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Old 08-26-2014, 05:37 PM   #31
Shidohari
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I lowered the temperature that my heater is set at and i woke up this morning at it was at 80.4-80.6 with my lights on. for my 20 gallon tall my light is the below.

1 Marineland Double Bright LED that has stats of 450 lumens (can someone translate that into watts for me) Bar with adjustible 18-24 inch total width arms. I had to reread the box because i was always quoting this as a single bright, and it ends up being a double bright kit.

1 Marineland LED insert that goes into the Hood module for their 10 gallon tank kit, i don't know the Lumens for this. I run this second module centered behind my first one for extra light to reach my background plants. (Anacharis, Barcomba caroliniana, and Water wysteria which will reach one foot to 2 feet when full grown. I need to add a little more gravel in a couple of weeks when everything stabilizes)

The temp is still dropping i noticed it is now down to 80.2 however the light siginifying that it is 'ON' and heating the tank is currently 'OFF' which i think means it DID cycle. Will wait til tomorrow morning when i get home from my jobs to see where it finally sets at. If it's anywhere in the 77-79 range i'm leaving it alone. If it is in that range tomorrow should i hold off on getting a new heater? I wouldn't be able to purchase it til friday at the earliest regardless.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:08 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidohari View Post
I lowered the temperature that my heater is set at and i woke up this morning at it was at 80.4-80.6 with my lights on. for my 20 gallon tall my light is the below.
Do please consider what you are measuring temperature with. The vast majority of cheaper thermometers are reasonably precise, but not very accurate. In other words, they can tell you if the temperature goes up or down a degree, but not actually what degree it is. I went through this with meat thermometers, and tested 3 we had around the house, and for the same temperature water, would get readings varying by 20 degrees (that's about medium rare vs. well done).

If the thermometer has adequate range, one way to test is take relatively pure water (most tap water is OK) and get it at a furious boil, and test in the water. Then do the same with lots of ice melting in a container of water. This should be close to 32 and 212 F at sea level (numerous tables will let you correct if you are at high altitudes).

And/or test against multiple thermometers. I say this because you are quoting fractional degrees, and (no disrespect intended, we are all on a budget) concerned over the price of a heater, and I would suggest it is at least as likely your thermometer is off vs. heater.

And/or don't worry too much about it. Very few fish/inverts are going to be concerned over the difference in 78 vs. 81, for example -- what they don't want is flip flop between those two. So it is whether it will stabalize at a temperature and hold it you should mostly be concerned about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidohari View Post
1 Marineland Double Bright LED that has stats of 450 lumens (can someone translate that into watts for me)
It depends on the light, I have a 30W that puts out 2000 lumens so probably somewhere in the 8W range. A guess. How much of that goes into heat is a whole different matter of course.

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Originally Posted by Shidohari View Post
If it's anywhere in the 77-79 range i'm leaving it alone. If it is in that range tomorrow should i hold off on getting a new heater? I wouldn't be able to purchase it til friday at the earliest regardless.
In my opinion look for stability more than a specific temperature, if it can keep it at a temperature and not be running up and down, you're golden. If the heater turns on at (say) 78 and doesn't turn off until (say) 81 -- that's a problem, throw it away, as it will drive your tank in a yo-yo. Be cautious where you are taking readings, however -- that the water is mixed well, and not right up near the heater (one reason thermometers inside of the heaters are somewhat questionable).
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:34 PM   #33
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Like I've said I don't calibrate heaters. Ever. I do calibrate my thermometers though. I have a few left from my A/C days and they are calibratable. How? Simple. Put them in a glass of ice with a it of water. The water temp is 32. Every single time. High end? Put them into a pot of water just at boiling. 212 every single time. The thermometer dial turns if you hold the "nut" area below it.

If your heater is shutting off then yes, it is working. If it's holding temp it is working.

