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Meant to add - is the heater cycling on and off? Can you see "heat waves" directly around the heater when it is showing (ie light, indicator, etc) that it is "on"? Where is the heater located in the tank? Where is the thermometer in relation to the heater? What sort of water circulation do you have in the tank? What is the temperature reading? What is the room temperature?
In a tank the length of a 55, I prefer using two heaters - both of sufficient wattage. If you have just the one heater it may not be able to keep up with the damands of the tank even if it is of sufficient wattage. Location plays into this as well as the circulation of the water.
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