Best 50w Heater? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-31-2020, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Best 50w Heater?

Setting up a RCS tank and wanna know what options I have for a quality heater. I would prefer to not go the route of Cobalt or Aqueon Pro just due to the price. I was thinking of goin with Eheim. What are your guys opinions? And what is best temp for RCS? Thank you!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
Setting up a RCS tank and wanna know what options I have for a quality heater. I would prefer to not go the route of Cobalt or Aqueon Pro just due to the price. I was thinking of goin with Eheim. What are your guys opinions? And what is best temp for RCS? Thank you!
RCS have a very broad range of temps they can live in - 14 – 29įC (57 – 84įF). You can probably get away without using a heater at all, as long as the ambient room temperature remains fairly stable.

I keep mine in warmer water (24 - 25įC) because of the fish that are in the tank with them. No issues with building a healthy colony of RCS over here.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 04:00 PM
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After many heaters, I no longer go with brands as those are too misleading. We live a global economy and every brand is prone to sudden changes in ownership or management, leaving the rep but not the actual facts.
Things which were once true German design and made by German craftsmen are now being made with various degrees of parts made in China! So I now look for designs which work better.
I've torn down many types of electro-mech stuff to find what and why they fail and these are my personal "specs" for a good heater.
The first big failure point on heaters is the control and for good reason. Using 110AC to heat, means there is some point in the controls where contacts make and break. If it clicks, it sticks is the saying in my group, so I want those contacts to be as large as needed to make them and add the parts needed to reduce the arcing. You can't do that in the tiny confines of a heater tube. Also I want the controls away from water to both keep them dry but also let the tube be fully sealed to avoid having a moving shaft through the seal and under water. Even the navy has trouble sealing around a moving shaft, so I avoid that!
I want a box of controls located out of the tank and inline, so that the engineers are not limited on how they design the controls. Digital controls tend to be much more reliable than older types like mechanical.
Next major failure point is the heating element which has some major problems when wire of any type is heated and cooled often. Metal expands and contracts with temperature changes. The movement is very difficult to manage inside a small tube as it tends to bend the metal just a tiny bit at points where the metal is mounted or connects to the incoming line. This leads to metal fatigue and breaking, so I avoid it.
Ceramic is another material used in heating functions like quality space heaters as it is more solid and reduces the material fatigue factor.
I also want a sturdy tube made of metal or quartz, to avoid any chance of breaking it. I'm careful but stuff happens!
Since I have not needed to sho p for heaters in a number of years, I can't give you my favorite brand as I have none, so That leaves me to suggest doing the shopping to see what fits your size and tanks at a price you like but get as many of the features I suggest to make it last better.
This is one which I might favor, even though I can't find what heating element material is used.
https://www.amazon.com/AQQA-Submersi...25679210&psc=1
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 06:10 PM
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If you get the standard type heater , also get a controller for it .
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My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
Setting up a RCS tank and wanna know what options I have for a quality heater. I would prefer to not go the route of Cobalt or Aqueon Pro just due to the price. I was thinking of goin with Eheim. What are your guys opinions? And what is best temp for RCS? Thank you!
I know you said you weren't thinking of a aqueon pro but I had one go bad on me about 3 years old and it was warentied no problem just showed them my Amazon receipt and they shipped me a new one didn't have to pay shipping or anything. Company standing by their products might be worth paying extra IMO.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 01:47 PM
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Ive only had luck with 2 brands. One is really affordable ( Uniclife ) and even if it does break which they haven't in over a year- its easily replaceable. The other is more expensive but also has not broken ( Marina ).


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 07:24 PM
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+1 Ebo-Jager (Eheim). Have twelve+ only one 50W failed over 20yrs. Look at heater reviews on BRS TV. They do salt water, the heater review can cross over to FW setups.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-05-2020, 02:28 AM
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I have 14 heaters. They are about evenly split between Eheim Jager and Aqueon Pro. Love them both for many years.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-05-2020, 02:04 PM
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I have different brands including Eheim and Aqueon Pro. Also had a pretty old Aqueon on which the controls begin to stick (hard water mineral creep) and so not work... called them and they replaced no problem. Same story as latchdan. I didn't have any receipt as the heater was old, just emailed them a photo of the heater. They were really nice and responsive, and I was really impressed. Before this I didn't have much of a sense of the company, but now I have s soft spot for them.

