An aquarium heater can be described as safe or unsafe depending on a variety of factors. As we all know, any tool, equipment, or device that has anything to do with electricity or producing heat is never really safe regardless of how good or well-made they are. Since aquarium heaters are electrical appliances that produce heat, they are in no way different from this case. Fish tank heaters are perfectly safe if you take proper precautions and measures before installation. As an aquarist, you ought to remember that aquariums are not always built to withstand excessive heat. Besides, if there is an excess accumulation of gaseous release, aquariums are likely to burst if the gas gets agitated by the heat from the tank’s heater.
Aquarium Heater Safety
To avoid any tragedy, you should wisely choose the aquarium heater that won’t give you problems. The better the quality of the product, the higher the price tag. Do not choose a heater because it’s cheap. So, how do you choose the right aquarium heater? Let’s look at that!
What you Should Look for When Purchasing an Aquarium Heater
To avoid fire hazards caused by your aquarium heater, it is very ideal that you start executing the necessary precautions from the very beginning. Choosing an ideal aquarium heater shouldn’t give you much of a headache. What you need from your aquarium heater is control over the temperature you need, durability, and also safety. Now, what should you consider?
You should take the size of your fish tank into account. Be assured of the power you will need to get the temperature you want based on the size of your tank.
In-line Heater or Submersible Heater
Make your choice from the two different types of aquarium heaters; the in-line one and the submersible heater. For small water tanks, in-line heaters will be very efficient. The submersible heater warms the water in different ways depending on its position in the tank.
Shop for a new Heater
Always try to shop for a new aquarium heater. Avoid second-hand heaters. Saving money is not worth it in this case.
Have a Backup Heater
One is never enough. You should have a backup heater for the same brand and model. This is because there will be a major sudden change in the temperature of the aquarium water in case one heater fails to function properly while heating your tank. The consequences are dire; your fish might die. This thus explains the need for that backup heater.
Buy an Aquarium Heater With an Automatic Switch
These types of heaters heat your tank and automatically switch off when the desired temperature has been attained. It saves you the stress of having to be there whenever the desired temperature is reached.
What is the Best Heater? Titanium or Aluminium?
A lot of aquarium heaters are naked metal rods that heat up whenever a certain amount of electricity is passed through them. As an aquarium hobbyist, you should always know the type of metal your aquarium heater is made of. The metal you need should reach the temperature levels that you desire. The metal you need should be able to save your fish. Titanium heaters are far much better than aluminum heaters. Read What is the Best Aquarium Heater?to determine the best heater for your fish tank.
Can Aquarium Heaters Catch on Fire?
An aquarium heater constantly runs the risk of starting or catching on fire since it is an electrical appliance that produces heat. There are a lot of factors involved before the heater can catch or cause a fire. The quality of the heater, how it is used, and how well it is maintained are some of the factors to keep in mind.
How hot do Aquarium Heaters get?
One gallon of water should see the aquarium heater provided with four to five watts of electric power. For every liter of water, the same heater ought to be provided with 1 to 1.25 watts of electric power. This value will, however, differ depending on the level of temperature you need to reach. A lot of heaters in the market do not contain a temperature regulator. This means that it will be very difficult for you to manually alter the temperature of the heater. Thus the only option left is to choose heaters based on how much power they consume in watts.
Most aquarium heaters are known to operate in temperature that ranges from 22-30 degrees celsius. This happens to be the ideal temperature for both fresh and saltwater aquarium tank set ups. This means that aquarium heaters can never go beyond 30 to 32 degrees celsius.
If the aquarium heater is faulty or let’s say the input power is beyond the required, you might see the anomaly in the temperature. That takes us to the next subtopic.
Is Your Aquarium Heater Broken? Find it Here!!
If you want to determine whether your aquarium heater is broken or not, you will need to follow the following simple steps.
You should turn on your aquarium heater and have a look at the light that signals if the heater is on or off. If the light of the heater turns on, it means the heater is receiving power from the power outlet. This shows that the heater is functioning properly.
You should, however, know that the absence of the light does not mean that the heater is not functioning. It might be that it is just the light that is broken but your fish tank heater is functioning as normal. So, what should you do in such a scenario? That will be explained in the steps below!
In case we cannot tell whether or not the aquarium heater is working properly by checking the light, there is an alternative way to do so. The other option is to use an indirect method that involves comparing the temperature of the aquarium water.
One of the ways is to use a thermometer! In this, you will be required to take two readings of the water. One should be before you run the aquarium heater, while the other ought to be a few minutes after you have turned on the heater. Make a comparison of the two readings. If the difference between the two readings is equivalent to zero or any other insignificant value, be rest assured that your aquarium heater is not functioning properly.
The other way is by use of your hand. In this method, you have to dip your hand in the fish tank and move it slowly but steadily towards the direction of the aquarium heater. If the heater is not broken, you should feel the warmth as your hand approaches the heater. In case you do not feel any warmth, move your hand closer to the heater and give it a slight touch. If you still cannot feel any warmth, your heater is certainly broken.
Let’s assume that the aquarium heater is not at fault, and try to look for the possible reasons as to why the heater is not functioning properly. Try the heater on at least two different power outlets. Afterward, try the same heater with different fish tanks that are smaller than yours. Some aquarium heaters may not be able to heat a large volume of water.
The above three steps help you confirm whether or not your aquarium heater is broken or not. In case it is broken, buy a new one immediately. Check to price on Amazon for a new affordable heater in your price range here. Remember the better the quality, the higher the price tag.
Since we know that aquarium heaters are not 100% safe, I will leave you with a few tips! This will prevent you from fires, and keep you and your fish tank safe!
Avoid second-hand heaters. Purchase aquarium heaters from authentic dealers only.
The size of your fish tank should determine the best aquarium heater you should buy. A big and small fish tank can never use the same heater. So to maintain efficient flow and dissemination of heat from the aquarium heater to all parts of the fish tank, make sure to choose a heater that is in line with the size of your tank.
Check out for any wire leaks in your heater. If you notice any, make sure it’s mended. If not possible, dig in your pocket to buy a new one.
Check the aquarium heater regularly. Say a week or after five days. Any fault identified during this routine check should be handled with immediate effect.
Read the heater manually carefully. Make sure to understand every information contained therein. If there’s anything that needs clarification, get a specialist.
When cleaning the fish tank or changing its water, you should unplug the heater from the power socket. Check out How to Clean my Aquarium for more information about cleaning your fish tank.
Avoid repairing the heater by yourself. Have it mended by an authentic mender or rather buy a new one.