The Best Small & Big Betta Fish Tanks: Starter-Friendly Kits with a Filter

Providing a decent home for the bettas in the world is key to their wellbeing and overall healthy existence.

Betta-friendly starter aquarium kits come in different shapes and forms. As you’ll see despite its smaller size the best 5-gallon betta tank, for example, should include the right side equipment and not just a glossy design.

Of course, so should a 10 gallon one or even a 20 gallon one.

What’s the smallest aquarium you’re allowed to go for without hindering your betta’s health?

Size and included gear are two really important factors for a safe and sound aquarium environment. The thing should come with a built-in filter, proper lighting and if you’re lucky a heater. I discuss why in detail below.

So what’s the best home for a betta and is there a suitable all-in-one fish tank kit? Let’s get right to the point.

If you don’t really have the time or the nerves to go through this guide I can directly point you to what I personally believe is the best choice for your little buddy’s future home if you’re JUST starting out.

It’s this tank (visit the link to see how it looks on Amazon).

The precise model I linked you to saves the hassle of researching additional gear because it basically includes almost everything one would need to start looking after a happy betta.

The only thing you’d actually need to buy separately is a heater.

If you, however, want to go more in-depth, I strongly recommend to (at least) read the reviews below.

Though being small and often sold in jars bettas need their personal space and room for scouting.

Researchers have concluded that keeping these fish in small, unheated tanks result in less movement and higher mortality rates.

They are curious and sometimes antisocial little explorers.

Remember that heavily decorating a tank with plants, that also has a decent water capacity is pretty much essential for these little grumpy fish.

Overview of the best aquarium kits for a Betta fish

Here’s an overview chart of the best starter-friendly fish tank kits for bettas:

Tank Kit: Size: Best Price:
1. Tetra LED Cube Kit 3 gallons at Amazon
2. biOrb Flow 15 4 / 8 gallons at Amazon
3. biOrb Classic 15 4 gallons at Amazon
4. Penn Plax RADIUS™ 3.4 / 5 / 7.5 / 10 gallons at Amazon
5. MarineLand PORTRAIT™ 5 gallons at Amazon
6. Fluval Spec V 5 gallons at Amazon
7. Marina LED Aquarium Kit 5 / 10 / 20 gallons at Amazon
8. Fluval edge 6 gallons at Amazon
9. Fluval Flex 57 15 gallons at Amazon
10. Tetra ColorFusion 20 gallons at Amazon
11. ECOLIFE Conservation ECO-Cycle for a 20 gallon tank at Amazon

Now let’s see which of these top-choices fits your personal needs best.

8 Ingredients for an educated purchase of an aquarium for your betta

I wish choosing the right tank was simple, but it’s not. For this reason, I’ve crafted a buyer’s guide that explains in detail everything you need to know before making a purchase. Here’s what you should understand before buying a fish tank for your betta:

1. Minimum tank size and myths about bettas

Fish stores sell bettas in small jars or bowls. This, however, is done for display purposes and is only fine for a very short period of time. A 2011 study found that reduced environment increases aggression and stress in fish. Here’s the acceptable tank size for a betta fish:

The absolute minimum fish tank size acceptable for a healthy betta fish is 3 gallons. Smaller aquariums will result in shortened lifespan and poor life quality. A single betta will best enjoy a 5 to 10-gallon fish tank but a larger one will also be appreciated.

In small tanks, water gets polluted very quickly which leads to an unstable environment.

Fluctuations in pH, raised ammonia or nitrites caused by decomposing waste, are all potentially lethal to fish.

A big fish tank is (counterintuitively) way easier to maintain and the water parameters are usually more stable. This is another reason I recommend that beginners get a large tank, especially if the betta is their first ever fish to keep.

Note that in smaller tanks there’s less swimming space and therefore less room for exercise.

The dimensions of the tank will influence the betta’s growth and the maximum size it can reach. A bigger tank is always advisable.

2. Is a filter really necessary for a betta tank?

Generally speaking, a filter does 3 things in a fish tank:

That being said, here’s if a betta needs a filter:

Bettas do require and will appreciate a water filtration system as they are not as hardy as fish stores advertise them to be. These fish produce enough waste for unfiltered water to become toxic, especially in smaller tanks.

A good aquarium filter will also oxygenate the water, which promotes energy levels and more active swimming.

The aquariums listed below all include a filter.

Note that bettas have an organ called labyrinth, which allows them to breathe atmospheric air.

