If you think that finding the best substrate for your betta is an easy and simple task, then you are very much mistaken.
You might think that you can just rush to your nearest sandpit and get sand to fill the bottom or go to your nearest stream and pick out rocks for your aquarium.
But there is a lot more to it than you think when it comes to the best substrates for bettas.
A betta requires certain things in order to thrive in your tank. If they are overlooked then you might cut the lifespan of your betta by keeping it prone to health issues and infections.
In this buyer’s guide “Best Substrates For Bettas,” you will learn about:
- the general information of the betta fish
- the reasons why you should have substrates for them
- the best substrates available in the market
- the pros and cons of each product
- common questions when it comes to the best substrates for bettas
There are a lot of substrates available in the market but that doesn’t mean that they are all meant for your fish. This buyer’s guide will equip you with the knowledge you need if you want to keep your betta happy and healthy.
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Check Betta Substrates
Best Substrates For Bettas: Introduction of The Infamous Fish
The ‘Siamese fighting fish’ or widely known as betta fish is a very popular fish. It is a high demand fish in the aquarium trade industry as well.
The betta fish is a highly territorial fish; this means that it can’t be housed with another betta.
The male betta especially, will fight and sometimes even kill the other over territory. So it is advised only to keep a single betta in a tank.
It originated from Thailand where it was first used as a betting means.
When it comes to betting and betta fish…
People would place two betta fish in a single enclosure where people would place bets on either one of the fish. The first betta to back down or die would lose.
This was a very cruel practice but nowadays these fish are only used for their beauty and uniqueness. You should avoid this practice at all costs!
Why Should You Have Substrates For Bettas?
There are many reasons why substrates can be beneficial for bettas.
Let’s take a look right below.
Substrates Can Help Contain Bacteria
If you are familiar with the nitrogen cycle then you might know that bacteria are very essential.
If you didn’t know yet, then you should keep this in mind:
Some bacteria are known to break down nitrites, nitrates, nitrogen, and ammonia.
The presence of these can negatively impact the health of your betta.
This is why substrates are preferred as they contain the essential bacteria needed to keep the fish healthy in the tank.
Increases Aesthetic Appeal
One of the main reasons that substrates are used is because people generally want to increase the aesthetic appeal of their aquarium.
Substrates are found in various color options and looks.
Betta Substrate Advice:
It is advised not to leave your aquarium floor barren as this can cause your betta to freak out.
Another reason is that light reflections from the empty floor can be quite harmful to your betta.
Gives Bettas A Better Appearance
A substrate can really bring out the colors and look of your betta.
This is the case if you decide to go with natural and dull colors for your substrates.
It can allow your betta to be the star of the show as the colors will be more prominent in the dark environment.
Makes The Environment Appear More Natural
A barren aquarium floor isn’t advisable for multiple reasons, which is why substrates are used to provide a much better look.
Substrates create a more natural environment for your bettas.
Not only does it make it appear nice but also…
This can greatly benefit bettas as well because it makes the bettas more comfortable and makes it easier for them to adjust and thrive in the simulated environment.
Substrates cover the whole bed of your tank along with making the tank feel more full and natural. Substrate allows for vegetation to be placed on the floor as it is kept in place by the said substrate.
The natural environment for betta calls for vegetation.
The betta can hide and feel more at home if vegetation is present.
Certain vegetation can also help in keeping the water clean from impurities.
Helps With pH Level
Some substrates maintain the ideal pH level required by your betta.
A substrate can make the water soft or hard and can get rid of substances which could have a negative impact on the betta.
Some substrates make the water alkaline and some make it more acidic.
The proper substrate should be used in order to maintain that equilibrium according to the requirements of the fish.
Best Substrates For Bettas You Can Find Online
Sackorange Aquarium Gravel River Rock
Gravel is one of the most widely used substrates and it is readily available from any local shop, online seller, or aquatic center. It is quite popular and is available in a wide variety of colors and shades to spice up your aquarium. It is also relatively inexpensive so you can easily stack up on it if you need to.
The Sackorange aquarium gravel is a great and affordable pick.
Gravel is one of the best options for people looking to buy a substrate for their bettas. There are however some implications that need to be addressed.
The gravel should be moderately sized, smooth, and compact. If these requirements are met then this might be the best betta fish gravel for your tank.
Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand
The Caribsea aquarium sand is another option for people looking for the perfect substrate for their bettas. This is quite popular and is quite affordable as well. This is generally used for bottom-dwelling fish but can be used for bettas as well.
This is a great and viable option for people who are looking for a great substrate for their betta fish. It requires a bit of maintenance but it is great if you don’t have any bottom dweller fish as that will make the water murky.
Dashington Flat Cobalt Glass Marbles
Marbles are a widely used substrate by new fish owners. These marbles are present in different colors and shades. They are also available in different sizes as well according to the size of your aquarium and the type of fish you have.
The Dashington marbles are aesthetically pleasing and provide a great look to your tank as well.
This is a great option for beginners and provides a great aesthetic appeal to the tank.
Fantasia Bulk Madagascar Stone Mix
These are great quality stones that come in various colors and shades. They are very affordable as well but must be handled and treated with care to make it safe for bettas.
These are a great find if natural rocks aren’t available near you.
These rocks are not generally recommended because you might end up killing your precious fish. If you are experienced and know how to properly treat this type of substrate in order to make it safe for your fish then this is a viable option.
