How To Transfer Betta Fish To New Tank? Fish Tank Changing Guide

Bettas are majestic, gorgeous, and, therefore, a favorite creature among fish keepers.

These species are famous for being robust, but it doesn’t mean they’re “superfish”. An average betta can live for three years, yet inappropriate care may cut longevity severely.

Like other species, including goldfish, a small tank habitat is part of inadequate care. If your pet comes to you in a big tank, you should quickly move it to more spacious accommodation.

How to transfer betta fish to a new tank safely? We’ll show you the general instructions as well as some tips for maintaining your tank.

How To Transfer Betta Fish To A New Tank?

  • Prepare the tools and equipment.

Purchase the equipment and tank before purchasing the fish. This species typically needs a five-gallon tank.

If you plan to house two females together, you will need to buy a 25-gallon model with plenty of vegetation.

If you want to house other tropical fish species with your bettas, you’ll have to prepare a super large aquarium. The small tank is more difficult to maintain.

Prepare appropriate food, plants, nitrifying bacteria, gravel, thermometer, heater, lighting, and a filter (accompanied by an air pump).

A bucket, gravel cleaner, and ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite test kits are essential for maintenance.

  • Cycle the tank

Cycle the tank is crucial for freshwater tanks, freeing the water from undesirable nitrates, nitrites, and toxic ammonia.

First, pour water into the glass container and install all essential equipment. Dechlorinating the water is unnecessary now since the chlorine element will evaporate , but you’ll do so when changing water.

Next, add lighting and nitrifying bacteria to your established aquarium. Feed something to the bacteria, such as fish food or some flakes.

After that, add plants and 1-2 aquatic snails, but it’s better to wait for a few weeks to put in snails. From now on, perform periodic water changes (partially, once a week).

Once ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are undetectable on the test kits, your aquarium is ready to welcome the swimming animals.

  • Move your fish

Water chemistry changes can stress your pets easily. Thus, transferring bettas from a small bowl or cup to a larger aquarium is not a task to rush.

You should turn off the light during the transition process.

Pour everything in the bowl, including the bettas, into a small plastic bag. Then, seal the bag and let it float in your aquarium.

Wait for about 30 minutes for temperatures in the two environments to stabilize.

After that, scoop a tiny amount of water out of the bag and replace it with the tank water.

Once the plastic bag contains nearly 100% tank water, gently tip your bettas out to release them.

How Long Can A Betta Fish Live In A Transfer Cup?

globular fish tank

Can the fish stay in a small bowl for a long time?

Because bettas don’t require filtration, you can expect them to stay safe in a transfer cup or bowl for a short time. Yet, there are some notes to keep in mind:

  • Transfer cups have an inadequate amount of water.

Many transfer cups have minimal water, only enough to welcome your pet home safely. Yet, these cups can’t accommodate the requirements in the long term.

  • Water temperature may change quickly and drastically.

If your pets are in a highly cold or hot environment, they may pose a swift temperature change to that tiny amount of water. Consequently, the animals might suffer from temperature shock.

  • Tiny transfer cups don’t allow for appropriate oxygen flow.

Transfer bags and cups are usually not well-ventilated.

These temporary containers may prevent appropriate O2 from circulating, posing dire consequences to your creatures if you keep them there for too long.

Thus, you must move the animals to a new properly-established aquarium ASAP. The faster the transition, the better.

How To Acclimate Your Betta Fish To New Water?

After finishing the above steps, it is time to test and acclimate your swimmers to their new living environment.

Generally, bettas prefer pH levels of six to seven. A simple test kit, which you can purchase easily, can provide you with the readings.

When it comes to temperature, the ideal temperature for an aquarium’s water is between 75 and 81 degrees F because bettas are tropical creatures.

Here are the general acclimation guidelines:

  • Measure and note down the temperature and pH levels of the water in the plastic quarantine tank, bag, or cup.
  • Measure and note down the temperature and pH levels of the water in the new aquarium you’re about to introduce your fish.
  • Compare the recorded measurements and see if they are relatively similar. If yes, you can put your pets into the new habitat. If not, check out the next step.
  • Place the plastic cup or bag onto the aquarium water’s surface. Letting it float there will gradually allow water inside it to match tank water.

This step should take about 15 to 20 minutes, but it might be longer (45 plus minutes) if the recorded readings are drastically different.

  • Concerning the pH level, pour a small amount of the aquarium’s water into the bag or cup every 4-5 minutes to obtain an equal pH level.

The pH will slowly decrease or increase, gradually helping your pets adapt to the new pH instead of swiftly.

  • After completing the acclimation procedures, carefully let your swimmers swim into their new home. Do not dump the bag or cup and everything inside it into the aquarium.

We attempt to provide extra tips for acclimating bettas to a new living environment. These tips will help you maintain a healthy, thriving betta in your aquarium.

  • Inspect if there are signs of rocks, sand, or silt in the tank, which might harm your fish’s health.
  • Maintain the aquarium properly by providing good heaters and lighting and preventing harmful problems to your bettas’ health.
  • High-quality pumps or filters help maintain these creatures.
  • Ensure nutrients, like ammonia or nitrates, don’t severely contaminate the environment.

Do You Need A Filter For Your Betta Fish Tank?

small fish in tank

Is it necessary to install a filter?

Bettas can survive without the help of a filter, which is rare for domestic aquatic creatures. Yet, suppose you choose to save the budget by not buying a filter.

In that case, it’s necessary to clean the tank regularly and ensure the water is free of debris by performing periodic water changes.

Here’s the full video on how you change the water of your betta fish:

Dirty water could contain bacteria that are extremely harmful to your pets. You need to determine if a tank filter is essential for your aquarium setup.

Filters will help make the maintenance much more straightforward and prolong the period between entire tank changes.

Also, they help reduce algae accumulation on the surface. If you don’t want to buy a filter, we suggest using aquatic plants as fantastic alternatives.

How Long To Wait Before Putting Your Betta In A New Tank?

It is never a clever idea to put the fish directly into a new tank after getting it from a pet shop.

Ensure to prepare a quarantine cup for storing it in a short time and place it back in it if you fail to introduce the fish to another tank.

Unfamiliar species without an appropriate introduction may cause contamination and aggression.

Hence, it’s advisable to wait for two weeks, at least, before housing bettas with others in a community aquarium.

You need to research betta compatibility carefully and look at the animal’s behavior to choose the ideal quarantine time (usually two to four weeks).

What Should You Do During and After the Transfer?

  • Feed other critters to distract them.

Once you introduce the bettas into the new environment, distract other creatures by offering them food. This way, your bettas can hide and start the adjustment.

  • Monitor continually

Ensure your swimmers are adjusting and adapting well to the new environment.

If you identify any strange behavior that may signify stress, separate them immediately.

  • Check if there’s any sign of hostile aggression.

These creatures can act aggressively toward other critters and are famous for being temperamental. Thus, if you notice any pet is messing with others, prepare a quarantine house to separate it.

The Bottom Line

If you desire to have a natural aquatic masterpiece to watch every day from your living room, it is worth studying how to transfer betta fish to a new tank.

The process includes three fundamental steps:

  • Prepare the tools and equipment.
  • Cycle the tank
  • Move your fish

Yet, these guidelines are just the onset of the betta-keeping journey. Remember that a consistent cleaning routine is a recipe for your healthy aquarium.

Thank you for following this post!