Fish Tank Heater Guide

The temperature of the fish tank is absolutely critical for the well-being of the species of fish inhabiting it. Unlike human beings and warm-blooded pets, species of fish tend to not generate their unique physique heat. They must rely on the temperature of the water to regulate their internal temperature. The aquarium water heater information below covers everything you need to understand regarding heating units, and will cover types of fish tank heaters, sizes, and placement of the heater.

Deciding on the type of fish tank heater to use with your aquarium tank isn’t really difficult as long as you recognize the variances between a number of fish tank heaters. There are a number of basic aquarium tank heating units; immersible heating units, submersible heating units, substrate heating units, and filtration system heating units. Depending on the size of your tank and additional components such as a sump, you may have to decide what will work best for your aquarium.

Figuring out which kind of water heater to acquire for your aquarium tank is just the main picture. Heaters occur in several sizes and power ratings. Are you still undecided as to what exact size water heater you need for your aquarium tank? There exists a way to analyze the proper sizing water heater, using the size of your tank and desired temperature. Once you know what size heater you need and the type of heater, you are ready to select the brand. Please read reviews online or on the fish tank heater site at the end of the article to see what heaters are worth buying.

Numerous species of fish that want warmed-up water for ideal health and fitness (such as the Betta) are held in small tanks or containers. Regrettably, mini tanks and smaller types of fish tanks could be a difficult task to heat adequately. In past times, a couple of years maybe, a range of small heating units were introduced towards the aquarium tank market place. Have a look at these types heating units specifically made for mini aquariums if you own a tank less than 10 gallons in volume. They are typically marketed as “nano” or “pico” heaters, and get the job done fairly well without the risk of over-heating the tank with a full sized fish tank heater.

Once you purchase a fish tank heater, the next step is deciding where to place it in the tank. Should the item become located in the middle or off to a side? Can you route the current more efficiently? Will it possibly make a difference? There are many simple, although crucial, tips for proper water heater placement. A little trial and error also goes a long way. You may want to invest in a thermometer probe to accurately monitor the aquarium temperature.

Even under great conditions, issues can certainly occur. Essentially the most frequent undesired event is usually a water heater that decides to break without warning. In the event that you are worried about this happening, you must think of utilizing a water heater safeguard. You’ll want to have it when you need it. You might as well throw it in the cart when you buy the heater.

Another difficult fish tank heater task is usually through the summer time whenever aquarium tank water temperatures increase along with ambient temperature. At times, turning off the fish tank heater isn’t really ample to stop hazardously excessive water temperatures, and extra measures are needed and keep the species of fish cool. One can add cups of cold water, but that is quite time consuming. Chillers exist and are essentially the opposite of the heater. If you’re roughly in the middle hemisphere, you might as well throw a chiller in the cart with your fish tank heater and heater safeguard.

From the wintertime, the opposite issue can occur. This is especially true should your water heater not be able to provide enough heat during the winter time of the year, and measures should be taken in order to keep the species of fish warm. Either a stronger heater, or ideally a second heater should be considered as well. Two heaters will ensure the tank doesn’t get too out of line should one fail. Even if your 300-Watt heater is twice as strong as a 150-Watt heater, should it decide not to turn on then it becomes a 0-Watt heater. Might as well throw a second heater in the cart.

Hopefully after reading this you will have a better idea of what type of fish tank heater to purchase. Once you have an ideal system in place, you won’t have to worry because you know the aquarium temperature will be constant and if something were to fail there are safeguards in place to prevent disaster.

7 More Maintenance Tips for Water Heaters

Maintenance Tip #1 – Preparing the water heater. Turn off the power if its an electric water heater. Turn off the water to the water heater by closing the valve on the cold water line. Its located on top of the water heater. The cold line is always to the right. Open a hot water tap inside the house. Air pressure will come out of the tap. Open the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater. It looks like a hose bibb. Let a gallon or more out of the water heater. Do not allow anyone to use hot water for the time you are working on the water heater.

