Do Betta Fish Need a Heater?

Bettas originate from tropical parts and therefore they like hot weather, it is normal to ask – do betta fish need a heater?  Their habitat is water so it should be warm as they like it. Many new owners put a bowl or a small tank in their room meaning that the outside temperature is well enough for the fish. That is not the case and bettas absolutely should have a heater in their tank.

Why is it important to have a heater in your betta tank?

do betta fish need a heater

Even if you live in a hot part of the country and your climate doesn’t include cold freezy winters, you need to provide appropriate conditions for your betta pet. One of the most important things is water and water temperature.

Many say that you can get by without a heater if your room temperature is consistent and around the mid-70s. But there must be periods at least at night when the temperature drops by a few degrees. Those jumps in water temperature below and over normal borders for betta can harm your pet fish. Therefore, it is at most important to provide a constant temperature for your fish and the safest way is to use a heater.

What’s the ideal water temperature for a betta?

You have probably explored and read a lot about bettas and seen that the range of the water temperature varies. We recommend an average scale that fits all the possibilities.

Bettas tolerate the range of temperature between 72-86 degrees of Fahrenheit (22-30 degrees Celsius).  This is as you can notice quite a range. However, the optimal temperature should be between 78-80 degrees. This would be ideal and the essential requirement for your betta is fulfilled.

If there is a case that the water is outside the ideal range you fish will suffer, it will survive but it won’t be happy and healthy.

Can my betta fish live without a heater?

In some cases, bettas can live without the heater but that is only if your house temperature is over 70 degrees and doesn’t drop. Betta’s don`t just put on a coat if they are cold so you need a heater to provide the constant temperature.

If your fish gets too cold it will start suffering. Bettas metabolic functions will be reduced. Physiological changes will occur and odd behavior will arise. If the water is too hot metabolic functions will be faster and you can experience odd behavior like rapid swimming patterns.

Anyways too warm water can harm more and it is proven that the lifespan of bettas kept in too warm water is shorter due to faster metabolic function that causes faster ageing.

Either too hot or too cold is bad for your betta pet, the best temperature is between 78-80 degrees.

Can I add warm water to my betta fish tank?

Bettas are no exception when it comes to sensitivity to rapid water changes. If for some reason the temperature in your tank goes down you need to change it slowly. That means that you need to raise it for days so that you cause little stress to your betta. The same rule applies to changing the water in the tank if you change all of it.

In order not to shock your fish you can only add water that has an insignificant difference in temperature from the water in the tank.

How hot is too hot for betta fish?

We have mentioned several times that everything between 76 and 82 is acceptable for your betta and that the best range of temperature is 78 to 80 degrees.

You can seriously harm your betta if the temperature is 85 degrees and over. That is too hot. Your betta pet will suffer shock from hot temperatures. As cold water lowers the metabolism of hot water increases it and it is as harmful as cold.

Can betta fish die from cold water?

The answer to your question is yes, a betta can die from cold water and we will explain how.

Since they are tropical fish, they are used to warm water but they can live and survive in cold water too.

A betta can live in cold water for a long time, for 3 to six months. Being kept in cold water they will become lethargic, mostly laying at the bottom and trying to get warm. In time it will slip into a coma and die.

During that period many bad changes happen. Bettas lose appetite because their metabolism is slower than they eat very little, some even stop eating. The immune system suffers and they become exposed to infections and diseases caused by bacteria or fungus. They lose energy to move and often have insufficient oxygen to deal with.

In general, keeping your betta pet in cold water will significantly contribute to worsening the health and eventually bring to inevitable death.

What type of heater does a betta fish need?

There are many kinds of heaters offered at the market today. Which one you chose depends mostly on your needs. In most cases, each one will do the job but if you are a picky buyer, we will help you a bit and recommend the top 5 on our list.

The best heater by our choice is Electronic Heater Fluval E because it offers a range of temperature from 68 to 93 degrees and has the option of increasing the temperature to 0.5.

 The greatest thing about this heater is the led-screen display and an alarm to warn you if the temperature is over or under set. As for the design, it is shorter than the usual ones and therefore more practical.

Next on our list is Eheim Jager which has many great features and is fine-tuned. You will see any change of temperature in 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit, shattering glass, larger radiation space etc. One downside of this heater is that it is too large and it can fit into tanks of less than 5 gallons.

Our third option is Hygger Submersible Heater that is small, light and compact. It has a red led indicator and the light stops when it turns off.

The fourth on our list is the Fluval M50 Submersible heater blends perfectly into the environment with mirrors built-in. It has a computer calibrated thermostat and shock-resistant glass suitable for aquariums to 15 gallons.

The fifth listed is Aqueon Pro heaters that are almost indestructible with a red light when off and green when being on. Completely submersible and shatterproof with an accurate thermostat +/- 1 degree.

These are our top five and if you want to compare them more thoroughly visit the manufacturer site.

How can I keep a betta fish warm without a heater?

If your heater is broken or something else happened to it there are several tricks you can use to keep your tank warm without a heater.

You can wrap the tank with a blanket or thick cloth, that way you provide insulation.

You can use a plastic bottle as a temporary heater. Fill it with boiling water for a few minutes and take the water out.

If you have a warmer place in the house, you can move the tank but that’s not always an easy solution.

Our recommendation from the three offered is a blanket or a cloth. The easiest way to provide insulation and heat the water a bit.

Final Thoughts

 To sum up, it is highly recommended to use a heater for your betta. If you don’t have one yet, we have made a list for you to help you buy one and make the right choice. We have also offered temporary solutions on how to keep your tank warm until you provide a heater.

There are many bad things that can happen to your pet fish unless good water conditions are provided.

Your betta pet needs warm water to stay healthy and happy so get one as soon as possible.

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