How to choose an aquarium heater and when to use automatic feeders?

Whether you will equip your tank with an aquarium heater, depends on the type of fish you have. There are those that like really warm water and live in it and there are those which are more comfortable in lower temperatures. According to the rule you shouldn’t mix these two kinds of fish in the tank because it is impossible to find an average temperature that is suitable for everyone.

Heaters have to be placed in accordance with the volume of the tank. The aquarium heater strength is determined by watts. There are heaters from 50 to 300 watts. All of them usually have an automatic thermostat installed. This means that if the heater is programmed to reach 25 degrees, it will turn off the moment it goes higher than that temperature. Also, the moment the water temperature falls below 25 degrees, the heater will turn on to heat the water.

aquarium heater in an aquarium with fishes

It is very important where the aquarium is placed. Whether it is in a room with a stable 24-hour temperature or it varies during the day. Water temperature is usually several degrees lower than the room temperature where the aquarium is kept. This means that the heaters will turn on during the night as soon as the temperature drops when the heating is turned off in the room.

It is best to put a 100 watts heater in 26-gallon aquariums. And so on – 53 gallon aquariums need a 200 watts heater, 79-gallon ones need a 300 watts heater… In case the tanks are bigger, multiple heaters are combined. For example, in a 158-gallon tank, you can put three heaters with 200 watts or two with 300…

Heaters can be kept inside the tank during the summer, because they won’t turn on if the temperature doesn’t go below the programmed one.

The biggest problem with aquarium heaters can be the calcium build-up

The problem with heaters happens when the water is hard, which is the case in our country. Although the aquarium heater often works, some calcium build-up may appear after some time. If no ones pay attention to the water level in the tank and the heater is above that level, calcium build-up will appear on the heater. The more build-up there is on the heater, the less its functionality will be. However, it should be noted that the build-up is easily cleaned by using hydrochloric acid. It is important to wash the heater well after cleansing it with the acid and it will be as good as new.

When talking about the price, we have to admit that heaters are not really expensive. That was the true before but today we have a lot of goods coming from China. Despite the fact it is coming from China it doesn’t mean it is bad. There are Chinese goods that proved to be very good. That is why there is no room for prejudice. Everything that has to do with water needs to pass a certain quality control and have a certificate.

Fish feeders

Aquariums can have fish feeders as additional equipment. This is a very simple mechanism that starts with the help of an electric motor and a time relay inside the feeder. They are programmed when to dispense the food into the tank. There are feeders that can be programmed to work for a whole week. The only thing that can’t be programmed is the amount of food dispensed into the tank. That is done using a feeder opening that is adjusted manually.

aquarium feeder in a fish tank

In my opinion aquaristics loses its appeal when you use a feeder. Every real aquaristics lover likes to feed the fish on their own and watch them eat. 

Fish Feeders are usually used when people leave their home for some time. For example, when they go on holiday or a business trip. It is very important then to test the feeders to determine an optimal amount of food that will be dispensed. As we said, that has to be adjusted manually. In case too much food is dispensed into the tank, there is a possibility that the water gets really dirty and the level of nitrates and other harmful compounds rises drastically which can lead to fish dying. If want to take it to next level and make your own fish food, we have a useful article for you. Find out what you need for making your own fish food.

If we wanted to give advice to aquarists it would sound like this “It is better to opt for “non-feeding” the fish for a period of 3-4 days than use a bad feeder that can “overfeed” the fish. This means that you should be careful when choosing a feeder.