Q: AC wrote,
I just got a betta fish a few days ago and have been keeping him on a heating pad to make sure he doesn’t get too cold. However, I think someone may have bumped the control accidentally, heating my poor fish to about 10 degrees higher than the bowl have been before. I immediately took the bowl off the pad to let it cool to the previous temperature. Since then, the temperature has been constant, but my fish hasn’t recovered. I feel so terribly about this. He’s gotten very lethargic, and now he stays at the top of the bowl, blowing bubble after bubble. Is there anything I can do?
Thanks for your site; hope your fish are all doing well!
A: I hope your Betta is doing better today. You didn’t mention in your email what the temperature was or what it raised to but hopefully it wasn’t so severe that it caused major harm. There really isn’t a whole lot you can do at this time accept slowly return the water temperature to normal and then keep it stable. I don’t know if staying at the top of the bowl blowing bubbles is a signal of the stress he endured or if he is building a bubble nest prompted by the warm up of the water. In order to determine the level of danger I would have to know what the temperature was and what it went up to.
I have had water temperatures reach the low 90s for short periods of time without major incident. Heat spikes can certainly cause stress and even shock but it’s not always a guarantee of the worst. Just do your best to keep things stable from now on and keep an eye on your betta for signs of stress related illness.
I also recommend using an aquarium grade heater rather than a heating pad. Heating pads aren’t designed for warming water and are unable to regulate themselves. Aquarium heaters are designed to turn off when the desired temperature is met. The use of a heating pad for warming water may also put you and your family at great risk of shock or fire so please use caution and purchase the proper equipment.
Thanks for writing in and I hope your fish is back to his old self soon.