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Old 08-25-2014, 10:28 PM   #16
Shidohari
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Originally Posted by kman View Post
Honestly, it may simply be that you have a bad heater with a faulty temp sensor or controller. It shouldn't do that. You may want to contact the company directly to inquire.

A 20 gallon tank is not so large that you should have trouble keeping it all one temp, as long as you have reasonable circulation. It's way small compared to the big tanks a lot of people here have. I suspect either the 50w titanium heater (or the 50w Cobalt) would do a good job without help. If you live in an especially cold climate and have large temp fluctuations, I'd consider moving to up 100w heaters. (with either heater)
I have had the heater for too long for it to be any kind of warranty. I live in northern KY in the USA so it only gets cold in the winter if that answers your question on location. I will try to get one of the two heaters with my next paycheck. both of them are relatively close in price.

My filters are a Aqueon 30 and Aqueon 20 made for a 45 and 30 gallon tank system respectively. They are existing from my previous 10 gallon tank. One filter is on the left side of the tank with the intake tube removed and a round sponge filter attachment placed over where the intake tube would go. The Aqueon 30 is on the right side of the tank set up the same way with a sponge filter over where the intake tube would go so have plenty of circulation (also probably why my Ram is still surviving since i only got the tank last sunday).

Does that help?
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:50 PM   #17
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With plenty of circulation in a smallish tank like a 20gal, a decent heater with a properly functioning thermostat will have no problem keeping your tank warm.

Here in L.A. summer temps are never an issue (if anything, the big concern is whether the house will get too hot while on vacation and the AC is off!), and most winters re no problem, but the occasional cold snap can drop temps enough to be an issue.

I'd bet your winters get colder than ours, but it's up to you if you think your house temps fluctuate enough to justify the higher wattage. The price difference is not usually significant, so you might consider going with the 100w regardless. You don't want to go crazy with a 300w (for instance), but I like having slightly more heating capacity than is needed, for those unusual (if rare) temp swings. I use a 75w Eheim in my 17 gal tank, for instance, even though a 50w would likely get the job done fine.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:40 PM   #18
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Question, should i go with the Cobalt Accutherm or the Cobalt NeoTherm thermometer?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=25160

A 75 w of either type would serve a 20g and the 100w goes up to 29 gallons.

The differences is the Neo therm is 52 dollars without shipping and handling for a 100w and the Accutherm is about 20 dollars less without shipping and handling.

The Accutherm received 5/5 and Neotherm got 4.7/5. Accutherm link is above from doctor fosters and smith.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:05 AM   #19
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I can't really recommend one over the other. Price is $5 apart, with Amazon pricing and free shipping.

Amazon.com : ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater, 100-Watt : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater, 100-Watt : Pet Supplies
: $30

The Titanium heaters are very well regarded here, from what I've seen, and I love the tiny size and external controls.

Amazon.com : Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 75-Watt with Plastic LED : Aquarium Heaters : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 75-Watt with Plastic LED : Aquarium Heaters : Pet Supplies
: $35

The Cobalt heaters are very high tech, and super easy to read at a distance due to the way their dial works. Adjustment is all done in the tank, not on the cord, but they work very well so it's not like you have to fiddle with it... ever... once you set it.

I've used several of the Cobalt heaters in my own tanks and can vouch for their excellence (in my own experience, of course). I've never used the titanium heaters, but I have admired them.

Not sure if that's especially helpful, LOL

EDIT: Oh, sorry, you said ACCUTHERM. Not sure about those as I've never used them. Thought we were still looking at the Titanium v. Neotherm. Also, the 100w Neotherm is a little spendier.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kman View Post
I can't really recommend one over the other. Price is $5 apart, with Amazon pricing and free shipping.

Amazon.com : ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater, 100-Watt : Pet Supplies : $30

The Titanium heaters are very well regarded here, from what I've seen, and I love the tiny size and external controls.

Amazon.com : Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 75-Watt with Plastic LED : Aquarium Heaters : Pet Supplies : $35

The Cobalt heaters are very high tech, and super easy to read at a distance due to the way their dial works. Adjustment is all done in the tank, not on the cord, but they work very well so it's not like you have to fiddle with it... ever... once you set it.

I've used several of the Cobalt heaters in my own tanks and can vouch for their excellence (in my own experience, of course). I've never used the titanium heaters, but I have admired them.

