Is an aquarium heater important? If you have tropical or marine inhabitants in your aquarium, then the answer is yes. The aquarium heater warms up the tank’s water temperature according to what your fishes require which is usually around 78 degrees up to 82 degrees. It’s necessary to get one so that your fish will thrive healthily in your tank.
This article will help you learn more about heaters and discover some of the best aquarium heaters available.
Quick Look: Top Rated Aquarium Heaters
Fishes That Need Heaters
If you want to forego aquarium heaters, you should think twice if you have the following fishes:
Angelfish, Bala shark, Banjo Catfish, Barbs Betta fish, Black shark, Bloodfin, Cichlids, Danio, Discus, Rainbowfish, and Tetra fish.
Generally, tropical fishes cannot withstand cold temperatures as this can lead to the deterioration of their health, even premature death. Unlike non-tropical fishes which can survive even at the lowest temperature , tropical fishes are extremely sensitive to the cold.
Different Types Of Aquarium Heater
An aquarium heater is not limited to one type only. They come in different shapes and sizes. Knowing what they are and what they do can help you to choose the best aquarium heater for your tank inhabitants. There are the different types of aquarium heaters that you should probably know:
The heating element is inside the fish tank. Here are some varieties of internal heaters:
- Submersible - the submersible type of aquarium heater warms up the tank efficiently. It lies below your tank’s water level and must be kept submerged or else it can be damaged. It can be positioned either horizontally or vertically inside the tank. The clips and suction cup holds the heater in place. Usually, the submersible heater is placed just below the filters output.
- Hanging – from the name itself, this type of heater is typically hanged off the top edge of the tank, secured at the back. Its temperature controls can be accessed to the portion that is laid outside of the tank. The hanging heater must be placed below the surface of the water to prevent being damaged.
- Substrate – compared to the submersible and hanging heaters, this particular type is not commonly used by aquarists but ideal for planted tanks. The substrate heater, in the form of an insulated coil wire, is buried under the aquarium gravel or substrate and emits heat that warms up the water.
The heating element is outside the fish tank. Here are some varieties of external heaters:
- In-line – before the water from the filter hits the tank, it is already warmed by an in-line heater. This particular type of external heater is attached to a section of the external plumbing that pumps water to the filter and heats it as it goes through.
- In-filter – there are some aquarium filters that offer the inclusion of built-in heaters. As the water passes through the filter, the built-in heater inside it also radiates heat. The water goes back to the tank clean and heated.
- In-sump – this type of aquarium heater can be found in the sump of a trickle filter.
These types of heaters typically have the standard parts such as the envelope which keeps the internal components from getting wet, the heating element which is a piece of resistance wire that is energized via the electric supply, and the temperature adjustment button.
Heater Installation and Use
Here are some quick tips on the installation and use of your aquarium heater:
- Most of the internal heaters come with suction cups. Use them to place your heater on the side of your aquarium tank.
- If your heater does not come with a temperature gauge, we suggest that you get one. This can help you in monitoring the temperature and the environment of your tank.
- Use the thermostat to switch the heater on and off as necessary.
- When using an internal heater, always keep the water level higher than the heater to prevent heater failure.
- Let the aquarium water heat up first. Give it at least an hour before you start adding fishes and turn the heater on. This will prevent the glass from breaking due to temperature difference.
Choosing an Aquarium Heater
There are some guidelines that you need to know before buying an aquarium heater. When you choose a heater, choose one that is compatible or well-suited with your tank. A drop in the water temperature can be dangerous to your fish especially if you own tropical ones. To maintain the right temperature of your tank, remember that the heater size matters.
This rule should always be applied when you scout for aquarium heaters: you must have three to five watts per gallon for every 10° Fahrenheit above room temperature in order to thoroughly heat the tank and maintain that temperature. If you need more heating source, we recommend that you use several heaters instead of getting strong and large ones.
If you want to know more, here is a video about choosing the right aquarium heater for you tank size.
Top 5 Best Aquarium Heaters
A variety of aquarium heaters can be found and bought nowadays. You spend money on this important piece of aquarium equipment for the well-being of your aquarium inhabitants. However, it should be money spent wisely. You must have the best because your fish deserve all the proper care that they can get. Here are just some of the best aquarium heaters that we could find.
Aquarium heaters are important. It is an aquarium equipment that you must get, especially if you have tropical fishes. Temperature changes day and night. You can’t always be sure that the temperature of your tank’s water consistently stays at a safe level for your fish. Getting an aquarium heater can be a great investment if you are not willing to risk the health of your fish.
So, from the list of the best aquarium heaters above, we recommend the Aqueon 50W Pro Heater. Its price is budget friendly and the cons far outweigh the pros. You can check the other aquarium heaters from the list if you don’t agree with our choice.
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