Transporting your betta fish can be stressful. Not only for you but also for your fish! Minimize stress and travel successfully by following the tips in this guide.
What’s in this guide?
- What to consider before transporting
- How to prepare your betta fish
- Travel checklist!
Transporting your betta fish
Transporting a Betta fish may not always come to mind with most pet owners as an aquarium seems like a permanent fixture in one’s home. However, there may come a time that the need to transport your Betta fish arises, whether it’s to move, take it to the vet, rehome it, or maybe a short vacation. So it pays to know how to transport your Betta Fish properly.
Need to move your Betta’s tank and not just your fish? Follow this great video tutorial!
The task of transporting your Betta fish may seem daunting. Still, the key is to prepare well, to prioritize maintaining the proper water quality conditions for your fish before, during, and after transport, and to acclimate your Betta fish whenever transferring properly.
What to consider before traveling with a Betta fish
Reason for the trip
The reason behind transporting your Betta fish is a major consideration to help you plan out how to go about it. Are you taking it somewhere far? Is the move permanent? Is the trip long? Are pets allowed at the destination? These types of questions allow you to prepare well for the transport.
Length of the trip
The length of the trip is also something to consider. Keep in mind that transporting your Betta fish can become stressful for your Betta, so you may want to consider breaks in between long trips. The length of the trip will also factor in what resources and supplies you’ll need to bring with you.
Resources and supplies at your destination
You should consider what kind of resources will be available at your destination so you can prepare to bring the supplies you will need. Is there a pet store nearby? Is there access to clean water? Will you be able to find the food your Betta likes?
Taking note of the resources available at your destination will influence the supplies and equipment you need to pack for transporting your Betta.
Transport by car, bus, or train is recommended. Airline regulations may restrict the transport of aquarium fish by air. Always check regulations if your preferred method of transportation is public.
Do you really need to bring your Betta?
Remember that transporting your Betta will probably be stressful for your fish considering all the changes it will have to go through and the constant movement in the car.
Perhaps you can find a pet sitter while you are away? If that is not possible, there are options available to allow you to keep your Betta at home without supervision.
You can leave your Betta without food for a few days
One fasting day in a week is a good practice Betta owners employ to help prevent overeating and bloating. You can schedule your travel day to coincide with your Betta’s fasting day. Your Betta fish can survive without food for up to two weeks but it’s best not to go over 3 days.
Automatic pet feeders are available
You can also invest in a programmable pet feeder you can set up to feed your Betta while you are away. Some of these feeders even come with a camera so you can keep an eye on your Betta fish while you are away. Check out some options here. These cost about 18-25 $.
Checklist for transporting your Betta fish
Preparing a checklist of everything your Betta will need during transport and at its destination is good. This ensures you do not forget anything in case you do not have easy access to supplies for your Betta.
What you’ll need:
- Transport container (preferably with a spill-proof lid); avoid glass aquariums since these may break during transport
- Extra bucket or container for pre-treated water and emergency use
- Clear plastic container, fishnet, or a small cup
- Pre-treated water
- Water conditioner
- Aquarium salts
- Heater (if needed depending on the length of travel)
- Filter (if needed depending on the length of travel)
- Cloth, towels, and/or paper towels
For short travels, you probably won’t need to bring all of your fish tank accessories or decorations with you. You can bring one or two so that your Betta’s travel tank remains interesting and similar to its main tank.
Preparing to transport your Betta fish
Some guides recommend not feeding your Betta before transport, but this boils down to preference and routine. Bettas do well with a feeding schedule and are creatures of habit, so if it’s time to feed your Betta, then you should.
Expert Tip 🧠
We recommend including a fasting day in your feeding schedule, where you do not feed your Betta once a week. This helps avoid bloating and overfeeding, which can lead to health issues. For convenience, you can also schedule your Betta’s travel on the day of its fasting.
Perform a partial water change 2-3 days before transport
You will need to make a partial water change 2-3 days before transport to ensure that your Betta’s tank water is clean and toxin-free. This is because the best way to keep your Betta’s environmental or water conditions consistent during transport is to mix its current tank water with pre-treated water.
This also ensures that your Betta remains stress-free and well-acclimatized to its water conditions before, during, and after transport.
