Low-Maintenance Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Jessie Sanders


Although the have the reputation as one of the easiest fish to keep, your betta will live a long, happy life with a few upgrades from their sad, little bowl.

Bettas thrive in five-gallon tank minimum with a filter and heater. Being tropical fish, bettas should be kept at 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 28 degrees Celsius). The bigger the volume of water, the easier it is for your heater to keep a constant temperature. Make sure your tank has a thermometer, and not those unreliable stick on ones!

With their long, delicate fins, bettas are prone to being knocked about by quick flowing water. Use an appropriate size filter and turn the flow all the way down or divert it so your betta doesn’t get pushed around. These fins are easily torn on sharp decor items. If you run your finger along any potential decor, you should not feel any firm or sharp protrusions. Use decor that is betta specific if you are concerned. Keep in mind that betta fish top out length wise around three to four inches, so make sure all their decor will suit them as they grow.

For beginners, it is recommended you start with one male fish in his own tank. Bettas are easy to keep when kept in a larger tank. Extra water makes it easy for beginners to have a looser maintenance schedule. Your filter and heater will go a long way in making a happy betta home.

Be sure to not feed your betta too much! Their “stomach” is only about the size of their eyeball. They should never be allowed to eat their fill. Feeding will depend on the size of your fish and pellet size. It is best that bettas eat betta-specific pellets in order to receive proper nutrition.

Species Overview

Length: Up to 3 inches (or 7 centimeters)

Physical Characteristics: Long, elaborate fins and overlapping scales; come in vibrant colors like red, green, and blue