Do Bettas Need Heaters and If So, What Kind?

Bettas are among the most popular fish for both home aquariums and research laboratories. In the wild, bettas live in a variety of water temperatures. Outside of their natural habitats, bettas can be sensitive to water temperature. Monitoring and controlling what temp do betta fish like is important to ensure a happy fish that lives longer and is more likely to breed. If you keep your beta in a small vase or bowl, then it might not need a heater.

However, if it’s kept in an aquarium with other fish or in its 10-gallon tank, it probably needs one. A heater will help keep things consistent without worrying about whether or not you turned up the heat on the thermostat that day. Keep reading to learn more about how heaters work and which ones are right for your beta at home.

What is the Ideal Tank Temperature for a Betta?

The ideal tank temperature for a betta is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature in your tank is too low, your betta will likely show signs of lethargy. Lethargy can be mistaken for fin rot, so be sure to check your tank’s temperature and be sure it is warm enough for your beta. If the water is too hot, your betta might be stressed and have trouble swimming around.

This can lead to dropping fins and a shortened lifespan for your betta. When choosing a tank for your betta, be sure to use one that is a 10-gallon tank or larger. A betta can live in a vase or bowl, but only if the water is changed regularly. If the water isn’t changed, it will quickly become dirty and could be fatal for your fish.

How Do Heaters Work?

There are two major types of heaters used in fish tanks- submersible and overhead. Submersible heaters are commonly used in smaller aquariums to keep them warm. They are not recommended for larger tanks as they run the risk of overheating the water and harming your fish. Overhead heaters are safer for larger tanks, especially if you have multiple fish in the same tank. However, they are not as convenient to use since you have to adjust the thermostat to keep the tank warm.

When choosing a heater for your fish tank, make sure it is the right size for your tank. Heaters that are too small can overheat your water and harm your fish. Heaters that are way too big for your tank won’t effectively warm the water and likely won’t be covered by your aquarium insurance if anything goes wrong. Heaters can last from a few years to a decade or more, so it’s important to find one that will work best for you and your fish.

Which Heaters Are Best for Bettas?

There are many different types of aquarium heaters out there, each with its pros and cons. The best betta heaters are either a submersible heater or an overhead heater with a built-in thermometer. A thermometer can be helpful not only in monitoring your tank’s temperature, but also to make sure your heater is functioning properly.

Submersible heaters are a good choice for smaller tanks. Some models can even be used in aquariums as large as 10 gallons. Submersible heaters will raise the temperature of the water as they are submerged. If you have a large tank, you may want to choose an overhead heater with a thermostat. Overhead heaters can help keep the temperature consistent throughout a tank, even if it contains multiple fish.

Other Helpful Tips to Keep in mind

If you use a submersible heater, make sure you monitor it frequently to make sure it isn’t overheating your water. If you notice your water is getting warmer and warmer without you adjusting it, you may have a faulty heater that needs to be replaced. If you have a large tank, you may want to choose an overhead heater with a thermometer to make sure the temperature stays consistent throughout the tank.

If you have an aquarium with multiple fish in it, be sure to select a heater that has more watts than the gallons of water in your tank. For example, a 10-gallon tank with two goldfish will need a heater with at least 15 watts of power. Make sure you turn off your heater when cleaning your tank. If there is water in your tank when you clean it, you risk accidentally killing your fish.


When it comes to keeping fish, the temperature is everything. Bettas are tropical fish, so they prefer warm water. While many bettas do fine without a heater, they are much happier and healthier with one. If you want your fish to live a long and healthy life, be sure to keep an eye on their water temperature and make sure they have a heater if they need one.

If you want a long-living, healthy fish, make sure you keep an eye on the temperature of the water. Bettas are tropical fish and prefer warm water, so make sure you have a heater if you have them in a tank or aquarium. These helpful devices will keep the water warm enough for your fish to thrive.

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