Since I finally got around to buying a new aquarium heater today I have been prompted to write the review of the first aquarium heater brand I purchased from new.
The first of my fish as previously mentioned had to out up with a fair amount of abuse and it is more than alittle surprising that they didnt die off more readily. But as the tank was small I thought originally that it wouldnt require outside heating, but after a short time the poor fish were looking unhappy so I went on an exploratory expedition around Harrogate to find a shop from which I could buy a heater. Sadly as my finances were suffering 'end of the month' syndrome I was limited to the cheapest option avaliable to me, it happened to be the Visitherm the 25 watt option.
This just demonstrates the small size of the tank since my more recent purchase was the 150 watt version.
Over the 3 months I had the 25 watt heater in operation I maintained the temperature in a 20 litre tank perfectly well, there were days when it was particularly cold (especially as my bedroom had no heating itself) and the temperature dropped a degree or two but it was never a serious drop and soon returned to the temperature I had set it to when the room warmed up slightly. The instruction leaflet with the heater does state that it is more effective at typical room temperature (so hugging the fish tank to keep me warm wasnt an entirely bad idea then!).
Of course my confidence in the brand is shown by the fact that I had to buy a new heater for the 'school fish tank' (as I still refer to it even though the school it belonged to is now closed and the buildings demolished), maybe I'm just tight but I dont see the point in spending £35 on a heater when I could buy one which has the same wattage for £10 less.
As the picture above shows the heater itself has the element at the bottom with the top displaying the thermometre style heat setting, which can be altered using the red knob on the top, there is also a red led light which is on when the heater is actively heating the water and goes off again when heater is not active.
Each box contains the heater, a leaflet which will instruct you on its use and a heater support which is simply a plastic collar with suckers on the back to hold it on the side of the aquarium, of course my personal preference is to use a heater guard so that the fish cant accidentally burn themselves on the heater (believe me seeing a fish trying to swim when its burned parts of its flesh off is horrific) but this has to be purchased separately and usually costs around £3 depending on the size you need.
Equally worth mentioning is that the heaters are suitable for all types of aqaurium freshwater and marine, and the temperature ranges from 18c to 32c, though I cant see any reason you would want to keep fish at 32c since it is likely to be far too warm for them, and 18c is cooler than usual room temperature so if you wanted water that cool you would want a chiller not a heater. Since most tropicals require water between 24c and 26c mine are usually set for 25c so the variation is minimal and still within the 'safe' limits.
As mentioned the 25 watt heater was my cheapest option at the time and set me back £22, while the more recent purchase cost me £25 for a 150 watt heater. I'm certain that these can be purchased for less but I think both the shops I found are slightly expensive. The second was BAS on Tonge Moor Road which is generally more expensive than most of the shops I try for the same products so try Pets at Home or online though for items like this which can break easily I wouldnt want to risk the delivery stage. And the first from a tiny little pet shop on the outskirts of Harrogate which I'm not sure I could find again if I tried!
Thermometer-style temperature indicator