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Old 03-11-2012, 11:29 PM   #1 
ILLBETHEJUDGE
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Heater really necessary?

Do i really need a heater?
The temperature in my tank goes from 75F to 85F, is a 20 gallon, with 1 betta, 4 platy, 4 spotted cory, 2 ghost shrimp.
In the wild the temperature changes so why in my tank would be bad.
Please help, any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:05 AM   #2 
thekoimaiden
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Yes. That is a 10F swing in temperature. That change in a day can send a fish into shock. A steady temp is a must in any tank.

There is a VERY big difference between a fish's natural habitat and a tank. Size and water quality being the two largest. Water has a very high specific heat which means it takes a lot of energy to change the temperature. So the daily swings in air temp don't affect the water temp that much especially because water bodies in the wild are tens of thousands of gallons. The larger a body of water, the better it holds heat. It takes a lot of energy to change the water temp in the wild, and this change in energy input only comes from seasonal changes. As the seasons change the water warms or cools. A fish can adjust to these gradual changes easily; their bodies are programmed for it. But a 10F change in 24 hours will cause major stress on a fish. Stress = disease in fish. It can even kill some of the more sensitive species.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:31 AM   #3 
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Yes.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #4 
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Koimaiden has you covered. (:
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:10 AM   #5 
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I think YOU should be the judge!



sorry, couldn't resist
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #6 
ILLBETHEJUDGE
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Lolrotf. I deserve that.
Thanks thekoimaiden! Awesome answer.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:23 PM   #7 
Satsi
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I would say that would be the case for large bodies of water and rivers. Since Betta's do tend to live in shallower little ponds, It would be different then comparing it to the water temperature changes in a larger pond or a lake.

So I think that comparing how the temperature of a littler shallow pond is stable like that is kind of reaching... I know that sounds kind of offensive and I don't mean it to .

I'm not saying that it fluctuates 8 or 10 degrees like it would in an indoor habitat, but it does fluctuate. (may be more, may be less...)

You need to think about the area of the world that these little guys come from. It's warm almost year round. It's not like North America or Canada where we experience large fluxes of temperature.

Also. I think the natural wild betta's a probably more hardy than their domesticated counterparts. Maybe they are better equipped to deal? not sure...

So that's why i think they need a heater. just because of the climate where they originate from...

I'm no expert, so the original post answering your question could be totally right.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:41 PM   #8 
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Yes indeed! I am a little surprised such a temperature swing hasn't done in the live bearers, already. The range is fine, but not in a day. Our goal is stability in water quality, more than anything else. I'd use a heater to hold the temperature stable at 80F or so, where the higher daytime temps wouldn't be such a dramatic shift and you'll be good.

Think of it almost like fire insurance - you don't need it until you do. In the case of a heater, it is a floor on the lower range of temperature your fish can experience, and important to holding them in a state that their systems aren't stressed by the conditions of the water.

Good luck!

Last edited by Arctic Mama; 03-14-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:49 PM   #9 
Arctic Mama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satsi View Post
I would say that would be the case for large bodies of water and rivers. Since Betta's do tend to live in shallower little ponds, It would be different then comparing it to the water temperature changes in a larger pond or a lake.

So I think that comparing how the temperature of a littler shallow pond is stable like that is kind of reaching... I know that sounds kind of offensive and I don't mean it to .

I'm not saying that it fluctuates 8 or 10 degrees like it would in an indoor habitat, but it does fluctuate. (may be more, may be less...)

You need to think about the area of the world that these little guys come from. It's warm almost year round. It's not like North America or Canada where we experience large fluxes of temperature.

Also. I think the natural wild betta's a probably more hardy than their domesticated counterparts. Maybe they are better equipped to deal? not sure...

So that's why i think they need a heater. just because of the climate where they originate from...

I'm no expert, so the original post answering your question could be totally right.
As an aside, the temperature of water in all but the smallest quantities is surprisingly stable. It has high thermal mass and resists shifts in temperature very well as a substance - and when it does shift it does so on a gradient. Plus, the greater the volume the exponentially higher the thermal mass. A ten thousand gallon pond, small by almost any natural standard, is not going to swing more than a degree or two in full afternoon sun in the (humid) tropics, during all but the most extreme weather. If it does shift upward or downward, the effect is slow and cumulative, depending on the depth and surface area.

Our tanks, on the other hand, don't have the protection of large redox potentional OR volume to help the inhabitants. So we have to be waterkeepers primarily, and fishkeepers as a pleasant side effect. Control the water params and 90% of the job of caring for the animals and preventing disease is taken care of. Temperature is a big component of that stability
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:00 PM   #10 
Olympia
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Yes, it's easier to maintain a constant temp than to mess around changing the temps to try and make it more "natural" anyways. :p
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