With the new generation of fish keepers being the most environmentally minded yet, there as been a huge spike in the number of people reaching out and asking various questions about how they can insulate a fish tank. Not only does a properly insulated fish tank require less heat to maintain a steady temperature resulting in lower energy consumption but it can also help to drastically reduce your power bill, especially if you have a number of aquariums in your home!
There are a number of ways that you are able to insulate a fish tank but the most common and budget friendly way is to use insulation foil on the base, rear, and sides of your fish tank to help contain heat. For the most part, this method will not cause problems with your ability to view your tank when you wish and it will also give full access to the top of the tank to allow you to easily gain access when required.
There are a number of insulation foils on the market with different thickness levels and heat retention systems. One of the cheapest yet most effective is insulation foil with smart shield technology that is commonly used when looking to insulate fish tanks. There really are a wide range of different insulation foils on the market as well as various other types of insulation material that can also work but we will be focusing on insulation foil for this article.
Why Is It Important To Insulate A Fish Tank?
The three most common reasons that people usually insulate their fish tank is to reduce their energy consumption to be more eco-friendly, to reduce the costs of their energy bill in the long term, and to make it much easier to maintain a steady water temperature in their tanks. Most people will benefit from all three of these when insulate their tanks but depending on your specific setup, you may only need the advantages of one or two of these.
Most people initially focus on the initial costs of the insulation foil and other things that they will require to correctly insulate their fish tank though and this can put some people off. It is true that you initial costs will be higher due to having to purchase these accessories, in the long term, sometimes in as little as a few months this can balance out and result in you actually saving money compared to if you had not chosen to insulate your fish tank.
Depending on the water temperature that you require in your tanks and the ambient temperature in your local area, these savings can be huge making it well worth correctly insulating your fish tank too. If you do live in a warmer area where your local temperature is closer to your target water temperature then the potential savings will decrease and it will take longer for you to recoup your initial investment in the insulation materials but it is still usually worth doing for many fish keepers.
How Do You Insulate A Fish Tank?
There are a large number of ways that you are able to insulate a fish tank. The easiest, cheapest, and most common method is to use insulation foil as your insulator and attach it to your fish tank glass using mounting tape. This beginner friendly method allows you to insulate your fish tank within minutes while also keeping the project as cheap as possible.
Even when using this method, there are a number of different ways that you are able to do it but we would recommend that you do it this way. First, measure your insulation foil against the areas of your fish tank that you will have to cover and then cut your insulation foil to size. Next, stick the mounting tape to one side of the fish tank you are wanting to insulate and remove the second side cover on the tape to allow you to stick your insulation foil to that side of the aquarium.
Repeat this process for each side of the fish tank that you are insulating until the base, rear, and sides of the aquarium have been insulated. Some people will also make a removable or flappable sheet of insulating foil for the top of their aquarium too due to most heat being lost through the top of the tank but this can cause problems with the ventilation in some tanks so factor this in when planning the project.
How Do I Keep My Fish Tank Insulated In The Winter?
If you are using a high-quality insulation foil to insulate your fish tank then there should be no real problems with keeping the tank insulated during the winter unless you live in a particularly cold area. If you do live in an area where the winter temperatures present a risk to your tank you can look to use an even thicket insulated foil for your tank helping to insulate the heat better.
Some people do try to just double up their normal insulation foil to try and add additional protection but this is not how insulation foil works unfortinaltey. Although adding a second layer of insulation foil to your aquarium may help, the additional heat insulated will be marginal and you will usually have to go with a much thicker insulation foil rather than trying a second layer of your current foil.
During the winter months, you may want to add insulation foil to the front of your aquarium too as a temporary solution to help insulate as much heat as possible. This will inhibit your ability to view your aquarium when you want to but it is often the best route to take for most people when they are wanting to insulate as much heat as possible during a particularly cold winter.
How Much Heat Is Lost Through Aquarium Glass?
Most budget friendly fish tanks will have normal glass or perspect with a emittance rating of 0.92 making glass one of the poorest heat insulators available. Some of the more expensive fish tanks can be made from a thicker glass or even double glazed glass that can help drastically reduce this emittance rating and retain heat within the aquarium easier.
The vast majority of our readers will probably have regular aquarium glass in their fish tank though that is a particularly poor insulator of heat. This is why so many people choose to insulate their fish tanks with insulation foil or another insulation material as it can easily make drastic changes and reduce the cost of your energy bill be retaining far more heat in your fish tank.
We have seen some people try a range of other methods to insulate their tanks and although some can work well, their prices are often far higher than simple insulation foil. Some of the other methods may need to be replaced every year or two making them less economical too so insulation foil is always or material of choice and we would highly recommend it to our readers who are looking for a way to reduce the amount of heat lost via their aquarium glass.
Is DIY Aquarium Insulation Safe?
There will always be some level of risk with DIY insulation projects for fish tanks as easily over looked issues such as blocking ventilation or an air intake for a pump with your insulation foil can cause major problems further down the road. For the most part though, a DIY fish tank insulation is as safe as you can get it when looking to balance the costs required for the job too.
There are huge numbers of people within the fish keeping hobby who have used their own DIY aquarium insulation methods to insulate heat in their tanks to get all of the available benefits. One common problem that we have seen people having issues with is leaving their tank heater at its current settings without an automatic regulation setting on the heater.
This type of heater is rare these days as even the budget friendly fish tank heating systems come with some type of automatic regulation but there may be a risk of you accidentally over heating your fish tank’s water temperature. This can easily be avoided by paying close attention to your water temperature for the first couple of days after applying the insulation foil to your tank to make sure that the water temperature remains steady and within ranges that you would expect.
That brings our article going over how you can insulate your fish tank to an end. Considering the low time and cost investment required for a basic fish tank insulating project, it is easy to see why they are becoming so popular within the fish keeping community. They are easily customizable too allowing you to adapt the length and shape of your insulation foil as required to match up with the requirements of your fish tank.