Maintenance Tip #2 – Overhead clearance. Anode rods are almost as tall as the water heater itself. More often than not the ceiling is too close to the top of the water heater to be able to pull the entire anode rod out. No matter, lift the anode rod up as far as you can. Check to see if their is any flaking on the surface or any of its core wire is exposed. If not, then you can reinstall the anode as is. Most of the anode rods problems occur at its top because that’s where most of the hot water is. If you need to remove an anode rod. Bend it in the middle against the water heater’s opening and pull it out. To put a new one in, simply bend it in the middle again and straighten it out at the opening. If the anode top is wobbly when you try to screw it in, pull it half way again and attempt to straighten it as much as possible. If the overhead clearance is less than 2 feet, buy a link-type anode rod. It has “sausage” links of metal attached together. Its very easy to install.

Maintenance Tip #3 – Choosing anodes and replacing anodes. There are three types of metals used to make anode rods. They are magnesium, aluminum, and zinc. If you have naturally soft water, you should install a magnesium anode. Aluminum is used when you have very hard water or water that is softened heavily with salts. Installing an aluminum anode after you discover your previous anode has deteriorated heavily is recommended. If you install a magnesium anode after finding a heavily deteriorated anode could cause a negative reaction in the water and cause pressure to release out of the households faucets. If you have to install an aluminum anode rod, avoid using the hot water to cook with. Modern science believes that aluminum in the water can cause Alzheimer’s disease. Don’t consume any hot water. Zinc anodes are rare to find already installed in a water heater. Zinc anodes are used to counteract the effects of sulfur smells in the water. Zinc anodes are only 10% actual zinc. The rest is aluminum. Do not consume or cook with a zinc anode any more than an aluminum one. If the rod bends easily in your hands, it is aluminum, if not it is magnesium. Anodes have a protective current of about two feet. Buy anode rods that are too tall for your water heater. Cut them down if you have to. Try to buy anodes that are more than 3 feet and 8 inches.

Maintenance Tip #4 – Add a second anode rod. If your water heater has an exposed hexagonal-shaped head on top of it, you can install another anode rod for more protection for the water heater. Provided the hex-head exists, unscrew the hot water outlet. It’s the pipe on top of the water heater on the left. This is where you can install a combination anode rod. Make sure the anode rod has a brass nipple that is 2 to 6 inches long. Hire a plumber to do this or look for the information in my article on anode rods. Warning: Adding a second anode can be quite a task.

Maintenance Tip #5 – Removing sediment. There are three signs you have sediment buildup in your tank: A lower element burnout if you have an electric water heater, A lot of noise if you have a gas water heater, or a foul odor coming from both types of water heaters. If the sediment piles up high enough, the lower heating element in an electric water heater will be covered and unable to heat water. If your hot water suddenly starts to run out long before it used to and you have an electric water heater, then its probably sediment build-up. Gas water heaters get covered up by sediment down at the bottom where the flame heats the burner plate. Water gets covered by sediment and becomes superheated steam. This expansive steam releases pressure that sounds like a loud row happening inside. If you smell a sulfur odor coming from the water heater, that’s due to sediment build-up which breeds foul smell bacteria inside of it. To rid yourself of these problems, install a curved dip tube. You can also have a plumber use a special expensive Muck-vac tool. Dissolving the sediment is another option. Also, if you have an electric water heater, you can use a shopvac to suck the sediment out through the lower heating element. The how-to of these approaches is just below this sentence.

Maintenance Tip #6 – Install a curved dip tube and flush the water heater. When you buy a water heater, it usually comes with a straight dip tube. The dip tube is the piece of plastic pipe inside your water heater that extends from the top of the water heater’s cold water inlet to the bottom of the water heater. It’s job is to get the coldest water near the bottom where it can be readily heated. Sediment forms at the bottom of the water heater and does not move at all except at the small portion of the water heater where the dip tube extends to at the bottom. The water coming out of the tube pushes the sediment away. Trying to wash the sediment out of the drain valve on the outside of the water heater is also impossible. Installing a curved dip tube where the bottom of the tube curves to a ninety degree angle, causes the bottom of the water heater to be swept by the incoming cold water.

