Proper Heater Sizing
Ardan Huck March 15, 2003

Choosing the proper heater size is important to maintain constant temperatures and to be able to raise the temperature high enough to treat certain diseases.

The size of the heater required depends on:

1. Size of the tank
2. Temperature of the air in the room surrounding the tank
3. Other factors may include air movement, filters, covers, and lights

A general rule is to have three to five watts per gallon for every 10 Fahrenheit above room temperature that you wish to have the water temperature.

Room temperature = 68 F
Aquarium temperature desired = 88 F
50 gallon tank

Formula = Difference between room temperature and desired tank temperature is 20 F (two times the 10 difference)

3 watts X 50 gallons X 2 = 300 watts "minimum" (a larger heater may be desired for raising the temperature for disease treatments)

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