The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - What brand heaters do you suggest?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 07:14 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bushkill, Pa
Posts: 2,577
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I have had so many heater failures that kill fish, I no longer go by the ads and reputation. I now have done so many autopies on failed heaters that I have a list of features I want.
One is it has to be small enough to not cook fish and those are hard to find for a 29 and still have the features I want for reliable operation.
I find controls are the most likely item to fail so I want them out of the heater tube so they have space to build them without the size limit. This also means a temperature sensing probe that measures the WATER temp rather than reacting to the temperature inside the heating tube. Moving the controls out of the tube lets them do a good job sealing the heating tube as there is no shaft moving which makes a seal prone to leaking. There are a number of no-name products out now that fit my specs but I have found one which seems to last well.
It also has to be priced so that I can choke and buy them for 11 tanks!

My choice:

My only complaint so far has been due to the digital controls getting EMI from my light ballast. It made it cycle until I moved the heater away from the ballast.
Does the Viaqua hold a Temp setting in a power failure/brown-out?

My 3 large tanks have titanium tubes with controllers from when they were SW. The tube / controller combos cost in the area of $75 or $80 each. Two different controllers: Won and BlueLine. You would swear they were the same controller, but the Won goes back to a default of 72 when the power gets cut. The controllers have been rock solid for years now. Before these two Mfrs. I had Aquamedics and both got fried in the on/off cycle of the annoying power outages we get.

If you can spring for $40+ per tank, the the Viaqua sounds great. I have 11 tanks in the fish room now, will finish with 15 and the 180G in the den. As I set up another tank, I just wait for the Jagers to go on sale, set 'em and forget 'em.
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