Perusing the aisle of my local SprawlMart the other day, I came across a giant, 1 gallon Mason-style jar. I picked it up and the ideas of what to do with such a large jar started swimming around in my head. My mother walked up behind me and exclaimed, "Holy cow. That thing is as big as an aquarium!" Thanks mom, that is a great idea!
This Mason-style jar is now my tiny house aquarium. Here is how to make a Mason Jar Aquarium for yourself:
Pick up 1/2 gallon size Mason Jar:
I like this size better than the gallon size one (even though the gallon size is still fantastic!). The 1/2 gallon size is not too cumbersome for a Tiny House. It is also good size to sit on a desk or kitchen counter. Beta fish don't like large spaces so the I decided against the gallon-size decorative one, and went with the 1/2 gallon size instead.
Buy a Fish:
Choose a beta fish. Not only are they beautiful, they are loners and they breathe air. That means you only have to worry about and clean up after one fishy and you don't have to monkey with a pump of any kind. Once a week you pour your little buddy into another container, scrub out his jar, refill the water, and put him back in. Easy peasy.
Create a "Fish Friendly" Habitat:
Add gravel, plants, and decorations.You can change his environment with the seasons if you would like to use his aquarium as a decorative tool as well. More popular pet stores sell theme-based decorations for aquariums such as small Christmas trees, skulls and pumpkins for Halloween, etc. I have chosen a cute haunted house (I can call it a Tiny Haunted House, get it?) but it won't fit in the mouth of the jar (I didn't even consider that, der). He did get a little gravel though as well as a tall plant for additional color and so he can swim in and out of it.
Beta fish require that you treat tap water before putting them in to remove chlorine and other chemicals. A drop or two (read the label) of water treatment and your little buddy will be swimming happily.
Enjoy Your New Pet:
Be sure to keep him out of direct sunlight. Betas like 74 - 85 degree water and like to be fed twice a day. They eat a pelleted food and also like treats such as bloodworms, tubifex worms, mosquito larvae, and daphnia.
One More Thing:
Don't put the jar lid on. The gallon size jar does not have seals and rings, but a one-piece lid. If you want the look of the lid on the jar, cut out the center circle in the ring to leave just the ring or drill LARGE holes for air. Remember, your fish needs oxygen and the lid will kill him.