Betta fish bowl with plant

DroopyJune 27, 2002

I'm thinking about buying a Betta fish this weekend and I heard the vases with the plants are harmful has anyone heard this?

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I have two bata fish with a peace lilly as the plant. Have had both of them for year or more. Do not know about the harmful part but mine are still hanging on so far. I do not use distilled water either. I fill 2 one gallon plastic containers with tap water and let it set with the top off between cleanings of the bowl. Get you one for they are really pretty. Good Luck Granniewitt

    Bookmark   June 28, 2002 at 10:47AM
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I had a betta and it did pretty well in a vase with a plant...until I mistakenly filled the vase too full of water. No one told me they were air breathers. I felt so horrid. Can't bring myself to get another one.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2002 at 2:29PM
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I three have Beta fish in Vases with various plants. You don't have to limit yourself to just Peace lily... you can use Photos, Philodendrons, and a few other non-tonic plants.
FYI, my beta's have been living for over a year with these various plants.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2002 at 4:01PM
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quarterstitch(Z9 AZ) to this forum and wanted to jump on in;)

There has been some debate regarding these types of betta homes. I have been breeding betta's for years and I have a personal thought on this issue. The homes themselves aren't bad at all. It is true you do not have to limit yourself to just the lilly. Philadendrons are stunning as well. What makes these tanks risky is that betta owners assume the fish can live and thrive on eating the plant/roots only. This isn't a good idea at all. You can keep your betta happy in these homes by keeping to water clean (it is best advised to use bottled water...though not a must), keeping the plant healthy of course and feeding your fish a betta specific food.

Thanks for letting me pipe in my 2 cents...enjoy your fish, they are beautiful:)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2002 at 3:26PM
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I don't have a problem with the water, the fact that you feed this living creature, or NOW, the issue that a beta needs the "breathing room" haha....but the plant. I would like to know what plants are an absolute NO NO for using with this setup. I currently have a house plant that most people recieve from a florist when they have had surgery. It's usually staked and had no flowers. It is a vine plant. Sorry, not sure of the name. Can anyone give me a check list for the wrong types of plants?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2003 at 11:16PM
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My boyfriend bought me a bata fish with a peace lilly plant, the fish is doing great but the leaves on the plant are turning yellow it looks like its dieing, has anyone ever seen this, is there anything I can do to save it?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2004 at 11:32AM
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My peace lilly in my beta fish bowl occasionally looses leaves--but new ones appear right after that.

I bought a glass container at the container store. As my beta swims around, he actually get distorted by the shape of the bowl. People actually ask me if my beta is as big as it looks (5 inches!)

I added some underwater green plants from my outdoor water garden and some snails. The snails keep the glass crystal clear and the plant provides oxygen. Do feed the fish. I feed mine once a week. I've had him over a year and he's just wonderful.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2004 at 6:19PM
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I had a Betta for about two years - they are beautiful... I had the traditional peace lily and it didn't do so well, so I tried philodendron (which I had used in my aquarium previously) and it was beautiful.

I use tap water -- let it sit with the lid off for 24 hours to rid the water of chlorine - this also brings the water to room temp.

I found out also that they do require air at the top to breathe, mine about "bought the farm" before I figured that one out!-- Bettas are not your ordinary fish. I was glad to find out that snails would help keep the glass clean! I fed my little guy a very small amount of flake Betta food each day.

You will love your fish! They are so graceful to watch, especially after your plant has produced a good root system. Just keep the water clean and you should have no problems! Have fun!!!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 4:28PM
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Don't forget to feed the bettas some fish food once a week. They are meat eaters, not vegetarians.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2004 at 6:59PM
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DO you trim the roots of the Peace lilly after it's been in the water for awhile ? I had one in the vase -- (without the fish ) and the roots grew so big and raggy looking ....... yuck ! I'd appreciate advice before I get a fish !

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 2:28PM
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dgo1223(7 NW Ga)

I'm glad someone bumped this subject up again.
I would love to make one of these. I have several glass containers I can use.

I would love to see someone post clear directions how you did it, and some pics would be great!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 3:53PM
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    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 3:49PM
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number_1_angel(z5 iowa)

I have had 3 of these for 3 years now--I do trim the roots-
feed the fish twice a week-and I love them--
Enjoy your creation and use your imagination--I have shells in one--marbles in one-- and pink glass in the other--looks tropical!!
just my 2 8Â)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 6:24PM
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counselor4444(6A NJ)

I'd like to start one of these myself, but I have a few questions that I cannot find answers to:
-I read on one website to put a little bit of miracle grow in the water periodically to help the plant on top... is this ok for the beta?
-What plant can I use for an office without natural light?
-How often do I need to completely change the water?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 12:31PM
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I have several bettas, and what I do now is throw a piece of pothos right in the water with the fish. The pothos root beautifully in the fish's water, and the fish enjoy having a plant right in the water with them. They like to hide behind the leaves, or rest on them. When the pothos have vigorous roots, I pot them up and take another cutting to put in with the fish.

I used to have a peace lily/fish arrangement, but the neither the fish nor the plant looked healthy until I separated them. I think the betta may not have been able to get enough air. His color improved dramatically after the peace lily plant was removed, and replaced by a smaller, submerged piece of pothos. I still have that betta, five years later! I also have bunches of pothos houseplants that I started in the fishbowls. :o)

I add Doc Wellfish's aquarium salt to the water every time I change it; it keeps the fish healthier and does not harm the pothos. If I plan on putting the same cutting back in with the fish, I give it a rinse before I put it back into his water, to keep scummy stuff from building up on the roots. The leaves do very well underwater.

I feed my bettas a tiny amount of Hakari Betta Biogold daily, and use glass marbles in the bottoms of their vases. Sometimes I tie a pretty ribbon around the neck of the vase.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2004 at 2:51PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Debbie-Don't put Miracle Grow in the water unless you want a dead Betta! Lark's suggestion about using Pothos(Ivy) sounds good.I don't think they are toxic and I root Pothos in water all the time.It will grow in just about any type of light.I change out my Betta's water completely about once a week,or when it starts looking cloudy.I have him in a very large brandy snifter with colored half marbles in the bottom,no plants.I remove him to a smaller container,scrub his container with hot soapy water and rinse well.Then refill with RO water and replace the Betta.I have had him almost 2 years and have never had a problem with him.Good luck..................Lillie

    Bookmark   October 3, 2004 at 1:56AM
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missourilark(z5 Mo.)

I saw this ,and had to laugh.(sorry)My daughter gave me this beautiful betta,vase,and peace lily,for Mothers day.
I had it for almost 3 hours.Kids took me out to eat,and while I was gone the cat decided he was hungry.OH,and did I mention the hundered or so marbles that were in the lovely vase...what a mess.Haven't gotten the nerve to replace the fish,but the plant is doing well. :)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 2:04PM
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I saw this fish and plant set-up on a flyer at Michaels craft store today, only they had some kind of small frogs in the water, not the betas.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 10:32PM
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hi i was doing a search and came across this page and was absolutely appalled. these posts are terribly misinformed and its very important that you consider that bettas require special care and these vases are very misleading and cruel. they are NOT ecosystems! actually this is not new news and most retailers do not sell these vases anymore. BETTAS ARE LIVING THINGS NOT CRAFTS OR DECORATIONS!

first of all they are carnivorous feeding off mosquito larvae in the wild, they are NOT VEGETARIANS! the only reason they are nibbling on the roots is because they are STARVING AND HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE! bettas are very sensitive to bacteria and fungi, which proliferate on the roots of these plants. they can get fin rot, ich, dropsy, velvet, etc and all of these problems are fatal if left untreated. another problem with these vases is that they dont allow enough room for the fish. bettas live in large rice pattys not puddles, and they are strong swimmers and need excersize to stay healthy. they also need air, and the plant and vase neck can cut off that oxygen supply. first thing you do is put the plant in its own pot, get a larger fish bowl or even better a tank. and for god sakes dont feed the fish once a week!!!!! just because the fish seems ok and doesnt up and die on you doesnt mean its not starving. it takes a male betta 1 month before it dies of starvation. bettas require DAILY feedings.. i feed mine twice a day, 4 to 6 pellets at a time for each. bettas require ALOT more than this though.. which i wont type here but you can get more info on the web there are dozens of betta sites that have lots of info about bettas. here is one that is worth a look if you truly care about your fish which im sure you do.. please take a look

also do a search on these vases.. you will see the amount of info that strongly state that they are HORRIBLE. sorry to be an alarmist.. but i found this thread to be ALARMING. please plant enthusiasts.. if you find that this is too much work than do the lily vase but OMIT the fish. i know that bettas are pretty and ad 'FLAIR' to the centerpeice, but dont forget that they are living things as well. how would you like to be in a stuffy bowl with roots all over you and you cant breathe and you have to stew in your own feces and urine??

