Aqueon Pro Heater is confusing me!
So I ordered a brand new 100 watt aqueon pro heater from Amazon two days ago and it came in the mail yesterday. I followed the directions (acclimate the heater, plug in, moniter for 24 hours), but I am still dumbfounded as to what to do. The light is dim. Very, extremely dim. I can barely see it, even at night with no other lights on. Green is worse than red, but it still is very hard to see. The only way I can tell the light works is that if I turn the thermostat high enough, the red comes on. Which brings me to another topic: It is not heating properly! I bought it to keep my livebearers at their designated temperature of 78 degrees F, since my house has recently undergone a cold spell. It is currently at 72 degrees in the tank, and the thermostat is at 76. It stays green and has not heated anything in the last 24 hours. So I turned it up to 78. Still green. So I crossed my fingers at 80, and voila, still green. I am afraid to turn it any higher, but I tested 82 and it does turn red, I just don't leave it on that temperature for now.
Is my heater just not up to par or am I paranoid? I researched which heater would be best, and this heater came up with astounding reviews. I am really bummed at the results right now.
If you believe it to be faulty, then send it back for a replacement.
What size tank are you using it on?
Also how is the circulation around the heater? Poor circulation will result in an evenly heated tank which could account for the differences in temperature you are seeing.
I'd also like to note that 72F isn't bad at all for most livebearers. Seasonal temperature swings (within reason of course) are natural to fish. My tanks get that low in the winter with no ill effects. That aside, we do want to make sure your heater is working just fine. :)
It is a 20 gallon long, and I put it near the mouth of the filter because I felt that it would spread the heat better? Should I move it? And I agree they are fine, but I noticed that they are much livelier in warmer water and I love to see them swim about. Thanks for the help so far, guys! :)
Actually interestingly enough I got one out of curiosity.. never trusted that brand heater before. I have one in my 55 and was wondering why the hell I had to set it at I think like 86-87f to get 80f. One day came home and was just curious and took my infrared temp gun and pointed it all over the water to get temps at all ends. Turns out the standard thermometer most of us use(the glass one) was totally wrong! It showed 85.9-87 all over the tank and god only knows what it was right by the heater mid water level. You may want to, if it's a big deal grab a cheap temp gun or a submersible probe. Those cheap thermometers aren't all too accurate. But on the bright side..Ick was unwelcome in my tank with that temp !:lol:
But exact temps aren't too important to me..however I wasn't liking the tank to be that high.
The Aqueon heater costs in the neighborhood of $35. I have one in service in my DT. (29G) If the setting knob were calibrated to the exact temp shown on the heater it wouldn't surprise me to see a price of $100+. The bimetallic thermostat in use today is simply almost impossible to be more accurate than the +/- 4 degrees specified by the maker. Secondly, the scale on the heater is not that precise, the divisions are not one deg apart.
Case in point - the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-therm heater is priced in the $50 dollar range. Its manual says the settings are accurate to +/- 2 deg and they boast about the accuracy of he settings. That heater specs say it has an electronic microprocessor temp control.
Second, the standard thermometer used by most of us is not that accurate, although I don't have the exact figures for the accuracy of those ~$2 thermometers. The example that comes to mind is the check temp thermometer sold by F&S comes with a calibration card showing the actual temp the unit reads at the freezing and boiling points. It sells for ~$26. It likely has a thermocouple temperature sensor which can be compensated to be more accurate. Agent, the IR thermometer you used is probably just as inaccurate since the actual heat is read from the glass surface which provides a reflectivity and emissivity range depending on the properties of the glass. I'm not criticizing anybody, but stating that the parameters that the IR meter must account for in practice. If anybody asks how do I know this, I spent about ten plus years in the government and commercial IR fields building space IR instruments and a instrument for the railroads to detect overheated freight car wheel bearings. I also worked on the forerunner of the IR camera in use today.
Having said all that, within reason the actual temp is relatively unimportant, the important point that most experts state is consistency of the temp.
I hope that this "essay" on aquarium heating helps everybody understand what is happening in our hobby with respect to the temp of our pets home.:-)
Only two things to say. The aqueoun heater being discussed is a new one ... And accuracy among other things are the selling points.. Price tag ~$ 56 if I remember correctly .
And no I didn't point at the glass lol. The open surface of the water.. And yes fully understanding it is reading exactly only the surface of your water. I have a very accurate one used for pet keeping such as reptiles ( not the little cheep thing in the pet stores either) not railroad or whatever( guessing this is the ones people talk about getting in hardware stores? ).
Well all that being said . Temp is not that important to be so exact in fish keeping . I have specifically accurate stuff for my reptiles that I find fun to use on my fish tanks on occasion . Actually I even keep the wacktastic cheapo thermometers the market for reptile keeping on their tanks for fun .., point the infrared gun at it every so often to see they are all off and sometimes by 20-30degress. At least fish tank equipment is only off by a few degrees !
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water is heated by convection radiation as all substances that flow this includes air. Agent 13 point you thermal gun at the sky and what is you temp reading? 0 and that is because air flows and can not be measured by thermal radiant measuring devices. when you point and shoot your radiant measuring device at your aquarium you are measuring the temp of the substrate, plants and other objects that do not flow and making the assumption that the temp of the object is the same temp as the water. I think that objects in the aquarium are cooler than the water temp surrounding them making the tank a heat sink.
i would not put my faith in any thermal measuring device being accurate and rely on my own sense of temperature of the tank’s water.
OK people, for as much as I joke around and may come off at time like I might not know exactly what I'm talking about in a very in depth way.. so lets just assume if only for one second *gasp* that I do :shock: .
Yes you can take accurate surface temperatures of water with infrared temp devices assuming you have an adjustable emissivity settings on yours and know a little about how to determine and use those values. I do happen to own such a thing. Made by Pro Exotics with an adjustable setting , don't remember the model # as I'm out of town and can't pic it up and tell you. I have another by zoomed but thats not the one I use on everything. Now a super brief explanation about such things - a flat black colored surface that you want to read will have an emissivity of 1.0 and the average setting most infrared thermometers are set to .95 because most common organic and well basically the things you normally would read have that emissivity. Water is at .93 and can have it's surface temp taken at such- and that my friends is why it's good to have adjustable emissivity on your infrared temp gun. Not all surfaces are created equal and are at the .95 your average IR guns are set to. Pop, actually that would cool if it could take the temp of your stuff under the water surface but they can't and then I'd probably end up trying to use it to see if my steaks were medium rare if it could penetrate stuff like that ;-)
Antyways, for RainbhLizzie - did you ever figure out what was going on with your heater?
It's only up so high because of a minor ich outbreak.
I was planning on calling to ask about the dim light today, too.
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