How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank [Full Guide]

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Let’s start with a question and you will have to answer me hand-on-heart. What is the most irritating thing about keeping betta? It is nothing but cleaning the betta fish tank- as everybody admitted.

If you have a betta fish, you must go through the fuss of cleaning the tank you keep it in. While betta fish are low maintenance, but like other fishes, they also make quite a piece of wasteland. As a result, the tank needs cleaning from time to time.

Don’t have any idea on how to clean a betta fish tank?

After going through this article, you will undoubtedly have an idea of cleaning the fish tank for your adored betta.

First of all, let’s see how often your betta fish tank needs cleaning.


How Often Should You Clean A Betta Tank?

Depending on the tank size, setup, and the number of fishes, you can determine the interval of cleaning your tank.

You should never keep a betta in a tank smaller than 5-gallon. The smaller the tank will be, the more frequent cleaning it will require. If you don’t have a filter and have more than one fish in the tank, you have to clean it every week. If you don’t clean it every 2 weeks, it might become a wasteland. If the tank size is smaller than 5 gallons, you will need to change an adequate amount of water every 2 to 3 days.

Larger tanks don’t require cleaning much often. They can go about 3 to 4 weeks without full cleaning although it’s good sense to change 10 to 15 percent of the water every two weeks or so. Having a betta filter reduces all the hassle of cleaning the tank more often.

Having a planted fish tank can reduce the number of required cleaning. If you have a large planted tank with a good filter and balanced ecosystem, it can go up to 2 months without any cleaning. We always recommend keeping your betta in at least 5-gallon tank so that you don’t have to clean it very often.


14 Steps to Clean Your Betta Fish Tank Easily

1. Gather the Tools You’ll need before cleaning:

You’ll need some supplies to do the cleaning. Such as-

  • Freshwater
  • A brush or sponge
  • Sink
  • A temporary container for the fish
  • Water Conditioner
  • Algae Scrubber
  • Gravel Vaccum Cleaner
  • Fishnet

2. Clean and Wash Your Hands

Before you start to clean the betta tank, you must clean and wash your hands properly. You certainly don’t want to introduce unwanted germs and bacteria to the tank.

3. Turn off all the Electric Equipment

Before starting, you must turn off all the electric connections your fish tank set up. You should disconnect the filter, heater, LED lights, and other appliances.

4. Preparing the Water

Now, you will need to have your water prepared. Because changing the water is a must even if you’re not cleaning the whole tank.

Unconditioned tap water is not appropriate for any kind of fish. Bettas are no different.

While using tap water, make sure to neutralize the harmful chemicals using a water conditioner. You can also get rid of the chemicals by keeping the tap water out for a day or two.

Doesn’t matter what type of water you use, it’s necessary to keep the temperature the same as the tank.

5. Removing The Fish From The Tank

You wouldn’t want to clean your tank while keeping the fish in the tank. So, take out your fish from the tank and retain him in a temporary container for a while.

To take out your fish just put some tank water in the container. Then use a fishnet to pick up the fish from the tank. And put him in the container with tank water. This way, you can do the cleaning without worrying about your fish at all.

An expert says- Cover the bowl you keep him in, so it doesn’t jump out of it.

6. Removing Decorations

Now take out all the decorations, plants, and accessories. So, you get all the space required to clean the tank properly. You can clean all of these separately because your fish apparently spends most of its time around them. So, it’s necessary to keep the decorations clean as well.

7. Remove The Remaining Tank Water

Just like we discussed above, you will be changing a definite amount of water depending on your tank size.

In the case of a smaller tank, around 50% of water needs to be changed. This means you will be keeping half of the tank water unchanged. You will need to set this half aside and use it again after cleaning the tank. You will need to do the same for a larger tank. Only this time the reusable water will be 90%.

It is necessary to keep some original tank water otherwise complete water change can harm your betta fish. Because a sudden change in the environment is not very welcoming to anyone.

8. Getting Rid of Water to Be Changed

After you are done keeping the reusable water aside, it’s time to throw away the rest of the water.

Just pour out the water to be thrown away. But make sure to keep an eye on your gravel. It might fall out. You can also use a strainer to stop the falling of gravel.

You can now clean your tank properly after dumping the unnecessary water.

9. Cleaning Decorations

Clean all your decorations using warm water and a soft scrubber. It is better not to use any soap or chemicals to clean your decorations. As there is always some residue left that might harm your fish. After cleaning, keep them on a towel.

10. Cleaning The Gravel

Gravel is the component where all the dirt of the tank gets stored. So undeniably this is the filthiest part of the container. You can clean your gravel by running warm water over it while rubbing it with your hands. Keep doing this until it’s immaculate.

11. Cleaning and Scrubbing the Tank

Finally, get to the part of cleaning your tank. Carry your tank over to the sink. Run it through warm water while rubbing the bottom and the sides with a soft brush. It is essential to give a good scrub in the corners.

Keep in mind to not use any chemical substance or soap to clean the tank.

12. Putting Back Gravel And Decorations

After you’re done cleaning everything you can now put back all of it. Firstly, put the gravel back to its position and arrange it properly. Then put the decorations and accessories the way you like.

Finally, reattach everything you had removed for cleaning.

13. Refilling Tank With Water

It’s time to fill the tank with water. First, take the reusable tank water you set aside before. Then use the water you prepared before to fill the rest of the tank. Mix it up a little.

Then check the pH and temperature of the tank to match it with the earlier environment. You wouldn’t want a different feel in the tank, trust me.

