View Full Version : I need brutal honesty about minimum tank size

08-26-2016, 07:39 PM
I have been thinking about setting up a fishtank for a couple of years now...I've been keeping an eye out for a really good deal on a Juwel 60L but in the interim I was given a 10 L Nano tank and have been slowly trying to put it together. The kids are away so I kicked myself into gear and tried to get it as far along as possible, but I have accepted that there's a minimum wait time for cycling etc. My issue has been having enough time to really be able to devote to the beginning steps of the project.

For a long time I had planned on just making it a shrimp tank. The friend who gave it to me had shrimp and a few tiny fish, but hadn't actually set it up herself so couldn't really give me much in the way of advice other than to throw out the heater. At any rate, I saw a few websites that mentioned 10 L as a strict minimum for betta and I waffled back and forth about shrimp/betta. Right now, I can't find any local breeders offering bettas so I went to check out the garden center (not ideal, I know).

Here's what happened: the first time I went, I talked to someone who recommended a water conditioner for bettas, talked to me about testing the water and said I could return to the store with a sample and have it tested there, etc.

I went back today to try to get an idea of my water situation and the person I spoke (different from the other) said it wouldn't even be worth it at this point and to wait at least a month after running the filter, which I'm prepared to do but found surprising that I'm not supposed to be checking on it all the time. (On the other hand, he didn't try to sell me a super expensive testing kit.) Anyway, I walked out with 5 starter plants and a decorative root, which I think will actually look better than I expected my tank to look, tbh -- but I can't imagine a betta fitting in there, unless he really likes plants and hiding in the leaves. I suppose it would work well as a retirement home for one who wants to hang out in his plant hammock...

The biggest issue is the Amazon sword, which was on my list of betta friendly plants and he said it would be good to hide the filter or heater. He's right on the money about that because for sure it hides the filter, lol, but it takes up a lot of space. I even asked him if he was sure it would fit in my tank and he was very confident...and it technically does, but I had to help it fit if you see what I'm saying. I guess I could trim the leaves, but then I'm afraid I'll damage it.

Is this a definite no? I realize that nanos are harder to maintain than a bigger tank, but it was one of those situations that seemed win-win at first. I spent a long time looking at both the male and female bettas, I don't really have a preference for either one but I do think they are beautiful. I go back and forth about the ethics of purchasing bettas in stores anyway, but out of the ones in my vicinity, this one seems to have more energetic male bettas who display, and I know the staff spends a lot of time cleaning the tanks. There was one male who I thought looked pretty hale and happy but the staff person said no fish for me until my tank is cycled, ha. I should also confess to falling prey to the tempting buy 3 get 2 free deal, which clearly may have just crushed my betta dream!

Thanks for any words of wisdom!

08-26-2016, 07:46 PM
10L = about 2.64 US gallons

To be perfectly honest, I would not house a betta in anything less than 5 US gallons (19L)

It would make a nice shrimp tank, though, after you have performed a fishless cycle

08-26-2016, 08:15 PM
Thank you! I suppose it's on its way; next I will tackle the issue of boiling this root and attaching plants to it, lol.

08-26-2016, 08:20 PM
Get yourself a 10g for a betta :) 5g minimum, as Slap said, but a heavily-planted 10g with lots of plants and decor for the betta to relax on would be amazing.

08-26-2016, 08:32 PM
Haha, you shouldn't encourage me! ;)

08-26-2016, 08:52 PM
Hey, we're all enablers here haha

Here's some more encouragement. My crowntail loves his tank (and I like showing it off haha)


08-26-2016, 09:47 PM
My Mr Betta also has a 10 gal all his own. He patrols the entire tank. A 2-1/2 gal is good for shrimp and nothing else.

08-26-2016, 10:08 PM
The Amazon sword is not appropriate for that size tank, either. When grown properly, they can easily get too large for a 55g tank - just ask Boof. Go to post # 1853 in this journal


08-26-2016, 10:28 PM
^^ Good point

08-26-2016, 11:29 PM
The Amazon sword is not appropriate for that size tank, either. When grown properly, they can easily get too large for a 55g tank - just ask Boof. Go to post # 1853 in this journal


Oh I didn't even see the part about the amazon! Haha good catch, Sue!

Yeah, I had four swords in my 55g and ended up selling all of them. The one I held onto the longest eventually reached the surface of the tank and pushed up against both the front and back of the tank, and showed no signs of stopping its monstrous growth. You can see a photo of it down below in my sig. It's the giant plant in the center.

They are majestic plants. I know a guy on FB who has one in a 120g tank and he says the leaves will extend out of the water about 4" if he pulls them straight.

08-27-2016, 12:06 PM
Haha, I looked -- well, it's not quite that big yet but *cough* let's just say the one I have can only go sideways. Best case scenario: I can find someone who wants to trade me some shrimp for that plant. Hmmm...

Thanks for all the responses!

09-03-2016, 09:52 AM
In the past I use to keep a tri of betta in a 50g tank. The tri was made up from 1 male 2 females. In that size tank he spent the entire time patrolling eating resting a bit then patrolling again.
But back on topic minimum size for me would be 10-15g. 5g is just to small.