One heater or two? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-03-2011, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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One heater or two?

What's better, one higher-watt heater or two lower-watt heaters? I tend to use two lower watt heaters, one at each end of the tank near the filter inflow & outflow since I like redundancy, but any cons to using two versus one?

On my 55 gallon, I have two eheim 100 watt that seem to work well.
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-03-2011, 04:27 PM
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I've got two higher wattage heaters on my discus tank. I figure that by having two they don't have to work as hard, and if one fails I have a back up. I'm going to add a second heater to my other large tank for this same reason.

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post #3 of 28 Old 03-03-2011, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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One advantage I see for two lower wattage heaters is, obviously a backup if one quits working but also if one goes crazy, the lower wattage can't heat the tank as much.
Regarding your fish, can it actually get too warm for your Discus ?
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-03-2011, 09:57 PM
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Pros to using 2 heaters are stated above. The only cons I can think of to using two heaters is that you'll take up 2 power outlets and also its more cords hanging in your tank.

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 #5 of 28 Old 03-03-2011, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKRST View Post
One advantage I see for two lower wattage heaters is, obviously a backup if one quits working but also if one goes crazy, the lower wattage can't heat the tank as much.
Regarding your fish, can it actually get too warm for your Discus ?
Probably not but it can get too warm for the plants in the tank so I never exceed 83 degrees. The fish do great at that temp and so do the plants. They actually also do fine at 80 but I find their appetites are much greater at 83. Keeping weight on those discus is muy importante!

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post #6 of 28 Old 03-04-2011, 11:31 AM
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How do you handle the electrical loads then? I have four tanks downstairs. I am not really sure how many circuits I am on: I think only one or two. At a minimum each tanks has light, heater, filter, air pump. Just how much can a circuit breaker stand? I also have a tv, stereo, computer as well. Gotta be one heck of a load I would think.

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post #7 of 28 Old 03-04-2011, 11:46 AM
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How do you handle the electrical loads then? I have four tanks downstairs. I am not really sure how many circuits I am on: I think only one or two. At a minimum each tanks has light, heater, filter, air pump. Just how much can a circuit breaker stand? I also have a tv, stereo, computer as well. Gotta be one heck of a load I would think.
On my discus tank the B/F ran the electrical and installed GFCI outlets for this tank, and everything is plugged into surge protectors from there. Should the power in the house go out I also have a generator that I can use.
My other tanks are also plugged into surge protectors, but those tanks do not have GFCI.

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post #8 of 28 Old 03-04-2011, 12:03 PM
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Thanks aunt kymmie...
I was just wondering if that will blow circuit breakers..
I have thought about putting another heater but I really don't dare push my electrical load any further than it already is. I have the nasty suspicion it is at or near the limit.

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post #9 of 28 Old 03-04-2011, 01:45 PM
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Yes, without knowing your electrical situation not sure I'd risk adding another heater. When I do water changes on my discus tank many times I will have to reset the GFCI because it gets blown. Pretty glad that the B/F had the forethought to install one, I never would have thought of doing that.

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post #10 of 28 Old 03-04-2011, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twocents View Post
How do you handle the electrical loads then? I have four tanks downstairs. I am not really sure how many circuits I am on: I think only one or two. At a minimum each tanks has light, heater, filter, air pump. Just how much can a circuit breaker stand? I also have a tv, stereo, computer as well. Gotta be one heck of a load I would think.
If it's a newer house, mid 1980's+, each individual circuit is probably 15 amps (that's 1800 watts or so). Go over that and you'll trip a breaker. If you have fuses and an older house, it's really variable.
Figure 300 watts for a heater (?), the canisters use ridiculously small amounts of power (it should be listed somewhere in your pump info), air pumps use only a few watts. The largest energy consumers for a tank would probably be the heater(s) and any fancy lighting. Computers can be real hogs 200 watts+, plus all the other stuff, you may be near the limit.
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