Here is the question of the day for you betta lovers. What do you think your betta fish water temperature should be in their tank? 70 degrees? after all, they are tough fighting fish. 75 degrees? that’s where we keep the temperature of our houses. How about 80 degrees? Well, if you guessed 80 degrees, your were correct and your betta loves you for it.
Does it surprise you that your betta should have water temperature at 80 degrees? Think about it for a second, they are tropical fish, tropical fish live where the temperatures are almost always above 80 degrees. If the temperature drops below 80, the water they are in, holds the higher temperature until the sun comes out and it warms up again.
The urban legend of a little betta living in mud puddles and jumping from one to the other, is just that, an urban legend. These fish live in rice paddies, rivers and ponds that usually maintain a fairly high temperature.
Thinking of your betta as a fish that needs no special treatment or care is pretty much going to doom your betta to an early grave or whatever.
My wife and I got a beautiful blue betta for our anniversary about 4 years ago. For two years we were at home most of the time and the house stayed at 75 degrees. During the summer we set the temperature at 80 degrees. We noticed a marked increase in activity from our betta when the house was at 80 degrees as opposed to 73 or 75 degrees. It never dawned on us that this was due to the difference in temperatures. We just figured he was lazy one day and not the other.
During the winter we took a week long trip and had one of our neighbors look in and feed our fish. We set the house temperature at 65 degrees.
When we returned from the trip, our beautiful little betta was on the floor of his tank and appeared to be dead. The house temperature was 66 degrees. We both thought the little guy was a goner. We left him until we unpacked and the house warmed up. After about an hour he began to swim around and when the house temperature reached 75 degrees, he was swimming around in his normal manner.
It was at this point that the light came on for my wife and I. Maybe betta fish should not be in cold water. Remember, tropical fish!
My wife jumped on the internet and started doing some research. Sure enough, almost all the sights made it clear that bettas should be kept in tanks that were heated and kept around 80 degrees. I wonder how many poor little bettas have died from hypothemia when the waters in their tanks got very cold.
So what’s the answer to this problem? and why don’t the employees in the fish depratment at the pet store tell us about this? It’s as simple as buying a tank heater for your betta’s tank. Could it be any simpler than that! How many people have had their fish die and wonder what the cause might have been. A few words at the pet store would have taken care of the problem.
Many aquariums and fish tanks come equipped with tank heaters or can easily have one installed in the tank.
The SIZE of the heater will depend on the SIZE of your betta tank.
In my view, the smallest size for a betta should be a 2 gallon tank, which would require about a 10 watt heater.
It is best to get one that is fully submersible and is safe even if run while dry. A heater this size can raise the water temperature by approximately 5 degrees. Cost for one this size would be around $13.
As you get into the larger tanks, such as a 5 gallon, a 40 to 50 watt heater would be required. Price on one such as this would be about $25.
Now that you have decided to get a heater, the next question is, where do you get one? How about the pet store where you bought your fish. Most pet stores carry a variety of fish tanks and heaters. Many tanks come with heaters made especially for that size aquarium. If not, just go by the previous guidelines, ask the Department Manager for help and read the information on the heater packaging.
Don’t forget that thing called the World Wide Web. There are hundreds of sites where you can purchase a betta tank heater.
One other thing you should consider getting, is a thermometer to test the temperature of the water. This is the only accurate way of knowing the actual temperature of your bettas water. The cost of a thermometer will be under $10.
Your betta fish will live a happy, healthy life (about 5 years) if you make a little effort to help it. One of the best things you can do, is to make certain that the water in their tank is kept at the correct temperature. A tank heater and a thermometer will make this a very easy task for you.