Hydor 15W mini heater - does it work?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Equipment


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-09-2009, 07:11 AM   #1
tuonor
Planted Member
 
tuonor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 285
Default

Hydor 15W mini heater - does it work?


Purchased one of these nano heaters for a 6 gallon nano. Figured others might be interested in some test data given it seems like these units have worked for some and not at all for others.

Comparing versus a Visi-therm Deluxe 25W traditional submersible which seems like the logical alternative given it is the shortest tube style heater I could find.

Size comparo (just over 5" vs. just over 7" for the Visitherm):



Test rig
- Started with 2.5 gallons of water in an Ikea storage bin
- Hydor Hydroset digital thermostat with in-water probe
- Oregon Scientific clock for ambient air temperature

tuonor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-09-2009, 07:20 AM   #2
tuonor
Planted Member
 
tuonor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 285
Default

Hydor rates the 15W version to raise the temperature of a 5 gallon tank by 5 degree F. I left the setup overnight with the heater on all night and then snapped this photo in the morning:



The 15W is good for a remarkable 0.2 degree difference in 2.5 gallons of water, meaning it is essentially useless (and yes, if I put my hand on the heating element heating there is some perceptible heat dissipation so I don't have a dead unit).

Pretty disappointing versus the Hydor spec; going to run the Visi-therm to see how it does tomorrow.
tuonor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-15-2009, 04:06 AM   #3
tuonor
Planted Member
 
tuonor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 285
Default 25W Visitherm

Next up: 25W Visi-Therm submersible.

I moved the test rig to the laundry room which is a more rigorous workout because the door seal is a bit leaky.



Plugged in the Visi-Therm and left it overnight with the thermostat set at max. Overnight, was able to establish a 11 degree differential (78 degree tank temp vs. 67 degree ambient air temp. Works as it should.

tuonor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-15-2009, 04:13 AM   #4
tuonor
Planted Member
 
tuonor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 285
Default

I decided I may have been unfair to the Hydor in that it may take more time to raise the temp of a tank than I allowed originally. Perhaps it can hold a higher temperature given more time.

Thus, I put in the Hydor 15W in the 2.5 gallon test rig, after raising the tank temp to the high 70s with the Visi-Therm. I let this sit for several days to allow it to equalize.

Net on 2.5 gallons, it looks like a 6 degree temp differential is defensible with the 15W Hydor. I just don't know that I'd trust it to hold if there was a meaningful fluctuation within 1-2 days:

tuonor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-19-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
tuonor
Planted Member
 
tuonor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 285
Default

Last test. Increased water volume to 5 gallons and allowed the Hydor to work for a few days.



After 3 days, I checked the delta, the hydor was able to hold a 3 degree differential (72 degrees vs. 69 degrees).

tuonor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-19-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
tuonor
Planted Member
 
tuonor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 285
Default

Conclusions:
These are the factory spec on the Hydor relative to my results. Net, I think the 15W version of this heater I tested might be appropriate for a 1-2 gallon nano but wouldn't do anything meaningful for the rated 5-10 gallon tank. My guess is the 7.5W version would only work for a fish bowl.

Mini 15W Hydor
2.5 gallons: Hydor spec (na); my result (+6 degrees)
5.0 gallons: Hydor spec (+5 degrees); my result (+3 degrees)
10 gallons: Hydor spec (+4 degrees); my result (didn't test given result in 5 gallons)

EDIT: I discovered a few months after doing this test that the volume of water in the second test was 4 gallons not 5. This means the shortfall of the Hydor vs. spec is a bit bigger than I thought (ie factory spec is +5 degrees in 5 gallons, but my result was +3 degrees in 4 gallons).

Last edited by tuonor; 04-05-2010 at 06:47 AM..
tuonor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-19-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
accordztech
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,797
Default

nice man good effort.

I have that mini 7.5whydror. I did a little test of my own. In 5 gallon tank it rose it like 2 degrees from 66. Then i put it in my 1.2 gallon tank, rose that sucker to 78 from i think 68. Basically my betta is warm now lol.

its a OK heater, sits there...i try to shove it under the gravel.

I also think that you can get a higher temp if you put a lid on your setup just like a fish tank.
accordztech is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-21-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
JamieH
Algae Grower
 
JamieH's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: United Kingdon
Posts: 64
Default

would be very interested to see how the hydor performs when you aren't using convection alone to circulate the heat i.e. add a small pump.
__________________
EHEIM pimp club member #388

240litres | Low Tech Set Up | Comments welcome
JamieH is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-21-2009, 08:24 PM   #9
jmhart
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (37/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,619
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by accordztech View Post

I also think that you can get a higher temp if you put a lid on your setup just like a fish tank.
A lot of people don't have lids on nano tanks, so I think in order to a viable option as a heater for planted nano tank use, it shouldn't matter whether the tank has a heater or now.


OP, great write and review. The data speaks for itself.

It's a little shocking considering how well other Hydor products work.
jmhart is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-21-2009, 08:27 PM   #10
GTR
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,086
Default

That test would require an air pump for circulation. Some small powerheads might actually add more heat to the water than the heater does. lol

SteveU
GTR is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-21-2009, 11:05 PM   #11
bcdudley
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 195
Default

Other things that could be influencing the test may be that it is sitting on a cold tile floor ( yes, I see the rug in between). The floor is going to act like a chiller. Also, the surface area of the container is much larger than a standard nano tank would be. You will loose some heat to evaporation using a container this big. Last thing, and it was already mentioned is there is no circulation in the tank. To be able to consistently heat the water, the heater needs water moving around it. Otherwise, it will heat the water only in the immediate vicinity of the heater and shut off.

I think it is great that you are putting forth the effort to inform people of these heaters. Please just take this as a helpful suggestion and not negative criticism.

Thank you.
bcdudley is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-21-2009, 11:18 PM   #12
houseofcards
Planted Tank Guru
 
houseofcards's Avatar
 
PTrader: (55/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,612
Default

I recently put a 15g Hydor mini on my Mini S (3.5g) and it rose temp around 7 degrees. Temp was around 68 at night now holds steady around 75.
houseofcards is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-22-2009, 12:36 AM   #13
jmhart
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (37/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,619
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcdudley View Post
Other things that could be influencing the test may be that it is sitting on a cold tile floor ( yes, I see the rug in between). The floor is going to act like a chiller. Also, the surface area of the container is much larger than a standard nano tank would be. You will loose some heat to evaporation using a container this big. Last thing, and it was already mentioned is there is no circulation in the tank. To be able to consistently heat the water, the heater needs water moving around it. Otherwise, it will heat the water only in the immediate vicinity of the heater and shut off.

I think it is great that you are putting forth the effort to inform people of these heaters. Please just take this as a helpful suggestion and not negative criticism.

Thank you.
if it were a stand alone test, that would all be true, but since it's compared against a comproble heater in the same conditions I think it is still valid.
jmhart is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012