Nano heater question, help needed
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:57 PM   #1
tandaina
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Nano heater question, help needed


So I have a Fluval Spec 5 set up, the start of a planted tank. It needs a heater. Having heard many say they use 25 watt heaters that fit neatly into the filter motor compartment I ordered an Eheim 25 watt heater. It arrived today.

It is ENORMOUS. Not only will it not fit in the filter motor compartment it honestly doesn't really fit in the TANK. Here's a shot of it installed at the indicated water depth:


Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

That's right, it misses touching the sand by about an eighth of an inch. The cord is so heavy there is no way to get it out of the lid without making the lid unusable. The heater is rated up to only 7 gallons but quite frankly I haven't a clue what 7 gallon tank is the right size and shape for this heater to be at all appropriate.

Help? Obviously I need to order another heater. What brand and model are you all using that fits into the filter compartment of the Fluval Spec 5??
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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Ugh, that should be heater, not header.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:41 PM   #3
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Man I havent seen any heaters that are real small. Even the el cheapo brands
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:47 PM   #4
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There has to be something! Multiple threads on here reference fitting a heater in the Fluval behind the filter wall. Sadly I have to seen names or links. But sure isn't this one!

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Old 08-28-2013, 12:20 AM   #5
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I have an Aqueon 50 watt in the pump compartment of my Spec V
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:10 AM   #6
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did you try using the search function?


you could try the:
archaea 25w 4.5"
hydor 15w 5"


i might update more if i can remember more brand names
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:02 AM   #7
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This is one that came up in search! Which I think was why I asked specifically about size instead of just searching for what folks were using! Thanks, will look up those two.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:36 AM   #8
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I have the Archaea in a 2.5g tank, and it is really small. The suction cups are terrible, so get some spares, but it works perfectly otherwise.

One nice feature is the temperature control is located by the plug, rather than on the heater. You don't have to put your hand in the tank to adjust it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:39 AM   #9
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So looking at all the heaters that come up in the search, and mentioned here. There isn't much size difference between those and what I've got. How are people mounting these in Fluval Specs? This heater WILL fit in the pump compartment without the suction cups (so just hanging from the tank lip). But there's no way to keep it from touching the filter outflow or the pump cord.

Are folks really running heaters suspended like that in contact with plastic parts, is that OK and I'm just being overly cautious? I'd like whatever I end up with back out of sight if at all possible.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:26 PM   #10
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There are tons of small heaters on the market. Just start looking at a few aquatics retailers online for details. Here are a few to start you off: Marine Depot, Bulk Reef Supply, That Pet Place, Drs. Foster & Smith, Pet Mountain.

My favorite line of heaters at the moment are Cobalt's Neo-Therm. They're super-thin and reliable. But just shop around a bit. And be sure to check out tank journals for tanks like yours to see what other people are using. May take a bit of time but you'll find what you're looking for.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:50 PM   #11
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Somewhatshocked, yup, tons of tank journals and all the heaters I've looked at (including this one) are mentioned as installed in the Fluval spec. Maybe I'm overly cautious, but no one seems to explain HOW they are mounting these heaters. Just lots of comments "heater fits in pump area." Well this one fits... if not suction cupped, and if touching a bunch of stuff like the pump power cord and outflow are OK.

Tank journals tend to gloss over the less fun details, or assume I guess that we all know what is OK and not with a heater? 20 years ago when I was keeping tanks it was not OK for the heater to touch ANYTHING. Is that not the case anymore?
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:56 PM   #12
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I don't mean this flippantly but you need to actually utilize the search function and read through journals. If I can find the info, you can. It's there. You just have to have patience and do the research. In ten minutes, I found several journals, tons of photos, lots of detail. Not just loose mentions. (I also got sucked into reading through journals I didn't know existed and will no doubt spend the rest of the day reading them - ha!)

Some heaters can touch things, some can't. Some can be buried in substrate, some can be horizontal, some vertical, some can even be half out of water. Depends upon what the manufacturer suggests.

A tip: If the suction cups included with a particular heater don't work for your particular setup, try getting another brand of replacement suction cups. There are even low-profile magnetic heater holders on the market that could work.

P.S. Another brand to consider is Deep Blue Professional. There are a couple small heaters from DBP that could work.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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I'm sorry, I'm just a little frustrated at this point.

I keep being told to search. I have. I have searched multiple times and read through a TON of tank journals. And while a few do have overhead shots of the heater, it is not clear how they are mounting the heater (or not), or what it might be touching under the water. My question has yet to be answered.

I have searched, a LOT, multiple times. I spent all evening yesterday reading tank journals again, convinced that since everyone was acting as if I were lazy that I must have missed something obvious. I'm sorry, I don't see it. I have yet to see someone say "well this is how I made this work in this tank." It isn't there, or if it is I have missed it more than once now. If it is please direct me to where you found it in 10 minutes. I missed it somehow. This exact heater I bought because it was mentioned in a tank journal for hte Fluval 5 as a good option. But I can't make it work, obviously I'm missing something.

Not trying to be rude, I appreciate any and all help and realize many folks come to forums and do not read old posts. But I've read them and I still have questions. Sending me back to those old posts doesn't help at this point, they left me with questions.

I'm just hoping one or two of the many folks actually keeping the Fluval 5 would read this and respond: "see my journal here, here's *how* I made it work with X heater."

Why the "all in one" tank manufactures don't just include a heater that fits their setup, in their setup, I will never understand.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:24 PM   #14
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I actually have the same problem trying to find a small enough adjustable heater and not one of those that just raises the temp 5 degrees above room temp. I saw one that looked promising over in AFA forgot the name but at ~$40 I didn't think it worth it as I have a few mini tanks. Look forward to seeing more suggestions.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:52 PM   #15
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Here are just some of the brands that make heaters that are small and fit perfectly in this tank:
  • Archea
  • Azoo
  • Cobalt
  • Hydor
  • Finnex
  • Tetra
  • Fluval
  • AquaTop
  • Aqueon
  • Marineland
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