Betta Fish Water Temperature – A Detailed Guide

Bettas are one of the most popular fish pets kept in aquariums, brightly colored with magnificent looks that illuminate every room in which they are placed. However, if you want them to spread splendor and positive energy you need to provide some regular care. In general, they are easy to take care of but certain conditions need to be fulfilled if you want a healthy and happy betta around. Let’s start with Betta fish water temperature.

Now, we are talking about the Betta fish water temperature and the primal thing, the temperature. Since bettas are tropical fish that live in still and slow flowing waters and their natural habitat is hot, they prefer warm to cold water. In basics, they are highly adaptable and tolerant to a temperature range from 72 up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit which is 22 to 30 degrees Celsius. 

What temperature is ideal for Betta fish?

Having considered this wide range of 14 degrees, from 72 up to 86 degrees, after many studies we will most certainly say that the ideal Betta fish water temperature is between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit which is 25.5 to 26.5 Celsius. 

Their need for this tropical temperature is in their nature but as we have already mentioned they can survive but not thrive outside these limits. Another thing to keep in mind is that a betta would rather be a bit warmer than a bit cold. If the temperature goes below 72 or over 86 longer than an hour you will most surely lose your betta. As long as you keep the temperature between 78 and 80 degrees your betta will thrive. 

How to maintain the ideal Betta fish water temperature?

If you want to maintain the right temperature there are things you can do and if you follow these steps, you will most certainly succeed.

  • Pick a tank of the appropriate right size.
  • Provide a good filter, a heater and a thermometer. These three gadgets are crucial and can provide the needed temperature.
  • If you have to change something always do it gradually, every sudden change will bring more harm than good.
  • Check and keep the PH of the water at the ideal limit (7,00).
  • Use aquarium salt, it is beneficial for many reasons.
  • Do not overfeed your betta pet, it can be very risky and cause many problems.
  • Provide water changes regularly, partial and complete.
  • Cycle the water in the tank, let the filter run 24/7.

What temperature kills Betta fish?

If your betta is exposed to a longer period of cold water below 65 F it will die. All vital functions will slow, it will stop moving and eating, the immune system will be exposed to diseases and eventually it will die. 

On the other hand, every temperature over 85 F will cause a hot temperature shock, you will notice your betta breathing rapidly, swimming erratically, gasping for air at the surface. If it is exposed for too long an hour or more it will most certainly die. 

Everything outside the limits, eater too cold or too hot will kill your pet. This is the main reason why you need to make sure to maintain the ideal Betta fish water temperature in the tank.

What happens if Betta water is too cold or too hot?

There are cases when the temperature goes way down or up the ideal limits so your betta becomes too hot or too cold.

If the Betta fish water temperature goes below 76 degrees you will notice your pet becoming lethargic and that is one of the signs that your tank is too cold. Betta`s metabolism slows down and your fish becomes inactive, loses its appetite and that is another signal that something is wrong. So, inactivity and loss of appetite are two main signs that the tank is too cold for your betta pet. 

On the other hand, your betta might start behaving overactive, swimming from one side to the other and that signals you that the water is above the limit of 86 degrees. Another thing noticed with bettas is burrowing into the gravel if the water is too hot.   

In both situations, the easiest way to check if something is wrong is to use the thermometer because your betta won`t tell. 

What is temperature shock?

Even though they are very resistant and tolerant to a range of temperatures they are very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. Quick changes cause stress that can lead to a temperature shock and other health issues and harm your pet significantly. 

If you do not want this to happen, pay attention to the Betta fish water temperature and avoid any sudden changes. If you are having in mind water change or changing heater or any other piece of equipment do it with attention. Every change that is needed has to be done gradually. 

If you are moving your pet from a plastic bag into a new habitat that is bigger and cooler they may go into shock. Do it step by step, first by letting the fish with the bag sit for a while in a bigger tank and adapt before you let it out.  

If the temperature drop is huge your betta will die but if you bring the temperature up and it survives it will recover soon. Bringing the temperature up should also be gradual because it can cause another shock and that would be the end of your betta. 

Keep in mind the most important rule – no sudden changes and your betta will be just fine. 

Most common causes of temperature change

If you want to prevent that from happening you need to know what are common causes of temperature change. 

Depending on the season the temperature may change drastically. During summer if the sun shines directly toward the tank, it will increase the temperature, while during cold winter it can decrease it. Keep the tank away from direct sun rays and have a heater to provide constant temperature during winter. 

Another cause can be the change of environment from a bag or smaller tank into a bigger tank. We have already explained the procedure in this situation.

If you plan a water change, be sure that the Betta fish water temperature is similar to one in a temporary tank or a bucket. 

Betta fish temperature shock symptoms

It is very important to know these symptoms and know what to do if they occur because it may save your pet. The symptoms are different depending on the water temperature and whether it is too hot or cold. 

One of the symptoms that occur if the water is too cold is lethargy because they generate heat from the water. If the water is too cold, they have no heat to generate and become lethargic and stop moving. 

Another sign is that they just lie and rest at the bottom of the aquarium because it becomes difficult for them to swim and move. 

The most extreme sign is slipping into a coma which mustn’t be mistaken for being dead. Here you need to act rapidly to warm the water as fast as possible. If you see your fish moving after a few minutes then you have saved it, if not, it is dead. 

If the Betta fish water temperature is too high, your betta can suffer from a shock too. If you see that, try to cool the tank a bit and lower the temperature to help your pet. The most common signs of a hot temperature shock are rapid breathing, staying at the surface and erratic swimming. 

Hot water cannot hold as much oxygen as cold water that is why your betta is stuck to the surface gasping for air. Another symptom is erratic swimming caused by having too much energy. The level of energy that is this high will only stress betta and stress will weaken the immune system that will be exposed to infections and diseases which by all means is not good. 

Betta fish temperature shock treatment

If you identify a temperature shock you need to react fast or you might lose your pet. The best you can do is to try to adjust the temperature within the safe limit. Even though you need to work fast you do this gradually so as not to provoke another stress. If the shock is caused by cold water you treat by just dumping very hot water to raise the temperature you will probably make things worse and cause another shock. Increase the Betta fish water temperature by 2 to 3 degrees every hour until you reach the desired temperature. Allow your pet to adjust to those changes and do not expect full recovery right away. It will take time before your fish is fully recovered. 

Another thing you can do is to use the heater and raise the temperature and it is an easier and more precise way.  Surely it is safer and more reliable because you cannot provoke another stress or make burns on your fish while such as adding hot water. Each tank should have a heater because it is highly beneficial for many reasons and it can come very handy in cases like this. 

If you have a reverse situation and want to lower the temperature there are things you can do fast, but not too fast. You can put a frozen bottle or an ice bag and let it float in the tank. You can add cool water but always keep in mind that no sudden drops of temperature are allowed. You can decrease the temperature by 2 to 3 degrees every hour. You should add cool and not cold water, and with ice, you have to be attentive because it can drop the temperature quickly and cause more harm than good. 

Final thoughts

In conclusion, bettas are very tolerant fish and easy to keep. Pay attention to their basic needs and your fish will be happy and healthy. When it comes to Betta fish water temperature, the ideal is between 78 and 80 degrees but they can tolerate lower temperatures up to 72 degrees and very hot up to 86 degrees. Everything beyond these limits that lasts longer than an hour or even less will kill your betta pet. 

Never perform any drastic change of temperature because it will cause shock which if not dealt with appropriately can be fatal. 

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