Aquarium heaters are a crucial part of any aquarium setup. They control the temperature of your water and keep it at a level that is comfortable for your fish.
So what happens when a heater stops doing what it is meant to do? Perhaps, the heaters keep the temperature way above or below a fish tank’s temperature requirement. What do you do then?
What to do when the aquarium heater breaks? Obviously, you should replace it as soon as possible. A good fishkeeper always has a backup in case anything fails. In most cases, this is the difference between the life and death of fish. With a backup heater, you can replace the broken one as soon as you notice it.
If you can’t do it as fast as needed, you should try controlling the temperature of the aquarium room. Ideally, keep the temperature close to the fish’s optimal temperature until you get the heater’s replacement.
Why do Aquarium Heaters Fail?
The most common causes of aquarium heater failure are improper setup, faulty wiring, low water flow, or incorrect installation. When installing the unit make sure it has enough space to dissipate heat and that no objects will obstruct its airflow. If you have a fish tank in your room make sure not to put the heater near anything that might trigger an electrical fire such as curtains, clothes dryers, etc…
To avoid such problems with your fish or other aquatic life you should regularly check the temperature levels in the tanks and make sure that there is enough space for air to circulate so that hot spots can’t form on any object inside.
How do I Know if My Aquarium Heater is Broken?
If your heater is broken, you would likely notice a change in the temperature of the aquarium. For example, it might be either too hot or too cold.
Moreover, the fish’s metabolism slows down and they can no longer keep themselves warm. Fishkeepers notice that fish in their aquariums are less playful or active whenever something goes wrong. Such behavioral changes are great indicators of trouble in your tank.
The best way to determine if your heater is broken is by observing your water’s temperature. Measure the temperature of your tank’s water if you suspect that the heater is broken. The results will give you a clear picture of the heater’s condition.
How Long can Fish Tank Go Without a Heater?
The answer is not very long. Aquariums need heaters to keep the water at a temperature that is comfortable for the fish. Without a heater, your fish will die from hypothermia in a matter of hours. The optimal temperature for some fish is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Some fish like those found in tropical waters are more used to warmer temperatures and can live with higher temperatures around 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius).
We hope that the tips and tricks we have provided have been helpful. The next time your aquarium heater breaks, you’ll be ready with a game plan!
Jesse is the principal author of this blog. He is an avid fishkeeper with rich experience spanning several years. He is here to share his knowledge and ensure you also have a guiding compass, as he did with his father.