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Need heater recommendations please.

Discussion in 'Goldfish Conversation' started by Faebinder, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    I got a 20 gallon tank for quarantine/hospital for when the fish get sick. The problem is that it's in the basement and boy is it cold down there. Can someone point me out to a good heater for a 20 gallon tank? My first attempt to get one did not get me something useful and I'm hesitant to go buy another useless item.
     
  2. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
  3. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    The 250 Watt is on discount. I'll get that.
     
  4. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hopefully that will be alright to get that high wattage for a smaller tank. I imagine it will just need to turn on less frequently. It is quite long, so just make sure you have room for it, or plan on running it horizontally instead of vertical. I think it is always that low of a price, they just try to make you think it is on a really good discount. In fact, mine was $24 when I bought it several years ago.
     
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  5. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    MMM... that makes sense... Plus the length sounds like an issue that I can see happening. The pictures dont exactly show you how long it is compared to the height of a tank.
     
  6. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    Heaters are probably the weakest link in the aquarium trade. They can fail (stick open, stick closed, break, melt, etc) without warning more likely than other aquarium equipments. Just a few days ago, someone (the king of diy) told the story on youtube about loosing two stingrays (cost thousands of $$$) when a heater malfunctioned.


    There are some strategies to approach this weakness. It all depends on how important or prized the fish are to you.

    For goldfish, it is better to under heat than to over heat so get a low wattage heater. For your 20-gallon, get no higher than 100 W.

    Or better yet, get two 50 W so if one fails, it is not the end of the road.

    Heater are getting better in the last decades, the German Jager brand is still arguably the best. They are more reliable than other brands but still not bullet proof.
    http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/aquarium-heaters/jager-heaters.html

    Climbing up the ladder even more would be a separate controller / heater approach. A separate sensor measures the water temperature and then it is the controller that turns on and off the heater (which is adjusted to max temp or always on), not the thermostat within the heater.
    http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/aquarium-heaters/finnex-heaters-controllers.html

    Then even better would be two such setups for redundancy. . . .

    I used to keep saltwater fish and finally the controller approach never gave me any problem. Fifteen years later, I am still using the same controller for my turtle tank. Heaters are one of the main reasons why I only keep cold water fish and plants now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  7. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Good thing this is only for 2-3 months during the winter.

    Most heaters (for water or air) will likely fail when performing at max capacity constantly. If I get a higher wattage then likely it will not struggle to keep the temperature up as much as a weaker wattage heater. I acknowledge though that your advise has merits.
     
  8. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    Actually, a high wattage heater could cycle (turn on off) too often and more likely cause damage to the thermostat contacts. A low wattage one will be more steadily on. The best would be a heater that is is always on but that is almost impossible for a particular tank (the only possible failure if this is achieved would be a power outage. :)

    The likelihood of cooking the fish when a heater fails is much higher with a high wattage heater.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  9. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hah, do you think he is Canadian or what? That is so sad though - we had a saltwater ray when I was a kid and got very attached to it. I would agree with Lou that it would probably be your best bet to go with a 100 watt. Sure the 250 is about the same price and it seems like a better deal, but the 100 watt would do the best job and if something goes wrong with it, it won't be as capable of overheating your tank as quickly. Plus the 250 watt is around 19 inches long and would be huge in a 20 gallon. I purchased the 250 which is the correct wattage for a 75 gallon, and have been using it since January 2013 . It has kept my aquarium at a very constant temp for the past three years with no defects so far.
     
  10. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    He sure is Canadian.
     
  11. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    That's a lot of money to lose..
     
  12. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    I like the aqueon pro as well. It functions well, is sleak, submersible, and doesn't look like an eye sore since it's all black and so is my background. And most importantly, if it does fail, it usually can be found on sale on Amazon or other big box online stores.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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