Choosing a heater - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2020, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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Question Choosing a heater

It's another case of information overload for me.


The Hydor 50 watt heater I have for my 9 gallon cube won't turn to a lower heat. It's stuck up around 78 degrees and that is too hot for the neo shrimp I intend to put in that tank. I'm up in Wisconsin and the tank is near a window, so I'll feel better with a heater in the tank to keep it a reasonable temperature.



My problem is that every heater has issues, according to Amazon. They are all ticking time bombs, about to fry your fish at the drop of a hat. I'm so afraid that I will make a bad choice! Trying to wade through years of information here is killing my confidence. I know that I just need to make a choice and stick with it.


Would anyone like to lend me a hand?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2020, 04:59 AM
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What kind of heater do you have in the house? I have a heater almost next to my shrimp tank, it's next to the window basically, and the shrimps are doing well, perhaps you don't need it?


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2020, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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The heat vent is right in the middle of the bay window. Insulated curtains somewhat protect the tank from the (inevitable) cold air. When I first filled the tank it's temp was in the high 60s. I didn't think that was a good sign since we haven't even gotten any snow yet. It can get wicked cold here.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2020, 02:45 PM
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Get a heater controller. Set it to what you need and let it do the work for you.
This here!
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Last edited by Econde; 11-18-2020 at 02:45 PM. Reason: removed bump
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2020, 05:54 PM
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Eheim Jagers have been the most consistent and reliable heaters for me. I have several and have never had an issue with any of them. I had a Hydor Theo at one point and out of the box it had some sort of issue where it would only stay on for 10-15 seconds at a time and never reached the correct temperature since it wouldn't stay on.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2020, 07:50 PM
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Jager’s with a controller is the way to go.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2020, 09:19 PM
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If it were me i'd pickup an Inkbird controller instead of a new heater. It'll be a bit more price wise than a new heater but you can use it on different setups down the road and it's a safeguard against your heater getting stuck in the on position and frying the tank.

Set the controller to the temp you want then set the temp on the heater to a higher temp or 78 like you have it. The controller will turn the heater off when the desired temp is reached. A great piece of equipment IMO.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2020, 12:11 AM
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Another vote for eheim jagers.
As a general rule, when I have info overload I go with Eheim everything unless I know better.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2020, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your help! It's nice to know that I am not the only person who has had info overload!


What I am going to do at the moment is turn off the heater and get my tank cycled (or do I need to heater for that- must investigate). Then I will ask for an Inkbird for Christmas!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 05:16 PM
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Agree, just go with a heater controller for that heater. That way if/when it ever fails, just get another heater.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 04:26 AM
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You may want to try the inkbird 306t instead of the 308t recommended in an earlier reply to your post. The temperature probe on the 306t is designed for aquarium use and is on sale at Amazon today.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetman11 View Post
You may want to try the inkbird 306t instead of the 308t recommended in an earlier reply to your post. The temperature probe on the 306t is designed for aquarium use and is on sale at Amazon today.
Thanks, not OP but I've been meaning to get one and I snagged a bargain off e bay
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetman11 View Post
You may want to try the inkbird 306t instead of the 308t recommended in an earlier reply to your post. The temperature probe on the 306t is designed for aquarium use and is on sale at Amazon today.
You are correct.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 03:12 PM
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Point I've learned from using the temperature controllers is that I need to go a step beyond what they have in mind if I want the best use out of the probes.
They tend to be more water resistant than WATERPROOF! They last pretty good as designed but last much better if they are not in water full time and the solution can be very simple. Get a sleeve of some sort, like a soda straw for short tanks or tubing of any sort of thin material for far deeper tanks. choose a material that is fully water tight, thin to allow for faster temperature change to get through the material and for ease of working to hide it. Thread the probe into the sleeve and seal the bottom end to keep water out.
Sealing depends on your material but the easy one for me often comes down to lighting the end of the straw on fire and crimping it out. Pliers often works good for this but stepping on it on a concrete floor does it, too! If using a straw and water may get into the top, I also cover that with silicone as I assume there will be times I screw thing up and drop it in the tank!
Or we can be a "believer" who trusts what the ads say! When it comes to shopping, remember Amazon is not your friend. It pays to keep in mind they are there to make money! Do a search for best pricing.
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