Water Temperature for Betta Fish
Your Betta should be exposed to warmer temperatures. Warmer water will have more bacteria though, so keep the water temperature of your Betta’s tank at 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure you do not change the water temperature too often or too suddenly as this can stress and even kill your Betta. This is why it is important to recognize and plan for water temperature dangers.
Recognize and prepare for these common and not so common water temperature danger factors:
- Cleaning the tank: When your Betta’s tank gets dirty, you will obviously need to clean it, but this can expose your Betta to unhealthy temperature changes if your cleaning strategy does not include these steps:
- Remove the fish to a container that has the same water temperature. The easiest way to do this can be to remove some of the existing water to a smaller safe container along with your Betta.
- Don’t put the Betta back into the cleaned tank until the water is that same temperature. Use a tank thermometer to be sure.
And while we are on the subject: do not use soap to clean the tank. Many fish die because of the chemicals used to clean their tanks. Don’t make this mistake! Instead, use warm water and a clean rag to wipe away any algae.
- Room temperature: The temperature of your home can change often, and this can affect the water temperature of your Betta’s home. A tank water heater can help create the perfect environment for your fish.
There are two types of water heaters to choose from, the internal and external systems. Both systems are a good choice. Make sure to choose a system that also includes a thermostat. The price range will be between $20 and $60.
Be sure to monitor the heater with a tank thermometer daily to ensure it is working correctly.
Power outages: Winter storms can mean loss of power during cold weather. This means that your home might become freezing cold and your tank’s water heater will not be able to keep your Betta warm. You need to plan if you want to make sure your Betta survives. Depending on the type of heater, size of tank, how cold your region gets, and the typical length of power outages in your area, here are some options to consider for providing backup power for your tank heater:
- UPS (like for computers)
- Power box (made for power tools)
One year I was staying with friends on Bainbridge Island, WA when a massive winter storm knocked out power to the entire island for several days. They had only a wood burning stove as a backup, but we were able to add warm water to mason jars and add those to the fish tanks to add heat, and this saved the lives of some of the fish.
- Moving day: Moving is extremely stressful to Bettas, so don’t let water temperature shock make things worse. For a short move across town, consider these tips:
- Arrange for a backup tank like a friend’s tank or a fish store that offers boarding just in case you break your tank during the move or there is some unforeseen delay in getting your fish back into its proper home.
- Place your Betta in a sealed bag half full of the water it was in (just make sure it doesn’t stay in there for more than a few hours without adding more air).
- Keep the bagged fish in an insulated container like a cooler to keep the temperature stable and transport it in a temperature controlled environment like your car.
- Try to move the tank without having to empty it, otherwise, you will have to treat the whole operation like you would installing a new tank. Protect the tank from temperature extremes during the move (like strap it into the back seat of a climate controlled car, and cover it with insulating material).
- Bring the tank’s water up to the correct temperature in the new location.
- If you have the time, put the sealed bag into the tank for several minutes to minimize the temperature difference before letting the fish out of the bag.