Betta Heater? Yay or Nay? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Betta Heater? Yay or Nay?

What is the majority rules opinion here, I keep reading that temps in the lower 70s will keep your Betta alive longer while allowing them to remain active. I am wondering if that is why a few years back my Betta died after a year, I was using a preset heater @ 78F. Most small heaters are pre-set so it is very unlikely I will find one for a Betta sized tank of 3 gallons. My central air keeps my room temperature in the 70s however I leave my window cracked so some nights it may get down into the high 60s. This leaves me really unsure what to do...the only thing I can think of is use an undersized micro heater for a 1-2 gallon tank so that it struggles to keep temp...but that will only kill a heater prematurely. I feel if all other perimeters are kept on point and your Betta is healthy that the temp swings are only a natural element as found in nature.

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 03:54 AM
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78F is not why the betta lived only a year, probably got an older fish or any number of other reasons. They usually prefer the mid 70s to mid 80s. They have several small heaters designed for up to 5gal aquariums. Probably something like the aqueon 10W would work well.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Probably something like the aqueon 10W would work well.
Funny you say that, it is the exact same heater I bought and just never used which is why I made this post. Should follow my instincts I guess.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 03:35 PM
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This leaves me really unsure what to do...the only thing I can think of is use an undersized micro heater for a 1-2 gallon tank so that it struggles to keep temp...but that will only kill a heater prematurely.

Thoughts?
An electric heater doesn't "struggle". It's on or off. If anything, I would think being on constantly would prolong the life.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2020, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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An electric heater doesn't "struggle". It's on or off. If anything, I would think being on constantly would prolong the life.
I suppose this can be thought of both ways. When I say struggle I mean the coil running too long, these days they probably have a simple timeout circuit though. I guess cycling the heater may do more damage with the surging...not really sure which is worse. I have thought about putting a small heater in the HOB filter for cosmetic reasons but I am not sure it would work properly in such a small volume of water regardless of flow-rate. In theory it would never shutoff if I put it in the HOB filter.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2020, 08:41 PM
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Most all electrical devices see an over voltage/current situation when they turn on. The cooler circuit has less resistance. Have you ever seen an incandescent light bulb fail after it had been on for a while? I never have, they fail when you turn them on. Everything else being the same, a constant on heater should last longer and you have the added benefit of it being difficult to cook the fish.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2020, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Most all electrical devices see an over voltage/current situation when they turn on. The cooler circuit has less resistance. Have you ever seen an incandescent light bulb fail after it had been on for a while? I never have, they fail when you turn them on. Everything else being the same, a constant on heater should last longer and you have the added benefit of it being difficult to cook the fish.
Okay I see what you mean now, that makes sense. I used to work in a machine shop and the owner would leave this giant vintage vertical lathe running all day...said it cost more to turn it on then it does to let it run all day even if not used. That may be an extreme example but I see your point with the incandescent lightbulb. I am going to try to find an even smaller heater than, sounds like putting it in the filter cant do any harm than...unless it got clogged but the worst that would happen is it would burn out.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Alright I experimented with a micro heater, the last few nights it got about as cold as it ever gets in Florida (40F). I tend to leave my window cracked so my room got down in temperature, so the tank read 70F in the morning. On the way home from work I picked up a 5W Aqueon heater which was the smallest heater I could find, it is rated for 0.5-2.0 gallons...my tank is 2.7 gallons (probably 2.5 gallons or less with displacement) so this is the perfect undersized heater to test with. The following morning the tank was at 75F so I figured that was about as good as it was going to get after 8 hours, I figured as soon as the chilly weather was gone it should have no problem reaching 78F. Well when I got home from work 12 hours later I was surprised to see the tank at 79F! I am hoping it does not reach 80F and my cheap thermometer is just off by 1 degrees...I did make sure to put the thermometer on the opposite side of the tank from the heater. I see no reason to keep the 10W heater that I never even used.

Here is the 5W heater next to the 10W heater, you can see how much thinner the 5W is in comparison. I figured it would also fit in my HOB filter better...which will be my next experiment. Can anyone think of a reason why putting a heater in a HOB filter would be a bad idea??



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 08:35 AM
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You need a heater that actually has a thermostat, ones you’ve got are always on so their completely dependent on room temp as to what temp it’s going to keep your tank. I’ve used these marina for years, never had one fail nor have they ever overheated the tanks or bowls. They have a real preset thermostat that shuts on and off, you can see little light come on when their heating. I actually wouldn’t be afraid to put the 25w in your tank. 10w will only be able to maintain your tank water in 70’s as long as room temp does not drop below 65°.

https://www.amazon.com/Marina-C10-Co...8469378&sr=8-1
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 02:16 PM
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Yes, you should have a heater with a Betta. No, keeping your old Betta at 78F did not shorten its life. Yes, you should do as @DaveKS says and use a heater with an actual thermostat.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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No thermostat? I was not aware heaters were able to be legally sold without one, are you sure? I was under the impression both these heaters have a thermostat they are just not adjustable thermostats. The one in your link is too large, this is a tiny tank and I do not want to see a heater so if it will not fit in my filter body than I want to stay away from it. Luckily it will be very rare my room drops below 65F so it should be okay, this morning it was at a perfect 78F but after work it was back to 79F...highly doubt it will reach 80F. The shrimp probably enjoy it but I am pretty sure my Nerite snail prefers cooler temps. I found since heating the tank the snail stays in the tank...it used to crawl out every day but I think the air temperature is too cool compared to the water now so it does not leave. I will let you all know how the heater works out in the filter...someone should invent a HOB with a built in heater! A float switch could shut the heater off if the water level dropped.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2020, 02:29 AM
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I run the marina 10w in sump of this spec 2.6. Here’s a pic of same sump with 25w marina in it. It’s 6.75” tall and is just shy of waterline in this sump. The 10w that I actually use in this sump is same diameter but only 4.37” tall. Both roughly 1” wide.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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I run the marina 10w in sump of this spec 2.6. Here’s a pic of same sump with 25w marina in it. It’s 6.75” tall and is just shy of waterline in this sump. The 10w that I actually use in this sump is same diameter but only 4.37” tall. Both roughly 1” wide.

Great feedback, I may try sneaking it into my tiny HOB than. The outdoor temp came back up, which caused my tank to rise to 81-82F with that 5W heater so it definitely is an always on heater. Won't be using that anymore....still undecided if I even need one 320+ days a year.


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