Aquarium Heaters – Buy The Best You Can!

Most aquarium fish kept in the hobby today are tropical fish.  In order to thrive, tropical fish need temperatures close to those in their natural habitat. They are originally from areas in nature that have tropical weather with water temperatures anywhere from 75 to 85F.  Just because these fish are now kept in aquariums does not mean they can be kept at any room temperature.

For most commonly kept fish, temperatures in the range of 78 to 82F will be very suitable.  The easiest and most routinely used method of achieving this is to use an aquarium heater.  Fish tank heaters come in two basic varieties – submersible and not-submersible.  For the sake of this article, it is assumed that a submersible heater will be used.

Buying An Aquarium Heater

When buying an aquarium heater, there is really only one main factor to consider.  One must make sure the heater is strong enough to adequately keep the water temperature in the desired range.  A good rule to remember is to use 4 to 5 watts per gallon of water.  This means a 25 gallon aquarium needs a 100 watt heater while a 10 gallon fish tank only requires a 50 watt heater.

For larger aquariums, it might be best to buy several smaller heaters.  This ensures that if one breaks there is at least a backup unit to provide some heat to the tank, increasing the chances that your fish will survive until you can replace the broken item.

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Properly Installing and Using a New Heater

Setting up a new aquarium heater is quite easy.  Before plugging it in, attach it to the inside of the aquarium with the suction cups provided.  A submersible heater can be used anywhere in the water so it is best to hide it behind large plants or decorations to keep it out of view.  Allow the heater 30 minutes to an hour (or whatever the box says) to acclimate to the temperature of the water in your fish tank.  Turn it on and let it work for a day or so before checking the water temperature.  From then on you can adjust the controls until the desired setting is achieved.

A good quality aquarium heater will keep your tropical fish at the proper water temperature for their health, well-being and longevity for years to come!

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