Would it be better for me to get my Betta a heating system or can I use a heat lamp? He is in a 1.5 gallon tank.
In an ideal world you would want a filter to clean the water and circulate it in the tank, a heater to maintain ~25°C (78°F) and a bigger tank (2.5 - 5 gallons). As a general rule the more space in your tank the better, your fish will benefit from it and behave more naturally when it is comfortable.
An underwater heater is a pretty standard way to keep the temperature constant on a Tropical Aquarium. A Betta is a tropical fish so requires warm water. With an internal filter, the water gets circulated around the tank so all of the water gets moved past the heater and eventually will normalise. Heating from a single position (as you will with a heat lamp) will provide sub-optimal heat distribution with the surface of the water being hotter than the bottom of the tank. Additionally, you will have to have the heat lamp on continuously to maintain a semi-constant temperature which may be inconvenient for you.
If you want to prolong the life of your fish, keeping it in good quality water at the right temperature with enough space will greatly improve its quality of life and a few small investments will help with this.
- My first tank was 22 litres and it was much more difficult to maintain a good water quality and steady water parameters than a much larger tank.
- There are multiple betta kits online which will provide you all the necessary tools to keep your fish fit and healthy.
Good luck! :)
Underwater heater is ideal however with a tank that small he wouldn't have very much place to swim. Betta's are known to jump out of their tanks so you would need to cover the majority of the top, thus making a heat lamp inadequate/fire hazard.
I would recommend increasing the size of his tank (3-5 Gallon) that way you could add live plants (or fake), more places to hide, filter and a heater.