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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just getting back into the game and not finding the heater market much improved from when I left!
I have found lots of faults with the normal heater design and have several specifics I want in any heater I use.
Paired with temperature controllers, I can feel safe but I am hoping to find the value I want by getting the correct design that allows the heater to last longer.
I am not interested in recommendations for brands that do not have the following design ideas buit in. Thanks but no thanks for ideas of the type which you favor if it doesn't have at least some of these features!
But if you have one you like that DOES have this, how about telling me about it, so I can cut my chase?

1. I want the controls outside the heater tube and tank. I feel this frees up the design to allow for more space for the electronics as well as removes /reduces the question of water or condensation getting to the controls.
2. I want a digital display for setting, even though I will have a readout on the controller for ease of checking.
3. I would prefer but not require something like ceramic or some alternate to the common metal heating coil.
4. Some form of really durable body like metal, etc. This is where not being up on later designs may make me miss something important, so clue me in if you have some good material being used.
5. No longer a "brand name" buyer, so that is not a factor.

Thanks for any info you pass along!
 

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The only option I can think of that hits all your bases is a titanium element paired with an Inkbird. I use titanium elements with Apex controllers (which would be my first recommendation, except for being crazy), but Inkbirds sound to be fairly reliable for the money (which is not to say "reliable, period").
 

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The only option I can think of that hits all your bases is a titanium element paired with an Inkbird. I use titanium elements with Apex controllers (which would be my first recommendation, except for being crazy), but Inkbirds sound to be fairly reliable for the money (which is not to say "reliable, period").
This is what I do. I use bulk reef supply's house brand titanium elements with inkbird controllers.

The inkbirds have two outlets, so you can run two elements simultaneously. They also allow you to dial in a correction factor in case the controller's thermometer is off compared to a benchmark. I dial a -0.5deg correction in regardless to keep the temperature range around the temp I want. E.g., it will kick on at 76.5 and off at 77.5 if I have it set to 77 instead of on at 76 and off at 77. You can also set the delta at which it kicks on (in one degree increments) to make the heater cycle less frequently (assuming you are okay with a larger temperature range).
 

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Not sure if this is related, but there is a recent post about copper issues and the wrong type (?) of inkbird:
 

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Not sure if this is related, but there is a recent post about copper issues and the wrong type (?) of inkbird:
Interesting. I hadn't seen that thread. There is an inkbird with a metal thermometer probe - we use that in our bearded dragon's terrarium. Definitely use the ones with the plastic probes for aquariums though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not familiar with the titanium elements, so some questions, maybe?
Does this element just do the heating and you are leaving the control to the Inkbird? That would do away with one of the primary thoughts I have on using the temperature controllers as I let the built-in thermostat on the heaters work as a primary control and use the Inkbird or whatever other controller as a secondary as a way to guarantee there will not be a failure and overheating ---assuming only one failure at a time!

I'm just now working my way back into the hobby after a few years with a motorhome which doesn't work well with tanks!

What I'm now hoping to find is a good solid replacement for the heaters I used before and that is brought up due to the models I had settled on are no longer to be found, at least not on a quick search without remembering what brand name they were. I've found many of the same inside parts are used in numerous brands and that has led me to stop going on brand name quality as a factor.

In previous years, I went with the Inkbird as it was shipped to me as a way to advertise if I would give my honest apraisal after using it for a bit. In fact, I thought it was a great set up and love it, even to still using it now but for different purposes. The Inkbird I reviewed was the 308 and it had all I wanted for features and more----but att his point I also have to admit that I had more tanks than I wanted to spend the price of $35 at that time, so went for different, much cheaper controller off E-bay that required a bit of DIY wiring but sold for $10-15 which fit the overall budget better when I wanted 15 of them! For controllers, I'm set on what I need there.

I admit to getting a bit carried away with things and breeding became a real deal at one point and that is where I decided there was never going to be another tank of fish stew made in my house, if it could be prevented! The last case was the night before a show and I was keeping fish for a friend to speed up the early morning start when the 50 watt heater stuck on and killed the whole tank. Waking to the smell of dead fish broke me of ever taking that chance again! Staying up until midnight to catch and move 30+ high value fish only to find them all dead is a real bummer!! Explaining to the buyers who had already committed was even worse.

But back to the current question? Anybody got handson experience with the Aquatop brand as the 100 watt seems to have a number of the right features. So does anybody know what they put inside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As an added thought, I might mention that I do not go with using the probes directly in the water as I found them to be more water "resistent" than "water proof" as they tended to fail as water finally got through the seals. One easy mod to keep them dry is sealing the probe in something like a plastic tube. Depending on length needed, I have used things like the water supply tube for stools and short ones can be easy to make using a soda straw. Sealing is easy if you light the end on fire and crimp it out with pliers! The tube also helps keep it hidden where I wanted.
 

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I second the titanium element paired with an Inkbird. I’ve had one running for three years with no issues. Get the model with replaceable probes; I think it’s a good precaution to replace the probes yearly, as they seem to be the weakest part of the setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, thanks for the reply. I am doing some searching looking as the tank slowly comes around. You know how long that seems to take!
 
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