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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just added a fish to my 20 gal that has been running for many months now. I am sitting in the room when I hear something that sounds like tap, tap, tap, tapping like on plastic. I go to the 20G and listen I hear the sound loudest near the front of the tank where the heater is.

It is a fully submersible kind and I look but don't see any cracks or rising bubbles indicating a crack in the heater tubing but I unplugged the heater and the sound stopped. There was 1 or 2 more soft taping sounds a few seconds after I unplugged it but none since. I hate to throw away a working heater.

I did have on crack on me last month but that was after I forgot I had a second heater in my 55 and I forgot to push it down below the waterline as I did a water change.

What do you fish people think? I have several older heaters laying around, but the one in the tank is a newer one, meaning less than 1 year old, maybe even less than 6mo old.
 

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I've had a heater do that. It seems to be because the rubber suction cups are too far apart. Move them closer together and see if the knocking noise stops. Worked for me, heater is fine several months later.

I read about it on this thread
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/115782-heating-making-clicking-sound.html#post6929018
see
I had the same issue with mine. Aqueon 200 watt heater. I read in another thread that to fix this issue you need to move the bottom suction cup up higher on the heater. I tried it, it seems to be working for me so far. No knocking noises. The guy in the other thread said it had to do with water getting caught between the suction cup clamp and the heater itself... not so sure if that's what was happening, but the knocking noise has stopped.
and it seems what was the same for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've had a heater do that. It seems to be because the rubber suction cups are too far apart. Move them closer together and see if the knocking noise stops. Worked for me, heater is fine several months later.

I read about it on this thread
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/115782-heating-making-clicking-sound.html#post6929018
see

and it seems what was the same for me.
I will try that for a few minutes while I am sitting here next to it, since like I said the tank has been running fine for a while, but when I added the fish I do think I adjusted the position of the heater. Maybe I moved the position of the suction cups.
 

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Just as a point of info, I would not want the suction cups to be located on the tube nest to the heating coil. the coil has to use the water to cool and right over the coil is a spot that can get pretty hot. Just better to put them in another spot?
But for the noise, I might suggest another problem. Can you tell if it might be the control relay clicking? Normally there is a small snap as the relay closes and sometimes as it opens but that should not be repeated but only as the heater turns on/off. On the heater, you might be able to see a small arc in a dark room? IF, and that might be a big IF, you might sort it out by watching in the dark. If it clicks as you see the arc, the controls on the heater are bad. May just be bad luck that it is noticed as you do tank work.
 

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In my case it wasn't a noise that only happened when the heater turned itself on, and it wasn't just one isolated click now and then. It was an intermittent muted rapping, as if someone was tapping on the glass with a fingernail. Tap tap tap pause tap tap tap tap longer pause tap tap tap etc. It went on for hours and got very annoying until I tried moving the suction cups. That had shifted when I adjusted the heater position earlier but I didn't think it mattered. I still had the original box and looked at the picture that showed where to position the suction cups- they are much closer together on the diagram than I'd had them. Once I moved them to match the diagram, the knocking noise ceased.

oops sorry didn't mean to post comment twice-
 

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I had that exact heater (Aqueon) start doing the same thing and I junked it. Sounded like the tank glass was cracking. If that wasn't enough, in the dark you could definitely see arcing as the contacts engaged. Those arcs are little welds, and it's only a matter of time before the weld becomes permanent IMHO.

Mine didn't seem to respond to the suction cup position, btw.

If it had done that from the start, or if all heaters did that, I might be able to live with it. As it was, I wasn't willing to come back to fish soufflé and so got a new heater.

It also inspired me to add "heater controller" to my list of things to aquire as a backup to the internal thermostat.
 

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When I ran into the repeated noise, it was the heater trying to come on but not locking up as it should. that left it going snap and then a couple seconds later another snap. The points were burned enough that they were no longer making contact but snapping shut and then snapping again as they opened. One of the little components that are meant to reduce arcing had failed. Lots of different designs for holding the arcing down but they are still work in progress? Part of the problem is there are real limits to what components can be fit inside the glass tube and next to all that heat. Heat is a big problem for micro electronics.
 

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I had that exact heater (Aqueon) start doing the same thing and I junked it. Sounded like the tank glass was cracking. If that wasn't enough, in the dark you could definitely see arcing as the contacts engaged. Those arcs are little welds, and it's only a matter of time before the weld becomes permanent IMHO.

Mine didn't seem to respond to the suction cup position, btw.

If it had done that from the start, or if all heaters did that, I might be able to live with it. As it was, I wasn't willing to come back to fish soufflé and so got a new heater.

It also inspired me to add "heater controller" to my list of things to aquire as a backup to the internal thermostat.
I had this same issue. I was able to get Aqueon to give me a replacement. Well, my buddy wanted it and I told him it was on its way out. A week later he stuck his and in the tank and got shocked. If it were me I'd replace it. Contact Aqueon as they have a one time replacement for heaters.
 
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