Do Betta Tanks Need Lids?

Do Betta Tanks Need Lids

You might have heard some crazy stories of Betta jumping out of the tank. These stories might make you wonder do you really need to have lid for your betta tank? Well, here is the answer:

Betta tank needs lids as bettas are excellent jumpers. Sooner or later, your betta might try to jump out of the tank. That’s why a lid is necessary for ensuring your betta’s safety.

Just only buying a lid won’t be enough. You’ll have to know about some other important things too. I’ll describe everything in the rest of the article.

Make Sure The Lid Is Not Airtight

You should always keep in mind that Bettas can absorb oxygen from the air, due to their labyrinth organ. That’s why you’ll often see Betta touching the surface of the water to get a quick gulp of air.

If the lid is airtight, than no air will flow under the lid. As a result, the betta can suffer from lack of oxygen. That’s why always make sure the lid has some kind of opening for proper air flow.

Otherwise, it can cause problem to the betta.

What To Do If You Don’t Have A Lid Right Now?

Well, lids are a must for keeping betta. You might’ve heard that some owners have never used lid on their betta tank. Well, that doesn’t mean their betta will never jump out of the tank.

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As I have said before, bettas are fantastic jumper and anything can trigger them to jump. Even if you are keeping your betta for months, one day you might find your betta jumped out of the tank and lying dead on the floor.

Nobody wants to face that, right? Then let’s be safe and keep a lid on our betta tank.

However, for any reason, you might not be able to get a lid right now. If that’s the case, you can follow some tips that will keep your betta safe until you can get a proper lid.

Here are the tips:

  • Make sure the water level in the tank is at least 2-3 inches lower than the top. This will make sure the betta don’t have enough space to jump out of the tank.
  • One smart way to discourage betta from jumping is by having lots of floating plants. Floating plants are very cheap and they propagate like weeds. Personally, I like the ones that are a bit larger like water lettuce. Because, the tiny ones can become a nuisance in no time and they are very difficult to deal with.
  • You can make a lid on your own with just some household items. I’ll discuss a few DIY Lid ideas in the next section.

DIY Lid Ideas

Using Cello wrap

Well, the method is pretty much self-explanatory. Just buy a roll of cello wrap and cover your betta tank with it. Make sure to put some holes on the wrap for proper air flow.

For doing regular maintenance works, just unwrap the cello paper, do the maintenance and then wrap it again. This is by far not the best method at all.

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You should use it just for a few days until you can get a real lid for your betta tank.

Other Household Items

I’ve also heard many fish keepers using regular household items to make a fish tank lid. You can use glass, cardboard, acrylic, etc. to make a lid on your own. You’ll just need a good cutting tool and the material you want to use.

When it comes to DIY, your imagination is the key. Don’t let anyone force you into a fixed idea. Just think of what you can do with the items lying around your house.

Whatever you do, just make sure the lid is not airtight.

How To Discourage Your Betta From Jumping?

Every betta has distinct personalities. Some bettas are jumpers, they’ll jump no matter what you do. On the other hand, some bettas are much peaceful and won’t even bother to jump.

The jumping tendency also depends on the type of betta. If you are keeping a plakat, then it will definitely try to jump as plakats are much more active & aggressive than the other types.

On the other hand, bettas with large & fancy tails (i.e. veil tail, full moon, delta halfmoon, etc.) can’t jump a lot. Due to the weight of their tail, they typically don’t want to jump unless they are forced for any reason.

One quick & smart way to discourage the jumping tendency of betta is by having lots of floating plants on the tank. Floating plants imitate the natural habitat of Betta. As a result, bettas feel much safer when there are floating plants in the tank. As a result, the chances of your betta jumping will get much lower.

When using floating plants, I like to use the ones that are a bit larger, such as water lettuce. The smaller ones (i.e. duckweed) can become a nuisance and very hard to deal with.

Short Fin Betta vs Long Fin Betta: Which One Jumps Higher?

Short fin betta can jump higher due to the lighter tail. It has been seen that short fin betta like plakats can jump even up to 4 inches of height.

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On the other hand, long fin bettas (bettas with fancy tails) can’t jump higher than 1-2 inches.

Final Words

When it comes to Bettas, a lot of things depend on their personality. Some bettas love to jump, whereas some don’t jump even once in years. However, that’s not a risk you should take.

I’ll always recommend having a lid on your betta tank. It is better to be safe than sorry, right?

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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