This is a survival mechanism because they are native to rice paddies.

However, breathing air should be а last resort and as research shows they will feel much more comfortable in well-oxygenated water.

3. Filter current requirements

If you’re to buy a separate filter for your betta tank, don’t get one with a strong current.

Bettas have enormous fins and the current may exhaust them easily.

Naturally, this can make swimming difficult and unpleasant for them.

If you already have an old filter you’d want to put to use, you can install a cylinder intake sponge to decrease water turbulence.

Getting a self-cleaning tank with an aquaponics system on top solves the current issues, while the tank remains free of dangerous build-up of chemicals because the plants will use them up as food.

4. The advantages of a self-cleaning tank for betta owners

A self-cleaning tank such as an aquaponics one will need very little maintenance in general.

The plants on top will filtrate the water inside of the aquarium, allowing for a healthy living environment in the long run.

These tanks pay for themselves with time. A betta in a self-cleaning tank is great for:

  • Office decoration.
  • People who are not as diligent when it comes to cleaning.
  • People who often forget to clean a tank.
  • People who don’t have much time for aquarium maintenance.
  • People who would like to grow edible greens year-round
  • Classrooms and school projects

Don’t forget that whoever the new owner of the tank is should still feed the betta and occasionally perform water changes.

5. Lighting and what it does for an aquarium with a betta

Here’s why your betta requires a well-lit tank:

Bettas have their own sleeping cycle and a lighting schedule will help with normalizing it. Another reason to have lights in your tank is growing aquatic plants.

Both are important factors in providing a healthy environment for a betta fish.

The lights that come with my recommendations are generally weak, which means they will allow for growing beginner level plants.

If you’re new to the whole fish keeping thing do your research on beginner-friendly plants and employ these in your new betta aquarium.

However, aquatic plants deserve their own separate section, because…

6. Decorating the tank with plants is essential for reducing stress levels and increasing activity

Stress from poor tank decoration can leave your buddy lethargic.

A common expression of that is laying on the bottom while being turned on the side.

Here’s why your betta needs plants in its tank:

Bettas are curious fish. The more decoration and plants their tank has, the more active they will be. They like to swim around, exploring stuff in the aquarium.

Aquatic plants greatly reduce the stress levels in the fish. Less stress results in longer life in general.

I personally hate it when I see almost empty tanks with only 2 stones and a betta in them.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that bettas will absolutely appreciate having personal space.

This resembles their natural habitat.

Having dense vegetation and hideouts in the tank provides the betta with places to rest, should the attention from owners or tank companions becomes overwhelming.

For extra motivation, here’s a photo of a heavily planted tank that’s home to a beautiful blue betta:

Image by: RobMc

7. Use a porous substrate for a safer tank

How does a substrate relate to fish tank safety, right?

Here’s a quick explanation to why you should use substrates in your betta’s tanks:

Substrates provide a bed for beneficial bacteria (and so do filters).

If you decide on a smaller tank, breeding enough nitrifying bacteria is your top concern.

In smaller fish tanks water parameters can go off the charts very quickly because of the confined space.

Adding substrate allows for better control over that and fewer water changes in general.

Plus it looks good.

In my opinion, there’s nothing uglier than putting a beautiful betta fish in an aquarium with a naked bottom.

8. What temperatures will a betta thrive in and does it need an aquarium heater?

Bettas are tropical fish and require a constant water temperature of 75° to 82° F (24° to 28° C).

But does that mean that they require a separate heating unit?

To find out if your betta needs a heater, consider this:

A betta will need an aquarium heater unless the fish tank is situated in a year-round warm location.

If you live in a geolocation where there’s a cold winter and a constant water temperature of 75° to 82° Fahrenheit (24° to 28° Celcius) can’t be maintained then supplying your betta tank with a filter is vital.

Set the filter to the desired temperature and don’t allow for fluctuations.

Scientific research concludes that water temperature affects the behavior of bettas.

Unfortunately, the kits reviewed below rarely include a heater in the pack.

The Best Betta-friendly Aquarium Kits for Someone Who’s Starting Out

The best betta fish tank will have a decent size, enough room for exploring interesting decorations, a functional heater and a solid filter as side equipment. The right starter-friendly setup will ensure a healthy, calm and long-living fish. The ideas listed below will all be suitable for an entry-level fishkeeper. Here are the best fish tank kits for a betta:

1. Tetra LED Cube Kit with Pedestal Base 3 gallon Aquarium – Tight Budget Option

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

This aquarium kit is a great budget option for those who are super eager to start their betta fish tank.

