One of the biggest burdens in keeping Betta fish is cleaning the tank.
Emptying out the tank, rinsing everything, changing and conditioning the water, and everything else that goes into it can be very stressful for you and your fish.
That’s why Self Cleaning Betta fish tanks are all the rage. They promise you the benefits of having a beautiful Betta fish swimming around without any of the maintenance downsides.
Self-cleaning tanks come in two major varieties.
- Gravity tanks like the NoClean Aquariums GravityFlow Self-Cleaning Betta Aquarium automatically pump the waste out of the bottom of the tank as you add more water.
- Hydroponics tanks like the Back to the Roots Water Garden feature herbs or other plants that use fish waste as fertilizer while their roots filter the water.
Top 4 Better Options Than Self Cleaning Betta Tanks
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Reviews are mixed. And the self-cleaning tanks on the market have a few issues you should consider before you spend your money on one:
Issue #1) They’re often too small for Betta fish. The biggest self-cleaning Betta tanks top out at 2-3 gallons, with most of them being much smaller than that.
Betta fish really shouldn’t be kept in tanks smaller than 2.5 gallons, and bigger is always better. Keeping your Betta long term in a small tank like this will compromise his health and happiness.
Issue #2) In smaller tanks, waste, ammonia and other chemicals quickly get to toxic levels.
Gravity tanks may claim they are “no clean,” but they still require water changes, and to keep your fish alive you’ll end up performing a 50% water change every 2-3 days.
This is less of an issue with aquaponics tanks since the plants absorb ammonia, but it’s still something to keep an eye on.
Issue #3) Many self-cleaning tanks are rather expensive for what you get.
For the price of a small self-cleaning aquarium, you could buy your fish a 10-gallon tank and a good Betta filter.
Do you think your Betta would prefer a gimmicky tank that cleans itself but is very cramped, or tons of space to swim around and play?
The infographic below gives you an idea of how often you’ll need to perform a water change on your Betta’s tank:
As you can see, the smaller the tank the more frequently you’ll need to change the water. Even though self-cleaning tanks may automate some of this, their small size means they may end up being higher maintenance overall than a larger traditional tank.
Luckily, there are some simple things you can do with your traditional fish tank to make it relatively low maintenance and reduce the amount of cleaning that you need to do.
The following 7 options are better than a self-cleaning Betta fish tank will help lower your workload and keep your Betta happy and healthy.