Sediment is picked up and kept in suspension in the water. Opening the drain valve and letting cold water enter the water heater for 5 minutes can clear up a lot of sediment. Installing a curved dip tube starts by unscrewing the cold water nipple. It’s the pipe on top of the water heater on the right hand side. Stick a curved handled set of pliers in the hole of the cold water inlet and twist the dip tube up and out of the water heater. Get the dip tube high enough and you can pull it out by hand. If this doesn’t work and the hole is rusty, scrape the rust away first. Take the new curved dip tube and mark it at the top on the side that the curve points. Wrap the top of the curved dip tube where you will be screwing it in at the top with teflon tape about eight times. Insert the curved dip tube and point it so that water will swirl along the side of the water heater. Also point it the direction going away from the drain valve. The drain valve is located on the outside of the water heater at the bottom. Make sure it is fully open when draining the water heater. If you use another method to clean the sediment out of your water heater, you should still install a curved dip tube. Optimum flushing should be done every six months or even more often.

Maintenance Tip # 7 – Removing sediment with a muck vac. Hire a plumber to use this tool to remove the sediment from your water heater. The tool is expensive and takes some knowledge on how to use. This is the most hands off method to remove sediment there is.

Benefits of Electric Infrared Heaters Over Convection Heaters

Choosing a right home heating option is very important to enjoy safe and efficient heating. It’s often confusing to choose one among the popular convection heaters and electric infrared heaters. This article highlights the benefits of electric infrared heaters over convection heaters, to help you in your heater selection process. Let us first know about the different types of electric heaters used for home heating.

Different types of electric heaters

Electric heaters, as the name indicates, run using electricity as their source. They convert the electrical energy into heat. However, the process of heating may differ for different varieties of heaters. Based on the process of heating, electric heaters are broadly categorized as convection and infrared radiant heaters.

Convection heaters

Convection heaters blow air across the heating element. The warm air rising from the heater is spread throughout the area of the room by natural currents or by moving elements like fans. Available in different sizes, shapes and configurations, the convection heaters are intended for heating closed spaces.

Radiant infrared heaters

Infrared heaters emit electromagnetic radiation which gets converted in to heat on striking the objects or individuals in a space. These heaters are more efficient as they provide targeted or focused heating by directing the heat to the required locations. They are energy-efficient and generally used to save heating costs.

Benefits of electric infrared heaters

Now that you are aware of working of the forced convection and radiant infrared heaters, go through the specific benefits of electric infrared heaters over convection heaters.

Heat resembles natural radiation: Radiation emitted by electric infrared heaters is similar to the natural radiation from the sun. You can enjoy the natural warmth just by sitting in the room.

Provides instant warmth: As said, these heaters warm the objects, pets and persons directly. Time lapse to heat air in the entire room, commonly associated with convection heaters, is not an issue with these heaters. It’s, therefore considered as an efficient heating system for instant warmth.

Ensures healthy environment: One of the most beneficial features of these heaters is that they ensure a healthy and safe environment. With forced convection heating, the air often becomes dry; this makes dirt, pollen and other dust particles whirl through the air. Electric infrared heaters on the other hand, do not create such dusty environment.

Offers health benefits: Infrared radiation is harmless. It gets penetrated through your skin and provides a soothing effect. This radiation even offers health benefits such as improved blood circulation, efficient healing and regeneration, reduction of swelling and pain, and so on. As electric infrared heaters do not use any combustible fuels like wood or kerosene, your space becomes dust-free. You need not worry about other health issues like allergies and asthma.

Less maintenance: These heaters do not have any moving parts that may wear out after a certain period of time. Hence, they need minimal maintenance. However, this is not the case with forced convection heaters that include essential moving elements, which need regular maintenance to ensure effective function.

From the above mentioned points, it can be concluded that electric infrared heaters ensure safe and effective heating with low maintenance. Consider these benefits and make a right choice when planning to purchase an electric heater this winter.