would kinda suck right?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 6:22AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

bettaexpert-I read the article you posted,as I have many others on the internet.There are many diverse opinions about the Beta/plant issue.For one thing,I have NEVER seen a statement on the fish/plant in a store stating not to feed the Beta or ever change the water.That is just ridiculous!This is just my opinion,but I think the writer of that article has gone a little overboard and like a lot of other missinformed people,hasn't done his homework.However,the suggestions he gave at the end is good,sound advice.
I believe you can have a Beta in a bowl with a plant as long as it has adequete "breathing room" and is fed tiny amounts of regular Beta food daily.(Do you know that Beta's will eat and eat as long as you feed them and can die from overeating?)If you see that the fish is looking poorly or things just don't seem right,simply remove the plant and see if that solves the problem.I have a Beta that is almost 2 years old.His home is a very large brandy snifter with colored marbles in the bottom.I change his water once a week.I put him in a small container,dump the marbles in a collander,scrub the bowl and marbles with hot soapy water,rinse very well then refill with RO water that has been sitting overnight.I have on occasion used RO water right from the tap with no ill effects to the fish.I opted not to have a plant in the water(after a week) because it collected a lot of green slime between water changes.I also prefer to be able to see my little fella swim around and swim to the side of the bowl when I walk by.So far he is a happy,healthy little guy.
You really should do more research on the Beta.There are a lot of reputable breeder's websites with information that is more accurate than the "off the wall" one you posted.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 12:27AM
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seems kinds cruel to me, why not just have some fancy colored rock or marbles instead of a fish. I'm not against keeping fish, I have 40 gallon tank with fancy goldfish, I always felt that fish needed room to swim around and explore. With a healthy mixture of light, air, plants

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 9:57PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

I don't understand what you think is cruel.Cruel to put the fish in a smaller container,cruel to put it in a small container with a plant??? Why would it be cruel to provide a fish with clean water and daily food,even if it is for ones own enjoyment? Better than being in a pond or river and getting eaten by a bigger fish! LOL When you get right down to it,goldfish are way out of their natural enviornment even in a 40 gallon tank! Betas require very little space to be happy and if you watch their behavior, they don't swim much anyway. They mostly just sit on the bottom of the container and look beautiful! If one enjoys looking at them,as I assume you enjoy your goldfish or you wouldn't have them,then get one and enjoy it! They are FISH for pity sake!
God bless.................Lillie

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 1:09AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

By the way bettaexpert,I wouldn't like to be in a stuffy bowl with roots in my face and swimming around in my own feces and urine,but then again,I'm not a FISH!
Not intending to offend anyone but the correct spelling is Beta................Lillie

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 1:17AM
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kathyannd(Zone 9b)

Hi all. In response to the question about using MiracleGro, I also read somewhere that it was a good thing to do. I had a beautiful pothos growing out of the top of my fish bowl and and my gorgeous blue and purple beta really enjoyed swiming through the stems and leaves. I should ahve left well enough alone. I added a mere few drops of dilute MiracleGro and it wound up being MiracleGO... poor Max (my fishy) was floating sideways within an hour. I was so heartsick, I never did get another fish.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2004 at 9:31PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

I can't imagine how anyone could think that putting a chemical compound(MiracleGro)into a container with a fish would not kill the fish!
Kathy,I'm sorry about your little fishie.I guess that is one of those instances where,as the saying goes,"Live and Learn".You really should get another one though.They are so beautiful to watch and I know if anything ever happens to Okie (my Beta),I will really miss him and would most likely replace him.
Just a warning to all......DO NOT USE MIRACLEGRO IN FISH'S WATER!....................Lillie

    Bookmark   December 27, 2004 at 4:02PM
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I want to add the fish are a very relaxing hobby. I doesn't take a whole lot to keep their bowl clean and they are beautiful to watch. I don't like to see them in a too small bowl. I think they need more room to excercise a little bit. You can enjoy them in any weather. JLily

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 8:48AM
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Marie_NE_PA(Z5 PA)

I've had mine for a few years now. It seems the fish waste works as a fertilizer. I found that placing a length of aquarium tubing (about 1/2 inch diameter) through the plastic 'dish' used to hold the plant makes a great way to feed the fish without lifting the plant. If the tube forms any 'fuz', simply use a pipe cleaner with a loop inthe end to clean it out. My little buddy sees me pick up the food container and he swims right over to the bottom of the tube, flares his gills and waits for his food. He will also follow my finger around the side of the bowl whiel displaying for me. I made one of these things for a friend who owns a restaurant. She keeps it on the bar and he is a big hit with the customers. She, like me, fills a jug of water about a day before he needs changed and sets it next to the vase. When its time to change the water, its has leached out and is the right temperature.

I do make a habit, tho, of every time I see one of these things, to remind the owner that they MUST feed the fish properly. OUr local hospital has also started using my 'tube feeding' method. It is so much less stressfull for the plant and the fish.

And don't make the mistake of thinking that just cause he blows himself a nest of bubbles you can give him a girlfriend. i tried that, twice with different girls, and he killed them both....

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 7:39PM
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I've been wanting to do something with a beta fish and a living plant for so long. I am glad to finally find the information.

I was wondering if you can use lucky bamboo for this type of project. This may seem like a silly question, because I know nothing about bamboo, but I have only seem them in smaller containers, nothing suitable for a beta.

Any suggestions would be appriciated.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 10:31PM
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dannie(3b NWO Canada)

Just a comment to add to the messages above... please do not scrub your betta's (double t is the correct spelling - Betta Splendens) home with soap or any detergent of any kind. Even if you rinse well, you do risk to leave some residue in there and eventually this will harm your fish. Use salt (coarse kosher salt is best) to scrub its home and rinse well. Also, the bigger the home, the happier your fish will be.

I am glad that people have noted that they do need to be fed daily with an appropriate food. I was shocked to discover that some people thought they could survive off the roots but I guess that was a myth spread by the sellers of the plant/betta set ups. Weekly fresh water changes (leaving the water out overnight is a great idea) are also crucial to keeping your Betta healthy. If we are going to own some kind of a living creature, we owe it to them to do our best to find out how to keep it happy and healthy.

(owned by 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 rabbits, 5 goldfish, 1 sailfin pleco and several plants)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 1:07AM
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I have a peace lilly in my beta bowl and the tips of the leaves are just beginning to turn brown and im wondering if this is a bad thing, and what i can do about it-possible root rot?? When i bought the plant, the store had the lillies planted completely underwater-leaves and all-does it make a difference?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 1:19AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Luckylynn-I can't understand why anyone would completely imerse a Peace Lily in water and expect it to live.It is not an underwater plant.I have Peace Lilies myself and the leaves will turn brown either for lack of enough water or from being watered too much. Sometimes they may also need
a little fertilizer,which you can't do if the plant is in
a fish bowl.
Personally,I would not have a plant of any kind in the bowl with my Betta,unless it is an underwater plant and the Betta is in a container with a filter.The water gets too yukky and needs to be changed too often.I have added a link you might want to read about Peace Lilies and Bettas.

This is information I found on the care of Peace Lilies
Cultural information:
"Peace Lilies" are probably the most popular plant in the USA.There are numerous varieties available from small leaved plants to very broad leaved plants, in every pot size imaginable. They are quite easy to grow. In a well lit, warm or dry environment... they can consume lots of water. Check for water 2 - 3 times per week until you are accustomed to your plants requirements. If your plant becomes severely wilted... place it in a bath tub or large sink and run plenty of water thru the soil to re-moisten the root ball. Repeated wilting will cause leaf spotting and brown leaf edges. Feed bi-monthly. Make sure the soil is moist before feeding.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 4:41PM
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I currently own one betta fish but know quite a bit about them. My mother is actively talking and interacting with my fish, whom she named and bought. They are great stress releavers if you know how to watch them. Plants may not be harmful to the fish if you have the right kind. So surf the net and find a good kind to buy.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 6:32PM
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what are some good plants to put in a betta bowl? i do prefer just the roots in the water but plants that can live completely underwater would be fine too, any ideas?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 9:43PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Luckylynn-If you want underwater plants go to a pet store that sells fish and plants.They will be able to give you some ideas as to what is the best kind.....Lillie

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 1:02AM
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oregoncrafter(southern or)

I have two bettas and no plants. I think it would be distracting to have a plant. I have the artificial aquarium plants in the bowl and a little statue that says No Fishing. I have even named them Rocky and Bullwinkle. They are cute and I swear they know when I am in the room, because they look for me because they know I feed them.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 4:39PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Oregon-Do you have 2 Bettas in the same bowl?
I am like you,I think plants just detract from the fish.Plus,less stuff in the bowl makes it easier to clean and change the water.I change his water about every 2 weeks,or more if it gets to looking yukky,and use RO water.I have mine in a big Container that looks like a brandy snifter and holds almost a gallon of water.I just have clear,blue and green half marbles in the bottom.It sits on the bar/divider in my dining room and every morning when I go to the kitchen he swims over and waits for a kiss!LOL When I pick up the jar of food to feed him he starts swimming around and wiggling his tail.I have had him almost 2 years and he is so much fun to watch.......Lillie

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 12:33AM
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vilcat(z4b NH)

I have five bettas and I keep them in the large vases with large gravel and a sprig of parrot's feather in with each fish. After doing extensive research, and through experience, I found that filling a container with hot water from the hot tap only and letting it sit until cool or the same temp as the fish's vase water, and either waiting 24 hours or using clorine remover drops, prevents the tiny bubbles that form on everything after you change the fish's water. The bubbles are harmful to the Betta's fins as they form on the fish too. The most important thing to remember when changing their water is to make sure the temperature of the fresh water is the same as the water you are changing. Temperature differences are a major killer of bettas, I found that out the hard way. By all means, do your research before buying a Betta, and through many avenues not just one book or web site. For those who think, like I used to, that keeping Bettas in vases is cruel, the fact is, the fish is feels more secure in a small space as its natural habitat is shallow puddles and drainage ditches. Native Bettas are usually brown, so the pretty colored ones are "Hybrids" that have been raised in small containers as well.

