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Old 03-30-2010, 04:44 PM   #1 
LibraryFish
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Brand new betta! Water temp question

Hello everyone!

I've gotten my first ever betta to put in my 5 gallon tank at work. He's currently hanging out in his pet store cup in the tank, getting acclimated to the water temp. I set up my tank on Friday of last week and have just had it sitting around till today, filter going.

My question: what is a safe range of temperature fluctuation for my fish during the day/night cycle? When I come in every morning the water temp is about 78, and climbs to around 82 during the day when the aquarium light has been on. I've got the Hydor mini heater under the gravel - should I turn this off when the light is on?

Thanks - I'm excited about this foray into fishkeeping!

Last edited by LibraryFish; 03-30-2010 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Changed title to reflect question
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:53 PM   #2 
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IMO Return the hydor heater. Since you have a 5 gallon, you have a ton of options with lots of better heaters. Whether the new heater is preset or adjustable, I'd say return the Hydor heater. (I think Hydor heaters are the main options for those with 1-gallon-ish tanks).

As for temp fluctuations, simply "as little as possible." That... for my taste, it would be too much. And 82 is pushing it to the high-range .

If the aquarium light is causing it, I'mguessing it's an incandescent light, right? Incandescent lights can cause that. I'd say, go out and buy yourself a fluorescent light, they're VERY cheap, I got mine for $4 at Walmart. Plus, it looks so much more gorgeous than incandescent~

Have fun :)
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:32 PM   #3 
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Thanks for your suggestions. It *is* an incandescent bulb that came with the hood, so I'll look into getting a fluorescent that fits in the same space. I'll give that a shot, because the Hydor is already in the tank, and it's for 2.5-5 gallon tanks... I don't think I can return a used heater, especially since the box is already gone. :(

I'm afraid to tweak stuff too much (this is my first fish, after all), but then again his current home is loads better than a cup on the shelf of the pet store!
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:48 PM   #4 
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Haha figures, yes I definitely recommend a fluorescent light (make sure it's aquarium safe).

Ah, that's sad D: Do you want to ask the store if you can exchange? I could bet the temperature is hardly high enough, but I'm pretty sure it's manageable then if you really cannot. Or sell it on e-bay/craigslist and buy another, haha. Just listing options, though.

Don't worry about "tweaking" stuff, if you're really freaked, you can just come here :)
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:47 PM   #5 
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With a 5 gallon you can use a regular heater. I recommend a Marineland stealth visitherm, 25 watt. It's also adjustable. Also, welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:00 AM   #6 
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Hmm... I may go look into fluorescent bulbs and heaters at lunch today. Is it going to be a shock if I put in a new heater and turn it on, or will it warm up gradually?
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:09 AM   #7 
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It will warm up gradually. IMO the hydor is fine EXCEPT that the fluctuation you listed is way too high. A normal temp fluctuation should only be 1 degree at most.. any more could stress the fish.

If I were you I would try the fluorescent bulb first before getting a new heater. It sounds like the heater you have is working fine (if the temp is at 78 at night) and the bulb is whats causing it to go so high. If you can afford it though an adjustable heater is a great asset.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:30 AM   #8 
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Personally I would swap the incandescent light bulb out and see how the hydor stands on its own.


Also I know it doesn't look amazing but if you put the heater somewhere like against the side of the tank where there is better water circulation it may keep it more stable. Reason being that most heaters have a thermostat that turns the heater on and off. When the thermostat senses that the water is below the set temperature it turns the heater on and when the water reaches the set temperature the thermostat turns the heater off until the temperature dips again.

SO if you have stagnant water surrounding the thermostat it may be warmer or colder than the parts of the tank and 'throw off' the heater.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:47 AM   #9 
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I was also thinking of getting a fluorescent bulb before a heater, just to see. I'm having a hard time finding one in town that is small enough for my tank, though, so I may have to order it online.

He's pretty entertaining, though! :D I have no idea what's normal behavior yet, having just got him yesterday. Sometimes I'll be working on the computer and look over, and he'll be staring at me. He was swimming around a lot yesterday when I put him in the tank, but today he's taking it slower. Since this is my first fish I have no idea what to expect, really.

He's also quite small - I'd say his body without his fins is about 1 3/4 inches. Do you think he'll grow?
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:56 AM   #10 
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Yeah he should. I'm assuming you got him from a pet store? They usually come in pretty young. At adulthood he should be 2-3inches in length (not counting fins).

You can usually get CFLs at a hardware store like home depot or lowes
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