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Old 01-14-2012, 02:38 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Atlanta
I'm scared of my heater

I've kept bettas in 2.5 and 5g aquariums with success and never used a heater. And actually I keep my home extremely cool, it's rarely above 66 degrees F room temp. And Keller has always been quite active and wiggly in that environment, and confession, I've never even had a water thermometer to check it:) But I've recently moved him to a 10g aquarium and want to guarantee some water temp stability in order to optimize his happiness and longevity. Initially I avoided the heater that came with the aquarium, but I've decided to try it. Got a thermometer, got the heater (which has no temp display) on "low" and his water temp is 78 (definitely warmer than it was yesterday by my touch).

He seems to be thriving, happy and playful, so I'm going to assume the heater did not increase the temp too abruptly for him to acclimate (I did check it in other water prior to adding it to the aquarium).

BUT... I'm a bit paranoid. How fluctuating (or malfunctioning) are heaters? I'm gone quite a bit for work, sometimes days at a time and while I have folks that come feed him I can't rely on them to monitor water temp. Are heaters fairly safe and reliable? Should I turn it off when I leave just in case? I feel like overheating would be worse than chillier water, especially since I've never used a heater and my betta has seemed fine...

Thought? thanks!

My pets:
Betta: Keller, male VT, not sure how old, I've had 3 months

Cat: Caleb, male black longhaired beautiful rescued mainecoon, 15 years old
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:49 PM   #2 
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Heaters are usually very good at keeping the water temp stable. especially if you get the automatic ones. they shut off before letting the water get too warm, and turn back on if the water gets too cold. its usually +/- 1 degrees temp change before it turns on or off again. If you still aren't sure, you can test the heater in another empty tank and keep an eye on the temperature before putting it in with your little fishies
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:11 PM   #3 
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I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it. I bought my first heater a week or so ago and had the same worry - it was a fairly inexpensive one with no temperature settings. So far it has kept the water at exactly 25C (77F) without fluctuating at all. My tank is 2.5 gallons.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:37 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Virginia, USA
I've been keeping heated tanks for years now. A lot of us have. I've never had a problem with my heaters. I've also left for a week at a time. I really wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:21 AM   #5 
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I've never had a problem, and I run three tanks with a bunch of different heaters. His immune system will be much more effective with a heater (I know he isn't sick, but if something ever does happen, heat helps it heal far more quickly.) :)
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