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.
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. It’s better for fish to have a constant warm temperature than it is to be stressed. Some species, like the goldfish and Japanese ricefish, can live in cooler temperatures without heating. Some fish, such as discus, ram and Apistogramma Cichlids, prefer higher temperatures, around 85 degrees F. They require heaters.
Which size aquarium heater do I need?
If you have to heat water to temperatures greater than 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°.
Recommended heater sizes for different types of aquariums
You home’s location is also a factor in determining the temperature of a fish tank. 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.
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 of the heaters gets too hot, it’s likely not powerful enough on its own to overheat the whole 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 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 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.
Mount the heater at 45 degrees and cover it with tall decorations or plants.
Are You a Constant Aquatic Heater On?
The heater can be left on all day. 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.
When first installing the heater, let the equipment acclimate to the aquarium water’s temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before plugging it in, to prevent breakage from temperature shock. The heater should always be immersed in water before it is turned on. (Sometimes you’ll see a line on the heater that marks the minimum water level.) Otherwise, it cannot accurately read the water temperature and correctly control the heating. You should not leave the heater on while it is dry. It may crack or burn.
Heating elements don’t need much maintenance, except for the occasional use of a toothbrush to clean off algae. Manufacturers recommend that you wait at least 30 minutes before removing the heater.
What is the Best Aquarium Heater?
Out of all the supplies you need to buy when setting up a new fish tank, the aquarium heater is not one to skimp on. 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. We wouldn’t recommend buying a used heater as you don’t know what the previous owner did to it.
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 provides a large temperature reading that can be clearly read. The heater guard prevents fish from tripping over the heater. This is a common way for fish to die. This enclosure protects the heater against larger fish species that might crash into it. – The adjustable temp feature can be used to adjust the temperature to cure diseases or to incite breeding. Aquarium Co-Op heaters don’t use temperature dials. Instead, a simple button control is located outside of your tank. This means that you don’t need to get your hands dirty to change the temperature. The extended, 11.8-foot, power cable is long enough to reach faraway outlets, even in a large aquarium. The suction cups can be used to mount the heater on the aquarium wall. Four additional suction cups are also included. 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 with 6 gallons and less. This heater can maintain a temperature of between 76 to 78degF.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be trying to save money on heating. Your aquarium fish will be happy if they have a comfortable and warm home. They’ll enjoy hours upon hours of entertainment.