Jump to content

Betta Water Parameters

Recommended Posts


I am considering getting a betta, either for the existing fish tank, or I have a 15L which I could set up. Could someone please let me have preferred water parameters, ie GH, KH, PH, TDS ranges. I have been looking on the internet (other than this site) and getting well p*ssed off with reading loads of 'waffle' only to find it doesn't even give these basic details, so please, just the asked info, no explanations necessary at this early point! 

I plan to put the fish in my long term tank, which uses (dechlorinated) tapwater, or an old 15L which is in the cupboard, but that will probably have the same water parameters as I will run it the same. Actually, sitting here looking at the 'Fish tank', probably too much water movement in there (I have never had a Betta in that tank).

I have tried Betta in the past (years ago) but not had much luck and they rarely lived more than 6 months, devastating as they have more character than most other fish, and as they are supposed to be easy to keep, I really don't know why this is? Anyway, start with what the parameters should be, that may stop me going any further?????



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Could someone please let me have preferred water parameters, ie GH, KH, PH, TDS ranges.

The water parameters for Betta are not specified because they can tolerate a very wide range. Hence people keeping them in jars with nothing but dechlorinated tap water.

However if you are looking for ideal parameters, I would keep they in soft water.

That is

pH: 6.5 - 6.8

Temp: 25degC or 78degF.

KH: 3-5

GH: 6-8

TDS: doesn't really matter. These guys can live in crap water (not that you should aim for crap water). But I would aim for under 350 like for all my other softwater fish.

Most important thing is to give them a tank that is well cycled and has low flow. They do not prefer a strong filter and flow. Some floating plants will also help them build bubble nests if you have females (note the plural. 1 female is not enough and will get harassed). If you are putting the betta in a 15L, then I would avoid females in the same tank until you see him building a nest.

Apart from that, they are considered very easy fish to keep.



Edited by jayc
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks JayC for the reply and finally what I wanted to know. I don't use internet much, but if I do I soon remember why I don't - not this site though which is why it is the only one I have joined!

The Kh and Gh are a bit low on my tap water fish tank which would run the same but I could get some Gh/Kh+ to increase that (maybe that was why I did.t have much luck with them in the past) each needing +2 so that should be fairly easy fix with salty shrimp or dennerle GH/KH+ drops. TDS is 225 so adding +2GH would take that to about 260-280(ish) so looks like that also would be ok. The Ph with the drops shows as 7, though that obviously means it is more than 6.5 but less than 7.5 as the drop kits only goes per .5 differences, but I would add catappa leaves as I have those and betta are supposed to like them and it may reduce the PH slightly anyway, so that looks near enough for thumbs up as well. 

I am not interested in breeding so would just get the one male. That tank has a ridiculously slow filter/flow system (well it did last time I used it) so that also would be perfect I think.

If I use water/plants/lava rock etc from the Fishtank, how long do you think I should run the tank before I consider getting the fish if you say 'well cycled'? I need to check if I have everything like heater/filter sponge/timer/extension cable etc before I can go any further yet (I will try and do that later), but otherwise from your reply I think it should be do-able. I guess using a tiny bit of Bacter AE as well at the start will help with the cycling, or will it be a good idea to use it all the time (I have it for the shrimp tank anyway so could do both tanks at the same time) I only dose that twice a week a lot less than recommended?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

easy fix with salty shrimp or dennerle GH/KH+ drops


14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I would add catappa leaves

You seem to have right strategies to bring the parameters into line. GH/KH is flexible if you can't reach those numbers exactly. 

pH and TDS however, should be the priorities.


14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

If I use water/plants/lava rock etc from the Fishtank, how long do you think I should run the tank before I consider getting the fish if you say 'well cycled'?

That's not for me to say. I would just be taking a guess. A guess at how fast the beneficial bacteria multiply. Only way to determine if a tank is cycled is to test ammonia levels with a test kit. However, it will certainly be a lot quicker if you re-use stuff from an existing mature tank. Fastest way is to re-use the filter media from an existing tank, the dirtier the better. I wash my filters in new tanks - yes, it makes a visual mess in the new tank. But once the debris settles, the tank is well on its way to being cycled. Give the tank a warm 26-28 degreesC and the tank will be cycled in a week by washing your old filter in the new tank. As good as Bacter AE is, it cannot compete with re-using old media.

(Don't forget to reduce the temps to the right level before adding any livestock)


14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:


I cannot help you there. I am in denial about suffering the same illness myself. 

