposits of algae, food waste and other wastes found in the aquarium.

It is advisable to read the operating instructions before using it to avoid accidents and unpleasant situations or damage to the decorations.

When the aquarium decoration objects are covered with a layer of algae deposition, it would be better to feed the fish less often, because the algae deposited on the aquarium walls and on the decorations are a sign of excess nutrients in the water. Cleaning of the decorations will be done only with cold water and can be easily rubbed with a cloth or sponge.

The aquarium walls can be cleaned with a damp cloth, and where there are dirt deposits, it is possible to put ammonia to make it work for 1-2 hours, then wipe well.

Betta Fish

Another option for dirt deposits on the walls of the aquarium is the special or improvised blade, a tool that cleans the deposits on the walls very well.

The filter also requires cleaning, but not very often, to maintain the bacterial flora that has been created and which maintains the biological balance in the aquarium.

The water that has been removed from the aquarium first should be allowed to clear, then carefully poured back, but without dropping the deposits on the bottom of the bucket, which was seated.

Once you have inserted the old water in the aquarium, fill with fresh water to the optimum level, then add the decoration items, and finally the fish.

How Often Should we Clean a Betta Tank

Although it seems a commonplace, many beginner aquarists make big mistakes in maintaining an aquarium. Buying an aquarium with a few fishmongers is just the first step, the passion for aquarist is only the beginning.

The first thing we need to understand is that an aquarium is a biotope and that there are thousands of other microorganisms in the aquarium, not just the fish that are visible to the naked eye, so we need to have a balance.

I would like to talk about the bacteria that form in the aquarium. There are 2 types of bacteria: good and bad:

Bad bacteria form in an unhealthy aquarium and attack fish that get sick and die. We do not want that in the aquarium, so there are disinfectants that we use when we see that a fish does not feel good, but I recommend you to prevent it. An aquarium is a great responsibility if you want to have healthy and living fish you need to pay attention to.

Good bacteria are formed in the filter and decompose ammonia into nitrites, then nitrates. These bacteria are vital to the aquarium if you do not recommend a charcoal filter.

Once you have installed the filter, you can add 2 bactosil pills per 100 liters of water, these pills will nourish the newly formed bacteria and help them multiply. Good bacteria nitrify the aquarium, form the balance we spoke at first, and we do not have to change the water so often.

I do not agree with the change of water often (1-2 weeks), if the water is not dirty and does not smell bad (the presence of algae and bad bacteria give a bad smell to water) means water is good, bacteria and the filter do their job and the fish are lively.

An aquarist must make a difference between the two. A lot of water changes can damage the balance of the aquarium, so fish will be prone to disease.

I want to insist on the subject of bacteria and tell you that if you see a sick fish it is good to separate it in a “quarantine” aquarium until it heals.

More: Coolest Freshwater Fish

On the market there are all sorts of disinfectants that once put into the water will kill all the bacteria, including the good ones, which means that until it develops again, the balance is destroyed. I am totally against this process that should be avoided as much as possible.

Natural plants also help to balance, because a CO2-filled aquarium favors the formation of bad bacteria and parasites, the plants consume CO2 when they do photosynthesis for 12 hours of light a day.

Take care of the plants, but especially of the algae that will form, they will give a look and an unpleasant smell to the aquarium. If you are infested with algae, you have a big problem, but let’s talk about how to get rid of them in future articles. Dead plants must be removed immediately because they break down and destroy water quality.

On the market, there are water quality testers, pH and dGH values, which I recommend to use once a month or after each water change.

After understanding the importance of bacteria and balance in the aquarium let’s see how we make a water change:

2 days before we will put the water in the decant in large cans without a stopper or in plastic buckets. I recommend you to change 30% of total water volume or 50% if you have problems with water. Water decanting allows evaporation of chlorine used for disinfection, but today there are substances that do this within 10 minutes, I recommend both.

Under no circumstances do not remove all the water, put the fish in a jar, wash the aquarium and the water jet filter and then put everything back because you will destroy all the balance and the fish will be prone to diseases.

