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On a 4-foot tank you should always have two heaters, as someone mentioned. One at each end, and next to the filter intake and return if these are separated.

A single heater is going to have to work more to heat the tank, assuming the room temperature is below the intended tank temperature. And always have the tank water close to the intended temperature before plugging in the heater. Heaters are not made to heat up cold water. They work best if the tank temperature is no more than about 10 degrees above the ambient room temperature.

Byron.
 
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