I keep mine under lights to show off their beautiful colors and feed daily with a betta food. I supplement this in the summer with mosquito larva, they love it!
I also found that if you only have one Betta, that showing it a mirror every once in a while keeps it healthy and developes its color. With two or more, place their bowls close to each other and rotate them to keep them from getting used to the same fish all of the time.
Four of my five fish are in the blue/purple range and my most prized fish is yellow with a blue blotch.
These fish are very rewarding and each has its own personality and do recognize their keepers. Mine beg for food whenever they see me.

Kathy >^..^

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 9:14PM
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vilcat(z4b NH)

I forgot to mention...just because my fish beg for food all of the time does not mean I feed them every time they beg. I feed four tiny Betta pellets once in the morning, and two in the evening.

Kathy >^..^

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 9:25PM
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allielovesbettas(z5 MA)

Please don't place your male bettas right next to each other. While this does help with color, it stresses them out a lot, making them very very susceptible to diseases. A fish in a constant state of flaring is not a happy fish. The only way you can place two male betta fish next to each other is if you use a divider so they can't see each other. If you want, you could get a female betta (smaller, but still really colorful) and place her in between. It doesn't stress her out, and the males are rather happy to have a female near them. Mine are constantly building bubble nests (though I have never bred them) with her around. Bettaexpert is right about the plants, it does leave them susceptible to diseases, I had live plants in one of my tanks, and it always seemed to cause my betta to get sick, on the other hand, I know others with live plants that do well. I guess that sometimes it depends on the fish. Don't feed your fish once a week, or keep it in anything smaller than a half gallon tank, your fish should be eating like pigs.

Please, if you decide to do this, make sure that there is plenty of air, and that the fish is well fed.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 6:48PM
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Maybe it was a mercy killing. "Here, Honey, I don't want you to suffer in here with me."

I can take a human and put him in a closet and feed him a little each day and he'll live! Guess that means he's happy.

Okay, enough sarcasm. ;-)

I don't believe that deep down, all those who are rationalizing or justifying the cruelty of keeping a fish in a very small bowl really believe that this is humane. Do you?! Fish are made to swim, to breed, to eat. Birds are meant to fly, to breed, to eat. And we take great joy in watching them. Neither belongs in a small confined space, no matter how pretty they are.

Dispelling some myths--bettas are found in mud puddles, thus don't need to swim. There are hundreds of different types of wild bettas; they do not appear by Divine Intervetion into a puddle. They come from swamps, rivers, ponds, where they are free to swim, establish a territory (which they do fiercly defend), attract a mate, raise a brood. And in the wild, they do not kill their mates, eat their young, or murder each other the way they do in captivity. They were bred to fight. But they also don't kill each other in the wild because they have plenty of space. When the male chases the female (part of their mating ritual), she is free to run and hide. In a small bowl, she can't do that, and thus, usually ends up badly beaten up or dead. I have a pair in a ten gallon tank, and the female spent two days mostly hiding and evading him. But they like each other, and when they are separated by a divider, often stare and flare, and communicate with each other. And they get depressed when I have to clean the tank or separate them for any reason. They swim A LOT in the tank. They are fish--they like to swim. They also like to sit on top of a leap at the top of the tank and breathe air like a seal. They are extraordinary little creatures with different personalities, and it saddens me that someone would view them as a decoration without considering how the confinement must feel for them.

Of course they react when you bring them food. They can't hunt their own, and they are lonely. Before I got my betta a friend, he responded to me a lot. Now, he'd rather I left him alone more. :-0

Don't mean to hurt feelings or offend anybody, but I am simply stating the truth when I say that birds are meant to fly, fish are meant to swim, and neither of these creatures enjoys being alone.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 5:36PM
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I have a true story to tell...

A friend of mine went to a wedding last summer. The theme was a tropical one...the bride and groom were going somewhere warm for their honeymoon. The centerpieces on each table were to be given away to the guests at the end of the evening. Centerpieces...betta fish in a vase with a CALLA lily as the plant in the bowl. The arrangement looked wonderful until as the evening wore on the fish started going belly side up and one by one they died. There were little kids crying because the fish that they were going to take home were dying. Some people even took the calla lily out and changed the water in the vase hoping that the fish would revive. No such luck. Moral of the story...Calla lilies are POISONOUS to fish and even if they look pretty, looks can be deceiving.

Am really enjoying the Garden Web forums...lots of different topics and so much information!!!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 10:22PM
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1. its betta pronounced "bettuh" not "bayta"
2. you must be careful of diseases on plants.. i just had a betta die from columnaris caused by an underwater plant i added to the bowl
3. be cautious about putting female bettas in bowls next to males.. i had one jump out (she was trying to get to the male)..she did not live
4. bettas need to be fed a very small amount daily
5. using bettas in a undergravel filter system is a bad idea
6. the rumor of "you don't have to feed it, it lives off the roots is very common..many people have been misinformed even some people selling these type of setups"
7. not all bettas like betta bites..most ive seen love freeze-dried bloodworms, but if u feed that only do it as a treat, give very little, and remove any not eaten (it fouls water quickly)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 5:34AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

My Betta likes addled flies! You know,the ones you hit with the fly swatter just hard enough to knock him out for a second but his legs are still moving!! Drop him in the fish bowl and he's gone in a nano-second! Poor little fly,never knew what hit him.LOL He gets one every couple of days. Fresh meat ya know! And he always thanks me with a flare of his tail and a kiss on the side of the bowl,although I think he is just telling me he wants another one! LOL
Kelicom said,"I don't believe that deep down,all those who are rationalizing or justifying the cruelty of keeping a fish in a very small bowl really believe that this is humane." So then,I guess taking a dog or cat and confining them to a house or yard (just so we can love and pet them for our own gratification and pleasure) would also be cruel and inhumane? Oh,sorry,that's another discussion for later. And really,do you think that little fishie cares,or even knows for that matter,where he is? How big is a Betta's brain anyway? Bout the same size as that fly he had for lunch! LOL He is being fed and has fresh water to swim in so he IS happy as far as "Happy" fishies go.
And,they weren't plucked out of the rice paddies and shipped to the pet stores. These Bettas are raised in bowls/tanks of water and "genetically engineered",(for lack of a better word) for the beautiful colors that we enjoy. Bettas in the wild are a drab greenish brown color.
There is much controvercy and difference of opinion concerning Bettas but the following information seems to be pretty much the overall facts.
A few facts about Bettas:
Spelling: The names Beta Fish,Fighting Beta Fish,Siamese fighting Fish and Siamese Beta Fish are often seen. But Beta is a misspelling of Betta,which is a word that comes from the scientific name Betta Splendens.
The scientific name of the Genus Betta was taken from a word in the local language with the phonetic spelling bettah. Correct pronunciation,"Bet-tuh"

Habitat/Care: Bettas are one of the most recognized,most colorful,and often most controversial fish in the fresh water hobby. Debates range on about the appropriateness of keeping them in small bowls. To fully understand their needs it is important to become familiar with their native habitat. Bettas originate in the shallow waters in Thailand (formerly called Siam,hence their name)Indonesia,
Malaysia,Vietnam,and parts of China.
They proliferate rice paddies,shallow ponds,and even slow moving streams. (Not mud puddles as someone else said).
Although many fish keepers are aware that Bettas come from shallow waters,a key factor that is often overlooked is the water temperature. These countries are tropical,which means the water temperature is quite warm - often reaching into the 80's. Bettas thrive on heat,and will become increasingly listless when the water temperature falls below 75 degrees F. Water temperature is perhaps the biggest argument against keeping a betta in a tiny bowl (which cannot readily be heat controlled).
Even though Bettas do well in waters low in dissolved oxygen,that does not mean they require less oxygen than other fish.
Bettas have a special respiratory organ that allows them to breathe air directly from the surface. In fact they inherently must do so. In experiments where the labyrinth organ was removed,the fish died from suffocation even though the water was saturated with oxygen. For this reason,Bettas must have access to the water surface to breathe air directly from the atmosphere.
Optimally the water for keeping healthy Bettas should be soft,warm,with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Water movementshould be kept to a minimum,which means that power filters and powerheads are not suitable. Bettas may be kept in a community tank as long as the water conditions are met,and if no aggressive or fin-nipping fish are present. However,only one male may be kept in each aquarium,unless they are separated by a barrier.
The use of plastic boxes that hang inside the aquarium are a suitable option for keeping more than one betta in a tank,or for keeping them in a tank with fish that might nip their fins. Females will generally not fight with each other,and may be kept in the same tank.

