One heater or two? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 28 Old 04-18-2011, 08:31 PM
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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 ?
I like the redundancy idea, just unsure of the two 100w heater approach. Odds are that the one alone could maintain the temperature for a prolonged period and you might not realize one was gone. Then, if one or the other stuck on, I'll bet temperatures would still rise quickly enough to be a problem. A theory easily tested. I'm thinking that heater failure is more common than a sticking thermostat, but have no data so I'm unsure. The best insurance may be to invest in a good heater, steering clear of the bargains???
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-18-2011, 08:40 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.
A GFCI measures the flow of current between hot (black) and neutral (white). If when there is a current loss and there is a short to ground (PERHAPS THROUGH YOU), it trips the circuit to prevent electric shock or electrocution. If you're tripping the circuit doing water changes, you really should re-evaluate your process!!!
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-18-2011, 08:49 PM
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A GFCI measures the flow of current between hot (black) and neutral (white). If when there is a current loss and there is a short to ground (PERHAPS THROUGH YOU), it trips the circuit to prevent electric shock or electrocution. If you're tripping the circuit doing water changes, you really should re-evaluate your process!!!
LOL, I know! I need to be more careful when I'm doing water changes. Sometimes I accidentally splash water where I shouldn't.

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post #14 of 28 Old 04-18-2011, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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I've had expensive and cheap heaters fail both ways - stuck on and fail to work. Two heaters, combined with monitoring my thermometer when I walk by the tank, gives me a maximum time of 8-10 hours it could be out of temp limit. At night, I periodically visually check to see if the heaters in my 55g are cycling properly (it's in the master bedroom and easy to see the heater lights in the dark). I have a heater in another tank that I really like, it has a green "at temp" light and a red "heating" light.
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post #15 of 28 Old 04-18-2011, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
LOL, I know! I need to be more careful when I'm doing water changes. Sometimes I accidentally splash water where I shouldn't.
Kimmie, be really careful, I've had GFCI breakers fail too! If possible, always test the GFCI outlet before putting your hand in the tank.

Statistically speaking, two heaters does double the potential failure points....
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post #16 of 28 Old 04-18-2011, 08:57 PM
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I've had expensive and cheap heaters fail both ways - stuck on and fail to work. Two heaters, combined with monitoring my thermometer when I walk by the tank, gives me a maximum time of 8-10 hours it could be out of temp limit. At night, I periodically visually check to see if the heaters in my 55g are cycling properly (it's in the master bedroom and easy to see the heater lights in the dark). I have a heater in another tank that I really like, it has a green "at temp" light and a red "heating" light.
Yep, my Aqueon heater has the green light, red light - I think it's great!
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post #17 of 28 Old 04-27-2011, 08:15 AM
O.o I was thinking about getting a CFGI socket for my aquarium but then I just made a drip loop. Never had any problems...
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post #18 of 28 Old 04-28-2011, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, drip loops are needed, but I still feel better with a GFCI. The drip loop won't help if a heater gets cracked by accident when your hand's in the tank moving rocks around!
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-01-2011, 06:50 PM
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Yep, drip loops are needed, but I still feel better with a GFCI. The drip loop won't help if a heater gets cracked by accident when your hand's in the tank moving rocks around!
Another reason I'm fond of this Aqueon, aluminum core, polymer cover - NO GLASS.
Although I have to say that these submersible heaters go against every normal instinct regarding water and lectricity!!!

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post #20 of 28 Old 05-09-2011, 07:37 PM
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Back to the original issue, I strongly recommend two heaters in any tank 4 feet and over, and good high-end heaters at that. I have had 3 or so heaters fail in 15 years, and always the 50w ones. One cooked the fish overnight, the other two didn't heat unless cranked up full and even then didn't begin to do it, so out they went.

My 150w and 200w heaters I've had for those 15 years have never yet failed. When I set up more tanks recently, I bought some of the Fluval series that have the digital screen showing the current water temp at the filter. Green background means within 1 degree of set temp, blue means cooler, red means warmer. These are good for me, as I cannot read those glass thermometers (even with my glasses, the "green" background for the safe range makes it impossible for me to read the temp) and the digital stick-on are not always reliable. All I have to do is glance at these Fluval and by the colour I know it's OK (or not, should that occur, like in the summer heat wave).

Stay away from those heaters that several thought were terrific but have now been recalled.

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 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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