Exact temps are really not that critical. A degree or two either way is just fine. The fish won't really care. And worrying about tenths of a degree is simply nutzo.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:18 PM   #34
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In my opinion look for stability more than a specific temperature, if it can keep it at a temperature and not be running up and down, you're golden. If the heater turns on at (say) 78 and doesn't turn off until (say) 81 -- that's a problem, throw it away, as it will drive your tank in a yo-yo. Be cautious where you are taking readings, however -- that the water is mixed well, and not right up near the heater (one reason thermometers inside of the heaters are somewhat questionable).[/QUOTE]

Thermometer probe i use is the 10-12 dollar lcd display one that uses a very small lithium round battery that you find from Petsmart. I think the brand is Top Fin. it comes with a spare battery in the package which i recently replaced. I don't use the stick on strip ones on the glass because they're always inaccurate. The thermometer i use has a button to reset it, as well as switch from F to C and back again.

The thermometer probe is located at the back center of the tank fully submerged and positioned between my two filtration systems. The Heater is on the short literal right side of the aquarium centered and submerged on that right side of the glass.

is that a bad thermometer to be using? It's always in my tank and always on because it's run via battery.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:43 PM   #35
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Personally, I have 3 thermometers:

1) A simple ATI stick-on strip (cheap and easy to read and see at a glance, and it's not too tough to choose a good one as long as you can pick through the ones on the shelf at the LFS. There will always be several outliers, and all the rest will be clustered at the exact same temp. Cross-compare them against the actual alcohol or mercury (old school glass tube) thermometers on the shelf, and get two that match. That gives you a reasonable certainty that they're at least accurate "enough". I like the horizontal style that's very unobtrusive on the back edge of the side of the tank. http://www.amazon.com/American-Therm...dp/B000633PU8/

2) A relatively "old school" alcohol thermometer (the red liquid). Fast reacting, accurate and super useful as a gut check. I have it in the tank at the moment because I recently transitioned heaters myself, but I'll be pulling it soon and using it only when needed. I purchased it at the same time as the stick-on strip to make sure they matched. This will be a handy spare for matching water temps on refills, or when I need to drag out the hospital tank, as the magnetic mount makes it easy to move around. Mine was cheap, and also was the easiest to read by far, of this style.
Amazon.com : JW Pet Company Smarttemp Thermometer Aquarium Accessory : Magnet Aquarium Thermometer : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : JW Pet Company Smarttemp Thermometer Aquarium Accessory : Magnet Aquarium Thermometer : Pet Supplies


3) A small LCD with a remote probe that goes up into the tank. This one is very precise, and I'm reasonably convinced it is accurate because it always matches my old school thermometer. I usually leave this one off (manually power down) to save the battery, but fire it up to cross-check everything periodically. Fun, and accurate to +/- 0.1 degree, per the box, so it's nice to have something with better precision than the first two. Had good reviews on Amazon, was fairly cheap, and has been worth the $5 I spent on it, IMO.
Amazon.com : SODIAL(TM) Digital LCD Fish Aquarium Marine Vivarium Thermometer -50ˇăC to 70 ˇăC : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : SODIAL(TM) Digital LCD Fish Aquarium Marine Vivarium Thermometer -50ˇăC to 70 ˇăC : Pet Supplies


I'll be adding a very significant 4th one, soon: An Arduino with a temperature probe and display (it'll do lots of other things, too, but this is the relevant bit). It will also be accurate to +/1 0.1 degrees, and AC powered + always on, so I'll be ditching the little LCD one, at which point I'll actually be down to two: The little stick-on strip, and the Arduino-based display. That should suffice.

You don't need all this. But it's quite handy to have at least two, as long as you verify they display the same temps while in the store so you don't have to face the dilemma of two watches. I recommend at least the first two, for most people.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
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But it's quite handy to have at least two, as long as you verify they display the same temps while in the store so you don't have to face the dilemma of two watches. I recommend at least the first two, for most people.
Actually have an odd number, that way if two don't agree there's a tie breaker (assuming it matches at least one).

But seriously -- to the OP -- don't obsess over accuracy. Whatever you have is precise enough, make sure you're not bounching up and down in temperature, and beyond that don't worry too much.

