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Old 10-17-2010, 12:20 AM   #1 
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Heater Debate

Hi, I'm new to the forum, but not technically to Betta keeping, I've had my Betta's Ying and Yang (male veiltales, one chocolate the other cellophane) for about a year now. I saved them back in highschool when some girl was giving her friends Betta's in these tiny vases as Christmas gifts and two people in my class intended just to flush them down the toliet, so I took them instead. I did do research back in the day, I have them in nice set up's, five gallons, lots of silk plants and hiding places, what I've never gotten for some reason is heaters, for some reason just never got around to buying them even though I know there supposed too have them -.- and I had decided it's about time I freaking get some.

So I went to petsmart to check them out, and there was this woman there looking at fish supplies as well. We started talking and she mentioned she had a few Betta's, which I told her I had Betta's as well and was actually looking at the heaters for them. She asked me how long I had them and when I replied a little over a year, she looked absolutley aghast and told me I should not get them heaters after so long. She told me that by now they are used to room temperture/colder water and that giving them heated water, even if acclimating them to it, would harm/kill them because they've lived so long without warm water. She said since they've done well in colder waters, they should do perfectly well from now on and that she had a few Betta's die because she had them for so long in "cold" water and bought them heaters and the heat killed them.

I usually don't make it a habit of listening to random people in pet stores (I have two lizards and hamsters, and Ive been given so much bad advice from people about them ><) but she seemed so very adamant that I got freaked out and now I'm not sure if I should buy heaters or not. I'm very attached to Ying and Yang, I would absolutley die if I killed them with some stupid mistake. They have been doing exceptionally well in the year I've had them without heaters, they are both very active, but I've read so many times that they really should have heaters. So, now I'm paranoid and very confused. Can anyone give me some advice?
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:44 AM   #2 
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Hmmm, hopefully someone with more experience with Bettas can answer this for sure, but I don't think what she said was true. I can see that killing them if the temperature is increased too quickly, or maybe she kept them in too small a container, which overheated too easily. But I doubt it would hurt them if they were acclimated gradually. Again, hopefully someone else will answer for sure.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:47 AM   #3 
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Nope it's fine. You can take a fish from room temp to heated water with no problems. Just put the heater at the desired temp, put it in the tank, plug it in :)

It'll adjust so slightly it won't harm them.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:46 AM   #4 
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That was some weird advice...

What CAN kill your fish is sudden temperature changes...for example, dumping your fish into cold water. Maybe she didn't acclimate her fish properly, and that's what killed them.

But yes, bettas need warm water! So do go get a heater. Cold water, even if it doesn't kill them quickly, isn't very good for their long-term health.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #5 
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I agree with Jupiter. A sudden change, like 75 to 82 in a short amount of time will shock them.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:14 PM   #6 
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they'll be fine. The heater will slowly heat your water, so it won't shock them :)
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:14 PM   #7 
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I recommend getting a 25 watt adjustable heater, such as the Hydor Theo. What you need to do when you first get your heater is to adjust the temperature dial as close to the actual temperature of the room as possible, and then every couple hours turn the heater up one notch. If the temperature is particularly low, you should spread this process over the course of a couple of days, until the temperature is around 78-80 degrees.

It's possible that the lady you met got a non-adjustable heater and simply plopped it in carelessly. Non-adjustable heaters don't work on a thermostat, so you can't ease the fish up slowly and depending on the ambient temperature of the room, the heater may overheat or underheat the water. Avoid non-adjustable mini-heaters, heater pads, and pre-set heaters.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:09 PM   #8 
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Do you have thermometers in the tank? While it's still probably a good idea to get the heaters, knowing exactly how warm or cold the water is first will let you know how "off" your heating requirements are. That way you'll know how slow you'll have to take the adjustment process.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:24 PM   #9 
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I agree with everything said here! =] They should be fine with the heater you get them as long as you know the current temperature, get an adjustable heater, and adjust is lowly from there. =]

Good luck! =] Yin and Yang sound adorable btw! <3
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:47 AM   #10 
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Thanks guys for the advice! I went out and bought the heaters the other day, marineland one's and did as suggested. I got thermometers and read the room temperature then slowly adjusted the heaters every two hours until I got to 80 degrees and there doing fine. Ying is absolutely glued to the spot where the heater is, but Yang just flared at it for a while and has been avoiding it at the other side of the tank lol but thanks again!
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