How To Acclimate Betta Fish: Guidelines And Ways To Acclimate Them

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If you are wondering how to acclimate betta fish without killing the fish, then you have to know that it all has to do with patiently letting the fish adjust to its new environment. If you simply add betta fish directly to a tank, it won’t have the time to adjust to the new surroundings.

Keep on reading to not only learn more about the behavior of betta, but also about how you should properly be introducing betta to tank. This is a simple process and a very important one, as you will discover from our article below.


How To Acclimate Betta Fish

This is how you should acclimate your betta fish once your tank is ready.

First of all, find out the temperature and pH of the betta fish in a cup or bag and the pH and temperature of the tank in order to compare them. See how different they are; the more different they are the longer it will take introducing betta to the tank.

– Get the Bag Ready

You have to untie the bag or open it to start the process. This is the first step in acclimating betta fish and preparing it for the new environment without shocking and stressing it.

After you have finally opened the bag with the betta, put the bag in the water of the tank. Make sure that the bag is floating on top of the water. The water should however not enter the bag or vice versa, it should just be within the water.

Roll the bag a couple of times to ensure it floats on the water without being unstable.

The purpose of this step is to have the temperature reach equilibrium in the tank and in the water bag. This is one of the most important steps. The equilibrium reaches slowly, it can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on how different the temperature is in the bag and in the tank.

Keep on testing the water temperature during this process to make sure it all goes down smoothly.

– Balancing The pH

After some time has passed and the water in the bag and in the tank is relatively the same, you have to start the next step. In fact, different pH is the biggest killer of new fishes. After this step, acclimating betta fish is almost complete.

Now it’s the time that you should begin putting tank water into the bag. To start, transfer half a cup or about 150 ml of your aquarium water into the bag. After this, wait for 10 to 15 minutes to repeat this process again for 45 minutes or so. This is one of the most important parts of the process.

The use of transferring water is not only to balance the pH but also temperature, nutrient levels, oxygen content, salinity, sounds, and lighting. This will give the fish the best chance of surviving in the new environment.

– Introducing The Betta

Now, you should be moving betta to a bigger tank but make sure to do it properly as this matters a lot as well.

First of all, you should never dump the whole bag of fish in the tank. Transferring betta fish to the new tank should be done slowly and you should let the fish swim to the new habitat instead of putting it in physically. Also, do not pour the water from the bag or cup into the aquarium.

As you introduce the fish in the tank, you have to make sure that the new betta doesn’t attack other fishes in the aquarium or even get nicked at. Moreover, monitoring the nutrients in the water as well as the water parameters is essential to ensure they fit the new betta. This should be done daily for the first couple of weeks.

All of this might seem a little complicated but you have to do your best so you can give the best life to your fish. Also, there’s no need to fret, as it gets easier with time since the fish gets used to the environment.

The Drip Method

This is another process that can be used to transfer new fish into an old tank. It uses a piece of plastic airline tubing that is long enough to reach the cup or bag from your tank. In fact, this is the safest method but it is the slowest as well.

Furthermore, the drip method is a slow process that uses gravity to transfer water slowly from the tank to the cup. To start the process, you will need to generate suction like from a straw and wait for the water to slowly drip into the cup or bag.

This putting betta fish in new tank is completed once the bag or cup has 50 percent new water and 50 percent old water.

Acclimating Fish Mean: The Proper Way to Do It

When you buy a new fish from the pet store, in all the excitement you might forget to acclimate the fish but what does acclimating the fish even mean? Also, why is it so important?

It is the purpose of slowly adding the betta to the aquarium to give it enough time to adjust to water temperature and other conditions.

The reason why you should take the time to do this is to get the new fish used to the conditions of your tank which are different from the conditions of the pet store tank. This also helps to protect your old fishes as the new fish might bring diseases from wherever they came.

Therefore, moving betta to bigger tank is a careful process that should be done properly as the betta is susceptible to stress even more than other fish are.

