Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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volzb1 06-22-2008 10:21 PM

Heater Question!?
Is a 300 Watt heater Ideal for a 120 gallon freshwater planted aquarium with Discus?? :?: [/u]

Mr.Todd 06-23-2008 12:59 AM

I would bank on about 3-5W/G, so yea... a 300W may get the job done. However, if you have heaters with a good thermostat (like the Visi-therm stealth) then you don't really have to worry too much about over heating the water (not at all actually unless you have either a gross mis match or a wacked out heater).

I have 2 250W heaters in my 72G tank. I like to have one in the sump and another on the sump inlet side of the tank (at an attempt at evenly heating the tank).

There is some good information on heaters here:

...If it was me setting it up (and I have been known to overkill just a little) I would put a huge one in the sump (ala 250-300W) and then a couple of smaller ones in the tank to evenly heat thing (maybe 200W ea.)
:D But that's just me, and I live in cold Idaho...

iamntbatman 06-23-2008 01:04 AM

I would definitely use at least two heaters for that big of a tank, especially if you're keeping discus. Discus like the higher temps, so you will get better even heat with multiple heaters.

1077 06-23-2008 01:59 AM

I too would recommend two heaters. I live in Missouri where winter temps make it difficult for one heater to keep temperatures at 84 degees in my 55 gal. discus tank. In summer I can get by with one 300 watt heater but during winter months I use two . Discus will appreciate temp. of 84 degrees as opposed to higher temps. This will also allow you to keep other fish with them as well. I keep neon tetras, corys, clown pleco, oto's, and even six black molly's with discus and in my view 84 degrees is approaching the upper limits of water without making it uncomfortable for occupants. :)

1077 06-23-2008 02:29 AM

:D A footnote to previous post. If you are set on discus ,then for your size tank I would Get four no more than five. Temp of 84 degrees will keep fishes metabolisim from requiring too much food which in my view is easy to do. And despite what others may or may not suggest I would NOT make beefheart a regular part of their diet. IT has little nutritional value (mostly fat ) and will foul your water quickly if uneaten portions are not removed promptly. Also in my view discus tank's water should be changed at rate of 25 to 30 percent every four days with dechlorinated water of same temp or as close as you can make it. Variety of foods will keep them happy Frozen bloodworms, tubifex (as treat) Cichlid crisps. frozen brineshrimp, dried marine seaweed hung from vegeclip, And good quality flake food. They are also fond of algae wafers. Although discus can grow to size of saucer or dinnerplate ,they have very small mouths and care should be taken not to overfeed. otherwise water quality issues will arise jepoardizing their health. Water quality needs to be near PRISTINE for health of discus. This requires frequent water changes as mentioned and they spook easy. I would place tank away from areas of heavy foot traffic. Hope some of this helps. :D

volzb1 06-23-2008 08:50 PM

Today I bought a 400 Watt Hydor heater for the 120 gallon discus tank. I also have a 100 Watt Hydor from my old 30 gallon. So now my question is... Should I put the smaller 100 Watt heater in my sump and put the 400 Watt in the tank?

iamntbatman 06-23-2008 09:11 PM

What sort of plumbing are using for the sump? If you can position one of the heaters in the return line of the sump, that would provide a lot of even heat. If not, I think the 100 watt in the sump and the 400 watt as close as possible to the output of your filtration system would provide the best heat distribution.

volzb1 06-23-2008 09:15 PM

what do you mean as close as possible to the output of the filtration system? and I am using just Tubing from the bottom of the Eshops overflow box to the filterpad/bioball compartment of the sump. then probably pvc from the sump pump back into the tank...should I just use tubing for all of it? or is PVC the way to go for the return water?

iamntbatman 06-23-2008 09:30 PM

You can use either, but if you have a wide enough PVC pipe returning the water from the sump to the aquarium, you can put a heater inside the pipe.

By "as close to the output of the filtration system" I meant inside the display aquarium but physically as close as you can put the heater to where water is returning from whatever filtration system you're using. If your only filtration is the sump, then this would mean inside the display tank as close to the sump return line as you can put the filter.

I think putting the heater inside the return pipe would be the better of the two options.

volzb1 06-23-2008 09:35 PM

ok makes sense. sory bout all these questions im new to this big tank deal. So exactly how do I rig up the whole heater in the tube deal? I mean how will i get to the heat adjustment dial if its inside the PVC?? and do i drill a hole in the pvc for the cord to come out to be plugged in and then syllacone the hole shut or what? lol....

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