NOTE: Selling a betta in a vase with a Peace Lily has become in vogue. However, a flower vase is not a suitable environment for the betta.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 9:33PM
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I have gone trough 3 bettas in the last year and a half, I still can't figure out what is going wrong. I used to have them in a gallon pickle jar with some sort of lily but after my second one died I decided I should get a bigger tank. So I went and got a 2 gallon tank to give him lots of room to swim. I also went and got him a cheap filteration system in hopes that it might help a little, I don't have it on all the time. I then split the lily plant in half because it got to big and twisty tied it to the mesh wire we have up so my 1 year old cat can't get to him. I know that the plant is not blocking his air because it is a wide mouthed bowl, and the plant doesn't even take up half of the mouth. Jacques my betta i have now is red with turqouise spots and is a split fin he likes the betta pellats that you can find at any pet store, and i used to feed him twice a day till I looked at his belly and saw he was eating a little too much. If you guys have anything else that might help plese let me know.

thanks Ashley

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 6:14PM
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victoriaamazonia(z5 RI)

i have been recently doing a lot of research on the best way to keep betta fish. i agree that an aquarium is the best method, however i do not have the space for an aquarium. i would like to do the best i can with a fairly large vase or a bowl. im aware of the need for cultured gravel, de-chlorinated water, and an area for the fish to breathe air. i was also thinking of investing in aquatic snails to clean the bowl as well as aquatic plants that are non-toxic to the fish. however, i still have a question that hasnt been answered by my research. ive read that water temperature that is below 75degrees can make the betta listless, but is it possible to raise the water temperature in a bowl? people have emphasized the importance of have a warm temperature for the water, but no one has said how to do it exactly. amu other helpful hints or suggestions are welcome!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 12:49AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

I am surprised this thread is still active after such a long time. LOL
Rayna-My Betta Okie is two years old. He is and has been in the same container all his life,or at least as long as he has lived with me. The container is a very large brandy snifter shaped bowl that holds a little more than half a gallon of water. I have about a cup full of clear and colored half marbles in the bottom of the bowl,mostly for looks.No plants or other creatures in the container. I tried a plant when I first got him but found that I had to change the water more often so I disposed of it. I change the water in the bowl about every 2 weeks,or when it begins to look cloudy. I use room temperature RO (reverse osmosis) water. When I change the water I place him in a small container with fresh RO water then empty the big bowl and scrub it with dish soap and hot water and rinse very well.I put the marbles in a collander and rinse them off well with hot water. I then refill the container with RO water,replace the marbles and put him back in. His bowl sits on the bar between my kitchen and living room and has been there since I got him. I keep the temperature in my home very cool in the summer,usually around 68 to 70 and about the same temp in the winter so I know the water temperature is nowhere near 75. I feed him a regular commercial food for Bettas and an occasional fly or gnat. He loves them! Anyway,he has never had any fungus or fin disease and seems to be healthy. Of course I'm saying this now and he may die tomorrow! LOL Anyway,I don't think a larger tank or filtering system should make that much difference and I think they are more enjoyable in a smaller container with nothing to detract from their beauty. Bettas are not a very active fish and do well in small containers as long as the surface of the water is sufficent for them to get air.
Ashley-If you are using the lily with every one of your Bettas that have died,maybe the lily is the problem??? I would take out everything but the fish and see what happens. You can over feed them. Bettas will eat as long as there is food available. I feed mine once a day and sometimes forget and skip a day and as I said,he is thriving.....Lillie

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 9:07PM
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I have a betta in a vase with a plant at the top. I feed it daily and it has air OK. Today I see a circle of small bubbles on the surface of the water. Anyone know what that is and whether it is bad?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 12:56PM
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A couple things - first if your betta is making a bubble nest then he is HAPPY!!!

Keep the Betta (not Bata, not Beta, BETTA, the "E" is short, not an "A" sound) and his plant near a neonydium plant bulb for 6-8 hours a day. This will help the plant to thrive and also provide good light for the fish. My peace lily went from looking yellowed when bought to BLOOMING in about three months. You can use the kind that goes into a regular table lamp. A "hidey place" should be provided for your Betta's comfort - the plant helps but is not truely a hiding place. Keep the roots trimmed too so the betta has room to stretch his fins. Your bowl should reall be no smaller than a one-gallon size. At this size or bigger, you could even keep a small catfish with him for company and to keep the bottom a little cleaner.

Air is important as has already been discussed. Make sure there is sufficient ventilation around the plant by adding holes in the bottom of the plastic tray or by placing several plastic straw pieces around the plant to get air down to the fish.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 8:57PM
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ive had my beta over a year now......a pretty red and teal color.......son got me a beta fish tank that plugs in and has a light and bubbles to keep air in the water.....i fill it with gallon of spring water every other month or so..and feed the fish 4 granulars of food every fishy is very lively compared to some that ive seen in the bowl with plants on top...i put aquarium rocks on the bottom and a few fake plants in....the fish will sleep behind them.....

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 2:24AM
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It is inhumane to keep a betta in a vase with a plant. Although bettas can *survive* in a small space, they will not be very happy and will be more prone to disease and death.


In reality, Bettas CAN be housed with other Bettas so long as they are female. They are very social animals and can be place in an aquarium with most other varieties of fish without causing problems.

A betta needs at least a 1/2 gallon of water, with a wide opening so as to provide enough surface area for oxygen exchange. They also breath at the surface using a labryinth lung. This surface breathing and oxygen exchange would be inhibited by the plant covering the top of the vase. The roots of the plant can also contain dangerous bacteria that may cause disease in the fish.

Most people believe that a Betta fish in a vase with a plant mimics the ecosystem that the betta is accustomed to. However, ecosystems are very complex entities that simply cannot be mimicked outside of nature.

You CANNOT just plunk a betta into plain tap water. The chlorine is very toxic to their systems. The water must be aged either naturally or with a water conditioner. It is not advisable to use bottled water and especially not distilled water they do not contain the proper minerals that tap water provides.

Only approved aquarium gravel should be used as other decorative rocks may leach harmful chemicals in the water.

Bettas ARE in fact picky eaters and should not be fed tropical fish flakes as they have different nutritional needs. Betta flakes and pellets are often refused. The best food to feed betta fish are live or frozen food, specifically brine shrimp or bloodworms.

If you were to be so cruel as to keep a Betta in a vase the water would have to be changed (remember to de-chlorinate!) every 2 days.

Bettas are not disposable.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 2:40PM
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Yeah, I did mention that...bettas *can* be housed together. I have two males in a ten gallon...BUT they are separated. One male has free "run" and the other is kept in a "betta breeder net". They are switched every so often. But other than that, you should generally not keep them together (besides females...but then again, females can be snippy too).

Also, a 1/2 gallon really isn't that suitable. It's a little...small. The generally accepted minimum is 2.5 gallons. I'm not saying that you absolutely can't keep a betta in a 1/2 gallon, because I did until I learned my lesson. I'm just saying that the fish won't have a quality life. Everyone says that bettas aren't active. Well, some may not be...but almost every one of mine are more active than some other fish I've seen. So, they need room. Plus, like I said about the ammonia...


    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 10:35PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

"It is not advisable to use bottled water and especially not distilled water they do not contain the proper minerals that tap water provides."
I think with everything there are many variables.What might work in one instance may not in another.My Betta is almost 3 years old,very healthy and active and I use nothing but Reverse osmosis water and he eats only Betta food purchased at Wal-Mart,plus an occasional gnat.He loves gnats!
"a 1/2 gallon really isn't that suitable"
My Betta has lived in the same container,sometimes one a little smaller,since I brought him home and as I said is very active and healthy.I do change his water frequently.
I really think everyone just needs to know the basics,try different things and see what works for your fish.My DGS just brought his Betta here for me to keep while he is in National Guard training.It is in a 20 gallon aquarium with 3 turtles and other assorted scavenger fish and about 4 inches of water and no filtering system.He has had him for over a year and he seems to be thriving in that enviornment.So,I guess to each his own! LOL......Lillie

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 5:13AM
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That's pretty good for a betta-3 years. About the 1/2 depends on the fish. Sometimes you *can* keep a betta in 1/2 gallon, if they don't produce a lot of ammonia. It's good to get a test kit...Some bettas just behave differently (some may not swim as much while others do) and some produce more ammonia. It all depends on the fish.

Hmmm...It's been about two weeks since I changed their water...I'd better get on it :) I'm lazy.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 8:05PM
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Hey guys, Im an experienced aquarist having kept various tank configurations in the past, well as numerous Bettas and other labyrinth fish.

OK, a few things I would like to point out.

***** A bit of background info *****

The fish in question, "Betta Splendens" is whats called a labyrinth fish, meaning it has a labyrinth organ, which it uses to breathe air from the surface.

The fish should always have adequate space at the top of the bowl or tank to breath fresh air, and if the plant prevents this, remove or trim it.

The reason vases are unpopular among aquarists is because Betta Splendens is a top dwelling fish, and much of the vase's room goes to waste. It is important to have adequate surface area when keeping this fish, as it breaths air from the surface.

***** Plants with Bettas *****

Plants may introduce diseases and even toxins into the water, and you should consult your local fish shop about any plant you plan to introduce into your Betta's environment. Having said that, many freshwater aquatic plants are actually good for water quality, as they aerate the water and maintain a helpful culture of good bacteria in biomatter, accelerating the nitrogen cycle.

