How To Read A Temperature Strip In An Aquarium

They may seem like easy pets, but fish require a lot of care. From toning the water to checking the water temperature, you need to be careful about a lot of things. But why does checking water temperature matter so much?

Fish can’t regulate their body temperature and must stay warm to be healthy. But too warm or too cold temperatures can cause several problems in fish. If you’re a new fish owner, you may wonder how to regulate aquarium temperature.

Using a temperature strip on an aquarium, you can keep an eye on the temperature and adjust it accordingly.

If you’re still confused about how to read the temperature strip on an aquarium, this article talks about the proper way to check tank temperature and more!

How To Read Temperature Strip

There are different types of aquarium thermometers, but temperature strips are a popular pick. Although they are easy to use, you must ensure you get an accurate reading. This is a complete guide on how to read a temperature strip.

First, you’ll need to dry the area where you will attach the strip. You can do this by using a towel and making sure the outside of the tank is dry. Then you can proceed to remove the strip from its packaging.

Once this is done, remove the plastic backing on your temperature strip. Ensure that your strip is dry before you stick it onto the tank. You’ll need to make sure that it is on smoothly. A good way to stick it on flat is by using a card to smooth it out. Then you’ll need to wait 20-25 minutes for an accurate reading. Once done, you can check the reading on your strip thermometer.

If the colors are on the cooler side, like blue and purple, it indicates that the tank water is too cold. However, if it shows warm colors like yellow, your tank temperature is either right or too high. This method is slightly more accurate than digital thermometers.

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Why Is It Important To Check Aquarium Temperature?

If you have beta fish or a tank full of different breeds, temperature plays a key role. Constant changes in water temperature can be harmful or even fatal to your fish. Since fish can’t regulate their body temperature, their environment matters.

Colder water can cause changes in your pet’s immune system. At the same time, water that is too warm can cause parasite growth. Water temperature can also keep your coral and sea plants healthy.

But how exactly do I know what temperature the water needs to be? This all depends on the type of fish and organisms you have. You’ll have to do some research to determine the perfect tank temperature that suits the creatures you have in your aquarium. If you have fish that require different water temperatures, you can get separate aquariums.

You may also be wondering how to change your aquarium water‘s temperature. There are plenty of tools available that are designed for this task. For example, heat lamps can keep the water at a higher temperature if you live in a colder area.

These need to be monitored to ensure it doesn’t overheat the water. Similarly, aquarium chillers keep the water at a lower temperature. The key is determining the temperature you must maintain in your aquarium to keep those little swimmers healthy and happy. 

Are Aquarium Thermometers Accurate?

Although a small tool, aquarium thermometers come in handy. There are quite a few types of aquarium thermometers, including strip, digital, and floating. We will discuss how each one works and if it is accurate.

Floating Thermometer 

With these thermometers, you don’t have to check the water constantly. They stay in place and give you an accurate reading throughout the day. You can get these with hooks or suction cups.

The inside of these thermometers usually contains color to help you see them well. They are on the delicate side, so you have to be careful while installing them. Not only are they cheaper, but they can be moved around the tank easily.

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As far as accuracy goes, these are pretty spot on but may not be as accurate as other options.

Strip Thermometer

As we discussed earlier, a strip thermometer sticks to the aquarium glass and uses color to detect temperature. This option often has Celsius and Fahrenheit readings to make it easier for you. It is a versatile option that can also be used for other things.

This is another cheaper option if you don’t want to buy a digital thermometer. You should always place this thermometer on a dry area outside your tank. Make sure there are no vents placed around the area.

Is this an accurate option? While it gives accurate readings, the room’s temperature could affect it. One downside of the strip thermometer is that it’s dark, and you’ll need a light to read it.

You can buy this kind of thermometer in bulk.


Lastly on this list is the digital thermometer. This kind is a bit pricier but worth it due to its features. It consists of a needle that can be placed into the water and connects to a display.

The display shows you a reading of your aquarium at all times. This type of thermometer may require batteries to operate. The best thing about this option is that it has an alert to tell you if there is a drastic temperature change.

This is the most accurate option on this list. It also doesn’t get affected by the surrounding temperature.

Top methods to keep your fish aquarium warm!


If fish are kept at the wrong temperature, they can weaken and lose color. Worst of all, it can lead to cardiac arrest. If you love your fishy friends, check their water temperature often and make sure to maintain just the perfect temperature at all times. 

We hope this article helps you get an accurate aquarium reading!

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Susan Dorling

I am a pet expert with years of experience working with a variety of animals. From dogs and cats to birds and exotics, I have a deep understanding of their unique needs and behaviors. I am dedicated to helping pet owners provide the best care for their furry friend.