A typical oversight of many beginner aquarists is the use of a heater in their tank, but just like the filters, heaters are a major component of a healthy environment for your fish.
One of the most important aspects of having a thriving tropical aquarium is keeping the water temperature at a good level. Both saltwater and freshwater fish do best in warm water with no drastic temperature variations. Only
Goldfish are sturdy enough to handle colder temperatures.
A drop in temperature of only one degree over a twenty-four-hour period might affect the health of your fish, making them susceptible to diseases that might wipe out your whole tank population. Water temperature affects their immune system, wound healing, and digestion. It is vital to be vigilant of the water temperature during the change of seasons, particularly as winter approaches and temperatures drop. You might not think about it, but when the temperature in your home changes, your fish tank water changes temperature too.
Overheating can also be a problem. As the temperature rises, the oxygen saturation in the water tends to fall. But it’s a lot easier to cool down the water than it is to heat it. You can turn off the lighting, float ice packs on the water, run a fan over the water surface, or add cooler water to your water changes.
So the real problem is cold water.
The best way to avoid sudden temperature drops is to have a reliable aquarium water heater in your tank. There are many heaters in the market at various prices. The cheaper ones are more likely to break or malfunction, costing you more money in the long run, and they might not give you an accurate heat setting, which makes maintaining the right temperature in your tank quite difficult.
A mid-priced heater will do a very nice job. Their thermostats are reliable and they can maintain a constant temperature without having to make many adjustments. Make sure you check your aquarium heater periodically and think about replacing it at least once a year.
Titanium heaters are highly recommended because they’re durable and virtually indestructible. Some are designed to automatically shut off when the water level drops or they are exposed to air when plugged in. Most heaters will break when this happens. They are also resistant to corrosion both in salt and freshwater tanks.
Another good investment for your aquarium is a thermometer. You can get thermometers that stick to the outside glass of the tank, making it easier to monitor the temperature at a glance.
The best place for the heater is near the filter, that way the heated water can be distributed throughout the tank avoiding hot and cold spots around the tank. A heater is a very important part of any aquarium ecosystem and keeping the water temperature at a constant level will allow your fish to live happily and disease free for many years.
A minimum of 3-5 watts per gallon is recommended to keep aquarium water temperatures at optimal, so always get the right size heater for your tank. If you want to heat 20 gallons of water, you should buy an aquarium water heater of 200-300 watts. If you own a large tank, you should consider using more than one heater. If one of your heaters goes, having multiple heaters safeguards your tank from crashing.
So, when planning your setup, take into account purchasing a good and reliable aquarium heater.