The value for the price is just outstanding though it’s nowhere near what more expensive tanks offer.

If you buy this fish tank kit, know that you’ll have to invest in a heater, if it gets cold in the winter where you live.

You can read my section above about water temperature.

I did some additional research and many users recommend getting the Hydor 7.5w heater.

I’m not particularly happy with that one, so I’ll let you know what works best for my tropical fish in smaller tanks – Tetra TH Submersible heater.

Anyway, aside from that, this tank has its own filter that does the job at first, but be prepared to upgrade to a better one in the future.

The filter’s also a bit too strong for the massive fins of a betta, so make sure that you block the intake with the decor of some kind.

Speaking of which, the kit also comes with LED lighting in the pack.

Frankly, the LED is weak by most standards and you won’t be able to grow many live plants with it.

Good recommendations here would be java moss, Masimo moss balls, and java fern as these are super non-demanding species.

I like the look of this tank because it’s not your conventional 3-gallon one.

Don’t forget to cover the feeding hole on top, by the way. Bettas are jumpers.

I’d buy this tank if I were really tight on budget but were prepared to upgrade a few parts in the future.

In my opinion, the best betta-friendly fish tank could provide more value. However, this one is definitely in the top 10 ones.

I’d only get this fish tank if I plan to house a single betta in it and I were a starter-level fishkeeper.

I’d definitely stuff the thing with lots of low-light plants and a small piece of driftwood because the overall design allows for a really cool display planted tank.

  • Super duper budget friendly
  • It comes with almost everything
  • Made from acrylic for even better aesthetics
  • The design stands out
  • Does not include a heater (get this one if it gets cold in the winter where you live)
  • The built-in filter is not that durable (upgrade to this inexpensive one if anything)
  • Built-in LEDs can grow a limited number of plant species (note that I’m saying species. You can still have a heavily planted tank)

2. biOrb FLOW Aquarium with Light – Compact & Beautiful

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

In my opinion, this tank has by far the coolest appearance and design from the ones listed here.

It comes in 2 sizes – 4 and 8 gallons, both suitable for a betta fish.

It’s a little pricey, but I guess it goes without saying that you should get the larger one if you can afford it.

It has its own filter, which tends to be a bit strong for a betta, but you can simply clamp the tubing with paperclips to reduce the flow.

The filter is advertised as a 5 stage one, though only one of those stages is set for biological filtration. For this reason, I recommend to step up your decor game. This way beneficial bacteria will have more surface area to colonize.

The LEDs of this tank kit are not the strongest out there but will allow for a couple of low-demanding live plants.

The cleaning is not that easy, but it’s not annoying either.

The only thing that this aquarium setup lacks is a heater.

Get a heater as bettas are tropical.

The lid doesn’t have a hole for the cord of a heater, so you may need to modify it (drill a little hole, nothing more).

I’d buy this starter kit if I wanted a gorgeous centerpiece for my room or a stylish addition for my overall neo interior design.

Nothing beats the design, and the tank has a sturdy build. Suitable for a single betta with a couple of shrimp or snails.

  • Top-notch design (no, really, it is)
  • Has a 5-stage filter and LED lights
  • Setting it up is non-challenging
  • Comes in 2 different sizes (4 and 8 gallons)
  • The design limits you to only using biOrb equipment
  • A bit pricey
  • Needs a heater if you don’t live in a year-round warm climate
  • Needs small one-time modifications to be fully equipped with gear

3. biOrb Classic 15 Moonlight LEDs 4 Gallon – Compact Bowl Kit

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

biOrb strikes again! This time it’s a bowl-like tank kit with included filter and LEDs with a moonlight feature.

The filter does its job and so do the lights.

Stuff it with some moss balls and a java fern plant or three to make a good and interesting habitat for your betta.

As with all biOrb items, it’s a bit on the pricey side, which is okay because they are an established nano tank brand.

Everything works as advertised and the thing looks great, though the appearance is not as stunning as the other biOrb tank on this list.

The moonlight mode of the LEDs does allow for bettas to keep their sleeping cycle if you decide to leave it on during the night.

To make sure your betta feels comfortable I recommend that you add a cover to the bubbly oxygenator.

This will spread the outtake current just about enough.

The con to this fish tank kit is that it does not come with a heater.