I have cut down by 2 tanks this year. And I'm already thinking ..."I have more space now, and 2 empty tanks. I wonder what I can put in them?".

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again for all the great advice JayC.

I did the weekly maintenance of the FISH tank today and have kept the old water (sponges were rinsed in it so nice and dirty) while I mull everything over.

I checked the cupboards and have everything except an electrical adaptor - cheap and easy enough to get! Main thing now is whether I can re-arrange stuff to make room for the 15L tank near the new shrimp tank (probably wait until friends come round for that), as when I used it before it was on the dining table and that wasn't a  good idea at all - always in the way etc, but it was only a TRIAL shrimp tank at that time?

I feel more confident it should be possible thanks to all your helpful advice! Thanks for taking the time to do this JayC.



  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • GotCrabs
      By GotCrabs
      Hi all, haven't really been on for awhile due to life's challenges that get thrown our way from time to time but have thought I would jump on and ask for some suggestions on the following.
      My Mum has a bright red Betta that she adores and it's currently in a 12g that I use to keep all my shrimp in, well the Betta took care of them all and I'm in the process of making it back into a shrimp only tank with just Anubias on driftwood and Moss, so I am after some suggestions for an all in one nano set up for a Betta, I've looked on eBay and haven't found anything I really like or should I say trust that won't break as some look quite cheap and would like to buy her something decent that will do the job well, checked out the Fluval Chi but think the lighting is quite poor though, so think that's out of the question also.
      Anyway, if anyone could give me some suggestions it would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
    • Zebra
      By Zebra
      So today while visiting a friend who works at my local fish shop I could help but buy a couple of Bettas they had there, we've been talking lately about Bettas they plan to breed. 
      I've got them in they 5-bay I sumped over my shrimp tank till I set them up a better tank, lol.

    • Serra
      By Serra
      Hi all,
      I'm not sure if anyone will see this, but I'll give it a try!
      I'm currently having some issues with my male Plakat that is 10 months old.
      I have a 20 liter tank, heated, with a 30cm pro z led light.
      The tank used to be scaped but he began to look unwell. We have another empty tank so I had him in there for about a week and he got better. Basically I've been putting him back and forth between tanks until I ended up taking everything out and he had a bare bottom tank with some rocks anubias and moss. This has gone well for about a month but yesterday he appears for a better word, lethargic. He seems to be spending a lot of time towards the top of the tank.
      This is becoming highly frustrating as I am more than happy to have a nice landscaped tank for him but he doesn't seem to like it.
      The ph is around 7.2
      All water tests have been very low as I give him a small amount of fresh waster daily. I've tried straight tap with Prime, RO with equilibriam and a mix of both. There are always IAL in the tank also.
      Any thoughts/help/comments would be greatly appreciated!
    • Jarhead9506
      By Jarhead9506
      Hi all :) Just wondering im new to SKF and shrimp keeping and ive got a small 6gal tank setup with fluval stratum substrate, a sponge filter and heater, looking to keep cherry red shrimp and was thinking okay ive got a api water test kit that tests the PH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels but where or what do you use to find out the other important values like GH, KH and TDS? First post still new to forums in general so if i did something wrong please dont kill me haha :P thanks guys :D

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

    Join Our Community!

  • Posts

    • jayc
      Indeed a good video. Except for his spelling of Desolved in TDS (should be Dissolved) I could not have done any better.  
    • jayc
      Yes of course! Forgot about high Nitrates, and of course illness. But we probably need to clarify "low temps" for anyone new to the hobby. Winter months can see water temps fall below the shrimp's preferred temp range. It might not be detrimental to their health but it does slow their metabolism down. The remedy for low temps isn't to just give them high temps either, it needs to be within their ideal preferred range for that specific shrimp, eg Neo Caridina or Caridina or Sulawesi. I have known some people to have shrimp (cherries) survive our Australian winter out in ponds. So they can tolerate fairly low temps for an extended period.  
    • nicpapa
      Also No3 , low Temp , and bacteria infections.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      This is a very good video on the basics if you are new to shrimps. It is called 'How to breed shrimp', not sure why as it is generally everything and a very good  and clear video guide?.  
    • jayc
      I find the wrong water parameters for the type of shrimp to be a big factor for lethargic shrimp. It's usually the first sign that something is not right. Any measurable amount of Ammonia, can also cause this behaviour.  Moulting is also a big factor in shrimps being inactive. Right before and right after the moult they hide and usually don't move. The moulting process is very strenuous on the shrimp, and I find protein rich foods (eg bloodworms) helps a ton.