Many people assume that betta fish do not need a heater in order to survive. This is why betta fish are often popular with people who don’t have a lot of money to spend on a setup. However, more often than not, betta fish do need a heater.
Remember, bettas are tropical fish that thrive in temperatures of between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Just because they may survive without a heater in their tank doesn’t mean they are happy or at their fittest.
Linked to the question “do betta fish need a heater?” are the equally frequently asked questions, “can betta fish live at room temperature?”, and “can betta fish live in cold water?”.
It’s easiest to look at each question separately. We’ll start with the easiest to answer first!
Can betta fish live in cold water?
If anyone ever asks you whether betta fish live in cold water, just tell them straight, the answer is no! As we’ve already mentioned betta fish are tropical, and they need to live in water with a temperature which should ideally be between the mid-70s and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you put a betta in cold water it will become lethargic and ill. Eventually it will die.
Can betta fish live at room temperature?
Whether betta fish can live at room temperature is not quite as straightforward.
If you live in a home where the room temperature is such that the water in the tank stays between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, then your betta fish can survive in that tank.
However, the problem is that most room temperatures tend to change. It’s very risky to rely on room temperature to keep a betta fish fit and healthy. It’s always a good idea to have a heater in the tank. This brings us to our final question.
Do betta fish need a heater?
In order to remain healthy, and live to a good age, betta fish need to live in water of the right temperature. If the water isn’t consistently between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit then they will not be in the best condition they can be. This is why it’s so important to have a reliable heater in the tank.
Here are a few important points to remember when keeping water temperature consistent for your betta fish.
- Make sure you buy a reliable heater.
- You don’t just need a heater, you need a thermometer too. This helps you make sure the water is always the right temperature.
- Smaller tanks are always harder to heat consistently. They are easily affected by changes in room temperature. It doesn’t take much for the temperature to rise and your fish to die. Larger tanks, over 5 gallons, are easier to heat consistently.
Many people will tell you that their bettas do fine without a heater in the tank. And it is true that they can sometimes live without a heater. Remember though, for your fish to thrive, they need to live in water that is always between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The only way to ensure this is the case is to have a reliable heater and to check the water temperature regularly.