Aquarium Heater Adjustment
courtesy of Kemal Y.
For safety and convenience, buy a completely submersible aquarium heater, and read the label just to be sure. The temperature dials on most aquarium heaters are far from accurate. Thus, setting the temperature is a step by step process requiring the help of a good thermometer.
- First, set the thermostat at a slightly lower temperature so the heating element turns off.
- Wait several hours for water temperature to stabilize, then measure it.
- Always measure temperature at the same water depth.
- When the temperature stabilizes to a couple degrees below the desired level, adjust the thermostat so the heating element just turns on.
- Wait again for the temperature to stabilize, then re-measure it and make small, incremental adjustments as required.
If the aquarium is large, it will take quite some time for the temperature stabilize. Since water acts as a heat sink, it stores and releases energy very slowly. A large volume of water heats and cools much more slowly than a smaller volume.
The heater should keep aquarium temperature to within a few degrees of the setting. This avoids sudden and stressful temperature changes. Even if the aquarium room occasionally gets warm, a thermostatically controlled heater will help stabilize aquarium temperature at least at the low end. Different species of aquarium fish need different temperatures, so factor that into fish selections and thermostat settings.
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