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I have my 20 long with corys and 5 ottos and it has 3 thermometers and the temp on all three is over the place.
a. 1 digital
b. 1 strip
c. 1 glass inside the tank
If the digital say 80 for an example the strip one will say 84 and the one inside the tank says 78. So on average is about 80.5.
But how can I be sure of this? Well I want to ask your opinion on witch are the best thermometers, I mean accurate. I want to know what you put your trust to tell you the temp of your tanks.
I love my Corys!
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I use "Laguna" glass + red alcohol floating thermometers sold for ponds and I place them in my sumps. When I bought around 6-8 of them, they all showed in my test our room temps within 2 degrees fahrenheit, so that was close enough for me. They still do. They are from 10 years ago.
10 years ago I also bought a dozen of digital thermometers with a remote probe on a wire. These were by FAR more convenient to read but had bigger variability up to about 4-5 F.
Thermometers are factory calibrated but perhaps the better digital ones can be recalibrated at home.
From a different angle... when I read my "Lagunas" these days I still have to squint and wipe the glass and roll the thermometer to the left and right and find the best lighting and the least reflection and interference and it takes from 5 to 10-15 seconds to make sure I read exactly what it shows because it is so unclear, in the worst cases 30 sec... to read the temp, haha... and I often wonder: do the designers of these thermometers practice test-reading their products or not? Do they buy their own thermometers and use them for years and decades? Cuz if they did, they'd be pretty annoyed with how hostile the readability is and the best of them would be pretty annoyed with themselves, I reckon.
How hard (and how much more expensive) would it have been for the thermometer to have a flat and wide and clear reading window /facet instead of the round test tube like entire body?
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