Best Aquarium Heaters for Discus fish – All the Facts
Temperature is one of the very critical factors when it comes to keeping Discus fish. This is because the warmer your Discus fish tank is the more it will stimulate appetite in your Discus fish; this means your Discus fish will eat more and by so doing they grow faster and healthier. It is recommended that in an un-planted fish tank the temperature should be kept between 85 and 86 degrees whereas for a planted fish tank the temperature should be kept between 83 and 84 degrees. These are the optimum temperatures that will enable the plants to thrive in the Discus fish tank and also enable the Discus fish to maintain a healthy appetite. In this article we will discuss the best aquarium heaters for discus fish.
Having discussed the importance of keeping the necessary temperature for Discus fish, we now look at how to do so. The temperatures in the Discus fish tank are kept by use of heaters. But there are a variety of heaters available in the market which can be confusing for some Discus keepers. The discussion below solves this.
There are three main factors to consider when choosing the best heater for your Discus fish tank. First, you consider the size of the heater. Your heater should be able to fit well into your fish tank, so always buy a heater as per your fish tank size. Secondly, you consider the quantity or number of the heaters. In this case, if you are purchasing less expensive heaters it is recommended that you use a number of small heaters, say two, instead of a large one with the same rating. The main purpose for this is redundancy such that when one heater stops working, the other does the work. Also, many smaller heaters are more effective than a single big one even though they may have the same cumulative rating.
Types of Best Aquarium Heaters
There are a variety of heaters of a wide range from budget models to more expensive models available in the market. The types of heaters available depending on your custom needs include hang-on heaters, submersible heaters and substrate heaters.
1. Hang-on aquarium heater
This is the fish tank heater which is the cheapest and the most popular option in the market. The only set back this heater has is that they stick out on the back of the Discus fish tank. This is mainly on the aesthetic value point of view, so Discus keepers refrain from using it. Hang on heaters are okay if you are keeping cheap fish. I wouldn’t recommend them for discus as they cannot reach high temperatures.
2. Submersible aquarium heater
These heaters provide a middle ground between the cheapest model and the more costly heaters. Since they are submersible as the name suggests, they have a higher aesthetic value than hang-on heater. These are the best heaters in my experience.
3. Substrate aquarium heater
This particular heater heats your tank evenly. The heating cables are laid below your gravel and substrate and hence these heaters are hardly visible in tanks. They further provide an excellent heat source for plants. The only setback for this heater is that if it fails you have to dig below your tank’s gravel and substrate to replace the cable. Their prices are also higher compared to hang-on and submersible heaters. These heaters are good for smaller tanks with cheap fish. They will not work well in large aquariums with discus fish.
My recommendations for the best aquarium heaters for discus fish
1. Finnex titanium heater with external thermostat
– This heater will never crack or shatter. I have had situation sin the past where a discus gets scared and crashes into a glass heater cracking it. The titanium heater will never break. It has an external thermostat which you must purchase separately. the thermostat has alarms that will notify you when the temperature goes higher or below a certain level. These heaters are the best at keeping the temperature constant and can heat the water more than your average heater. Many heaters can heat the water more than 82 degrees. The finnex heater is a bit more expensive but it will last a long time. This is the best heater based on my experience. You only need one of them unlike the less expensive heaters.
2. Eheim Jaeger
– This heater is one of the best glass heaters. It lasts a long time. They are fairly reasonable in price.
3. Marineland Visitherm
– These heaters are also glass but come in a rubberized shell. I have used them for many years. They are good quality.
In conclusion, take caution when purchasing an aquarium heater that has a built in thermostat. Built in thermostats are known to fail resulting in your water becoming too hot because the heater will never shut off. I have had many of them fail. I highly recommend spending a little more money and going with the Finnex Titanium heater. You won’t regret it. Your Discus will like it and you will thank me in the long run!
My tanks are all in my backyard under a covered patio. I had just set up a discus tank using canister filters and glass submersible heaters. The water temperature fluctuates from 99F in the daytime to 95F early morning like 4:30am as expected. Not good for expensive discus fish. Purchased the Finnex as suggested and hopefully get it all set up prior to tomorrow’s shipment of my discus fish. The reviews are great. Should keep a constant of 96F.
96F is too hot for the discus. They should be at 86F. In the event that they get sick or are acting sick you can gradually increase the temp to 90. However the tank should always be at 86F. If the tank water is always that hot you may want to consider getting an aquarium chiller. The Finnex heater is well worth the money. Make sure you purchase the heater and controller as the heater wont work without it.