Anybody who has kept fish, whether it be a large built in aquarium or a small betta bowl, knows there is a lot involved with creating an ecosystem that can sustain life. We have filters, lighting, food, nets, testing equipment, medication, sponges & scrapers, dechlorinators, and the list goes on. There are a lot of aquarium supplies that are helpful to keep on hand, but here is our list of the the Top 5 must-haves Betta Fish care supplies.

5. Aquarium Water Conditioner

Water Conditioner for Bettas

Imagitarium Water Conditioner

A good quality conditioner will not only neutralize chlorine but will also handle chloramines  and heavy metals. City water is often treated with chloramines, a compound that is longer lasting and more resilient than chlorine. This is why the water aging method that was popular before decholorinators where available to fish keepers is no longer enough. Even if you don’t use city water it is necessary to treat your betta’s water for heavy metals, which can poison your fish. We like Water Conditioner. This product is great because it not only breaks the bond between chloramines, but it then neutralizes the ammonia byproduct making your aquarium less toxic for your betta.

4. Adjustable Temperature Aquarium Heater

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t get an email from a reader concerned that their betta fish isn’t active enough. There are lots of reasons a betta could become sluggish but the most common reason for inactivity is tank water that is too cold. Betta fish are tropical and while they may survive in cool water they often become lethargic and susceptible to stress induced illnesses like Ich, Velvet, or Cotton Wool Disease. The ideal temperature for a betta tank is a stable 78°F (25.5°C). A couple of degrees warmer or cooler is fine so long as it doesn’t fluctuate. A good mini-heater allows for temperature adjustment, is fully submersible and has an indicator light allowing you to know when it is heating. One to try is the Aqueon Pro 50 Submersible Aquarium Heater for smaller aquariums.

3. Wide-spectrum antibiotic

Betta Fish Antibiotic

Maracyn Plus by Mardel Labs

Betta fish are susceptible to a variety of diseases but keeping a medicine cabinet full of pills and drops to treat parasites, bacterial infections, viruses, and fungus isn’t realistic. Most will expire past their sell-by date before you ever have the change to use them. Tropical fish medicine is not terribly expensive, but if you try to buy everything you might possibly need you will spend more than you’d need to. There are a few common illnesses that require medication like Ich, Velvet and Fin Rot, however; these diseases don’t usually cause rapid deterioration or death. If you notice Ich parasites on your betta fish, for example, it is usually fine to wait until the next day to get to the store to by medicine. If you are going to keep one medicine on hand, I suggest a wide spectrum antibiotic that can be used to treat illness that come on fast and are very serious, such as septicemia, popeye, and particularly virulent strains of flexibacter columnaris (Cotton Wool Disease). Dr. G’s Anti Bacterial Caviar uses a combination Sulfadimidine and Trimethoprim. Both active ingredients treat gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial infections.

2. Dip-stick Aquarium Water Test Strips

Quick-dip test strips are easy to use and offer several results in one test. These strips do not give very accurate results compared to reagent based aquarium water test kits, but they are great for the average betta keeper who isn’t willing to dedicate a lot of time and money to their betta fish. They will offer you a base line reading for Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, hardness and alkalinity. Before you can treat any illness or behavior problem you must identify the cause. Tropical fish are so sensitive to their environment that even minor fluctuations can cause problems. Every fish owner, whether they have a 1 gallon betta bowl or a 100 gallon built-in aquarium needs to test their water regularly. The most popular dip-stick test available is the Tetra 19543 EasyStrips 6-in-1 Test Strips, 100-Count

1. Ammonia Test Kit

Ammonia Test for Betta Tanks

API Ammonia Test Kit

Of all the aquarium supplies available for betta fish the #1 most important item to have is an ammonia test kit. That’s right, testing is so vital that it has taken up two spots at the top of our Top 5 Must-have Betta Fish Care Items. Unfortunately the Quick-Dip tests do not test for ammonia, which is the single most dangerous chemical naturally occurring in your betta fish tank. Ammonia is the byproduct of fish waste and other decaying debris like uneaten fish food and dead plant matter. Even low levels of ammonia can lead to gill damage, weakened immune system and Fin Rot. Because most fish keepers don’t keep their bettas in filtered, cycled aquariums, ammonia testing is a must. There are a lot of good ammonia test kits available. I find that the API Ammonia 130 test Kit, which uses reagent bottles and a test tube, offers a reliable test for not a lot of money.

Of course there are aquarium supplies your betta fish can’t live without, such as a tank and nutritious food. Once you get the vary basics provided for your betta we hope that you will consider these important items on our Top 5 must-have Betta Fish care supplies.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Erica flowers says:

    Can u put two betta fish in a bowl together??

    • machelle says:


    • marquai says:

      you should never put a betta fish together in a bowl unless they are trained (which is hard and takes years to do).if they are not trained dont put them together unless you are breeding them and once the eggs come out take the female out immediatly!once the father has tooken care of the babies when thay are old enough move them away or the dad willl kill it!

      • Lindsey says:

        Female bettas can be kept together under certain circumstances, but definitely not in a bowl. Male bettas should never be kept together. In the wild, they’ll fight over territory and the loser swims away. In a tank, they’ll fight to the death because there is nowhere else to escape to.

    • bettatrice says:

      If you put two Bettas together, then they will kill each other. Male+male=one dead
      Male+female=one dead
      Female+female=one dead
      You have to be experienced to know when to have two females together

  2. Badriah says:

    It’s not recomened.

  3. Kathy says:

    I have a Nikken water system for purifying and alkalizing water to drink. Can this water be used for a betts?

    • marquai says:

      maybe, if you out them in a 5 gal. dont put more than 35 galleons because it can cause an algae bloom which can be very deadly.