***** Cleaning the bowl *****

Betta's should not be kept in leaded glass crystal bowls, as the lead within the glass will leach into the bowl and poison the fish. If you keep your Betta in a vase, try to stick to the same procedure when cleaning it (yes, you have to clean vases too).

To clean the bowl, firstly fill a small container with water from the bowl, and put the fish and plant in it (try not to use a container that been exposed to detergent, soap or chemicals). Remove 2/3 of the water from the bowl, and scrub the glass using your hand. If there is gravel in the bowl, remove the gravel and rinse it in cold water. There is no need to scrub the gravel, as that would remove the good bacteria living in the gravel, impacting on the nitrogen cycle. Simply stir it up and poor the detritus out.

When the bowl is satisfactorily clean (it does not have to be crystal clear, most algae is not harmful for the fish), put the gravel back in. Remember to keep about 1/3 of the old water in the bowl. For the remaining 2/3, take cold tap water and treat it with a de-chlorination agent. These agents are inexpensive and are available from all fish and pet shops.

Never clean the bowl using soap or detergent. This is extremely dangerous for the fish, and will poison them.

***** Feeding your Betta *****

You should feed your Betta daily or every 2 days. I would certainly not recommend prolonging feeding for any longer than this, despite the fact that the fish can survive for weeks at a time without food. The amount you should feed the fish is the amount it can eat in about 20 seconds, without letting any go to waste.

Use special Betta pellets, and brine shrimp or bloodworms as a treat. Bettas are carnivores and will not live healthily on a purely vegetarian diet.

If the fish cant eat the food as you drop it in, you are over-feeding it. Fish naturally eat any food that is presented to them in the wild, as they never know when the next meal is going to come along. Because of this, a Betta will eat itself to death if you try to feed it until its full.

I think Ive covered just about everything

I hope this clears things up. E-mail me with any questions and Ill be sure to reply.


P.S. If theres an excess of bubbles appearing at the top of the bowl or vasedont worry. Your Betta is simply making a bubble-nest in which to breed. They even do this sometimes when no females are present.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 7:13AM
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All this info here has been so helpful to my new betta....
One question...when I feed my guy...he grabs the pellet and spits it out...then grabs it again and spits it he is playing...very he not hungry? I feed him every day...but very little...unless he does this...otherwise he is very happy...making bubbles and very active....thanks

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

I think it's just a "fish" thing! LOL I have noticed that most all fish do that.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 5:04PM
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Lol, yeah, bettas can be crazy when it comes to food. Once I had a couple of bettas that wouldn't eat for, like, a few weeks! I tried to feed them Hikari Betta Bio Gold, Wardely Betta Premium Pellets, Sun Dried Gamarus Shrimp, Freeze-Dried Blood worms, etc. etc... Finally the picky little thing ate...but unfortunately the one died of Ich...ugh. I hate that stuff. Anyway, yeah, bettas out of all of the fish that I've ever had are nuts :)

Oh, and does anyone happen to know about unusual betta behaviors? I have about 8 bettas (and even more than that in the past) but none have acted like Forest has. There's this air-tube in the center of his two gallon globe tank as well as a small castle. For some reason, I have found him inside of the tube...yes, swimming up and down inside a cramped air tube and curled up inside the castle. Does anyone know why he does those things?...over and over again? I guess he's just weird, but has anyone ever had that happen to them? lol

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 6:03PM
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I read that they like to find hiding in the vines of plants....and in the rocks...maybe yours thinks he a prince....
I drop pellets down the straw airway...and he waits there for the food...all I have to do is wiggle the straw...and he knows it's feeding time.....

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 8:00PM
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Hey, I just got a betta fish named Tighe (he's TIE-dye colored). I have him in a nice vase with some of those fish pebbles and a bamboo. Is bamboo ok for them?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Bamboo may leech poison, im not 100% sure. If you see him behaving unusually i would remove the bamboo and do a 50% water change, then the same thing the next day.

By the way, you know how they dye colour fish? They inject them with the dye and the immune system fights what it thinks is an infection. Dye colouring is a cruel process and significantly weakens the fish.

Just thought i'd let you know, as you probably didn't already.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 12:48AM
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To my knowledge, they don't dye bettas. They do, however, use injection and dipping methods to 'paint' other types of fish such as white skirt tetras, tiger oscars, catfish, and several other types of fish. Bettas don't need to be dyed because of their naturally unique colors due to selective breeding. Bettas are one of the more unique fish out there that come with such a variety of colors. I just think it's so neat how we got so many different colors of bettas out of the green and brown 'ordinary' ones in the wild...and so many different tail types...weird, but cool :-)

But, yeah, I hate it when they do that to any fish...any fish at all...grrrr, it just makes me angry that anyone would want to take away the natural beauty of fish.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 12:51PM
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This has been a very good thread!! I peaked in as my neighbors who were about to dispose of their two "vase" Bettas gave them to me...I would have NONE of that. Pets of any sort should not be purchased for sake of a fad! I have a duck that is a rescue as well...found her at a park abandoned 2 Easters ago...someone thought she was cute UNTIL they needed to care for her apparently!
Only get a pet if you INTEND to take care of it for the LONG haul. They are living creatures and deserve no less than the BEST we can give them.
Bettas are beautiful and can give one years of enjoyment if taken care of properly.
I thought this poem would be appropriate:

A Cheap Birds Plea

By Joyce Glass

What is it that my life is worth

How much will you pay

to what extent would you go if

if I got ill today?

I know I am not an expensive bird

My cost is fairly cheap

But what is the price you put on life

For something that you keep?

My wings still spread out the same

My heart still has a beat

So why is it that my cousins

Are the ones you hold so sweet?

I cannot help that I was born

Without a golden egg

Will you still take care of me

Or make me plead and beg?

I rely on you to help me

As I can't do it for myself

Will you take the steps needed

Or just put me on a shelf?

So when you walk by me

Please look me in the eye

If it would come down to it

Would I live or die?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 7:42PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Neither bamboo or Dracaena sanderiana which is often called "Lucky Bamboo" are poisonous to fish.

Callas aren't either. Callas are grown in many a fish pond. If fish bowls with callas in them were dying at a wedding it wasn't from the callas. BTW, neither "peace lilies" (Spathiphyllums) or "calla lilies" (Zantedeschias) are really lillies which CAN be poisonous to animals, especially cats. Don't let your cats eat your Easter Lilies!

I can't believe the fish in a vase with a plant on top trend is still going on. Wonder how many thousand Bettas have died because of it.

They are tropical fish which need to have a heated aquarium to really thrive. They are carnivorous and must be fed proper foods. They should not be tormented with another fish or a mirror constantly. There is nothing wrong with keeping aquatic plants in aquariums with fish but having the roots only in the water isn't a natural situation for the plant or the fish. Spathiphyllums aren't aquatic plants and may live in water but not truly thrive.

Sure, some people may have success keeping their Betta alive in a vase with a plant on top, but they are fooling themselves that this set up is the best possible for the fish and that the fish is thriving or will live as long as really possible.

Get an aquarium with a filter and a heater and see how rewarding fish keeping can really be.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 8:04PM
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I have had my betta in a large vase, it is a 5 gallon vase, with a peace lily stuck in the top of it, for over a year now. I think anyone with a heart that buys the betta and peace lily combo from a store can see that the bettas are not in a good environment. I don't know of anybody who keeps the fish in the orginal cup, bowl, or vase that it came in. I have a pleco that also lives in my vase. The two of them are very funny fish. The betta used to attack the pleco, but the pleco swatted him a few times with his huge prickly tail, and the betta left him alone after that. I don't have to change my water more than monthly in my tank, and having a live plant is very good because the plant puts in oxygen for the fish, and the fish put in carbon dioxide for the plant. I feed my fish, betta pellets. The pleco loves them, and I also feed him algae tablets. I have actually seen my betta nibble on these pellets. They are great friends, and I have a great tank for them. Lots of room for swimming and chasing. I also have a treasure chest in the middle of the vase for decoration, but it collects good stuff for the pleco. I suggest everyone read about keeping live plant tanks, it saves time, money, and everyone is happier!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 10:11PM
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I have had my beta in a large glass vase for over a year now. I also have a lucky bamboo and clear blue glass marbles in there with it. I feed it in the morning. Once a week I change the water and use a bottle brush and hot water to clean the vase. I stick my finger in the old water to check the temp. and fill the vase up with water as close to the same temp. from my kitchen tap and then put the marbles, plant and fish back. It seems quite happy.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 9:01AM
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Actually, filling your betta's vase up with tap water right from the faucet isn't the best thing. The tap water usually has some, well, bad stuff in it and you should use a dechlorinator to remove it. What I do is fill some jugs up with water from the sink and add 10 drops of a dechlorinator (I use StartRight) and let it sit so it gets to the correct temperature. Also, with filling the tank up right from the sink, the water temperature isn't going to be completely correct. If the temp of the water you are putting in the tank is 2-3 degrees off the temp the fish is in, your fish could get stressed and die. Stress is a major problem because if you don't keep your fish in the best conditions you can provide, it's immune system gets weaker and it will get sick easier and eventually die.