Being a bowl also makes it somewhat difficult to put one in there without hindering the aesthetics.

I recommend buying the biOrb Classic 15 if you are a fan of the classic bowl look.

Combine that with living in a warm year-round climate and your purchase decision is almost made.

If budget is not your limit, but space is, get this tank and you and your betta won’t regret it.
  • Classic bowl look without limiting the space for swimming
  • Has a filter, oxygenator and LED lighting
  • LEDs have a moonlight option which seems to not disturb a betta’s sleeping cycle
  • Filter current a bit strong (cover it up with something and it will be fine)
  • Needs a heater if you live in a seasonal climate
  • The price tag is a bit higher

4. Penn Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit – Affordable with Quality Filtration

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

This aquarium kit comes in 4 different sizes – 3.4, 5, 7.5 and 10-gallon tanks.

On top of that, all are pretty affordable for the value you get with each.

The bigger kit you buy – the better for your betta.

The design is clean, nothing too special. Penn Plax is a well-known brand when it comes to canister filters so I did expect that same quality with the internal one you get here.

Turns out it works great and without issues.

The cartridge has its own 2 chambers in which you can put custom filter media.

The lighting is not that bright.

You also need to plug and unplug it every time, because there’s no on-off switch.

You should stick to very low-light plants if you don’t decide on upgrading with a better fixture.

Another thing to consider as an upgrade is a heater.

The lid does not require modifications on your part when adding the heater as there’s enough space for the cord.

Overall a great tank to have your betta in.

Buy this aquarium kit if you enjoy clean unconventional design and do not really care about growing more difficult aquatic plants.

It’s a well-justified choice for a tighter budget.

  • Round-edge glass design that’s clean yet stands out
  • Comes with an internal filter that works more than well
  • Comes with lights
  • Price tag
  • The light will not grow many plants
  • Needs a separate heater if you don’t live in a place with a warm climate
  • The filter is somewhat noisy

5. MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit – Pay Less for More

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

To be honest, the Marineland Portrait Glass Aquarium is one of my personal favorites on this list.

I just can’t comprehend how the manufacturers managed to provide so much value for the money.

This kit comes with a 3-stage filter, that’s actually hidden at the back.

It’s strong and silent, which is a rare combination.

It also has an adjustable flow, which is just gold.

I’ve found that the lowest setting possible is still a bit strong for a betta.

Just put a sponge on the intake to reduce it further.

The lights will grow low-light plants such as Java Fern and Anubias without issues as well, so don’t forget to add those.

The design of the tank is beautiful and provides enough swimming space for an active betta fish.

I don’t see many cons, given the price, but one that stands out is that the filter itself is somewhat difficult to clean.

The back-area that hides the filtration system collects debris, which can prolong the cycling time if you’re not diligent with the cleaning.

It’s just essential that you remove those often, and it’s not that easy, really.

Aside from that, the tank kit is perfect for the money and pretty suitable for a new betta owner.

I recommend buying this product if you’re willing to stay on top of the maintenance but would also appreciate a silent, stylish-looking betta tank, that won’t break the bank.

Note that some users report that their darkly-colored bettas can’t really stand out from the black background.

If yours is darkly colored – don’t get this tank as it will somewhat defeat the purpose of the whole thing.

  • Looks
  • The built-in filter is silent
  • The filter is hidden, so it doesn’t hinder aesthetics
  • Built-in LEDs can grow low-light plants
  • Definitely inexpensive, for all that it provides
  • Back chamber collects gunk and needs to be cleaned thoroughly
  • Cleaning is not that easy
  • If your betta is dark-colored it won’t make it stand out, because of the black background
  • No heater in the kit (Amazon has a deal for that)

6. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit 5-Gallon – The Smart Choice

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

Aside from manufacturing the best canister filters, Fluval has stepped up their game in the nano tank field as well.

This tank costs a bit more, but it’s really one of the best fish tanks for a single betta.

The setup is straightforward.

What I really like about the tank is its shape though.

The longer shape allows for a betta to actually swim around without feeling confined in the 5 gallons of water.

This kit comes with its own lighting and filter. Both work well.

The filter and its pump motor are enclosed, which is a plus in a kit tank.

It filtrates well enough and keeps the water clean while being silent.

Keep the water level in check to avoid a splashing sound.

Though the current is a bit stronger for a large-finned betta you can just stick a cheap sponge in the intake and be done with it.

The 37 LEDs are strong enough to grow most low-light plants, which is great for your betta fish.