Not sure if that's especially helpful, LOL
The accutemp by Cobalt is their glass heater. I will need to check if it's submersible, but if it's like the other one it should be. sorry my typing is off, i have to type with my wireless keyboard resting on the back of my cat who is taking up my lap.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:17 AM   #21
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LOL that's a great mental image.

Yes, all of the heaters under discussion are fully submersible. (at least, the accutemp specs specifically say they are, and I know the other two are)
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:24 AM   #22
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LOL that's a great mental image.

Yes, all of the heaters under discussion are fully submersible. (at least, the accutemp specs specifically say they are, and I know the other two are)
He's a siamese mix stronger on the siamese named cinnamon and he's ten years old. at this time he's got his two front legs over my left hand and not sat down yet.

just going to be hard to decide between the three...though for the price if i went via amazon i would probably take the cobalt neotherm.

great now he's sat on my left hand, he's not going to like it when i move it in five seconds lol.

maybe i can find the heater locally at one of my three lfs but i think only two of them may have a chance of carying it.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:40 AM   #23
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I have the Neo-Therm, two of them actually, and am very pleased. I tested them against a calibrated thermometer and they were accurate +/- a degree. They are basically a thick slab of plastic, I doubt you could break it if you tried, and pretty inconspicuous.

I have not had other heaters, however, so take that with a grain of salt as I have nothing to compare it to.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:52 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
I have the Neo-Therm, two of them actually, and am very pleased. I tested them against a calibrated thermometer and they were accurate +/- a degree. They are basically a thick slab of plastic, I doubt you could break it if you tried, and pretty inconspicuous.

I have not had other heaters, however, so take that with a grain of salt as I have nothing to compare it to.
I'm thinking about going with the cobalt neotherm. it does look like the better quality and between the two cobalt thermometers it would probably last longer in the long run. They are coming highly recommended by both yourself and kman.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:09 AM   #25
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Your rams and cories will do just fine at a more stable temp of 78* . Your rasboras will like you more also.
If you go with 2 heaters. DO NOT place them side by side. Put them at opposite ends of the tank. This produces a more even heating. Also if one fails on, the fish can somewhat escape by going to the cooler side of the tank. For a 20 High, 2 50w heaters would be more than adequate.

And welcome to the forum from a fellow N.Ky aquarist.
One of the reasons I like the two heaters at opposite ends is the middle will usually be a degree or twp cooler. Some fish like the respite from the constant temp.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:31 AM   #26
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One of the reasons I like the two heaters at opposite ends is the middle will usually be a degree or twp cooler. Some fish like the respite from the constant temp.
That's probably what I will do. Question, if I do both heaters at the opposite sides of the tank, my one 50 w Aquatop heater (the only heater that i currently own) never shuts off. Do i set it at a setting LOWER than I would need it? or just leave it as is. It pushes itself up to 81-83 degrees which is way warmer than I need it. Someone has said that this one has a faulty temperature sensor which is why it never turns off even though i have it set at 26 c aka 79 F. I currently have it placed on the right hand side of the tank on the actual side (not the back) in the center submerged. I can only afford to buy one heater at a time.

the 50w Neotherm would be good for 12 g while my Aquatop is good for 13 gallons according to the specs, so they would be in balance there.

Thoughts.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:46 AM   #27
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One of the reasons I like the two heaters at opposite ends is the middle will usually be a degree or twp cooler. Some fish like the respite from the constant temp.
I disagree. With decent circulation, in a small tank like this, the temps should be pretty consistent throughout the tank. In a larger tank, that's probably true, but not really with a small one, especially two opposing HOB filters giving excellent circulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidohari View Post
That's probably what I will do. Question, if I do both heaters at the opposite sides of the tank, my one 50 w Aquatop heater (the only heater that i currently own) never shuts off. Do i set it at a setting LOWER than I would need it? or just leave it as is. It pushes itself up to 81-83 degrees which is way warmer than I need it. Someone has said that this one has a faulty temperature sensor which is why it never turns off even though i have it set at 26 c aka 79 F. I currently have it placed on the right hand side of the tank on the actual side (not the back) in the center submerged. I can only afford to buy one heater at a time.

the 50w Neotherm would be good for 12 g while my Aquatop is good for 13 gallons according to the specs, so they would be in balance there.

