DIY heat for NANO tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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DIY heat for NANO tanks?

Probing around the E-bay, I found an idea that I had not seen before that might be worthwhile to the nano folks as the commercial heaters are not always handy for their use.
If you are searching for heat source for nano that doesn't reguire something in the tank, a quick look at "silicone rubber heat pad" might give some help. They seem to come in a wide range of voltages, wattage, and size/shape so that you might find one just right. The pad or pads could then be tied into one of the $12-15 temperature controller to give a pad to stick on the back or underneath with only a temperature sensing probe going into the tank water. I find the probe can be made almost invisible when I stick it in a clear soda straw which I also like as it assures the probe is truly "waterproof" rather than water resistant. I find these probes fail reasonably quick if I stick them straight into the water and leave them but sealing them in a straw is a simple way to improve that.
I find the straws are easy to seal at the bottom by setting them on fire and then mashing the fire with something like a hammer or pliers as it then is melted shut!
Not often you can find a nano heater as low as 4 watts!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 09:36 PM
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You mean the probes with something like an Inkbird ITC1000 go bad? I've only had mine running for about 6 months. How quickly have you seen them fail?

I like the idea of under the tank as you get the bonus of heating the substrate as well
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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I don't currently have any of the little odd shaped tanks, jars,etc. but it seemed like these being flexible and coming in lots of sizes and wattage, they might be something that could be bent around the back side of some of the really odd shapes. Or using several small wattage like 8 watt added together they might be placed in several spots with something as simple as plywood to attach them as well as insulate. I thought they might really beat those big old 25 watt heaters without thermostats sticking out in the tanks as we could better size them for the smallest tanks that don't need a full 25 watt.

The first three probes failed between three months and a year from the start. It seems there are different types of sealant used, some better than others so I now just put them in straws as a routine as it also helps me in hiding/controlling the wire and placement. Some points that make a difference is that I do keep plenty of circulation in the tanks as it does make the heat more uniform but also the CO2, etc. so when I add a probe, I often lay it flat in a corner and the straw serves to make the wire go straight up without gobbing silicone too far. The last couple, I have found I can get away with just lowering the water level and using super glue in the corner. What I do watch for is letting water go down the straw so that the whole idea is wasted, so I force a bit of silicone in the top end to seal against any water splash or spills.
I've learned to expect my screwups!!
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