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What's the general consensus on a back up heater?

jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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Bracknell
My experience has been they are more likely to stick on, rather than off, usually with fatal results.
Hi @dw1305

That's certainly the case with heaters using a bi-metallic strip thermostat. I could bore you with the reason for this but not right now! I prefer to use the heaters with electronic temperature control. Manufacturers normally provide these details in the technical blurb. Some heaters also have further overheat protection in the event that an heater is removed from water whilst power is still applied.

JPC
 

Maf 2500

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5 Jan 2021
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Slade Dingle
Yes, the controller itself has only very limited functionality - all the complex stuff is in the app.
OK, sounds good, but once you set the schedule in the app is this held in the memory of the controller which can now execute autonomously or does your phone have to tell the controller to change temperature twice a day, evry day?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
That's certainly the case with heaters using a bi-metallic strip thermostat. I could bore you with the reason for this but not right now! I prefer to use the heaters with electronic temperature control.
I'm definitely interested, what do you recommend?

I've had a variety of heaters over the years and none of them have been great.

cheers Darrel
 

Courtneybst

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5 Sep 2016
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I've only ever had one heater fail and it was the preset one for the Fluval edge.

No other adjustable heaters I've used have ever failed but now I'm paranoid.
 

jaypeecee

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Bracknell
I'm definitely interested, what do you recommend?

I've had a variety of heaters over the years and none of them have been great.
Hi @dw1305

One of the problems is that manufacturers' product ranges change too frequently so what I use may no longer be available. I have a Fluval Tronic - I think that's the correct name. But, it no longer appears to be available! A very quick look at the alternatives has led me to this:


It does appear to be quite big but that may/may not be a problem for you.

JPC
 

Dogtemple

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22 Nov 2011
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nice one, glad I asked.

I see there are these thermostats without the science phone connectivity which are about half the price. is it worth spending the extra to be able to use it with an app?
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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The biggest issue that we had with heaters when I was in the shop is that most people want a cheap heater even though they have very valuable livestock, or they think they will go on for ever. They have a limited lifespan if they have a bi metallic strip thermostat as JPC mentions.
I personally use a schego titanium heater on a temperature controller because they are pretty faultless.

If you have a particularly large tank then two smaller heater that total the wattage needed is often advised as if one failed off, you still have heater and if one failed on, you won't cook your tank as quickly. Personally heating isn't as important for planted tanks, so even without a heater you would probably be fine until you can buy a new one.
 

Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
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I go for a schego on an external temperature controller. Probably about as reliable as it gets in regards to heating. I’ve had a few ‘normal’ heaters stop working over the years, water inside them etc. Also had one stick on but I caught it in the nick of time! That was the final straw and made me switch to a titanium heater.

As mentioned previously, a lot of people seem to go cheap with heaters which can result in disaster. A stuck on heater is about the worst thing that can happen in an aquarium.

Cheers
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I do find heaters are very hard to research simply because if you look hard enough, you'll find faults with every model ever made. There is also an issue that some very good reliable heaters of the past, like visitherm, can become very unreliable after a switch in owners, and some poor ones of the past are now far better, like juwel.

Like I said before, I don't think it's such a big problem in a planted tank (think green aqua don't even use them) but it always amazed me that people with full blown reefs containing thousands of pounds worth or corals and fish, skimmed on one of the fundamental elements of a tank.
 

LondonDragon

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I have had some bad experiences with heaters, I shut down my Rio 125 before because the heater failure cooked the entire tank, plants, fish, shrimp the lot, I no longer use heaters on my low-techs, but I house just shrimp and snails.
On the A900 I opted instead for the Eheim filters with the heater built-in, which is different from a traditional heater and very different from the Oases! So far have not had any issues with that, seems to work great and no risk of breaking it, just hate that the power cable for the heater is embedded into the bottom case of the filter!
 
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my visitherm failing was how I need up with an unheated reef tank, the light still was going on and off, just the element was not heating, happened some point while at work, so got back to less of a water bill than usual, but tank was fine, so carried out without it. other ones seemed to in time get moisture inside, so its something that if its out the way to have a periodic look at.

those heater controls are very handy, esp if it fails on.
I personally keep the spare in the draw as opposed to wired in, just as we don’t have that many plug options in that side of the room where the tank resides, I prefer the one that also has a supply connected to a fan, to attempt to cool on warm days.
 
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