03-15-2009, 06:27 PM
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I have had heaters malfunction and lost fish as a result. Even if one keeps a daily check on the temperature, a heater can malfunction overnight and by morning it is too late. For this reason, I now buy the best I can buy; the money spent on a good heater is like buying an insurance policy on your home--you may never have a problem, but do you really want to risk it? The extra cost of the heater could save you the cost of replacing the fish, not to mention needlessly killing them if it malfunctions.
A second suggestion I would make is to always use two heaters in a tank, if the tank is large; you don't say how big your tank is, but as you are looking at 200w heaters I assume it is not a small tank. The reasoning behind this is that both will have to work less to heat the water, and therefore should have fewer problems and operate longer. I would use two heaters in any tank 50 gallons or above.
A third suggestion is to go to a higher wattage than what is normally recommended for your size of tank. It is my understanding that the higher wattage heaters tend to be somewhat more reliable. However, some aquarists do reccommend that when you use two heaters you can use the lower (recommended) wattage heaters. I don't, but that is because I do not want to take any risk just for the sake of a few dollars. My fish are worth it.
As for brands, I have no knowledge of the JEBO. I have had trouble with a "Thermal Preset" heater, can't remember who made it. I have not had problems (yet) with the Tronic 200W heater, and my Thermal Standard 200w heaters are working fine. I think the last ones I bought were the Tronic, and at that time (1996) they were among the most expensive. I haven't been using these continuously since then, so don't think that they will last forever. There are some newer ones around now, with thermometers built in--this is good, because another problem I've had is false readings on those thermometers you stick on the outside of the tank.
My favourite of the ones I'm running now is the heater/filer combination on my 90g tank, an Eheim Professionel 2 system. The digital thermometer included is extremely accurate, to a tenth of a degree, and this filter/heater unit has been running continuously since 1997 and never failed.