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What heater style do you prefer?

  • Glass

    Votes: 8 40.0%
  • Titanium

    Votes: 7 35.0%
  • Stainless Steel

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 20.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day!

Title basically says it all.

What are your thoughts on all these types of heaters? And what do you use? (Brand,Material and controller if you use a separate unit)

From what I have observed, Glass heaters can be either very good or very bad or maybe even explosive. Titanium seem to be higher quality with all having separate controllers, thermostats etc, but that's just my observation.

Haven't really heard much from stainless steel heaters, would like to hear from people who use them.
 

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G'day!

Title basically says it all.

What are your thoughts on all these types of heaters? And what do you use? (Brand,Material and controller if you use a separate unit)

From what I have observed, Glass heaters can be either very good or very bad or maybe even explosive. Titanium seem to be higher quality with all having separate controllers, thermostats etc, but that's just my observation.

Haven't really heard much from stainless steel heaters, would like to hear from people who use them.
never heard of the steel or titanium ones myself the only ones you see round my area are glass. i presume the S and T are expensive though?. I would have thought though that they are alot better, after all glass can smash (although saying that iv'e given a few of mine they're fair share of bumps over the years and they've held out) and iv'e had a few small thermostat issues with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
never heard of the steel or titanium ones myself the only ones you see round my area are glass. i presume the S and T are expensive though?. I would have thought though that they are alot better, after all glass can smash (although saying that iv'e given a few of mine they're fair share of bumps over the years and they've held out) and iv'e had a few small thermostat issues with them.


That's a titanium heater, stainless steel are pretty much the same but with a different material for the heating element. Price is actually quite reasonable, around $50+ and you don't have to get your hands wet changing the temp :)
 

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How's the temp accuracy? I'd switch for that reason alone. I've been frustrated with my glass tube heaters (well known brand) that aren't calibrated well at all. Why bother putting a temp scale on the heater if it's off 3-4 degrees???
 

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Stainless steel and titanium heaters will be less prone to breakage than glass, obviously. Aside from that, the material of the outer cover really has no bearing at all on its performance. Sure, they have different heat transfer coefficients, but the whole thing is sitting in water, so it's not like you're losing efficiency. Heck, there are plastic covered heaters even. What you're looking for more is the quality of the internal components, ie how reliable and accurate the thermostat is.
 

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All heaters will die, evntually. It's rare - though memorable - that the glass 'splodes. The failure usually happens within the circuitry, which gets corroded over time. My guess is that if you can manage to avoid pulling them out of the tank when they're still on, there will be little or no difference between lifespans of any of them.

However, that's just a guess, and the internals could be generally more durable with the tit or ss heaters. Though I doubt it, except possibly in the really high end stuff.

Gonna have to go with glass. Stick to the Jagers.
 

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Hydor Theo's,Visitherm,are the only ones I have used.
Hydor Theo's used to come with life time warranty but I do not see this anymore in advertisement's.
Neither of those mentioned are all that well calibrated, so I rely on thermometer.
 

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I've toasted more than a few titanium heaters.
Jagers? Not one.

This is likely due to the location and demand from an undersized heater placed in a larger tank and with a high temp rise requirement. A bit like putting a motorcycle engine in a full size truck and towing a boat.
 

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I find it is the controls that fail far more often than the heating coil itself. One way to make a more reliable electronic item is by making it bigger if it means larger, more robust components can be used. Chips and integrated circuits are great when you need small but when you need small because you want to place it inside a heater tube, it becomes a problem when you sink it in water. Even the best sealed tube starts with a tiny amount of humidity in the air. When you have a micro-chip inside the tube, it takes little moisture to collect between the pins of a chip and short it out. Dead chip! Also chips don't like being heated every time the heater kicks on.
I like my controls in a large box outside the tank so that components can be chosen for the way they work rather than micro size. Also I like my electronics away from the water and heat.
I have four of the Via-Aqua as pictured above and find they work well for me.
 

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I have an Ebo Jaeger (glass) that's a mule, it's in my Aquaponic sump, system is in the Fish dudgeon (cellar). I do a weekly 50%+ WC with cold tap water. The heater laughs at the abuse.

I've had poor luck with the Finnex Titanium heaters.

I'm using the Cobalt heaters now, so far they seem to great. I love the compact size. But, only time will tell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkAEHaznAsA
 

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I have the SUPER bad habit of starting a water change before remembering to unplug my glass heaters. So far, no 'esplosions... however, I wonder, if I switch to titanium will I avoid this altogether?

I think this would just be more of a risk of cracking then exploding, but still something to be avoided. I really don't think the titanium would crack/explode, but some other component might get damaged/broken.

I've got one of the via aquas, and I like the external temp display/control. My only complaint is that it resets the temp whenever I shut it off (I've got a GFCI powerstrip, and I just kill the power to everything when I do a waterchange).

It does have a separate temp sensor, so it might be more prone to damage/failure in a situation like you described, as the sensor will start sensing air temp, and the heater will kick on, and heat itself up good, but never affect the temp probe. Might be less of an issue if you put the probe lower, so it stays in the water?
 

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One of the good points I find with the separated controls on the titanium is that you can locate things so that water changes are not a hazard to the heater. Since heat rises and also I like to hide the heater and the probe, it just seems really logical to put the heater horizontal down near the back bottom of the tank with the probe located some distance away but still near the bottom.
This only works when the temperature sensing is not located inside the tube. In heaters with the sensing controls in the tube, turning them sideways is a way to skew the reading.
When I drain water for changes, I don't even think about the heater as it is still under water. The control and adjustment is located outside and away from water and humidity all the time.
 

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I know this is a bit extreme but I have both my Oase Thermo 600 filter pump and an Inkbird ITC-308S, which controls the integrated Oase heater, connected to a Kasa power plug and configured to use an Echo Dot. I use Alexa to issue voice commands but you can also just use your smart phone and skip the Dot.

When I say " Turn off pump" the Kasa turns both off and will turn them back on in about an 1.5 hours as a failsafe incase I forget after my water change. When I say "Turn on pump" it turns both on and asks me if I remembered to add Prime :)

I also have it set to turn off for 10 minutes when I say "feed fish".
 
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