Heater for pricy plecos

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Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Taratron »

You get what you pay for and all that. I need to find some good heaters for my zebras; I was using Catalina as recommended by some fine folks here ages ago, but they appear to be out of business now. Eheim has bad reviews on Amazon, as does Marineland. So USA keepers, what's your go-to?
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by bekateen »

Fluval E series heaters are my preference. In tanks over 50 gal, I place 2 underrated heaters to keep tank at temp.

I am currently running about 20 Fluval E heaters.

And I never buy used heaters. Why risk killing over $100 of fish to save $20-$40 on a heater?

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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by fishguy1978 »

Eheim Jager heaters are my go to. The only complaint I have is the cord not being very flexible. I have some aquarium masters and aquatop.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Woodh »

I don't know if I am in the minority but had problems adjusting the temperature on eheims, the wheel starts to get hard to adjust and by that point you don't really know what's turning so changing the temp a degree or two is a nightmare. So far I never had one malfunction thankfully but I am not so sure I would recommend them, rage inducing to me had a couple of moments when I just wanted to toss one out the window.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Shane »

I have switched over to all Eheim as well. I am using Swiss poret sponge filters in the 90 degree corner configuration and place the heater behind the sponge. This ensures both good water flow around the heater and that catfishes can not come in contact with the heater.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by fishguy1978 »

The aquarium masters heaters I have purchased come with a plastic guard to keep fish off.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Captainandy »

I only use heaters with a controller. Ink bird is a great, inexpensive one.
All heaters fail and a small investment safeguards.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Redrain »

Captainandy wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:47 pm I only use heaters with a controller. Ink bird is a great, inexpensive one.
All heaters fail and a small investment safeguards.
I second that. I use the itc-2000's on most of my tanks (you need to do your own wiring), or the prewired ones those are also good. I think now they make an aquarium specific model, not sure how it's different but I'm sure it's better than running a heater alone.

I add a female female socket so I don't need to cut the plug off the heater, also easier to unplug
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I also use controllers on my tanks with the most valuable fish. I use the Azoo Mini controller good for up to about 900w of heating. My first ones cost me about $22 each, My next 5 were half that on clearance when Live Aquaria bought FosterSmith.

Since then they got hard to find and the last 4 cost me $52 each. As far as I can tell they have been discontinued. it looks like Inkbird gets a try.

Almost every brand of heater I have used has had failures. It is a gamble if you buy the "quality name brand" in terms of getting one that lasts or one that doesn't. The same applies to the cheaper ones but the failure rate is higher for them. There is one heater that I found to be very reliable. I have 3 with the oldest being in continuous operation since 2003. These are my Hydor inline heaters. I run 3 canisters and each has a Hydor inline attached.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Bas Pels »

What I would suggest - the problem with heaters, expensive or cheap, is that they tend to overheat one day.

Now, you can put say a 300 watt heater in a tank, and wait for this to happen, but you can also use 3 heaters of 100 watts each. When 1 burns, the others will scale off, or do less work, resulting in keeping the temperature where you want that.

I think it costs a lot less to buy 3 cheap heaters than 1 really good one.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by bekateen »

bekateen wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 3:00 amFluval E series heaters are my preference. In tanks over 50 gal, I place 2 underrated heaters to keep tank at temp.

Cheers, Eric
Bas Pels wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 7:48 am What I would suggest - the problem with heaters, expensive or cheap, is that they tend to overheat one day.

Now, you can put say a 300 watt heater in a tank, and wait for this to happen, but you can also use 3 heaters of 100 watts each. When 1 burns, the others will scale off, or do less work, resulting in keeping the temperature where you want that.

I think it costs a lot less to buy 3 cheap heaters than 1 really good one.
That's what I do: two low watt heaters in my most prized tanks. The other thing I'd do sometimes but not all the time is put one heater on a timer, so it shuts off at night, while the other heater is on 24 hours per day. This yields a mild day/ night temperature cycle without letting the tank get too cold at night.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I pretty much use two heaters on almost every tank I have. The exception is smaller tanks 15 gal or less. I cannot fit 2 heaters. Also, on tanks with canister filters i use inline heaters. However, my 150 also has a second in tank heater as well as two hang-on in addition to the canister.

That said, I still had two tank disasters where one heater got stuck full on. In one case the water was 104 or 105F and the other 124F when I found them. The first tank, a 40B, killed the pair of discus and all the rummy nose tetras but the L 450s all survived and spawned a month later. The second was a 33 long L236 breeding tank with 10 adults and 25-30 offspring. Nothing survived in that. Many of the adults had exploded bellies. If memory serves me, I had a pair of 150w heaters in that 40 and the 33L had a100w and a 150w.

I researched the Inkbird controllers and, while their basic unit (ITC-306T) is overly versatile for my needs, it will work. I have no need for day/night settings. At least that model doesn't have a the dual heating and cooling feature which I would never use and costs about double the basic model.

