An Aquarium Temperature controller is an important tool not only for its capability to accurately regulate your waters temperature, but it can serve as a very important safety mechanism in the event of a heater malfunction. Asking this question shows your concern for the safety and comfort of your fishy friends…my kind of person!
What is a Temperature Controller?
An Aquarium Temperature Controller will regulate the temperature in your aquarium by switching your heaters on and off to achieve the desired temperature setting. A temperature controllers sensor and thermostat are much more accurate than the thermostat inside a stand alone heater.
How is a temperature controller used as a safety precaution?
As we all know, mechanical/electrical things fail, for a variety of reasons. The temperature sensor in your heater can fail and stay stuck in the on position causing your water to over heat and kill all your fish. One faulty heater can cause a lot of damage. If you have a big tank and a lot of expensive fish this can lead to the feeling of wanting to quit the hobby. Lets avoid that by adding a redundant safety measure.
To avoid a heater thermostat malfunction we bypass it by allowing the temperature controller to control when the heater is on or off. By having 2 thermostats in the system we create a redundancy. The heaters thermostat serves as a back up to the temperature controller. If your temperature controller fails and remains on, your heater thermostat will sense the increase in temperature and shut itself off.
What if your heater fails and doesn’t turn on at all?
That’s a great question. We’re really covering all angles now. The answer is simple. A second, smaller, stand alone heater! Let me elaborate.
A second (less wattage) stand alone heater will serve as a backup if your main heater fails by not turning on at all. By setting this stand alone heater to a temperature a few degrees lower than your main heater it will serve as a back up when temperatures get too low. This heater will only function if your main heater fails to heat the water. As temperatures cool to the setting on the stand alone heater, it will activate and keep your water at safe temperature levels long enough for you to notice the malfunction and correct, repair or replace the problem unit.
Why use a smaller heater?
Again, all things can fail, even this back up, back up. This heater can also fail and remain stuck in the on position, rounding all the way back to why we wanted redundancy in the first place. Because this heater is smaller, and not capable of sufficiently heating your entire tank alone, even in the event of a malfunction it can not over heat your tank. It will generate enough heat to keep your temperatures at safe levels if your main heater fails to turn on but it will never be able to over heat your water.
3 Degrees of Redundancy!
In conclusion, uncontrollable malfunctions can happen and have heavy consequences. We now have 3 Thermostats (1 controller and 2 heaters) all serving as back ups to each other whether they fail in the on position or the off position. This piece of mind knowing that you’ve gone above and beyond for the safety of your fish is priceless!
In this video we go further in depths of how to setup these back up safety measures, Enjoy!