09-23-2010, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
In heater higher wattage does not mean overheating, quite the opposite. The lower the wattage, the harder and longer the heater has to be on to heat the water to the set temperature. And on this point, room temperature also factors in. If you read the fine print on most heaters (reliable ones anyway) they will tell you that the heater will only heat the water if the ambient room temperature is within a specific number of degrees from where you want the tank temp. In other words, if you set up the aquarium in an ice igloo, no heater will heat the water to 78F. The room temp in which the tank sits has to be within a reasonable temperature.
So, back to your heater; if the room is kept at say 68F, and you want the tank to be 78F, a 150w heater will keep the tank at that temperature with considerably less effort than a 50w. Therefore, the 150w heater works better, is more reliable, and lasts longer than the lower rated heater in this situation. This is one reason why 50w heaters fail so often; they have to work too hard and too long to handle the task, and they just wear out.
I have a 150w heater in my 20g. I have a 200w in my 33g. I have two 200w in my larger tanks. My 10g has a 150w because the 75w gave out. All of these tanks are a constant 78F. Today the room is 70F, it's a cool damp (rainy) day outside. As I said earlier, the heater is the single most important piece of equipment in the fish tank; think of having to replace all the fish tomorrow morning if your heater malfunctions overnight. And they can. And fish that are chilled by as little as 5-6 degrees can break out in ich, not to mention the effect this has on their metabolism.
Ok, then I guess I'll get a 150 watt. (It's only $2 more)