The problem I have is I did not keep up with the number of tanks that needed a controller.I have 8 controllers but I have 13 tanks with pricey Hypans from the Rio Xingu. I will buy one of the Inkbirds and, if I like it, I will get 4 more.

When I get out of the hobby in the next couple of years I will be having one heck of a used equipment sale :-p
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by kvnbyl »

Jehmco also sells a good heater controller, all solid state and it can also be used as a chiller controller also.
The last time I bought one it was about 75.00, like everything else they probably have gone up a little but the price is almost irrelevant when you are talking expensive fish.
I have a 150 with 15 Denison Barbs and some (8) S multis and use 2 - 300 watt heaters on it . a second tank has some rainbowfish. since the controller can do 1500 watts the heaters from the second tank (if they are of the same size) can be also be connected to the controller.
You can set the differential (mine stay at 1 degree) to control when the heaters come on and go off
You get double protection if you set the heater at maybe two degrees above where you want it; this way if the controller fails you won't have cooked fish. 2 of my controllers are 10 years old and i have never had a problem. I would suggest using a surge protector with them
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by TwoTankAmin »

If you hook heaters from two different tanks to the same controller but only have a single temp. probe, whichever tank the probe goes into will determine when the heaters in both tanks can or cannot turn on regardless of the temp. in the tank without the probe. If a heater in that tank get stuck full on it will overheat the tank because the heaters in the tank with the probe are working fine.

I use one controller per tank. At $30.99 each, the 10% off coupon and the free shipping from Amazon Prime, I can get three Inkbirds (@27.89 ea.) for the cost of the Jehmco (@$85.95 now) + shipping. Also, I change the temps in my tanks depending on spawning considerations. My heaters are always set at 86F (30C) but the controller is used to set tank temps from anywhere from about 77F - 86F (25-30C)
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Bas Pels »

bekateen wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 1:13 pm
bekateen wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 3:00 amFluval E series heaters are my preference. In tanks over 50 gal, I place 2 underrated heaters to keep tank at temp.

Cheers, Eric
Bas Pels wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 7:48 am What I would suggest - the problem with heaters, expensive or cheap, is that they tend to overheat one day.

Now, you can put say a 300 watt heater in a tank, and wait for this to happen, but you can also use 3 heaters of 100 watts each. When 1 burns, the others will scale off, or do less work, resulting in keeping the temperature where you want that.

I think it costs a lot less to buy 3 cheap heaters than 1 really good one.
That's what I do: two low watt heaters in my most prized tanks. The other thing I'd do sometimes but not all the time is put one heater on a timer, so it shuts off at night, while the other heater is on 24 hours per day. This yields a mild day/ night temperature cycle without letting the tank get too cold at night.

Cheers, Eric
I one tank, I know the heater is over funtioning. What I did was, I took a timer (costs 25 % of the heater, but here the problem was the heater could not easily be replaced) and this allows the heater to work for 15 minutes, then stop for 15 minutes after which the heater can heat again for 15 minutes.

Cheap timers often don't keep up with the time, in a few months they start running late or early, but that does not matter here - the first 15 minutes is always the same time as the next.

Obviously, the whole is shut down in summer. It does work out nicely.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by kvnbyl »

two tanks of the same size, one probe, the tanks stay at the same temp because the probe is turning BOTH sets heaters on and off. even if one heater goes into overheat it is still protected by the probe thermostat and it will still go on and off like the tank with the probe
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by kvnbyl »

also price wise you are talking 85.00 for two tanks, 42.00 per tank
if we are talking about expensive fish it's not a lot of money and you are using quality device to heat the tanks, not some no name Petco special
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by fishguy1978 »

kvnbyl wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:17 pm two tanks of the same size, one probe, the tanks stay at the same temp because the probe is turning BOTH sets heaters on and off. even if one heater goes into overheat it is still protected by the probe thermostat and it will still go on and off like the tank with the probe
In a completely hypothetical catastrophe, what if one heater fails in the off position and the other in the full hot. The failed off has the probe and as the tank cools the controller stays on trying to warm the probed tank while boiling the failed hot tank.
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by Redrain »

kvnbyl wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:17 pm two tanks of the same size, one probe, the tanks stay at the same temp because the probe is turning BOTH sets heaters on and off. even if one heater goes into overheat it is still protected by the probe thermostat and it will still go on and off like the tank with the probe
Yeah but you're walking on thin ice. If one of them failed the other one will also get affected. The whole reason to use a controller in the first place is redundancy. :d
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Re: Heater for pricy plecos

Post by kvnbyl »

yeah, it's not a perfect solution but what is?
I've used the controllers for close to 20 years and have never had a problem
realistically an 85.00 piece equipment that is used commercially is a lot less likely to fail than a 14.95 Petco heater
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