14. Putting The Fish Back In

All it is left is to put the fish back in the tank. Just take the container you kept your fish in, tilt it until the fish can swim out.

Your betta fish has now gotten home as good as new. Now just watch him swimming.

Betta Tank Cleaning


How often to clean a betta fish tank with filters?

When and how to clean the aquarium with a filter? There is no universal answer to the question of how often the aquarium needs cleaning.

The frequency of cleaning depends on the number of living organisms based on the volume of water. Also, it depends on the strength of the filter attached to it.

When we talk about changing the aquarium water, we mean, of course, not to empty the aquarium and refill it (that would be impossible without harming the betta fish, but to replace approximately 20% -25% of its volume for clean water.

The cleaning can take place weekly to every six months. If you have a good betta filter, it can go up to 6 to 8 weeks without cleaning. But we will advise you to clean bi-weekly for better results.


What to Consider While Cleaning the Betta Filters

The internal and external filters must be cleaned every 3 or 4 weeks under normal conditions.

If the aquarium is very populated or there have wastes in the water, you need to clean it very often. Or else, it would be challenging for bettas to survive.

Beginners, unwittingly, often destroy all the filtering capabilities of a filter when cleaning, for example, by trying to clean it thoroughly, using too hot water, and so on. And this is why because of the ignorance of fundamental parameters of the cleaning process.

Poor cleaning makes the filter useless or even dangerous for betta’s life! You need not be an expert, but you should have the least minimum knowledge.

The filter media (foams and bacterial carriers) for the aquarium is essential to take the utmost care of. It adds a mechanical action of the filtration of particles and biological responses.

The most significant thing is when cleaning the filter, do not use hot water, cold water, or water mixed with cleaning products as this water will kill all the good bacteria and make the filter sterile.

A filter needs two to three weeks to replenish a population of bacteria sufficient to clean the aquarium.


How Often Should I Change My Betta’s Water?

Before diving into this, allow me to dissect another query that shot from the newbie’s end. Some of them ask-

Do you need to change betta’s water?

The aquarium is a small living ecosystem. In other words, it has its natural processes that make everything work correctly.

At the end of the nitrogen decomposition chain in the aquarium, nitrates appear. Although plants consume this nitrate and reduce the level of nitrate contained in the aquarium, it usually is not enough. So, we will have to do something to eliminate these harmful substances for the aquarium.

There is another reason to change the water, and that is the water itself is consumed. With the incorporation of new water, we provide new minerals, trace elements, and nutrients that help your betta fish.

How often should I change my betta’s water?

Different experts believe in different doctrines. But all of them are agreed on one point- Changing the water depends on the characteristics of the aquarium.

For example, if we have more betta fish, we must make more water changes.

If we have more plants, we can make fewer water changes.

The important thing is to understand that the water changes help us to lower the aquarium nitrates. Utilizing the aquarium nitrate test, we can check if we are at acceptable levels.

However, we can draw some general rules that will give us a proper orientation. There are two options:

In a week

Each week you will have to change between 20% and 30% of the total useful volume of water. To know the necessary amount of the aquarium, we have to subtract from the capacity of the aquarium, everything that occupies space in our aquarium.

For example, if you have a 100-liter aquarium, you have to remove approximately 15% (plants, rocks, etc.). So the volume is real (85 liters). That means you will have to change between 17 and 25 liters. (20% of 85 and 30% of 85).

In a fortnight 

It changes approximately 30% to 40% water every 15 days. Following the previous example with an 85 liters aquarium, do the change between 25 to 34 liters.

betta fish swimming


How to change the aquarium water?

To make the water change, we will need a series of utensils that will help us to perform this task much more comfortably and more effectively.

What do you need?

First, you must get buckets or containers to be able to take the water out of the aquarium, as well as to introduce the new one.

Important Note: They must be a container if possible a new one. So, foreign substances cannot get into the aquarium from any other accommodations.

And second, get a pump for the aquarium. Introduce it in the aquarium and clean the bottom, mainly the gravel.

To change the water, follow two simple steps below-

Ready Up The Water

The tap water contains chlorine. So if we use this water to fill the aquarium, we must add a water conditioner that will remove the chlorine concentration in water and other potentially harmful substances as well.

This whole process takes time, and we must be sure that the water we add to our aquarium has the indicated parameters.

A faster way to perform this process is to use osmosis water that is already inert to place in our aquarium. But although it is treated, that does not mean we have to control the parameters and add the traces.

Pour it in the aquarium

Now, gradually introduce the new water into the aquarium using a water pump. Or you can place the water container above the level of the aquarium. Then with the help of a tube, let the water circulate to the inside of the aquarium.

You must take into account the temperature. It is recommended to preheat the water so that betta does not suffer any damage.

As a general rule, this would be the way to make water changes, but this will also depend on the technical specifications of each aquarium.

Therefore, it is essential that if your aquarium has unique characteristics, get help to change the water.


Can you use Tap Water for Betta Fish Tank?

Tap water contains dangerous ingredients like Chloramine. Chloramine is a combination of Chlorine and Ammonia and is more deadly than Chlorine. These are toxic for not only the betta but also for the good bacteria in your fish tank. You must remove these harmful substances from tap water before using them. Otherwise, your betta will end up dead.  You should use a water conditioner and de-chlorinator to make the tap water usable.



As the owner of a pet, you want to ensure the best possible care you can give to your pet.

Keeping a cleaner habitat is the best way to take care of your pet, especially when it’s a betta fish. Because they don’t much care elsewhere they are very low maintenance pets.

Well, now you know how to clean a betta fish tank and give your pet a great environment to be in.

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