Saturday, 12 January 2008

Betta Fish Care - Aquarium Heaters - Do You Really Need One? By Michael Worthington

While it can be difficult to maintain the water temperature in a tank, it’s absolutely necessary that you have one. There are two reasons for this. First of all, if your Betta gets too stressed out over a period of time, his immune system will become compromised, and he’ll begin to lose his ability to fight off infection and disease.

The second reason is that your Betta is used to living in water that is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit – and he will become listless and unresponsive if the water is too far above or too far below that temperature. This becomes even more important in a large tank.

It’s also very important that you maintain a fairly consistent temperature in your Betta fish’s tank. Your fish won’t handle extreme temperature changes either. By the way, it doesn’t take much of a water temperature change – just the matter of a couple of degrees Fahrenheit – for your Betta to be affected – so this is something you really need to pay attention to.

The unit of measurement for aquarium heaters is in watts. When trying to decide on which heater will be best for you, a good basic guideline is 5 watts per gallon of water. Make sure that the heater fits your tank and, if it’s an internal one, can be properly inserted.

If you’re not sure and you didn’t buy the tank and heater together, take the tank with you to the store, and ask the manager to help you get the right one.

Two Types of Heating Systems:

There are two main types of heating systems – internal and external. You’ll have to decide which one works best for you – and if you have any questions, ask your local pet store or your Betta breeder for recommendations based on your tank set up.

One other important thing to keep in mind is the water circulation – without proper water circulation, you’re going to have “hot spots” and “cold spots” in the water, both of which can be harmful to your Betta fish. Heaters cost anywhere from about $20 to $50, although like with anything else, you can find more expensive models.

Internal Tank Heating Systems:

Internal heating systems are the most common. They usually consist of a glass tube anywhere between 4 inches (10.16 cm) to 12 inches (30.48 cm) long. Some offer a built-in thermostat, while others will have an external thermostat, usually outside the tank and are usually used to control multiple heating units.

External Tank Heating Systems:

There are several different models of external heating systems, such as a model which fits under the tank and heats the water from below, or one that connects to the filtering system. They are widely available both online and off.

Mike owns Betta Fish Expert which helps people learn about betta fish.

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