The fixture has a “night mode” which looks good, but is somewhat bright and may disturb the fish’s sleeping cycle.

The overall build of the tank is sturdy and it will last you more than other, cheaper ones.

The only thing this kit lacks is a heater (as with most aquarium kits).

A con I would like to mention is that when you get your heater, you’d need to slightly modify the lid for the heater’s cord.

It does not have a hole for that and it doesn’t look good with a half-closed lid.

Get this fish tank kit if you’re okay with paying a bit more in return of product durability and increased life quality of your betta.
  • More vertical space that allows for bettas to explore and keep them busy
  • Great LEDs for most low-light live plants
  • The filter is functional, silent and not ugly looking
  • Durable
  • Price (though higher, I think it matches the quality exceptionally well)
  • Easy setup
  • Needs a separate heater if it gets cold in the winter where you live
  • The water level should be maintained to avoid “splashing” sounds
  • The lid does not allow for additional equipment with cords (you can drill a small hole, nothing hard)
  • The filter is a bit strong for a betta and needs a small sponge to the intake

7. Marina LED Aquarium Kit – Best Side Equipment for the Money

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

As the title goes you’ll get the best side equipment with this betta tank kit.

It comes in 3 sizes (5, 10 and 20 gallons) but the price difference between them is so small that you should really get the 20 gallons one if your home or office space allows it.

Aside from being super affordable, this tank kit comes with a filter from an established brand.

Marina is really popular in the hobby with their HOB filters so you could expect that from them.

The filter does a fantastic job of keeping the tank clean while keeping it quiet.

It has an adjustable flow, which is a major advantage for all-in-one betta tanks.

The lights are outstanding for the price.

In fact, I think they’re the best ones that you can get as side equipment.

They will definitely grow a majority of low-light plants and even a few medium ones.

The light also makes the colors of a betta pop.

You may find yourself seeing ones that you never thought were there.

The setup process is as beginner-friendly as it gets.

The only thing you’d want adding to this tank is a heater and, perhaps, a substrate. I can’t recommend enough!

I’d buy this aquarium kit if I were new to fishkeeping and wanted to provide the best possible all-in-one setup for my betta without breaking the bank.

This product is a safe ground for learning the hobby without endangering the wellbeing of a fish.

I give it a 10/10.

  • Best side equipment you will get in an aquarium kit
  • The included filter keeps the water sparkling clean
  • Included filter is virtually silent upon proper maintenance
  • LEDs can grow a huge variety of low-light plants
  • Does not limit you to hardy live plants only
  • Comes in 3 different sizes (5, 10, 20 gallons)
  • Price is unrealistically low for what you get
  • Does not come with a heater

8. Fluval Edge 6 Gallon – the Artsy Choice

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

The guys from Fluval always go the extra mile.

Here you get a very nifty design that suits even the most exquisite homeowner.

Aside from that this kit also comes with a filter and a lighting fixture, but no heater.

The filter often runs a bit loud before it loses all the air bubbles trapped inside.

You can speed that process up by tilting it from time to time.

It will eventually run smooth and quiet. The built-in lights are pretty impressive and allow for low to medium-demanding live plants to be grown.

Live plants in such a stylish tank look gorgeous and your betta will definitely love them as well.

Don’t forget to add driftwood as you’ll be missing out on aesthetics otherwise.

There’s also a moonlight option to the LEDs which I do not recommend using, because this way the glass reflects images from inside the tank.

This can stress your betta as it may think that there’s an opponent in the tank.

So skip that part, in my opinion.

The downsides are the noisy (at first) filter and the price, because this kit does not include a heater.

I would buy this fish tank for my betta if my budget wasn’t an obstacle and I was really into the stylish interior design of my room.
  • An absolute masterpiece in terms of design
  • The filter keeps the water clean
  • The filter, lighting, and pump are hidden
  • The light will grow low & medium live plants
  • Rather expensive
  • The filter can be noisy at first (because of micro air bubbles, which will sort itself out with time)
  • Moonlight option can stress a betta (don’t use it)
  • Needs a heater
  • Needs an oxygenator if you choose to keep the water level to the top (bettas breathe atmospheric air and need to have some space above the water to show up unless thw water is artificially oxygenated)

9. Fluval Flex 57 Nano Glass Aquarium Kit 15 Gallons – Modern Design

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

The Fluval Flex 57 comes with just about anything a betta would need, except, of course, a heater.

