March 17

Sarah Robertson

How To Acclimate Betta Fish?

Betta is also known as Siamese fighting fish is one of the most popular pets for aquariums. Bettas are very territorial and aggressive by nature, which makes them hard to house with other community fish. But there are some cases when people may want to combine bettas with other community tank mates.

Betta fish are lovely and popular pets. Like many other well-known types of aquarium fish, bettas require particular treatment when moving from one tank to another. 'How to acclimate betta fish?' is a main query that most betta owners have.

Acclimating bettas is an important part of fishkeeping for several reasons, including the health and well-being of the fish, but also to make sure that your water parameters are safe for them to live in.

What Is Acclimation?

Acclimatization is the process of adjusting your fish to the new environment so they are healthy and happy. It's important that you properly acclimate bettas whenever you move them into a new tank or home, but it can also come in handy when moving plants from one place to another, adding new fish to the tank, or adjusting how you do your water changes.

What Do I Need for Acclimation?

There are only three things needed for proper Betta Fish Acclimation: A container, water conditioner, and the tank in which the Betta will be going in.

A container

Your container should be a bucket or a bowl, something in which you can hold the water your Betta will be in. Make sure to not use a glass container because it might break! If you have a betta bowl with a lid, that is an excellent container for acclimation purposes.

Water Conditioner

A water conditioner is something you should always use when doing anything with your betta fish. This makes sure that no chlorine and other harmful chemicals get into the water, and it also removes any waste. 

The Tank

Your Betta should already be in a tank, but if you don't have one it is a good idea to get one. Betta fish can live in relatively small spaces, so anything from a small glass bowl to a large hexagon-shaped tank will work.  Always make sure to keep your Betta in a tank that has room for it to swim around!

What Do I Need to Know Before Acclimating?

The temperature of the water is very important when doing anything with your betta fish. Since bettas are tropical, they normally live in warm waters. If you ever notice your Betta Fish Losing Color , it could be a sign that he or she is not adjusting well to the new environment.

This means you should gradually change the temperature of your betta's acclimation water. If it is very hot, then you should know that you must give your Betta a lot more time to adapt to colder waters. The same goes for cold temperatures!

how to acclimate betta fish

How Long Should a Betta Acclimate?

How long to acclimate your betta fish depends on several factors including the type of container you use, how much water is in it, and what you're using to gradually adjust the temperature. Again, it's important that this process does not happen too quickly or all at once as it can shock the betta's system.

To acclimate betta fish, you should start by using a smaller container than the one they'll permanently live in. For example, if your betta is going to be living in a three-gallon aquarium, start your acclimation process with a one-gallon fishbowl or something similar.

You can also use this same technique when adding new plants to your tank. If you remove your betta and make a water change, move all the fish back in at the same time and do not complete any partial water changes during their quarantine period.

Even though there aren't any temperatures to adjust, you should also slowly acclimate new plants if they're coming from another environment such as a garden store.

The ideal time for bettas to acclimate is about 15 minutes. If you are using a very small container, make sure there are no air bubbles in the bag because these can damage fins.

If you notice any signs of stress or discomfort after moving your fish into their permanent home, reduce the temperature gradually by floating the bag in the aquarium for a few minutes.

Finally, if you have multiple bettas in a tank and one gets sick, move them into a quarantine tank until they're healthy again before moving them back in with the others.

How Do You Acclimate Betta Fish?

There are several easy ways to acclimate your bettas when moving or adding new fish:

No1. Float Method

This is the most effective and easiest way to acclimate your bettas, but it isn't good for adding plants or changing water parameters. It involves floating the bags with your betta in them without feeding them, then letting them rest for about an hour before connecting like a normal water change. 

  • Take out your bettas from their bags and add them like normal in the tank without feeding them.
  • Let them rest for about 1 hour before feeding.
  • If it is a female, they will usually be in a resting stage and will not eat immediately. Use a turkey baster to slowly add food over the course of an hour so you don't stress them further.

No2. Gradual Acclimation Method

Start with a bucket of tank water and add a cup into the bag your betta is in, then increase that amount each time until you have added all the desired tank water. Make sure to add only half the temperature from what it should be when finished so they don't get too stressed out.

No3. Adding to a Temporary Tank

If you can't get a quarantine tank set up and don't want to float the bag (for adding plants or changing water) then this method works too, but make sure there is no gravel in your temporary tank and your heater should be half the temperature from what it should be when finished.

Take out your bettas from their bags and add them like normal in the tank without feeding them.

Add 1 cup of tank water into their bag every 5 minutes until you have added all the desired tank water.

Ensure not to add any more than half the full temperature from what it should be when finished, so they don't get too stressed out.

Once you've completed adding all your water, do not turn on your heater (if you have one) until about 30 minutes after their first feeding to make sure they are acclimated enough to eat comfortably.