Ps. For any reading who didn't take science -- Precision means how repeatable a reading is, or as another way to think of it, how small of a change can it correctly detect. Accuracy is how well it matches an external reference measurement. Most cheap thermometers are reasonably precise (and that's always what the package quotes ) but they are often very inaccurate. They may correctly measure a degree or even tenth of a degree change, but maybe off many degrees from the real temperature at least somewhere in their range. If you don't believe me (and yours goes that high and low) try the boiling water / melting ice test (don't touch the cubes, just have a LOT of cubes melting). It's a surprisingly good reference (again +/- altitude).
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:00 PM   #37
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Actually have an odd number, that way if two don't agree there's a tie breaker (assuming it matches at least one).
Agreed, although I do think once you've established the normal operating parameters of the two (either against a third, like me, or at least in the shop, comparing to MANY others), chances are with two you can be reasonably assured that if both numbers still match, all is well. If they suddenly don't match, well, yes, then you'll want a third to avoid the two watches dilemma.* That third doesn't necessarily need to be taking up tank space 24/7, though, once the main two have established themselves adequately.

* From the old joke: "Wear a watch and you'll always know what time it is. Wear two watches and you'll never be sure."

As you said, though, as long as the temp is stable, a degree or two one way or the other is rarely going to be an issue.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:58 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
Actually have an odd number, that way if two don't agree there's a tie breaker (assuming it matches at least one).

But seriously -- to the OP -- don't obsess over accuracy. Whatever you have is precise enough, make sure you're not bounching up and down in temperature, and beyond that don't worry too much.

Ps. For any reading who didn't take science -- Precision means how repeatable a reading is, or as another way to think of it, how small of a change can it correctly detect. Accuracy is how well it matches an external reference measurement. Most cheap thermometers are reasonably precise (and that's always what the package quotes ) but they are often very inaccurate. They may correctly measure a degree or even tenth of a degree change, but maybe off many degrees from the real temperature at least somewhere in their range. If you don't believe me (and yours goes that high and low) try the boiling water / melting ice test (don't touch the cubes, just have a LOT of cubes melting). It's a surprisingly good reference (again +/- altitude).
The correct way is a mix of ice and water. More ice than water but still a mix. Wait a few minutes and it is all 32 degrees. It matters not if it is touching the ice. In fact I use the thermometer to stir it to keep it a uniform temperature.

Trivia, removing latent heat from water will not decrease the temperature but will change the state of matter. Same holds true for a non superheated steam. The steam is still 212 same as the water. At sea level of course.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #39
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Quote:
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The correct way is a mix of ice and water.

Which is different from:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
If the thermometer has adequate range, one way to test is take relatively pure water (most tap water is OK) and get it at a furious boil, and test in the water. Then do the same with lots of ice melting in a container of water. This should be close to 32 and 212 F at sea level (numerous tables will let you correct if you are at high altitudes).
how?

But the key (mentioned in a different post) is to probe the water not touch the ice, which can itself be well under 32.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:10 PM   #40
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Quote:
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But the key (mentioned in a different post) is to probe the water not touch the ice, which can itself be well under 32.
I think the idea behind this is that both ice and water can equalize at 32f if they are left long enough.

It actually takes a considerable amount of energy to "push" water across its freezing point. While ice is melting, or water is freezing, the temperature stays roughly constant.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:48 PM   #41
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Holy topic drift, batman! LOL

(not that it's not interesting.)
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:02 PM   #42
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The heat needed to change states of matter is latent (or hidden) heat. It does not affect the temperature at all.
Ice water is 32 degrees. You want more ice than water to be accurate.

In fish keeping however close is fine 99.77554334% of the time.

The assumption that the ice surface is colder than 32 is false. It is 32.

I'll give you a freebie. In Florida to protect crops, namely strawberry crops farmers will intentionally ice over the plants to keep them from freezing. Go ahead. Google the temp of ice water.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:35 PM   #43
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I ordered the Cobalt Neo therm 75 watt for my 20 gallon tall tank this past Friday. It should hopefully be here by this coming weekend. This is good because my heater hasn't turned on in quite some time. it's set to 75 but it won't cycle on, so currently my tank is sitting at 73.6 degrees. For a time it was hovering at 74.1 to 74.3 degrees.

I will probably be setting the heater at 78-80 degrees when i get it due to my shrimp and my harlequin raspbora (specifically the harlequin with the top temperture of 77 F being it's average limit).

This heater can't get here soon enough, i just couldn't afford any faster shipping.
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