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My first post... hello!

I have a 29 gal I'm setting up, and I am going fail-safe-fail-safe on it. I got an inkbird, and I had planned to do 2 heaters for redundancy so that I can follow the instructions in this
(at 3;40 he explains the setup). He says have Heater 1 (H1) with enough wattage that can heat the whole tank, paired with inkbird as the controller, set to a temp slightly higher than the shut off for the Inkbird. When water gets to the right temp, inkbird shuts H1 off. If Inkbird fails, H1 (hopefully) shuts itself off because it's set to just above InkBird. If H1 doesn't even come on because Inkbird failed and never turned on H1, (or H1 failed), your second underpowered heater H2 is there to save the day. It is set to slightly lower than the range, so only comes on if temp drops. If H2 doesn't turn itself off, it's underpowered anyway and won't fry everyone. If H2 never turns on (and H1 has failed), Inkbird alarm sounds (if Inkbird hasn't failed) because temp falls. I know this probably sounds like overkill, but I don't want my fish to die from something "preventable," and I don't mind the extra $.

ANYWAY, my question is - He says your primary heater should be the correct size for the tank. When talking heaters, I see a lot of advice saying to go with slightly over powered so that it minimizes the constant on/off cycle and the hard work that wears on a heater and leads it to fail. Using this method - where in theory the inkbird would shut off an overpowered heater before it fried your tank, would you go big or regular for that primary heater? Or, does the Inkbird sort of negate the issues with the heater wear? So would I go with a 150w and a 75w, or a 100w and a 75w, or a 100w and a 50w?

Also, I had chosen the Eheim Jagers... thoughts?

I did look at past threads about Inkbird and heaters, so I apologize if this is redundant. What an amazing forum with SO much to read! Thanks in advance!
 

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This is a great question. Following for answers! I know it has been awhile, but I have heard that it is better to go underpowered with heaters because it is not the heating element but the switches that go bad- an underpowered heater will take longer to heat, so will turn on and off less. I heard about that here
 

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I have used the Inkbirds for years and I don't agree with his thinking on how to use them. I have 2 heaters of 100 watts set to just above what I have the Inkbird set to and both are plugged into the controller. This way the heaters are basically always on and the Inkbird turns them on and off. This keeps the contacts on the heaters from constantly opening and closing. If the heater/heaters stick on, the inkbird will turn them off and if they both don't come on, highly unlikely, then the tank will take a while to reach ambient temp, mine is 72F year round, before I discover the problem. I just get heaters rated for my situation, not over nor under powered. Here is a detailed calculator for heaters/chillers....https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/HeaterChillerSizing.php. I hope this makes sense and helps you. I just want to add take everything you see/read on the net with a grain of salt until you do more research. You are on one of the best resources available, TPT Forums...lol
 

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I too disagree with the youtuber's logic. Seems to be more of a hassle than it is worth. It makes sense, but also still is reliant on a thermostat built into the heater. My tank is in a living room which stays comfortable year round. I am not worried about the heater not kicking on as much as I would be worried about it getting stuck on.

I would get 2 of the same heaters to meet the needs of your system and use the controller and be done. Just my $0.02.
 

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The inkbird replaces the controls of the heater. I use titanium heaters that have no controls on them. The inkbird does the control. The inkbird has a more advance system than a standard heart could ever have. It can be setup with a smart phone and have different alarms you can setup to control the heat in your aquarium. No need to set any temp on the heater.
 

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I agree with what others have said. Given a reasonable room temperature, I would be more concerned with a heater's thermostat failing. If the Inkbird failed in a closed circuit position, the heater's internal thermostat would be your backup. I was going to suggest a DIY controller, but I was surprised to see how inexpensive the Inkbird controllers are these days. Many years ago, temperature controllers were far less expensive to build than the off the shelf controllers - not so much anymore.
 

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This is great. Really helpful info! I finally understand now what I was starting to put together - that by setting your heater for slightly higher than your controller your controller becomes your heater's on and off switch. As far as size I just went ahead with what Thermocontrol Jager Eheim recommended - an 150-watt for my 65 gal tank. I'm not getting two for space reasons, and because I'm using the Inkbird as well. I do understand what I think is the youtuber's thinking excellently explained by kwmindenhall though - it seems like it would only run one heater at a time so that the smaller one set lower would potentially not be used and thus good for a longer period of time...

Here is the video I was trying to link to about over/under power on heaters: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Thanks for this wonderful information!
 

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OP is way overthinking things. Bottom line- more damage is done when the tank is over heated than a few hours of no heat. Keep a spare heater on the shelf, I run Inkbirds and with the clear display just train yourself to read them as you pass by- I like the Inkbirds but are not 100% sold on their reliability either. One heater appropriate sized set 2 deg above where the Inkbird is set. KISS.
 
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