If you have gravel in your temporary tank, then siphon or vacuum that out before adding them because they can be very sensitive to changes to their environment.

If you have any live plants in your tank, carefully remove them so you don't harm the roots when moving them over.

Add 1/2 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon if desired.

Turn the heater to its normal temperature.

Acclimation Process

Put your betta fish in the container and add some tank water (3/4 full or so). It's okay to use a small amount of conditioner, but don't add all of it. A little goes a long way! 

Swirl your betta fish around inside the container for a few seconds and allow him to swim back to the bottom of the container. Now add some more tank water (1/2 full). Swirl again for another minute or so. 

This time do not put all of your bettas into the container. Just drop about an inch or so of tank water in the bottom with your betta still in there. Swirl for a few more seconds and then put him into his new home! 

Wait about 20 minutes before adding any other decorations or anything that you want, just to give your betta enough time to get used to its change of surroundings.

Make sure to feed your betta small portions of food that you don't mind discarding and then remove any uneaten food within a few hours to help reduce waste in the tank.

Acclimating Your Betta From Bag to Tank

Acclimating Your Betta From Bag to Tank

Bettas are known to be sensitive fish, so they need to be slowly acclimated when placed in new water. By transferring them carefully, you can reduce stress and prevent injuries or the death of your pet. 


Purchase a tank divider and place your betta in the tank you want to keep him in. Let him rest for an hour prior to placing him into the new water.

Purchase a heater that is the same temperature as his new water (it should be set at least 2°F degrees higher than what he is currently in).

Purchase a thermometer that is attached to the tank.

Place 1/2 cup of his old water into a bag. Add 2 cups of the new water into the bag with him, then close it securely. Place another 1/2 cup of his old water into another bag and then add 1 cup of new water to this one.

Add a 1/8 tsp of aquarium salt to the first bag you place him in, then place this into the second bag and close it securely. Slowly release the first bag into his new tank along with his old water. After 10 minutes, take out your other bag and discard as much as possible before placing it into the new water.

After 30 minutes remove the dividers from his tank and let him swim around. Feed him a small amount of food. Repeat this until he eats his daily meal. If you notice unusual behavior, such as excessive stay at the top or bottom of his aquarium or staying in one place for far too long, call your veterinarian immediately.

If your betta is in a bag for too long, he may die due to lack of oxygen. Make sure that when you acclimate him, you release the bag into his new water gradually and slowly so that this doesn't happen.


What Are Some Signs That My Betta Might Be Having Issues While Acclimating?

There are a few things you can look for to see if your betta fish is having any problems with the acclimation process.

Flaring: If your betta starts to flare at you and it looks like he is trying to chase you, then something might be wrong. It could be that the water conditioner began to irritate his skin or it began bothering him for some reason. 

Holding still: If your betta fish is sitting at the bottom of the container not moving much ( if at all ), then he might be having problems with acclimating. 

Lying on his side: If your betta begins to lay down on one side and won't swim away, it could mean that he is having trouble getting around. 

Clamped fins: If your betta's fins begin to clump together and stick straight out or droop, the water conditioner might be bothering him which will cause him to feel pain. 

Drooping eyes: If your betta won't open his eyes and they begin to flicker back and forth, he could be having trouble acclimating to the water conditioner.

Check the pH levels: If your betta's pH levels begin to fluctuate, it could be that there is too much or not enough water conditioner in his container. You'll need to test the PH level of the tank because if he has too much it can irritate him causing him to become stressed, which in turn causes him to release his toxins into the water.

What Is Conditioning Water? 

Conditioning of water is basically getting rid of all of the leftover ammonia, chlorine, and chloramines (chlorine + ammonia or chlorine + salt) so your fish doesn't get sick. Using conditioned water is good for betta fish because it makes the water fairly neutral so their skin, scales, and fins won't be damaged by the chemicals in tap water.

Should I Put My Betta Fish in His New Water Right After I Condition It?

You shouldn't add your fish until the pH levels stabilize and remain unchanged for a couple of days. Also, your fish can be stressed if you put him in his new water before it's completely cycled.

What to Do if the Temperature in the Bag and Tank Are Different?

You need to put a heater on one of the bags and let that sit for about an hour. Then slowly add some water from that bag into your betta's new home until it reaches room temperature. Wait another 30 minutes before adding your betta.

Summing Up

If you want to keep your betta fish healthy and stress-free, always acclimate him to his new environment. Using the tips listed above will help ensure that he lives a long, safe, happy life. Betta fish can be easily acclimated to their new environment with a little bit of patience and some careful observation.

If you see that your betta is having trouble swimming or seems to be in pain, stop the acclimation process and consult with a pet expert. With a little time and effort, your betta will be happy and healthy in his new home!

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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