Bettas and Temperature Shock

Bettas thrive in steady water temperatures.
i fish image by olena from

If the two of you have chosen the betta fish as your first pet together, you are probably becoming aware of all of the necessary bowl or tank requirements. Avoiding temperature shock from extreme, sudden water temperature changes is one important factor that will help your swimming pet live a long life.

Betta Temperature Needs

Because bettas originate in warm, tropical climates, in captivity they need the water in their bowls or tanks to be between 74 degrees to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 25 degrees Celsius) to thrive. Your betta may become sick otherwise and suffer from compromised immunity in cooler water or bacteria-borne illness in warmer water. Once the water in your betta's tank or bowl is regulated, keeping it at a consistent temperature is vital. Sudden temperature changes can shock your betta and kill it.

Avoiding Temperature Shock in a Bowl

Many betta owners keep their pets in fish bowls, because filtration is not needed when the habitat is kept clean. If you keep your betta in a bowl, changing the water regularly is essential-- but you must do it carefully. Avoid rapid habitat temperature changes by allowing fresh water to adjust to room temperature before adding it to your betta's bowl. Another solution is to cycle between two bowls, simply moving your betta to the clean bowl once the water temperature is ideal. An aquarium thermometer is a must if you want to make sure your fish's clean water temperature is just right for the fish to thrive.

Avoiding Temperature Shock in an Aquarium

An aquarium is a good choice for your betta's home, because an electric filtration system will reduce the need to disturb the water temperature with frequent cleanings. Adding a heater that has a bulb wattage of approximately 5 watts for each gallon of water will help keep the water temperature accurate and constant. Just like with a fishbowl, a thermometer will eliminate any guesswork that could potentially harm your betta.


Though water changes and tank cleanings are the key factors that alter your betta's water temperature, don't forget to look out for the unexpected. Keeping your bowl or tank in direct sunlight can result in water temperatures that may get too hot very quickly. In turn, drafty rooms can make your betta's home get too cold for comfort on winter days. Also, power outages may result in water temperature changes that can cause your betta to suffer from shock, especially if you use a heater to regulate the water. When you know how to avoid temperature shock and what can lead to this potentially deadly problem, you will help your aquatic friend show off his flashy fins for a long time to come.

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