This Article is About
tropical fish tank
home aquarium
oxygen levels
metabolic rate
Tropical Fish Tank Heater
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Due to the fact that fish are cold blooded or to use the correct term ectotherms their body temperature is controlled by the environment around them. If you intend to keep tropical fish the water in your tank will have to be warm, hence you will require a tropical fish tank heater.

The temperature affects the metabolic rate of the fish and the dissolved oxygen levels present in the water. In warmer waters there is less dissolved oxygen and the fish are more active. The opposite is true of cold waters where the amount of dissolved oxygen increases hence the fish are more sluggish. This means that in practice less fish can be kept in a tropical fish tank. Stocking density is less than that of a cold water tank.

In the tropics large bodies of water remain at a fairly uniform temperature. To replicate this in the home aquarium and keep the water at a uniform temperature within a narrow range ( generally 22-29 C or 72-84 F ) one would require a tropical fish tank heater. Most modern heaters incorperate a thermostat within, although depending on the heating system a thermostat may come as a seperate item. The most common heater is by far the submersable type which comes with a built in thermostat. This type generally has a small dial with which to adjust the temperature.

Tank capacity is of prime concern when purchasing a heater. Too small a heater and it will struggle to heat a large tank and be on almost continuosly. Too large a heater for the tank size and the tank will heat up too quickly. Most times the manufacturer will supply a guide of heater size to tank capacity on the container or within.

I do not like to take too many chances so prefer to have more than one tropical fish tank heater in a large fish tank. This ensures that should one heater fail then at least the other will keep the tank at the correct temperature. It can be a good idea to have more than one heater in a small tank. Set one at a slightly lower setting than the other. This will ensure that should the main one fail then the secondary one will come into play before the temperature drops to a critical level.

Of course there is no point in heating your tropical fish tank if you cannot tell the temperature. There are many types of thermometers but the most common are simple and relativley cheap to purchase. These are the glass type which stick on the inside of the glass with a sucker and a strip one that sticks to the outside of the glass. Which type you use is a matter of preference. Its a good idea to have more than one so you can check one against the other.

I hope this information on the very important tank component the tropical fish tank heater is of help to those budding fish enthusiasts out there.

Happy tropical fish keeping.


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