One of the top mistakes fish owners do is underestimating the importance of the temperature in the fish tank. Some fish are more resilient – and can easily survive and thrive in various temperatures, however, some fish might develop certain health problems, which sometimes can even be fatal, all because the tank water temperature is not well adjusted to the one in their natural habitat. 

If you already have a Betta fish, you might be familiar that this type of fish has specific needs when it comes to the water temperature. The temperature for Betta fish being well and thriving is rather specific. In this article, we will discuss what the temperature is, and the additional recommendations for the tank water that is home to your Betta fish pet.

Temperature for Betta fish

Temperature for Betta fish

What is the right temperature? 

Unfortunately, many first-time owners of Betta fish believe that their pets will be well living in room temperature water. Under room temperature is considered the range between 21 to 23 degrees Celsius (68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Given the fact that Betta is a tropical fish, the ideal temperature is: 

  • Minimum temperature for Betta fish: 25.5 degrees Celsius / 78 degrees Fahrenheit; 
  • Maximum temperature for Betta fish: 26.5 degrees Celsius / 80 degrees Fahrenheit 

If you own a larger tank, with all the additional equipment, maintaining this temperature will probably not be an issue. However, if you keep your Betta fish in a smaller tank that does not contain a temperature controller, this can be challenging, especially having in mind the fact that the room temperature tends to drop over the night. The cold water, and the overall water temperature fluctuations can additionally stress your Betta friend. 

In certain circumstances, the Celsius temperature for Betta fish can range between 22 and 30 degrees (72-86 degrees Fahrenheit), however, this will only make the fish survive, and might cause harmful damage to their organism. In case the water temperature suddenly drops or rises  while you’re not at home, this will not cause an immediate damage to your Betta fish – but you need to change the thermostat the very first moment you detect such irregularity. You don’t want to overheat, or freeze your fish, of course! 

How to warm Betta fish water?  

Luckily, today there are plenty of devices that can help you maintain the perfect tropical temperature for your Betta fish. If you decide to keep more tropical fish species, a larger tank with a built-in heater might be the best long-term investment. 

Water heaters come in all shapes and sizes: 

  • Fully or partially submersible heaters – the partially submersible heaters have one part in the water, while the other part is above the fish tank water. They are usually cheaper, and, as you can guess already, not as effective. The fully submersible heaters are more expensive, but better on a long run – they are completely in the water and can heat it faster and more efficiently;
  • Pre-set or adjustable heaters – the pre-set heaters maintain a temperature established by the manufacturer. They are a great choice if the predetermined temperature is within the limits for your Betta fish wellbeing, since you can always be sure that the temperature will be maintained without you having to check it constantly. However, the adjustable heaters, even though require a little bit of more work, allow you to test various temperatures and find the one that suits your Betta fish the most. Every individual is different – same goes for the Betta fish, and every fish might find a particular temperature the most comfortable for their thriving;

  • Smaller and bigger heaters – the difference is quite obvious here – the smaller heaters are a great option if your fish tank is not as big, however, if you’re upgrading your fish tank to a bigger one, you might want to consider choosing a bigger and more powerful heater. 

Additionally, it’s always recommended to have a thermometer, so you can measure the water temperature and see if there are any irregularities. Some of the heaters are actually connected to the thermometers and can automatically turn on or off if they see a certain temperature fluctuation. 

Today, there are even thermometers that can send info directly to your smartphone, and heaters which can be controlled from your smartphone – so you can be sure in your Betta fish wellbeing at every moment. 

If your heating system suddenly fails, don’t start panicking and start googling how long can Betta fish live in cold water – despite preferring warmer water, they can survive in a colder temperature from 3 to 6 months. 

What if the Betta fish water temperature is too hot

Since Betta fish are tropical species that thrive in warmer waters, we are usually concerned whether their water is too cold – however, let’s see the other side of the coin – what happens in the tank water temperature is too hot? 

If you have a heater, it’s rather simple – just turn it off/decrease the temperature for a period of time until the temperature adjusts to the Betta fish needs. Make sure this temperature drop is not sudden, as it can create a temperature shock. Start gradually decreasing the temperature (sometimes it can even take days) until you find the right temperature spot. 

If you don’t have a water heater, start changing the water temperature slowly, by gradually changing the water. Be sure to measure the temperature in every step of the process, so you don’t overstep the temperature limits. You can also gradually add ice cubes, or turn on a cooling fan over the top of the fish tank. 

How to recognize a temperature shock

The first Betta fish temperature shock symptoms can appear very fast, if their temperature is not right. 

The Betta fish cold water shock symptoms are: 

  • Lethargy and drowsiness; 
  • Staying at the bottom of the tank, as they don’t have the proper amount of energy to swim to the top or to swim around; 
  • They get sick more frequently, as their immune system drops; 
  • The final and most worrying stage is if your Betta fish slips into a coma – in this case, the temperature was too cold for them, and they need to be allocated to a warmer water tank immediately. 

If the water is too hot, you might notice: 

  • Fast, erratic swimming, due to the high level of energy your Betta fish has; 
  • Fast breathing; 
  • Constant swimming towards the surface of the fish tank. 

Usually, the Betta fish can recover from temperature shock, if it wasn’t too rapid. 

Temperature for Betta fish Conclusion

We have learned that even though the temperature variations for Betta fishes are most definitely inconvenient, they will not immediately be fatal. The Betta fish temperature Celsius range is 25.5 to 26.5 degrees, so any small variations that happen incidentally are not a major cause for concern – as long as you address them promptly and properly. 

There are various devices today that can help you with maintaining the perfect temperature for your Betta fish. If you want to save time, and be always certain that the environment of your Betta friend is safe, look them up online, or the next time you visit a pet store. From thermostats to thermometers, to phone apps directly connected to the heaters, you can basically find anything you need. 

Be alert on the first symptoms of temperature shock and act at the very first moment you notice something unusual among your Betta fish. This is a beautiful and a rather sensitive species – so make sure you are cautious of any changes in their environment.