Betta fish (also known as the Siamese fighting fish) is one of the most popular kinds of fish for aquariums. This is not surprising given that they are both hardy and adaptable.
These beautiful creatures can be easy to care for but they still need some specific conditions to survive.
There are several species of Betta fish. As tropical fish, they live in warm and hot water in lower altitudes in southeastern regions of Asia.
Maintaining appropriate temperature and water conditions are extremely important elements of Betta fish care.
Keep reading to find out the adequate aquarium temperature range for your Betta fish!
What Should the Aquarium Temperature be for Betta Fish?
If the temperature exceeds the adequate range too much, it can affect the metabolism and make the fish age rapidly.
On the other hand, temperatures that are too low can slow down their metabolism. This will consequently make them lethargic and at risk of many diseases.
A temperature below 74 degrees Fahrenheit for a long time or a sudden shift in temperature can have drastic effects. Such a condition can harm the Betta’s immune system. This can also make them prone to many diseases, like the fatal disease Fur Coat Syndrome.
Check out the video below to learn about the importance of temperature for your Betta fish!
What Do You Need to Maintain an Ideal Aquarium Temperature for Betta Fish?
The conditions of the natural habitat of Betta fish tell a lot about their survival needs. Since they are native to tropical regions, they need warm water in aquariums.
This means that leaving Betta fish in the water at room temperature will not be the right option. You should never ignore this critical aspect of Betta care especially if you live in a cold region.
To provide your Betta fish adequate water temperature in an aquarium, you will need some tools. Investing in the following tools can help you in maintain appropriate aquarium temperature:
- A digital thermometer to keep a check on the aquarium water temperature
- An aquarium heater to keep the water in your aquarium adequately warm for the Betta fish
Checking the temperature is an important aspect of aquarium maintenance. Keeping a regular check can prevent you from leaving it too cold or going overboard with the heating.
How Can You Maintain an Ideal Aquarium Temperature for Betta Fish?
Like all other types of fish, Betta fish are also sensitive to rapid temperature changes. If the temperature falls out of the appropriate range, change the water gradually.
A dramatic change in the temperature can shock your Betta fish in the aquarium.
Here are 4 steps that you can take to maintain ideal aquarium temperature for Betta fish:
1. Choose an Aquarium of the Right Size
Picking an aquarium of the right size is the first and one of the most important steps. An adequate size helps to maintain the appropriate water temperature for Betta fish.
A fish tank with a capacity larger than 5 gallons is ideal. You should never buy a tank for Betta fish that’s less than 2.5 gallons.
If your aquarium is less than 2.5 gallons, it will be difficult for you to use a heater without harming the Betta fish in it. Bigger aquariums are very useful in maintaining a set temperature. They make it easy for the owner to regulate the quality of water.
2. Use a Heater and a Thermometer
If the temperature where you keep your aquarium is not 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need a heater. You should buy a good quality, reliable heater. There are different types of heaters available in the market. Pick the one that best suits your aquarium needs.
Apart from a heater, you also need a thermometer to keep a check on the temperature. We recommend you to check the temperature with a thermometer every one or two days.
Do not rely on the thermostat of the heater for an accurate temperature reading.
Rapidly changing temperatures can be fatal for the Betta fish in the aquarium. A thermometer will also help you be sure that you are not going overboard with heating.
3. Make Gradual Temperature Changes in your Aquarium
Rapid changes in temperature of the aquarium water can shock and stress the Betta fish. This also poses the risk of death for your fish. If the water temperature is not appropriate, you should make the changes gradually.
For a short while, Betta fish can survive outside the range of required temperature. But, a sudden change in temperature will harm your Betta like any other type of fish.
This makes it essential to make changes over a period of several days. The gradual change will help the fish adjust to the changing conditions.
4. Change the Water of the Aquarium in the Right Way
Changing water is essential for all types of aquariums. Filtered water and cycling the aquarium is not enough.
Your aquarium still needs water changes. The amount of fish waste and toxic compounds such as ammonia and nitrates increases with time. Changing the water helps you bring down these levels to the recommended range.
How much water you need to change and how often you need to change it depends on the following things:
- The size of your aquarium
- The use of a filter
- The nitrogen cycle in the aquarium
If you have a small aquarium without a filter, you will need to change half of the aquarium water every day or two. On the other hand, a larger aquarium with a filter needs only 10-25% water change every week.
The instructions for changing the water are similar to that of changing temperature. During the water change, ensure that the temperature of the water is the same as that of the replaced water.
If you need to change all the water, first bring the water to the required temperature. Then, float your Betta fish in a clear plastic bag with the replaced water on top of the aquarium for a few hours.
This is to let your fish adjust to the change before allowing them to move around freely in the aquarium.
Can Your Betta Fish Survive without a Heater?
If you live in a warm region, and the room temperature is within the required range, you do not need a heater. A room where the temperature remains warm and consistent poses no harm to the Betta fish. So, you can keep your aquarium in that room without much worry.
A temperature lower than the recommended range, however, can slow down the metabolism of the fish but this also means that your Betta will live longer.
Some people prefer to maintain a lower aquarium temperature for this very reason. Providing such conditions can make the average life span of Betta fish to go up to 5 years or more.
You might have noticed that even store-bought Bettas are also used to cooler water. You can thus provide a slightly cooler environment for them if you want them to stay less active.
When to Use a Heater
Although your Betta fish can survive at a slightly lower temperature, it does not mean that you don’t need a heater at all. It is best to provide your Betta fish with the recommended temperature conditions.
This can prevent the risk of many diseases. Also, if you prefer your fish to be active, we recommend you use a heater.
If the temperature varies often, the need for an aquarium heater becomes inevitable. Fluctuating temperature can cause distress in Betta fish.
You should also understand the difference between a thriving and surviving range. The thriving range of temperature for your fish is 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your Betta fish will survive below 78 degrees. However, to make your fish healthier and happier, it is essential to keep it within the thriving range.
Betta fish have a low need for maintenance and care but since they are native to tropical climates, the water needs to be at a specific temperature. The water composition, too, is an important factor to consider in this regard.
You can ensure your Betta fish’s survival by using a thermometer and a good quality heater. Given their sensitivity to temperature, maintaining appropriate temperature becomes even more challenging.
With these useful tricks, you can help your Betta fish live a happy and healthy life for 5 years in your aquarium.
You may also like the following articles about fish keeping: