maintenance, care, compatibility
The main disadvantages when using a heater are associated with the need to constantly monitor its operation. Even reaching the desired indicator of water temperature, the device still continues to function and it must be disconnected from the network manually.
To get rid of this problem, a special device is used – the thermostat, which is a device with a built-in temperature sensor. It allows you to turn off the heating element when it reaches the set point and turn it on again when the water starts to cool.
Thus, a stable microclimate is achieved without temperature drops. The use of modern technology allows the manufacture of very compact and easy-to-use thermostats.
According to manufacturing technology, they are divided into two types.
Electronic. They have high accuracy (most of them are equipped with information boards).
Among the shortcomings can be called the relative high cost and lack of reliability.
Mechanical. There are most often, are stable and reliable in operation, cheaper price.
They often distort the actual performance by several degrees, so you need to use a separate thermometer to fine tune the device.
The level of safety in operation and durability of the device thermostats are divided into:
- Remote – are outside the aquarium, not affected by the aquatic environment and the products of vital activity of aquatic organisms. This increases their service life and provides an opportunity to use cheaper heaters, to replace them without additional costs. To determine the mode of operation, a separate temperature sensor is used, which is located in the aquarium and is connected by wire to a thermostat.
- Built-in – mounted in a sealed enclosure with a heating element. With this configuration, the entire system of control and heating of water becomes very compact and easy to use.
The latter type of design is most popular among aquarists and is often made in the form of an elongated glass bulb, inside of which there is an electric heater and a thermostat. For greater thermal conductivity, the space of the flask is filled with the smallest ceramic filler.
The tightness of the design provides a rubberized or plastic cap through which the power wire passes. Here is a regulator that allows you to set the desired temperature.
Well-known brands of aquarium equipment – Eheim, Fluval, Ferplast, Aquael, Tetra – produce reliable and high-quality immersion heaters for an aquarium with a thermostat of 25 to 300 watts. Such devices are able to provide the necessary conditions in aquariums up to 1500 liters.
To reduce the likelihood of overheating of water, there is a practice with the simultaneous use of several less powerful thermal devices. In the case when it is not possible to purchase the necessary equipment, it can be done on your own.
When making such a device, you need to remember that the conditions of its operation are associated with a serious risk of electric shock.
But if the decision was made in favor of artisanal crafts, then there is a good option with the creation of a structure made of resistors (resistances), a piece of glass tube with thick walls, a dry filler and an external thermostat. Installation work is carried out in the following order.
1. The power of the heating element is determined on the basis of a special table, which takes into account the temperature difference between the required in the aquarium and the room one. The required current strength is calculated by dividing the selected power by the applied voltage.
By dividing the voltage used by the calculated value of the current, you can get the resistance value of the heater. The required number of identical resistors is selected so that their total power and resistance index corresponds to the calculated values.
2. Determine the length and diameter of the glass tube based on the size and number of resistances. It is important that the successively soldered resistors are placed in the tube with a reserve of 15 cm of free space.
3. In the role of filler, you can use purified from calcined and calcined sand.
4. The bottom of the glass tube is closed with a suitable rubber stopper fitted on the aquarium sealant.
5. The ends of the network cable are soldered to the top and bottom resistors.. The whole structure is placed in the tube and covered with sand.
It is important that the sand be at the bottom of the tube and cover the upper resistor.
6. Top of the tube is carefully closed with aquarium sealant. The power cord is connected to the thermostat with a remote temperature sensor, which in turn is placed in the aquarium.
7. The heater is placed vertically so that the part of the tube in which the resistors are located is hidden under water. Mounted design to the wall of the aquarium with special suction cups.
Also developed schemes for the manufacture and the thermostat on the basis of the comparator and thermistors.