Best way to hide aquarium heater? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Best way to hide aquarium heater?

Hello all,

I'm in the process of planning out/preparing my new 10g tank and I've been wondering if there's any good way to cover up the heater so that the large rod is more inconspicuous. I've already placed it in the farthest corner but it's still pretty visible since it's a silver color and my tank isn't that big. Is it a bad idea to try and put in some plants in front that would be tall enough to cover it? Or would the plants suffer due to the heat radiating around the heating rod? Any input would be appreciated. Thank you!!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 04:36 AM
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If you have a canister filter you can use an inline heater. Hydor makes a decent one. There are also DIY options too.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 05:48 AM
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I find plants do fine next to the heater as long as they aren't touching the heating element.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

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Originally Posted by MCFC View Post
If you have a canister filter you can use an inline heater. Hydor makes a decent one. There are also DIY options too.
Unfortunately I don't have one of those. Maybe in the future I'll look into a canister filter! Thanks for the suggestion

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I find plants do fine next to the heater as long as they aren't touching the heating element.


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Awesome! Thanks so much for the input. I guess I will be looking for some taller plants then
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
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If you have a canister filter you can use an inline heater. Hydor makes a decent one. There are also DIY options too.
Agreed on canister filter! It can remove waste and harmful toxins from water.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 12:35 PM
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If you plan on a black background you can also get black heaters/heater grills that would help in blend.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 01:52 PM
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While any number of things will help, it can depends on how you want it to look and how your tank is set. The main idea to keep in mind is that the heater will work better if it is more or less upright and that it does need good circulation around it. Plants will normally not be harmed as the heater will not get that hot underwater if there is good flow to carry that heat away. Tall plants can help!
Painting to blend in can also work. spray cans put out a very thin coat that will not bother the heater much. There are some designed for hot surfaces and I have never found a paint that was a problem in the tank when used with care. Take care to let the paint dry fully so that all the volatile stuff is gone.
But my favorite? I love to make wood covers as they do double duty. How much work to get how much covered depends on you but I often cut the back off a tall wood item. hollow out the back to fit the heater and then stick it in a corner. Making sure it has a small powerhead to blow water around is one I always watch. But then I also have the tall wood which is a great place to put plants like Java moss or fern. The plants make the tank more useful as it adds height to the cover which the fish want.
Sometimes I use a combo of wood hiding the top and the bottom open but behind other stuff like rocks.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 02:09 PM
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I have a 500w titanium heater just above the substrate on the back wall....bet you can't see it!


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamsin View Post
If you plan on a black background you can also get black heaters/heater grills that would help in blend.
That's a good idea! Thanks for the suggestion!

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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
While any number of things will help, it can depends on how you want it to look and how your tank is set. The main idea to keep in mind is that the heater will work better if it is more or less upright and that it does need good circulation around it. Plants will normally not be harmed as the heater will not get that hot underwater if there is good flow to carry that heat away. Tall plants can help!
Painting to blend in can also work. spray cans put out a very thin coat that will not bother the heater much. There are some designed for hot surfaces and I have never found a paint that was a problem in the tank when used with care. Take care to let the paint dry fully so that all the volatile stuff is gone.
But my favorite? I love to make wood covers as they do double duty. How much work to get how much covered depends on you but I often cut the back off a tall wood item. hollow out the back to fit the heater and then stick it in a corner. Making sure it has a small powerhead to blow water around is one I always watch. But then I also have the tall wood which is a great place to put plants like Java moss or fern. The plants make the tank more useful as it adds height to the cover which the fish want.
Sometimes I use a combo of wood hiding the top and the bottom open but behind other stuff like rocks.
I'm glad to know the heater works better upright! And thanks for the tip about plants! I'll most likely be looking into plant options to cover the rod The painting idea is cool too though! And your last wood trick is awesome! Sounds like your tank looks pretty amazing

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I have a 500w titanium heater just above the substrate on the back wall....bet you can't see it!

