I have a 10 gal cycled community tank that I lost a male betta to about 2 weeks ago. I vaccumed the gravel on the last weekly water change (50%). I also have an adjustable 50w heater. I'm having a slight problem with that part though because the floating thermometer says 81 but the water does not feel like it. Actually, I had a 7.5w heater in the tank before, and the temp stayed at 78 and the water felt good and warm. Any ideas as to what could be happening with that? What's the best temp?
If the heater works properly (got it today) then I would like to get a betta tomorrow. I would like to go ahead and change the water before I get him, but will it matter if it's a day ahead of schedule? I'm not exactly sure what the last betta died from. Maybe cotton mouth, but there was a whole issue with water temps and maybe water parameters. But I think that I've got all of that corrected. Do I just need to clean the decorations?
I want to get it right this time! Any help is appreciated.