Heater and temperature - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-18-2009, 12:17 PM
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I would always have two heaters in any tank 4 feet or longer, for the reasons others have cited. I have had heaters, and good ones, malfunction. I use two in my 115g and 70g, one at the end beside the filter intake, the other at the opposite end beside the filter outflow. This "current" ensures the heated water is moving throughout the tank evenly. Heating the water before it goes into the filter helps to keep it heated as it travels through the filter and tubing.

My best setup is my 90g which has the heating unit built into the Eheim Pro II filter. This was the last of the Eheims I bought back in 1997, and I wish I had gone this route with the others before. This unit has never failed in 12 years of constant use, and aside from the occassional heat wave in summer the water never fluctuates in temperature except when I do the weekly pwc; I deliberately add water slightly cooler by 1-2 degrees to simulate a rainstorm and it stimulates the fish. My other two tanks with dual heaters are not as consistent as this one.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-18-2009, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Byron, is there a certain brand you would recommend over another?
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post #13 of 22 Old 12-18-2009, 04:03 PM
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Byron: I'm confused. You recommend two heaters for large tanks but your favorite setup is the one which only uses one?
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-19-2009, 12:42 PM
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Byron: I'm confused. You recommend two heaters for large tanks but your favorite setup is the one which only uses one?
The Eheim unit is really not a heater per say. There is a real coil in the bottom of the canister, much like a stove element coil. Not at all the (comparatively) flimsy heating coil of any stand-alone heaters I have seen. Not even a comparison. And the Eheim temperature probe is so sensitive it recognizes one-tenth of a degree, and the digital temperature display shows this. For example, the temp is set at 25.5C (78F) and the temp display will be 25.5 then 25.4 a second later, then 25.6 two seconds later, then 25.5 a second later, etc--you get the idea. I have the probe next to the filter intake so I know the temp is the tank water farthest from the actual heating unit in the filter, since the water has been heated and passed through the filter back into the tank oat one end and then flows to the opposite length-wise end where the temp is taken before the water re-enters the filter. It is very precise and accurate. I am not aware of any stand-alone heater that can achieve this degree of precision or accuracy. And except in summer heat waves or after a pwc, the variation in temp never, and I mean never, exceeds .3 from where it is set. And for 12 years steady use.

With stand-alone heaters, I would never rely on one in a 4-foot or larger tank. I did have this for a while, then added a second (my 70g) and noticed a much more steady temperature with both heaters.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-19-2009, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LisaC144 View Post
Byron, is there a certain brand you would recommend over another?
My best suggestion is to buy the best you can, and get a higher than recommended wattage. For instance, for a 55g tank, I would use two 150w heaters minimum. Higher wattage heaters apparently perform better and have fewer problems, and having two the same, according to what I have read on many forums and in articles. Having had heaters malfunction and losing many fish in one day because of it, I think it is money well spent, like insurance just in case. When it happens, you'll wish you had spent the money.

The heaters are probably the single most important piece of equipment in the aquarium. If the filter fails, chances are you will be able to rectify it within a day or two with no loss. If the lights fail, similarly; plants can manage a couple of days without light. But a malfunctioning heater that suddenly cools or heats the tank can mean fish death in a few hours, as I learned firsthand. Not worth saving a few dollars if the tank of fish expire.

B.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 12-19-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-19-2009, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up getting a 250w heater. I will continue to use my original one that came with the tank as back up. I have a feeling it's a 200w as it's not getting the water up to 79 where I like it.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-19-2009, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LisaC144 View Post
I ended up getting a 250w heater. I will continue to use my original one that came with the tank as back up. I have a feeling it's a 200w as it's not getting the water up to 79 where I like it.
Perhaps the heater is not working properly. My heaters are all 200w, and I have no problems keeping the tanks at 78F on really cold days when the room temp can be 60F or below overnight. Having two heaters does mean less work for each, so better life and more consistent temp.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-19-2009, 05:07 PM
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A 200w on a 55g should have NO problem with that at all....Unless you either have the tank sitting in a basement where its below 60 right now, or the heater is indeed less watts then you may think. But also different brands act differently I had these "dial me to whatever" with no scale that come with tank kits, ditched them all and got Cascade heater - NOW I'm happy with temps everywhere

Also not to forget having 2 heaters DOES HELP when one breaks on you w/out you realizing it

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-19-2009, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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I could be completely wrong. I bought the tank used and it came with the heater. Considering a 200w heater is good up to 55g I'd think the old owner would have a least bought that, but who knows. No worries now. My heater will be here in a couple days and the tank is at a steady 75 degrees. When the new heater comes, I wil SLOWLY raise the temp to 79.
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-19-2009, 09:01 PM
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What brand are you going with now? (Just curious as always lol)
Check the plastic part on the old heater, usually underneath or on the back it has imprints with manufacturer, Model no and watts there.

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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