It has a beautiful sleek design, though you won’t be able to see your fish clearly from every angle because of the shape of the tank.

It’s advertised as 15 gallons, but from what I’ve seen the usable living space for a fish would be just above 10 gallons.

That’s because the back hides the filter and pump and Fluval included that in their calculations for some reason.

Nevertheless, the side equipment works wonders.

The lighting is pretty decent and will grow a variety of low and medium-demanding plants for your betta’s chill places.

The filter is durable and keeps the tank clean, but it lacks the adjustable flow feature.

This can be an issue, unless you reduce the current with sponges in the intake and outlet (yes, both!).

If the current remains strong I recommend getting a separate smaller pump that will go easy on your betta (I looked around and this one seems to do the trick).

The hidden chamber on the back provides space for extra equipment and the lid allows for cords to go in there, which is rare with aquarium kits.

I recommend buying this cool starter-pack fish tank for your betta if you like its awesome design and your budget is not limiting you.

You may also enjoy this purchase if you want to take advantage of the decent LEDs and provide your betta with some lush green plants (which is recommended anyway).

  • Hidden filter and pump in a back chamber
  • Undeniably beautiful design
  • LEDs will grow many low to medium-need live plants
  • Has space for additional equipment and cords
  • Does not include a heater
  • The filter can be a bit strong for your betta (you may need to replace the pump, in which case I suggest having a look at this inexpensive one)
  • Expensive, considering that it actually provides 10 gallons of living space for your fish, isntead of 15

10. Tetra ColorFusion 20 gallon Kit – Affordable All-in-One Solution

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

Supposedly designed to house GloFish this tank is actually a really good fit for a betta and, perhaps, some tank mates.

It’s decently sized and though its looks are not something outstanding it is a really good beginner-level aquarium kit for betta owners.

It actually comes with a heater, which is a blessing, given the competitors’ kits.

The light can grow some low-tier live plants if you provide them with fertilizers.

The package actually includes plastic ones, but I think those are terrible and ugly (sorry!).

The colorful lights may stress your betta so I suggest using only one constant mode and sticking to it.

The filter does the job as long as you’re not overstocking.

Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions about installing it correctly, as many people seem to fail to do so.

It actually works nicely and quietly if you put it right (hint: push harder!).

The heater is a fixed temperature one, which may or may not be good for a betta.

This one is made rather cheaply, and in my opinion, you should buy a separate unit to ensure a safe water temperature when you can.

If I were you I’d buy this tank If I wanted to pay less, but was prepared to compromise a little with the side accessory.

Nevertheless, the tank is spacious, sturdy, made out of real glass and overall a good purchase for a betta. You can upgrade the parts later on.

  • Comes with a filter
  • Comes with a heater
  • Comes with fancy lights
  • Sturdy, made from real glass
  • Simplistic design if you’re into that
  • Affordable for an all-in-one tank of this size
  • Side equipment is not outstanding quality, so you may want to upgrade parts later
  • A rather confusing assembly process
  • Colorful lights are not something you’d want to use for your betta

11. ECOLIFE Conservation ECO Cycle – Self-cleaning Science Project

Click here to see the current price + more photos on Amazon.

The ECOLIFE Conservation ECO-Cycle is an aquaponics upgrade and not an actual tank.

It requires a separate 20-gallon tank that measures 12 by 24 inches.

Buy it only if you’re planning to have a community betta tank.

The waste of one fish won’t be enough to fuel adequate plant growth.

The kit itself is beautiful and comes with everything you need for a successful self-maintained aquaponics system.

Your betta and its tankmates produce waste, the plants use that up and grow while keeping the tank clean.

The LED light that comes with it is specially designed for plant growth. Simple? It is, after the initial planning.

You get to decide what plants to grow in the top garden and you choose your own seeds.

It best works with green leafy vegetables.

The downside of this setup is that you’d still need to buy the tank, filter, and heater separately.

The sciency part of it is fascinating, however.

Such a fish tank would be self-cleaning and 95% self-sustaining.

You’d need to feed the fish and rarely perform water changes.

If you want to grow plants inside the tank itself you’ll need a separate LED light.

If you don’t go that road, make sure your betta has plenty and I mean plenty of decor and hideouts for itself.

I’d buy this tank upgrade if I were willing to carefully execute the project and put the initial work needed.

Afterward, the whole system becomes pretty much self-running.

