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Are Heaters A Necessity?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by csmith, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    As subject says, are they? As natural as we attempt to keep our aquariums why do we have to run heaters? Could it be expected that temperature wouldn't drop that much overnight as to overly affect things in the aquarium? Wouldn't natural bodies of water cool overnight just as an aquarium will?
     
    #1 csmith, Jun 17, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  2. Fridgey

    Fridgey Guest

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    Large bodies of water like lakes and rivers are not affected quickly by ambient temperature change. The amount of water is great compared to the surface area for heat exchange, so they tend to keep their heat. The change in water temp overnight is minimal. Fish tanks of a few hundred litres have a much larger surface area (and therefore large heat exchange area) and will change temperatures quite rapidly and to a much greater degree.

    When I was keeping goldfish, the daily temp variation in winter was ~10 degrees celsius in my 100 litre tank. A larger tank may not be affected as greatly, but for tropical fish it may be quite stressful.

    Of course it would depend on your ambient temperature. If your house is a toasty 30 degree celsius day and night (eg you have aircon) then you could probably get away without a heater. But if your ambient temp changes a lot , you'd be better off with one to keep the tank temp relatively constant.
     
    #2 Fridgey, Jun 18, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  3. Gbark

    Gbark Guru Class Expert

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    wow, no heater!

    The good thing about a heater is they keep the tank temp constant. They are cheap to buy and cheap to run.

    If the atmospheric temp is hot enough the heater does not kick in as the water temp will be ok. But as the air cools so does the water and the heater kicks in.

    Where i live, at this time of year the heater is not needed in the day, but at night it gets cool.

    And in winter it is below 0degc,.

    So for the price i would say yes you need one. ;)
     
  4. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Thanks guys. I didn't bank on water volume playing that much of a role.
     
  5. S&KGray

    S&KGray Guru Class Expert

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    Like both Fridgey and Gbark stated, if the temp where you house your tanks can fall rapidly and/or fall much below the "normal" temp range for the fish you keep then yes a heater is a relatively cheap way to keep the temp constant.

    I normally don't use heaters because of where I live, but I know of others here in Hawaii that do.
     
  6. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    submerged heater efficiency

    OTOH, aquarium heaters are one of the few items which is nearly 100% efficient. Any inefficiency in the coils or circuits just becomes waste heat which ends up, um, heating the water? :)

    -
    S
     
  7. LoudCreature

    LoudCreature Prolific Poster

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    If you have a large number of tanks or amount of water keeping the room at the temperature you want is often cheaper.

    In deserts like Colorado low humidity adds to cooling of tanks.

    LC
     
  8. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Good point. I guess the 40-50 degree temp swings throughout the day wouldn't help much either.
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    You could always put some foam on the outside of the tank - back, bottom, maybe sides if you wanted to cut down on some of the temp fluctuations. Open top tanks are going to be prone to some wide swings due to the evaporative cooling previously mentioned by GBark and LoudCreature. That's just the price you pay for seeing the leaves come out the top of the tank. :)

    -
    S
     
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