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post #1 of 4 Old 07-05-2010, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Buying new heater question

Ok on my next order from Dr's I'm planning on getting a new heater Eheim Jager to be exact, the one thing I've notice though they usually have a range of heaters for the same price given probably they cost the same to produce. Well my question is can I and should I buy the top level heater for the price range? Even though I only need the bottom? My reasoning for this is being able to use this same heater in a bigger tank later down the line.

Now I have a 36 gallon tank and according to the little blurb on the product page it says I would need the 100 watt heater (up to 39 gallons) I was planning on buying the 125 heater anyways (up to 52 gallons) but heck why not go ahead and get the 150 heater (up to 79 gallons) for the same price so if I get a 55 gallon some day I already have a heater for it.

Now I get the danger of too much heat to quickly like I'd be a moron to throw that 79 gallon heater in a 5 gallon tank but given the range of difference shouldn't I still be ok with the 125 or 150?

Also I can hardly believe the range of difference in wattage to gallon between heaters, heck the kit that came with my 36g tank had a 200 watt heater in it and here on the product page they say with this heater I will only need 100 watts..... even just comparing the heaters on the site you can see a huge difference in wattage per gallons in each brand. Its just kind of hard to believe there is that big of a difference between one metal coil heater and the next.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-05-2010, 02:32 AM
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3-5 watts per gallon is usually the rule.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-08-2010, 11:17 PM
Byron's Avatar
I would not go below a 150w heater for a 39g; in fact I would get a 200w. I have a 200w now in my 33g, and I have a 150w in my 20g.

My reasoning is that higher end heaters generally work more reliably, less breakdowns. I have never had a 150w or 200w heater fail in 15+ years, but I have gone through a few 50w heaters and lost fish due to overheating. Also, the higher the wattage the less "work" for the heater to heat the tank, so again it will last longer.

How long is the tank? If it is 4 feet I suggest two 150w heaters. Same reasoning as above, two work less hard to heat the water. One at either end, next to the filter outflow and intake if that is feasible (canister filter).

In heaters, a good idea is to get the best; it is not worth the risk of saving a few dollars on a heater only to lose a tank of fish.


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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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 #4 of 4 Old 07-08-2010, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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My bow front is only 30" long, but I'm currently considering buying a 20 long while petco has their sale going, with what you said a 150watt will work for both them at least(in case my 200 in my main tank goes out), I guess I will go ahead and get the 150 then.

Thanks as always, your years of experience saves me another head ache in the future.
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