I realize that your betta may be okay in those conditions, but bettas really thrive when you give them your best. Fish can do okay in certain conditions, but that doesn't mean that they are happy and healty. A healthy betta has bright, non-fading colors, active habits, good eating behavior, and usually blows bubble nests.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 7:08PM
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I have seen the betta vases with plants for several years and I have asked for one (for Mother's Day the last two years - still haven't gotten one). So, I began thinking of putting one together myself. I wanted to have as much info as possible so that the fish and plant are both kept healthy. I have read this thread which dates back to 2002 and it seems there is a lot of controversy and opinions over whether or not these vases are good or appropriate for the betta fish. No where did I see any credentials for anyone who replied to this thread, so I figure - do a Google search and see what I come up with. I found a site called "Ask a Scientist" that discussed a Fish Bowl Ecosystem in Dec. 2004. Here is the link:

If this educator and scientist are ok with the plant/fish bowl combo, why are so many people not ok with it? I agree that supplemental food and cleanings are necessary to ensure the health of the fish. But I am not a scientist so I for one will not say that it is a bad idea. Does anyone know how far a betta swims in the wild? In the wild does it like to hide in the roots of plants? Maybe it keeps to a small habitat and hides in the roots for safety reasons.... if so, then the vase with a plant (roots) sounds like an ok alternative to being in the wild and like it was pointed out in this thread, pet store bettas were never in the wild, they were breed in captivity for captivity and they would not survive if released into the wild.

I for one, will be setting up such a system for my desk. It will help to relieve my stress and give me much needed company. :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 4:40PM
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It sounds like the people who are so opposed to the plant/betta thing might not be familiar with the containers that are typically used. Someone says "It is inhumane to keep a betta in a vase with a plant . . . A betta needs at least a 1/2 gallon of water . . . " The vases I have seen used are about 1 to 3 gallons, and the roots don't take up very much space.

". . . oxygen exchange would be inhibited by the plant covering the top of the vase . . ." I thought plants produced oxygen?

It's common sense that you would use a very large vase, change the water frequently, feed the fish, and keep the plant and its roots trimmed so that the fish had plenty of room at the surface to breathe. I have seen some at a florist where the roots were overgrown and the fish did not look well, but I think the basic idea is sound. It is certainly a huge improvement over those little bowls I see them in at pet stores that hold about 16 ounces of water.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 5:29PM
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I'm not sure that I get what you're saying, boxbeast, but if you mean that you think that bettas have enough air exchange with the roots because they produce oxygen?...well, that's wrong. I'm sorry.

A betta is a LABRYNTH breather (sp?). That means that they have an organ in their bodies that allows them to surface when oxygen is depleted in the water. They MUST be able to have a clear space at the top of their container to breath or else they will DIE!!! Bettas can live in oxygen depleted water because of that organ, and how can they breathe if the surface of the water is covered? I have heard story after story that involved bettas "drowning" because there was no way for them to reach the top of the water and breathe. So yes, you must have a clear space at the top of the water.

Oh, and here's a little "study" that I have done...

One of my bettas, Fishie, has been living in a 1 1/2 gal. betta vase with a plant at the top...and, mind you, the plant was always kept trimmed. Well, as most of you know, bettas blow bubbles because they are healthy and happy (and for breeding purposes). Well, Fishie never blew very many bubbles at all. I would see a couple floating around here and there, but not many. Well, I took the plant out and..... what do you know?...

He blew more bubbles than ever...WOW! So, that just goes to show you that maybe vases aren't the best thing. Now, I understand that some bettas are okay with them...but those ones must have pretty good water conditions to be liking it., vases aren't the best.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 10:26AM
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What is the name of the plant which the betta fish live in? All I know is that they have long roots.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 12:06AM
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In the wild, bettas live in rice paddies...which are rather small (and which is where people get the idea that you can keep bettas in a small container...a vase isn't an ecosystem, rice paddies are)...but usually people use peace lilies. If you are going to keep a plant with a betta, be sure to trim the roots every week, or the betta will have no room left to move.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 11:41AM
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I can't believe this debate is still going on!

I've had many an aquarium in my life, raised numerous fish, and one of my best friends used to be a Betta breeder. She and I are both completely opposed to this Betta-in-a-vase nonsense, because it's just not what's best for the fish. Sure, people get lucky and their fish survive in these setups, but that doesn't mean it's ideal. Just because we can't be sure that the fish is "happy" doesn't mean that we shouldn't make our best attempt to give it decent care. Once you've seen a Betta thriving in a full aquarium with proper heating, tankmates, and food... you'd never stuff them into a bowl again. Bettas don't just "sit there", guys... they love to swim, if they have the room! Properly cared for, they can live 5+ years. My friend has had them live up to 7 years!

I must stress a few things:
1. Never put straight tap water in your Betta's tank or bowl. Please get some dechlorinator at the pet store... it's only a few dollars and it lasts a long time. Even better to get one that helps stimulate or simulate their slime coat. They get jostled around a lot during water changes, and it will help protect their skin and scales.
2. Without enough room, a male Betta will likely kill a female. Only attempt it in an aquarium, and preferably keep more than one female with the male so he doesn't run one girl ragged. Never ever house males together, ever ever! Even having a divider in your tank is unfair, because the males will stress themselves out flaring at each other all day.
3. Bettas can jump, so keep some sort of ventilated cover on the tank/bowl.
4. If you insist on keeping them in a bowl/vase/whatever, make sure you change the water every few days (with room temperature water), don't clean the container with soap or bleach, always dechlorinate the water, always make sure that he has some way of getting to the surface to get air, feed them at least every other day, keep the bowl out of the sun and away from cold.
5. If you do make the wonderful decision to house them properly, keep the water around 80F, no strong water currents, house them with mild-mannered tropical fish that DON'T have flowing fins. Other than that, basic tropical fish care is all that's required.

And yes, they are tropical fish that like even warmer water than a lot of other tropicals, so why people think they're comfortable in an unheated bowl is beyond me!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 12:42PM
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What is RO water???

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 5:34PM
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Ok, I have been reading this thread. BOY Is it ever a long one! But I just wanted to let everyone here know a little bit about me and these vases. When the vases first began, I was making them. I NEVER let anyone take one home without knowing that they need to feed the fish. I gave care instructions with each one. Then I set up at a craft shows with them. I was told that I needed and fish and a greenhouse license to make and sell these. I had to inform them that I had both. Since for the past 26years my husband and I have grown and raise plants and fish. At this time I have a large greenhouse and a building with over 100 tanks of fish. Plus I have a large pond with Koi, and two large ponds of pond plants. One of these plant ponds is filtering the koi pond. I have always taken the happiness and health of my fish and plants first.
I have never told anyone that they don't need to feed the fish. And when someone INSISTs that the fish eats off of the plant. This is my re-ply. Well, if that is true then would u like to eat LETTUCE for the rest of your life? I don't think we could survive on that. And I really don't think the fish can or would be happy either. And I must say that they do walk away with none. Because I then refuse to sell them one. I sell the food and de-chor also. I give instructions on how to care for the fish and the plant. I have had several customers to come back for one for a friend and for their office. And I have to say I have heard alot of little names for these beautiful little guys. LOL And not one person has came back and said that they are not happy. I make these with and without the plants, just to give people a choice. Plus these vases make a great gift for someone in a hospital for long term or a nursing home, where TANK space is just not an option. I used to raise betta's. But I just can't raise enough. So I do order mine. And at this time I am a mother of 3, Grandmother to 5,and a mother of 5 dogs,1 cat, 35 cockatiels and the tanks of fish. Our youngest son is 21years old and a father of a 19month old son. We have a fulltime, lifetime commitment. And I love everyone of them. At this time I have aver 100 betta's And each one of them are in different containers. They can be very happy in a tank of other fish. As long as someone else had stated,there is no fin nippers. I hope I have not stepped on any toes here. I posted not to make anyone mad. But just to say. Before u make one of these vases, think in your head. "If I was a Betta, would I enjoy living the rest of my life in that?" I too have a Peace Lilly vase with the betta. This vase sits on my livingroom end table. And holds about 5gallon of water. Both are doing very well. Please, think about the fish first. Thank You all for reading this,,,, God Bless all of u and God's creatures, Great and small.......

