Lets Talk Thermometers - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-29-2012, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Lets Talk Thermometers

Do some feel robbed when they purchase a battery operated thermometer and then find out on the interior instructions that the specs say 1.5 degrees plus or minus? For the $10.00 I spent, I expected better accuracy then that. Especially when a regular spirit thermometer (at $3.00) that is now in my tank has much better accuracy.
I have a mercury filled thermometer and with care, tested my water and it and the spirit thermometer read 76 degrees F.
So now I am looking for another spirit thermometer that is easier to read or will consider another battery operated one that the specs say plus or minus 0.5 degrees. The trouble is that my search on the net only showed the products without the specs. Your Thoughts?
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-29-2012, 06:38 PM
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Its standard practice for digital thermometers to have about that size of gap in accuracy, unless you spend $60-$100 for a professional one that you can calibrate. For our purposes a 1.5 degree accuracy should be fine and if your that worried about it then do a manual mind calibration by putting it next to an accurate thermometer and remember how much it is off by, doing that every so often. I have 3 coralife digital thermometers and put them all in the same water and they were with in about 0.5 of a degree spread.

You get what you pay for, can't expect something for $10 to do the same quality job as something that costs $100.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-29-2012, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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But my $3.00 thermometer with suction cup was just as accurate as a mercury filled thermometer and these are not cheap. The only benefit I see in these battery operated units is their large led displays. Maybe someone forgot to tell the Chinese that someone is manufacturing $3.00 thermometers that are much more accurate. I'll stick with them instead.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-30-2012, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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I just spoke to a American Marine representative of the Pinpoint Products and he confirms that their temperature thermometer is also + or - 1.5 degrees. But I would like to point out that this plus or minus is a 3 point spread. This means that a tank that reads say 76 degrees with a battery operated thermometer could be 74.5 degrees or it could be 77.5 degrees. I would rather believe that most fish keepers would like to know just exactly what their temperature is. Now this is within the safe zone of 70 to 82 degrees. But what about those fish keepers on the borderline of trying to maintain tank temperatures with a battery operated thermometer who see their product says 70 or 82 degrees ? Now add the plus or minus 1.5 and the water temperature does not meet or passes the safe limit.
The manufacturers and the distributors would like us to believe that the 1.5 plus or minus is of no consequence; but I beg to differ. So if a fish keeper uses a alcohol or mercury thermometer, then he would get a more accurate reading. So the point is "why buy a battery operated thermometer only to check it with a mechanical one to see how much the error is". I believe fish keepers are better off sticking with alcohol or mercury type thermometers.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-31-2012, 06:34 PM
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True but ease of use, cost and practicality most of the time will over ride accuracy for most fish keepers I totally agree with you that knowing exactly what the temp is can help you gauge your situation better. But just with dealing with aquarium heaters has made me give up on perfect accuracy as it can be alot of work, I mean cammon you would think if you set a heater for 78 it would keep the water with in +/- 1 degree of that temperature but instead on hot days my tanks can get to 81 with an ambient room temperature of 77 and on cold days it can get down to 76 with an ambient of 71 and this is where the heater trys to keep the water even though its set to 78. I think if you really are getting into hard core breeding or other reasons for keeping a perfect temperature I think the $60-$100 cost of TDS/thermometer would be worth it. But for most people that just "keep" fish the inaccuracy of the cheap ones is just fine to monitor for a temperature crash. So if you are looking for scientific accuracy then buy something with a scientific name on it and not a fish product name.
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