How to Choose the Right Aquarium Heater
One of the most common questions we get is, “Does my aquarium need a heater?” Well, most fish are cold-blooded animals that rely on the surrounding waters to regulate their body temperature, and most freshwater pet fish are tropical species that enjoy balmy temperatures around 78-80degF. The answer is yes if your home is usually kept cooler than that.
Now it’s true that the majority of aquarium fish can tolerate cooler temperatures than recommended because in nature, the environment dips several degrees at night or during rainstorms. However, keeping the water at a steady warm temperature is less stressful on your fish and therefore helps prevent diseases. Some species, such as the white cloud mountain minnows, Japanese ricefish, or goldfish, prefer cooler temperatures. Some fish require heating, like the discus, certain Apistogramma and ram cichlids.
What Size Aquarium Heater Do I Need?
If you have to heat water to 10 degrees above ambient temperature, and you are using an aquarium lid to keep it warm and prevent evaporative cool, the general rule of thumb is to use 5 watts (W). The recommended heater size for a 29-gallon tank is 100 watts. If your home is at 65 degrees F and the water temperature is below that, you may need to increase the water temperature by 15°.
Different types of aquariums have different heater requirements.
Other factors that impact a fish tank’s temperature include its location in your home. It is best to place it in a sunny area, in the basement or next to an air conditioner. Also, because heat naturally rises, the tanks at the bottom of an aquarium rack will be cooler than the tanks at the top. Equipment such as lighting, filtration and lighting all contribute to the aquarium’s heat production. Fluval FX4 canister filters, for example, run on 30 watts and heat the aquarium water slightly as it flows through them.
If your tank requires 200 watts of heat, you should consider purchasing two 100W heaters instead of one 200W. Multiplying smaller heaters will help reduce equipment malfunctions. If one of the heaters gets too hot, it’s likely not powerful enough on its own to overheat the whole aquarium. If one heater shuts off, then you have a second heater as a backup that will prevent the water from getting too cold.
Where Should I Put My Aquarium Heater?
There are many aquarium heaters available, but this article will focus on submersible heaters. These heaters operate completely underwater. The water current helps to spread the warmth from the heater to the rest of the tank, so ideally the heater should be placed right next to the filter output or pump for maximum flow. Install a thermometer in a corner opposite from the heater to make sure the heat is reaching the other side of the tank.
Some heaters must always be positioned vertically, while others can lay down horizontally. For heaters that are long or tube-shaped, it is best to mount the heater at a 45° angle in order to maximize heat distribution. You can conceal the heater by placing plants and decor in front of it or hiding it in the sump if you have one.
Install the heater at a 45° angle and cover it using tall decorations or plants.
Do you leave the aquarium heater on all the time?
Yes, you can leave the heater on 24/7. Aquarium heaters have an internal thermostat that turns off the heat when it reaches a specific temperature, thus keeping the water temperature within a few degrees of the desired setting.
Allow the heater to adjust for 20-30 mins before plugging it into the aquarium. This will help prevent damage from temperature shock. The heater should always be immersed in water before it is turned on. The heater may have a line that indicates the minimum water level. The heater will not be capable of accurately reading the water temperature and controlling the heating. If you leave the heater running while exposed to dry air, it may burn out or crack, so don’t forget to unplug it or turn off the power strip when doing water changes.
The heaters don’t require any maintenance, unless you use a toothbrush to remove algae. Manufacturers advise that heaters be left to cool completely before handling.
What is the Best Aquarium Heater for You?
The aquarium heater is the most important item you should purchase when installing a fish tank. An aquarium heater that is reliable, safe, and reliable should be chosen. There are many brands out there that can fail. We wouldn’t recommend buying a used heater as you don’t know what the previous owner did to it.
Our Aquarium Co.Op 100W heater is a custom-designed heater that we believe will be of excellent quality. It also has a variety of features like:
– The compact, lightweight design makes it easier to place in an aquarium without having to hide behind rocks or decorations. The digital display displays a large temperature reading which can be easily read. – The heater guard is a protective plastic cage around the heater that prevents fish from wedging themselves and getting stuck behind the heater. (Yes, I’ve actually had fish die this way.) This enclosure also shields the heater from larger fish species that may crash into it. – The adjustable temperature feature is useful in case you need to raise the temperature to treat diseases or lower the temperature to induce breeding. The Aquarium Co-Op heater uses a button controller, which is a lot simpler than other heaters. It’s located outside the tank and doesn’t require you to touch the water to adjust the temperature. The long, extra-long, 11.8 foot power cable can reach faraway wall outlets, even though you have a large aquarium. The suction cups are used to secure the heater to an aquarium wall. Additional suction cups can also be included. – The 1-year warranty and automatic over-temperature protection offers you peace of mind from heater malfunctions and manufacturing errors.
If you have a nano aquarium that holds 6 gallons or less, consider using the Fluval 25W submersible heater that is preset to maintain a temperature of 76-78degF.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be trying to save money on heating. If you give your aquarium fish a warm, comfortable home, they will appreciate it and provide hours of entertainment.