Is this Heater Good enough?
I have a 33 Gallon tank. I am testing if this heater will work, it is a 50 watt. So far its not doing too good. Temperatures fluctuate a lot. It will not stay turned on even at max, though my water isonly at 74-74 (I want 80 at least..)
Is it the heater? Is it my thermometer? Should 50 watt heaters be enough for a 33G ?
I think I may be able to help you. It's your heater. I order everything most of the time on-line with Pet Supplies | Dog & Cat Supplies, Pet Meds | DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Products
I looked at my paper catalog and for your tank of 33 gal. you need a heater of 150W this is for a tank of 23-40 gal. size that is if you get the Theo Heater Other heaters range might be different. Your heater that you are using 50W is for a 10-15 gal. tank so it will not work right to heat that much water. I myself bought a Theo Heater from Fostersmith and liked it so much I bought 2 more for my tiny tanks one for 2.5 gal and the other for a 3 gal. I have another one in my 6 gal. tank. Works great.Go under search product in the Drsfoster web site above and put this # in the search APD-19928
Read the Testimonials about the heater. They reduced the price from $19.49 to $16.49 . I have not been able to find as good prices on fish stuff from the local fish stores or pet stores in my area. I have a coupon that they sent me thats good for this month May 2009 for 50% of of ground shipping the Coupon Code: 3384/2145 If you order this I would just get standard shipping. I got my stuff in about 3 days from WI shipped to San Diego. They have fast shipping. You can check out all the other stuff they have also. Good prices on everything. I get my dogs flea meds. from here over other places and the shipping is free for the flea meds.
First off, disregard the dial on a heaterstat. They just don't line up ever. Instead go by your thermometer. If the heaterstat is off and your water temp isn't high enough turn the heater stat up some more. Keep at it till you hit the temp you want. Also, your thermometer should not be too close to your heater or you'll get off measurements. Finally, don't sit your heater straight up and down. Have it on a 45 degree angle or better. This prevents newly warmed water from the heating element from flowing over your thermometer element in the heater and turning it off before you get your temperature right.
The 50W heater isn't big enough for a 33 gallon tank unless you keep your room temp within two or three degrees of your target temp and keep it there all the time. For a 33 gallon tank you want either a 100W or 150W heater. Personally I like the Visitherm stealth models. Mine keep the temp very consistent and they don't show up much in the tank. The only down side is the lack of a light indicating when the heater is running.
3-5 watts per gallon is the standard for sizing heaters for your tank. So a 100-150 watt heater is what you want. Your 50 watt heater is a bit underpowered and is probably struggling to keep the temp up to snuff. I have a 100 watt Visitherm Stealth in my 37 gallon and it keeps the temp very stable, within 1 degree F. Keep in mind my tank is in a very stable part of my living room as far as temp swings go (not near a window or door) so the 100 watt is doing fine.
I use the THEO heaters in all but one tank and have no complaints. The ones I bought for the larger tanks were 400 watt Theo's. I place them horizontally against the back glass near the bottom for more even heat distribution. I like the Theo's for lifetime warranty's.
I also love the visitherm stealths. The most reliable I've ever tried. The rule is 3 to 5 watts per gallon but that rule means that the heater constantly running will heat the water to a maximum of 16 degrees higher than the room. Fine for most homes, but I have 3 tanks at my office where the furnace is on the roof and gas costs a fortune so in the winter from 6 pm to 7 am it gets down to 55 degrees in here. So I follow the 5 watt per gallon rule and then in the late fall drop in another heater to help out. I have 2 250 watts and a 100 watt in my 75 during the winter.
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