This is one of the most fatal mistakes I’ve ever encountered in the beginners, and more so, I’m hearing it at pet shop vendors who teach customers the first time to fish.

Using a hose, siphon the dirt accumulated on the bottom of the aquarium, be careful with the small fishponds who are curious to see what you are doing and that can be pulled by the current. I recommend that you place a small mesh over the mouth of the hose to prevent this.

After removing 30% add decanted water that must have the same temperature, large differences between the temperature of the aquarium and the decanter water temperature can kill more sensitive fish. Water does not pour the bucket into the aquarium, with the same hose we put the water back into the aquarium.

When we are done, we test them to check the values.

More: Can You Put a Betta With a Ghost Shrimp?

Is tap water good for betta fish?

This depends on where you live. Some locations may have good tap water, water that has not been treated with a lot of chemical and some locations may have water that is full in chlorine.

Bettas a quite resistant and they don’t mind having a bit of chlorine in their water.

To answer this question, Id says that tap water is ok for bettas, as long as you leave it to sit in a bucket for about 1-2 hours prior to putting it in the tank.

Betta fish

My betta died, how do I clean the tank?

It is a sad moment when we lose one of our fish. It happened to me a lot at it saddens me every time one of my fish dies.

In order to clean the tank, you should firstly remove the dead fish from the tank. You can dispose of it how you see fit, some people prefer to throw it down the sink or toilet and some like to bury them. It is up to you.

After that has been done, you should start removing all the water from the tank and all the decorations and substrate. You can put the substrate in a spare bucket and the decorations as well.

The substrate and decorations should be washed carefully to remove any pathogen that might live in them. If you are unsure of why your fish died.

After that, you should clean the glass of the tank with chloride and rinse it many times in clean tap water to remove the chloride from the glass. ALWAYS rinse the glass or any decorations that you washed with chlorine! Too much chlorine is deadly to any fish.

Once you made sure that the glass, decorations, and substrate are clean and washed, you can put the tank back together and get another fish to live in it.

By now, any pathogen that was inside the tank has gone and the tank is ready to receive a new fishy.

How often should I clean my 1-gallon betta tank?

Bettas can live in almost any conditions, they are strong fish. You should only clean the tank when you notice a fowl smell coming from the water or when you see algae starting to form in the glass.

How often should I clean my 2-gallon betta tank?

A 2 gallon that is quite large for betta fish. But as with any other tank, they should be cleaned as soon as the water starts having a foul smell or when algae are present. For larger tanks, a 10-30% water change every 1 week is recommended, especially when there is no filtration system.

Easy tips for a good tank cleaning

  • Keep in mind that a larger aquarium is easier to maintain and clean than a small aquarium.
  • Choose a suitable hose or syphon to remove the correct amount of water in your aquarium. Choosing the size of the vacuum cleaner is based on the size of your aquarium.
  • Disinfect the vacuum cleaner every time you finish cleaning the aquarium by cleaning it with hot water. It is an important detail because this removes the danger that certain microbes or microbes can be reintroduced into the water at the next cleaning.
  • Consider leaving the water rest for a while. Some people let the water decant 12 hours before using it to remove the chlorine from it. Consider whether this process works on the water in your area. If it does not use a product to remove chlorine from aquarium water.


To maintain a high quality of water for fish, it is important to partially renew the water in the aquarium for equal periods of time.

Find out how to do this correctly, with a minor risk for fish and aquarium plants, keeping clean and clear water.

  • Check if water renewal is really needed and, before doing so, check the smell and color of the water. The first step is to check the water quality.
  • Is it a healthy living environment for fish? If the smell is very dubious and the color is not clean but rather cloudy, the next logical step is checking the water filters.
  • Remember that the water change must be partial, not total.

If you followed all the steps described in the first part of the article, you should have a clean tank for your betta fish and the fish will be happy. Keep in mind that a clean and well-maintained fish tank contributes to the wellbeing of the fish inside it and you can enjoy having one beautiful aquarium in your room.

Although bettas are sturdy fish, even the strongest are in need of some assistance from time to time. Keep good care of your little aquatic friends.