Where Do You Place an Aquarium Thermometer?

Tropical and Freshwater fish both need water in a certain temperature range to best thrive. The best way to keep a fish at the optimal temperature is to place a thermometer in their tank. I did some research to find the best way to include a thermometer in your aquarium.

Where do you place an aquarium thermometer? The general placement of the thermometer may vary depending on what type of thermometer that you have. A stick-on thermometer goes on the outside of an aquarium. It can go on the front, back, or side of the tank. Do not place the thermometer in direct sunlight, or near a heating or cooling unit. These areas can affect the thermometer’s reading.

Here is my chosen top-rated thermometer.

The placement of the thermometer needs to be above the gravel line so it can get an accurate reading of the water. Floating and standing thermometers go inside the aquarium on the opposite side of the heater. A thermometer close to the heater might read higher than the actual temperature. It will help you see if the water temperature is the same throughout the aquarium. These thermometers will have a suction cup to hold the thermometer to the glass. There are some floating thermometers that move around on top of the water. Place the thermometer halfway up the glass, so it is right in your line of sight. The thermometer should be easy to read, but not blocking the view of the fish.

There are many things to consider when purchasing an aquarium. What type of thermometer would work best with your aquarium setup? What are the best thermometers on the market right now, and how to set one up when you purchase it? You also might be wondering how safe the thermometer will be for your fish. These are some questions that I will answer in the rest of this article.

Maintaining the Aquarium temperature (Video)

What are the different types Of thermometers?

The most common type of aquarium thermometer is a stick-on thermometer, or LCD ( liquid crystal display). Sometimes they are labeled digital thermometers, but this is an inaccurate description. These are the type that is included with most aquarium kits and is also one of the most cost-friendly. LCD thermometers have a stick on the back that you place on the outside of the aquarium. The thermometers usually have a Fahrenheit and Celcius Scale. They come in horizontal and vertical varieties. Since the placement of the thermometer is on the outside, there can be some outside interference with the temperature. The temperature range is usually around a couple of degrees around the actual temperature of the water. Another issue is that they quit working around the year mark, so they need to be replaced annually. An LCD thermometer is good for a basic tank setup. The thermometer is easy to place, cheap, and hard to break.

Another type of aquarium thermometer is a standing thermometer. This thermometer is placed inside the tank and sticks to the glass by a suction cup or a clip. The glass thermometers are easier to break, especially if there is a curious or rough fish in the tank. The numbers are smaller than on an LCD thermometer, but they have a colored safe zone marked. It makes it easy to see if the fish are ok with a quick glance.

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The next type of aquarium thermometer is a floating thermometer. A floating thermometer is a glass thermometer that goes on the inside of the tank. The main difference between floating and standing is that floating moves freely through the water of the tank. There are some floating thermometers that have anchors to make them sink to the bottom of the tank instead of floating on the top. The problem with these thermometers is that they are breakable, are sometimes hard to read, and can float up against the filter getting caught, or blocking the filter.

The last type of thermometer is a digital thermometer. A digital thermometer sits on the outside of the tank attached by a suction cup or velcro. The thermometer has a probe you place in the tank with a suction cup. These thermometers are more pricey than the others but come with a set of good features. Some have an alarm if the water gets too hot or too cold. These thermometers are more accurate than other types of thermometers. A digital thermometer requires either a battery or to be plugged into an electric outlet to work.

Best and Most Accurate Aquarium Thermometer

Best Standing Thermometer

The Best Standing Thermometer is the JW Pet Company SmartTemp thermometer. The best thing about this thermometer is that instead of using a suction cup to stay in place, it uses a magnet. The magnet makes it easy to move the thermometer around the tank. It also solves the problem with build-up forming around the suction cup. The thermometer’s numbers are large and easy to read. It is cost-effective to use for a beginner tank. The biggest complaint about this glass thermometer is that it breaks easily under rough treatment.

Best Digital Thermometer

The Best digital Thermometer is the RISEPRO Digital Water Thermometer. This thermometer gave accurate measurements in every type of tank. It can range in temperature from -58 to 158 degrees Farenhieght, and -50 to 70 Celsius. The thermometer comes with an extra LL4 battery. Some of the reviewers stated that they haven’t had to change their batteries in three years. It is quick and easy to set up. The display is large and easily read. The thermometer is compact, so it can discreetly fit anywhere on your tank. The main problem with this thermometer is that the suction cup on the back can lose its grip causing the thermometer to fall.

Best LCD thermometer

The best LCD thermometer is  LRC Hillcrest A-1005 American Thermometer. This thermometer is easy to set up. You can stick it to the aquarium and take it off multiple times without losing stickiness. It has a crystal color system that makes it easy to read. The current temperature is colored green. Brown marks the temperature above the current temperature, and blue the temperature a degree lower. The thermometer only lasts around a year and some reviewers complained that their thermometer slipped instead of sticking.

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How to Install a Thermometer?

To install an LCD monitor, you first need to clean the glass with a glass cleaner. Then dry with a rag. Next, you carefully peel the adhesive backing off the thermometer strip. You will have to line up where you want the thermometer to go on the glass, and place it there. Lastly, run a credit card, or another similar item over the strip to smooth out any air bubbles.

For thermometers with a suction cup, clean and dry the area where you which to put the thermometer. Line the thermometer up and press the suction cup against the glass until it makes a seal.

How to read a Thermometer?

On an LCD thermometer, the temperature is the number in green. The blue or violet color represents the temperature below the current temperature. The red or tan color indicates the temperature above the current temperature. Always read the number in green to get the most accurate idea of what temperature the tank is.

What are aquarium thermometers made of?

The liquid in a glass aquarium thermometer is dyed alcohol. The silver or black balls or made out of lead. These little balls float on the alcohol and help you better see what temperature the tank is. If the thermometer breaks then it will not harm the fish. Older thermometers and some laboratory-grade thermometers contain silver liquid. The silver liquid is Mercury and can be very dangerous to a fish. If one breaks, clean the tank immediately.

How to Test the Accuracy of A thermometer?

Place a glass or digital thermometer in water that is to place the thermometer in a glass filled with ice. Next, you use the thermometer to stir for around 15 seconds. The thermometer should read 32F.

Should I have more than one thermometer?

Having more than one thermometer in an aquarium setup is recommended in case one thermometer fails.

What temperature should my aquarium be?

Aquarium fish do the best at a temperature range of 76-78F.

What happens if the aquarium gets too hot?

If the aquarium gets too hot, there will be less oxygen available for the fish. If untreated the fish could suffocate. An aquarium may get too hot for many reasons. The aquarium placement is in a warm area of the house. The lights and filter could be causing the tank to get too hot. Aquariums with high light may require an aquarium chilling system. If the aquarium gets too hot, unplug all items and do a partial water change using cooler water.

What happens if the aquarium gets too cold?

A cold aquarium will have sluggish fish that do not want to eat. If the temperature of the aquarium drops it might mean a broken heater.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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