How to Care for a Betta Fish in a Vase

By Diane Steinbach

You may have seen the somewhat popular display of a betta fish in a vase. Touted to be an all-inclusive ecosystem for both plant and fish, this lovely display of a vase with a peace lily or pothos plant and brilliant-colored fish is really misleading. You will often hear from dealers that you don't need to feed or clean your fish and bowl, but this is untrue, and most buyers lose their fish within a few weeks. If you want to have a betta in a vase, you can, but you must still care for your betta. Here's how to have this display in a healthy way for your treasured betta.

Clean your vase using only clean, hot water. Do not use soap or cleansers because they will kill your fish.

Wash the roots of your plant and clean thoroughly.

Fill the vase 2/3 full with clean, fresh water. Add the necessary amount of water conditioner for fish aquariums to remove chemicals and iron from the water. Water should be warm or room temperature.

Add your betta fish. Let it acclimate to the water. Add a few bits of high-quality betta food to feed your fish. You will need to feed your fish a few times a day despite what the instructions for your vase betta setup may say. The fish cannot survive on plant roots alone.

Place your plant roots in the water, but be sure there is plenty of room for your fish to swim around.

Place your vase and betta setup in a location with moderate but not direct sunlight. Feed your fish a few times a day as instructed on your betta fish food container.

Clean and change your betta water every week, and use proper aquarium water conditioner. If the betta doesn't flourish with this setup, move the plant to a regular pot and care for your betta fish separately.