Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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AmyK 03-04-2009 07:03 AM

Question on heaters
I have a five gallon tank and an Azoo Palm Filter. I really don't know if it's working or not! My thermometer (which I've tested and it does work) never goes above about 74 (I think this is due to the light) even when I turn up the heater to about 85! (I don't have any fish yet). Are heaters suppose to feel warm to the touch? - mine never has.....

Tyyrlym 03-04-2009 07:18 AM

What type of heater is it and what's the wattage? Also what is the temperature of the room the tank is in?

AmyK 03-04-2009 07:28 AM

it currently has a Tetra 50 Watt heater. The first heater I had in there which didn't seem to work either was a Hydro 25 Watt. Since it has been TWO heaters that don't seem to be working, I have I feeling I am doing something wrong!

I removed the Hydro last night and installed the new Tetra afterward and when I woke up this morning I notice my husband had turned our heater off! (???) So the temp in our house was 65! I have sinced turned our house heater up and the temp in the tank has slowly been going up as well.
Also, the tank has a hood on it....

Thanks for your help!

Tyyrlym 03-04-2009 08:59 AM

Hmm, the 25W should have the horsepower to keep the tank warm. The 50W is actually what I'd consider to be too large. Now the temperature readings on top of the heaters are completely unreliable. You have to just adjust them up and down to get them to hold the temperature you want. Heaters do tend to be warm while operating, they have to be. It's not anything that will burn you but it will be noticably warm to the touch.

Even with the temp in the house so low a 50W heater should have had no issues keeping the temp in the tank up.

So here's some simple questions to cover the bases.
1) Have you tried plugging the heater into other outlets? You could have a burned out outlet or receptacle.
2) How do you check the temp in your tank? The stick on LCD thermometers and the digital Coralife products are at best unreliable. I highly recommend one of the two or three dollar "mercury" old style thermometers. They are very reliable.
3) Is the heater completely submerged? If a portion of it is out of the water it could have been damaged if it was on. This includes water changes. During them its best to unplug the heater to avoid chancing it.

AmyK 03-04-2009 09:56 AM

I am wondering if it is my outlet. The heaters have been totally submerged and I have an "old style" thermometer with the mercury,
I have the filter, light etc plugged into a surge protectorand I have been sticking the heater plug into the same outlet on the surge protector. Everything works great except for the heater...

Tyyrlym 03-05-2009 07:15 AM

Easy check then. Unplug your light and put it in the place you're plugging your heater in. If the light doesn't come on you know your problem.

AmyK 03-05-2009 08:38 AM

The light still stays on. This is just so strange. Last night I unplugged the first one I bought and placed in in a pitcher of water and plugged it in. The water got almost lukewarm (didn't have a thermometer in it), but when I took it out and touched the metal part, it nearly burned my finger (I had it set on 85). When I tried this before in the aquarium, the metal part never got warm (on either of them). Should I go out and buy a third and see what happens and return the other two if this one works? The package specifically said both of these were for tanks 2 - 8 gallons. THANKS!

dramaqueen 03-05-2009 09:27 AM

I kind of had the same problem with mine. The water doesn't feel that warm when I put my finger in but the thermometer says 78-79 degrees.

Tyyrlym 03-05-2009 09:57 AM

I'm starting to suspect that it's not the heater. If you plugged in the first and it got warm then the heater is working. Do the same with your current 50W version. It sounds like you have a problem with your outlet that the heaters are plugged into. For some reason you're not getting any heating out of the socket. If your heater is cranked to the max but you're not getting any warming of the tank something's wrong with the outlet feeding it.

1077 03-05-2009 10:37 AM

I'm with Tyy, Try turning up the heater all the way in a pitcher of water with thermometer and leave it for a couple hours and then see what the thermometer reads. I have a 400 watt heater in one of my aquariums that the dial on the heater at the setting I have it,, says 75 degrees . The actual water temp is 84 to 86. You can't really rely on the settings on most heaters.:evil:

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