Only get this fish tank addition if you’re going to be serious about the whole betta aquaponics thing or you have a burning love for science.
  • Makes the tank self-cleaning
  • Makes the tank self-sustainable
  • You can grow edible leafy greens year round
  • Feeds your passion for science
  • Great for school projects and classrooms
  • You choose what to grow
  • Does not include the tank itself or side equipment
  • Requires initial planning
  • Betta may not like the idea of being in a community tank (a single fish is not enough to feed the plants)
  • Expensive though worth it

Top small fish tanks for bettas (Summary)

All of these are 3 or 4-gallon tanks that have been reviewed above in this article. Though compact, they are generally considered enough in temrs of space for a Siamese Fighting Fish. Here are the best small tanks for a betta fish:

These are all just about the absolute minimum size for housing a single betta and nothing more.

Of course, if your budget allows it – get a larger tank and provide more swimming space for your buddy.

Top 5-gallon tanks for bettas (Summary)

Each of these products has a separate review section above, so make sure to check that before you decide on a purchase. These are the best 5-gallon tanks for a betta:

Some of these come in more than one size, so keep that in mind.

A betta will not feel confined in 5 gallons of water, but will appreciate it if you provide him or her with more living space.

Top 10-gallon tanks for bettas (Summary)

Here’s an overview of the best 10-gallon tanks appropriate for a betta:

These are all a good fit for an entry-level betta owner.

Make sure to read their individual reviews above before deciding on a purchase.

Top 20 gallon tanks for bettas (Summary)

The selections below are ideal for a community tank. They will definitely be appreciated by your small fish pet. Have a look at the best 20-gallon fish tanks for a healthy betta:

Note that the last option is not an actual 20-gallon tank, but an upgrade for one. These are probably the best choice for a happy betta.

Get the larger aquarium if you plan on housing your betta along other tank mates

If you plan on housing your betta with other fish in the near future you are definitely responsible for making sure it all goes well.

Contrary to the popular belief it is possible, but you need to make an informed decision.

Choose the tank mates wisely to make sure conflict is avoided (visit the link if you want me to help with that).

In that case, it’s always better to go for the larger tank.

If you click that link you’ll see that the companion options are heavily dependent on tank size and the density of decoration.

A stress-free environment is crucial for the well-being of all the aquarium inhabitants you choose to put under the same roof.

Don’t forget to cycle the aquarium before putting live fish in it

If you don’t know what a nitrogen cycle is then pause reading here and do your research now.

In a nutshell – you need to wait for beneficial nitrifying bacteria to establish a colony before you add anything (alive) in the tank.

When the colonies are all set to handle ammonia and nitrites you can proceed with adding your betta.

This process usually, lasts a month or so, but you can speed it up by using the right brand of bottled bacteria (Tetra SafeStart is a good choice for that).

Some of the kits listed above do come with a bottle included, so read the contents carefully.

It’s sad how many people rush the whole fish keeping thing just to find their fish dead in a couple of days.

Let your tank cycle and wait until the water parameters are safe and welcoming (0 ppm of ammonia,0 ppm of nitrite, 10-30 ppm of nitrate).

Bettas get stressed enough by being sold in jars in fish stores.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of letting your impatience kill your new pet.

Final words

It’s not difficult to make the right choice. If in doubt – let your budget decide.

Mind that all of these are aquarium starter kits.

Are they the best ones for a beginner betta owner?

Yes, definitely.

Will it be better if you were to build your custom tank and buy each piece of equipment separately?

Probably, but it will also cost more in terms of time for research of the right gear and cash.

Nevertheless, I made sure none of these will be cruel to a live fish, considering the tank’s size and quality of the equipment so you won’t regret your purchase.

I tried my best to select ones that have a filter because this is one of the most overlooked mistakes when someone is new to fishkeeping in general.

The perfect tank for a betta, be it small or big, should have the right amount of plants and decorations.

Tell me how things went for you in the comments.

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Interesting read, thanks a lot!
I was unaware of the nytrogen cycle when I bought my Betta. The shop advised me poorly, and while doing later research I came to the conclusion that I needed to set my Betta in a separate tank. So far it’s been around a month ever since I got it and he seems to be fine. He loves live treats, apparently, (I found out by accident 🙂 )
I wish I had read your article 4 weeks ago.


Thank you sooooo much! This is great info. If I use Tetra Safe – how quickly can I add my betta. I want to get him out the stupid small fishbowl he was given to my daughter in.