Tetras are popular choices for the home aquarium. So, do tetras need a heater?
Yes, tetras do need a heater as they thrive in temperatures between 75°F and 80°F and depend on the water temperature for proper metabolism and breeding. If the water temperature is not proper, the immune system of the tetras will be affected, and they will become prone to diseases and infections.
With that said, let’s now look at why water temperature is crucial for tetras and how you can make sure that they have an adequately heated tank.
Why Do Tetras Need A Heater?
Tetras are tropical fish. They like warm water in the aquarium. The ideal temperature range for Tetras is between 75°F and 80°F. A densely planted tank with little light will make them feel at home.
Tetra’s live best when they are kept in ideal temperatures. Even a small change in the temperature can cause significant health problems for these fish.
If the water gets too warm, tetras will become more active and have a faster metabolism. Because of this, they will start consuming more oxygen. Unfortunately, warm water holds less oxygen than cooler water. So there are chances that the aquarium water will run out of oxygen, and the tetras will suffocate to death.
On the other hand, exposure to extremely cold temperatures can slow the metabolism of tetras and can even affect their digestion and breathing.
Tetras can’t handle sudden changes in temperature because it weakens their immune system. This is triggered by stress as well as gastrointestinal issues. Stress is usually temporary, but the damage it causes isn’t always reversible.
If your tetra’s immune system becomes too weak, it increases the risk of getting ich and other bacterial and parasitic illnesses.
Installing a heater is an important step towards maintaining healthy tetras because their bodies are adapted to survive in warmer temperatures. If you don’t maintain a temperature that fits your tetras’ specific needs, it can reduce their lifespan.
Recommended Further Reading:
- 11 Compatible Tetra Tank Mates + 6 Incompatible Ones
- 8 Ideal Neon Tetra Water Parameters + How To Maintain Them?
- Neon Tetra Tank Size (Formula To Choose The Ideal Size)
Do All Tetras Need A Heater?
Typically, most tetras prefer warmer waters, but there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, Buenos Aires Tetra is a species native to South America that prefers cool water and does best in waters that aren’t kept too warm all year round.
These fish can tolerate a wide range of temperatures which makes them ideal for both warm and cold water tanks. This makes them one of the easier tetra varieties to take care of.
However, most of the tetra species are tropical fish, so they require a heater in their aquarium. These fish thrive best in water temperatures between 75°F to 80°F, which are also crucial for breeding.
This means you need to install a heater in your aquarium to maintain the ideal water temperatures.
Can Tetras Live Without A Heater?
While it is true that tetras can survive without a heater, their lifespan will diminish over time if they aren’t in an environment with stable water temperatures.
To keep your tetras healthy, you should maintain the room temperature between 75°F and 80°F. If you can’t maintain the proper room temperature, or it gets below 75°F, a heater may be needed to provide the warmth your tetras need to remain healthy.
Related Further Reading:
- Which Tetras Can Live Together? + Form A School?
- Can Tetras Live With Mollies? (3 Factors To Keep Them Together)
- Do Tetras Lay Eggs? (How, When, And Where?)
- Do Tetras Eat Plants? [8 Best Plants For Tetra Tanks]
What Heater Is Suitable For Tetras?
Choosing a heater for your aquarium depends on the wattage it provides to the fish tank. To figure out how much wattage you need, use this guideline: 3 watts to 5 watts per gallon water in the tank.
For example, if you have an aquarium with a capacity of 10 gallons (approximately 38 liters), then choose a heater that can provide anywhere between 30 and 50 watts.
However, you will have to ensure that the room temperature remains constant. If it keeps fluctuating or becomes colder than usual, the 30 watts to 50 watts heater may not be sufficient for the 10-gallon tank.
Submersible heaters are an excellent choice for tetra tanks. This particular type of heater is easy to conceal behind various ornaments in your tank, has a low voltage thermostat, and includes an indicator light that lets you know whether or not it’s on.
The submersible, low voltage heaters help create a comfortable environment for tetras by maintaining their ideal temperature all the time.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Can Tetras Live Alone? (What Happens If You Keep Them Alone?)
- What Do Neon Tetras Eat? (Complete Beginner’s Guide)
- What Do Tetras Eat? (In An Aquarium + In The Wild)
- Are Neon Tetras Hardy? (Why And 11 Factors That Affect Them)
How To Keep Aquarium Water Warm Without A Heater?
One of the most important things about having an aquarium with tetras is that the water must be kept warm so that they can live comfortably. But what if you don’t have a heater to keep your aquarium water warm?
Given below are some ways to keep the aquarium water warm without a heater:
- Cover the aquarium glass with a thick blanket to keep it warm and prevent the heat from escaping.
- Cover the top of the aquarium with a lid to prevent heat from escaping at the top.
- Use household heaters to keep the aquarium water warm.
However, do keep in mind that these are only temporary measures to keep the aquarium water warm. You should get a proper aquarium heater as soon as you can to keep your tetras in optimum health.