Setting up your fish tank can be one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the process of getting new fish or changing your present fish’s habitat.
When it comes to happiness and growth, your betta fish requires more than a vase or bowl with a sprinkle of gravel.
I created a self-sustaining betta sorority, which means no upkeep is required other than feeding them once daily.
But you don’t have to stick to a theme if you merely want to put plants and other stuff in the tank that your betta fish likes. Do not be afraid to explore all of your possibilities!
So here I have come up with some betta tank setup ideas, including a self-sustaining betta sorority.
How To Make A Self-Sustaining Betta Sorority Tank
Let’s begin by defining each term.
Maintenance of the fish tank is a hassle, which might cause stress and tension. On the other hand, the environment in a self-sustaining aquarium takes care of itself and does not require continuous supervision.
Making a self-sustaining aquarium is not tricky; you will create a balanced ecosystem with plants and fish.
Plants and fish can work together nicely in ecosystems. Plants that filter and purify the water and provide a healthier habitat for fish to reside in will help them stay healthy.
You won’t have to cope with much stress if you can build this aquarium. Your vacation will be more pleasurable and less stressful if you create a self-sustaining aquarium.
Betta fish, especially males, are highly aggressive and cannot be housed together in the same aquarium. Female bettas are less aggressive than their male counterparts.
When you keep multiple females in one tank, it’s called a sorority. For the most part, aquarists keep at least five female betta fish in their tanks.
Items You Need To Make Sustaining Betta Sorority
For creating a self-sustaining betta aquarium, you’ll need (and you don’t) a few key components listed below.
If you want to keep 5-7 female bettas in a sorority with bottom feeders and invertebrates, a 10 to 20-gallon tank is ideal.
I planted heavily in my self-sustaining betta sorority and didn’t use any nutrients or CO2 supplements. As a result, the substrate will be critical for plant nutrition.
A clay-based foundation that is very nutritious and promotes plant development is usually required.
You may also use chemical-free garden soil, but you’ll need to soak it in water for a few days before drying it and layering it on the bottom.
For a self-sustaining tank, there is no need for a filter. Instead, the plant will work as an aquarium filter and water purifier.
Though I don’t have a heater in my self-cleaning betta tank, betta fish thrive in temperatures of about 80°F. Therefore, if your room temperature drops significantly during winter, it is preferable to use a suitable heater.
I’ll recommend some low-maintenance plants so that you don’t have to install any high-intensity lighting. Instead, you can use a standard LED appropriate for a planted aquarium.
Top 3 Plants For Self-Sustaining Betta Sorority
Numerous plants can be kept with betta fish; some are also toxic to them. Hence a careful selection is recommended.
Here are my top three recommendations. (Read my article Top 10 Best Plants For Betta Fish Tank to explore more options.)
Egeria Densa (Anacharis)
I’ve made it a self-cleaning aquarium by extensively growing Egeria Densa (Anacharis) in my betta sorority tank.
It removes nitrates from the water because it absorbs a large number of nutrients from it. As a result, water changes are unnecessary.
At the same time, it is drawing nutrients from the substrate via its roots. As a result, food leftovers and fish waste cannot build up in the substrate and cause an ammonia problem. Egeria Densa also plays a role in limiting the growth of algae.
Because of its rapid growth and ease of maintenance, Egeria densa is an excellent choice for beginning aquarium keepers.
Betta bulbs are ideal hiding spots for betta fish. It’s easy to create your own ecosystem with these little fellas because so many grow densely in one location and get close together!
Adding plants like betta bulbs will create a natural jungle for him to explore! In the process, he’ll be entertained for hours.
Betta bulbs can also be used to purify water. As a result, these plants can bring life and color to your aquarium.
I maintained a few Water Sprites in my betta tank, but they didn’t do well since they couldn’t compete for nutrients and light with the dominant Egeria Densa. However, I believe that water sprite alone can be a wonderful Egeria Densa substitute.
Water Sprite plants are an excellent method to provide more cover for your betta fish. They’re usually beginner-friendly, and they grow swiftly, producing lacy leaves in no time!
