Originally Posted by PlantedRich
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 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.