Betta fish, also called Siamese fighting fish, are known for being one of the most territorial and aggressive species of tropical fish. The males of this species cannot be kept in the same tank without one killing the other. Because these fish are so aggressive, they are typically kept individually in small bowls or tanks. If you are able to keep the fish separated, however, it is possible to keep multiple male bettas in one tank. By building a tank divider you can create several compartments within a single tank in which to house your betta fish.
Materials Needed: Plastic embroidery canvas Scissors Plastic binding bars
To build a tank divider, measure the width of your aquarium from the front wall to the back, holding the measuring tape against the inside walls of the aquarium. Cut a piece of plastic embroidery canvas to the exact measurement and slide it vertically into the tank. The sides of the canvas should fit snugly against the front and back wall - there should be no gaps through which a betta fish might slip. Trim the top of the embroidery canvas so it sits just below the rim of the tank.
Slide a plastic binding bar onto all four edges of the embroidery canvas, trimming them to the length and width of the canvas. Place the divider back inside the tank to ensure that it fits. If adding the binding bars significantly increases the width of the divider you may need to trim the canvas slightly so that it sits flush with the tank walls.
Build up the substrate against the bottom of the tank divider to remove the possibility that your betta fish can burrow under it to the other side of the tank. If you can, dig a trench in the substrate before sliding the divider into place then fill in the trench once the bottom of the divider sits against the bottom of the tank. Check that the water level in the tank is at least two inches below the top of the divider before introducing your betta fish to their sections of the tank.
Other Considerations for a Divided Tank
While a divided tank is an excellent way to economize your use of tank space in keeping multiple bettas, there are some problems which you will need to address. Plastic embroidery canvas is filled with small holes which allow water to flow from one side of the tank to the other, but whichever side you place the filter on will benefit from higher water quality than the other. You might install your filter as close to the center of the tank as possible or use two smaller filters, one in each corner. Another alternative to this plan is to place a mesh bag full of EcoBio-Pebbles in the section of the tank furthest from the filter. EcoBio-Pebbles are made of porous volcanic rock infused with beneficial bacteria which break down ammonia and help to clarify and purify aquarium water. Once the bacteria have been introduced into your tank through the EcoBio-Pebbles they will multiply and continue to revitalize the water, lessening the frequency of necessary water changes and improving the water quality in your tank. By using EcoBio-Pebbles in your betta tank you can avoid having to purchase a second filter and both sides of the tank will benefit from clear, healthy water.