One of the most frequent aquarium plants is the Water Sprite. Because its leaves mimic ferns, it’s sold under various names, including Water Fern and Indian Feat.
Other Tankmates Of Bettas In A Sorority
I prefer to keep bottom-feeder fish and invertebrates like snails in a self-sustaining betta sorority. Snails are great for devouring uneaten food in your fish tank, and they will never overburden the water.
In my 10-gallon tank, I have one Synodontis Catfish, two snails, and five female bettas.
On the other hand, shrimp perform a vital role in the tank by increasing the water quality.
Process Of Making A Self-Sustaining Betta Sorority Aquarium
Now that you have all the components, it’s time to put your self-sustaining aquarium together. However, if the setup is subpar, it may take a long time to get going. However, with our help, you may construct the ideal aquarium using the correct procedure.
Step – 1: Clean, Check And Place The Tank
First and foremost, make sure the aquarium tank is clean and watertight.
Do not use any cleaning agents to clean it since this could harm the health of your fish. Then to make sure there are no leaks, fill your tank with water and put it in the bath.
Place the tank on a table or shelf or an appropriate aquarium stand. Make sure, however, that the ground is level.
Step -2: Make The Suitable Substrate
Make a strategy for where you want to put the plants in your tank once it’s ready to go. The substrate should be rich in nutrients.
Substrate materials are limited to one sort for me. The bottom layer should be between 2.5 and 3 inches thick.
Step – 3: Add 3 Inches Of Water
Begin with purified tap water or distilled water and some fish flakes, but only add about 3 inches of water at a time and agitate the sand to push out any additional air pockets to minimize the soil from leaching out.
Step – 4: Add Plants
Plants with broad leaves should be put at the back of the aquarium, while those with stems should occupy the center. Densely planted Anacharis (Egeria Densa) is my preferred way of planting.
As a floater, Lotus or Duckweed are good choices.
Step – 5: Fill The Tank
At the very least, you’ll leave the settings alone for three days after planting. Then, fill the tank if the plant appears to be doing well. Slowly and carefully fill the tank to avoid causing any damage to the substrate or soil. After 48 hours, the water should be entirely clear.
Step – 6: Add Heater And Light
Your tank is now ready for a heater and lighting. Installing the pieces of equipment requires following the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the devices running once you’ve performed a function check.
Step – 7: Add Invertebrates
The invertebrates you’ve chosen can now be added once you’ve seen the clean water. Snails and medium shrimp are good places to start since they may kick-start the nitrogen cycle, improve soil aeration, and break down waste.
Step – 8: Cycle The Tank
Allow at least two weeks for a healthy nitrogen cycle to be established. Your plants will be in good form by this point in the process. In addition, adding a few fish meal pellets every other day is an excellent idea.
Step – 9: Add Betta Fish
You can now introduce your betta fish to your aquarium. Bring six female bettas. However, it is best to get a group of bettas who have been raised together since birth. Add them to the tank once they’ve had time to become used to the water.
Four Vital Factors To Make The Betta Sorority Self-Sustaining
This is based on my first-hand account!! If you stick to the guidelines, you’ll be able to create a betta sorority that doesn’t need any upkeep.
A Layer Of Nutrient-Rich Soil As Substrate
The substrate will be critical in providing sufficient nutrition to your plants. Because, instead of fish waste, we won’t be adding any vitamins. As a result, begin with a nutrient-dense soil substrate. The layer should be at least 2.5 inches deep for your plants to take root well and establish themselves.
Plant Densely With Suggested Kinds
A heavily planted aquarium is our goal. Nitrate and ammonia will be absorbed by the plant, which will also add oxygen to the water. You should mostly use Egeria Densa because they will control your tank but should be kept in the background. Fill the middle with Water Sprite and the front with Betta Bulb.
Bring Female Bettas Grown Together Since Birth
To create a successful sorority, use this method, the most straightforward technique. Unfortunately, despite female bettas being less aggressive and can be housed together, a betta sorority may not succeed.
Find a group of female bettas that have been raised together since birth, and your sorority will come together.
Do Not Overstock
You must establish an ecology that is appropriately balanced.
More garbage will be generated if you overstock. As a result, because your plants will be unable to eliminate all of the toxins, the aquarium’s water will become contaminated.
