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Old 11-23-2010, 10:50 PM   #1 
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Location: Missouri, USA
Thriving without the heater?

I had one betta a few days ago, but I decided to rescue anther from Petsmart the other day

One of my bettas is in a 2.5 gallon tank, the other in a 1.75 gallon bowl.

I've only been into bettas less than three weeks, but I'm really enjoying them. I have read at numerous places they need a heater. Yet, these fish are defined as 'hardy' by many. I am assuming with the definition, I heater isn't necessarily needed but vastly prefered?

I've had my one betta for a couple of weeks now. I hasn't had a heater the whole time but he has been thriving. He went from a pale whiteish red to a deep red with blue sparkles in his fins and on his body. He is obviously doing very well. Or at least that is what I am thinking. He's very active in his tank and is very curious. Whenever I walk over to his tank, he alwalys swims up and looks at me with curiosity. He's a very inquisitive little guy.

I got my other betta at Pestmart. I've only had him two days and the poor little guy is still skittish. The other one warmed up to me much faster.

My question is, do any of you other betta owners out there not use a heater? I still intend to get one, but only after the holidays. I figure they are both better off with me anyways rather than being in a little cup like they were at the store.

Does anyone else not use a heater and their betta is doing really good? I'd just like to know how you guys fare that way. Has your betta been doing good for a while? I don't mind buying two heaters, but I afraid of accidently cooking them. I heard it can happen. One seems to be happy without the heater, the other is skittish (I am sure he'll get more comfy soon, poor guy).

Any commments?
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:21 AM   #2 
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Don't worry about cooking him, just get a heater that has dial that you can adjust and get a thermometer that you can stick on the inside of the tank. The water temp. range is 76-84. They are tropical fish, and tropical water is pretty warm.

But, my sister (way before I knew anything about bettas) kept a betta fish in a small bowl, with no heater for 6 years. Yes, 6 years. Mines however lived 2 months...

I like knowing my betta is warm and toasty in his tank set at a steady 82. :]
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:37 AM   #3 
Red and Bob
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I've had my betta for three years without a heater, but I never knew they needed heat. Now that I know I am going to get a heater so my betta will be happier than he already is.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:40 AM   #4 
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It really depends on the betta. Mine stops moving and gets really lethargic once the water gets below 75 degrees.

A heater will also help your betta digest food faster and boost it's immune system, because bettas are coldblooded. So the heater will have the same effect as giving a snake or lizard a heater.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:48 AM   #5 
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I have a friend who has kept her bettas in a bowl with no heater and the fish have lived 3-5 years. As long as your house is heated to 72+ degrees, theoretically they should be within the minimum 68 degree range. Still better to get a heater, though!

I stressed a lot about cooking my fish, so I read a ton of heater reviews and settled for the Hydor Theo. I set it up in the fish tank without the fish inside and let it run for a day and a half so I could check the thermometer and make sure it was maintaining a good temperature.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:49 AM   #6 
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Anything 25 watts or less won't cook your fish, even in a small tank. Aim to get an adjustable heater as well, there have been some complaints on the forum about preset.

I keep my water a toasty 80 degrees and he loves it! :)
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:00 AM   #7 
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I don't have a heater and other than a bit of tail rot my betta has right now he is thriving, but I don't reccomend that unless you live somewhere warm. I live in Hawaii and it stays in the 80's year round.

If you live somewhere either cold or with great temp. flux. than there are plenty of heaters designed for your sized tank. I'd just search "2 1/2 gal heater" on amazon and order one.

Just curious, my dad says that my tanks water temp. is the same as the air temp. Is this true?

Last edited by baylee767; 11-24-2010 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:59 AM   #8 
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Originally Posted by baylee767 View Post
Just curious, my dad says that my tanks water temp. is the same as the air temp. Is this true?
If the air temp is steady and you don't have a really hot light over the tank, then yes.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:41 AM   #9 
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Dazzle, unless you live in tropical areas, you need a heater. Betta fish are tropical fish, so tropical temperatures for them to truly thrive and live like they are meant to. The proper heat keeps them healthy, helps their metabolism, etc. Believe me, he may seem fine without a heater, but even ten degrees from 68 to 78 is a huge deal for fish. Because they're cold blooded, they need the heat they're meant to be in to function. We're warm blooded, so we can pretty much live in any sort of heat or cold and still technically be fine, that's not the case with bettas.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:49 AM   #10 
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I kept my two bettas in one gallon tanks without a heater and they were fine for a month and the temps were staying normal but in September their temps were getting to 55 degrees. I thought they were doing fine but when I finally got heaters I saw how much happier they really were.
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