Trouble with aquarium heaters - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-09-2013, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble with aquarium heaters

Hello, this is my first post on this forum, and I hope you all will welcome me. I have kept goldfish in the past but got out of the hobby for a while. I recently acquired a betta from a centerpiece at a friend's wedding and set him up in my old 10-gallon. He seems to be doing well, but I am having a problem getting heaters to work.

I first got a Top Fin 50-watt heater, which never came on unless I turned it all the way up, which would have been too hot for the betta. After reading reviews online, I decided it was just a bad product, returned it to the store after three weeks and got an Aqueon 50-watt heater.

The Aqueon is now having the same problem. It won't come on until I turn the indicator all the way to 88 degrees, which again would be too hot based on what I've read.

Throughout the use of both of these heaters, the thermometer has measured in the low to mid 60s consistently. I know the thermometer works because I took it out and put it in warm water ran from the tap, and it started to go up.

I hope someone can help me, because cold weather is coming and I'm sure poor Blueberry is already freezing. I have kept the AC in my apartment off as much as possible to help keep the water temperature up. Any ideas?

10g - 1 male betta
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-09-2013, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oyster42 View Post
Hello, this is my first post on this forum, and I hope you all will welcome me. I have kept goldfish in the past but got out of the hobby for a while. I recently acquired a betta from a centerpiece at a friend's wedding and set him up in my old 10-gallon. He seems to be doing well, but I am having a problem getting heaters to work.

I first got a Top Fin 50-watt heater, which never came on unless I turned it all the way up, which would have been too hot for the betta. After reading reviews online, I decided it was just a bad product, returned it to the store after three weeks and got an Aqueon 50-watt heater.

The Aqueon is now having the same problem. It won't come on until I turn the indicator all the way to 88 degrees, which again would be too hot based on what I've read.

Throughout the use of both of these heaters, the thermometer has measured in the low to mid 60s consistently. I know the thermometer works because I took it out and put it in warm water ran from the tap, and it started to go up.

I hope someone can help me, because cold weather is coming and I'm sure poor Blueberry is already freezing. I have kept the AC in my apartment off as much as possible to help keep the water temperature up. Any ideas?
Place one of the heater's ,and thermometer in a bucket of tapwater and measure the temp on thermometer after setting over night.Then look to see what heater is set at.
In my expierience,,the heater setting,or dial can lie, but the thermometer shouldn't.
I have a couple heater's thast are turned up to near 80 degrees F on the heater, but thermometer say's 75 degree's F.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-09-2013, 03:11 PM
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Place one of the heater's ,and thermometer in a bucket of tapwater and measure the temp on thermometer after setting over night.Then look to see what heater is set at.
In my expierience,,the heater setting,or dial can lie, but the thermometer shouldn't.
I have a couple heater's thast are turned up to near 80 degrees F on the heater, but thermometer say's 75 degree's F.
The scale on the heater is inaccurate at best. First, the specs say that the heater will maintain a setting +/- 2 or 3 or 4 deg.; second, the setting ring on a heater is useless because the bimetallic thermostat and the setting ring have no physical contact. when the heater was designed the physical locations were not accurately picked off. The manufacturing process allows some differences to creep in.

All making the setting just an approximation. So the best bet is to use a thermometer to adjust the setting. The second part of that is there is a lag time that is a result of the time it takes the heater to stabilize at the tank temp so the bimetallic thermostat in the heater can turn the heater on.

Hope I haven't confused you. Put the heater on the tank and wait at least 1/2 hour to check the temp in the tank and checking that the heater is working.

Nobody's life, liberty and happiness are safe when Congress is in session. Hallyx kindly reminded me that this statement is attributed to Mark Twain. Even more pertinent today then when he said it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-09-2013, 11:39 PM
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Also, I've found I get better results if the heater is placed directly by the output of the filter to make sure all the warm water gets circulated. You may have already done this, but I just wanted to make sure. It took me over a month to figure that out :p
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-04-2013, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well, in case anyone was looking for follow-up on this ... the problem was the thermometer. I finally got around to buying a digital thermometer and it measures exactly what the heater is set to, while the cheap thermometer still said 60-some degrees.
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10g - 1 male betta
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