    • Lindsey says:

      Yes. I’ve used alkaline water from a filter for my betta and he’s done great with it.

  4. Gabriel Brasil says:

    Obrigado pelas informaçõs me ajudou muito. parabéns pelo trabalho

  5. Michelle Espinoza says:

    Is it ok to put a female and male Betta in the same tank?

  6. Ita says:

    Dear Christie F,
    I am so worried about my male veil-tail betta fish….I need help! First of all, I bought him from a PetCo and he was the most active one there, swimming in his little cup. It has been a little over 6mos. now and I recently noticed he has been VERY lethargic. He won’t swim around, never flares his fins. Only if I tap on his glass or shake the bowl will he stir. But after a few seconds of swimming, he’ll just float to the top or stay at the bottom, motionless. He lives in a 1gal fishbowl with no filtration, some fake plants, fake mini coral reef, and a heater. Twice I have found him floating on his side on a plant, and on one occasion he was at a diagonal angle at the top of his bowl. Other than that, he seems fine. I haven’t tested his Ammonia and pH levels, but I do use Betta Water Conditioners and I have always assumed that it would soak up all the bad stuff.
    So what worries me most is his behavior:
    -Never Flares Fins.
    -Never Swims Around Unless I Shake The Bowl Or Tap The Glass
    How do I fix it? I really want him active and flaring and showy again, just like he used to be. I am so worried right now and praying its nothing serious. . . . . . .WHAT SHOULD I DO??????
    Other Info: I clean his unfiltered fishbowl once a week. Sometimes I let it sit for two weeks. I feed him Wardley’s Betta Pellets, six pellets a day, three days a week. ALSO: I am only 10 years old and I am worrying my head off.
    Here’s some extra info:
    1. How long have you had your betta? 5-6 months
    2. What is the water volume or tank size? I believe its 1/2 gallon. Might be 1 gal. Not sure. I think it is 1 gallon though.
    3. Is this a betta bowl or an aquarium with a filter? Betta Bowl with small heater and a couple of artificial plants
    4. Have you tested for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate? What were the results? Haven’t tested.
    5. Have you tested for pH, kh and gh? What were the results?
    Have Not Tested
    6. What is the water temperature? About 78-81F
    7. How often do you change your tank water? How much water do you replace at a time? I change the entire fishbowl water every week, sometimes I dont change until 2 wks. I fill up to the 3/4 mark. And to get the right temp we just hand-feel it.
    8. Are there other fish in the tank with your betta? Which species and how many? When were they added?There are no other fish with Clowny. He is all alone in his fish bowl
    9. How often do you feed your betta? What types of food are you using? How much are you feeding each time? I feed him every other day with Wardley’s Betta Pellets. He gets 6 pellets a day.
    10. What water additives and medications are you using? Water conditioner.
    I am serious, I will do ANYTHING to cure little Clowny!
    I just want him back to normal.
    And to be a happy fish for the rest of his years.
    PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

    • Kelso says:

      Try a betta mirror. Zoo Med makes them, you put them in the tank for only 2-5 minutes but it gets them to flare there gills (like stretching them) and adds a bit of zest to there day.

    • Merl734 says:

      Your fish has a bacterial or fungal infection. Research how to treat bacterial with Mardel and Mardel Plus for about a week. Follow up with Mardel Maroxy for fungal infections for a few days. Research how to care for your betta. Change water every 5-7 days; for 1/2 gallon bowl: treat water with 1/4 teaspn API Aquarium salt, 1/2 teaspn API water conditioner, and API Stress Coat each water change; do Not add fish until water is treated and room temperature to avoid fish death. Do not overfeed: feed just 4 pellets a day plus 1 brine flake every other day. Wash hands before feed or clean. Never use soap to clean bowl only water as soap kills fish. Keep an extra 1/2 galn bowl for water changes. Use plastic cup or small brine net to avoid injuring delicate fins when capturing.

    • bettatrice says:

      You must NEVER tap on the glass. It causes them to go in shock and they then have a chance at dying

  7. Anonymous says:

    Try different food. My fish wouldn’t eat until I changed from pellets to flakes.

    • Cindy says:

      Betta fish love frozen brine, frozen blood worms. And, it is important that you feed your Betta daily, and be consistent with a schedule.

  8. Maddi says:

    Is it okay to put little things in the tank with a betta fish for decorations

    • Cindy says:

      Betta’s have VERY delicate fins. Items such as fake plastic plants, rough, or pointy objects have a tendency to tear their fins. The best way to test an item, is to run a nylon stocking over the item you wish to have in your tank, if the stocking snags when doing so, it will most likely snag the Betta’s fin. A better option would be silk plants or better yet- real plants.

  9. Thanks for the great tips 🙂
    Keep up the good work

  10. Allie L. says:

    i recently went to a family reunion and while we were swiming in the lake we found these HUGE snails and i got 2 big ones and one small one and 4 babies. Anyway when we got home i scrubbed the moss off of their shells and them i but one big one and one small one in my betta fish tank it has been two days since and my betta, Fred, LOVES the snails and my tank gets cleaner and cleaner every day it was the best choice i have ever made for my betta 🙂
    Allie L.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I just bought a Betta for my daughter.. I know the water is sopose to be about 77degree but im not sure what to get our house is very cold.. I have the Betta bubble with the LED hood for the tank and we have just one fish.. What else do I need to get.. I really dont want him to die.. Also the food we got him he really doesnt eat is there another food to get? we got the Betta Pellets.. Thanks Steph

  12. Sophia says:

    I’m thinking about getting a Betta. I have read just about everything about them. But I can’t find the right tank. Can anyone recomend a nice 5-gallon or smaller tank with a filter built in?

  13. Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this web site needs much more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!

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