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 12:25AM
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What other fish can be used in situation like this?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 4:21PM
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betas do not live in rice paddies. rice paddies are used by asians to grow rice, not betas. the rice paddies are flooded (intentionally) to fertilize the crops. then, they are drained, asians don't care if they're betas or not, to plant rice so that they can eat.that leaves betas in swamps since they aren't good swimmers. I say this because i decided to test this long argument myself and found that male, female, or any beta did NOT like the current and could almost always be found close to the bottom, or hiding in the corner. the swamps in asia are 3 to 12 inches deep which shrink and grow annually because of the dry season/monsoon cycle going on. betas are perfectly happy in vases, provided that they have clean water, enough room to swim in (root trimming rquired), and food DAILY. the vase HAS to be a fat squatty one allowing ample air space. betas also like this because they are territorial and are more intrested in width, not height (kinda like humans prefer living on the ground to living on a cliff). plant should be non toxic. other fishes that work are any labyrinth fish (gourami) but keep in mind that the bigger the fish, the bigger the bowl. 1 inch to 1 gallon.AT LEAST common tank setup standard.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 12:34AM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

I have never seen these setups for sale in Aus but I can understand why they would be popular (but they sound like they come with some inherent problems). If you really want to have a betta and a plant I reccomend buying a large, shallow glass bowl (I have a salad bowl) which holds a gallon or two of water, puting some stones or crystals in the bottom and placing a few devils ivy or syngonium cuttings in there. They root readily in water but dont overcrowd the tank and can be easily trimmed back if they get out of hand, also the leaf cover discourages fish from jumping out. We have a setup like this with a small heater on top of our fridge and the betta is doing great. I often worry about the bettas in tiny tanks that are being sold today. Most are doomed to die of cold. If people really want fishbowls they need a bigger bowl and should opt for the hardier paradise fish (I have these in large vases too and they do very well unheated with devils ivy growing out the top)


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 6:23AM
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hi i have a betta fish that i just got and he is doing fine in the vase with the lilly plant i have a very large brandy sniffer glass and i want to get another betta what kind of plant should i put in this i want something that will fit because the top of the glass is very large any suggestions thanks for the help

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 4:32PM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Pothos/devils ivy(Epipremnum aureum) or white butterfly vine (syngonium) would be good. Ive seen some of betta bowls with chinese evergreens and they look pretty nice.Just make sure that the bettas welfare comes first and dont let the plant take over (root pruning shouldnt set them back too much). Also, i've been collecting live mosquito larvae for my bettas and I have noticed a great improvement in colour and activity so make sure to treat them to a live feed every once in a while.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 6:25PM
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i was given a betta in a vase by a friend who was tired of messing with it.i have pond gold fish.i have them in a cattle water tank in my green house.
i decided to float the vase in the pond so the betta could see the gold fish.i had read the betta would chew tails of other fish and i have 9 year old gold fish that have beautiful tails.well that is the history. now to what happened with the betta.i cleaned the vase and added water from the tank.filled the vase to full and it tipped over spilling the betta into the tank with the thing that could have happened. betta seems very happy.does not seem to be bothering the gold fish.when i feed the goldies in the morning betta gets his share of betta has been interesting to watch him become braver.he does not hide under the plant leaves so much now and is swimming throughout the tank.i'm not sure i will put him out in the pond when i move them all out next month.the shock may be to much unless i float the vase again.i'm afraid the outside cats may make a feast of him.
i should tell you i have a veggie filter on the tank that keeps the water very clear.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 11:24AM
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i have a baby boy betta ~ named Puddle.... and i have been doing some research on getting him a live plant vs. a silk one & came across this (very long) thread starting at first to being downright appalled with the naive posts about the lack of knowledge of these betta owners to then just disgusted with everyone trying to sound so much smarter than everyone before them uggh anyway i think theres not much more to add about the care of bettas so im not gonna go there
****but i did want to comment to Jhosta (nana5111) that i went to your link originally to look for a pic of your adopted betta swimming with the gold fish and found the pics of your pond and the remodel and its very beautiful, you have a lovely & charming garden!! ive always wanted to do something like that :) The last pic with the snow was shocking, i wasnt expecting snow when you have a pond with fish....wanted to ask you what do you do with them when it snows? they're so big, do they go into your greenhouse or are they ok with the cold? do you have any pics of your betta with the goldfish?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 2:36AM
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A lot of the questions posed here could be easily answered by consulting a book on tropical fish or visiting a tropical website. Suffice to say there is nothing wrong with keeping a betta in a vase or bowl and there is certainly nothing cruel about it. First of all, a betta is a fish with a nervous system only slightly more sophisticated than a grasshopper. It does not sit and think morose thoughts about open spaces and lost freedoms. To claim it does is to engage in extreme anthropomorphism, which is simply imposing human thoughts and emotions on non-human subjects. Bettas survive nicely in small bowls because they are adapted to do so. They are mouth breathing fish which survive the dry season in their native SE Asia by happily hunkering down in an ox hoof print filled with muddy water. When seasonal rains come and flood the rice fields they swim away and breed, and then hunker back down in a hoof print once the rain water dries up. They can easily live in a vase and plant arrangement, although it is a pain to clean. I've kept bettas in such an arrangement for as long as five years, which is pretty long-lived for a small fish. You do need to feed them betta food once a day, although they won't starve if you forget one feeding or need to be away for a weekend. Water should be partially changed every couple of weeks, and if the plant roots get too big, simply trim them. Do remember to leave some air space between the water and the plant so the fish can gulf air from the surface. Temperatures should be kept from 68-78 degrees, with 75 about perfect, but consistency is more important than any particular temperature in the aforementioned range. In other words, no sudden changes. As for cleaning, stick to coarse salt. Someone may be getting by using soap, but any residue will kill fish, so why take the chance since salt works just as well and is safe? Adding a couple of small aquatic snails to the vase will also help keep it clean. Also, male bettas can be kept in a community tank with other similar sized tropical fish since they are only aggressive to other male bettas. That's about it. I've been raising tropical fish for 40 years so I speak from some experience. Just follow these basic guidelines and you should be fine. If something does go wrong, be analytical, figure out the problem and start over. Bettas cost less than $5, and whatever fate they find with you won't be any worse than living in a muddy hoof print, dodging the beaks of shore birds looking for an easy lunch.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 2:45AM
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I heard betta fish usually do much better in a large fish bowl than in a vase.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 5:26PM
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I would like to add an experience that I had with one of my beloved Bettas. I almost killed him by putting him in too LARGE a tank. You see, when I was moving, I broke his tank. I put him in my 29 gallon tropical, community tank. (Live bearers and a few assorted tetras.) Poor Magellan became listless and his beautiful fins started deteriorating. I put him into his new replacement tank (2 1/2 gallon) and gave him lots of stress coat and careful attention. He recovered, but poor little guy's fins never were the same.* As it turns out, even just 16" below the surface, the water pressure is too great for these long flowing fins, and they loose circulation. Just like frostbite! Don't keep your Betta in too large a tank. Never had a problem with 10 gallon or smaller though.

Oh, and to the person with the beta and goldfish, put your pretty little guy inside and keep him warm, please!

*Side Note: This incident happened in 2002, when Magellan was 3 years old, and the little guy lived to be 6 years old, and second to another beta I had at the same time, Gallaleo, who lived about 6 months longer, was the oldest Beta I ever had.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 12:55PM
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I just recently bought two beta fishes. Along with it I got a small plastic tank that had a divider in the middle of it. Now, I just cleaned out their tanks and separated them. One is in a big vase and the other is in the small plastic tank without the divider. I cut off two stem off my moms house plant and stuck one stem in both tanks. Is that ok to do?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:39PM
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I was just shopping and saw a very small rectangular "bowl" with plants, rocks, etc. and a live beta. It saddened me to see him swimming listlessly in such a small place. It was probably only 1 1/2 cups of water. The container was glass, rectangular, and sealed with a small plug on top with a small air hole. It was beautiful, costly, and I wanted to buy them all just to put them in bigger containers!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 9:41AM
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Just for anyone thinking about getting a betta.

1.Bettas "CAN" live in a small space doesn't mean they like it.It would be like you living in one space the size of a bathroom with everything you need.Sure you could live but would you be happy?If you say well there just fish.Then you are the type of person who shouldn't own a fish.I have a female betta living in a 29G aquarium with some companions.She doesn't just sit on the bottom all day.She explores every nook and cranny.The reason your fish just sits on the bottom is because you probably don't have a filter which in turn means you don't have a cycled tank.So then there is a build up of ammonia which will stress your fish out to death.Even if you said "Oh my fish has been in a small tank for years"That doesn't make it right.Ammonia burns the fishes gills when breathing and stresses it out badly.I could go on about neglectful fish keepers but i won't.This isn't to single out anyone but to let you know these fish need filtered,heated and cycled tanks.

Just my .02

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 9:04AM
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My husband and i have 6 Betta's we had 8 and 2 of our males died recently and no we dont fight them. we had had the 2 that died for about 3years or so.

anyways right now we have 4 male and 2 female. 2 of the male are in a devided Betta tank one on each side. each with a air pump and vines and black gravel. My husbands is a dark deep red/maroon color and mine is a 2tone blue pearlized . they dont mind one another they dont mind that they can see one another. they dont flair at one another . they do play they swim along the devider together like they are racing. but dont get me wrong im sure if we removed the devider they would fight. but that aint gonna happen.

now in a vase on my desk is a male yellow irridescent Betta with vines and Medium glass marbles. the vines were my moms plant before she died and i wanted to add them to my fish vases/tanks and it seems to be going well.

in another vase on my desk are 2 female bettas one red and one blue . they have vines and small glass stones . now i have read that females do not fight.. what a huge myth!!! THEY DO at first. until they establish a pecking order. you know... they have to figure out whose the alpha female. i read that 9 out of 10 times if you have a red female she will be the alpha .. my husband red female is not the alpha my blue one is.. when we first put them together they fought and fought and we seperated them. then i read up some more on females and asked around about the fighting. they dont fight to the death like males do. but do expect some torn fins and tales. but no blood shed. now if after you have them calmed down and acting civilized and you decide to add another female into the mix.. expect it to start all over agian because the new female will have to figure out where she fits into things and the alpha will want to make it clear shes "TOP FISH"

in a lava lamp betta tank on my desk is bluish/tealish metalic looking crowntail betta HES GORGEOUS. in his tank there is an air pump and small glass stones . he loves the bubbles. .

the 2 in the deviding tank love the freeze dried blood worms.. and hate the color enhancing betta bits.
but the other 4 Bettas love the color enhancing betta bits and hate the blood worms . they are all fed twice daily and are happy as can be. the males are all building nests and are swimming about playing and being happy and being active. they dont flair unlsess they see you giving more attention to one fish then to them. they let us pet them. they follow fingers and are awesome to watch. now i read that its a good thing for them to flair.. so on occasion i will put a mirror around them and let them watch themselves and watch them flair . but i think they are just so used to one antoher they dont flair because its antoher male beside them.

i myself prefer the crowntails because they are gorgeous. they have awesome tails and fins and have brilliant colors.

