How To Clean A Betta Fish Tank (11 Easy Steps)

Estimated read time 10 min read

We can all agree Betta fish are often sold as easy-to-care-for, low-maintenance pets. And while they are generally hardy fish, they still produce waste like any other fish, and their tanks will eventually need to be cleaned.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to clean a Betta fish tank and 11 simple tasks like keeping the glass clean and other things you can do in less than 30 minutes each week and every month to ensure your water quality remains cleaner for your animal. When you’re done, you’ll have crystal clear water and a happy fish.

At the end of the post, we’ve included a video showing each of the 11 steps.

Further Reading: Want to know how to keep your Betta happy and healthy? Check out our complete guide, How To Care For A Betta Fish For Beginners.

Let’s start:

How To Clean a Betta Tank

11 Easy Steps How To Clean A Betta Tank
A purple Betta Fish points its nose at the article’s title and a bucket of cleaning supplies on a yellow background.

The waste your Betta generates decomposes and turns into ammonia, which is toxic to your fish. Cleaning your Betta’s tank regularly will help eliminate harmful waste and clear ammonia and other toxins out of the water. And the cleaning process is relatively easy.

It can even be fun to keep your Betta’s home looking neat!

Before we begin, you’ll need a few things to clean a tank correctly.

How often does a betta fish tank need to be cleaned?

How often you need to clean your Betta’s tank depends on the tank size. Smaller tanks accumulate toxic levels of waste more quickly and need much more frequent cleanings and water changes. For example, you may change out 30-50% of the water every few days and clean the tank once or twice a week.

Larger tanks with filters need less frequent water changes and even fewer cleanings. It’s a good idea to change out 10-15% of the water every week or two, and your tank can go several weeks without a complete cleaning.

Thoroughly cleaning your Betta’s tank may initially seem intimidating, but it’s pretty simple. Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • Freshwater
  • Containers for fish, water, and gravel/decorations
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Sink

Depending on the size of your aquarium, how much food you feed each day, and whether you keep live plants. Your aquarium might require a weekly tank cleaning and a water change using a gravel vacuum to suck out any build-up of waste in the rocks and gravel. Doing this properly will also replace at least 25-30 percent of the gallons in your tank simultaneously.

Let’s start with step #1.

Follow These Setps To Clean Your Bettas Tank
A Purple Betta Tail on yellow background. With words to instructing reader to follow 11 steps to clean a Betta Tank

1. Prepare Your Water Ahead of Time

When you clean your Betta tank, you’ll want to perform some water changes. Whether you’re changing 10%, 20%, or 50%, you should have your water already prepared before you start the cleaning process.

Like all fish, Bettas can’t survive in unconditioned tap water. So if you’re using tap water, but the amount you need in a container and use a water conditioner to neutralize chlorine and other chemicals harmful to your fish.

You can also leave tap water out for 24-48 hours, and the chemicals evaporate naturally.

No matter what kind of water you’re using, you’ll want to bring it as close to your tank temperature as possible, either by letting it sit out for a few hours to get to room temperature or by using a heater.

Remember; When cleaning the tank, always wash your hands with warm or hot water to be safe. This will help remove and kill harmful bacteria and chemicals left on your hand or arms, keeping your pet healthy.

2. Remove Betta Fish From Tank

Before cleaning, you’ll want to remove your Betta fish from the tank and put him somewhere calm and safe.

Fill a bowl or cup with tank water, and use a small fishnet or sterile container to gently scoop your fish out of the tank. Put him in the tank of water you’ve set aside, and he’ll have a place to swim around while you clean his living space.

Make sure you place a cover on top of this container. Betta fish are fantastic jumpers.

3. Remove Decorations

Next, remove all the tank’s decorations, accessories, plants, and hiding places. Taking these out will make cleaning the rest of the tank easier, and many items will need to be cleaned.

Set aside everything in a large bowl to keep them together and to make cleaning easier.

4. Remove Tank Water to Save

Using a cup or bowl, scoop out a portion of the tank water and set it aside. For example, suppose you’re doing a 50% water change; set aside half the water in the tank. Suppose you’re doing a 10% water change; set aside 90% of the water in the tank. You’ll be adding this back in when you’re done with the cleaning.

It can be bad for your Betta to perform a complete water change, so you should always keep some original tank water to add back.

Your tank water has built up beneficial bacteria over time, and it’s the environment that your Betta is used to. So a sudden, drastic change to that environment could send him into shock.

5. Pour Out The Remaining Water

Once you’ve scooped out the water you’re going to save, the rest of it can be dumped. Slowly pour the water out, ensuring your gravel doesn’t fall out.

You can also pour the water over a sieve or strainer to catch anything that falls out while dumping it. Finally, pour your gravel into the bowl holding your tank decorations.