Yep, the heater is hidden for sure! I would have never guessed Your tank is stunning btw!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 02:34 AM
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My heater and filter in/out are also hidden but I like the added "real estate" for planting?
My breeding tank for rainbow cichlids but they liked to stay away from flashing lights!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
My heater and filter in/out are also hidden but I like the added "real estate" for planting?
My breeding tank for rainbow cichlids but they liked to stay away from flashing lights!
Wow! They really are hidden well Your tank is beautiful and I love all the lush plants! I think I see one cichlid poking out from behind the plant cover super awesome!
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 04:57 PM
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I was a full blown fish keeper who got into plants as a way to expand what I was doing (more challenge, more fun?) by adding plants to make the fish look and feel better. So with cichlids being one of my main interests, I had often had tanks with just lot of limestone to give the hiding and caves where many of my fish bred. A pile of rocks gets pretty boring so I started with plants in pots and that morphed into adding plants that grew best when they were attached to things. So now I often have a tank with a pile of rocks or wood to give them cover but then I add plants on top to make it look more like what I want.
Just as a side issue, I found there was no reason not to fit some of that wood so that powerheads, heaters and filters could also be hidden. I keep a lot of cichlids that do like to dig out a nest site and that does take some extra thought to figure out where they dig and where I can plant without them digging it out. Sometimes it works and sometimes it fails?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I was a full blown fish keeper who got into plants as a way to expand what I was doing (more challenge, more fun?) by adding plants to make the fish look and feel better. So with cichlids being one of my main interests, I had often had tanks with just lot of limestone to give the hiding and caves where many of my fish bred. A pile of rocks gets pretty boring so I started with plants in pots and that morphed into adding plants that grew best when they were attached to things. So now I often have a tank with a pile of rocks or wood to give them cover but then I add plants on top to make it look more like what I want.
Just as a side issue, I found there was no reason not to fit some of that wood so that powerheads, heaters and filters could also be hidden. I keep a lot of cichlids that do like to dig out a nest site and that does take some extra thought to figure out where they dig and where I can plant without them digging it out. Sometimes it works and sometimes it fails?
So cool to hear your transition from rocks only to rocks+plants! I'm sure your cichlids are very happy Interesting to know that they like to dig nests! I had no idea.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
I have a 500w titanium heater just above the substrate on the back wall....bet you can't see it!


Guess we follow the same idea. Have my Eheim 300 watt laying horizontal along the back wall. With all the plants you have to really look to find it.
PlantedRich has a lot of good points - but, so far I personally have not had any issues with mine mounted horizontally.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 01:21 AM
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Cichlids are such a huge group that saying any single thing about them all is likely to be wrong! Some cichlids do dig. The African cichlid group known as "mbuna" or "rock fish" are pretty common diggers when they spawn. But then there are also the open water African cichlids who do very little digging. One that I keep is the large Protomelas type called insignus that only come down to the bottom to attract a female and just clears the spot of debris without really digging. We sometimes get too involved with the simple idea that a group of fish do a single action, when we really need to look much closer at them as individual species or single fish. Kind of like saying dogs bite and cats scratch! Some are more prone to it than others and I certainly don't want to give anybody the idea that cichlids do any one special action as they do come in everything from angelfish to Oscars and can be as meek and mild as rainbow cichlids or as mean as Malawi eyebiters! We just have to do a better job of sorting out the good from the bad, whether it is a fish or a human.
One of the things that attracts me to the cichlid group is the varied actions when they breed. I can't imagine anything more dedicated than a female fish who holds the eggs in her mouth and avoids eating them for as long as a month! Most advanced thinking parents would do almost anything to save their kids but I'm not real sure I could go as far as my fish!!

I see Immortal's post and want to respond. I do not mean that it is always a problem but something that very much depends on the heater and how it is designed as well as placed. Just a general idea that since the controls on many of the common heaters are located in the top and heat does tend to flow up, many are designed and do work better if they are located so the heat inside the tube does flow up to allow the controls to sense that heat quicker/better. With many different heaters and designs, I should not make any statements that they all do the same. Just like my fish and human example, we need to do a good job of sorting them out?
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Last edited by PlantedRich; 06-23-2018 at 01:27 AM. Reason: added
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