How to heat aquarium water

How to Heat Aquarium Water

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If you wonder how to heat aquarium water in a safe way, you came in the right place!

  • best way to heat your aquarium
  • thermomenters
  • what is water (acidity and alkalinity)

The safest arrangement is to keep two heaters operating at the same time just in case one unit happens to fail. If one does fail, disaster can be adverted by the second heater, which can keep the water temperature from dropping while you replace the failed unit.

The rule for determining which size heater your aquarium needs is to allow 5 watts of heater per gallon. For example, a 50-gallon aquarium needs at least a 250-watt heater.


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If your heater does not have a built-in thermometer, you can purchase one separately. Extreme fluctuations in water temperature can cause disease or death, so it is important to closely monitor the thermometer readings.

You can find a ton of good information on what temperature is correct for many species in 14 tropical fishes for your aquarium.


Aquarium Thermometer

Thermometers are very inexpensive and come in several varieties:

  •  Hanging thermometers – hang from the aquarium on the inside of the aquarium glass. This style of thermometer is composed of a capillary tube containing mercury that moves up and to display the temperature.
  •  Stick-on thermometers – are flat and adhere to the outside of the aquarium glass. Degree panels light up as the temperature changes, displaying the current water temperature. The two disadvantages of stick-on thermometers are that they’re permanent (can’t be moved from place to place) and they can be hard to read in rooms with low lighting.
  •  Floating thermometers – slowly cruise around the aquarium and display the current temperature with a mercury line like home thermometers that hang on the wall. (Unless you are used to watching tennis, you may get whiplash trying to read one of these.)
  •  Digital thermometers – run on batteries and measure the water temperature with a probe that can be attached inside the tank with a suction cup. Many models also display the room temperature.
  •  Wireless thermometers – use a radio wave signal to send the water temperature from a remote sensor to a unit with a digital readout. Some models allow you to have several sensors sending information to one display unit.

Water - what is it?

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Aquatic organism – whether they are plants or animals, are influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the physical, chemical and electrical properties of the water in which they live.

Sphagnum mosses, for example, grow in highland areas with poor drainage and low average temperatures. In this conditions, the water is soft and slightly acid. Taken from their natural habitat and placed in hard alkaline water, sphagnum mosses quickly die.

Fortunately, most aquatic plants, including those used as aquarium subject, are very adaptable to a wide variety of water conditions.

To grow more sensitive plants successfully in an aquarium, the water quality must closely simulate that of their natural environment. In addition to the water temperature and its cleanliness, the most important asepcts of water quality as far as plants (and fishes) are concerned are its hardness and its degree of acidity or alkalinity

Acidity and alkalinity

Describing water as either “acidic” or “alkaline” is relative in terms of a “neutral” point.

The universally accepted way of expressing this aspect of water quality is in terms of pH value. The pH scale is logarithmic calibration based inversely on the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water.

Thus, the more hydrogen ions there are in the water, the greater is its acidity and the lower its rating on the pH scale. On the scale, pH 7 is neutral, with values from 7 down to 0 denoting increasing acidity, and those from 7 to 14 signifying increasing alkalinity.

Aquarium plants are not as drastrically affected by violent changesa in pH values as are most fishes, although some authorities suggest that so called “cryptocoryne rot” is caused by rapid variations in pH level

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