Heating an Aquarium with Oil

Even though oil heating has been utilized for tropical tanks for the last 30 years, it has the drawback of not having the capability to be controlled automatically, and requirements every day attention. It’s feasible to obtain standard equipment for this technique of heating, but as an alternative you are able to make your own.

You are able to get the burners and wick from the local hardware shop. The most satisfactory kind of burner has a porcelain insert around the wick, which helps to give a a lot cleaner flame and cuts down fumes to a minimum. The container should be sufficiently big to hold sufficient oil to last 24 hours. A sweet or paint tin cut down to 2 in- is perfect, but you should solder the seams and lid to make certain that the joins are sealed, then cut a circular hole in the centre of the lid, and insert the burner.

You are able to make the filler cap from the top of any tin with a screw cap. Cut the top off the tin just below the cap level and solder to the top of the container, initial making a hole in the lid to correspond. You are able to effortlessly supply some indication of the oil level should you make a gauge in the filler cap. To do this, pierce a 1/4 in. hole in the centre of the cap and solder a short length of copper tube into it, and then cut a piece of 1/16 in. wire to the depth equal to the distance of the bottom of the container to the top of the 1/4 in. o/d tube. Should you press a cork on to the end of the wire which is inside the container, it’ll act as a float, and also the position of the wire above the tube will tell you the fuel content.

Don’t permit a naked flame to come into direct contact with any component of the aquarium, as it’ll most certainly crack it. It’s not challenging to overcome this, should you have a shield of a minimum of 1/16 in. thick metal fixed directly over the flame. The illustration shows an simple technique of doing this.

When using oil as a technique of heating, it’s advisable to have an experimental run to give some indication of the flame height essential to maintain the needed temperature.

To steer clear of loss of heat, the bottom of the aquarium could be enclosed in an asbestos skirt or stood on a box comparable to that described for heating with an electric light bulb.