Nature’s Ocean Bio-Active Live Aragonite Reef Sand
Coral sand is more like gravel instead of regular sand in nature. As it has a larger form factor, it allows for vegetation and maintains the proper pH of the tank if it is maintained.
Nature’s Ocean coral sand is a popular choice and is readily available online and in aquatic centers closest to you.
Overall coral sand is a viable option only for those who are willing to clean up their tanks quite regularly and know how to properly measure and control the pH levels of the aquarium.
Substrates For Bettas Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the frequent questions people are asking about substrates and bettas.
What Is A Substrate?
A substrate refers to the materials used in an aquarium. They are laid in the bottom of the tank and have an adverse effect on the water and inhabitants inside. They can alter the filtration of the water; water chemistry and they can affect the health and livelihood of the inhabitants of the aquarium. A substrate is also used to increase the aquarium’s aesthetics.
Can You Keep More Than One Betta In An Aquarium?
In short, the answer is no. You might be used to keeping all your goldfish in a single tank and never having to worry about anything. Well, this is not the case when you purchase a betta. A betta is known to be very territorial and hence they will kill and fight any other betta in the tank. So it is advised not to put more than one betta in a single aquarium.
Can A Betta Be Kept With Other Types Of Fish?
As you know, not more than one betta can be kept in a single tank. You might be wondering that maybe you can’t keep other fish with a betta as well. Even though bettas are highly territorial, they can be housed with certain fish. These include Ghost shrimp, Guppies, Cory Catfish, etc. just be sure to check if the fish you are trying to place in the betta’s tank is even compatible.
Do I Have To Buy A Huge Quantity Of Substrate For My Betta?
This all depends on the substrate you are going for as that will affect the packaging. If you are choosing natural rocks then you can collect the required amount from wherever you please. But if you are going with aquarium gravel then you have to purchase bags in large quantities. If your tank is big enough then these might be a one time use for you.
What Is The Natural Substrate Of Bettas?
Bettas are usually found in slow-moving streams, marshes, rice paddies, and drainage ditches. This means that the normal substrate would be silt, mud, soil, and vegetation. Now, this would be all fine and dandy I the wild but this cannot be sustained in your home aquarium. This would lead to sanitation issues and would be a hassle for you to maintain.
Can I Use Regular Sand As A Substrate?
People think that they can go to their nearest sandpit and scoop some out for their fish. This is not advisable as regular sand can have some adverse effects on the environment of the aquarium and can be harmful to the inhabitants as well. Sand can lead to bacterial growth and blooming of brown algae.
Factors To Look For When You’re Buy Substrates For Betta Fish
Here are the five factors you should look out for when you’re in the process of buying substrates for your betta fish.
Check If The Substrate Is Safe
When looking for the perfect substrate for your bettas, you need to research thoroughly to see if the option you are going for is even safe for your fish.
Certain substrates create unlivable environments for your betta.
Just be sure to choose a substrate that is compatible with the living environment your betta needs to survive.
Bettas thrive in clean water and some substrates might make that impossible by making the water murky and dirty.
This is another reason why bettas can’t be kept with all types of fish as the water requirements are not the same.
Avoid Dirty Substrates
A substrate should be chosen that keeps the tank and aquarium clean and free from any muddy or murky water.
A betta requires a clean environment and some substrates are known to be quite dirty if they are stirred up.
Just be sure to correctly choose the substrate so that your fish can thrive.
Find Your Desired Product After You Have A List Of Compatible Substrates
If you are convinced that the substrate you have chosen is completely compatible with your betta then you can think about it further.
Usually, in any substrate you chose you are presented with a wide array of colors and shades.
These complement your aquarium atmosphere and can greatly add to the aesthetic appeal of your tank.
Finding The Price That Best Fits You Budget
When choosing a substrate, you can be greatly overwhelmed by the wide selection of a single substrate. These can greatly vary in pricing and features.
The health of your betta should be your utmost priority instead of looking for the cheapest option. Once you have a compatible list of substrates, then figure out the price after.
But this does not mean that you end up overpaying for some fancy packaging or color.
Just remember to pay for the actual product and not the marketing.
The Right Quantity
If you have a small tank and are worried about the quantity of substrate you would have to buy then don’t be. A substrate might come pre-packed with mentioned weights. When choosing the substrate you require, look for the appropriate amount you will need to fill the bottom of the tank.
But if you cannot find smaller quantities, you could always buy the larger quantity and save the rest for another time.
Going this route can actually save you a bit of money in the long run as you would already have the amount you required and won’t need to buy more.
All the options presented each have their own effects and are to be considered when choosing a substrate for your betta. But overall I think that the best option is the aquarium gravel.
This is because it provides a much more natural environment and doesn’t affect the water and its pH level. It cleans up the water instead and makes it more livable for the betta.
In the end, it is however up to you and your requirements and which substrate is the most suitable for you and your betta.
Even if you are satisfied with the knowledge you have gained from our article, just be sure to thoroughly research yourself as to which option is the best for you and then go from there.
Hopefully, this presented information has helped you in narrowing your options and might lead you to make an informed decision.
Be sure to check out my other buyer’s guide:
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- Discovering The Marimo Moss Ball Terrarium Kit!
- Best Air Plant Terrarium Kits For Your Home!
- Best Terrarium Books For Beginners, Adults, And Kids
- Reasons To Buy Zoo Med Excavator Clay
If this article helped you find the best substrates for bettas, then be sure to leave a review of the product below. For any questions, don’t afraid to post below this article and I’ll answer it as soon as possible.
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