Setting Up the Ideal Water Temperature for Betta Fish
This article discusses the ideal water temperature for betta fish. Read Water for Betta Fish for detailed information on the pH balance, type of water, and treatment of water for your betta.
Bettas are tropical fish that like warm water that is consistent in temperature all year round. The best water temperature for betta fish is around 74-78 Fahrenheit, or 23-25 Celsius. Your betta will generally be fine if the water temperature is slightly out of this range (72-80 F), but 74-78 is what their natural habitat of rice paddies in Thailand and other southeast asian countries contains. Typically if you keep the tank at cooler temperatures, your betta’s immune system will suffer and he may get sick. Warmer water temperature for betta fish (80-82 F) is comfortable for betta fish, but become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Slightly warmer water temperature for Betta fish (80-82 F) can be used if your betta is sick and needs to be quarantined or separated from other fish while he is being treated with medication. For ways to keep your betta free from illness, recognizing symptoms, and treating illnesses, read the two articles Betta Fish Illnesses and Betta Diseases.
It is not only important to keep the water temperature for betta fish stable, it is critical. Fluctuating water temperature for betta fish will shock and may even kill them. Make sure when changing his water to first heat the new water to the same temperature as his existing water, and make the change gradually so it is not a shock to his system.
Water temperatures tend to be significantly cooler than the temperature of the surrounding room temperatures, so you will probably need to purchase a heater and an aquarium thermometer. Sunlight is not a good choice, since it is inconsistent and can make the water temperature fluctuate out of a safe range.
A good guideline for purchasing an aquarium water heater is 5 watts per gallon of water in your tank. Make sure the heater fits in your tank and does not heat the water too rapidly. You can purchase either an internal or external heating system. Internal systems are the most common and convenient. Make sure to purchase one that has a built-in thermostat. External heaters can heat the water from below or sometimes will connect to your filtering system. A good heater will cost anywhere from $30 up depending on the size, quality, and power your tank requires.
An aquarium thermometer is also recommended. You can purchase a floating thermometer or one that works while submerged in the water. They can be alcohol filled or a liquid crystal stick on strips. The advantage of the liquid crystal stick variety is that they are placed outside the fish tank, but they are not as accurate as the other types. Floating or submersible thermometers are the most accurate, but they need to be cleaned regularly and sometimes your Betta may try to eat them (seriously). A final way of checking water temperature for betta fish is by using a hand held thermometer. These are great because when changing his water, you can measure the temperature of the new water to ensure it is around the same temperature as his current water.
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