4 Things You Should Know About Aquarium Heaters

One of the most popular questions pet fish owners ask is, “do I need an aquarium heater?” The answer is simply, “If they are warm water fish, then yes.” Fish do not produce their own body heat but instead must rely on the temperature of the water that surrounds them for survival. It is crucial that you have a heater in a tropical aquarium for warm water fish as they are in danger if kept in unsuitable temperature conditions. Here are four things you should know about heaters in your aquarium.

Getting the Right Temperature 

For most tropical fish, a temperature of 23-28C (74-82F) is ideal but you should double check the particular temperature of the species that you are keeping in order to find a suitable average. The purpose is to keep the temperature at a constant throughout the day with as little fluctuation as possible as any sudden change in temperature can send fish into a fatal shock.

Heater Types

You are two main types of heaters; submersible heaters or ones that can be controlled above the water with a long glass tube that contains heating coils. Submersible heaters sit horizontally along the bottom of the tank, completely submerged in the water. This ensures that the rising heat creates even temperature distribution. Remember to unplug the glass tube heater when changing water as the tube might get too hot and crack when back in the water.

Tropical Aquarium Fish

Placement and Power

Place your aquarium heater where there is good water flow so that the temperature can spread evenly throughout your tank. An ideal place is next to the flow of your filter system or above an air stone so that the water flows upwards with the rising bubbles. You will also need to find the right wattage for your heater, depending on the tank size. 

Preventing Damage

It is important to buy a quality heater as cheaper ones will fail more often and endanger your fish. You might want to consider a heater guard to shield your fish from burns or protect your tank against prolonged contact. For extra monitoring precautions, you could also place an independent thermometer within the tank, just in case the heater detection system fails.

Aquarium heaters are clearly essential for tropical fish. Be sure to shop around for the best kind for your tank and install it properly to ensure proper use. Keep an eye on your heater and how your fish are responding to ensure that you are giving them a healthy and happy life.