One of the essential equipment for tropical aquariums is an aquarium heater. Absence of this equipment becomes a matter of survival for the fish.
What is an Aquarium heater
It is a small device that works with electricity and maintains the temperature of the water in the tank. Aquarium heaters remain either fully or half submerged in the water of the tank; therefore, they are waterproof. There is a ‘minimal water line’ in these devices which tells how much part of it needs to be submerged.
Fully submersible aquarium heaters are more popular because they are safe. On the contrary, half submersible may create electricity leakage which may pose a danger.
Who needs an aquarium heater and why?
Tropical fish have a specific temperature requirement. Generally, the fish which are being used for aquariums are tropical in nature. It makes the aquarium heaters a must-have device in the tank. Moreover, if you are not living in a tropical area, you need to have an aquarium heater for the well-being and survival of your fish.
In the absence of an aquarium heater, the immune system of the fish weakens, and they might even freeze to death. Many fish get stressed and become less active in cold temperature.
What does an aquarium heater do?
As the name suggests, an aquarium heater warms up the water making it suitable for the fish. This device works on electricity and converts it into heat. When you switch on the heater, the water surrounding it gets warm and the temperature rises. Therefore, to make the device functional, it is essential to keep it in water with good circulation.
The aquarium heaters are designed in such a way that they automatically turn off as soon as the desired temperature is attained. Likewise, when the water gets cold, the device turns on to maintain the temperature all over again.
Things to consider while choosing an aquarium heater
- They should be fully submersible
Fully submersible aquarium heaters are always safe and better than half-submersible. They do not pose any danger of electricity leakage and work effectively.
- They should be adjustable
Aquarium heaters which are self-adjustable to the temperature are worthy than the non-adjustable ones. With them, you can set the desired temperature at where you want it to be. Since they are more useful, they are pricier as well.
- Get a high-quality aquarium heater
Aquarium heaters could be a one-time investment if you get a branded one which caters to all your needs. Installing a poor aquarium heater might lead to repairing or changing now and then.
- Choose the right wattage as per your tank size
Every aquarium heater comes with different wattage which is recommended as per the size of the fish tank. It is important that you get the device with the correct wattage to get the best result. The thumb rule is having 2 to 5 watts for every gallon of water.
Tip: If you are living in a warm place, you don’t need a high wattage aquarium heater. Less wattage heaters are less expensive than high wattage. So, you can save your money by splurging on a low wattage aquarium heater. Also, they are less problematic and have more life-span.
- Keep an account of the room temperature
You must note the room temperature when getting an aquarium heater because many times it is different from the outside temperature. It makes a significant difference in deciding the right device for your aquarium.
Also, since these heaters are automatic, they shut off when the targeted temperature is reached. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the fish getting overheated.
How to use an aquarium heater
There are certain tips which you must keep in handy while using an aquarium heater. These are:
- Maintain a proper water circulation
It is imperative to maintain a regular water circulation in the tank for a constant temperature in the entire aquarium. In the absence of it, the formation of cold pockets and hot pockets of water may occur which is not good for the fish. The intake of the filter is the best place to keep the heater where circulation is regular. You can also use an air stone which ensures the formation of bubbles around it. These tips will make sure that the water is circulated regularly, which helps in maintaining a constant temperature throughout the aquarium.
- Use canopy on the fish tank
It is very important to control the loss of heat of the water to maintain the temperature. You can cover up the top of the tank with the canopy. It will help you know the evaporation as well as prevent the loss of heat.
- Place the aquarium in a warm place
Air temperature is one of the crucial factors that determine the working as well as the life-span of the aquarium heater. It is recommended to place the tank in a warmer room. It will prevent your heater exerting too much pressure on its motor to heat the water. Moreover, it will also save your electricity bill.
- Use a different thermometer
Generally, aquarium heaters come equipped with an inbuilt thermostat. Although they work properly and give the reading, it is still advised to have a separate thermometer to take the readings. It will bring accuracy, and you will get double assured that the right temperature is attained.
- Unplug the heater before removing it
If you want to remove the heater from the tank, for any reason, first of all, unplug it. The aquarium water keeps the aquarium heater cool. So if you remove it without unplugging, it might burn itself as soon as it comes out. Therefore, it is advised to switch it off at least five minutes prior to removing.
- Unplug before putting your hand in the water
If you are going to put your finger or hand inside the water for any reason, first of all, unplug the aquarium heater. No matter how high-quality the device is, the chances of electricity leakage are always there. You don’t want an electric shock, right? So, switch it off before entering your hand.
An aquarium heater is one of the inescapable devices for the aquariums. It becomes more crucial if you live in a temperate climate and the fish in your tank are tropical in nature. So, getting a good quality of aquarium heater which can maintain the desired temperature of the tank is very important. At the same time so not mix tropical and non-tropical fish in your tank at the same time.
Make your fish warm and cozy in their little habitat.