Betta Fish Vase: Setup Guide Plus Maintenance Tips

betta fish vase
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Last Updated: July 11, 2022 by Flora Gibbins

If you’re interested in keeping Bettas as pets, you need to know how to help them survive outside their home. A Betta fish vase is a pretty easy means of keeping pet Bettas.

A pet store that sells fish as pets keeps them in a fish aquarium or a clean, healthy tank with a lid. The fish tank has a shallow body and a lid that keeps the fish from jumping beyond the water surface. Similarly, you’ll need to maintain shallow depths, extensive surfaces, and more in a Betta vase.

We’ll be telling you all you need to know about these vases and tips on keeping your Betta healthy and safe in them.

Keeping Betta Fish in Vases

The least volume of a Betta vase to keep a healthy fish is 10 liters. However, it’s advised to go for a volume of 20 liters and above.
red betta fish in a vase

People often say that Betta fish don’t require too much space and could be bred with a flower vase of two liters. It’s wrong! They survive there for a while, but it’s not an environment that guarantees them a long life span. We could very well survive living in a tiny room if we were fed daily, but we wouldn’t be our true selves.

The fish live in shallow bodies of water in the wild. Although the depth is shallow, the surfaces are very extensive. Your pet fish requires space to swim and obstacles to stay hidden. You’ll appreciate it even more if it has enough of a placee to show off.

However, your vase shouldn’t be filled to the brim. Your Betta may swim to the water surface to breathe some air. They do this throughthe “labyrinth,” which is an organ located in the head that enables the fish to gain oxygen from the inhaled air. Bettas rely primarily on this organ and not on their gills to breathe.

Also, it’s necessary to cover your betta vase because the tropical fish are excellent jumpers and can jump out of the tank onto the floor.

Factors to Consider When Setting up a Vase for Your Betta Fish

Before bringing your Betta home, there are some factors you need to consider to make your aquatic pet as comfortable as possible in its vase. Below are some of these factors.

Natural & Artificial Light

The tropical fish need light as much as humans do during the daytime and less at night for them to fall asleep. This rhythm causes the natural day/night cycle and helps maintain the circadian cycle of the fish.

Fish don’t like to be in direct sunlight, and this is especially true for Bettas.

Therefore, it’s important for you to provide shade for the fish using plants or other objects, so the fish has an option if it no longer wants to be exposed to light.

Also, it’s necessary to avoid too much sunlight as it can cause the water temperature to rise to a dangerous level and cause unwanted algae to grow. So, it’s advised to use artificial lighting, placing the betta in a vase where sunlight would have less impact. This way, you can control the light intensity and how long the fish are exposed to it.

Vase Mates

Bettas can be pretty aggressive (especially the males), but that’s only true when they’re with each other. You may not notice this aggressiveness when they’re with other species of fish.

betta fish in a larger vase with other fishes

So, if you intend to keep more than one Betta fish or other fish species, we recommend using a larger betta vase with plenty of hiding space. A larger volume will reduce the fish’s natural instincts to protect its territory and aggressiveness toward other fish in the vase.

It’s recommended not to place male Bettas with other males or females. The males will act aggressively toward each other and possibly injure themselves or even lead to death.

Also, when you place a male Betta with a female Betta that’s not in the breeding season, the male may likely chase the female to death. Therefore, it’s better to place male Bettas only with other species.

Female Bettas can cohabit but under close supervision. However, we must keep in mind that the territorial character isn’t reserved for males! Females bicker by chasing each other through the tank and pinching their fins and can injure or even kill each other.

Their character is unpredictable, and if cohabitation can go very well for one person, it can also turn out badly for another. It’s therefore imperative to have enough space (consider at least 50 liters for a minimum of three females) and, above all, numerous hiding places (plants, coconuts, stones, etc.) to avoid problems.

Fun Fact: Betta fish can live under any condition as long as its requirements for existence are met. However, if you want to challenge yourself by placing your pet betta in a vase aquarium, then you might want to try Paradise Betta.

Water Plants and Other Decorations

Bettas need plants and hiding places to make them feel secure.
fish vase with decorations

Making the vase similar to their natural habitat has a beneficial effect on them. So, take your time to provide as many hiding places as possible for the Bettas in the vase.

The natural habitat of Bettas is rich in rocks, branches, and aquatic plants (but also bank plants). The reason is that such an environment provides many ways to hide.

Therefore, in the vase, you should favor live plants such as peace lily, which contribute to the balance of the tank by oxygenating the water and absorbing nitrates. There are also many commercially available live plants today, and many are ideal for beginners because of their ease of maintenance. With live plants, there’s no risk of injury to your Betta.

But don’t worry! Artificial plants are great too, and they’re inexpensive and durable. Their quality has been better in recent years, and their appearance can be deceptive.

To ensure that the artificial decorations won’t be dangerous for your Betta, do the “tacky test”: Rub a sticky against the decoration. If it catches or worse, if it tears, so will your Betta’s delicate fins.

Water Temperature

The Bettas are from the tropical regions of Thailand and therefore need warm water.

So, it’s vital to ensure the water temperature remains at a range between 24 to 27°C.

Purchase a thermometer to monitor the water temperature. Unfortunately, the tap water in our homes is usually not warm enough for tropical fish, so you may need to buy a small heater (e.g., 20 watts). Adjustable heaters containing a built-in thermostat are the most suitable as they’ll regulate the temperature themselves.

Bettas are extremely sensitive to changes in the temperature of their habitat and water parameters. Therefore, do so slowly and methodically when changing water temperature and conditions. Sudden changes can negatively affect your fish’s health.

Betta Fish Food

feeding betta fish with raw food

Betta fish need specific foods in the vase because they’re carnivores. They feed on insects and larvae on the water’s surface in the wild. So, it’s necessary to reproduce this diet so that they remain healthy.

Foods for Bettas come in many forms: pellets, flakes, live, and freeze-dried foods. Choose foods intended for Bettas, as they need a specific diet rich in protein. However, you should avoid overfeeding them.

Bettas can be choosy by refusing certain foods. But persistent refusal may mean it’s time to try a different brand until you find the right one.

These fish are particularly fond of live food, such as bloodworms and brine shrimp.

They’re also the most suitable foods since they faithfully reproduce the diet of Bettas in the wild.

In the absence of live food, it’s possible to find frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other frozen food. Lastly, Bettas may feed on plant roots such as the peace lily.

Fun Fact: Many aquarium enthusiasts are against setting up an aquarium vase as a living space for bettas or any fish species for that matter. If you are a beginner and would like to venture into this hobby, then we suggest reading our article on the 5 Best Small Fish Tanks: Tiny Options Reviewed and choosing the most favorable one for your initial setup!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Betta fish live in a vase?

Yes, you can put your Betta in a vase if you provide enough space, good-quality food, protection, and a good oxygen supply!

Can Your Betta live in a vase without a filter?

Your Betta can survive in a vase without a filter if you clean the vase regularly. You should clean the vase properly and change the water frequently to remove waste buildup and maintain a healthy environment for the fish.

How frequently should you clean your Betta vase?

If your vase isn’t filtered, it’s necessary to change about 20% of the water’s volume at least three times a week. On the other hand, a filtered vase will require you to change it only once per week. Therefore, there’s no need to move your fish out of its vase to change the water.


We know Bettas are better off in their natural habitat, but many people love to keep them as pets because of how lovely they are. It’s possible to keep Bettas as healthy as possible outside their natural habitat.

All you need to do is to get a Betta fish vase, take the necessary precautions and create enough space for them. You must use the right quantity of water and take note of the water temperature and the fish’s feeding condition to keep them in proper health.

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