heater not working? how to switch new one etc? help!

robynb

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Hi there,

i recently set up a tank (28litre) and was advised by many to get a 25w heater. bought one that seemed to have mostly good reviews. Waited till tank was about 24/25 and got some fish yesterday, 3 guppies for now.
woke up this morning and the thermometer reads 23.5 degrees... tested it out over heat etc and definitely works so it is the heater.

turned the heater up to max while out and works for sure, but when put back down to 26/7 it does not seem to heat? not sure what to do and worried how long the fish can survive in slightly lower temperatures. the room is not cold.

If i have to get a new one, whats the procedure for switching them so the fish dont get too cold etc, do i take od one out and put new one in and hope that gets up to temperature quickly?

any help would be appreciated.
 

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KPNUTS

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I was told to just pop the new heater in for about an hour before you switch it on then after you switch it on wait till it hits temperature turn the other heater off then wait about an hour and take the old one out. A couple of my heaters have been dodgy. Good luck, Hope it all works out. :0)
 
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robynb

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I was told to just pop the new heater in for about an hour before you switch it on then after you switch it on wait till it hits temperature turn the other heater off then wait about an hour and take the old one out. A couple of my heaters have been dodgy. Good luck, Hope it all works out. :0)

thank you, will try that! I can't seem to buy any heaters at the right Watt in my city or anywhere relatively near without driving over an hour, so wouldn't be able to get one till tonight off of Amazon if i order one soon. Do you know how long the fish can survive in slightly lower temperatures?
 

KPNUTS

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I wouldn't let them get to low as I've had a fish die from a drop in temperature and she was my favorite I was absolutely gutted. My tank got to hot so I turned my heaters down but it dropped to much and she didnt like it. There are things you can do to keep the temp up whilst your waiting I've seen people put bottles of almost hot water in thier tank before to keep the temp up during a power cut. Just get an empty plastic bottle put hot water in topped up with a lil cold and pop it in your tank. Obviously dry the bottle off so no tap water gets in your tank and make sure the lid is on tight. Or you could put your heating up that would work to X
 
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Guppies will be just fine at 23.5, it's pretty close to their ideal temp range in fact, and they can live, if a little uncomfortably, in even colder in the short term. Much better to leave the tank at a stable 23.5 while you wait for a new heater, than it is to mess around with trying to adjust your temp with water changes and bottles of warm water, causing the temp to fluctuate a lot. Stable is much less stressful for fish than constantly varying, and you can do more harm than good.

It's good that this happened in summer! My heater broke at some point overnight in the winter, and I found my poor guppies at 63 F (17.2 C). I panicked, until I read that they can survive even when it's that cold. Not terribly happily, I could see they weren't loving it, and 63 F would be too cold for them in the long term, but they all survived, even the guppy fry. In that case, I did use a water change to raise the water temperature by a few degrees at a time, but I was able to get a new heater that same day, so the water wasn't warming, dropping, warming, dropping - and not stressing them even more than the cold water was.

If you can try to keep the room temp stable by keeping windows closed/curtains drawn, no fans blowing in there etc, then they should be just fine until you can get the right heater delivered. :)
 

KPNUTS

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Guppies will be just fine at 23.5, it's pretty close to their ideal temp range in fact, and they can live, if a little uncomfortably, in even colder in the short term. Much better to leave the tank at a stable 23.5 while you wait for a new heater, than it is to mess around with trying to adjust your temp with water changes and bottles of warm water, causing the temp to fluctuate a lot. Stable is much less stressful for fish than constantly varying, and you can do more harm than good.

It's good that this happened in summer! My heater broke at some point overnight in the winter, and I found my poor guppies at 63 F (17.2 C). I panicked, until I read that they can survive even when it's that cold. Not terribly happily, I could see they weren't loving it, and 63 F would be too cold for them in the long term, but they all survived, even the guppy fry. In that case, I did use a water change to raise the water temperature by a few degrees at a time, but I was able to get a new heater that same day, so the water wasn't warming, dropping, warming, dropping - and not stressing them even more than the cold water was.

If you can try to keep the room temp stable by keeping windows closed/curtains drawn, no fans blowing in there etc, then they should be just fine until you can get the right heater delivered. :)
Wow that's pretty cool that they can survive at cooler temperatures. My fish are clearly high maintenance Ha ha, Good shout on shutting the windows and drawing the curtains didn't even think of that. :)
 

seangee

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Typically I test and calibrate it in a bucket before putting it into the tank. There really isn't any special procedure as water temp does not change rapidly. The only thing to avoid is putting a hot heater into cold water (or air but this is less of an issue in summer). I turn the heater off 5 minutes before removing from water if its on. If its not on just remove it. Putting a cold heater (i.e. room temp) into a tank and turning it on immediately causes no problems
 
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robynb

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Guppies will be just fine at 23.5, it's pretty close to their ideal temp range in fact, and they can live, if a little uncomfortably, in even colder in the short term. Much better to leave the tank at a stable 23.5 while you wait for a new heater, than it is to mess around with trying to adjust your temp with water changes and bottles of warm water, causing the temp to fluctuate a lot. Stable is much less stressful for fish than constantly varying, and you can do more harm than good.

It's good that this happened in summer! My heater broke at some point overnight in the winter, and I found my poor guppies at 63 F (17.2 C). I panicked, until I read that they can survive even when it's that cold. Not terribly happily, I could see they weren't loving it, and 63 F would be too cold for them in the long term, but they all survived, even the guppy fry. In that case, I did use a water change to raise the water temperature by a few degrees at a time, but I was able to get a new heater that same day, so the water wasn't warming, dropping, warming, dropping - and not stressing them even more than the cold water was.

If you can try to keep the room temp stable by keeping windows closed/curtains drawn, no fans blowing in there etc, then they should be just fine until you can get the right heater delivered. :)


thank you! i was worried they would die quickly, glad to hear they can live in that temperature okay. I will give it another day or so and see how they do. Ive set the heater at a higher heat as i think when it turns off when the internal thermostat reaches 26/7 the water in the tank isnt actually at that heat. its gone up to 24.5 with turning it up so hopefully they are okay, didnt want it going up too much and stressing them.

if im constantly having to turn it up for a bit every day then ill get a new one. If i am just keeping guppies i read that 23-25.5 is ideal temperature, so it may be ok? just worried if we get a few more that aren't guppies and it's too low.

sorry for all the questions and worrying!
 

seangee

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There are 2 additional factors to take into account
How close is the thermometer to the heater? It is normal to have variations with a tank so it is possible that the temp is at 25 around the heater but only 23.5 around the thermometer.
Some heaters heat in bursts. I got caught out recently when a new heater turned itself off before it reached the target temp. A few minutes later it came back on again. I assume this is a safety feature to protect the circuitry and stop the heater from getting too hot.

Oh and a third. Heaters will have a different on and off setting. This varies from one manufacturer to another. So your heater may be set to turn off at 25 but will only come back on again once the temp drops to 24 (as an example). Ideally the two temps should not be too close or the heater will be constantly flashing off and on. This is not something you can control but I have thrown out a heater before where the range was only 0.1 degrees because it was constantly turning on and off.
 
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