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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure some of you reading this are thinking, of course you shouldn't rely on a battery operated thermometer and for whatever reason, I never gave it much thought.

I bought discus about 4 weeks ago and wanted to keep my temperature around 82F. My American Marine thermometer kept showing a temperature increase of about .5 degrees nearly every other day. I kept thinking that maybe two inline heaters was overkill and I turned their thermostat down a little each day trying to control the temp. Last night the thermometer read 87 degrees so, I unplugged one of the inline heaters. At that moment, it occurred to me that perhaps there was a problem with the thermometer so, I grabbed a mercury thermometer from another tank and was horrified when it read 72 degrees. :eek:

My discus have been looking stressed since I got them but I just assumed it would take time. They all appear to still be healthy, thankfully but I wonder how much stress I've inflicted by my stupidity. I've increased the temp to 78 degrees and will increase it to my desired 82 in the next couple of days and I'm just hoping there won't be any ill effects. I feel so stupid and angry at myself for not questioning the odd readings. Bottom line, I'm ditching my digital thermometer and sticking with good old fashioned mercury. I guess if you're using them, you need to be diligent about changing the batteries!

Are there any problems I should be looking out for? They all seem clear of ick, for now.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Mine (I use the Coralife digital) are always within a degree or two of readings from other thermometers, but I know it's not always the case. IMO it's just a good idea to keep several spare thermometers around and double-check readings, especially during those times of the year when the temperatures are changing. IME it's often neccesary to adjust heater settings one way or the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think that these thermometers are necessarily a bad idea, just that it just ends up being something else you need to remember and obviously, it was one thing too many for me. :) Besides, if you need several backups, it probably isn't worth the added expense.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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I always have several extra thermometers on hand... ya never know when you're gonna set up another tank and need one, after all! :hihi:

And I just go around double-checking tank temps in the spring and fall, when the ambient temps inside my house change.
 

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Ouch yea that will stress those discus big time and if your water has been that chilly for a long time it would definitely explain why they haven't gotten comfortable. I keep my discus at 84-86 degrees as they are much more active at warmer temps.
 

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Those $1 ones from pet stores are by far my favorite thermometers. They float and are easy to read. When I tested it against lab equipment, it was fairly close! We're talking within a degree. Now the digitial I had (Coralife and an off-brand) were off by several. The off-brand was off (haha get it!) by almost five degrees!
 

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I tried a couple of the Coralife digitals. After 5-6 months they were undependable even after I changed the batteries. Went back to the El Cheapo analogs. much better and more accurate IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After changing the batteries in both the transmitter and receiver, I've found that the whole unit is just toast. Strangely, I've owned it almost exactly 2 years and the warranty is, naturally, 2 years. :)

Which $1 thermometers are you referring to Burks? After this experience, I too will be sticking with cheap ones from here on out!
 

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I am a former baker and have gone through my share of thermometers, some of the best are those that can be calibrated like cheap instant read thermometers can. The sensor is about an inch from the tip on these. They come in manual and digital forms, I always use the manual ones, I have several in my plant room and just stick them in the tanks when I need a reading. Cheap, accurate and quick.
 

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Funny enough my favorite is the cheap $1.60 one from Wal-Mart "Aqua Culture: Aquarium Floating Thermometer" I've given up on the fancy electrics and the stick on's they just give out faster than a good old fashion mercury bobber.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ouch yea that will stress those discus big time and if your water has been that chilly for a long time it would definitely explain why they haven't gotten comfortable. I keep my discus at 84-86 degrees as they are much more active at warmer temps.
Two days later and they already look a lot better and are so much more active! I'm glad I finally realized what was going on but annoyed that it took me so long.

Funny enough my favorite is the cheap $1.60 one from Wal-Mart "Aqua Culture: Aquarium Floating Thermometer" I've given up on the fancy electrics and the stick on's they just give out faster than a good old fashion mercury bobber.

- Brad
This is what I ended up getting after my mishap. My experiences with stick-ons were less than ideal too so, looks like these mercury ones are the only way to go.
 
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