How Do I Know If My Aquarium Heater Is Working? 2 Awesome Tests!

The question is: how do I know if my aquarium heater is working or not? The thing is that I also had the same question, but nobody told me the correct answer until I found it through my experience and research.

It’s worth noting that working with aquarium heaters is essential for the healthy life of your pet fish.

how do I know if my aquarium heater is working

We know that you want to see your fishes in happy mode. The continuous look after the heater increases the heater’s life, but the fishes also feel cherished. Let’s deep dive into the article while your fishes are diving in the water tank. 


How To Know If Aquarium Heater Is Working

We have listed a couple of methods below. The tips will help you solve the confusion regarding how do I know if my aquarium heater is working or not or broken. Girls and guys, here you go!


#1. Use a thermometer

The easiest way to check the functionality is a temperature test. You can use a regular or digital thermostat to record the water temperature. But make sure that the heater is running for at least 24 hours before putting the thermometer in the tank. You can also remove the heater for a safe testing operation. 


#2. Hand testing 

This method is helpful for lazy bees like me who don’t want to operate a device. You can simply use your hand after washing it to test whether the heater is operational or not. Just remove the aquarium cover and glide your hand towards the heater to feel the heat emission. The heater must not function if your fingers don’t feel the heat. 


Steps To Check If Your Aquarium Heater Is Working

Here are the steps in checking your aquarium heater and determining whether or not it’s working:


Step #1. Install a thermometer

My years of experience have taught me that the permanent placement of a thermometer helps in case of emergencies. A standard or digital thermometer can alarm you if the heater suddenly malfunctions. Additionally, a chap heater isn’t reliable because sometimes it shows the wrong readings as a bad heater overheats or doesn’t warm the water. Both of these situations are equally dangerous and unbearable for your fish. 


Step #2. Install a controller

A lot of companies have invented a temperature control device that helps fish lovers to provide comfort to their pets. You just have to insert the probe in the tank and the heater with the device that connects to the electrical outlet. The amazing controllers come with excellent features, and you can adjust the following:

  • Set limit, compressor delay, and calibration;
  • Drop and rise limit, low and high limit alarms ; and
  • Different temperature settings for day and night. 


Reasons Why Aquarium Heater Is Not Working

A lousy heater causes the fish to behave sluggishly. They tend to swim more petite than usual. Additionally, the white spots are visible on the body of tropical fishes, and some of them could be found dead too. 


#1. Indicator light

Sometimes the heater doesn’t perform its job, but the light stays on. This indicates that the heating element has been damaged and only the thermostat is working. Alternatively, you have to get a new heater if the light is blinking on and off very often because the reason is the small heater size. In addition, an off light is an indication of defective wirings. You must have an idea that light won’t blink if the water temperature is higher than the set temperature. 


#2. Loose plug

Sometimes the heater plug is loose, and it doesn’t have a connection with electricity. Also, the socket or electrical outlet is damaged, and the heater refuses to work in this condition. 


#3. Bad heating element

Are you noticing cracked glass, corroded metal, color variation, and loss of grip by the suction cup in your aquarium? These are the symptoms of a bad heating element, and you must immediately replace the heater. 


What About Two Heaters In A Tank?

We all know the team plays better than a single man does. Similarly, a combination of two heaters helps save lives by providing double protection. A heater will keep the water warm to some extent in case the other heater fails, or you want to save energy in a particular situation.


Ensuring Smooth Aquarium Heater Operation

It’s easy peasy to keep an eye on the tank temperature. Touch the back part of your hand on the glass wall twice a day to test whether it is hot or cold. Make sure not to use the palm side of the hand as it is usually desirable.


Better Placement Of Aquarium Heater

The water keeps circulating in the aquarium as the hot water goes down and cold water comes up. You must choose a location of the exit point of the filter or air pump as the water circulation is higher at these points. As the chances of equal distribution of heat will increase in this way.


It’s A Wrap!

We are hoping that this blog post has cleared your confusion on how do I know if my aquarium heater is working or not. This lot of material will help others only if you share it with them. So, what are you waiting for? Share it with your fish-friendly family. Follow this link to find out about fish tank heater tips for cold weather.

Also, it’s best to read about how to use aquarium heater and what is the best aquarium heater brand.

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