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The truth about HEATERS?
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BARBy
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Joined: 04 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.05.07(Sat)16:28    Post subject: The truth about HEATERS? Reply with quote

I'm tired of fighting the temperature regulation on my tanks!. Of course, I've always lived in houses with poor temp. regulation, but I have to wonder: aren't thermostats supposed to deal with this? My room temp. is going from about 70F to 79F over a day and there's not much I can do about that, but I'm wondering if I should invest in a new/different heater. Would it be any better, or would I still have the same problems?

For instance, I set the visitherm on 86F in order to get the tank up to80F, which holds for 12 hours, then the room warms and pretty soon the temp in the tank is up to 83F and I'm trying to correct it again. The tank temp never seems to reach the thermostat setting unless the ambient room temp is 80F, in which case what's the point of having a heater? It's as if there's no thermostat at all, or it's never catching up. The temp on the thermostat has never matched the temp. in the tank.

My tank is 29g, and the Visitherm heater is a 100W and it's new! I've got a 50W in my 10g and I'm doing the same up-and-down adjustment there too. I've read everything from recommendations of 2-3W/g to 5W/g so I need some help here. I'm so tired of adjusting heaters all day, opening and closing tops, and dealing with stressed fish! When the summer heat settles in here soon, there will be less variation (I.e. 74F-78F per day) in the house. Would a better brand and/or more wattage help this situation. Any other advice on stabilizing temperature? Thanks! Can you sense the frustration? Rolling Eyes
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downloader
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: montreal

PostPosted: 2005.05.07(Sat)16:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get ebo jager heaters. Set the temp and forget about it. They come with big suction cups that really stick to the glass. They last for years on end.

www.bluewhippet.net
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Psyfalcon
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Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: 2005.05.07(Sat)17:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really need to set it, and let it adjust itself. My heater took forever to even out (luckily, no fish at that point) but once it was set it stayed where it had to be.

By setting it at 86, it will eventually reach 86 (give or take a bit due to variation). Set it at 80 and see what it does, it might still move a bit, but its better than playing with it a few times a day.
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2005.05.07(Sat)17:30    Post subject: flow? Reply with quote

Two suggestions:

First, be sure the heater is in a place with good flow.

Second, you can add some insulation on the back of the tank and this will help the tank hold heat better. I have 1/2" polystyrene board on the back of most of my tanks, but a layer of any sort of insulating material that you have around will help.

Last, stop messing with the temp control. Set it on 80 degrees and wait. I think 100 watts is perhaps undersized, but if the flow was good it still ought to do OK. IF it does not keep it at 80 steady, in a few hours, then return it.
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BARBy
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Joined: 04 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.05.07(Sat)20:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies. Yeah, this has been going on for 6 mo. That's why I'm fed up. It has never really set. If I set it on 80F, I'll wake up to a 75F tank Rolling Eyes . It's like it can never catch up. Right now, I've got sick fish in the tank so I'm really upset about the fluctuations.

Thanks for y'all's helpful advice: I'll put something on the back of the tank (everyone here at home thinks it's ugly with the cords showing thru anyway) and move the heater under the outflow. BTW, Dumb, paranoid question Embarassed : The Visitherm Submersible's cord is safe underwater too? Right now the glass is completely submersed, but not the dial and the cord because I'm electici-phobic. I also think that if those plans don't work I'll go for a 150W---maybe an Ebo Jager.

Thanks again everyone Smile !
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2005.05.07(Sat)20:24    Post subject: I wonder -- where is the thermostat? Reply with quote

Hmm, I wonder, where is the thermostat? Maybe the fact that the top of the heater is out of the water is keeping it from registering tank temp correctly? I have also read that it is best to set it at an angle so that it senses the temp better.

Try this, set the heater on a 45 degree angle with the entire thing submerged under water, yes submersibles are meant to be submersed! Set it on 80 degrees. Maybe do this in the mornign so you can watch the temp better, if it seems any better, then let it run overnight also.
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BARBy
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Joined: 04 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.05.08(Sun)11:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, while the temp. was at 81F this morning (heater set to 86 all night), I lowered the setting to 81 and pushed the heater sideways under the outflow. Within an hour and a half, the temp. in the tank had dropped to 80, and the pilot never came on once even though the air conditioning is running in the room. This is what I'm talking about. It should hold 81 once the tank is at 81 right? I just raised the thermostat setting to 83 in an attempt to keep it from dropping anymore. So does this sound like an ineffective heater?
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2005.05.08(Sun)12:46    Post subject: sounds like it is no good Reply with quote

I'd try for a return to the store or the manufacturer.
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@-McP
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Joined: 24 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.05.08(Sun)13:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the visitherm line of heaters as well and can say that if your heater is not fully submersed it won't hold the temperature steady. I've got mine near the bottom of a tank behind a rock scape to hide it and have never had any problems. as long as you have a drip loop before the cord gets to the outlet you should be fine. I know if I don't keep the water topped up in my 29 and the top of one of the heaters is starting to peak above the surface the temps get wacky. put it fully underwater and leave it alone. that should be all that is needed. good luck Smile
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.05.08(Sun)15:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with McP. Also, it is worth noting that many heaters have calibration issues. The heater I have on my ten (not a visi-therm) actually outputs 2 degress higher than the temp dialed in. While that may or may not be the issue, it is definitely worth taking into account.
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Jake
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