Should I Add A Heater?

  1. Lynelle Gold Initiate Member

    Hi everyone! I've been on this site so much since setting up my tank a month ago, and I have learned so much! Any question I might have had, its already been answered. Until now, that is. (Or, it has been answered but I couldn't find it.)

    This is a heater question. I have a 20 gallon tank with several live plants. I currently have one bettta, 12 glow light tetras, and 6 cories. Everyone seems to be very happy. I just added a second filter because AqAdvisor said I was under capacity. Now I am running a TopFin 10 and a MarineLand Penguin 125 (it was second hand). According to AqAdvisor I still have room for in my tank for the right fist. I was thinking about getting a swordtail. However, I am not currently heating my tank. The light above my tank keeps the water at around 23 or 24 degrees celcius. When I come in in the morning (my tank is at work) the temp has usually dropped to about 20 or just below. The petstore says I need to heat my tank in order to keep a swordtail in there, but I am worried that putting a heater in my tank will overheat things.

    I have a Tetra 100w Preset Heater I also got second hand from the same place as my second filter (along with a 36 gallon I am excited to set up at a later date!) I googled it an apparently the preset temp is 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.6 degrees Celcius). AqAdvisor suggests keeping my tank at 24 degrees.

    Should I add the heater? Will it do any harm? Is there any chance of my tank overheating? If I don't add it, can I still get tropical fish?
  2. twilysparklez Well Known Member Member

    A heater shouldn't overheat the tank unless it's broken! The heater also solves temperature fluctuations. May I ask what kind of cories you have? Both the Betta and Tetras are okay at 78F, while some cories don't like the heat.
  3. Lynelle Gold Initiate Member

    I have 3 peppered cories and 3 albino cories which I believe to be albino peppered cories (they look exactly like them).
  4. twilysparklez Well Known Member Member

    I would use the heater in that case, but before you do, check the heater for any water damage. I think in tetra heaters there are black sand-like particles inside the glass tube, so check for darkened splotches. If you don't find any, use it. If you do, I would get a new heater.

    I'm not sure if you should add a swordtail. You're twenty gallon sounds almost full, Aqadvisor states that you are around 90% stocking for me. Also, swordtails might get a bit nippy.
  5. Lynelle Gold Initiate Member

    Hmm, maybe I'm doing something wrong on AqAdvisor. It tells me I'm at 64% which was shocking to me. I was like, really? What else to get? But its a new tool for me, so perhaps I'm making a mistake somehow.

    If I don't get the swordtail, should I still add the heater?
  6. Lynelle Gold Initiate Member

    Everyone is so happy and peaceful right now, I'd hate to ruin the tank dynamic...
  7. twilysparklez Well Known Member Member

    Yes, add the heater. Do you have a 20 gallon long, I chose 20 gallon tall, though the difference shouldn't be that big.
  8. Lynelle Gold Initiate Member

    Yes, 20 gallon long.
  9. fishes were wishes Member Member

    You need a heater it won't ruin the tank dynamic. It will just keep it nice and level. Just make sure its an adjustable one. I actually have to set mine a few degrees lower than the temperature I want it to be.
  10. KimberlyG Well Known Member Member

    Add the heater, not the swordtail.
  11. Lynelle Gold Initiate Member

    Yeah, the one I have is preset. :(
  12. Lynelle Gold Initiate Member

    I'm going to put it in an I will watch the temp to make sure its okay. No swordtail.
  13. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

    Since it is used I would definitely check the heater, you could put it in a container of water and check to see if it works or notice anything like cracks for a few hours. Do not plug it in until it has been acclimated to the container water temp, wait at least 20 mins.
    If everything appears OK and the temp has increased then you could put it in the tank.