The Origin of the Betta
Betta fish originated in South East Asia, living primarily in shallow rivers and lakes. They are most commonly found in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Betta keeping began in the 19th century in Thailand. The betta, also known as the Siamese fighting fish, was selectively bred for heightened aggression.
Since then, the betta has become one of the most popular and beloved specie in the fishkeeping hobby. In spite of that, the South East Asian fish remains one of the most misunderstood species. This primarily caused by unethical marketing ploys used by pet stores.
Pet stores have been largely criticized for their treatment of betta fish. Customers are given the impression that betta fish somehow do not need the kind of setup other fish need.
Notably, they instill a false notion, claiming that betta fish can live in an unheated aquarium. When in fact, betta fish have adapted in a tropical setting.
In the wild, bettas are located in some of the hottest areas of the world. Below is data retrieved from the Climate Data Organisation for the country of Thailand. Data shows that very rarely does the temperature goes below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, (21 degrees Celcius).
Typically, we can expect temperates to range between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Betta Fish Temperature
Betta fish, a tropical fish, should be kept in water temperature between 75- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit (24- and 27.7-degrees Celsius).
Do Betta Fish Need Heaters?
This depends on many factors, like where you live or where the tank is placed in your house. For example, in a non-air conditioned room in Florida, your betta may not need a heater. But anywhere else, where a betta fish tank heater to your setup.
Over the years, pet stores have been largely criticized for their treatment of betta fish. Customers are given the impression that betta fish somehow do not need the kind of setup other fish need.
While we can control our temperature in virtually any environment, the same cannot be said for your betta, like other pets, they rely on you to make sure they are comfortable.
Much like humans, cold temperatures can increase the risk of sickness.
Metabolism (Greek: μεταβολή, “change”) is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are the conversion of food to energy to run cellular processes; the conversion of food/fuel to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates; the elimination of nitrogenous wastes. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.Metabolism, Wikipedia, Retrievied on April 20th, 2020.
Fish are cold-blooded that which means that they cannot regulate their body temperature. Cold temperatures can cause the metabolism to slow down and induce hibernation-like behavior.
In a low metabolic state, the betta will grow slowly, lose color, be unable to repair damaged fins and replace any old cells. Furthermore, a low metabolic rate hinders the immune system, putting the betta at risk for bacterial infections.
If they are put into water that is below 69 degrees Fahrenheit, they can develop a bacterial infection called fur coat syndrome, which is often fatal. Another issue that is prone to develop if your betta is kept at the incorrect temperature is the common disease ich, which appears as white spots on the fish’s scales. This illness is easy to treat however it can still kill your fish. Mouth fungus and fin rot may develop as well.
Coldwater can also induce digestive problems for betta fish. When fish enter a low metabolic rate, their digestive system is slowed down. This can cause constipation in betta fish.
Signs that your betta is too cold can be slowing of their swimming, swimming near a heater or warmer area of the tank and losing their lustrous color and looking dull. It is crucial to keep a stable water temperature to keep your betta healthy and beautiful.
A betta fish’s natural habitat is in the shallow ponds or rice paddy fields of Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. These environments offer them plenty of plant cover and sun warming the water almost constantly. Bettas prefer tropical temperatures, so they need a warmer temperature than most fish. It is recommended that your betta tank be kept between 75- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit or 24-27.7 degrees Celsius. It is best to monitor the water temperature so it does not get too hot either. Betta fish can live in water that is as high as 80 to 82 degrees though it is not recommended for long periods. Make sure to find the perfect temperature for your fish.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. For betta fish to be happy and healthy, need at a minimum need a 5-gallon tank, a filter, and a heater. To learn more about the proper care of betta fish, visit our betta care guide.