Temperature issue with my 125 gallon tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Temperature issue with my 125 gallon tank

I currently have 2 Hydor 300 watt heaters in my 125 gallon planted tank that has been set up for some time now in my basement with a dehumidifier. I have the largest Hydor Pro canister filter along with Fluval FX-6, 3 Finnex LED lights set some 36 inches above the substrate (running from 0900 to 1500 daily) and 2 circulation pumps. Last evening I was about to dose my tank with fertilizers and I felt that the water was a bit too warm. These heaters tend to do that heat up at night then leave the tank around 80 to 82 degrees. That is my problem because I have always had great luck keeping my aquariums around 78 degrees but no matter what temperature I set these Hydor heaters to I cannot seem to get the tank to 78 degrees!! The temperature remains at the high end of the "safe zone" or is slightly above that. This is the second set of Hydor heaters I have received after contacting Hydor and they sent me these new heaters. I have had a problem with BBA surrounding the control knobs of the heaters but even after I have completely cleaned them the same issue remains. Last night I unplugged both heaters as it has been unusually hot here where I live but I know that this is not the long term solution.
Thanks in advance to any and all responding members.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 04:18 PM
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I have a couple ten year old Hydor Theo 400 watt heaters from Discus day's and noted that dial on the heater is often way off from actual temperature as read on tank thermometer.
Right now,I have one of these heater's set just a click above off ,and it maintains 75 degree F according to three different thermometer's.
If I set the dial on heater to 75 /78 degree's F the water warms to near 82/84 degree's F as per thermometer reading's.
I just need to keep an eye on thermometer when adjusting temps rather than dial on the heater itself.
Some consider the Hydor's junk ,but they are still working albeit as described, for the last ten year's.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 05:35 PM
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Unfortunately I have the same issue with the hydro heater. Mine is the 25w one, the dial does not reflect close to the heated temperature. Other than that it does heat up at that particular temperature consistently.

I had hydro before and they work well, maybe we got both got the special batch. I also have good experience with Ehiem Jager and Marineland precision before in case you are considering a replacment. Cheers!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 06:15 PM
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If you want steady temperature you will need to have a controller in place. I have mine setup with the heater plug into the controller and the temperature has not been off by more than two degrees doesn?t matter where you take the readings from
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 06:53 PM
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With that large heaters and double, I would not want to go long without a safety backup plan as heaters do often stick on and kill all the fish. Two ways that I like to go on the controllers and it depends on how you feel about doing some DIY wiring or a bit more expense for a really, really nice unit that is plug and play.
For when I need large numbers of controllers, I go to the auction site and buy the cheapest digital controllers and add wiring. But for really nice and when I only need a few, I really like the
Inkbird units. Several choices on them depending on whether you want to control only heating or both heating and cooling.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 07:26 PM
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I learnt the hard way with a a fluval heater in a 36 gal bow front....it stuck and water went to almost 85F.

On my current set ups with Hydor inline heaters, I have then set at maximum and control the temperature with an external temperature controller similar to the Inkbird. Would not have it any other way!


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OreoP View Post
I learnt the hard way with a a fluval heater in a 36 gal bow front....it stuck and water went to almost 85F.

On my current set ups with Hydor inline heaters, I have then set at maximum and control the temperature with an external temperature controller similar to the Inkbird. Would not have it any other way!
I would feel a bit safer doing this as the Inkbird is likely to be better quality and less likely to stick in the heating phase but I might throw out some thoughts beyond that.
I think of the heater controls as one line of defense and control as they do work correctly for some period of time. I look at the controller as a second line of defense in case the first fails. But if the control on the heater is turned to max, doesn't that eliminate that first line? I feel like that is going to make any failure in the controller be an immediate hazard.
If both thermostats are allowed to work and do their normal function, I feel I will have a chance to get used to the normal temperature range I set and then when I see it is not normal, I have time to check what is causing it while the second thermostat is still protecting me from any extreme that will kill fish.
Football reference? I don't tell the line to stop tackling because the linebacker will get it done, nor do I tell the linebackers to stop because the line will tackle! I want both doing the job as the other may fail.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 02:44 PM
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It's very common that the 'set points' on heaters are merely rough guides to actual temperatures.

For a very long time I had two Aqueon 200w heaters in my 60g...it took awhile to dial them in so they would more or less come on within about 30 seconds of each other and maintain a consistent 77F. I had one 'fail' (actually still heated but filled with water!) and had it replaced for free (Aqueon heaters are guaranteed for life!).

I then upgraded to an external Finnex controller driving the two Aqueon 200w heaters (which I turned up). The external controller puts power to the heater(s) when the temperature gets 1 degree below the set point (Also has high/low alarms).


Recently, I replaced the two Aqueon heaters with a single Finnex 500w Titanium heater driven by the same Finnex controller (good up to 800w).

I think the external controller's are potentially more reliable (and offer high/low alarms) than the internal thermostats in 'regular' heaters. But here again, I have the Finnex controller set at 79F to deliver a consistent 77F in the water. However, it works flawlessly. I have the unit mounted on the wall beside the tank so I can see the temperature readout at a glance.
Knock wood....I'm very happy with the unit(s).
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Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 02:55 PM
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I hear you Rich - sometimes thermostats fail and the heater stays on, but in many cases, the heater just fails and quits working (in which case, the external controller does nothing to help [although an alarm will sound]).
I don't know if any system is fully bullet proof. I do think getting the controller out of the water and having a nearly indestructible titanium heater is less likely to fail. Then again, aquarium heaters may be like hard drives...the question is not whether they will fail...but when!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I would feel a bit safer doing this as the Inkbird is likely to be better quality and less likely to stick in the heating phase but I might throw out some thoughts beyond that.
I think of the heater controls as one line of defense and control as they do work correctly for some period of time. I look at the controller as a second line of defense in case the first fails. But if the control on the heater is turned to max, doesn't that eliminate that first line? I feel like that is going to make any failure in the controller be an immediate hazard.
If both thermostats are allowed to work and do their normal function, I feel I will have a chance to get used to the normal temperature range I set and then when I see it is not normal, I have time to check what is causing it while the second thermostat is still protecting me from any extreme that will kill fish.
Football reference? I don't tell the line to stop tackling because the linebacker will get it done, nor do I tell the linebackers to stop because the line will tackle! I want both doing the job as the other may fail.

Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg from a chicken.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 07:52 PM
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I have some info on why I worry more about the heater sticking "ON" rather than "OFF".
With the controller we do get an alarm and if we are home soon enough, we can deal with the problem. Also the fish are far less prone to loss from cool water than hot. Too cool for too long and they tend to get a range of diseases which we have to fight. But if they get too hot, there is less O2 in the water and it kills them pretty quick. NO known way to recover!
But then there is a mechanical reason for my main concern being on the HOT side. Many heaters do make and audible "click" when they come on. that click is most often a relay which has contacts and those contacts are prone to having a tiny arc each time they open and close. So we can get into doing a little mini burn on the contacts each time and the burn is progressive so that it does tend to weld them shut. More expensive equipment can have contacts which are designed far better and "self-burnish" but not at the price range of tank heaters.
You older guys may remember the points on cars and were we glad to see those go away?
In electronics? If it clicks, it sticks!
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