Fish tank heater?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by ssbs, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. ssbs

    ssbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    I was thinking.. Would it work to have a submersable fish tank heater inside of my poultry waterer? Just a small one, for a 5-10 gallon tank. My waterer is one gallon.

    It keeps freezing on me which is getting to be a pain in the butt.
  2. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    It does work, but you need to be careful with the fish tank heaters, which may crack if the birds knock against it.
  3. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Quote:I live in northern Ontario and I did use a fish tank heater, but as the temps dropped the heater failed to keep the water from freezing. the heater was continously on working over time and it did nothing. the first time the water froze we took out the heater and noticed it had a hairline crack on it, this is dangerous, so we were going to buy a heated base but then a thought occurred to me after seeing all the tin can heaters that some members built.

    My Dh bought a small propane BBQ from walmart when he went out of town to work and was no longer using it. I thought I could do something with this, something similar to the tin can heaters I have seen here on BYC that some members built. so I had an old aquarium light top and I took that apart keeping the lightbulb base and the cord intact. I went out bought a service lightbulb meant for outdoor use and after I pushed the bulb base through the hole where the heating element was I attached it in place and screwed on the bulb. I then took my dogs 3 gallon waterer and tested it inside the house to see what would happen. the base warms up without the risk of a fire or the waterer melting. thus far it has gone down to -19F here and the base I built with the little BBQ (which has a flat top btw) has kept the water from freezing. I have it on a wood base with a wire rack underneath it for airflow out in the coop. been using it now for three weeks. No issues and I can keep my hand on it without burning myself so I can attest that it is safe.

    I have pictures, and instructions but need to upload everything onto my page. please don't use the fish tank heater cause if it cracks it could leak into the water, cause electric shock, and/or the chickens could end up eating the glass.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    There is a thread somewhere on here about the risks of using fish tank heaters. General consensus is that they are dangerous outside of aquarium use, and in a number of cases, were dangerous enough to kill off the inhabitants in an aquarium when they failed.

    Usually what happens is that they are bumped or for some reason water gets too low and they explode throwing glass everywhere. I had one blow up on me once. Flipped the breaker just in case it was still alive in the tank as I didn't want to get electrocuted, and I'm sure there are still glass bits in the tank that I was not able to remove. It was a new tank so no dead fish.
  5. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    I would not even consider it. I had the glass on an aquarium heater break inside a 55 gallon tank. The glass went to the bottom. The heater kicked in and didn't stop heating. 3/4 or more of the fish died that day. My plecostamus was never the same. The heater was concealed behind plants and decor, so there is NO WAY it had gotten bumped by the 8" long plecostamus. He lived a few more months but had clearly been harmed by being overheated. The overheating killed off ALL of the live bearers.

    Aquarium heaters are meant for use in a tank that is inside a room. It's meant to heat the water a few degrees. It also really maintains the heat more than anything, kicking in for a short period each time the water temp drops a little. It would have to run a lot more to heat water in a cold chicken house. I'd suspect it would fail much faster if used for this purpose.

    I suggest getting a heated bucket or a heated dog waterer, or get a heated base for a poultry waterer.

    Or, just take warm water out 2-3 times a day. That's what we did when I lived in a freaking cold climate. They'll crowd around and drink water when you go out.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by