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Any experience with this heater?


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Being mainly a pond and cold water fish keeper for the last decades, I was fascinated by shrimps.   I am waiting for some painted fire red cherry to be delivered this week.

 

I am using a 20 gal L planted tank for them.  The tank was being used to raise some goldfish fry with two sponge filters so everything is cycled but I need to raise the temperature a little. (The goldfish fry have been moved out yesterday so no worries. :)  I have one gold mystery snail and some ramshorn snails in there.  The plants are Java fern, Java moss, dwarf sag, hornwort, and crypt. There are a few oak leaves from my yard on the bottom.) 

 

Anyway, these are my first posts in this forum and I looked at the drawer of heaters that I used in the past for turtles and salt water tanks.  They were all too higher powered so I ordered two of the mentioned heaters (the 50 W version).  Here is what I found:

 

One of them seems to be working OK but the printed dial is off by a few degrees (too high).  That is not a big issue because I usually calibrate a heater in a bucket with a good thermometer.

 

The second one was not good at all.  First of all, the indicator light won't come on when the heater is on (the indicator light is very difficult to see even on the working one).  When it was on, it uses 35 W (used a kill-a-watt meter to measure) rather than 50 W.

 

I tried to use a Finnex 300 heater controller to control it, and it did not work at all.  I have an old heater controller (Computherm) and that one did control it. 

 

So my take is that the quality control is not very tight.  It is a hit or miss.

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Save your money and buy a heater with an electric thermostat like the Aqueon Pro or Cobalt Neotherm. Mechanical thermostats are very inaccurate and get struck on or off.

I originally went the middle road and purchased two Hydor Theo heaters and they are junk. Both were very inaccurate in regards to set point, which is bad but worse both ranged up and down by as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. One of them leaked and stopped working so I purchased new Aqueon Pro's and I have been very happy. Set point is very close to what is on the heater and they hold the temp very constant. Make sure it is the "PRO" however as there is a cheaper mechanical one also which I have heard is not very good.

Just my experience and opinion...

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When it comes to heaters and if you have expensive habitants, always try to use an external controller (relay) and then two lower powered (half the required power) heaters.  One of the heaters is controlled by the controller (set 2-3 degrees higher than the controller temperature) and the other one is plugged in directly to the outlet and set 2 degrees lower than the controller temperature.  Calibrate the heaters so they turn on/off at the set temperatures.  That setup will have enough redundancy/protection and time to protect in either direction when the heater and/or controller malfunctions and for you to make corrections.

 

IMHO, many people use too high powered heaters in tanks so when it sticks on, the water heats up too much.  The manufacturer also suggest too high power heaters.  In most cases, if you are raising the temp no higher than 10 degrees than the room temperature, 2-3 watts per gallon is sufficient.

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Save your money and buy a heater with an electric thermostat like the Aqueon Pro or Cobalt Neotherm. Mechanical thermostats are very inaccurate and get struck on or off.

I originally went the middle road and purchased two Hydor Theo heaters and they are junk. Both were very inaccurate in regards to set point, which is bad but worse both ranged up and down by as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. One of them leaked and stopped working so I purchased new Aqueon Pro's and I have been very happy. Set point is very close to what is on the heater and they hold the temp very constant. Make sure it is the "PRO" however as there is a cheaper mechanical one also which I have heard is not very good.

Just my experience and opinion...

 

I'll need to check those out because everyone seems to speak highly about them.

 

When it comes to heaters and if you have expensive habitants, always try to use an external controller (relay) and then two lower powered (half the required power) heaters.  One of the heaters is controlled by the controller (set 2 degrees higher than the controller) and the other one is plugged in directly to the outlet and set 2degrees lower than the controller temperature.  Calibrate the heaters so they turn on/off at the set temperatures.  That setup will have enough redundancy/protection and time to protect in either direction when the heater and/or controller malfunctions and for you to make corrections.

 

IMHO, many people use too high powered heaters in tanks.  The manufacturer also suggest too high power heaters.  If you are raising the temp no higher than 10 degrees, 2-3 watts per gallon is sufficient.

 

That's a good tip. I agree on the high power heaters, that's why I usually buy a lower wattage heater. I'm going to use these in 7.2 to 5 gallon tanks so I don't need a lot of heat.

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I have never bought that heater but have purchased numerous products from that seller. Im pretty sure they are Chinese and the products are Chinese, everything I have purchased from them has been good quality and I have been happy with. They are also very fast shippers and extremely easy to deal and goes out of there way to please the customer.

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Agree about the vendor -- good to work with. Recommend doing an eb search for "AC 110V 220V Digital F Temperature Controller Thermostat DIY Aquarium" for a great controller. Let's you set high and low on/off settings, high and low alarms, and total shutoff if the temp gets too high. Can also be used for low temp controls to set cooling fans.

P

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