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Old 06-21-2013, 03:43 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Heater questions new owner

Hello, I'm a new (beginner) betta owner, and need help! My daughter won "Ruby" at her school carnival and I've been overwhelmed trying to get educated and set everything up.

Ruby is temporarily in a 3g Petco pet keeper plastic tank right now while I figure out how to fishless cycle a 5.5g permanent home. I live in southern CA where the weather is warm, but I read I still needed to get a heater.

I bought a Tetra submersible heater that auto-adjusts to 78 degrees. I tried it in the larger tank and it fluctuates depending on the time of day between 78-82 degrees. Is it safe to put this heater in the interim tank with him in it already? I'm not sure if I am supposed to take him out, heat up the tank first and float him in a bag or something else until he acclimates or if it's okay to put the heater in with him because it will gradually warm up and he will acclimate as it does? Is it unhealthy for there to be this fluctuation of temperature over the day?

After reading here, I'm wondering if this was a bad, cheap heater to get and I should invest in an adjustable one. Do those automatically shut off too when it gets to a certain temperature? Do you have a recommendation of something better for the 5.5g tank? Also as summer temperature rises, I'm wondering if I am supposed to leave the heater off.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:43 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
Welcome. I live in SoCal as well, yes you want a heater even in the summer it'll keep the tank temp from dropping below its set temp. I don't have experience with the Tetra heater, I have an Aqueon 50W in my 5.5g & in my 2.5g tanks, they're adjustable & I like they're size. The 4 degree temp fluctuation isn't a problem my tanks do the same thing.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:15 AM   #3 
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Thanks for the information, I'm glad the fluctuation isn't going to be a problem. I am looking forward to enjoying our new little friend.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:51 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Fungus corners
While I usually recommend a fishless cycle, it does take some equipment and technique. For a 5g with one Betta, you can safely cycle with the fish in the tank. Get an API freshwater master test kit from Amazon for ~$20 (get a bottle of Prime and/or a thermometer and get free shipping).

Careful monitoring of your water quality and frequent water changes will keep ammonia and nitrite <0.25ppm.

You'll need a filter in order to cycle your tank. Many Betta keepers recommend sponge filters. These are gentle and low-current. They use an air-pump and are moderately inexpensive.

This will answer many of your questions:

Read other stickies about cycling in this section for background and understanding.

Get an adjustable 25W heater for your 5g. Once adjusted, you can leave it on all the time.
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acclimate, fluctuate, heater, new beginner, tetra

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