So, you will be acclimating the fish when adding it to a community tank, when setting up a new aquarium, or introducing the fish to a tank that has been cycled for a while.

Water Requirements

Now, before you buy a betta fish or are transferring betta fish to new tank you will have to have the appropriate water conditions and tank size. This is just as important as putting betta fish in the new tank.

This fish is also known as Siamese fighting fish because it was bred in captivity to participate in fights with other betta fishes. This is why a betta fish should never be kept with another betta fish as they will fight.

Hence, the betta should be kept in a community tank with peaceful fishes because of their highly territorial behavior.

Now for the water conditions, they should be kept in calm water with a temperature between 76 F to 85 F and a pH between 6.8 and 7.5. They will need a water heater because they prefer warmer water temperatures which will keep them the most active and disease-free.

The tank should be secured properly and should be decorated with items that are in other fish tanks. Finally, they need some plants, driftwood, and gravel to be most active.

Before Acclimating

Depending on why you have to acclimate a betta fish, you have to follow some steps before the process as well. The acclimating process can take a while so make sure the betta fish in cup is well kept!

Keep on reading to find out how to properly care for the fish right after purchasing it.

– Introducing a New Betta Fish

Now, if you have bought a new betta fish from a pet store and want to add it to an already established tank you have to follow these rules. Pet stores don’t really keep the fish in the best condition, so you have to be extra careful.

This is why a fish that has been recently bought should be quarantined for at least two weeks in another tank. This is enough time to see if the fish is suffering from any diseases and curing the disease accordingly.

Pet store tanks contain common diseases and parasites which can transfer to other fish in a tank. Furthermore, this process should be repeated with any new fish you introduce to an old tank.

However, if you don’t have another tank to quarantine the fish in and can’t get one either, you should select a reliable pet store to get a fish. Choose fish from a tank that doesn’t have any dead fish or visibly sick fish either, and seems to be in an overall good condition.

In any case, it is still best to quarantine a fish so your home tank doesn’t get ruined because of this one mistake.

– Introducing a New Tank to Your Betta Fish

If you are moving betta to the bigger tank that is completely new, then you have to follow some rules. The tank has to be cycled properly or it can be harmful to the betta and other fishes too.

The way to do this is by removing all valuable parts from the new tank-like heaters, substrate, decorative items, and thermometers. Then, these removed items are submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes; this will remove any bacteria and dust from them.

Keep in mind that even small amounts of bacteria can be very harmful to the fish.

After this, the aquarium should also be filled with lukewarm water and then betta dechlorination drops should be added to the tank to ensure that the water is ready for the betta.

The way to use these drops will be described on the back of the bottle. Make sure to not use distilled water as it has been stripped of all-natural minerals which are actually essential for the fish.

Once you are done, put all the pieces together and add fish slowly, giving them a little food each time to ensure that the nitrate and ammonia levels remain low. Gradually increase the food. Moreover, make sure to start this cycling process at least a day before you introduce the new tank to the betta fish.

– Introducing To a Cycled Tank

For this, you have no initial steps to follow. Your tank is ready to have a new fish. Now, you will only need to know how to acclimate a betta fish.


Acclimating betta fish is an easy process that increases the chance of your fish surviving much more. If you want the new fish to have a healthy start to its new life with you, the simple steps we presented you should always be followed.

Moreover, here are some things to remember from the article, that will give you the gist of what you just read:

  • Not acclimating the new betta fish can cause it to die
  • The water conditions of the tank should match the appropriate conditions for the betta before transferring it
  • Before transferring the betta, make sure to quarantine it to prevent any diseases
  • Acclimate the betta with the standard method or the dripping method to make sure that you don’t risk its life or the lives of the rest of your fish

Our guide has helped you to know how to acclimate a betta fish and we are sure that you will now be able to apply our guidelines to your real-life tank.

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