Aquarium Equipment – Heating- Heater Maintenance
Heater maintenance is vital, if it is not done correctly, the heater can explode. This may have been what occurred to Planted Tank UK. His video blog #3 places the blame for the failure on the purchase of a set of cheap heaters through E-Bay.
In this case, it may be very true that the problem was with manufacturing quality. It is absolutely true that you get what you pay for when purchasing heaters for an aquarium. As a rule of thuimb, buy the best quality heater that you can afford.
There are very cheap heaters available, the problem with them is that the thermostat is often quite flaky. The breakage that occurred to the heater tube could have been from a wide variety of causes. It could have come from the actual heater maintenance that was performed on the heater, rather than an inherent flaw in the heater construction or more probably the glass materials themselves. it is very true that you do get what you pay for.
Heater Maintenance can Cause Breakage
A heater is a piece of equipment that can be easily damaged by rough treatment – the fact that most heaters use a glass tube makes them very vulnerable to knocks and bumps when hands are working in the tank during maintenance. Heater maintenance is minimal, but the activity surrounding them during other cleaning can create the problem This implementation is in a small desktop aquarium with small shrimp, so the actual inhabitants are not large enough to physically damage the heater tube.
A more common problem during heater maintenance for this size tank would be to expose the heater tube to the air while a partial water change is being performed. If the heater was running just before water was removed, lowering the water level below the hot heater element can cause the glass to break when replacement water suddenly contacts the hot element – this is on of the most common reason a heater explodes – no matter how expensive the manufacture.
There are newer style heaters that don’t use glass tubes. They can be constructed of plastic, but more often have a metal casing. I don’t know of too many of these that allow the user to regulate temperature, or require any other manual heater maintenance during their lifetime other than ensuring the case is kept clean of debris or carbonate deposits. Most like the Edge heater are pre-set at the manufacturer to eliminate moving parts. They will hold a defined temperature, but you are at the mercy of the factory setting.
For a small tank like an Edge or other desktop aquarium, the pre-set unbreakable heaters are an excellent choice – if you can live with the temperature setting. It will certainly reduce heater maintenance and stop potential heater explosion.