Does a betta fish need a heater?

In this blog, we will discuss whether or not you should consider installing a heater in a bettas tank.


In this blog

  • Does a betta fish need a heater?
  • What is the best temperature for bettas?
  • Why is it important to install a heater in a bettas tank?
  • Can bettas survive in small bowls and tanks without a heater?
  • How to heat your betta fish tank in emergency situations?
  • How long can a betta fish survive without an aquarium heater?
  • Why are bigger tanks better than small tanks or bowls?
  • What are the best heaters for betta fish?
  • Are colder temperatures injurious to bettas?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

Does a betta fish need a heater?

Betta fish are tropical fish that are found in warmer water in the wild. They need temperatures between the mid-70s & around 80 degrees. If your room temperature remains at the lowest in the mid-70s, they can survive without a heater.

Betta fish are ectothermic. This means that they maintain a body temperature by using external sources of heat. Their metabolisms are regulated by the external environment.

What is the best temperature for bettas?

Betta fish prefer a temperature of around 70-80 degrees F. It’s a temperature that will help keep your betta fish in optimal condition. However, bettas will remain fine anywhere between 76-82 degrees F. 

The danger comes when their tank temperature falls below or rises above normal. If the temperature of the tank is below 70 ° F or above 82 ° F, it will have a serious impact on bettas health.

Why is it important to install a heater in a bettas tank?

Heaters are a good idea for bettas, as they will keep the water at a consistent temperature. The Betta fish are tropical fish and live in warmer waters in the wild. 

Low water temperatures will stress your betta, making him more at risk of disease and early death. Remember, even if he is surviving, it does not mean he is thriving. 

You need to keep your betta’s water temperature in the 75-80 degree range if you want him to be as healthy as possible.

If you don’t have a heater for your betta, you should buy one as soon as possible. All fish are very sensitive to changes in temperature in their tank, and especially to sudden changes. One of the best things you can do to keep your fish healthy is to avoid temperature shock.

Can bettas survive in small bowls and tanks without a heater?

Some people keep betta fish in small bowls or tanks which means without a filter or a heater, but in most cases they survive and betta fish are so popular because of these reasons only.

Unfortunately, many of these same betta owners later find that their fish appear perpetually stressed, or are suffering from some ailment, such as fin rot.

How to heat your betta fish tank in emergency situations?

If you have a heater for your fish tank, it is important to have a back-up plan in case of an emergency. The heater might need to be replaced or there could be a power cut.

You can heat your bettas tank in emergency situations by:

  • Turning up the heater in your home will help keep the bettas warm. Heating your home will stop the room temperature from lowering the water temperature.
  • Move your tank away from any windows and get it closer to the center of your house. Windows allow heat to escape, so areas near windows can be cooler than areas further away from windows.
  • Take some hot water and place it in a bag. Get 10% of the aquarium water out, put the bag in. Float the bag on top of the tank.
  • Wrap towels around your bettas tank to keep the heat in too Although the sudden light change may be a little stressful for your betta, it’s still not going to be as stressful as a water temperature drop.
  • If you have a bigger tank, you’ll be better off in this situation. Water takes longer to cool, giving you more time to figure out solutions.

How long can a betta fish survive without an aquarium heater?

There are many different factors that can affect whether a betta can survive without a heater, including its age, size, and environment. 

If the temperature of your room is above 78°F then your betta will likely last a long time. But if it’s very cold or your betta is already sick, it may take a few days before your fish becomes very unhealthy.

There are many factors to consider such as the room temperature, the age of the betta, how healthy the betta is, how quickly the water temperature drops, etc.

Why are bigger tanks better than smaller tanks or bowls?

Even though the recommended minimum size for bettas is 2.5 gallons, a smaller tank is more susceptible to rapid temperature changes. 

When you get tanks that are at least five gallons in size, it becomes easier for the tank water to stay at a consistent temperature. 

Even if you have a heater in a 2.5 gallon tank, a sudden drop in room temperature will have a huge impact on it.

What are the best heaters for betta fish?

  • The hygger submersible heater has all the features you’re looking for. This heater comes with a thermometer built into it, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of the tank’s temperature.
  • The submersible heater is fully submerged, so it provides a more consistent and stable heat source. This heater is much better because it is completely submerged and probably fixed to the bottom of the tank next to the filter.
  • Heating a tank of water with a hanging heater involves passing a heated glass tube through it. It’s the most common type of heater and isn’t particularly effective, but it does provide the basics. The object is partially submerged in the tank.

Are colder temperatures injurious to bettas?

Bettas typically live in warm conditions all year round, so they need a heater to keep them warm. 

Betta fish are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, as the shallow canals and ponds in which they live can quickly change in temperature. 

But chronically cold temperatures can have a negative impact on their health over time.

The warm temperature encourages bettas to maintain a healthy appetite. If your betta is not eating, cold temperatures are one of the most common reasons for their lack of appetite.

When the temperature is warm, your betta’s cells are able to process food and waste efficiently, which will result in your betta growing properly. When it gets cold, the cellular machinery slows down.

When bettas are kept in cold temperatures, their digestion slows down, they eat less to make up for it, and may even lie on their side from time to time to conserve energy.

Betta fish that are kept warm show more energy, swinging their showy fins for their owners and nearby males or females. Males typically engage in building bubble nests in order to stay healthy. 

All of these behaviors slow down or disappear when bettas are kept too cold. Therefore, we should aim for a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit as a bare minimum, the same as for most tropical fish.


Betta fish should be kept in a temperature range of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimum temperature at which they will thrive. However, if your tank’s temperature falls within the 76-82°F range, they will be healthy.

Before adding your betta to the tank, make sure the tank and heater are set up properly. This will ensure the tank temperature stays within desirable ranges.

A bigger tank will help keep your fish tank at a stable temperature. When there is more water in a tank, it is harder for the temperature to change a lot.

If your heater fails or stops working, you can do a number of things to keep it warm. You can float a hot water bag on top of the tank, wrapping it in towels, and moving it to a warmer location.

Aquarium heaters for your fish tank are inexpensive and are essential for keeping your beautiful betta fish healthy.

Frequently asked questions

Where do bettas originate from?

Bettas originate from Southeast Asia, so they are used to warm water. The average day’s water temperature at that location is about 70°F to 80°F. Low temperatures don’t kill bettas directly, they just make them susceptible to most diseases.

When do you not need heaters in a betta tank?

If the room temperature stays at its lowest level in the mid 70s, bettas can survive without a heater.

Can bettas survive in the temperature range of 60-68F?

Betta fish are not intended to stay in this temperature range (60-68 degrees Fahrenheit) for very long. Room-temperature bowls are one of the worst environments for tropical fish, as they lack filters and heaters.