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. So, if you usually keep your home cooler than that, then the answer is yes.
It is true that most aquarium fish can survive cooler temperatures than recommended. This is because the temperature of the natural environment drops several degrees during the night and rainstorms. It is better for your fish to keep the water warm than cold and prevents diseases. Some species – like goldfish, Japanese ricefish, and white cloud mountain minnows – enjoy cooler temperatures and would be fine without a heater. Other fish – like discus, ram cichlids, and certain Apistogramma cichlids – prefer hotter temperatures around 85degF and require a heater.
What Size Aquarium Heater Do I Need?
A general rule of thumb states that 5 W of heat is required for every 1 gallon water. This applies if the water needs to be heated to 10 degrees above normal temperature and if you use an aquarium lid to retain heat and prevent evaporative cooling. For example, if you have a 29-gallon tank under those conditions, the suggested heater size 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. Are you placing it in a sunny space, the basement, or next to the air conditioner. The bottom tanks of an aquarium rack will stay cooler because heat naturally rises. Lighting and filtration are also important in generating heat in an aquarium. Fluval FX4 filter, which runs on 30 W, is a mini heater that heats the water in an aquarium. It filters the water through it at a slight temperature.
We recommend buying two 100W heaters if you have a large tank that needs 200 watts of heat. Multiple heaters of smaller size will reduce the chance of equipment failure. If one heater gets too hot, it is unlikely that it will be enough to heat the entire aquarium. You can always have another heater in case one heater goes out. This will keep the water from freezing if it does.
Where should I put my aquarium heater?
There are many kinds of aquarium heaters, but we’re going to talk about the most common type – submersible heaters that operate completely underwater. The heater’s warmth is spread by the water current. For optimal flow, the heater should not be too far from the filter output or pump. Install a thermometer opposite the heater to ensure heat is reaching other sides of the tank.
Some heaters need to be positioned vertically. Others can be laid horizontally. We recommend that heaters of long and tube-shaped designs be mounted at 45 degrees to ensure the best heat distribution. If you have one, you can hide the heater behind plants or decor.
Attach the heater to a 45-degree angle and hide it with tall plants or other decorations.
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.
Before plugging in the heater, let it adjust to the temperature of the aquarium for 20-30 minutes. This will prevent any temperature shock. Also, the heater must always be submersed in water when it’s turned on. The heater may have a line that indicates the minimum water level. It will not be able to accurately measure the water temperature or control 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.
Heating elements don’t need much maintenance, except for the occasional use of a toothbrush to clean off algae. However, if you have to remove the heater for some reason, manufacturers advise waiting at least 30 minutes for it to cool down before handling.
What Is the Best Aquarium Heater?
The aquarium heater is the most important item you should purchase when installing a fish tank. It is important to choose a reliable and safe brand. Unproven brands can overheat, shut down, crack, or fail, which could lead to disastrous results. A used heater is not recommended as you don’t know if it was dropped, left running without water, or any other issues.
We created our Aquarium Co-Op 100W heater to meet the requirements of high quality and full range of features such as:
The small and compact design allows the heater to be placed in aquariums without being hidden 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, this is true. I have seen fish die in this manner. The heater is protected from larger fish species, which could 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. Unlike most heaters that use temperature dials, the Aquarium Co-Op heater has a simple button controller that is located outside of the fish tank so you don’t have to get your hands wet to change the temperature. The 11.8-foot extra-long power cable allows you to reach distant wall outlets even if your aquarium is deep. The suction cup allows you to attach the heater to the aquarium wall. There are four additional suction cups that can be purchased as replacements. You can rest assured that your heater will not malfunction or be damaged by manufacturing errors with the 1-year warranty.
Fluval 25W submersible heater is recommended for nano aquariums that hold 6 gallons or less. It can be set to maintain a temperature between 76 and 78 degrees F.
Bottom line: don’t try to save money on heat. Your aquarium fish will be happy if they have a comfortable and warm home. They’ll enjoy hours upon hours of entertainment.