Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ollecram 06-09-2008 08:49 PM

heater question
ok so i needed a heater for my tank since i wanted to warm it so my ich would go away (using other treatments of course). anyway, i didnt have time to get it because i have school, so my mom offered to get it. i have a 20 long tank and i want to keep it at around 80 degrees. i think the heater she got was too strong for my small tank. i dont have ich anymore because all of my fish died ( :( ) and i started over completely. cleaned everything and i got new gravel and the whole nine yards. now that i have my new tank, (with no fish in it yet) i cant get the temp right. i have a marineland visitherm 150 watt heater. what should i set it to for the water to be around 79-80 degrees F? it keeps getting too high (around 84 or 85) when i set the heater to 80. I'm new to heaters (and fish keeping for that matter) so can anyone help me?

blueblue48 06-09-2008 09:21 PM

sorry to hear about your loss, the only thing that i can see a heater overheating is because its in an area with low flow, so one side is really hot and the other isnt. try a higher flow area and see if it makes a difference. if not just buy a 100 watt heater.

iamntbatman 06-09-2008 09:29 PM

Well a 150 watt heater might be a little strong for a tank your size, but it still shouldn't overheat it on its own. It has a thermostat in addition to the heating elements, so it should turn on and off according to the surrounding water temperature. A higher-wattage heater will heat the aquarium faster than a lower wattage one but still shouldn't overheat the aquarium. Does the indicator light on the heater turn on and off? If it doesn't turn on, it could be that the aquarium is just in a really hot room. If it's on all the time, you might have it set too high or the heater might be broken. Keep in mind that many heaters can be broken by being run dry.

But like blue said, I would recommend positioning the heater in a high-flow area of the tank such as near the filter intake or output and possibly turning the heater down a bit until your tank is the desired temperature.

ollecram 06-09-2008 09:40 PM

i put the heater right under the output from my filter. what should i set the heater to? should i set it to the temp i want the tank to be on (around 80 or so)? or should i set it lower? i have my thermometer on the opposite side of the tank from my heater. the heater is on the left and the thermometer is on the right side. i think its starting to cool down a bit after i set the heater to 79 so ill post probably tomorrow on updates on tank. if it doesnt cool down should i turn the temperature down on the heater to 77 or something like that? or just get a 100 watt filter? thanks for the help. the house gets pretty hot during the day, because the heater on the house goes up while we are gone so we can save some power or something and it turns on about an hour before we return so it'll be fresh for us. that might be causing some problems too. thanks for the advice. ill post tomorrow.

ollecram 06-10-2008 03:43 PM

the temperature still fluctuates and still gets around 83 to 84 degrees in there. should i turn the heater temp down to 75 or something like that?

iamntbatman 06-10-2008 04:08 PM

Is the heater coming on at all? If the heater comes on, I would turn it down further. If it's not coming on, then your tank temp is due to some other source, such as the aquarium lighting or the ambient room temperature.

ollecram 06-10-2008 04:42 PM

the light on my heater is on some times but its been turning off more than its been on. i watched it the whole day today since i stayed home. that probably whats causing rising and falling temperatures. i think im gonna have to to get a new one. maybe a 100watt? i have a 20 long

okiemavis 06-10-2008 05:32 PM

You should really be OK with that heater, just turn it down further. I've got a 75 watt in a 10 gallon, and I had to turn it down to somewhere around 75 degrees to keep my tank at 80, but it's very stable now.

When the light is on the heater turn it down slowly until the light switches off. Then keep checking the temp. The next day if it's still too warm do the same thing again. If you've done this a few time and the water is still being heated to 84 then something is wrong, but the temp should have gone down a bit, if not all the way. The most important thing is to make sure it's consistent before adding fish.

ollecram 06-10-2008 05:42 PM

thanks for that info. i set my heater to 75 and the light is still off. does the light inly turn on when the water temp gets too low and then it starts heating, or is the heater always heating with the light off sometimes?

iamntbatman 06-10-2008 06:07 PM

When the light's on, it means the heater is actively heating your water. The reason I asked about it is if the thermostat in the heater is broken, it might just stay on all the time and keep your water overheated. If you follow okiemavis' advice, you should get the water to the correct temperature.

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