Do Aquarium Plants Need A Heater? [Water Temperature Chart]

Image of plants in an aquarium without a heater

Aquarium plants need a warm temperature to make food and stay healthy. So do aquarium plants need a heater?

Most aquarium plants don’t need a heater as they can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures. The ideal water temperature for aquarium plants ranges between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C). However, you will need a heater if the ambient temperature drops below 50°F (10°C) or rises above 86°F (30°C).

Even if many plants don’t need a heater, you still might have to use it for the following reasons.

4 Reasons Why Aquarium Plants Need A Heater

Most aquarium plants can tolerate fluctuations in the water temperature and don’t need a heater. However, a heater helps maintain the optimal water temperatures for aquarium plants.

Below are some of the reasons why aquarium plants need a heater.

1. Plants are delicate.

Most delicate plants require a stable water temperature and pH balance. If the water temperature rises or falls too much, such plants may perish.

Heaters will help delicate plants by maintaining a stable water temperature that’s required for them to grow and thrive.

2. Ambient temperature is too high or low.

If the ambient temperature around the aquarium is above 86°F (30°C), the plant leaves will start to wilt and will not survive eventually.

Similarly, if there is a significant drop in the ambient temperature below 50°F (10°C), aquarium plants will find it difficult to survive.

In both cases, you must install a heater to eliminate the variations in the water temperature.

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3. Fish are tropical.

An aquarium is a home to aquatic plants, fish, and invertebrates. So, the water temperature must be suitable for all the inhabitants.

A tropical fish in your aquarium needs a stable water temperature to survive, and a heater can help maintain the required water temperature.

Therefore, even if the aquarium plants can handle varying temperatures, you need a heater to ensure the well-being of your other aquatic pets.

4. Infections need to be controlled.

Seasonal changes result in fluctuations in the ambient temperature. This impacts the tank’s temperature. Moreover, varying temperatures cause an increase in fungal and bacterial growth in the water.

This will not affect the plants directly but can be fatal to the other tank inhabitants. In such cases, a heater can maintain a stable temperature and prevent unwanted fungal and bacterial growth.

Alright! Let’s now understand what’s the best temperature for aquarium plants.

What Is The Ideal Water Temperature For Aquarium Plants?

In the wild, aquatic plants that grow along the water bodies face varying temperatures throughout the day. Some of these plants are submerged in the water, while others face direct sunlight.

Moreover, the weather changes from day to night a lot faster in the wild. At night when the sun goes down, the temperature drops significantly compared to daytime when the sun is up.

The ideal water temperature for aquarium plants is in the range of 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C). However, if the temperature goes above 86°F (30°C), it can be fatal to plants like bucephalandra and tiger lotuses as they prefer colder temperatures.

Most aquariums don’t face high-temperature variations. It’s because the ambient temperature around the aquarium doesn’t change significantly compared to the temperature fluctuations in the wild.

Therefore, most aquarium plants do well in tank water.

However, you must also consider the water quality, plant fertilizer, and substrate type to ensure optimal growth.

Finally, if you have plants that need stable and cooler temperatures, you must install a heater.

An aquarium heater comes with a thermostat control system. It allows you to set the desired temperature and monitor it using a digital display.

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Live Aquarium Plants That Can Survive A Wide Range Of Water Temperatures

There are aquarium plants that can acclimate to a wide range of temperature variations. These hardies don’t need a heater to provide them with stable water temperatures to grow and thrive.

Below are the live aquarium plants that can survive a wide range of water temperatures.

Water temperature chart for live aquarium plants
Water temperature chart for live aquarium plants


Do Freshwater Plants Need A Heater?

Freshwater plants improve the aesthetics of an aquarium. In addition, they increase oxygen levels, absorb carbon dioxide, eliminate fish waste, offer shelter to fish, and serve as a breeding ground.

Freshwater plants don’t need a heater to survive temperature variations. The ideal temperature for freshwater plants ranges between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C). However, plants like Java Moss, Elodea Densa, and Vallisneria Spirallis can also survive temperatures between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).

Okay! Freshwater plants can survive varying temperatures. However, you must choose the plants depending on the type of fish you want to keep in your aquarium.

Finally, freshwater plants can live without a heater, but tropical fish need a stable water temperature. So, do tropical fish tanks need a heater?

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Do Tropical Fish Tanks Need A Heater?

Yes, tropical fish tanks need a heater as the ideal water temperature to be maintained is in the range of 75°F to 80°F (24°C to 27°C). A heater helps maintain this required water temperature in the tropical fish tanks.

Some aquarists think there’s no need for a heater if the ambient temperature is within the required range. However, it’s essential to understand that we can’t consider only the peak daytime temperature.

If the temperature at night falls below the ideal range, it can create problems for the aquarium inhabitants. Therefore, a heater can help maintain the stable water temperature that tropical fish need to thrive.

Also, changing seasons can cause the aquarium water temperature to vary considerably. Such variations are more likely to increase fungal and bacterial growth inside the tank.

Heaters can maintain stable water temperatures and eliminate the possibility of a sudden spike in bacterial and fungal growth.

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