For an aquarium, the heater is one of the indispensable and important equipment, just like a person’s heart, a good heater is also the heart of an aquarium that can function well. Currently, hobbyists living in the northern hemisphere or keeping some saltwater fish may not need to pay much attention to the heater, but if you are keeping tropical fish, or if you are currently living in the southern hemisphere, then given that your winter is not over yet, you need to keep an eye on your aquarium and be extra careful in the water temperature, after all, once the water temperature is out of balance, it may become a potential killer of your beloved fish.
This is the complete guide to showing you to know if the aquarium heater is working and what should you do when your heater not working.
How many different types of aquarium heaters are on the market today
Thermostatic and substrate heaters are two of the most popular types of aquarium heater on the market. These are both installed under the substrate of the aquarium and are completely invisible. They are both excellent for live plants but require a significant amount of setup time. In addition, a good substrate heater must be placed at the exact level of the water in the tank, which can be difficult if the tank is full of gravel or sand.
Immersible aquarium heaters are typically positioned on the side of the aquarium. These are usually made of heat-proof plastic and are ideal for large, aggressive aquariums. They are a bit more expensive than other heaters, but they are also more effective than other types. These heaters may not work as efficiently as other types, and they are not very efficient, as they are located outside of the tank. This is why they’re often used for small fish tanks.
Substrate aquarium heaters are designed to be placed on the bottom of the aquarium and are usually attached to the substrate. They facilitate gentle water movement to promote plant growth. However, they’re not very powerful enough to heat the whole tank. Another type of aquarium heater is the in-sump heater. These are quite rare, but they’re situated inside the sump system of the aquarium. These are not very efficient, but they can still be useful for some situations.
How to determine whether the aquarium heater is working
The water temperature of an aquarium should be in a neutral zone. If the heater fails to maintain this temperature, your fish will likely fry. If the tank is too cold, you may need to replace the heater. Using a thermometer to check the water temperature is not a reliable way to ensure your heater is working properly. If you are unsure of its state, you can also use a digital thermometer.
If your heater doesn’t increase the temperature, it probably isn’t working. When testing a new aquarium heater, turn the unit off first, and then turn it on. Usually, the temperature of the water should go up by a few degrees, but you may need to test the unit several times to get the right reading. If you see that the temperature of the water in your tank stays around the same during several tests, it means that the heater is not working properly.
If you’re not sure how to tell if your aquarium heater is working, you can try to check the water temperature with your hand. First, wash your hands in cold water, so you can see the temperature difference. Then, hold your hand close to the heater, as far away as you can, then gradually move closer until the hand reaches the warmer water. The water closest to the heater should be the warmest.
What are the signals when a heater error occurs
Maybe some people have the question: “what are the signals when a heater error occurs?” Heaters have their system error code. Let’s take Hygger 925 300 Watt Aquarium Heater as an example.
The Hygger 925 heater has a separate sensitive thermometer, which is located on the base and must be completely submerged in water. The unit automatically stops once the water temperature reaches the preset temperature and restarts if the temperature is 1 F below.
To avoid possible electric shock, special care should be taken since water is employed in the use of aquarium equipment. For each of the following situations, do not attempt to repair it by yourself; return the heater to an authorized service facility for service or desert the heater.
A. If the heater shows any sign of abnormal working, unplug the power and remove the heater from the water, cold down for 15 minutes before checking it.
B. Carefully examine the heater after installation. It should not be plugged in if there is water on parts not intended to be wet.
C. Do not operate the heater if it has a damaged cord or plug, if it is malfunctioning or if it is dropped or damaged in any manner. The power cord of this heater cannot be replaced, if the cord is damaged, the heater should be discarded.
D. To avoid the possibility of the heater plug getting wet, position the aquarium stand and tank to one side of a wall-mounted receptacle, to prevent water from dripping onto the receptacle or plug. A “drip loop”, shown in the figure below, should be arranged by the user for each cord connecting the heater to the receptacle.
The “drip loop” is the part of the cord below the level of the receptacle or the connector. If an extension cord is used, prevent water from traveling along the cord and coming in contact with the receptacle. If the plug or receptacle does get wet, DO NOT unplug the cord. Disconnect the fuse to the circuit breaker that supplies power to the heater. Then unplug and examine for the presence of water in the receptacle.
What to check first if your heater isn’t working
If your heater stops working in a fish tank, the first thing you should do is check the thermostat. It should be set to the appropriate temperature, and if you can’t get the heat to come on, reset it. If this doesn’t work, you should check the internal wiring. It may be faulty, and you should call an expert to handle it. However, if the problem is solved after resetting the thermostat, you can try to fix it yourself.
If your fish tank has bad smells, check the power switch on the main electrical panel. If you can’t see the switch, check the thermostat’s wiring. Make sure it’s clean, you can replace the fuse. If the power switch is broken, you can splice the wires back together with electrical tape. When there’s a problem with the main power switch, you’ll need to reset it. Otherwise, you’ll lose all of the settings and your heater will revert to the default setting.
You may need to replace the thermocouple if you’re not confident doing it yourself. If it still doesn’t work, call a professional to check it.
How to extend the life of the heater
The following are a few things to do to prolong the life of your water heater.
One of the easiest ways to extend the life of an aquarium heater is by doing regular maintenance. Most heating and cooling systems come with an annual maintenance plan that includes cleaning and inspections. However, some maintenance plans do not include regular service. In some cases, this can lead to costly repair bills. In such situations, it is best to get the system serviced by a professional.
To extend the life of your heater, consider hiring a professional technician or wash it with clear water on a schedule, when the heater gets dirty, put an effervescent tablet into the water, waiting for foaming to complete before scrubbing the heater with a clean rag.
During the annual service, you can perform a few simple steps to ensure its long life. First, drain and flush the tank. Flushing the tank is important to keep it clean and free from sediment buildup. It is best to drain and flush the water heater tank every four to six months to extend its life. It should take no longer than 30 minutes. If you notice sediment, turn on the water pump to the heater and flush it.
If your heater is set too high, the temperature will be too high. The heater will struggle to maintain the temperature and will cycle on and off more often. This will wear the parts faster and reduce their efficiency. Avoiding the setting problem is an easy way to increase the life of your heater. Once you have checked the water quality, you can choose a replacement model or install a new one.
A buying guide for aquarium heaters
If you own a large aquarium, you may be interested in purchasing an aquarium heater. However, most betta fish owners will not be running around with 50-gallon tanks. First, it’s important to understand that aquarium heaters can be expensive. It’s also important to know what they’re used for and how they work.
The size of your tank will dictate the type of aquarium heater you need. Most manufacturers will provide a chart that helps you decide which type of aquarium heater works best for your tank. You can also go by tank size to determine which type of aquarium heater you need. If the tank you’re heating doesn’t reach the level you want, you’ll need to buy a bigger heater.
An inline heater is the most convenient option, as they don’t create clutter and are much easier to use. Submerging aquarium heaters can be hard to manage in small tanks, and they’re not ideal for aggressive fish. An inline aquarium heater is the most common option for beginner hobbyists, as they don’t take up too much room. You can also purchase budget models if you’re on a budget.