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Heaters ( How dull)


Caroleinwv
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Greetings I have a boring topic - heaters. I know you would rather talk about the rare varieties of African Ciclids or Rainbow fish but I am pondering heaters.

 

I have a variety of tank sizes. My house is cool. Regardless of tank size, is it better to go with higher watt heaters? OR - is tank size a limiting factor?

What are reliable brands.

Haha, maybe better to learn to live in 80 degree house!

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As much as many people not agree with me on this, I like the tetra preset heaters. I haven't had a problem with them, their cheap, only problem is it will only heat it to 76 degrees. So its good for the mid tempeture fish but for the fish that like warmer water its not so good. I have had two for several years and no problems.

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You can run an overpowered heater, but there are a few things to consider. Water heaters are the most likely piece of equipment to fail / break. When they do they usually crack, or sometimes explode (mostly older models), which generally is a result from not turning them off during water change, if not from a manufacturing defect. However there have been instances of heaters running off the rails and super heating your water. For this reason i like to stick close to what you need rather than having an overpowered one. Plus smaller heaters are cheaper than big ones, and usually fail at about the same rate. Here is a link to help you determine what you need. 
https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/how-to-choose-the-right-aquarium-heater 

Ive been looking at the AQQA brand submersible heater with led display. It seems to have the best reviews on amazon. If you get one before i do let me know what you think and vice versa. 

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I don't know how universal it is, but before I added my own controller my heater had quite a bit of hysteresis.  An over sized heater will cool at the same rate but when it turns back on it will ramp the heat back up faster.  I'm not sure how fast and how big of a swing is bad but personally I'd prefer a gentle increase over a rapid one.

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13 hours ago, Caroleinwv said:

I have a variety of tank sizes. My house is cool. Regardless of tank size, is it better to go with higher watt heaters? OR - is tank size a limiting factor?

What are reliable brands.

Haha, maybe better to learn to live in 80 degree house

In my opinion, quality of engineering & manufacturing is more important than over-compensation in terms of single heater wattage. Eheim Jager makes a very good heater, at different wattages. 
 

we place our heater low, sideways,  parallel to the tank bottom in the back so that when we water change we don’t accidentally forget and break them by heater exposure to air. 
 

Many aquarists use two heaters (e.g. two 100w) on a 55 gal. so that if one breaks, the other holds things together for awhile. 
 

How cold is your house / room / fishroom? Have you ever considered keeping fish that prefer the cold, and going no heaters? Photos here are of three species we keep that love cold water! 
 

 

 

DC1C8A62-8004-413A-B10F-006778065B71.jpeg

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4DA95A71-B1F9-4C66-9AD7-524E2C635ADD.jpeg

Edited by Fish Folk
Added photos
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Thank you! Great information. My house is around 65 F/ 18 C in winter. I find I breath better if it is cool. I have many Angels/ Guppies/ Betta/ Apistos but your cool water suggestions look great. A tank or two of them is worth considering!

I have a Discus tank planned and yes. Two heaters would be a must!

Lovely fish! What are they? Shiners?

I  would like Fancy Gold fish but may do them outdoors.

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65 degrees Fahrenheit is an excellent temperature for all the three species I added photos of, and more:

(1) Notropis chrosomus - Rainbow shiners. Native to southeast USA, shallow streams & rivers. Very popular in Europe.

(2) Xenotoca doadrioi - Redtail Goodeids. Endangered in wild. Native to San Marcos Mexico. Livebearers. Very personable, and fun to watch. Drop fry every 60 days. 

(3) Etheostoma caeruleum - Rainbow Darters. Native Midwestern USA fish. Small. Males color up seasonally and in cold water. They stay in lower third of tank, like gudgeons, but are in the perch family. 

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18 hours ago, Caroleinwv said:

Greetings I have a boring topic - heaters. I know you would rather talk about the rare varieties of African Ciclids or Rainbow fish but I am pondering heaters.

 

I have a variety of tank sizes. My house is cool. Regardless of tank size, is it better to go with higher watt heaters? OR - is tank size a limiting factor?

What are reliable brands.

Haha, maybe better to learn to live in 80 degree house!

I am a big fan of one or two under sized heaters rather than big ones, and I place them horizontally at the gravel level, so that even in a big water change they are always submerged.

I buy cheap ones off amazon but then use a digital (cheap) thermometer to keep an eye on the temp, especially as seasons change. My house is realtively warm in the summer, and cooler in winter, and the cheap heaters need a little tinkering to get them set just right. But as @Frank said, if one fails you still have some heat. If one get's stuck "on" you still can't cook your fish. I currently have 2 50w heaters in my 40g, and I like that best but I think I could have done 25w heaters because my house isn't so cold and the particular fish are not so fragile.

I have one, more expensive heater (slightly, it is "vivosun" also off amazon) that is oversized at 200w in a 29g. It features a digital controller that is reliable and really easy to set and it is made of titanium instead of glass. I like the controller a lot. If I were doing it again I would choose 2 50w of that brand though.

EDIT--or just one, again, I don't think I needed as much power as I have.

Edited by Brandy
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28 minutes ago, Caroleinwv said:

Do you have a good source for some of the fish you mentioned?

Pretty country out near Wheeling, WV. Yes, here are a few tips:

Always check out Aqua Huna, since they are affiliated with Aquarium Co-Op: https://aquahuna.com

Jonah’s Aquarium is good for native US fish: http://jonahsaquarium.com

Greg Sage at Select Aquatics is awesome: http://selectaquatics.com

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I took the plunge and bought 2 undersized AQQA 100W heaters for my 55 gallon to replace my old one that was about to go out. I strategically placed them under the hob filter outtake and beside the filter intake for (in theory) best water flow. Here are some pics. I agree with the undersized method for the sake of redundancy (in case one fails) and if i have a runaway heater it wont cook all my fish. I will post again later to see how well they perform over time. 

9671AF5C-B19A-44CB-BD8C-C4DB8E250406.jpeg

1BBB34AB-082B-4CBC-B7FB-6D00EE311283.jpeg

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