Qualities to Look For in an Aquarium Heater - And Meet Sam!

Feb 21

Qualities to Look For in an Aquarium Heater

sam the slider turtle

Did you know that we have a turtle on our farm that is older than both me and Randy? Meet Sam! Sam is our slider water turtle, who is approximately 38 years old. He’s been in our family for basically his entire life, traveling across the country. Sam was hatched in Florida, and my father in law actually plucked him out of the waters there and brought him home as a pet for the family. Rich (my FIL) actually likes to tell the story about how Sam was no bigger than his thumbnail when he was brought home.

Sam made the trek from Florida to California in about 1987, where he lived with Randy’s mom for years and years. When she passed away in 2011, we inherited Sam and have taken him all over – Colorado, Georgia, Wisconsin and even on some of our road trips! He’s a great traveler, haha!

Now that we live in Wisconsin and it’s bone-cold outside, it’s become even more obvious and important that we have an aquarium heater for Sam and his new fish friend, Cass.

Qualities to Look For in an Aquarium Heater

If you are currently installing a new aquarium or renovating and retrofitting your old one, an aquarium heater is an important accessory to have.

Aquarium heaters allow you to maintain optimal temperatures in your tank, keeping your turtles and fish happy and healthy. Since your aquatic friends are not hot-blooded, they require the water to be the appropriate temperature to keep them going. If the water is too cold (or conversely too hot) for the species in your tank, you will find yourself facing losses that could otherwise be avoided.

Since an aquarium heater is so important, there are specific criteria you will want to follow before making your purchase. Not only do you have to factor in price, but you want to ensure that the size, type, and capacity of the heater you are choosing is correct for your specific collection.

If you are left asking what do you look for when purchasing an aquarium heater, and how do you know that you are purchasing the correct one, don’t worry! Here are some easy tips and advice to follow that will make sure you are choosing the right aquarium heater for your needs.

How To Choose the Right Aquarium Heater

Choosing the Right Style for your Tank

While it may seem like heaters are simple, there are many different options to choose from when considering an aquarium heater. From hanging heaters to submersible heaters, the type you choose will depend on your tank. To learn and gather more info on the different types of heaters, you can research and ensure that you are choosing a heater that adequately fits and services your tank appropriately. The type of heater you choose will depend on the size and shape of your tank, so it is important to choose the right style.

Depending on how many heaters you need, you can also use a combination of heater styles, to ensure that the water is heated thoroughly and properly and that the heat is distributed evenly. With larger tanks, you will most likely need more than one heater, and by combining the two styles you can ensure even heat distribution.

Appropriate Power for your Tank and Size

If you have a large, commercial-grade, custom made fish tank, you probably don’t want to add a $20 heater that is meant for small goldfish tanks. The size and power of your heater will be affected by the size of your tank, and the needs of the fish within it.

Ensuring you have a heater that can handle the size and heating needs of your tank is of the utmost importance. You don’t want to overheat your tank, and you also don’t want to underheat it, so ensuring your heater is appropriately rated for your tank is a must.

Correct Temperatures for Different Species of Fish and Turtles

Every species of fish is slightly different when it comes to their needs, be it lighting, heating, or feeding. You want to make sure that the heater you choose is capable of heating your tank to the appropriate temperature and maintaining it there to keep your fish happy and healthy.

Depending on the size of your tank, you may need multiple heaters, especially if your collection is tropical and in larger tanks. Making sure you know the water temperature your fish need is incredibly important, and once you know what your fish need you will be able to ensure your tank is appropriately heated and your fish properly maintained.

If you are keeping tropical fish at arctic temperatures, or cold water fish at tropical temperatures, you will find the health of your fish collection suffering and not know why. Certain species of fish are incredibly susceptible to issues regarding temperature, and you don’t want to inadvertently kill any of your fish simply through improper heating. 

This is not one of the items you want to skimp on when purchasing or setting up your aquarium, so ensure that you are equipping your aquarium with the best available heater you can find, in the end, it is your fish who will benefit from your informed decision, and they will be happier and healthier for it.

Qualities to Look For in an Aquarium Heater

In choosing your aquarium heater, you are choosing one of the most important pieces of equipment for your aquarium, and it is necessary to maintain the quality of your tank and fish. don’t allow the wrong heater to harm your fish, and ensure you have all the correct information before purchasing your heater. Double-check power, type, and size before you make your purchase, and you will ensure that your heater is keeping your aquarium appropriately warm for your fish collection.