By Aletha Lang
An aquarium heater should be considered a critical piece of equipment for your aquarium, just like a filter that is essential to the lives of your tank inhabitants.
As we who live in Fresno and in the San Joaquin Valley well know, our seasonal temperatures vary from summers at 105 degrees Fahrenheit or more to winter temperatures as low as 32 degrees. So winter is a great time to check your heater to be sure it is operating as you expect it to. Heaters do go bad and rather than assuming yours is working because the light’s on or because its dial is set at the right temperature, be sure to verify that it’s working properly by checking the actual temperature of your aquarium water with a trusted thermometer. Tropical fish (both freshwater and saltwater) require water temperatures to remain very stable in order to survive. A narrow range from 77 to 82 degrees is ideal for most.
Perhaps you’re already aware of the stresses extreme temperature swings can cause your fish: parasitic outbreaks, lethargy, uneaten fish food sitting on the bottom of the tank. The latter is not a direct, but rather an indirect result of the fish not feeding normally in cold water, and we all know that rotting food leads to degrading water quality.
So before you lose any fish, check your heater today. And please contact us if you need a replacement!