Is a heater ever needed?
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
kidgrave
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Is a heater ever needed?


I was wondering if a heater is something necessary, for example, if you live in places where it does not snow, for example, California?

I was just curious if a heater is necessary, because in nature, it does get fairly cold during the night and so does the water. How is it that tropical fish survive in the night when the water gets cold?
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:05 PM   #2
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If you're temp is consistently within the fish requirements, I guess you don't. My heater hasn't come on for months now because my room temp is within range, but I have it for the winter time.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidgrave View Post
I was wondering if a heater is something necessary, for example, if you live in places where it does not now, for example, California?

I was just curious if a heater is necessary, because in nature, it does get fairly cold during the night and so does the water. How is it that tropical fish survive in the night when the water gets cold?
No you don't need a heater, but you will find that in the wild there is little temperature difference between night and day. Its not a long enough time to effect a large body of water or moving water like rivers and streams.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:09 PM   #4
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It depends what you are planning on stocking. I have never kept them but from what I have seen Discus are pretty finicky to water parameters and temperature. There are some people that don't use heaters at all. Also some bodies of water take more than just a night of cool weather to drop in temperature.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:24 PM   #5
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I only use a heater during winter months.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:11 PM   #6
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A heater is not a necessity, but it helps. The reason why discus are kept in 82F – 86F is because they are more prone to disease/viruses, and these viruses don’t do well in warmer temps. But if your tank is already in the range of 76-80 without a heater then you probably don’t need one.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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Living in NH - yes lol
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:03 PM   #8
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in nature water temp changes gradually/slowly because of high water volume has huge heat capacity(plus ground heat capacity helps here too). sadly this is not the case in your tank
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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For those saying temp doesn't fluctuate much in nature, it really depends on a lot of factors. One of my favorite rivers to fish is a smallish river that probably averages 5' deep and 50' across. During the summer, it easily changes 10 degrees from sunrise to sunset. See the attached graph from the last week.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:35 PM   #10
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It really depends on what temperature you are going for. If you want something between 70-75, you are likely fine without one. Above that, it's going to be a challenge.

Another thing, outside of a few places in Cali, there is also a pretty large temperature drop from day to night so a heater can make this more stable. Then, only a few places in Cali really have the year round warmth, it may not get nearly as cold where I live compared to the East Coast but it's not uncommon to be in the low to mid 30's and it can get colder. Other places, like San Fransisco may actually not get hot enough to not have a heater, though the temperature is more consistent, both from day to night, and from summer to winter.


That said, I am probably not alone here but my tanks are actually cooler in the summer, rather than the winter due to AC. There are some weeks of the year it's likely hotter but it's critical too keep the house cool so we are not running the AC all day.

My point is this, basically, if you are letting the climate control do the work, it really doesn't matter where you live, assuming your tanks are in a living area. If you run the heat in the winter or need AC in the summer, it's more the climate control than the outside temperature.
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