Heater was off over night, what to do?

Mindy3

Last night, instead of just flipping the tank light off, someone turned off the entire power strip to the betta tank. So of course that means his heater wasn’t running for about 12 hours. The water temp dropped from 81 to 74. I would normally do a water change today anyway. My question is do I add water that is 81 degrees like I normally would or should I wait for the heater to bring the temp back up and add water that’s 74 degrees? He seems ok but I know a temp swing like that can put them into shock.
 

StarGirl

Turn it back on and wait til the temp is normal and then do your normal change. You definitely don't want to add 81 degree water to a 74 degree tank. That would shock him really bad.
 
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mattgirl

I agree with StarGirl The temp lowered gradually. You want to let it go back up gradually even it that means waiting until tomorrow to do your water change. Just turn the heater back on and let it warm the water back up.
 
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Mindy3

Turn it back on and wait til the temp is normal and then do your normal change. You definitely don't want to add 81 degree water to a 74 degree tank. That would shock him really bad.
Thats what I figured. Didn’t want to shock him when he’s probably already stressed. Ugh. This is the second time one of the kids has done this but the temp didn’t drop this badly the first time. We are putting a squid in instead of the power strip so they can’t do it again.
 
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fishphotofan

If it was me, I would not just turn the heater back on and let it heat back up to 81 all in one process. I would heat the tank up in increments. First to 77, then to 80, then to 83, then set it to 84. I don't know the wattage of your heater, but if it heats up the water too quickly, it could stress your fish.
 
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Mindy3

I’m not sure the wattage. I turned it back on about 3 hours ago and it’s gone up 2 degrees. 5 gallon tank. Is that too fast?
 
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mattgirl

I’m not sure the wattage. I turned it back on about 3 hours ago and it’s gone up 2 degrees. 5 gallon tank. Is that too fast?
No, it is not too fast. Tank heaters are designed to heat the water slowly. It will probably take as long to heat it back up as it did for it to drop to where it was when you discovered it was off. As long as warming and cooling happen gradually your water pets should have no problem.
 
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fishphotofan

Two degrees in three hours sounds about right. If you can adjust the temp setting on your heater, I would turn it down a bit. then turn it back to your normal setting tomorrow. Just in case you get busy and forget to check the temperature later tonight.
 
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Mindy3

Thanks guys!! I felt so bad when I saw it. Glad I even checked as the thermometer is on the side of the tank and I wouldn’t normally have looked. Switching out the extension cord so it can’t happen again!
 
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