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Broken heater turned out to be something else!

1105 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Color Me Blue
I think I figured out what's wrong with my heater in my main 29 g tank. Nothing! Looks like my thermometer is broken and not the heater. I raised the temp on my heater to the max, 96ºF and yet my thermometer said the water temp was just under 60ºF. I added an extra 50watt heater I had in another tank and slowly raised the temp on it but the thermometer still said 60º, so I raised the temp on it to the max also and still no change.

Well I was on craigslist yesterday and some guy was giving away 3 10gallon tanks complete with fish, HOB filters, stand, and a big box full of accessories. I called the guy up and had someone go pick the stuff up for me. I has hoping it included some heaters but there was none but I got a box full of goodies.

So anyways I cleaned one of the tanks that had the fish in it (didn't know what kind of fish I got, the water was really nasty, brown and cloudy), added some fresh clean water and put a thermometer (glass tube kind) I found in the box, btw the tank also had one of those sticker kind thermometers.

Later that night I noticed the temp on the 10g tank was 84ºF and I was like Wtf. There's no heater, how could the temp be so high? The tank has a hood that holds 2 incandescent bulbs and those things release a lot of heat but they where off for hours. I double checked both temp on the glass thermo and the sticker thermo and yup they both said 84ºF.

I started thinking to myself if this tank is at 84ºF in room temp then my main 29G tank should also have a high temp. I then put my hand against the glass and it felt cold but when I put my hand against the glass of my 29g it felt very hot! I looked at my thermo and it said 60ºF still so that's when I knew something must be wrong with it. I later found another glass type thermo in the box and put it in my 29g tank. Three hours later I checked the temp and it said 90ºF!!!!!!! :icon_eek: I instantly turned off the 50w heater and started lowering the temp on my main heater. If I would of still kept trying to bring up the temp I would of made fish soup! and all thanks to a faulty thermometer. :mad: I'm glad I got that extra thermometer but I'd still feel a lot safer if I tested it with a digital one. I saw some on ebay for a good price. I could get about 5 or 6 for $36 (one for each of my reptile tanks as well) or I can get a used 55g tank. Hard decision... -_-

Anyways, on a lighter note. I got an awesome deal on craigslist! I got three 10 gallon tanks, 3 under gravel filters, 1 two tank iron stand, 4 HOB filters (some with biowheels), 2 glass thermometer, 2 automatic fish feeders, 3 airpumps, 3 wannabe python cleaners, 6 nets, a couple airstones and tube fittings/elbows, a bag full of fake plants, 3 big decorations (castles and such), a lot of food, and it was all free! :D

Oh, I also got some fish and a crab. One fish was a minnow, I put him in my main tank because I was afraid one of the other fish might eat him. The other fish was a common pleco about 6" long and the other fish is some sort of catfish. I don't know what kind of catfish though, he a silverish color with a lot of little black spots and yellowish eyes. He's about 4" to 5" long. I was going to take a picture of him but my digital camera's batteries ran out and I lost the charger. -_- The crab is about 1½" with a huge claw and a really tiny claw. The guy said he got it from the ocean like a 5 months ago but I'm not sure. I'm not even sure how a saltwater crab can live in a freshwater tank.

Anyways, I'll get some pics up as soon as I find my charger.
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I feel your pain. I just went thru something similar. I relied on my visi-therm stealth heater to give me the proper temps I dialed in on it for ages. My problem was I also relied on a stick-on the glass thermometer to give me a general reading of my water temp. Big mistake!! The stick on thermometer would read about 80 but the tank water felt too cold to be that. Then at other times it would read 75 but the water would feel too warm. It just didn't make sense. So I finally went and purchased a digital thermometer. Before I placed that into my tank, I tested it out with a kitchen thermometer and they both gave me the same readings in my sample water cups. I felt confident that this digital thermometer would give me the correct reading in my tank. It's then I found out that my heater was broken! -argh- I'm pretty sure the thermostat is broken, so now it meant I needed a new heater. The problem with the visi-therm stealth is that there is no indicator light to let you know it's on. So I bought the visi-therm deluxe and it works like a charm!!

If I were you, invest in the digital thermometers. It's better to cover your bases. You can use both the glass thermometers and the digital ones in your tanks. It beats cooking your fish or freezing them. :)
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A couple of thoughts. 60° water is cold. Simply putting your hand in the tank would have told you that it was warmer than 60°.

Then comes the thought that it's really hard for the tank to be colder than the ambient temperature. You live in Miami. How cold is it in your house right now? I highly doubt it's 60°.

There were two things broken. The thermometer and your common sense. Of course that's just my 2¢.
There were two things broken. The thermometer and your common sense. Of course that's just my 2¢.
Too funny....
LOL Too funny!

But hey, we all go thru a learning process. Some are more advanced than others. Stop throwing the damn curve off Rex! :) hehehe
Side note: I can chew gum and walk at the same time. The difficult part is deciding what flavor to chew. :tongue:
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