Thoughts.
Will the Aquatop heater hold a lower temp? (even if it's technically lower than you need) Although I guess that would be tough to test if you only have one heater at the moment.

I'm also not clear on what tanks you have, now and planned, and what heaters. I thought you already have a 20 gal which is having issues with the heater. But you also have a 12 gal? But only one heater?
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:37 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by kman View Post
I disagree. With decent circulation, in a small tank like this, the temps should be pretty consistent throughout the tank. In a larger tank, that's probably true, but not really with a small one, especially two opposing HOB filters giving excellent circulation.


Will the Aquatop heater hold a lower temp? (even if it's technically lower than you need) Although I guess that would be tough to test if you only have one heater at the moment.

I'm also not clear on what tanks you have, now and planned, and what heaters. I thought you already have a 20 gal which is having issues with the heater. But you also have a 12 gal? But only one heater?
I only have one tank running and that's a 20gallon tall. The filters for 50 w that i was looking into are effective up to a 12-13 gallon tank.

Both arguments are valid here. I see pros for getting a new heater that will do the job singly as well as a second heater and running both at the same time. But as Kman pointed out, with the way my current heater is acting, it may not stick to a lower temperature.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:21 PM   #29
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I disagree. With decent circulation, in a small tank like this, the temps should be pretty consistent throughout the tank. In a larger tank, that's probably true, but not really with a small one, especially two opposing HOB filters giving excellent circulation.
I would agree with that, the mixing rate with a HOB in that small of a tank is very fast. Short of having some structures that create dead spaces, or half of it sitting in the sun, I would be very surprised if the temperature varies by more than a degree or so between ends.

I also, the more I read this (and get reminded this is 20G) wonder how you can need more heat, especially for being around 80. At the moment (waiting for larger ones to come in), I'm heaving a 220 (yes, 10x) tank with a 100W heater, room temp 74, to tank temp 78. It took a while and is not the situation I plan to leave -- but unless you have big room-tank differences, it really does not take nearly as much heat as people might advise.

If your 50W heater is erratic, replace it. But with that small of tank (and I think many of us lost that in all the discussion of different tanks), I think I'd start with one 50W replacement and see how it goes before adding a second.

Note there are two other sources of temperature variation - evaporation and lights. If you have strong, especially hot lights, that can drive the temperature up more than a heater. And if you have an open top that evaporates, room humidity variations and any breezes (e.g. ceiling fans) can make a surprisingly large heat loss. Since the latter might be full time, and the former on and off, this can cause heat swings that the heater might not help with (notably getting too hot from the lights, all the heater can do is turn off).

But you are obviously cost conscious - first make sure what you have is broken. See if you can borrow an accurate thermometer; if you have some cooking enthusiasts they might have one (e.g. Thermopen's are great for this). With no other sources of heat, check it frequently with your heater, compare to the room (i.e. that it is always hotter than the room). If your heater is driving it to erratic temperatures, throw it away. If it's something else, like lights, fix that first.

If you need a new heater, I'd buy one good one first. Then test it. A LOT of heaters are going to be off a few degrees, that's easy to adjust, but what is more difficult is if it is erratic. Keep using the thermometer and make sure it is holding temperature, and adjust up or down to get what you want (e.g. you might need to set the dial to 80 to get 78).

Only if you find the heater is falling behind -- it's running, but the temperature won't go up -- do you really need a second heater.

And if you find the tank is too hot, and heater is off, look for why - lights, etc., and adjust those.

Don't take all the "5 watts per gallon" and such as needed. Or more precisely, such advice is predicated on having plenty of heat for unusual situations -- water changes where the added water needs to heat rapidly, very cold rooms, ability to heat up an extra 10 degrees if needed (e.g. to treat Ich). If those aren't concerns, a lot less heat is needed.

You need to think like a scientist, and not like a shopper.

Take it methodically and figure out what's really wrong and what you need and you will save money.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:48 PM   #30
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Forget what you have the heater "set" at on the scale. If you lower the heater temp will it keep it at 79 according to a thermometer? Will it cycle? If so then your temp scale is inaccurate. That's not a problem at all. Just use the thermometer to set the heater. Old School. If it still stays on all the time the contacts are sticking. Bye Bye heater. That heater is technically heating the tank so it does have enough wattage. Question is will it cycle.
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