Nano tank heating in winter - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2020, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Nano tank heating in winter

Hi all,

I have one very specific question I am hoping you can help me with. After 6+ years I am finally coming back to the aquarium hobby and for that reason I've bought a 40 litre (10gallon) nano tank. I've bought most of the equipment (external filter, c02, lights,..) and am still missing the heater. Now the problem:

The only room in the apartment I can have the aquarium is not heated and in the winter can go as low as 10 degrees Celsium (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Will Hydor ETH 200 external heater be an overkill for such small aquarium or should I get like one normnal - internal 50W-100W heater that can mantain like a normal 22 degrees Celsium temperature?

Also worth noting is, that I will only have Neocaridina shrimp + some Amano shrimp in it.

I welcome any and all help you can provide, thanks!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2020, 08:30 PM
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My own Neos and Amano shrimp have had no issues other than breeding stalls when dropping to 50F, but such changes happen very gradually in my unheated room and my pond. Your lights and filter will provide some heat, but temps may swing too much from your light's photoperiod. I almost certainly would opt for a heater in your situation. Just don't exceed 5 watts per gallon, or 50 watts in your case. The built in thermostat kicks off when water reaches the set point with any heater, but the coils are 4 times hotter on a 200 watt heaters as a 50 watt one. Your heater is also one area in which I wouldn't go bargain hunting. Nothing worse than a heater sticking or failing in the "on" position and cheap heaters are far more likely to do so. Good luck, and welcome to TPT.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2020, 04:14 AM
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I like the Hydor heaters for my nano tanks, either the 25 or 50 watt. I've had good luck with them, never any issues with overheating. I keep a close watch on my tank temps just to be sure there are no fluctuations, especially going from summer into fall/winter requires a bump up in temp. I use the 25watt in my 5 gallon tanks and the 50watt in my 10 gallon. Be sure to use a dependable thermometer. I tried digitals for awhile but returned to the old school type for accuracy, more dependable cause batteries start going out on the digitals and readings get honked up.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2020, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both, you actually gave me the exact feedback I needed. I will buy a 50W submersible heater, but which brand would you suggest I get? I've read mixed reviews for Hydor heaters, are they better than some other mainstream brands? I would rather pay more and be on the safe side...

Thanks again, you are very helpful! I am quite glad to have joined this forum.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 08:05 PM
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Because of the Hydor ratings I went with a Marina.
That said if you look up most major brands they all seem to have similar reviews. I'm not sure if there is one that would fail safely. I'd certainly be interested to learn if there is.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-03-2020, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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After reading a lot of reviews, I will most likely buy the Eheim Thermocontrol 50W / 75W heater. I've also read good things about Fluval E advanced / Aqueon Adjustable Pro and Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo, but these 3 are not easily available here in Slovenia, while Eheim is.

I really wanted the 200W Hydor but as you guys mentioned its simply 2 big for a 10g.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 02:25 AM
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I've run Hydor ETH 200s on ADA Mini M (19L) tanks with no problems.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2020, 03:20 PM
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I'm betting the old Italian made Askoll-Hagen compacts are still available in Slovenia and Italy. I have to say I have a half dozen of these heaters that I've purchased over the years and they're reliable as the sunrise.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2020, 04:01 PM
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When looking at heaters, I go with two ideas. One is that most electro-mechanical things do fail and heaters often fail due to the contacts sticking so that the heater stays on. That leaves me to want the smallest heater which is still big enough to get the job done. In ten gallons, that is often too large even at 50 watts. But the fifty is an easy to find, cheap option, so I go with it as a way to increase the amount of time I have to find the problem before the fish are dying.
But on any heater on a tank where I value the fish, I add a second layer of safety. Rather than paying more for a heater, which I have never found that did not fail, I go for using a temperature controller.
With the heater thermostat likely to fail at some point, I want a second line of safety so that the temperature controller will shut off and control power to the heater when it sticks on!
There are many options to meet what you want to do, depending on whether you want to pay a bit less and do some minor DIY work or want a ready made unit for a bit more.
I favor two units which are now listed on E-bay here in the USA. One is the Inkbird 308 for $32 and I find it has everything I could possibly want with alarms and lights, etc, while the other is much cheaper at $12.95 but harder to read the Chinese English instructions and does require adding the wire for power in and out. Perhaps search for "digital temperature controller" for different options?
Perhaps consider how much safer it is with two items to control the overheating? It is certainly nice to trade off not using the small mercury thermometer which is hard to read for the nice large digital that I can read from across the room! When in a hurry, I don't have to go into the room, just stand at the door and scan the temps!
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