Make sure all the containers and accessories you plan to use are cleaned thoroughly before you use them. Use mild soap and rinse the containers well after washing. Make sure your containers do not have leaks and are sturdy enough to survive the trip.
Condition the water
Pre-treat or prepare the water a day before transport. Use water conditioners from pet stores on regular tap water and store this in your containers overnight. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Water conditioners eliminate chlorine from water and ensure no other harmful substances are in it to make it safe for tank use.
You will need to pack pre-treated water mixed with some of your Betta’s old tank water with you to use for emergencies or when you need to transfer your Betta into a bigger container at the destination. Mixing the water will help keep the conditions as close to the current tank conditions as possible avoiding unnecessary stress for your Betta and allowing for faster acclimation during transfer.
Using aquarium salts
Aquarium salts can be mixed in with the water to help counteract the effects of stress on your Betta fish during transport. Use one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water and double-check the packet for instructions.
Always pre-mix the aquarium salt with water in a separate container. Do not add it directly into your Betta’s tank. Preparing this the day before is also best so you can let the water stand and stabilize overnight.
Transporting your Betta
Transfer the Betta to your travel container
Before you completely transfer your Betta into its travel container, you have to make sure it is acclimated by floating it for a few minutes in the travel container.
Use a small plastic bag or a smaller container with a small amount of water from its tank and “float” it in the new container for at least 5 minutes. Make sure the water temperatures are similar to avoid thermal shock.
Once it is acclimated, gently transfer your Betta into its travel container. Do not overfill your travel container as this will cause spills.
Allow your Betta to feel safe and secure in its new environment before transporting.
Securing your Betta fish
Ensure your travel container has a secure lid and is not overfilled to avoid spillage. Keep the container secure on the floor of your car or on one of the seats.
You will have to be creative at this point to secure your Betta’s container. Use a box that fits perfectly well on the car’s floor (to avoid movement), and secure the container inside by filling the sides with towels or newspaper.
You can also make use of bungee cords or the car’s seatbelt to secure the container. Line the floor or seat with towels or cloth.
Drive more carefully with your Betta in the car to avoid causing too much stress to your Betta. Make sure the car’s temperature does not go too high or too low beyond the range your Betta needs (75-80°F).
Transferring your Betta to its new aquarium upon arrival
Upon reaching your destination, allow your Betta a few hours to settle down before transferring to its new tank at its destination (if needed). If the trip is only temporary and your transport container will suffice as your Betta’s temporary onsite tank, then you can leave it alone. Perform a partial water change after 1-2 days with the pre-treated water you brought.
Feed your Betta fish after it has settled in, and observe closely for signs of stress. Your Betta should be interested in food immediately. If not, check for any signs of injury or illness.
📚 Read More >> How Long To Wait Before Adding Bettas To A New Tank
Tips for transporting your Betta safely
- Keep everything as close to your Betta’s usual tank conditions
- Be patient and acclimate your Betta properly during transfers
- Pack extra pre-treated water
- Plan how to secure your Betta’s travel container in your car
- Make sure the temperature in your car does not go too high or too low
- Drive slowly and avoid bumps that can cause the water in your Betta’s tank to slosh around too much
How to move your betta’s tank 👇
Transporting your Betta can seem like a daunting task but with the proper preparation and several precautions, it can be quite easy. Always make sure you keep the water parameters as consistent as possible and acclimate your Betta fish well during transfers from one container to the next. Make sure you have a way to secure your Betta’s travel container in your car.
How Do You Transport A Betta in a Car?
Pack the necessary supplies for your Betta, clean your tank’s water 2-3 days before transport, prepare pre-treated water the day before, transfer your Betta to its travel container (acclimate it properly), and secure your Betta’s travel container in the car.
What is the Best Way to Move a Betta Fish?
The best way to move a Betta fish is in water that is very close to its normal water conditions and very carefully to avoid extra movement that can stress the fish out.
Informative article on Betta Fish:
Betta Fish: The Beautiful, and Very Popular, Siamese Fighting Fish
International Betta Congress Website:
About Betta splendens – International Betta Congress
Scientific Articles on Betta Splendens:
The Siamese fighting fish: Well-known generally but little-known scientifically