Clean a Betta Bowl in 5 Easy Steps

How to clean a betta bowl

Now that you have established your betta bowl it is time to learn how to maintain it. You should follow the steps below once a week to keep your betta happy and healthy.

Step 1:

Purchase non-refrigerated drinking water. Drinking water is free of all contaminants including chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals. It is so pure that I recommend this over using tap water that is prepared with a water conditioning treatment. If you would prefer to use tap water, fill a pitcher at least one hour prior to doing the water change. This will give the water time to reach room temperature. If the water you use is colder or warmer than lukewarm you must wait at least 3 hours to reach the safe temperature.

betta fish water changeStep 2:

Fill a glass or original betta cup with the current tank water and carefully place your Betta within the temporary housing. This is when it proves important to own a fish net. Using a net to transfer your betta fish will prevent any possible bodily harm that could occur to your fish during the process. A fish net is also the quickest way to capture your beta which avoids stress as well as your own impatience.

Step 3:

Remove any ornaments and decorations including plants and rinse them thoroughly in hot water. Place them to dry on a towel. When the accessories dry out any algae organisms still living will die due to a lack of moisture.

Step 4:

Empty the rest of the bowl leaving just the gravel at the bottom. Place the bowl under the sink and let the water continually pour in while you swish your hand around to wipe the sides of the tank and rinse the gravel. Drain excess water.

Step 5:

Refill the bowl with the purchased drinking water or prepared tap water and wait about five minutes for everything to settle. If you are using tap water you may now add your water conditioning treatment of choice to remove any  elements that could harm your betta fish.

Finish:Betta Fish Bowl

Return any ornaments or plants to the bowl. Then cautiously return your betta fish to its home.

Tip: Do not use soap or other cleaning products in your bowl!! If you have an algae problem you can soak any ornaments and fake plants in a mixture of bleach and hot water. Make sure to rinse thoroughly. Any bleach residue will not harm the fish but can cause fading in his own coloring.

Now you can keep up regular maintenance with your new knowledge on how to clean a betta bowl.

About Angela Soup

15 Responses to “Clean a Betta Bowl in 5 Easy Steps”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Beth says:

    if you use the drinking water instead of the tap water, you don’t have to use any conditioning treatment at all?

    • Angelasoup says:

      Correct. Drinking water is free of contaminants and rich with minerals. However, many still choose to use water conditioners that contain the added benefit of aloe vera and other valuable tonics.

  2. Eidel Zaki says:

    How about the oxygen contain in drinking water? As compared to tap water, the O2 level must be high isn’t? How often we need to change the tank water?

    • Angelasoup says:

      Typically drinking water is fresh spring water which is the best option. That is what I have been using for 12 years and my bettas typically live 6-10 years

  3. Ram187 says:

    Wow!6-10 years? Cool!

  4. Jim Nunez says:

    Another way to sanitize a fish bowl, after removing fish and all ornaments/rocks/etc., is to add drinking water to empty fish bowl till about half full, then boil in microwave oven for a minute or two. After allowing it to cool a bit, using oven mits or towel, CAREFULLY drain the hot water and allow bowl to cool to room temperature. (Note: What you have done is akin to autoclaving your bowl; the method hospitals use to sterilize tools used in surgical procedures. Boiling/steaming an item for a minute or more will destroy most all viruses and bacteria. ) Next, after the bowl has cooled to room temperature, vigorously wipe clean the interior of the bowl with a paper towel. That will remove any residue from the walls of the container. You can then clean the exterior of the bowl for clarity. Then, add fresh drinking water and clean rocks, etc. to bowl. Once water has reached room temperature, return your fish to the bowl. This method of cleaning/sterilizing is chemical- free, and can be performed as often as necessary. I have a smaller bowl and sanitize once or twice a month. At this writing, I’ve had my male Betta over 2 years, with no symptoms of illness or disease.

    • Angelasoup says:

      Interesting, I have never heard of this theory but it does make sense. For all of you readers out there just make sure you are not microwaving plastic tanks or any bowls containing any forms of metal!

  5. jay says:

    meniral water is okey for betta?

  6. Marlene says:

    Hi Angela,
    I was just given a lot of rude comments on Yahoo for asking Betta questions. So you’re saying it is perfectly OKAY to put a single male Betta in a 1-gallon bowl. What type of heater will I need? He had a 5-gal tank but it now houses 3 females.

    • Angelasoup says:

      Hello Marlene. Yes a 1 gallon bowl is perfectly fine to use. Most people will tell you it is wrong because they assume you will not treat the betta correctly. In a smaller setting your male will require more attention and maintenance. If you are willing to do what it takes to make him happy then there really isn’t any issue.

      Here’s a tip: Switch up the decorations in his bowl when you do water changes to give him a new environment to explore.

      I’m glad you know to have a heater! Escpecially because smaller spaces heat up and cool down more quickly. They make heaters specifically for betta bowls such as this one found on the PetSmart website:

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  7. Hannah says:

    I’ve been reading up on proper fish bowl care because my tank broke and dont have the money to buy a new one. Multiple sotes have said to NEVER put a fish in a bowl due to the lack of oxygen throughout the bowl and that i need a filtered tank. Im conflicted. Please help

    • Angelasoup says:

      A filter is always better because it helps keep the tank clean and lets us relax more. This does not mean that you cannot house a betta in a bowl. Bettas use their gills to breathe but also have a lung-like organ in their head so they also require surface air. So because it is a smaller space that isn’t being cycled, water changes need to be performed more often. Depending on the size it is wise to clean your betta bowl every 2 to 3 days. Just be sure the bowl is at least a gallon and still contains a plant or ornament to provide a hiding spot for comfort.

  8. Anne says:

    I wish I had your luck with Bettas: mine do not thrive like I had hoped: Is a bubble stone ok near surface tank? what type of filter could you put in a gallon tetra tank; my fish go downhill in bigger tanks; do not know why tho”!

    • Angela Soup says:

      Of course, a bubble stone will add a light natural flow for your betta. In nature bettas have a slow current that gently rotates the water in their environment which adds more oxygen to the water. With a bigger tank it can be easy to make an unstable living environment due to having a tank that is too clean. Bigger tanks do not need to be cleaned as often and only require a 25% water change unless the water is high in ammonia or medications. Tetra actually sells their own filters! They can even be found at Wal-mart 🙂

Leave A Comment...

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>