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Old 07-05-2022, 01:07 AM   #1
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heater question

hi,

i have a 5 gallon tank that used to hold cherry shrimp. i have decided to get a betta fish, but i'm worried that my heater isn't strong enough. my house is usually VERY cold (60f) and i'm currently using a 25 watt heater. considering that bettas are tropical and require temperatures almost 20 degrees warmer than my home, should i invest in a 50 watt heater? thanks all for any advice

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Old 07-05-2022, 01:52 AM   #2
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Is it able to maintain the water temperature when the house is at its coldest?

It’s generally believed a small heater running steady is going to be more efficient as well as less prone to failure than one that’s larger and cycles more often. I’d imagine the water temp would be more consistent through the tank with a smaller heater also
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Old 07-05-2022, 03:24 AM   #3
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I dont think a 25W heater will raise 5g of water 20F. Thats a big temperature difference. This table doesnt go down to 5g tanks but it takes over 100W to raise 10g 20F.



Im assuming your house only drops to that temperature during winter. Is it a time of year for you that you could test it before getting your fish?
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Old 07-05-2022, 08:54 AM   #4
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In my experience, room temperature affects small tank temps. The first thing you need is a thermometer so you know what's going on in there. Many good ones are on the market; I use the JW Pet Company Smartttemp (pic attached) as it's inexpensive, easy to set up, and lasts for years and years. I place it at the far corner from the heater so I know what the coolest spot is doing.

5g is kinda small for a Betta. Mine are in 10-20g for more room to explore and stay lively. If you consider going up in size, temps would be affected the same in 5g-20g by your room warmth.
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Old 07-05-2022, 11:30 AM   #5
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thank you all for responding,

my house is still pretty cold in the summer (mid to low sixties). the heater doesn't keep the proper temperature during the winter, which is a major issue. i'm just wondering if 50watt would create too many temperature fluctuations?

(also, i'm using such a small tank for a betta because it's a very old betta that has trouble swimming that i'm getting from my friend. i figured it would be easier to keep him in a smaller tank so that it's not as hard for him to get around. he also doesn't move very much)
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Old 07-05-2022, 11:39 AM   #6
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Got it. Old man fish. I have one of those. You know your betta is old when he stops fighting his mirror ball and snuggles up for a nap with it I think in a tank that small you won't have fluctuations with a small heater: small heater=made for small tanks, and with even low flow and small amounts of fish movement the temperature will be evenly distributed.
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Old 07-06-2022, 02:57 AM   #7
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Lots of things will effect the amount of heater wattage that’s required to maintain the desired water temp and I’m not sure that chart is a great guideline to go by.


Going by that chart I’m about 30% undersized on all my heaters, yet none of them actually run anywhere near constantly during the largest temperature differentials.

Of course, it’s nothing you want to end up messing with by trial and error, and have things go sideways on you. Better safe than sorry, if I was going to go on the larger side for a heater I would just suggest making sure that it’s in a good flow path to distribute the heat better and not cause a hot spot and excessive cycling
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