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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I set up my 90 gallon fw planted community, I started out with a 300 watt Eheim Jager heater (rated for 159-264 gals). I set it for 77 degrees and my digital thermometer says that my water temp was a consistent 77.7 degrees. A few months ago, I noticed that the temp was flexuating between 75-78 degrees. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the heater had condensation in it, so I sent it back to BA's.
Thinking that the 300 watt was way overkill, purchased a 200 watt heater (rated for tank 79-106 gal).
We set our house thermostat back to 60 degrees at night and it seems like the 200 watt isn't powerful enough to handle the almost 20 degree difference in room temperature.

I am looking at adding a second heater but am not in love with the controller/adjustment knob on the eheim and find it very hard to change. I was thing about trying out a Cobalt Accu Therm 300 watt heater or a Hydor inline 300 watt heater.
Any thoughts?
 

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I like aqueon PROS myself.Always buy online for like 50% less then LFS.
Your heater isn't really under performing.
Even the aqueon PRO says a 200watt will only raise a 90g 5degrees based on room temp of 68-72.
They say a single 250w will take a 90g upto 15 degrees above room temp.
Never tried a caobalt.
Hope this helps(my eheims have condensation in them also).
 

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The heater size, tank size and room temp are only some of what changes what size heater will work best. You might also want to look at the overall picture on some of the other things. I work to get my heaters sized just big enough to hold the temperature steady and not much more as I feel they last longer in this way and they also have a smaller chance of cooking the fish when they fail.
Filters and powerheads add heat, canopies and covers keep it from blowing away. Any type of splash makes more evaporation which cools the tank. So before going for a larger heater, it might pay to look at the whole picture to see what else might change.
 

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Reliability of the Hydor inline heaters tends to be spotty, based on a LOT of reviews. Many people never have a problem, but others have no problems until the heater just stops working. Sometimes it stops in a way where it turns off and dies, other times it gets stuck on and cooks their fish. If you go with a Hydor inline (which are indeed popular), I'd consider spending a little extra on an external controller as a backup. Amazon has them for ~$30-40, IIRC, and they add an important second layer of defense against runaway heaters.

Cobalt Neo Therms have been excellent heaters in my smaller tanks, but I haven't tried their Accu Therm heaters.

IMO, my reading has shown that Eheim Jager and Aqueon Pros have the best reps for reliability. The setting mechanism on the Eheim could be better, true, but on the other hand, once you set them, how often do you have to mess with them? I haven't touched the dial on mine since the day I set it up. Once it was at the desired temp, I was completely done.
 

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I always opt for two smaller heaters over one larger one. Safer all around. Adding a diy controller like a Ranco makes it just about foolproof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am planning on adding an external thermostat in the very near future. First I want to get the tank heating properly. Then I need to do some research as I have absolutely no wxperience with external therms. I have no idea how they work and hav e several questions, like can I run two heaters iff of one unit, or do I need one external for each heater in the tank?
I understand the whole "set it and be done" thing. However, if I can find a heater that is as good at the eheim AND it has an easy dial, then bonus for me!
 

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The controller has it's own temp probe, and an AC outlet to plug your heater in. If things get too hot, it cuts the power, that simple.

There may be controllers available that can handle two heaters. Depends on the wattage rating. With 300w heaters, I'm not sure if you're going to find a 600w capable dual-heater controller, but maybe. Technically, since there's no way for a simple controller to know which heater is malfunctioning, you can easily plug both into one, as long as the power rating suffices. It'll kill power to each if anything overheats, and turn them both back on once the low temp threshold is reached.
 

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Might want to stay away from Neotherm heaters...

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2376715
Reading that thread, they had a manufacturing defect for the 200w heaters, and possible the 150w ones, too (although far fewer reported issues), with a production dates in 2013 (ONLY). No other reported failures of the lower wattage units, and they've since made manufacturing changes to fix the issue that caused the problem.

I'd probably avoid the 150w and 200w heaters from them, until there is some true confirmation of a resolution. The lower wattage units should be fine.

That said, glass heaters have their own collection of reliability issues. Titanium heaters have been fairly reliable thus far, unless I've missed some recent reports, but (a) are the most expensive, and (b) they also have the shortest period of time in service, so long term reliability data just isn't available yet.
 

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Most reefers use those titanium heating elements like Finnex with their controllers like Apex for years without issues. Good thing is that they fail in the off position, not on like those with built-in thermostats.
 

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Hi crazy4fids,

If you are looking at an internal heater I have had excellent results in four of my tanks with the Marineland Visitherm heaters. On my 75 gallon I didn't want a visible heater so I went with the 300 watt Hydor ETH, it has been rock solid with no temp fluctuations. I too turn the temp in our house down at night, typically 58 - 60 degrees. 300 watts is the recommend heater size to maintain 75 gallon at 18 degrees above ambient room temperature.
 
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