Do Betta Fish Need a Heater?


Do Betta Fish Need a Heater?

Betta fish is a wonderful and fantastic pet to keep at home. These beautiful creatures can live up to 3 years old and up to 3 inches in length. They are not aggressive, and for this reason, they have been the number one choice for beginner aquarists as they are easy to keep.

Because of their small size betta fish require small space tanks compared to other fish species. Most aquarist house these type of fish in bowls with a filter. However, what most people don’t realize is that betta fish are pretty sensitive to the quality of water they are kept. Factors such as water temperature affect betta fish and should be considered to avoid the consequences it brings.

So, do Betta fish need heater? Yes, betta fish do require a heater unless you live in a tropical climate, where the temperature of the aquarium water can be kept above certain levels.

In this article, you will learn what is the ideal water temperature to keep your betta fish in and what are the best heaters to use for a small fish tank. I will also reveal which is the minimum water temperature for betta fish.

Ideal Water Temperature for Betta Fish

According to professional aquarists on tips to keep a betta fish healthy plenty of clean and warm water is necessary. Bettas are a kind of tropical fish which thrives well in fresh and salt water. Tropical environments have pretty of clean and warm water and since those are the natural habitat of the Betta fish the same has to be applied in aquariums.

These types of fish should have a body temperature between 23-25 °C (74-77 °F), which means the water should be maintained at this range. At temperatures below 20 °C (68 °F) betta fish are vulnerable to low appetite, bacteria and protozoan infection, inactivity, and could even not live to see their days. To maintain the water at these temperatures, one requires a thermometer and a water heater. A recommendable heater for a fish tank is the wholly submersible with a smart temperature control feature that automatically regulates the tank water temperature.

Another thing to consider for a healthy betta fish is the quality of water in the aquarium tank. These kinds of fish thrive well in a tank size about 10 gallons with half of it dedicated to the fish. Providing enough space for the Betta will help them maintain their health and fitness. To ensure the water stays clean one has to a weekly 10-20% water change is advisable for the Betta.

The most effective way to heat the water in a small aquarium is to use a small water heater. I recommend choosing a heater, which has a thermostat, this way you can be sure, that the water will not overheat or the temperature of the water will not fall bellow certain level.

A thermometer is also good to have, in order to check the temperature of the water.

Minimum Water Temperature for Betta Fish

Betta fish require warm water to stay healthy and fit. Keeping these kinds of fish in cold water (below 20 °C / 86 °F) can expose them to a variety of fish diseases. An example is the popeye disease, which is an infection of the eyes to a point the eyes bulge out of the head. Other includes skin, bacterial, and parasitic infections that can kill the fish. The fish might also develop stress due to cold water, which affects their health and physical activeness.

Best Aquarium Water Heaters for Betta Fish

Below you can read my reviews of top aquarium heaters for betta fish:

1. FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater

FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater

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The FREESEA aquarium heater is a submersible fish tank heater which has a smart LED temperature readings display. The heater is suitable for betta fish tanks because it has a temperature range of 15 to 30 °C (60 – 86 °F). It features an automatic constant which allows the setting of temperature readings when the heater should turn on and turn off. It is an easy to use heater even for newbie aquarists.

The heating rods are wholly submerged in the fish tank and left to operate as the temperature readings are set. The heater comes in a variety of two specs which include a 50 Watt for up to 10 gallons, 200 Watt for 20-35 gallons, and a 300 Watt for 35 to 50 gallons tanks. FREESEA aquarium heater is a necessity one should consider having when they are rearing betta fish.

2. Marina Betta Submersible Heater for Aquarium

Marina Betta Submersible Heater for Aquarium

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The Marina betta heater is a product specific to aquarists keeping betta fish. It is a submersible type of heater and can be used in aquariums up to 1.5 gallons. There is no need to set the temperature on this heater as it is made to regulate the fish tank water temperature automatically. The settings are specific to the betta fish temperature requirements in tanks up to 1.5 gallons.

It is energy conservative as it is only 8 Watts and guarantees durability from its exterior made of polymer. A red indicator light illuminates when the heater is working. One advantage of having this type of heater is that it does not require complex manual operations to set temperature or switch on and off. It automatically maintains the fish tank’s water temperature. Based on its simplicity of installation and maintenance, the Marina Betta Heater is recommendable for betta aquarist whether experienced or beginners.

3. SZELAM 25W Smart Mini

SZELAM 25W Smart Mini Aquarium Heater

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SZELAM 25W Smart Mini is another recommendable heater to regulate the water temperature in your aquarium tank. This is also a submersible energy efficient water heater with a smart temperature control system. There is no need to set the temperature of this heater as it automatically maintains between 25-28 degrees Celcius. Betta fish thrive well between 20-25 °C (68 – 77 °F) which means the SZELAM 25W Smart Mini is recommendable for betta aquarists.

The material used to make this heater is of high quality to maintain its quality for a long time. The heater has regulatory accreditations from FCC, ROHS, and CE, which have policies that ensure products have a one year warranty. According to its specifications, the SZELAM 25W Smart Mini is suitable for beginner betta aquarists and even more useful to experienced one because it operates automatically. It provides freedom and assurance that your betta fish is in warm water.

The three submersible heaters suggested above do not require one to have a thermometer as most operate automatically. Others such as the FREESEA Aquarium have a temperature reading display and an option to set when the heater turns on and off based on input readings.

How to keep your betta fish healthy?

While warm water is essential for betta fish in the aquarium tank, you need to ensure that the temperatures do not rapidly increase or decrease. Consistent water temperature should be maintained to help keep your fish rejuvenated, and this can be easily achieved by using a smart temperature control heater.

Another tip for betta water maintenance is the use of an air stone to keep the water oxygenated. It is important to note that betta fish require still and clear water, so it is necessary to have regular water change. Also, purchase a filtration that stops water from becoming intoxicated or run rapidly.

The use of a fish tank filter is another recommendation under tips for essential water maintenance. A filter allows biological filtration to take place by removing toxic waste such as ammonia, nitrates, and other debris. A filter also creates surface agitation, which helps keep the water oxygenated to provide air for fish and other beneficial bacteria. The most crucial function of a filter in the aquarium is the elimination of toxins. Fish tank filters also help reduce the amount of maintenance required in the fish tank by almost 15%.

Can you heat a betta fish tank without a heater?

Heating a fish tank without a heater might still be possible, but it features some traditional way of going about it. To heat the betta fish tank without a heater might involve placing a thick towel around the tank to create insulation. This can also be achieved by moving the tank to a warmer place in the house, such as near the kitchen.

Another unique method includes placing 2-3 candles beside the aquarium tank to warm the water. One disadvantage of using this method is that the candles may not provide the necessary heat to achieve the needed water temperatures.

Other odd methods include boiling water and pouring in a plastic bottle then placing it inside the betta fish tank. The bottle heats the water in the betta fish tank, but it is a time demanding method and thus not recommended. All these tricks are odd ways of regulating water temperature in the betta fish tank. We recommend using the submersible fish tank water heaters suggested in this article for a more automated means of monitoring the water temperature in your aquarium.


Betta fish are adorable, and when kept well, they can lighten up your space with their amazing social skills. So if the question is if betta fish need water heaters, the answer is yes because bettas need warm water to thrive well. One aspect that should be kept into consideration for one to keep their betta fish healthy is the water temperature in the fish tank.

Although there are many ways and methods to regulate water temperature in aquariums, this article recommends the use of a smart temperature control devices. Other traditional methods may be time demanding and tedious.

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