How to Heat Aquarium Without Heater: 8 Best Practices

In the present world, heaters are widely used in aquariums. These aquarium heaters work by convection. This means that the aquarium heater moves warm air from a place where it is cooler to another place where it is warmer. They are commonly used for fish tanks, ornaments, or other indoor decorations that require heating during winter months. But what if you do not have a heater for your aquarium? Will it work just fine?

In this article, we will cover eight of the best practices that you can do so you won’t have to worry about getting your aquarium a heater.

Why Is It Important to Heat Your Aquarium?

Heating your aquarium is important because like temperature, it affects the health and growth of your fish. In fact, aquariums can be hard to keep at a constant ambient temperate in the winter months. A common problem is that lower temperatures kill off new growth of plants and algae that cover your tank surfaces which then may get flushed out by an unexpected cold snap overnight with inadequate lighting or cloudy conditions—driving away beneficial bacteria down stream for propagation since there are no alternatives available to maintain stability in these areas.

Once the fish gets sick, things start to go downhill for good as some are put into a state of hibernation and stop eating resulting in reduced metabolic rate causing slight necrosis (decay affecting flesh) on the fishes with serious starvation eventually leading to death if not treated early enough. Even when only 10% of required temperature is provided during growth stage, these problems can be avoided by keeping an aquarium at optimal water temperatures which will not only keep it active but also keeps the tank healthy.

How to Heat Aquarium Without Heater?

Get a Small Aquarium

This is the best of all options if you find yourself without a heater. Drained and filled with water, small tanks are easier to heat quickly by using lights or heating pads rather than having an expensive aquarium heater that sometimes can be overwhelming. A good choice for this option would be to use a 24-inch long tank as it does not take up much space when filled with water and provides enough room for both fish populations including Amazonian armored catfish and fantail goldfish.

Choose Coldwater Fish

While you might plan to keep the tank temperatures within a certain range using cold water fish, it is equally as feasible to do so without adding any heat at all. Amazonian armored catfish and other cold water sensitive species will tolerate low temperatures very well while goldfish can survive in slightly cooler temperature environments but are more susceptible during warmer months if not provided with additional heat via lights or heater. Coldblooded frogs, too, have an easier time getting used to a somewhat lower temperature of around 70F than their fresh water counterparts so it is worth taking the effort and provide them with the right environments provided they do not molt.

Utilize Your Home Heater

If you’re lucky enough to have a room that can be converted into an extra living space for your fish, this could work as well. A stand up refrigerator or over-the-stove microwave oven with no exposed coils on the outside is ideal for allocating heat just to one part of their tank rather than using the entire kitchen area. The more powerful these devices are, the better – try only heating half at a time with the other hot water source and use cool instead during peak hours. Maintain a close eye on the temperature but remember, it is not always necessary to warm up all at once.

Place Aquarium in a Warmer Area

This is a sensible option and while it isn’t always possible to know the exact temperature in your house, there are plenty of resources online that can give you at least an idea. You should prioritize locating the aquarium where the most direct sunlight will reach it during warm months. The environment outside could be much warmer than inside so if this scenario is available, it may work better for your fishes to keep them in a cooler yet sunny spot where there’s still a little heat at night when the sun goes down.

Change Water with Warm Water

This is a recommended resource. Remove a gallon of your tank’s fresh water once per week, mix in an equal amount of cold filtered water and replace with completely changed, warm water so that they always have room to swim and leave their eggs rather than stagnating. This also gives you one less thing to think about providing on top of making sure their temperature stays comfortable!

Cover Aquarium’s Glass Walls

This is another great idea and does a wonderful job at creating a warmer habitat for them. The walls of their tank will give off heat, which plants on the outside can absorb. This creates an effect similar to what you would get by raising your room thermostat slightly so they are not going without water while it’s warm outside!

Turn On the Light Brightness

If you have no heater, one of the best options is to get lights that are strong enough to heat up the water. If your aquarium has high lighting intensity, it will heat up fast. You can use fluorescent lamps or LEDs if you have the budget for those. In addition, you can use a timer that turns the lights on and off for several hours at night. This is one of the most effective ways to keep your fish happy in their tanks!

Make Sure Their Tank Is Equipped with Filters

This is another great way to help warm up their tank. If you have a filter, it will remove any organic waste and excess ammonia from the water, which will reduce its temperature. The more you clean their filter, the warmer it will be! Furthermore, a filter will also keep the water from stagnating.