Want It Fully Self-Sustaining?
Apart from regular feeding and turning on and off lights, there is nothing else you need to do after your aquarium is fully set up.
Still, if you don’t want to deal with that, there is a solution: automate the process.
Add Automatic Feeder
There are various advantages to using an automatic fish feeder besides reducing the inconvenience of manual feeding. It can be used to feed your fish regularly and timely. A feeder can also help you give your fish precisely what they need, reducing the risk of overfeeding.
If you leave for a vacation, an automatic feeder can help you keep your betta well-fed when you’re away. Betta fish can’t live for long without being fed, so an automatic feeder is a viable alternative.
Add Light Timer
In addition to providing an automated lighting schedule, a timer can also be beneficial to your aquarium. 10 to 12 hours of light a day is sufficient for fish and plants. To make illumination more convenient, you can install a timer or buy a unit with built-in timing. Then set it and leave it.
6 More Betta Tank Setup Ideas
There are several creative ways to make your betta sorority more visually appealing. Here are six additional aquarium-decorating ideas for you to consider.
The tails of Betta fish are elegant and delicate. So the rough tank décor might catch or tear these fins. In addition to taking away some of your betta fish’s beauty, this can cause harm, stress, and illness to your pet.
Aquarium decorations and driftwood should be avoided because they are sharp and abrasive. Likewise, discard any decorations in your betta’s tank if they seem to be bothering your betta.
The presence of plants in a betta’s aquarium is critical to its well-being. The company of plants in a betta’s tank helps them feel safe and secure and a source of fun and exploration.
Your betta’s tank will benefit significantly from tall, grassy plants. Betta fish enjoy the grassy, seaweed-like environment created by plants like Anacharis, Aponogeton, and Water Sprite.
If you’re not a fan of towering plants, perhaps you’d like some floating ones. Bettas prefer swimming, hiding, and even sleeping among some plants’ long, dangling roots, such as Water Lettuce and Amazon Frogbit.
Floating plants provide shade, reduce algae blooms, and protect low-light plants in the tank.
Bettas are often encouraged to build bubble nests by floating plants, which could even lead to breeding pairings.
As long as floating objects are in their habitat, betta fish enjoy lounging around. The same is valid with floating betta logs. Bettas enjoy the log because it gives them a sense of security and is open enough to allow you to see your betta.
Pre-made floating logs, typically composed of lightweight plastic, are probably your best choice. However, remember that wood may become waterlogged and sink soon, so long-lasting products like aquarium-safe silicone and plastic may be best.
Instead of using floating logs, you can also consider using leaf shelves as an alternative. Pre-made leaf shelves that attach to the side of your tank using suction cups are an option for your betta fish.
As with floating plants, a shelf of leaves can foster an environment of safety and security for your betta, which may, in turn, lead to the making of their bubble nests.
I love the idea of adding lucky bamboo to my tank! It’s a tall, fast-growing, and water-loving plant. In addition, lucky bamboo may be grown partially underwater, making it suitable for aquariums.
If the leaves are kept above the waterline, then they should thrive. You may construct a bamboo forest for your betta fish using many bamboo stalks. Add some sand walkways and a pagoda or temple to create a relaxing picture.
Let your imagination run wild! With a “four seasons” tank theme, you can incorporate different themes (such as Betta Biotope) or designs into the tank simultaneously. This can be accomplished by using a variety of substrates that are evenly scattered throughout the tank.
You can use different sorts of plants from other sections in these varied substrates to create the illusion of changing seasons or different settings from section to section.
The substrates can be separated using rocks, pebbles, or ornaments to conceal indistinct lines. Tank dividers can house multiple betta fish, each in its own separate environment.
Betta fish can thrive in an engaging and enriching habitat that doesn’t have to be complicated or tricky! You’re allowed to create your betta’s tank whatever you choose, as long as it’s something that you and your pet will enjoy.
You have free reign over designing the environment they live in; from varying lighting conditions to adding plants for cover – anything goes!
Variable habitats may be created with the help of lighting, plants, and aquarium décor that can be swapped out regularly to keep things fresh and interesting.