6. Clean Decorations

Run warm water over the decorations and accessories from your tank. Then, use a soft scrubber or brush to scrub off any slime and dirt stuck to the surface.

Do not use soap on the decorations or anything else in your tank. Even if you rinse it off well, soap residue can remain and harm your fish.

Once you have finished rinsing your decorations, set them aside on a clean paper towel.

7. Clean Gravel

A lot of the waste and debris in your Betta tank accumulates in the gravel, so this can be the dirtiest part of your tank.

Run warm water over the gravel while gradually rubbing your hands through it to loosen slime and dirt. Once you have given the gravel a good rinse, drain the dirty water from the bowl. You can also place the gravel in a sieve or strainer so that water drains while you rinse it.

Repeat as many times as necessary until your gravel is completely clean.

8. Clean and Scrub Tank

The next thing to clean is the tank itself. First, put the tank in your sink and run warm water into it. Next, scrub the bottom and sides of the tank with a soft brush to loosen any accumulated dirt, algae, and slime.

Make sure you give the corners a good scrub.

Again, do not use any soap on your Betta tank. Once you’ve scrubbed everything, dump the water and give the tank a final rinse.

9. Put Gravel and Decorations Back in Tank

Now that you’ve cleaned your tank, gravel, and decorations, you’re ready to put everything back together.

First, pour the gravel back into the bottom of the tank and arrange it, so it’s evenly spread out.

Next, put in your decorations and accessories and arrange them how you want. For some cool setup ideas.

Read: 19 Cool Betta Fish Tank Ideas That Will Inspire You

Finally, reattach any heaters, filters, thermometers, and anything else you removed before cleaning.

10. Refill Tank with Old and New Water

Slowly pour the old tank water you set aside back into the tank so you don’t disturb your gravel and decorations. Then, fill the rest of the tank with the freshwater you prepared earlier.

Give everything a stir to mix the water, reposition any decorations that may have fallen over, and test your temperature and pH to ensure it’s ready for your fish. You’ll want the pH and temperature to be close to what your fish is used to.

Related: When adding water back into the tank, it is critical that the water is at the right temperature, so you don’t shock your Betta.

11. Put Your Betta Fish Back In

Now that you’ve got everything clean and back where they belong, it’s time to reintroduce your Betta fish to his home.

To do this, take the container he’s in and place it in the tank. Then, slowly tilt the container until your Betta can swim out on his own.

Be careful when doing this, so he doesn’t damage his fins. Your Betta should be happily swimming around his newly cleaned tank.

Final Thoughts.

Cleaning your Betta tank regularly is vital to keeping your fish happy and healthy.

The 11 simple steps above cover the basics of cleaning a Betta fish tank. As you can see, it’s a simple process that doesn’t need to be intimidating or a lot of work, and it is crucial to clean any type of pet habitat regularly.

Check out the video below for a walkthrough of this simple process:

This process works great for smaller tanks and tanks without a lot of complex aquascaping. However, if you have a larger or more complicated tank, it may be impossible to empty everything. But you also may not need to.

Installing a good filter and performing regular 10-15% water changes with a siphon will go a long way towards keeping your tank clean. In addition, siphoning water from the bottom will clean out much of the collected debris in the gravel, and your filter will capture anything floating in the water.

No matter what tank you have, regular water changes and cleaning will keep your Betta happy and your tank looking great.

Quick Steps To Clean Your Bettas Tank:

Quick Steps To Cleaning Your Bettas Tank
A light blue betta fish on yellow background with a list of quick steps you can follow to clean your Bettas tank.
  1. Prepare Your Water Ahead of Time
  2. Remove Betta Fish From Tank
  3. Remove Decorations
  4. Remove Tank Water to Save
  5. Pour Out Remaining Water
  6. Clean Decorations
  7. Clean Gravel
  8. Clean and Scrub Tank
  9. Put Gravel and Decorations Back in Tank
  10. Refill Tank with Old and New Water
  11. Put Your Betta Fish Back In

Further Reading: If you’re setting up a new tank for your Betta, make sure you know what the ideal Betta Fish tank size is and give your little buddy some room to swim.

Can you use tap water for a betta fish?

However, when you fill your new Betta tank or refill during a water change, be sure to use a water de-chlorinator product like Seachem Prime.

If you liked this article, please share it so others can enjoy it. And if you have questions, please feel free to send me an email. I don’t mind, and I’ll do my best to answer your question. And I don’t know the answer. I’ll help you search for the right one.

Master the Art of Betta Fish Breeding: Step-by-Step Guide Revealed! Delve into the fascinating world of betta fish breeding. From selecting breeding pairs to providing optimal conditions, our comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to breed bettas successfully. Start your breeding journey today!

You May Also Like

More From Author