Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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unitednations161 05-02-2012 08:56 PM

Aquarium heater
 
If I set up a 40 gallon tank what wattage heater should I get? I read about the raising 9 degrees and stuff, but I have a 100 watt in my 10 gallon tank because 50 watt didn't seem to keep the water warm enough during the winter. Can there be to much power? will it hurt something? My house is like 62 in the winter so it has to raise it almost 15 degrees. In the summer its well 70's 80's.

What brand and wattage are you using and what size tank.

Thanks so much

Geomancer 05-03-2012 06:08 AM

I usually got 5W/gallon, the coldest my house gets is 65 and I haven't had any issues.

Smaller tanks loose heat more easily, while larger tanks retain it better. So on larger tanks you can get away with a smaller heater than you could on a small one. I would use a 200W on your 40 gallon.

Do you have a floating thermometer (most people don't actually float them, they stick it to the glass with a suction cup)? The ones you stick to the glass on the outside of the aquarium are very inaccurate.

There is no harm in having too large of a filter, it will just cycle on/off more frequently and wear out sooner. There is also the risk that the heater will fail 'on' and literally cook your fish which is one reason in large tanks people will use multiple smaller heaters. If that happens, the one small heater won't be able to super heat the water.

unitednations161 05-03-2012 06:34 AM

Alright, that sounds good. yeah it must be that smaller tanks lose heat faster, i had a 25 and a 50 in the 10 gallon and the heaters never shut off. Now with the 100 it keeps it perfect. should i get two 100 watts or one 200 watt?

hypothetically if the 200 watt failed to keep it up to temp or never shut off would getting an extra 100 watt heater help? would that be 300 watts or is the 100 watt doing nothing if its not powerful enough?

Geomancer 05-03-2012 07:27 AM

I just realized in my first post I made a typo saying 'too large of a filter' when I should of said heater. Too much on the mind I guess ;)

Start with 200W, if it's not enough, add a 100W. They'll work together to heat the tank. The best location is near your filter in or out flows, this will help to circulate the heat.

"Constantly on" doesn't mean they are actually always on, just always on when you are looking at it ;) I have a 100W on a 20 gallon, and a 50W on a 10 gallon and neither have issues. But their heaters are on a lot more than my 125 gallon which has a pair of 300W heaters. In the 125 gallon, the heaters are literally only on for 15-30 seconds before switching off at a time. While in the smaller tanks they'll be on for several minutes at a time. But in all three tanks the temperature is steady as read from a floating thermometer.

Byron 05-03-2012 10:33 AM

I agree on a 200w, though I wuldn't quibble over a good 150w in a 40g.:lol:

But the main thing is "good." Do not cut corners on heaters, they are the most important piece of equipment, aside from the tank itself. Filters can fail and you will likely see it in time (unless you are away of course), but a failed heater can kill the fish overnight, by overheating or failing to heat at all. I speak from experience.

The better--whcih generally though not always means more expensive--heaters will be better made, and less likely to fail. This is where the higher wattage also helps, as a 200w heater will be more reliable than a 50w. My heaters that failed were 50w. And one failed by staying on overnight and literally cooked the fish in a 30g tank. One learns, sometimes the hard way.

Expense is not the only criteria, as one of my most expensive heaters was a Fluval with the digital temp screen and it failed after a few months. I have had good luck with Eheim Jager heaters. My two Tronic have never failed in 12 or more years.

Byron.


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