On my 29 I use two heaters to be safe and a controller. Heard too many horror stories not to do so. On the 20, just one heater for now. I do think a controller and redundancy is pretty advisable on a big tank.

29 gallon, pH controlled CO2, Current USA + Pro LED, Eco-complete, Eheim Classic.

20L gallon, same configuration with HOB filter, suffering from tank size envy.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-06-2020, 05:32 PM
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My perspective is that aquarium heaters are the least dependable equipment you can buy for an aquarium. Iíve never lost a HOB, air pump, water pump etc... (things with moving parts!) but have lost way too many heaters. Cobalt has been the worst! When heaters go bad they tend to go really bad and set themselves to max temp and get stuck there. A cobalt wiped a whole RCS colony for me, boiling them at 96 degrees until I caught. If you read amazon reviews youíll see loads of people report same issue (read the one stars). Youíll see similar for all manufacturers sadly although Cobalt clearly has a systemic problem.

As others mentioned, a good strategy and what I do currently is to use two underpowered heaters and for extra security I got an Inkbird for only $40. With two underpowered heaters (that add up to your tank size), one can go crazy hot which will cause the other to thermostatically shutoff and thus probably wonít over heat your tank since itís only rate for half the tank.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-12-2020, 06:40 PM
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I don't recall having an issue with any heater I've had- to date they were all quality brands. But these days gear is not built the same, in the past I've purchased a marginal wattage for the application- I just purchased two Inkbirds that are programable for day and night, I don't foresee an issue.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-12-2020, 11:59 PM
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I pretty much go with eheim everything unless I've learned that there's something better.
I've had fine luck with their heaters and have a couple.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2020, 02:25 AM
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I have these on 3 different tanks. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...dWgaj2mUXGkic9

Iíve only had them for a year but they have been ok so far. They seem fairly accurate and the heating element is only 5 inches long. So, it doesnít take up much space in a small tank.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2020, 02:57 AM
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recommend eheim, don't care where their heaters are actually make, it is the design and quality control that matters, hence the brand.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2020, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bettatail View Post
recommend eheim, don't care where their heaters are actually make, it is the design and quality control that matters, hence the brand.
Not my experience.... Out of 2 one failed in shortly less than a year.
Temp adj ring froze.

A warranty replacement direct from Eheim is UN-calibrateable.
Not enough notches.

Adj. wheels are WAY too stiff on mine for easy adjustment.

Not impressed.
Personal note: They seem to be cruising on their past reputation.

My other go to brand heater isn't all that impressive either.
Out of 3 Fluval E series heaters one became un-adjustable..
The others have been rock solid for a few years though.
Geeky enough for me though and do like the plastic case.
The low flow warning can be annoying though and the fact it can't really heat up a tank from cold.
Think that's because it's solid state and pulses the coil which of course has the advantage of lower hysteresis.

Just speculating on that but even instructions state you need to be near set point for the heater to be effective.
Blue/Green/red led temp panel is of course a personal choice.

Currently on one tank I'm using an second hand Marineland Precision that has behaved flawlessly.
Has to be over 10 years old by now.
Can heat an aquarium from ice cold to set w/ no problems.
Could probably boil a cup of ice water in a few minutes..

The old bi-metal snap switches may be functional they certainty aren't very advanced..

I really don't recommend nor condemn any name brand ones "except" for the exploding Cobalt Neotherm ones..
Too much bad chatter and the meltdown failures w/ goo is a really bad way to fail.

Prob. good enough..
https://www.amazon.com/Marineland-Vi.../dp/B002DW0ENG

Marineland had a recall on a part. model so one needs to be careful w/ used pick ups.
Good thing is they may still offer cash in exchange.
Fun story, picked up a bunch of used aquarium stuff including a 55gal tank.
Had 2 of the below heaters.
Contacted marineland and got a good chunk of cash back I paid for the stuff.
Well bought it all pretty cheap to start with.
At least 5 years after the recall. I was impressed.
Quote:
Fires Lead to Recall of 1.2M Stealth and Stealth Pro Aquarium Heaters

April 26, 2011
Written by: AboutLawsuits
https://www.aboutlawsuits.com/aquari...-recall-17739/

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure"

Last edited by jeffkrol; 11-14-2020 at 06:10 AM. Reason: edit
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