Happy "fishing"


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 3:02PM
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I bought a beta fish about 6 months ago and the little guy is so cool. I did not know that you could put a plant in his tank. What I'm concerned about is that if I buy a peace lily wouldn't there be traces of fertilizer on the roots or pesticides or whatever the grower was using.?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 7:01PM
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Before I got my first betta I'd been researching bettas for about a month. I read about everything that it (originally I was going to get a male) would need and compiled a list, and researched common betta problems with an eye out for pictures (so I could recognize an illness when I saw it) where applicable (if a betta has internal parasites, its not going to alter their appearance). When making a list of meds, food, or water treatment its best to see which products the breeders recommend. I'd suggest that you get more than one opinion. Because some dechlorinators remove aquarisol , some people prefer Novaqua and Amquel

Although I would like to be accredited with being experienced/knowledgeable about bettas, the fact of the matter is that my knowledge with bettas is restricted to what I've learned from others and what I've learned from my mistakes. I've been blessed with an extremely resilient female betta, so I've been able to learn from my many mistakes. For instance, before I got Lyren I knew that I should get some aquarium salt and aquarisol as a preventative. But I was so excited about my new fish that I forgot. My best guess is that the parasites are just in the water itself. A combination of aquarium salt and aquarisol added to the water during changes will usually prevent your fish from getting parasites or fungus. Also they will kill most external parasites.

Mistake #2, Lyren got parasites, rubbing herself against the brand new tank. . Luckily, I'd read about what the symptoms of external parasites are beforehand, so I knew what it was and how to treat it. The next day I rushed to the store for the stuff (I put the replacement water on her heating pad overnight so that it would be the same temp.) and did the water change as soon as I got back. You'll want to do a complete water change (to remove some of the parasites), so move your fish into another container with some of its contaminated water (another tank is nice, but I've made do with plastic cups). After you've done the water change (a complete one!), add the dechlorinator, the salt, and the aquarisol to the clean water. The water should be at the same temperature as the water that your fish is currently in. Digital thermometers are great, but fingers can also be used to check the temp. Once it's at the same temperature use a net to transfer the fish to the clean water (you don't want to bring any parasites to the clean water that you don't have to). You should notice the results immediately. As soon as I dropped Lyren in she stopped trying to scratch herself, though she was slightly stressed out (just make sure that there are no shadows in the tank and leave them alone for a while). Keep an eye on him for any other problems. If the parasites persist, you might need something stronger like "Clout". But try aquarium salt (1tsp/2.5gal) and aquarisol (1drop/gal) first. The catch is that apparently some dechlorinators remove aquarisol, usually if they say that they remove hard minerals, they are not compatible. But I use Aquasafe (it removes hard minerals) and it works just fine. After I disposed of the parasites (just call me the terminator), I noticed that she had what appeared to be scratches on her face. I assumed that it was from her throwing herself on the gravel, but when they didn't heal after a couple of days, I became suspicious. I medicated her for a bacterial infection, and they went away. Always keep some bacterial medication handy (I use Kanacyn). Whenever your fish are stressed, there's a chance that they'll get an infection (since they're in a weakened condition).

About the third mistake I made with Lyren was not alternating her diet. She got constipated. I fed her a tiny bit of a spinach leaf (acts as a laxative) and went to buy her some freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp (my fish is spoiled, but you should alternate between at least two sources of food, even if you just give one as a treat). Oh and because bettas are carnivorous, any flake food you get should be composed of fish, preferably food made especially for bettas. Keep your options open in case your fish is picky, their tastes vary and sometimes depend on what the breeder fed them.

I suggest two good sites that have great information on diseases and bettas in general, This is where I got the information on how to treat external parasites They have a betta forum that is free (always nice) though you will have to register.

Both have pictures of bettas with common ailments; so before your fish get diseases, make sure that you check it out.

Some parting advice: read up on ailments before your fish get sick, keep a spare tank/container as a hospital tank (for quarantined fish), and always check a fish for signs of ailments before buying it. Quarantine new fish for about a week before adding them (to check for signs of illness) and as soon as you think that one of your fish might be sick, quarantine it (remember to disinfect the net if the fish does prove ill).

Before buying Lyren, I checked her for signs of bacterial/fungal infections, body/tail rot, and ich. I didn't have the nerve to bring a flashlight and check for velvet. She is from Petsmart and was in a little cup, so I moved her near different bettas to see if she'd flare at them (they get used to the ones that they're always around). And she did, so I figured that since she had a strong love of life and because bettas won't always flare when they're sick, that she would be a good choice. This has proved to be the case. I know that many people would probably like to rescue one of the ill ones, but if you try there's no guarantee that you'll be successful, they might be beyond help. So if you want a fish thats going to live for a good while (unless you make a really BIG mistake), you're better off to get a healthy fish and leave the ill ones to the experienced fish hobbyists.

Lyren has vertical stripes right now, so I'm doing something right.

Hope this helps, good luck with your fish!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:16AM
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Basically, are we growing plants or taking care of fish? I suppose both can be combined, but not well. If you want a peace lilly, then grow one.

If you want a betta fish, get a minimum of a 3 gallon aquarium, (5 or 10 gallon is better), use a heater if your home is colder than 75 Farenheight, and buy food made for bettas. Also use water conditioner and aquarium salt, the betta needs it. You can mix a betta with other fish such as neon tetras, ghost shrimp, and cories. Some successfully mix them with guppies.

I saw a posting online that said bettas don't like to swim much, so a small container is fine. Tell that to Cinnamon, my male betta whose happy in his 10 gallon heated aquarium. He zips all over the tank and is very active. They are so graceful and beautiful when they swim, you never will get to see all a betta fish has to offer if it is confined to a cramped vase, often starving, just because they are slow fish to die.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 1:28AM
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This is fine, as long as certain guidelines are followed, be sure the Betta has a good diet, I feed mine frozen brine shrimp and blood worms alternating them- (not too much on the blood worms, as they are fatty). Depending on size of the bowl, change water regularly, say, a 1 gallon size, change water every week, 1/2 gallon, every 4 days, quart size, every day, etc. using a chlorine remover and stress anecdote like Stress Coat. Be sure that any dead roots on the plant are removed promptly, as these will cause bacteria, and sour the water quickly. Clean water and good diet are all that is needed for Bettas, really, that and making sure the water temp doesn't get down under, say 68 degrees, they tend to be unhappy in cool water, but then again, nothing over 82 degrees 8- )

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:01PM
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I read the previous posts with some amusement. There are a lot of misconceptions out there. As an experienced planted tank owner, I have had no problem keeping bettas in any size tank, with lots of plants. For years I kept a thickly planted 75-gallon tank (see picture), with 1 male and 2 female bettas, and they got along fine with all the other community fishes (about 20 of different types). At first the male betta would flare and try to chase after the clown loaches, but the loaches were just too fast for him. Then he got used to the loaches and everyone was happy.

Now I'm keeping one male betta in a 1-gallon fish bowl, again fully planted using the Diana Waldstad method with 1" of organic garden soil underneath a thin layer of fine gravel. I have Pothos growing emergent and Cryptocoryne Wendtii growing submerged. I also have some Malaysian Trumpet snails and Red Ramshorn snails to keep the algae under check. He's happier now than when he first arrived home in a plain bowl. He's more active, swimming among all the plants and roots, building bubble nests, and his fins are much nicer and brighter. I feed him 2 or 3 times a day. I monitor the bowl about once a week and have found zero ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate (which could mean I'm starving the plants a little, but they are growing well enough).

Oh yes, before I forget, I'm using a used AeroGarden base to support my fish bowl. Had one lying around and I thought, "Hey, this thing has got a light, a timer, and an air pump! What else would you need?" So I just cut out a piece of wood to exactly cover the top of the AeroGarden, put my fish bowl on it, and voila! As time goes though, I've plugged the AeroGarden into my own $3 timer because the time settings that the AeroGarden provides don't match what I want (less than 12 hours on a day with a dark period mid day). Also, the air pump is only used to provide circulation in the bowl. The plants seem to do better with it during the soil break-in period, but I may turn it off after the roots are well established and providing oxygen to the substrate.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Just reiterating the point that keeping a betta, goldfish, guppy or any other animal in a tiny enclosure is cruel. The water gets dirty extremely fast, it's unhealthy, they don't have room to swim...there are plenty of safe plants to put with a fish so that's not the issue. The issue is the size of the bowl, type of water used, filtration, heat during cold weather, light and feeding. Take good care of your animals just like you would with your plants!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 2:34PM
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